Posted by Ric Garrido

I am sitting in the Comfort Inn, Green River, Utah. This is a small town off Interstate 70  about 50 miles northwest of the desert recreational town of Moab. I will be staying in Las Vegas tonight after a 410 mile drive today. I will experience M life over the next three nights.

Say what you think of midscale hotels and Choice Privileges, but I have to say the King Bed at this hotel is one of the most comfortable beds I’ve slept in during the past year. And the free breakfast has bananas, oranges and apples. There has been little fruit offered in all our free breakfast stays the past nine mornings. Too bad I have to body slam the room door to get it to close and lock behind me each time I enter the room.

This is the first day of my M life.

Hyatt Gold Passport members may be aware that MGM Resorts and Hyatt Gold Passport started loyalty program reciprocity effective June 20, 2013. This means members of both programs can earn loyalty credit with stays at their respective hotels.

As a loyalty traveler and ten year member of Hyatt Gold Passport, the MGM M life partnership means there are now 12 properties in Las Vegas, in addition to the Hyatt Place Las Vegas, for earning Hyatt Gold Passport points and elite tier stay and night credit.

As Loyalty Traveler, I have been invited to Las Vegas for a Hyatt Gold Passport-M life press event tomorrow. I have been given complimentary Noir elite tier status with M life which I just activated in the past hour.

More about M life elite benefits will come in a later post. The table showing different M life tiers and benefits can be seen here.

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How low can I go?

My first reaction to seeing the Hyatt Gold Passport and M life partnership announcement was realizing this meant really inexpensive hotel rates in Las Vegas count as Hyatt elite status stays. I saw rates at $28 per night at Excalibur the day I first checked when writing about the new partnership.

Thursday and Friday I have a complimentary room at the MGM Grand as part of the press event for the partnership.

Tonight I need a room I will pay for out of my pocket. A midweek room rate should be inexpensive in July when the temperature is nearly always over 100 degrees.

Hyatt Gold Passport website rates for Las Vegas:

  • Hyatt Place Las Vegas $99
  • The Mirage $99
  • Bellagio $159
  • The Signature at MGM Grand $105
  • Vdara $99
  • Aria $109
  • Monte Carlo $59
  • MGM Grand $80
  • New York-New York $65
  • Excalibur = Not Available
  • Luxor $43
  • THEhotel at Mandalay Bay $120
  • Mandalay Bay $90

What caught my attention is Excalibur not being available for booking through the Hyatt Gold Passport website.

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This hotel has availability through the Excalibur and M life websites for tonight with rates starting at $33.

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Excalibur room rate after adding resort fee and tax = $53.76.

After checking the terms and conditions of the partnership, it looks to me like I can book this hotel through the M life website or the Excalibur website (rooms are available for direct booking) and it will still qualify for Hyatt Gold Passport credit.

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How can I earn Hyatt Gold Passport points?

A guest must be both a member of M life and Hyatt Gold Passport to earn Hyatt Gold Passport points at M life resorts. At check-in, the member must notify the Front Desk agent they would like to earn Hyatt Gold Passport points and ask to add both their M life and Hyatt Gold Passport member numbers to their reservation.

What is considered an eligible stay for earning points on hotel spend?

Members can make their reservation at mlife.com or directly with their favorite property, as well as through hyatt.com or through Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Centers. Any booking where payment is made directly to MGM Resorts International, through hyatt.com or through Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Centers is an eligible stay. For clarity, the following stays are not eligible: third party reservations, complimentary room nights, master account group bookings and Hyatt Gold Passport free night award bookings.

http://www.mgmresorts.com/hyatt/

Here is the link to the M life T&C on Hyatt’s website.

Excalibur is a Las Vegas Strip hotel property I don’t recall ever having even been inside.

Rising to the Top

After a week on the road staying in midscale hotels like Holiday Inn Express, Marriott’s TownePlace Suites and the Choice Hotels Comfort Inn, tonight could be a good night to treat Kelley to a top of the line hotel.

I have stayed at the Aria Resort before and I even attended a press party in the Aria Sky Villa in December 2010. Aria suites start at $225 for rooms with 900+ square feet of living space.

Vdara is also part of the City Center complex that includes Aria and the Mandarin Oriental hotels and Vdara is located next to The Cosmopolitan, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel. Vdara is apartment style with the basic $99 room offering 582 square feet of space.

Vdara has a two-bedroom, two story penthouse suite with 1,447 sq. ft. of room at $600 per night. Too rich for my wallet.

MGM Signature Suites rank high on TripAdvisor (#8 out of 271 hotels) and offer apartment style rooms too.

MGM Signature Suites and Vdara are smoke-free properties which is a nice feature for Las Vegas hotels.

Luxor, the Las Vegas pyramid resort, looks like one of the best values. Rooms start at $43, but the real value is the low price of a suite.

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$83 for 590 square feet Pyramid King Suite at Luxor Resort.

The Deluxe Pyramid King Suite is 800 square feet at $103.

There are so many choices for great deals at the MGM properties in Las Vegas. It is tough to decide, but I need to make a reservation before we take off this morning, so we have a specific destination for tonight.

Any suggestions on where I should book?

Should I go low or should I go high in Las Vegas?

$33 for Excalibur or $105 for The Signature?

There are so many M life choices in Las Vegas for Hyatt Gold Passport credit.

 

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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25 Responses

  1. Hi Ric:

    Excalibur is kind of a dump. Signature is nice. Like having an apartment. Does not feel like you are on the Strip, though. And, depending upon which building you are in—it can be a long walk to the casino.

    Vdara, Aria, and THEhotel are all great.

    Comment by Kevin Fitzpatrick on July 17th, 2013 at 8:34 am
  2. Press event tomorrow? My understanding was that the event tomorrow in vegas is a gathering of people invited by Hyatt, both Bloggers and non Bloggers. Where were you told it was a press event?

