Hyatt Diamond Challenge/Hyatt Regency Atlanta Crown Suite Review
As we were coming up quick on the Japan trip and my stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, I decided to go for the Hyatt Diamond Challenge (see here for information on how to apply for the Diamond Challenge). The Hyatt Diamond Challenge is a one time chance to match an existing status (such as my Hilton Gold status from my Citibank Hilton Reserve) to Hyatt Diamond status. You are granted Hyatt Diamond and have to complete 12 stays in 60 days in order to keep it.
I debated for a long time whether or not I should do the Diamond challenge now, and whether I should actually try to complete it. I wanted to do it in order to experience the in room breakfast and the cocktail hour at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. The cocktails are served in the New York Bar which normally has a 2,200 Japanese Yen cover charge – think Bill Murray in Lost in Translation. My original plan was to do the Diamond Challenge and then apply for the Hyatt credit card. Previously if you were a Diamond member when applying you received two free nights in a suite instead of just two free nights. That offer has gone away. Therefore I can now apply for the card at any point to get Platinum status and two free nights, but they won’t be in a suite. This isn’t a huge loss as I was planning on redeeming those nights next year at the Park Hyatt Sydney – which doesn’t allow the suite awards anyways.
I decided ultimately that the benefits at Park Hyatt Tokyo were worth it. With all the recent devaluations, it seems like there is no reason to postpone at this point and the opportunity could be gone if I tried later. I applied for the Diamond Challenge in the same way my friend had a few months ago. I included a screenshot of my Hilton status and current number of stays, and quickly received a response. The response stated the terms and asked me to reply to accept the challenge. I did, and am now a Hyatt Diamond member. Since I applied mid-October, I will actually get to keep the Diamond status until the end of December.
I debated about mattress running (finding cheap hotels to get stay credits) to maintain the Diamond status. Diamond status will get you upgrades, breakfast, wifi, etc. The numbers didn’t work out based on my planned Hyatt stays. It makes more sense for me to pay for breakfast and apply for the Hyatt card to get Platinum status (and therefore free wifi).
But I decided while I was in Atlanta to tryout my new Diamond status with a one night stay at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. There was a “spooky special” running, and I got a room for $79 including two free cocktails upon arrival and half off valet parking. When you apply for the Diamond Challenge, you are given four suite upgrade certificates that are valid on paid stays. I decided to use one and upgrade us to a suite.
Note: If we really wanted a better experience, I’ve heard the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead would have been better. But the room there was about twice as much, so we opted for the Hyatt Regency Atlanta instead.
Upon arrival, I noticed there was no separate line for elite members. On the Hyatt benefits page for Diamond status it seemed to imply there would be. I asked and was told there was not. As a new Hyatt elite, I’m not sure if that’s standard or not, but I know I’ve seen special lines at Starwood hotels for example. I was greeted very kindly at check-in. As a Diamond member you get the option for either a food/beverage amenity at check-in or 1000 gold passport points. I chose the points. Our suite certificate gave us a Crown suite. I inquired if there were any options for upgrading further, and when they informed me they could not that night I was offered the food/beverage amenity as well. It was a nice check-in experience as my first time as a Diamond.
The food and beverage amenity arrived shortly after we reached the suite. The suite was very spacious, with a bedroom and living room. The bedroom had a king sized bed, and both rooms had a balcony with a nice view of downtown Atlanta.
The main living area was also nice with a large couch and dining area, along with a small fridge. Both tvs were set to a personalized welcome message, which was a nice touch.
The bathroom seemed rather small for a suite. Especially compared to the normal size bathroom in our stay at the Westin recently. But was still nicely decorated.
As a Diamond member, I was able to check out the Regency Club. If I read about it correctly, it is not usually open on weekends. I was actually hoping it would be closed, since if it is unavailable you can receive 2500 Hyatt Gold Passport Points instead. But it was open outside normal hours the weekend we arrived, so we ate breakfast in the club. It was a cold/continental type breakfast and was nothing to write home about, somewhat disappointing.
The following morning we waited in a long line to check out – another point where an elite dedicated line may have been nice. We enjoyed the stay overall, and while Diamond is a very nice touch I have decided it isn’t worth spending the money to mattress run for it based on my upcoming plans. I still have three remaining suite upgrade certificates, and Diamond status through December. I will let you know how I feel about Diamond status after my upcoming Park Hyatt Tokyo stay!