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This room at the Hyatt South Beach will have free WiFi for all guests when it opens this spring
The giant hotel company announced that starting on February 2015, the WiFi will be free at ALL HYATT HOTELS. Previously, it was free for elite members of Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program.
And unlike other hotels WiFi offerings, the WiFi will be free whether you are a Hyatt Gold Passport member or not, and whether you booked directly through Hyatt or not.
“Internet connectivity is no longer an amenity. It has become an integral part of travelers’ daily lives and a basic expectation,” said Kristine Rose, vice president of brands for Hyatt. “Travelers shouldn’t have to remember which brands or locations offer it for free or the strings attached to get it.”
We kinda can't believe this. Even though we've been saying WiFi is as important as air conditioning and a toilet that flushes, for several years now, it feels strange that major hotel brands are finally coming around to it. But it is good news.
Now, we'll be scrutinizing the speed and quality of this free WiFi. Oh and on that note, where Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond and Platinum tier members will receive a complimentary upgrade to a Hyatt Hotel's premium WiFi service.
So, what do you have to say, Hilton Hotels?
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Were you one of the lucky ones to
wait in a line forever pick up an iPhone 6 last week? Congrats! You've now got a bendable phone in your pocket. Er, we mean, you can totally get bonus hotel rewards from The Grand Hyatt New York.
The hotel is offering iPhone 6 users complimentary Hyatt Gold Passport points, although there are a few catches. First, you have to actually stay at the Grand Hyatt New York with your new phone. Then, upon check-out, show the front desk that you posted a photo of your hotel stay somewhere on social media from your iPhone 6. You have to have tagged the hotel in the photo in some way too.
If all looks well, then 600 complimentary Hyatt Gold Passport points will be dropped into your account. If you don't have an account, the hotel will help you set one up. That's pretty cool, you know, if you were already planning on staying at the hotel.
The offer is available through October 16, 2014. Rates at the hotel start at $299 a night next weekend.
[Photos: Grand Hyatt New York/Facebook and Apple]
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If you're a frequent hotel guest, then you're probably a member of that hotel's loyalty program. Or you should be, so you can earn and use loyalty points at different hotels across the world.
While using a hotel's loyalty program is pretty straight-forward (find the hotel brand in whatever city you like and book), things work a little bit differently in Las Vegas which is dominated by massive hotel-casino resorts. In past years, you needed to be a member of a casino's players club program to earn rewards like upgrades, dinner comps and free rooms.
But that's no longer the case. Even first-time visitors to Vegas (affectionately called Vegas Virgins on our sister site, VegasChatter.com), can get a free room, a killer view, and more, all through their existing loyalty program membership.
See where your favorite hotel loyalty program can be used in Vegas below!
Last month we were stoked to hear that Hyatt Hotels would be teaming up with MGM Resorts for a loyalty program partnership that would allow MGM's M life members to earn points at Hyatt Hotels (including Park Hyatt and Andaz Hotels) and for Hyatt's Gold Passport members to earn points at MGM properties, not just in Vegas but also the MGM Grand Detroit and starting in 2014, the Beau Rivage and Gold Strike Tunica in Mississippi.
But you can do so much more than earn points and tier credits. As a Hyatt Gold Passport member, you can use your Hyatt status to get access to some of these kickass M life Moments like selecting the Bellagio fountain songs, scuba diving in The Mirage aquarium, DJ-ing the Coast Nightclub at Beau Rivage or getting a private show from the male dancers of Thunder from Down Under. (Guess which one we'd pick?)
However, as with all loyalty programs and promotions, there's a lot of fine print to wade through. M life has set up a pretty comprehensive FAQ section (under Preferred Partners) but here are some of the major things to know:
1. Be a Member of Both Programs to Earn Tier Credits or Points. To earn Hyatt Gold Passport points at MGM properties and vice versa, you have to be a member of both Gold Passport and M life. At check-in at an MGM Resort, you need to tell the front desk that you would like to earn Hyatt points, in addition to M life tier credits. You also have to add both your M life and Hyatt Gold Passport numbers to your reservation. At check-in at a Hyatt Hotel, you must specify which program you would like to earn towards. In order to earn M life Tier Credits, again you must also be a member of both programs, add both numbers to your reservation, and advise the Front Desk you wish to earn Tier Credits.
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Love Vegas? Love Hyatt Hotels? Then life is about to get much sweeter for you.
Hyatt has announced a new partnership with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas which will allow members of Hyatt's loyalty program, Hyatt Gold Passport, to earn and redeem points at the 12 MGM resorts in Las Vegas. (Currently, the only Hyatt in Vegas is a Hyatt Place off the Strip.)
But the deal also works both ways.
MGM's players club, M Life can also earn M Life Tier Credits when staying at the more than 450 Hyatt hotels and resorts around the world.
“Our new relationship with MGM Resorts International underscores Hyatt’s focus on listening to guests and developing innovative strategies that set us apart and add value to loyalty program membership,” said Jeff Zidell, senior vice president, Hyatt Gold Passport. “We know The Las Vegas Strip is an important destination for our members, and now they will have the chance to earn points and redeem award nights at 12 outstanding resorts from Bellagio to MGM Grand to Mandalay Bay.”
Indeed, considering how often we go to Vegas, it looks like we're going to have to dust off our Hyatt Gold Passport card now.
The loyalty program partnership will begin on June 20 and stays at participating MGM Resorts can be booked through Hyatt.com, MLife.com or through individual MGM property websites. Below we've listed all of the participating hotels, all with links to recent stories on our sister site, VegasChatter.com, who has up-to-the moment stories on each property.
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Your Gold Passport will give you a ticket to ride, er, sleep in this bed.
We keep wondering when keyless hotel rooms are going to take off but judging from this recent WSJ article, the future is a long ways off as guests haven't grasped the technology very well and hotels are still concerned about security and privacy.
Yet there is a new development on the hotel key card scene from Andaz Hotels. Both the Andaz San Diego and the Andaz West Hollywood (above) are testing a new program that allows Gold Passport Members to use their loyalty card as their hotel room key. It sounds very similar to what Starwood's SPG has been doing with their Aloft Smart Check-in.
Indulging in fruit shooters during high tea at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.
For those of you who didn't win our last contest with Hyatt Hotels, there's another chance for you. If you tell Facebook Hyatt with which place you'd like to travel to and what you would do there, the company just might make it happen.
It's kicking off a new contest today on its Facebook page called the Best of All Worlds Challenge, and the prize is enough Hyatt Gold Passport points to get you two free nights at a Hyatt of your choice anywhere in the world.
All you need to do is snap a photo of yourself demonstrating the activity you would most like to do during your stay at a Hyatt Resort--whether it be snorkeling in the beaches of Hawaii or visiting the Great Wall of China. Basically, the hotel is trying to find out what "the best of all worlds" means to you.
The Park Hyatt Chicago
This week we're sort of obsessing over Loyalty Programs. We've got tips from The Points Guy and we're keeping dibs on the newest promotions and changes. While we were bummed to hear that Hyatt's Gold Passport had upped their point requirements for free nights, we did find out that Gold Passport is still in the midst of their Big Welcome Back promotion.
Since we are in the midst of a loyalty program obsession, we decided what better time to offer HotelChatter's readers a chance to win two free Hyatt awards nights. Here's how:
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Starwood Hotels is offering a new promotion that allows loyalty program members to earn a free weekend-night award for every three stays at one of its properties.
But you can't earn the award by staying in a Starwood hotel for three nights during a trip. The catch is that the "three stays" means you'd have to stay at one of its properties on three separate visits. Three consecutive nights at a hotel would equal one stay.
Hot on the heels of Marriott announcing plans to significantly scale back their newspaper distribution (because face it: these days, a lot of us are just sorta tripping over that free USA Today while we're browsing NYTimes.com on our iPhone on our way out the door), Hyatt has announced that it will be streamlining their own newspaper program. Well, sorta. Let's use the term "streamlining" loosely.
Hyatt is now providing a complimentary copy of the Wall Street Journal to their Hyatt Gold Passport members (of all levels, as far as we can tell) during their stay. Delivery to Gold Passport guests began this week, and the amenity will be rolled out across North America throughout June.
Honestly, there's really no reason why you shouldn't sign up for these loyalty programs if you're gonna be getting free stuff all the time WiFi, WSJ's, etc. maybe you should just take an hour out of your busy workday and sign up for loyalty programs instead of reading Perez Hilton or whatever it is that you do.
We've got good news and bad news. The good news: it seems Hyatt Hotels did a bit of research and they've stumbled upon the conclusion that people do not enjoy being charged for WiFi so it's going to be coming at us for free in all Hyatt Hotels, from Hyatt Places (where the WiFi is already free for everyone) to Park Hyatts (where it is currently not so free).
The bad news: the "us" that will be getting free WiFi is not you and not us, but rather only folks who have achieved Diamond or Platinum status in Hyatt's loyalty program. So, like, not really "us" at all.
USA Today's new Check-In blog got the scoop on this free-WiFi-for-Hyatt-VIP's thing, which is being announced as one of several new perks for elite-level Hyatt Gold Passport members. Apparently, Hyatt did some asking-around and found out that "no one wants to be nickel and dimed" (yes, correct) so, with that in mind, they've added some perks to reward their VIP customers.
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It's dire over in Hawaii. As we've mentioned before, hotel occupancy is way down. Bad for hotels, but good for you: Hyatt wants (needs?) you to come to their Hawaii properties so badly that they're willing to cut you a pretty killer deal. Er, well, that and Hawaii is celebrating its 50th anniversary of statehood!
If you're a Hyatt Gold Passport member, you can score the "Three for Free" package which is a buy two nights, get one free deal that includes a $100 resort credit, free breakfast for two daily and a free room upgrade at 25% off through June 30th at all three Hyatt Resorts in Hawaii.