Stupid Hyatt Website Tricks: The Hyatt World Map

June 6th, 2014

If you go to the Hyatt top page, you must enter in a destination for your reservation.  The website actually accepts a wide variety of different types of input, from specific hotel names, to city or region names.  It will even accept a spirit code (if you have to ask what a spirit code is, then you don’t need to know)

Test

The Best Rate Guarantee took me five days to straighten out, but my $267/night stay at Park Hyatt Tokyo is finally booked!

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Stupid Hyatt Website Tricks: Bookmarking Hotel Availability Searches

June 3rd, 2014

The savvy hotel traveler will often want to check on rates for an upcoming stay many times, in the hopes that rates will decrease in price, or that additional availability might open up.  However, the Hyatt website does not make it easy to do so.

For example, suppose you wanted to make a four night reservation for the New Years holiday at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.  You go the Park Hyatt website and diligently enter in all of the information required:  December 31st arrival date, January 4th departure date, two adult passengers, and possibly some special codes you also want to check out.  Click Check Availability, and the results come up as so:

Results for availability check for four nights at the Park Hyatt Tokyo

Results for availability check for four nights at the Park Hyatt Tokyo

We see that there is no Twin Room availability of any sort, so we make it a point to bookmark this page and check the rates again later.

However, when later comes around and you click on the bookmark, you won’t see that screen up there.  You’ll see this screen down here:

Sorry, back to the beginning you go.

Sorry, back to the beginning you go.

Like many hotel websites, Hyatt uses something called a “session”, which is short, predetermined period of time that you can access the website.  Once the session expires, you will have to return to the top page to start a new session.  This is done to safeguard against hackers being able to intercept your data and steal things such as credit card deals.  Which is an important thing to do, but it comes at the cost of our convenience.  Every time we want to look up availability, we have to start from the beginning and enter in all of our information all over again.

However, if we had a way to tell the Hyatt website everything that we want before a session is created, then we could save that information and use it to avoid doing all of that work each time we want to check our rates.  With a bit of reverse engineering, I have found a way to do just that.  All we have to do is access the website like this:

....oh, is that all?

….oh, is that all?

The Hyatt will grab this information encoded in the above URL and use it to create the availability results page as it creates a new session.  So as long as we save our search information in the above format, we can easily look up any rates at any hotel we want with a single click!

Of course, I don’t expect a normal person to create a URL like that on their own.  To simplify the process, I have created the Tokyo Hyatt Power Search, that will allow you to create the above link for any valid date for any Tokyo Hyatt hotel that you wish.  And if you don’t want to be limited to just Tokyo Hyatts, the All Hyatt Power Search will create bookmarkable links for all 587 current and future (as currently known) Hyatt hotels throughout the world.

And for true power users, there’s the Tokyo Hyatt Date Range Search and the All Hyatt Date Range Search.  A straight four night reservation may not always bring up the cheapest rate;  sometimes it can be cheaper to book two consecutive two night stays, or a three night stay with a one night stay.  The Date Range search will bring up links for all possible combinations of reservations for stays of up to nine nights at a time, allowing the most ardent deal searchers to ensure that they are getting the best total rate that they possibly can.

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Stupid Hyatt Website Tricks: The Mobile Website

May 31st, 2014

Did you know that Hyatt has a special mobile website? They would probably prefer that you didn’t, as they try to steer you towards their mobile application. But it does exist, and it is gloriously wonky, especially when viewed on a desktop.

The top page for accessing reservations can be found here:

It's built for vertical phone resolution, so everything gets stretch out when viewed on a computer.

It’s built for vertical phone resolution, so everything gets stretch out when viewed on a computer.

