Help – I’ve been Placified!
I’ve been going to a lot of Hyatt hotels frequently, on my constant quest to requalify for Diamond Gold Passport status for 2015. (Yes, it is worth it – read any blog – being a Diamond means breakfast, late check outs, upgraded rooms, more points, special phone numbers and most of all – being treated really nicely! 25 stays in a year, as opposed to 25 nights, might not be difficult for business travelers, but for those poor souls like me who do not travel for work, requalifying can be a major endeavor).
Hyatt has many brands of hotels ranging from the most exclusive to the everyday. From the highest on the aspirational list – the Vendomes, to the luxurious Park Hyatts, to the chic Andaz’s, and so on and so on.
And then we reach the Hyatt Place. THE HYATT PLACE. That is what this essay is about. Many of my stays to reach the ultimate goal of 25 stays, are at Hyatt Places. They are all the same, or at least built on the same design, with minor differences. They, of course, have the same logo, the same entry, the same lobby, the same food area. The rooms are virtually the same. The same divider separating the one room into a bedroom and living area. The same sectional sofa with the same square leather ottoman. The same shampoo and soap. The same tube of conditioner that says “Rinse.” Sure sometimes a room has a refrigerator and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes a sink by that area and sometimes not. But the overall look and the feel is identical.
If you are normal and don’t visit three Hyatt Places in a month, then you might not get spooked by all this. In fact you might be comforted. But in my case, in three weeks, I’d been to three Hyatt Places, one in Flushing, NY, one in Riverhead, NY, and one in Charlotte, NC. All of them were practically identical (though if I look closer, I might realize that the sinks might have been different brands, or the desk was in a different place). You had to see my face (and Won’t Run’s face too) when we entered our room at the Hyatt Place in Arrowood/Charlotte. It was as if, for a moment, we didn’t know which Hyatt Place we were at – or perhaps we’d time traveled back to the last Hyatt Place. We heard the eerie twilight zone music.
Is this simply Deja vu? Have we overdosed on Hyatt Places or … is it something worse? Holy G’moly – we’d been Placified!
Now, you can say a lot of good about the Hyatt Places, and I agree. Examined in the same manner as one examines McDonalds, Walmarts, and even chain stores such as GAP, you can say that it’s success nationally (and even internationally) is built on efficiency (using the same model and business model for each Hyatt Place saves money), predictability and uniformity. While not always cheap, the Hyatt Places are usually affordable. They compete with the Hampton Inns and Springfield Inns in this country, but personally I prefer Hyatts. Succinctly stated, you know what you are getting when you stay at a Hyatt Place.
I’ve been Placified! Placification Nation.
I sit here, knowing I’m going to a local Hyatt Place tonight for my 16th Hyatt stay of 2014, I have mixed feelings. I’m scared to enter the hotel and be engulfed by the spooky sameness of it. What’s the cure? Maybe a good dose of Andaz?