I checked into the Park Hyatt Sydney where I’ve had mixed luck at best with upgrades.
I arrived early on my first stay there and was told that my pre-assigned room wasn’t ready — but that if I wanted to pay an extra AUD$100 per day I could have an Opera View room. This wasn’t even a larger room, just an upgraded view, and if it was available I should have been offered it as a complimentary upgrade as a Hyatt Diamond. By definition since they were offering to put me in it right away it was available.
I pushed back but was told it couldn’t be given as a complimentary upgrade, that the hotel “tries try to upgrade Diamond members,” but since the hotel was very full they couldn’t provide the upgrade for free.
I accepted the charge, went to the room, and promptly had the charge reversed. Gold Passport and hotel management agreed that the terms of the program required them not to upcharge me for the modest upgrade. And I was promised things would go more smoothly on my next stay. And they did, I was preblocked into a Deluxe Opera View room which is lovely.
On this most recent stay I arrived to find I was given a ‘city harbor view’ room. It wasn’t a deluxe room. I had checked the Hyatt website and knew that there weren’t any higher category rooms for sale, so this was legitimate.
I went up to the room and discovered it was right next to the elevator, and that it had something of a musty smell. I went back down to the front desk. The hotel wasn’t completely sold out, indeed they were still selling this room type at 11 p.m. local time. So surely they could move me.
The front desk associated apologized and called a manager who authorized another room — an Opera Deluxe (albeit one on the ground floor of the hotel, which was fine).
I’ve rarely gotten push back when something is genuinely wrong with a room. The constraints are what’s available, which was true even in this case but they had an Opera Deluxe Room available which wasn’t even showing online for sale.
Sometimes though you do have to ‘push’ at the check-in counter. Although not an inferior room, I have think way back to when when I arrived at the former Westin Rio Mar at 4pm for when I had to push and get an upgrade in order to have a room.
My pre-blocked junior suite wasn’t ready. They suggested I go have a drink or a late lunch and wait. I asked whether they were buying me lunch? Or if they’d like to find me a better room that was ready? The front office manager came over, typed a bit… did not even look up at me, and put me into a giant Atlantic Suite.