Each hotel chain takes a different approach towards pushing members of their loyalty programs to book directly with the chain. They withhold points, and in some cases elite recognition, from members who make their bookings via third party sites like Expedia or with a vacation package (air and hotel, air and car) provider like United Vacations.
- Hyatt and Marriott both will recognize your elite status even if you book through a third party. You won’t earn points for your room rate, and you won’t accrue elite status credits, but you’ll be recognized for your loyalty.
- Starwood doesn’t honor elite benefits or allow earning of stay credit or points for room rate on third party bookings.
- Hilton doesn’t do either of those things — and it doesn’t even let you earn points for incidental spend at the hotel.
- IHG Rewards Club doesn’t honor elite benefits on third party bookings. They don’t even honor most benefits on reward night stays.
One reader booked a fantastic three cabin first class fare with AA Vacations combined with hotel stay at the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York, choosing the hotel because he’s a Hyatt Diamond member. Only he didn’t get the Diamond recognition he expected.
The Andaz 5th Avenue has long been my favorite place to stay in New York from an overall price-value standpoint. I’ll usually make my hotel choice on the basis of location, where in Manhattan I need to be. And if money or points are no object I’d choose the Park Hyatt over the Andaz of course.
Andaz 5th Avenue
The excellent General Manager Jonathan Frolich left (he’s now Hyatt’s VP for the Andaz brand). Then the excellent General Manager Cornelia Samara left (she’ll be opening the new 1Hotel Brooklyn Bridge). The hotel has been sold.
This reader was told by the hotel no Diamond breakfast on their stay. He called Hyatt Gold Passport who insisted he was entitled to his benefits. He relays that Gold Passport spoke to the hotel, but the manager they spoke with insisted that no benefits would be offered on the rate booked. After three calls he gave up working with Hyatt after being told that ultimately delivery of the benefit was up to the hotel.
Andaz 5th Avenue Complimentary Diamond Room Service Breakfast
He did manage to get late checkout “as a one time exception” however.
I checked in with Hyatt. They’ve assured me that the policy has not changed. Hyatt Gold Passport elite member benefits apply to stays booked through an OTA.
The “standard procedure” if a hotel isn’t delivering promised benefits is to:
- Speak to Hyatt Gold Passport who can intercede with the hotel (I’d probably tweet rather than call)
- Ask for the front office manager who should be aware of the rules.
In this case, the guest did both of those things. Hyatt Gold Passport tells me they’re following up to see why the hotel did not deliver this member’s benefits.
What I’d have done is order the breakfast I wanted. I’d even extend my stay by a night if necessary to check out at the time I was entitled to. And I’d seek reimbursement from Hyatt, or Hyatt’s assistance obtaining reimbursement from the hotel, after the stay.
Andaz 5th Avenue Bathroom
Incidentally, here’s what to do if you’re downgraded from a confirmed suite upgrade.