My First Impressions Of The Hyatt Diamond Challenge & Diamond Status

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A Possible Change To The Challenge

The news broke last week that Hyatt is considering making changes to their Diamond Challenge. This news doesn’t surprise me at all considering just how generous it is when compared to what other chains offer.

I had originally been planning to wait until August to start the Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Challenge since I have a number of upcoming stays with them including in Washington DC for the Family Travel For Real Life Conference. The news of potential changes made me decide to start a couple of weeks early.

My biggest concern is that we don’t know exactly what the changes to the challenge will be. While it hasn’t been specifically rumored, I wouldn’t be surprised if they stop extending Diamond status until the challenge is completed. This is the way that SPG handles their status challenge now.

The other major reason to start early was to ensure that I get the four suite upgrades, since I plan on using one of them during the actual challenge. There is a high likelihood that this benefit is one that will be eliminated in the next version of the Diamond challenge.

Benefits Of Hyatt Diamond

Perhaps you are wondering why anyone would want to get Hyatt Diamond status. While there are number of benefits, the key ones for me are:

  • Free Internet.
  • Free Lounge Access or breakfast for up to four people.
  • Welcome Amenity of food & beverage or 1,000 points.
  • Best available room excluding suites.
  • MLife Platinum Status (Since I live in Las Vegas and I can also get benefits on RCCL cruises.)

Hyatt also recently introduced a 20% off elite rate for Diamond and Platinum guests which makes for some very good deals when paying cash.

The Terms Of The Challenge

The Hyatt Diamond Challenge is fairly simple. You must stay 12 eligible nights within 60 days of starting the challenge. Points + Cash bookings are eligible towards the challenge, however stays with their MLife partner properties are not.

In addition to the 30% Diamond point earning bonus, Hyatt gives 1,000 bonus points for each of the first six stays when doing the challenge. All in all it is a good deal.

Here are the full terms of the challenge per their email. Since the challenge began after July, the status will be extended until February, 2016.

To maintain your Diamond status through February 2016, stay twelve (12) eligible nights at any Hyatt hotel within 60 days of enrollment. You will also receive 1,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points on your first six (6) eligible nights at any Hyatt hotel within the 60 days of enrollment, up to a maximum of 6,000 bonus points.

First Impressions

This past weekend I completed three seperate one night stays at Hyatt properties in the Dallas area. While I plan to fully review my experiene with the challenge and each of those hotels, I wanted to offer my first impressions.

At all three properties I was greeted as a Diamond guest and offered a welcome amenity. While the amenity varied by property, it always included both a food & drink option or the points.

At the two Hyatt Regency properties (Hyatt Regency DFW & Hyatt Regency Dallas) I was given higher floors, but normal rooms. In other words the room upgrades were modest. At the Grand Hyatt DFW I was upgraded to a Deluxe Suite which had a full living room & bedroom with fantastic views of the runway!

None of the hotels had lounges, so I was given free breakfast each day. The two Hyatt Regencys made me order the buffet, while the Grand Hyatt served an a la carte breakfast which was delicious.

Conclusion

Hyatt has long been one of my favorite hotel brands and their Diamond level benefits are among the best in the industry. My wife had Diamond status briefly during a challenge that she didn’t complete last year and we regretted having to let it go.

Since I spend so much time on the road, I highly value the Diamond status both monetarily and for the experience. I will mostly complete the challenge with Points + Cash at lower level properties since that is the most cost effective way to go. I also plan on using Barclay Arrival points to cover the actual cash portion, so my out of pocket cost will be minimal.

Look for more on Hyatt & the DIamond Challenge when I complete it over the next two months! In the mean time let me know if you have completed a similar challenge and what your experience was!

 


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13 COMMENTS

  1. I would not be surprised to see them not give you Diamond status during the challenge either – that seems unnecessarily generous (but nice!)

    I thought that you also got a limited number of suite upgrades as a Diamond also?

    Also, I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but on Firefox / Windwos, your site is really cramped – small font and tons of space on the sides.

    • You do get four Diamond Suite upgrades per year. The rumor is that in the future they won’t give these out to people on the challenge until they complete it. Right now if you do the challenge and fail to complete it, you still keep those suite upgrades when the status goes away.

  2. Interesting – I just started my Diamond Challenge on Saturday. A couple of things were pleasant surprises for me. I emailed requesting the challenge on Saturday morning and requested a quick reply, as my expectation was a minimum 3-4 business days wait. I got an acceptance email back in about 3 hours. Pleasant surprise #2 – spent my first diamond night at the Denver Grand Hyatt and received room 2615 – a corner suite on the top floor! After 3 days as a Hyatt Diamond, I’m already wishing I did this a year ago.

    • Yeah it does feel good and Diamond status certainly is among the best out there. I am looking forward to enjoying the status for the next 18 months. The response time for me was less than 24 hours which I thought was very good.

  3. Don’t forget about the Diamond Member 2,500 point credit offered at Hyatt Regency properties that do not have a Regency Club Lounge. Although I prefer Hyatt’s with a lounge, the 2,500 points are a nice concession.

    • Usually the benefit at hotels that don’t have a lounge is breakfast in their restaurant. I believe the 2,500 points is in hotels that the lounge is closed for some reason or where a Diamond is denied access. That is still a great benefit though. Thanks for reminding me of it!

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