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I'm about to lose Globalist status: This is why my future travel plans include Small Luxury Hotels

Aug. 09, 2022
8 min read
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In 2023, I’ll tumble from the acclaimed rank of Hyatt Globalist to the mid-tier, largely unmemorable Explorist. Unfortunately, I’ve hardly stayed at Hyatt hotels at all this year.

The difference between Hyatt Globalist and Explorist status is vast. Here are some of the privileges I’ll be losing:

  • Complimentary suite upgrade at check-in (when available).
  • Free breakfast.
  • Free parking on award stays.
  • Unlimited club lounge access at participating Hyatt hotels.

Related: 7 ways Hyatt Globalist elite status can make your next trip better

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Additionally, I won’t earn any Suite Upgrade Awards, which allow you to confirm a standard suite at the time of booking (instead of relying on luck at the check-in counter).

These benefits can amount to thousands of dollars in value. But by shifting my Hyatt points strategy, I won’t even miss Globalist status while I busily re-earn it in 2023. In fact, temporarily losing elite status is one of the best things to happen to my bucket list.

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Turning my Hyatt points toward Small Luxury Hotels of the World

The pool at the Viceroy Bali. (Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World)

Hyatt partners with the hotel network Small Luxury Hotels of the World. SLH properties don’t participate in Hyatt’s loyalty program beyond the ability to earn and redeem Hyatt points for stays. Whether you’ve got no Hyatt status at all or you’re a top-tier Globalist elite member, you will be treated the same at SLH properties. They won’t even let you apply Suite Upgrade Awards to your reservation.

SLH hotels offer all guests a short list of elite-like benefits, however. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Free continental breakfast for two each day.
  • Free Wi-Fi.
  • 12 p.m. check-in, based on availability.
  • 2 p.m. checkout, based on availability.
  • One-category room upgrade, based on availability.

Related: Getting elite-like perks at Small Luxury Hotels of the World

That’s not bad. In fact, it’s significantly more than most other hotel chains will give to non-elite members. It’s enough to keep me from pining for Globalist status, anyway.

These are the SLH hotels I plan to book as an Explorist

Some of the most desirable points hotels are SLH properties. I’ve been putting off my stays at many of them because I’ve felt compelled to use my Hyatt points at hotels where my Globalist benefits will shine (think Andaz Maui, Hana-Maui Resort, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, etc.). I’ve been so focused on squeezing value from my elite status that I’ve allowed myself to neglect many properties that I really want to visit.

Here are a few great places I’ll burn Hyatt points while I don’t have Globalist status.

Related: What is World of Hyatt elite status worth?

Hotel Schweizerhof Zermatt

(Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World)

Schweizerhof Zermatt is one of the most popular alpine villages in Switzerland. The village doesn’t allow cars (you’ll have to take a taxi or train from the nearby municipality of Tasch), which makes the area extra charming — and extremely walkable.

Hotel Schweizerhof is smack-dab in the middle of Zermatt, and certain rooms offer a glimpse of the imposing Matterhorn. Standard rooms are 25,000 Hyatt points per night, and regularly sell for over $500.

Calala Island

(Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World)

A trip to Calala Island is one of those vacations that will cause your friends to shoot skeptical glances at each other while you tell them about it.

There are only four rooms on this remote Nicaraguan island, all of them Robinson Crusoe-esque suites. A maximum of eight guests can be on the island at once (and oftentimes there are far fewer). The resort is all-inclusive, as well — and the chefs will make anything you want as long as they’ve got the ingredients.

For 40,000 Hyatt points per night, you’ve practically got your own private island. Just note that this property enforces a minimum stay of three nights.

Related: Rustic paradise: A review of Calala Island, a private island bookable with World of Hyatt points

Viceroy Bali

(Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World)

The Viceroy Bali is at the top of my bucket list, as I’ve got a special place in my heart for both jungles and rice fields.

The resort is located in Ubud, a town more inland than many of the pristine beaches many travelers tend to gravitate toward. This property is perched atop an emerald crevasse with a gorgeous river at the base. As an Instagrammable location, the Viceroy Bali is difficult to outshine.

Standard rooms here cost 30,000 points per night (often over $700 otherwise) and come with a private infinity pool.

Related: The ultimate guide to World of Hyatt

How to earn Hyatt points

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

To quickly earn Hyatt points, Chase offers two cobranded Hyatt credit cards — both of which offer decent sign-up bonuses:

  • World of Hyatt Credit Card: Up to 60,000 points:
  • 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
  • Up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total per dollar spent in the first six months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 bonus point, on up to $15,000 spent.

An even easier way to rack up Hyatt points is by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. You can transfer points to Hyatt if you’ve got any of the following three cards:

Additionally, if you have no-annual-fee Ultimate Rewards-earning cards such as the Chase Freedom Flex or Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card, you can convert the rewards you earn with those cards to Hyatt points by first transferring them to one of the above annual fee-incurring Ultimate Rewards cards.

Related: Here’s how to stock up on Hyatt points for your next vacation

Bottom line

It’s true — Hyatt Globalist status is the best hotel elite status by a long shot. But you can have loads of fun without it.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World offers some of the most jaw-dropping properties that can possibly be reserved with hotel points. And because it doesn’t recognize Globalist elite status anyway, I’m going to focus my Hyatt points heavily on SLH properties while I’m an Explorist re-earning my Globalist status.

If you’ve got any SLH recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases