How Does the World of Hyatt Guest of Honor Benefit Work?

Amongst the major hotel loyalty programs, World of Hyatt is known for the many generous benefits it offers to elite members.

The program’s top-tier Globalist members enjoy the widest range of perks, such as waived resort fees, suite upgrades, free breakfast, and lounge access, amongst others.

Another unique perk afforded to Explorist and Globalist members as a Milestone Reward are Guest of Honor Awards, through which you or your guest can experience elevated in-hotel benefits on paid or award stays.

What Is World of Hyatt Guest of Honor?

Guest of Honor is a benefit in the World of Hyatt program, which is earned as a Milestone Reward – benefits afforded to members upon reaching qualifying night or base point thresholds.

Once earned, the Guest of Honor Award benefit lets you book a hotel stay for yourself or for others, and in turn, you or your guest will enjoy Globalist benefits during a stay of up to seven nights.

As a reminder, some of the Globalist benefits you’ll get to experience or share with others with Guest of Honor Awards include the following:

  • Complimentary daily breakfast
  • Lounge access
  • Room upgrades to standard suites
  • 4pm late check-out
  • Free parking
  • Waived resort fees

Since the Guest of Honor benefit is now a Milestone Reward, Explorist members who earn 40 nights are entitled to one Guest of Honor Award that they may use for themselves or for a guest.

With the Guest of Honor benefit, you can choose to either get a preview of the Globalist experience yourself, or gift family and friends a luxurious experience they might not otherwise receive without achieving status on their own. 

Guest of Honor bookings may be eligible for upgrades to suites

Indeed, what makes this program particularly unique is that no other hotel loyalty program offers anything similar. Some people may resort to the “second guest trick” to share their benefits with a trusted friend or family member on an award stay; however, it’s not guaranteed to work out.

Likewise, earning higher status and qualifying nights with Hyatt status is no small feat, especially for infrequent travellers. Therefore, by booking yourself or someone else through the Guest of Honor program, you or your guest may experience Globalist benefits without having to fulfill the regular stay requirements.

How Does the World of Hyatt Guest of Honor Benefit Work?

The Guest of Honor benefit is offered to World of Hyatt members as a Milestone Reward, which is granted upon meeting qualifying stay requirements.

Guest of Honor Awards are given as an automatic benefit upon meeting the following requirements:

  • One Guest of Honor Award is awarded at 40 nights or 65,000 Base Points ($13,000 (USD) of eligible spending)
  • Two Guest of Honor Awards are awarded at 60 nights or 100,000 Base Points ($20,000 (USD) of eligible spending)
  • One Guest of Honor Award is awarded at each of 70, 80, 90, 110, 120, 130, and 140 nights

Previously, the Guest of Honor benefit was an unlimited perk to which Globalist members were exclusively entitled. However, changes that took effect on January 1, 2024, tied Guest of Honor Awards to Milestone Rewards, allowing members to earn up to 10 in a year. 

Moving forward, earned Guest of Honor Awards have an expiration date: they’re only valid for the membership year in which they’re earned, plus an additional 14 months.

For example, if you earned a Guest of Honor Award in March 2024, it’ll be valid until the end of 2024, and fourteen months after that, or February 2026.

In light of the recent changes, existing Globalist members have received five complimentary Guest of Honor Awards in their account, valid until February 28, 2025, as a one-time courtesy.

If you used to take advantage of unlimited Guest of Honor Award bookings, then the new changes that tie Guest of Honor Awards to Milestone Rewards could certainly be a negative move.

On the other hand, there are a number of upsides to the latest round of changes to Guest of Honor Awards.

One positive change is that the benefit has effectively been extended to Explorist members, who earn status after reaching 40 qualifying nights or 65,000 Base Points ($13,000 (USD) of eligible spending).

Explorist members who receive a Guest of Honor Award may choose to use it for themselves, or gift it others. If you use it for yourself, you can get a taste of what it’s like to stay as a Globalist member, which may further motivate you to pursue top-tier status.

Furthermore, you can now use Guest of Honor Awards on cash bookings. Previously, qualified members could only use World of Hyatt points or Free Night Awards from their own account to make the Guest of Honor booking for someone else.

