I was in the planning stages of a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, when I started looking at Hyatt hotels options. I quickly found the Hyatt Ziva and it captured my attention. With rates on their website being easy to search, I tried many rate options, including AAA, to see what the best price would be. The Hyatt website listed the room rate at $838 / night. AAA and other discounts yielded only slightly lower rates.
I decided to try using the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking system for the same room and found it for $309 / night.
This is a huge difference, but I thought I could do better. A different online travel agency listed the same room for $250 / night. The price differences are incredible, for the same exact room.
Note that all quotes are for the same room. The Hyatt Ziva is an all-inclusive resort, so the rates change based on occupancy. Thinking about the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee program, I decided to apply for it to see if I could save even more money. I submitted the third OTA quote by way of the BRG claim form. About 24 hours later, I received a message from the BRG team asking for more information, a link to the OTA site. I had previously supplied this but supplied it again. I was told to submit a second BRG claim. I then re-submitted everything a second time.
After not receiving any communication from the BRG team a second time, I reached out to Hyatt via Twitter. I was told to send them a direct message on Twitter. I contacted them and they were very responsive, but they told me they could only “update my file”. I should also note, I followed the BRG terms and conditions and did book straight through the Hyatt site before I submitted the BRG claim.
After waiting more than 7 days for an answer from the BRG team, my travel plans were about 72 hours away. I had no choice but to cancel the direct booking on Hyatt’s site and rebook with the third party OTA.
For me, dealing with Hyatt has been a pleasure, except for BRG. Is BRG even real or is it just a mechanism to confuse and frustrate guests? I am going out on a limb here, but I would think most people would not try as hard as I did to go through the BRG hoops – maybe that’s what Hyatt wants. Booking a hotel room should be painless, especially for loyalty members. You know the industry has a problem with these programs when services like bestrateguaranteeme.com exists to walk you through the process. It’s time for BRGs to go away unless hotels are going to step up and put some value into this product. Meanwhile, I had a fantastic stay at the property. Check out my Trip Report: Hyatt Ziva in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (All-Inclusive Resort).