Last year I set my sights on achieving Hyatt Globalist status. My goal was to do this for as little out of pocket as possible, and I have to say that this was accomplished almost exactly how I hoped. We enjoyed a number of great Hyatt award stays in 2019, but it took a lot of spending on my World of Hyatt credit card to get me over the finish line. It was my personal Hyatt Globalist 2020 challenge, if you will (not an actual challenge offered from time to time).

One of the reasons I wanted to make it all the way to Globalist was for two specific stays we already had penciled in for 2020. My daughter joined the competition team at our local dance academy this year (wife has danced for years and actually used to teach there). I’ve been to one of the conventions in the past, and they have typically at pricey hotels in the San Francisco area. For a few years running, they were at the iconic Westin St. Francis on Union Square.

The choices this year? Hyatt and Hyatt. The New York City Dance Alliance event is this weekend at the Hyatt Regency at SFO. The JUMP convention will follow in April at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.

Tallying Up The Cost of The Stays

When my wife was teaching, she nearly always stayed off property for these events. The one time I joined her in San Francisco, we stayed off-property, at a cheap(ish) motel across the city. That was one of the conventions at the Westin St. Francis. While I’d picked up the SPG American Express card at that point, it would have cleaned us out of points, points that I hoped to use for a future trip. The cash cost was ridiculous. There was no way we were dropping $700 on a two-night stay.

The cost for the NYCDA competition this year isn’t quite as bad, as it is at an airport hotel instead of downtown. We were still looking at a chunk of change. The conference rate offered was $219 per night before taxes. For two nights, this put us right about $500. Add in parking and we’re at $570. The cost for the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara stay is at least this much, if not more. We’re looking at about $1,200 for two weekends. If we end up eating on site, the cost would go up even more.

This made me dead set on earning Globalist status, as we will literally save $100s over just these two weekends.

Hyatt Globalist 2020 challenge

Atrium at the Hyatt Regency at SFO

Erasing All These Charges

I’d already planned to save points to make sure each of these stays is an award redemption. This saves us most of the cost. But parking at both hotels runs well over $100 across 4-5 nights. However, as a Globalist on an award stay, you enjoy free parking. This is the first win.

The fact that both hotels are Hyatt Regency brand with a club lounge is also invaluable. Breakfast is available daily for club guests and Globalist members. For a family, this is a significant savings. We’d either have to bring our own food and cook or head out and find a place to eat. If we ate on property, we’d be looking at an easy $80 to $100 each morning after tax and tip. We’d also need to eat dinner on- or off-property, which would probably be even more for the five of us.

Even if we brought some food and ate off-poverty for a couple meals, I don’t see us getting away for less than $150 in food costs for the weekend.

With Globalist status, we now only need to worry about lunch! A light spread is served in the lounge every evening, and we’ll call that dinner. As the foods are typically snacks and dessert, I’m sure this will be totally fine by the kids. We can enjoy complimentary breakfast in the lounge as well, saving us significant time and hassle. We’ll pack stuff to make sandwiches for both lunches.

So for our stay at the Hyatt Regency at SFO, we’ve now gone from ~$700 to probably $40 in food. That’s downright amazing, and it makes me glad I worked so hard to ensure I’d be Globalist, if only for these two stays.

Hyatt Globalist free breakfast for family

Can’t go wrong with free breakfast!

But Wait, There’s More!

The other upside to earning Globalist status is the fact that you earn four suite night award certificates along the way. As these are busy conference weekends, locking in a suite ahead of time is a must. We’ve stuffed all of us into a standard hotel room a couple times, and it is simply too tight. I mean, we fit. But if you travel a lot as a family and have active and/or talkative kids, having a bit more space is a must. It’s also nice to be able to put them to bed and still have a quiet spot inside the room to relax.

Unfortunately, the Bayview suites at the Hyatt Regency at SFO aren’t a true suite with a door between living and bedroom areas. They are large, but there is no separation. But we’ll make do. It’s worlds better than a standard or club room, both of which I’ve experienced at that hotel. In any case, Globalist is providing a tangible value here, although I’m not sure what dollar value I’d assign to it.

My Personal Hyatt Globalist 2020 Challenge Paid Off!

At the end of the day, we should end up with a big fat zero on both of our folios. It would be nice to walk away from both of these trips paying close to nothing out of pocket. I mean…isn’t that the best goal of award travel? Sure, it took some work. I put a ton of spend on my World of Hyatt Visa. But I think we’re walking away with far more value going this route than had I focused on another goal.