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I’m Stuck in a Hyatt Rut

While planning my summer trip to Asia (which is still only half booked), I came to the realization that I’m stuck in a rut: I can’t get myself to book anything other than Hyatt hotels. Not because I like the monotony of being in the same hotel room no matter where I go or even due to my super-elite Platinum status. No, it’s because Hyatt hotels are generally nicer and in better overall condition – at least where my travels take me. That still doesn’t make it ok in my mind and I’m trying really hard to break out of this habit.

When I was looking for hotels in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, I made an effort to book something other than a Hyatt. If for no other reason than to incorporate a bit of variety into the trip. I tried it in Singapore but the Grand Hyatt has a great location and is in much better shape than any of its competitors. They all came up short in one area or another, so I booked the Grand Hyatt Singapore, knowing it was the best choice in terms of location and overall value. It certainly helped that I secured a Duplex Suite, so I felt less weird about this first booking.

Next was Kuala Lumpur, where hotels are ridiculously cheap. A 3-bedroom residence at the Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur is a mind-boggling $385 per night. There isn’t a zero missing from that number. It would have been perfect too, since there are five of us and this rate would include breakfast/lounge access for everyone. In terms of Arrival miles, it would require just $17,325 in manufactured spending per night. Yet, I couldn’t pull the trigger. The Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur is probably the nicest hotel in the city and people are constantly raving about the suites with views of the Petronas Towers. If I was going to book any Hyatt hotel on this trip, it had to be the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur.

What reinforced my decision was that the Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur has surprisingly bad reviews. People complain about the service, club lounge, and even the condition of the hotel. That kind of put me off and when I showed a video of the Ritz Carlton’s 3-bedroom suite and the Grand Hyatt’s Grand Suites to my brother (who normally couldn’t care less about this stuff) his reaction was, “The Hyatt looks so much nicer.” So Hyatt it was, again. 

Now I have to make some decisions about our stay in Bali and possibly Hong Kong. At the moment I have this beautiful beachfront villa booked in Bali, but it was only available for three nights. So I need to book a hotel for 3-4 nights, depending on how long we’ll stay. My brother thinks he’ll have his first post-grad job by the summer (oh, the youthful optimism!), in which case he won’t be able to take much time off. My sister, who will graduate high school by then, just got her first job and doesn’t think she can take more than two weeks off either. My employment status is also in limbo and I doubt I’ll get 2+ weeks off right after starting a new job. So we might have to rearrange our trip or cut our time in Bali short. We don’t know yet, so I’m waiting until May before finalizing those plans.

At the moment, I’m deciding between the Intercontinental Jimbaran Bay, The Laguna Resort in Nusa Dua, and the Banyan Tree in Ungasan. They’re all over the map, but how long we stay will determine which hotel I book. After two Hyatt bookings, I put my foot down and eliminated the Grand Hyatt Nusa Dua. I have yet to see a review of The Laguna, which looks nice enough and might make an interesting trip report. The Banyan Tree looks amazing, but I don’t want to drive to the other end of the island if we’re only staying a couple of nights.

In Hong Kong, I might cave and book the Grand Hyatt. The hotel was renovated fairly recently and the new decor kind of reminds me of the Park Hyatt Sydney. Plus, if I re-qualify for Hyatt Diamond again, I can upgrade to a Grand Suite and I’ll be hard-pressed to get a room with a view that good at any other hotel without paying for it. The Grand Hyatt seems like the best option, so it would be wrong to shut it down just because it’s yet another Hyatt hotel. We’ll see.

The trip to Asia is pretty far off but I’m confident it won’t revolve around Hyatt hotels. Some time this month or next (if all goes according to plan) I’m going back to Kabul with my dad. We’ll probably spend some time in Europe first, maybe a few days in Dubai. I’m determined to put my 600,000+ Club Carlson points to use, especially now that I finally have a Club Carlson credit card. In any case, I’m making a conscious effort to get out of this Hyatt rut, one hotel booking at a time. 

Are you in a hotel rut? What is it that’s keeping you from staying outside of a particular hotel chain?

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Ariana Arghandewal

18 Comments

  1. Would be so glad to read more reviews of other hotels on points! So many bloggers have Hyatt Diamond, I find reviews very heavily skewed toward Hyatt.

  2. It’s not a rut if they are good and there’s a reason you pick them. That’s called
    Happiness 🙂

    • I agree with Pete. I’m not that frequent of a traveler to begin with, so having attained Diamond status for me pretty much means only staying at Hyatts when I travel. Why mess with a good thing. I’ve heard great things about St. Regis in Kauai, but I’ll always stay at GH there… you can google-map the pool at St. Regis and figure out one of the reasons why.
      If you tire of returning to the same hotel, it may be time for a change, otherwise stick with what you already know is great.
      Speaking of Hyatt stays, I just came up with a no-fee way to earn 5X UR points per dollar instead of 3x Hyatt points: Chase Ink to buy Safeway gift card at OfficeMax, then use those GC’s to purchase Hyatt gift card at Safeway. Probably not the first to think of it, but wanted to throw it out there. Also earns you fuel discounts at Safeway Gas Stations.

  3. I have the same “problem”! everytime I want to book a hotel I find I like the Hyatt’s best. They are just such great hotels. I lost diamond status and am very bummed about it. I have my wife and her friend booked into a club carlson hotel in Tampa but am looking at the Hyatt resort and thinking how much nicer it is. Want to burn those points but want to put them into a better hotel. I probably will…. I’m trying to find someone with Diamond status and have them book it for me but not sure if I can safely transfer points into their account first. Thoughts on that?

  4. Nothing wrong with hotel rut! 🙂 I wish we have enough points in hyatt to be in a rut, since our diamond status expires next Feb. This simplifies planning and make me more focused on the activity planning for the destination – the more important part anyways.

  5. Wish I had your problem! 😉 I actually usually book Hyatts too because they’re so nice, but I don’t have Diamond status (yet, plan to try to get the challenge starting next month). However, I am a huge fan of DoubleTree hotels too…because of their cookie. 😀

  6. Hyatt Regency TST is awesome – near the subway in HK, on top of a mall if you need late-night food and they give you a smart phone so you can tether to it and have internet. Rooms are great and some of nice harbor views.

    • The smart phone is definitely a nice bonus, though I get free international data and texting through T-mobile. I’m considering hopping between the Grand Hyatt and the Hyatt Regency TST, just to experience two different areas.

  7. Last year I mostly stayed at Marriotts. I was saving to get enough points to redeem for one of their Air+Travel packages. I would use their best rate guarantee and had about a 95% success rate with that. They were also having quarterly promotions where you could earn up to 2 free nights per quarter. But Marriott no longer offers the free night promotions and we’ve already redeemed our points for the Air + Travel package, so I’m pretty much done with Marriott.

    Currently I’m mainly staying at Hyatt and Club Carlson. I find Hyatt to be one of the best uses of UR redemptions and I’ve enjoyed their hotels. The Grand Hyatt Maui was beautiful, plus they upgraded us to a club room. I have several upcoming trips with Hyatt and am also looking forward to staying at a few in Hong Kong and Japan next year. I’d like to stay at the hotel that was in Lost in Translation for at least a couple of nights, and that is also a Hyatt.

    I have a decent amount of Club Carlson points but I’m always finding more uses for them in the US than overseas. I was hoping to use them in Italy in the fall but the Radisson in Rome got terrible reviews. The Radisson in Milan is far from the city center. I’ll be staying at the Radisson Blu in Chicago next month which looks nice. And I’ve yet to stay at a Country Inn & Suites that I did not like.

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