Since Guest of Honor Awards now apply to cash bookings, you can choose to save your points or Free Night Awards for a more advantageous redemption.

Lastly, you can now gift the Guest of Honor Award online by simply inputting a World of Hyatt number and last name. This way, the recipient can make a booking on their own, whether with cash or using their own points, and then apply the Guest of Honor Award on the stay accordingly.

Note that if you choose to make the booking for your guest and use your own points or certificates, the booking has to be done over the phone, by emailing your concierge contact, or through X (previously known as Twitter).

You’ll need to provide the name of the guest, the hotel you wish to book, and the dates of the stay. You may also have to provide your guest’s World of Hyatt account number.

You’ll need to book over the phone, email, or X to make a Guest of Honor booking for someone else

If the person you’re booking for doesn’t have a World of Hyatt account, they may have to create one. Once the booking is complete, you or your guest can enjoy an elevated stay on your behalf, and there are no further steps to take.

While the Guest of Honor booking process is fairly straightforward, there are a few rules you’ll also need to remember.

First, Suite Upgrade Awards aren’t eligible for Guest of Honor bookings; however, you or your guest will still be eligible for a suite upgrade, subject to availability at check-in, as one of the Guest of Honor benefits.

Second, not all properties under the Hyatt umbrella participate in Guest of Honor. For example, Hyatt Vacation Club properties and partner hotels, such as those belonging to Small Luxury Hotels of the World, may not be booked under the Guest of Honor program.

Not all Hyatt properties accept Guest of Honor Awards

Lastly, keep in mind that if your guest’s World of Hyatt account is attached to the booking, whether you booked the stay or they did, they’ll be credited with qualifying nights from the stay.

On the other hand, if you make the booking on their behalf using your points/certificates, you’ll be credited with one qualifying night, regardless of how long your guest’s stay is.

Is World of Hyatt Guest of Honor a Good Deal?

The Guest of Honor program has no downsides whatsoever – after all, you’re either upgrading your benefits for a stay as an Explorist member, or sharing your Globalist status with friends and family who don’t have status of their own.

The only slightly negative aspect to it is that you’ll only earn one elite qualifying night at most on Guest of Honor bookings if you’re sharing the benefit with others. However, that shouldn’t be something that dissuades you from using the perk.

The Globalist host won’t earn elite-qualifying nights on Guest of Honor bookings

What should be more of a concern is whether you’re getting a great deal with the World of Hyatt points or Free Night Awards you might use to make the Guest of Honor booking. As with all award bookings, you should compare the price in points to the price in cash for the same stay.

Sometimes, it makes more sense to book hotels with cash rather than with points. In these cases, you’re better off saving your points or Free Night Awards for a more valuable redemption; however, you’ll still be able to apply the Guest of Honor Award to a cash booking.

Enjoy elevated perks with a Guest of Honor booking

Fortunately, Hyatt has some of the best points redemption options around, and there’s still plenty of value to be found with Free Night Awards.

The Guest of Honor program is certainly a great way to reward top-tier members by letting them share their elevated treatment with friends or families. Meanwhile, if you’re an Explorist member using the perk for yourself, you’ll get a preview of what it’s like to be a Globalist member.

It’s worth noting that with other hotel loyalty programs, it’s difficult to book award nights for family and friends, and even if you can, they likely won’t enjoy the same status benefits without some advanced manoeuvres.

In this sense, the Guest of Honor program is a great way to lure new people into the Hyatt ecosystem. After your friends or family have gotten a taste of the Globalist loyalty treatment, they might be drawn in to further engage with the program.

It’s also Hyatt’s way to lure you into spending more nights with its affiliated hotels and achieving Globalist status for yourself.

Conclusion

The World of Hyatt Guest of Honor program stands out as a unique hotel loyalty program benefit. Whereas other programs may restrict award bookings for friends and family, the Guest of Honor program encourages members to share or use for themselves Globalist-level benefits when booking with cash, points, or a Free Night Award.

There’s no downside or catches to the program, other than the host receiving one elite qualifying night at most, regardless of how long you book the stay for your guest.

The Guest of Honor benefit is one more reason why status with World of Hyatt stands out amongst hotel loyalty programs. 



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