Exploring Hyatt’s Partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith Boutique and Luxury Hotels

For roughly the last year, the three leading hotel chains, well-known among points and miles enthusiasts, have been swapping positions among their brand acquisitions and booking platforms like a game of musical chairs.

MGM Resorts switched from partnering with Hyatt to teaming up with Marriott, while Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) moved from Hyatt to Hilton after Hyatt acquired Mr & Mrs Smith.

Even though Hyatt’s purchase of Mr & Mrs Smith was announced almost a year ago, the full details are just now coming to light. The first batch of Mr & Mrs Smith properties have been integrated into the World of Hyatt booking platform. Members can now earn and redeem World of Hyatt points during their stays at these properties.

Let’s have a look at this new partnership and go over all the details. 

What is Mr & Mrs Smith?

For several years, Hyatt has been working to establish an enhanced presence in the luxury hotel market and expand its overall footprint. Hyatt has consistently trailed behind Marriott and Hilton in terms of both luxury accommodations and overall property count in its portfolio. This led to Hyatt’s purchase of the Mr & Mrs Smith booking platform in 2023.

Artic TreeHouse Hotel in Finland, a Mr & Mrs Smith property.
Arctic TreeHouse Hotel Lapland

Mr & Mrs Smith is a curated collection of independent boutique luxury hotels that have chosen to partner with the platform for greater marketing capabilities and increased visibility. 

This can be thought of as being similar to Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), wherein these booking platforms neither own nor operate any of the properties; rather, they just curate and promote them to a wider audience. In this case, Hyatt simply owns the Mr & Mrs Smith brand and its associated partnership with each independent hotel. 

Although Mr & Mrs Smith is affiliated with over 2,000 properties, initially, only around 700 are available at launch. Additional properties are expected to be gradually added to the platform over time.

Locations

As of April 2024, approximately 700 Mr & Mrs Smith properties will be available for booking through World of Hyatt channels. Of those 700 properties, over 400 of them are located in Europe, with the majority of those concentrated in the UK, Italy, Greece, Spain and France.

Zannier Hotels Sonop in Namibia, a Mr & Mrs Smith property.
Zannier Hotels Sonop Namibia Lodge

Just over 100 properties are located in North and Central America including the Caribbean, with just under 50 locations in South America. That leaves the remaining 150 or so properties spread across Southeast Asia and Oceania. Lastly, there are a small handful of locations in Africa, most of which are located in game reserves and safari camps. 

You can see the locations of all the participating Mr & Mrs Smith properties on this map.   

You might initially assume, as I did, that Hyatt losing several hundred SLH properties and gaining nearly 700 Mr & Mrs Smith properties amounts to a huge increase in global coverage for Hyatt. However, the closer I looked at it, the more I felt that this was a significant setback to Hyatt’s overall global footprint. I’ll get into the specifics for why I feel that this is now the case a bit later on.

Earning World of Hyatt points at Mr & Mrs Smith Properties

When booking a Mr & Mrs Smith property through World of Hyatt, members will earn points and qualifying nights at the same rate as you would at a Hyatt property. This includes:

  • 5 World of Hyatt points per every eligible $1 USD spent on room rates
  • World of Hyatt elite members receive bonus points associated with their current level of status (10% for Discoverist, 20% for Explorist, and 30% for Globalist) 
  • All stays credit qualifying nights towards elite status and Milestone Rewards
  • Credit toward a World of Hyatt Brand Explorer Award

Cardholders of the Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card or Chase World of Hyatt Business Credit Cardwill not receive 4x World of Hyatt points per USD spent at Mr & Mrs Smith properties. Instead, cardholders will only earn the base rate of 1x World of Hyatt points per USD spent for Mr & Mrs Smith hotel stays.

Redeeming World of Hyatt Points at Mr & Mrs Smith Properties

Contrary to Hyatt’s former partnership with SLH and the rest of the World of Hyatt portfolio of properties, Mr & Mrs Smith properties will not be subject to the standard World of Hyatt award chart. Instead, award pricing is dynamically tied to the nightly cash rate. 

This means that rather than nightly redemption costs topping out at the usual 40,000 World of Hyatt points we’ve become accustomed to for a standard free night, there appears to be no cap for Mr & Mrs Smith properties, with many locations demanding well over 100,000 World of Hyatt points per night. While it’s still possible to achieve excellent value when staying at Hyatt locations subject to the standard award chart, those opportunities are completely absent with Mr & Mrs Smith stays. 

I’ll use the only Mr & Mrs Smith property in Canada as an example, which is Merrill House, located in Picton, Ontario. Looking at a random date in September, the nightly rate is $375 CAD.

Meanwhile, a World of Hyatt Free Night Award will cost 27,000 points for the same night. Which works out to just under 1.4 cents per point (CAD).

As a point of comparison, Park Hyatt Toronto, Canada’s only Park Hyatt property, has an average nightly rate of around $765 CAD.

As a World of Hyatt Category 6, Free Night Awards a Park Hyatt Toronto will cost 25,000 points per night. This works out to a much more appealing and familiar 3+ cents per point (CAD) for this redemption. On top of this, you’ll also be entitled to all the benefits associated with your World of Hyatt status, unlike with stays at Mr & Mrs Smith properties. 

