In my recent post introducing the Hyatt Gold Passport program, one of the benefits I mentioned about the Platinum and Diamond tiers was “guaranteed availability”. In theory, given sufficient advance notice (48 hours for a Diamond, 72 for a Platinum), this benefit would allow these higher level members the ability to book a base level hotel room even for a night when the hotel is fully booked, kicking somebody else out of the room if necessary
In practice, hotels are allowed to designate certain periods of anticipated very high demand, such as New Year’s Eve, as exceptions. Another limitation is that guaranteed availability rooms only come up when the hotel is fully booked. If there’s even one Diplomat Suite at the Park Hyatt Tokyo available for booking, then that constitutes “availability”, and you will not be allowed to book the cheaper base level room.
However, there is a way to do an end around and force the booking engine to show you a Guaranteed Availability rate for the non-exception periods, which I will demonstrate below.
For example, suppose that you want to stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo during the last weekend of the year:
As at many times in the year such as Golden Week or the Obon period in Japan, the Park Hyatt Tokyo will show no inventory for a base level room (the Park Twin or Park King rooms) On this particular date, the lowest priced room rate available is for the Park Deluxe, at 63000 yen.
Allow me to give a brief history lesson before explaining the trick. In years gone by, Hyatt used to sell an item called Stay Certificates, in which you paid a fixed price for a certificate that allowed the holder to redeem it for a free night at a certain level of Hyatt hotel. Though intended to be used as gifts, many people bought and used them for themselves, because they could be much cheaper than regular reservations, especially during periods of high demand. Unfortunately, this trick became too popular and too much of a money drain for the hotels and the parent company, and Hyatt discontinued the program for consumers last year.
However, the codes for registering a Stay Certificate stay remain in the system. In this case, we will use the Elite level certificate group code of 58872.
Rooms are no longer made available under the Stay Certificate codes. If you enter this code and you are not logged into to your Hyatt Gold Passport account, or you are not a Platinum or Diamond level member, you will see a message stating that there is no availability.
But if you are logged in as a Platinum or Diamond, you now have access to the guaranteed availability rate for the Park Twin or Park King room that is 6000 yen cheaper than what was previously available.
Not the greatest rate you’ll ever find for this hotel, but if you have your heart set on staying on this date, that’s another 6000+ yen that you can put towards a nice steak at the New York Grill.
Guaranteed availability rates are often quite expensive, but the Park Hyatt Tokyo is one of the few hotels in the world where it can make sense to use them.