It’s very simple, and there’s no hand holding.  No calendar tool pops up, you have to enter a date on your own (no problem if you’re used to using our first Stupid Hyatt Website Trick.)  Curiously, you can search for a broad range of destinations like “Tokyo” or “Japan”, and it will bring up all of the results related to that, but you cannot search directly for a specific property, like “Grand Hyatt Tokyo”.  Anyway, let’s fill in the form like so:

Change

Looking up one night from August 30th in Tokyo for 2 adults

It returns us a list of all hotels in Tokyo for that period, and the lowest price available.

Change

Pictures getting stretched waaaay out there.

The Grand Hyatt Tokyo rate looks decent, so let’s click the CHECK RATES bar for that hotel.

More stretched goodness.

More stretched goodness.

Let’s check out the RATE RULES for one of these rates.  Any one will do, so I will just randomly choose the Advance Purchase for the Grand Twin.  Click the RATE RULES bar and we get the following:

Picture 16

URL

For this screen shot I left the URL bar in for a reason.  Let’s look at it in closer detail:

http://m.hyatt.com/mt/www.hyatt.com/un_rateDetails?checkout=2014-08-31&checkin=2014-08-30&rooms=1&adults=2&children=0&hotelCode=tyogh&roomType=GRNT&RatePlanCode=ADPR&RatePlanType=13&title=GRAND%20TWIN

All of the information related to our request is right there in the URL.  I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out what all of these entries mean, but for now let’s focus on the areas checkout and checkin.

In our previous Stupid Hyatt Website Trick, we used an elaborate trick to create a “Frankenpage” that allowed us to view the price on rooms for any date, even when the room was all sold out.  But with the mobile page, could it be that the process is as simple as merely changing these dates in the URL to whatever we want to see?

Let’s try to change it to a New Years Eve reservation:

http://m.hyatt.com/mt/www.hyatt.com/un_rateDetails?checkout=2015-01-01&checkin=2014-12-31&rooms=1&adults=2&children=0&hotelCode=tyogh&roomType=GRNT&RatePlanCode=ADPR&RatePlanType=13&title=GRAND%20TWIN

Hit the Enter button, and look what we get!

That...that was much easier than what I was doing before!

That…that was much easier than what I was doing before!

Not only can we use this to see whatever day’s rate we want, but we can also bookmark this link and refer to it any time we like!

The Hyatt mobile experience can provide great convenience over the regular website…but it can also be the source of much tantalizing frustration.  An example of this can be found when attempting to modify a booking.

Going back to the list of rates at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, let’s check out the point redemption rates available:

25000 points for a regular room, 33000 for a club room.

25000 points for a regular room, 33000 for a club room.

We’ll attempt to make a points booking for a Grand Twin.  Clicking the BOOK button, you are prompted to log in, on account of needing access to your account to see if you have enough points available.

Valid login information to be supplied by you, the reader.

Valid login information to be supplied by you, the reader.

After doing this, you are sent to the mobile booking site:

Mobile Booking Page

Mobile Booking Page

An interesting thing to note is that the group/corporate code for a points reservation night is “54749″.  This information does not show up anywhere on the main website…and also provides proof that a group/corporate code isn’t in and of itself a factor that limits who or what organization can use it.

Anyway, suppose we’ve had a change of heart, and want to get ourselves an even better room.  Click the “Modify” link on the bottom right to go back to the list of rooms for booking.

Ambassador Suite!?  I love that room!  And only 500000 yen?  Sign me up!

Because the first thing we look for after checking a points reservation are high end suites.

Scrolling down near the bottom, we find that the Ambassador Suite is available in the Advance Purchase for the low price of 488000 yen.  Let’s click the BOOK button here and see what happens:

Whoa!

Whoa!

The mobile site is now telling us that we can reserve the Ambassador Suite for 25000 points!  Of course, we’re going down to the bottom of the page to click the submit button to see what happens…

…c’mon, did you think that this would buried in a Stupid Website Trick if it actually worked?

DAMMIT!  What does that even mean!?

DAMMIT! What does that even mean!?

Alas, the Mobile site bends like the willow…it does not break like the oak.  But, understanding that, you might have fun exploring on your own to find out what other secrets it might hold.