Overall, it looks like we can expect to get between 1.2 and 1.7 cents per point (CAD) when redeeming for Mr & Mrs Smith stays. Given the relative ease in which it is possible to extract well beyond 2 cents per point on World of Hyatt redemptions at properties that fall under the standard award chart, this new venture comes off as rather disappointing. 

Furthermore, Free Night Awards earned through credit cards, such as the Category 1-4 Free Night Award from the Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card, cannot be redeemed at any Mr & Mrs Smith property. Similarly, World of Hyatt Milestone Awards like Guest of Honor Awards and Club Access Awards are ineligible for use at Mr & Mrs Smith locations.

Benefits While Staying at Mr & Mrs Smith Properties

In contrast to the previous partnership with SLH, which granted all World of Hyatt members benefits such as free breakfast, room upgrades, and additional perks, the arrangement with Mr & Mrs Smith offers very little in regards to benefits. Aside from World of Hyatt Globalist members being eligible for a room upgrade at check-in, no other benefits associated with any World of Hyatt status will apply at Mr & Mrs Smith locations.

Are We Witnessing the End of the Hotel Award Chart Era?

While the implementation of Mr & Mrs Smith from a redemption perspective is already a disappointment, what may even be more concerning is that Hyatt has now established the framework of a dynamic award structure for properties directly tied to the World of Hyatt program. For those that remember, both Marriott and Hilton free night awards previously operated on fixed-price award charts before transitioning to dynamic award pricing. Of course, these changes didn’t just happen overnight; it took years for Marriott and Hilton to gradually introduce and adopt dynamic pricing. They began by implementing peak and off-peak pricing, followed by dynamic pricing at a few properties here and there before slowly expanding it over several years until the transition included every property.

Hyatt has already implemented several devaluations similar to those undertaken by Marriott and Hilton along the path to dynamic pricing. These include introducing the same peak and off-peak pricing, as well as adding a new, highest-priced category 8 into its award chart… and now dynamic pricing at select properties. 

So, this begs the question: Is Hyatt eventually heading towards a fully dynamic award pricing model? 

It’s likely that it will be a few years before we have a definitive answer to this question. I expect that Hyatt will take some time to gauge the response of its members and its hotel partners to the Mr & Mrs Smith pricing scheme. Nonetheless, Hyatt appears to be following the exact same playbook written by Marriott and Hilton for eventually implementing dynamic pricing, and this recent development further suggests that it’s becoming an inevitable reality.

Hyatt’s Global Footprint Suffers a One-Two Punch

What made Hyatt’s partnership with SLH so valuable was two-fold in my eyes. Firstly, it greatly expanded Hyatt’s footprint, especially in Europe, with many very unique boutique hotels in some very unique places that otherwise wouldn’t be available to book on points. Secondly, World of Hyatt members enjoyed a plethora of really valuable benefits, regardless of status, when staying at SLH properties. To myself and many others, this was invaluable, as World of Hyatt Globalist status is notoriously difficult to earn for Canadians. 

However, Hyatt has done a complete about-face with Mr & Mrs Smith redemptions. As the outsized value of World of Hyatt points are largely stripped away on Mr & Mrs Smith redemptions and essentially zero benefits are offered during these stays. 

Moreover, even though the departure of SLH and the addition of Mr & Mrs Smith properties to Hyatt’s portfolio is technically an increase in the number of properties available, in my eyes, the end result is a net loss. For those of us who prioritize maximizing the value of our points and seek out benefits such as complimentary breakfast and suite upgrades, the Mr & Mrs Smith properties may as well not even exist.

From my perspective, this transition represents the loss of a valuable partnership with SLH, now replaced by one in Mr & Mrs Smith that lacks any significant relevance to points and miles enthusiasts. The consequence of this means that Hyatt once again is left with notably diminished coverage across several regions throughout the world.

Conclusion

Much of the initial excitement sparked by the announcement of Mr & Mrs Smith joining the World of Hyatt program has been mostly diminished once we learned of how these properties would be implemented into the program. This is really disappointing, as Mr & Mrs Smith has some incredible-looking properties, that sadly appear to still be out of reach for those of us aiming to redeem our points and miles for maximum value. 

On the flip side, if you’re in a position to pay cash for a Mr & Mrs Smith stay, being able to earn World of Hyatt points and qualifying nights during one of these stays is a nice addition to the program.

The World of Hyatt program still has a lot going for it, as it is still regarded as having the best elite benefits along with a favorable award chart. Hopefully, we’ll see this new partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith evolve over time to offer some added benefits or additional redemption value for its members.

Jeff Jamieson

Jeff Jamieson

Contributor at Frugal Flyer
Jeff stepped into the ring of points and miles in 2018, this was during his first trip to Italy where he had only just dipped his toe into what was possible with loyalty programs. After eating pizza twice a day for two weeks straight and taking in all that Tuscany of Rome had to offer he knew he was hooked on “la dolce vita” of points and miles. Always fascinated with aviation, Jeff obtained his Private Pilot’s License in 2006. Now he fuels his affection for travel and aviation by seeking out new strategies while building upon existing opportunities along with the help of his close circle of fellow travel enthusiasts.

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