No status, no problem: Getting elite-like perks at Small Luxury Hotels of the World
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There are lots of ways to fast-track hotel elite status and elite-like benefits. For instance, there are many hotel credit cards that confer some level of automatic elite status. You can also get elite-like benefits by booking through the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program or Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
Here’s another option: Booking SLH stays through World of Hyatt.
In 2018, Hyatt and Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) launched a partnership, enabling World of Hyatt members to earn and redeem points at SLH properties and get several value-added benefits. These benefits include free breakfast, early check-in, late check-out and a room upgrade — even for general members. The partnership extends to over 350 SLH properties around the world. Most are located in Europe, but there are a decent number in Asia and North America, including one on a private island.
Today, we’re going to take a closer look at all of the benefits World of Hyatt members get at SLH properties. We’re also going to discuss how you need to book your stay to get these perks, as not all bookings are eligible.
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World of Hyatt benefits at SLH properties
You can earn World of Hyatt points and elite night credits on all SLH stays booked through Hyatt as you normally would (albeit not on incidentals). That means at least 5 points per $1 spent before factoring in any elite bonuses and promotions. Plus, you can redeem points and free night awards at participating SLH properties as you normally would, though a number of them are priced as top-tier Category 8 hotels (40,000 points per night).
What’s perhaps more exciting for some members is the benefits you get on these stays.
Instead of the standard World of Hyatt benefits, all members, regardless of status, enjoy the following on-property perks:
- Daily complimentary continental breakfast for two
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Early check-in 12:00 p.m. (based on availability at check-in)
- Late check-out 2:00 p.m. (based on availability at check-in)
- Space-available one category room upgrade
Note, while elite members will get their standard points bonuses (10% for Discoverist, 20% for Explorist and 30% for Globalist), no other elite benefits apply. Globalists also can’t redeem suite upgrade certificates here.
The biggest benefit here is free breakfast for all. Typically, complimentary breakfast is only offered to Hyatt’s top-tier Globalist members. Similarly, only mid-tier Explorist members and above are usually eligible for one-category room upgrades.
Interestingly, these benefits are even more generous than if you were to join SLH’s own loyalty club, “Invited.” The program usually only offers free breakfast and upgrades to “Inspired” members and above, which is usually after four nights.
Booking SLH stays through Hyatt
Regardless of whether your paying cash or redeeming points, you must book your SLH stay through Hyatt to get these benefits.
Depending on the property, similar to some Amex FHR and Chase LHRC bookings, you might not always get the lowest rate. The reason is that Hyatt usually only shows the best flexible rate. You typically won’t find discounted prepaid rates or special packages through Hyatt.
You can see this in action by looking up a stay at the Brick Hotel in Mexico City. Hyatt is quoting a $240 average nightly rate ($287 including taxes and fees) for the dates we checked with free cancellation up until two days before arrival.
Meanwhile, if we were to book directly through SLH, we could book the same room for as low as $191 per night, including taxes and fees, but the rate would be non-refundable. The best available rate matches the $287 all-in price offered by Hyatt, though in this case, there’s also a special”bed and breakfast” rate with free cancellation for $258.
That said, there isn’t always a price difference. For instance, when looking up a stay at the Topping Rose House, Hyatt’s rate matched the lowest rate available through SLH.
Ultimately, your best bet would be to compare rates when booking SLH properties and then deciding whether the premium — if there even is one — is worth the extra benefits. World of Hyatt points are some of the most valuable out there and perks like free breakfast can be big money savers.
Maximizing your SLH bookings
The best way to maximize your SLH bookings is with the World of Hyatt Credit Card. As with other Hyatt bookings, cardholders earn 4x points per dollar spent at participating SLH locations on top of the usual World of Hyatt earnings.
If you’re considering adding the World of Hyatt Credit Card to your wallet, it’s currently offering a welcome bonus of up to 60,000 bonus points: 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within your first three months from account opening, plus up to 30,000 more points by earning 2x bonus points total on purchases that normally earn 1x bonus point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening.
60,000 World of Hyatt points are worth $1,020 according to TPG valuations. Since award nights are capped at 40,000 points per night, you’re essentially guaranteed at least one free night at any participating SLH property with this bonus.
Given that SLH properties can sometimes cost a couple of thousand dollars per night — as seen in the Topping Rose House example above — they’re a great use of your World of Hyatt points. Another way to quickly boost your Hyatt balance is by transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards. If you have a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you could instantly transfer your points to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.
Despite not always being the cheapest option, booking Small Luxury Hotels of the World through World of Hyatt can be incredibly compelling. You’ll get elite-like benefits and earn valuable World of Hyatt points at little to no extra cost. Even Discoverist and Explorist elites can enjoy better benefits on SLH stays than they normally would at Hyatts.
Featured photo of the Sailrock Resort courtesy of SLH.
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