 

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Stupid Hyatt Website Tricks: Looking up rates for sold out inventory

May 28th, 2014

The previous article on New Years Eve rates left out the Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa, as there is no availability for that date whatsoever.  But, if it does open up again, what will the rates be?

Of course, there’s a Stupid Hyatt Website Trick for that.

The trick is that we must first look for a date that we know plenty of availability.  Let’s go back about 2 weeks before that.

December 16th-17th at Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa

December 16th-17th at Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa

On this date, a Twin Room is going for 36600 yen at the Hyatt Daily Rate (unlike the other Tokyo Hyatt hotels, there are very few extra fees on top of this rate, just a 150 yen per person hot springs fee as mandated by the city of Hakone)  From this same screen (i.e., do not go back to the top page), let’s check on the status of New Year’s Eve:

Changing the dates to December 31st - January 1st.

Changing the dates to December 31st – January 1st.

As expected, we get a notice that the hotel is fully booked:

Alright people, move away, nothing to see here.

Alright people, move away, nothing to see here.

The site implores us to click the “Go back” link, but let’s do what most normal people would do instead and hit the back button on the browser.  When we do this, we find that something most unusual happens…

Wait...what?

Wait…what?

According to the website, New Years Eve rates are now available, and for the same price that we saw for December 16th!  But it’s only when we click the SELECT button for the Twin Room at the Hyatt Daily Rate (just as an example…any rate and room we select will do) that things get really trippy!

IT'S TWO PRICES AT THE SAME TIME!

IT’S TWO PRICES AT THE SAME TIME!

On the bottom of the page, we see the room rate charges as it would be for a December 16th reservation.  But in the left side of the middle of the page, under the Selected Rate and Room area, we see a completely different rate of 68300 yen!

It turns out that hitting the back button from the Sold Out screen creates a “Frankenpage”, where the date information is from the previous request, but the rate information is from the request before that.  And when you try to make a booking, the bottom part of the page uses the previously cached booking information from December 16th, the Selected Rate and Room area grabs the information from the most recently entered December 31st date.

In other words, the Selected Rate and Room section tells us the real rate price of the room for the sold out inventory!

Now I know what you’re thinking, “So what happens if you actually try to book this room?”  Well, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news…

Frankenbooking doesn't work.

Frankenbooking doesn’t work.

The booking engine looks at the real availability for December 31st, and even though this technique lets you “try” to make the booking, ultimately, the attempt will fail.  So this trick merely lets you look at some information that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see.

Doing it that way only works if there is absolutely no availability at the hotel;  if there is any availability at all, a rate will display and the browser back button bug doesn’t occur.  But we can combine this with the technique we learned in our previous Stupid Hyatt Website Trick to open up information on limited availability as well.

When they’re not completely shutting down reservations, another thing that the Hyatt Regency Hakone is notorious for is making rooms available only under one ridiculously high rate.  For example, on December 27th, the last Saturday of the year, only this exorbitant Bed, Breakfast, and Dining Rate is available for booking:

Our prices prove that we're twice as good as the Park Hyatt!

Our prices prove that we’re twice as good as the Park Hyatt!

But what would this room cost for the Hyatt Daily Rate?  Let’s bring up the December 16th rate once more, but this time, when we change to the December 27th rate, we will also add the special 58872 code to the Group or Corporate Code box:

The old Stay Certificate code that no longer works

The old Stay Certificate code that no longer works

Because there will never be any availability with this code, we can get to the sold out error screen once more:

Hello whiteness my old friend...

Hello whiteness my old friend…

Click the back button to bring up the “fake” availability for the Hyatt Daily Rate…

Back to the Frankenpage

Back to the Frankenpage

And when we click SELECT, we see that this room really should be going for 68300 yen.

With so many screenshots, I've run out of pithy things to say.

With so many screenshots, I’ve run out of pithy things to say.

I’d love to hear if someone could come up with a practical application for this trick!

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