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World of Hyatt members will have a lot more options for earning and redeeming points by the end of the year. That's when a new alliance with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) is slated for implementation, which will potentially increase the portfolio of properties available for earning and redeeming World of Hyatt points by hundreds of new properties around the world, including several geographic markets where Hyatt does not have an existing presence.
"This is another example of how Hyatt continues to listen to the wants and needs of World of Hyatt members and take meaningful action," said Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer, Hyatt. "SLH's high-end collection of boutique hotel experiences means our members will soon be able to earn and redeem World of Hyatt points in more places, including many new locations in Europe and Asia."
Details are sparse at the moment, but the announcement is the next step in a growing trend in hotel loyalty programs that the airline industry has long embraced: reciprocal alliances. Hotel loyalty programs typically only allow for "earn and burn" within a single brand family (e.g. Hilton or Marriott). The benefit is that is gives the brands more control over the guest experience for their members, but brands with smaller numbers of properties or limited geographic reach are often less appealing to high-value members.
However, hotel programs have been slowly testing partnerships with hotel brands and chains that aren't directly managed. In 2015, Starwood Preferred Guest members gained the ability to earn and burn points at participating Design Hotels. Because those properties aren't managed by Starwood or Marriott, there are some slight differences in benefits, but members otherwise enjoy a broader selection of hotels participating in the program when booking.
Hyatt has 700 properties worldwide, a smaller footprint than behemoths Hilton or Marriott, but with a significant pool of loyalists nonetheless. Depending on how many SLH properties elect to participate in World of Hyatt, members booking through Hyatt channels could have up to 500 additional properties to choose from, while preserving their points earning and elite benefits.
For example, while there are several Hyatt properties in New York City (including the luscious Park Hyatt New York), a World of Hyatt member preferring to stay in a smaller boutique property near NoMad might select the SLH property HGU New York. Sun-seekers headed to locations like St. Barthélemy in the Caribbean or the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, where most hotel properties are independent, (and where Hyatt currently does not have hotels) might select Le Barthélemy Hotel and Spa or Pacific Resort Aitutaki.
Additional details on which SLH properties will participate in World of Hyatt are forthcoming, as is a clear outline on which benefits will be available to World of Hyatt members. For properties that ultimately do not participate in World of Hyatt, SLH launched its own loyalty program, Invited, in 2017.
Scott is a freelance travel writer who has logged a million-and-a-half miles onboard flights around the world in search of...
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