My two fave hotel loyalty plans are Hyatt and Starwood. I prefer Hyatts but Starwood have more hotels (they own the Westin, Sheraton, W, Le Meridien, and a few others). So my loyalty bounces back and forth between the two and I maintain elite status with both of them.
It's difficult for me to maintain status with Hyatt right now. There was no Hyatt in Downtown LA so it made it a little difficult to stay at them unless I wanted to go to Long Beach and drive up, and that commute sucks. On top of that, late last year, my company, which usually negotiates a corporate rate for our business hotels, removed most Hyatts from our "approved hotels".
I will outline the reasons to try to maintain status with more than one hotel brand later, but the biggest drivers for doing this is to be treated well and maximizing points earning if you have to stay at an alternate hotel as sometimes your preferred brand is not at the location you are working/vacationing. The other one has to do with earning Lifetime Status, which several hotel groups will give you if maintain elite status over a number of years.
Anyway, the point is that late last year, one of the Marriotts in DTLA rebranded itself to a Hyatt and is going under a huge renovation. It is currently calling itself The LA Hotel until it completes its change to Hyatt Regency. I've stayed at this Marriott before and it's a bit dated and was skeptical of this renovation and how long it would take.
However, in a bid to get business, the LA Hotel first negotiated an awesome rate with my company, is only 3 blocks from my work, and, it has a promo going on if you stay there where each night you get 2500 points in addition to the points you earn normally.
Even though I use points quite frequently, they are not easy to get. Let me break down how difficult it is to earn hotel points.
- Hyatt Gold Passport lets you earn 5 points per $1 spent. Let's say it's a $150/night hotel. This means you earn 750 points per night. So a 3 night stay you would make 2250 points. There are bonuses if you have status so I make more than this.
- To redeem, a Hyatt hotel at Category 5 hotel (which is like, SF, or Hawaii) is 18,000 points a night. So to stay one night for free, you have to stay for EIGHT WEEKS before you get one free night.
- Granted, there are always good promos to take advantage of that increases the number of points you earn, but the catch is that you have to find and then sign up for them.
And... this is why I am switching to Hyatt for a while.
The promo for the LA Hotel can be found here: http://losangelesdowntown.hyatt.com/en/hotel/offers/offer-detail.html?offerId=49539468&icamp=specialOfferId_49539468_landing&isBookable=true