Mlife & Hyatt – Two Different Companies & A Very Uneven Partnership – My Thoughts Based on A Few Recent Stays

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mlife hyatt partnership
The spectacular sunrise view from my room at the Aria.

Today is my birthday, so I decided to take advantage of a special offer from Mlife to stay at the Aria last night. For a rate of $119, I received one night in a Deluxe (Normal) room with a view upgrade, two free buffets and a $75 resort credit.

I am an Mlife Platinum thanks to my Hyatt Diamond status. In theory Mlife Platinum is the company’s second highest tier below the invite-only Noir level, but in practice it is nearly worthless.

To be fair, as a Platinum I was able to check-in at the “Invited Guests” desk which saved me about a 30 minute line. I was also able to walk right past about five groups in line at the buffet. For some reason though, those five groups were sat before my wife and I.

Vegas is all about money spent in the casino and thus benefits rarely materialize for those who don’t gamble. After matching my Gold Passport account to Mlife last year, I was excited for my first stay as a Platinum. That stay was last September at Mandalay Bay for BACon and I quickly realized being Platinum alone isn’t enough.

I don’t gamble at all, which doesn’t compute when talking about loyalty in Vegas. Thankfully one day a few months ago my wife played a few dollars with my card and suddenly I began receiving a few offers like the one I am taking advantage of today.

mlife hyatt partnership
The rooms here are very Hyatt like in decor. Very nice.

The small sum she spent obviously wasn’t enough to get Mlife to really care though. (Nor did we expect it to change anything.)  Their indifference was clearly displayed a few months ago when we stayed at the Bellagio. It was a terrible experience, but what’s worse is that I never received a follow up from the front desk manager.  They simply didn’t care.

Which brings me to the Aria. Thankfully this stay was much better than my Bellagio experience and I do recommend this hotel if people are looking for an upscale experience on the Strip. The rooms are comfortable, and the technology inside is neat. With that said, the staff is very indifferent.

The front desk agent didn’t smile when I checked in and the server in the cafe this morning was pleasant but she didn’t smile when serving us. They were efficient and not rude in the least bit, but they were far from welcoming. In other words they weren’t Hyatt.

If I had to describe the experience it would be unrefined. For example, my wife and I came back to our room to discover last night to find a box of chocolates thrown on top of our bag in the closet area. I presume it was a gift for my birthday, but there was no note and we only discovered it when going to change for dinner. A nice sentiment, but poor execution.

mlife hyatt partnership
These chocolates were left in the closet on top of my bag.

I get it though. Hyatt is not Mlife and Mlife is not Hyatt. Two different companies and two different philosophies. Sure I get to carry around a card that says I am “Platinum”, but in reality that means next to nothing since I don’t play often in their casinos.

I will have a full review of the Aria coming up soon, but I do want you to know I have enjoyed my experience. There are few places in the world I could stay in a hotel of this caliber for $119 and receive what amounts to $150 in credits.

Before you flame me in the comments, I don’t blame Mlife for the most part. I don’t gamble so why should they reward me? Gambling is after all a big part of their business model. I get that.

My observations and words here are not coming from a bitter place. I am more just pointing out that Hyatt sort of oversold this partnership. Mlife’s customer service is somewhat lacking and just doesn’t compare to what I receive at Hyatt.

I know a lot of readers visit Vegas and are Hyatt Diamonds as well. What have your experiences been like when visiting? Do you gamble a lot? If not, then do you feel like an elite at Mlife properties or like just another Joe carrying a Platinum colored card? Let me know!


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15 COMMENTS

  1. Happy birthday, Shawn!

    I get what you’re saying, but always good to wear flame-retardant in your profession. Look forward to hearing more about Aria (was the buffet there – and/or could you have used it at other MLife properties?). That’s pretty crazy that they put the chocolates in your closet!

    Despite your bad experience at Bellagio, I’m looking forward to my stay there next month using the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits.

    • Thanks and I am sure your Bellagio stay will be fantastic. The buffet was only good at Aria and covered up to $40 each person. The buffet was decent, but not on the level of some of the high-end buffets in Vegas.

  2. @Shawn –

    Would you post information on the FREE Cruise benefit that is supposed to be available to Hyatt members when they match w/ MLife?

    • As Ryan said, unfortunately they caught on pretty quickly after the partnership began and the free cruise benefit only applies to members who earn their Mlife Platinum status. A few people slipped through the cracks in the early days and got a free cruise, but nowadays they have closed the loophole.

  3. The free cruise benefit of diamond membership is not for partner matched status. You have to earn Platinum MLife status the hard way to get the cruise.

  4. In Vegas, it all depends on the time of year you go, what day you go, etc. Just got back from MGM Grand last weekend and it was crowded with boxing and Nascar so I didn’t expect much. I’m only Mlife Gold, but I was able to skip the 30+ minute check-in line like you and also skip about 40 people waiting in line at their cafe. I’ll take whatever I can get, especially if you’re talking about a hotel that has 5000+ rooms. You can’t compare that to a Hyatt Regency that only has 150 rooms. Happy birthday.

    • Thanks! I agree that you can’t expect a 5,000 room hotel to be like a 150 room hotel, although the attitude of the staff doesn’t need to differ. Remember that Hyatt has a ton of 2,000 room convention hotels as well.

      With that said, I am not complaining. The partnership is what it is and Mlife favors people who spend money in their casinos no matter what color card you carry around. I get that and it is their business model after all.

      • I don’t gamble a ton, but when I do go to Vegas I’m prepared to lose a couple hundred a day. That, in turn, gets me free rooms, resort/food credits, and free show tickets.

        In the end, I think you’re on point – the partnership doesn’t mean much in terms of perks or treatment like you might see at a standard Hyatt property. Except one big perk….I now earn Hyatt points when I stay at MLife properties. That’s a big win if you ask me.

  5. I have the Hyatt CC, so I kind of cheated my way to Mlife Gold and have had the stauts the past two visits to Vegas. I’m not expecting too much with it, but it has gotten me some upgrades and when you show it during restaurant visits it tends to get the wait staff’s attention a bit more. Last stayed at Mandalay Bay end of February and the front desk women was kind and friendly. I hope this partnership lasts a good long while because the rates you get as a Mlife Gold are much better than other published rates.

  6. I used my annual night cert at MGM which is a Cat 4 for the Mayweather fight weekend. Rates are going close to 1k on Fri and Sat I’d say that’s good value for $75 annual fee. The gold membership for mlife because of the Hyatt card earns buffet passes among other perks which at the Bellagio alone lines are very long.

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