    Comment by Jamilaq on July 17th, 2013 at 8:55 am
  3. The invite reads as follows:

    You and a guest are exclusively invited to celebrate the
    new relationship between M life and Hyatt Gold Passport in Las Vegas, July 18-19. You’ll enjoy two nights on us at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, access to your choice of exhilarating shows and the ultimate VIP treatment.

    Where did you pick up on in that email that it was a “Press Event”

    Comment by Jamilaq on July 17th, 2013 at 9:01 am
  4. I guess it is not really a press event. I assume I was invited based on my blog about hotels. I certainly am no kind of high roller. I don’t even gamble in Las Vegas. So for me this is a press event.

  5. In my searches, I found Mlife.com regularly had lower prices than Hyatt.com and did a better job of showing all the room options at once across multiple hotels (definitely something the individual resort websites don’t do).

  6. If you are actually staying there, I’d stay somewhere you want to stay. Vegas, baby! I booked Excalibur, but as a mattress run.

  7. Also, totally agree with Scott, but sometimes individual hotels have specials you may not see on mlife site, which was the case w my Excalibur reservation.

  8. Thank you for your clarification. Your article made it sound like you were receiving some special “Press Invite” when in reality the event was open to many gold passport members, not a subset of the “Blogger Press,’ Which was quite misleading.

    Comment by Jamilaq on July 17th, 2013 at 9:14 am
  9. Do Hyatt system-wide promotions (if there will be any in the future) apply to MGM stays?

  10. I am in Vegas now doing a mattress run. I found MLife to have better rates and I am doing The Hotel-Mandalay Bay-The Hotel for $79/59/79 plus resort fee. At least I only have to drag my luggage across the casino a couple of times :)

    Is the event tomorrow open to Hyatt Diamond members?

  11. I live in Vegas and would say you cannot go wrong with the Bellagio. Aria and Vdara are set back and in Citi Center and makes walking a bit difficult. Rooms in Vdara can be amazing. Skip Luxor, makes Days inn look like the Ritz. NY NY is getting very run down and Monte Carlo has construction going on right now. MGM Grand too far down on the strip and honestly too darn big.

  12. @Markj – I’d love to hear more about your mattress run, for Diamond Status renewal I presume? I tried to make the math work but just couldn’t justify the time/expense to meet my current Diamond challenge.

  13. Aria for $109! Even though it’s set back from the Strip, you can walk through the air-conditioned Crystals.

  14. BTW, make sure to check-in at the VIP room. Might be best to swing by the mLife Desk and pick up your NOIR card before checking in.

  15. There are always coupon codes available for these Vegas hotels so that should bring your rate down considerably.

  16. Probably too late by now, but given how you’re ending at the MGM Grand, I’d make that the high point. I’d certainly not want to go all out the first night in Vegas, and then slum it at the MGM Grand :) for nights two and three.

    Given that you’re starting at the Comfort Inn, I’d suggest one of the less than $80/night (MGM) hotels – which seem to be the Excalibur, Luxor, Monte Carlo, or New York, New York. That way, almost every night is better than the one before.

  17. If you are not an Advantage or a Big Gambler, then staying mid-week you should use the special codes listed in the flyertalk forums, not use your points, and avoid the Mlife trap.

    As an example, taking into account a $25/nt resort fee and staying two nights mid-week. There is a deal for a $150 resort credit, with the lowest mid-week rate of $52/nt. This nets to a $4/nt rate with the credit, and the MGM has some of the best restaurants in Vegas for using the $150 credit, and a nice pool complex.

    When staying for a California weekend (Sat-Mon) the net rate jumps to $108/nt with the credit.

    Hotwire can also be your friend.

    Comment by Jagger Foo on July 17th, 2013 at 4:42 pm
  18. I’m a veteran Vegas visitor and was thrilled to hear about the MLife/Hyatt marriage b/c I just started my diamond status challenge and with a quick Vegas trip scheduled for August, I’m “IN!” Diamond is always my best friend!

    Okay, back to your trip. Vegas room prices are all over the place depending on where you book. Stick with MLife, it really gives the best rates and at Noir, your MLife account will grow considerably with the extra points…free comp rooms will be something you can expect in the future for sure.

    Yes, Excalibur is a little dumpy. NYNY is getting slightly dumpy as well. The Signature at MGM is nice but the walk just to get somewhere is just too long for me. Mirage and Monte Carlo had some pretty nice prices recently and the hotels aren’t so bad.

    So once you start getting the comp rooms at one of the nicer hotels like MGM, grab it. Then book a room at Excalibur for the same time for the $22/night rate so you can get your Hyatt stay credits but obviously stay at the MGM.

    But new Vegas adventurers…don’t be fooled by rates, the Vegas hotels always get that extra little $$ from you somehow, it’s called “resort fee” which can range from $12-$25 or more per night…even for comped rooms…so plan wisely so you aren’t surprised. But if you gamble, you may be able to get that comped as well.

    Have fun and be lucky!!

  19. @AmyP, I don’t think Ric will get comp room offers since he doesn’t gamble. Even though he’s a NOIR cardholder, he wouldn’t have an ADT that would lead to comp offers.

  20. So how many points do you have in Mlife currently?

    Comment by JaggerFoo on July 17th, 2013 at 5:58 pm
  21. Even if you decide to go the cheaper route I’d go $43 at Luxor before going Excalibur for $10 cheaper.

  22. Sitting in THEhotel. My Noir Mlife status had absolutely no effect on this stay.

    I expected special check-in treatment like I get when I check in as Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member or SPG Gold where there is usually a comment from the receptionist thanking me for loyalty.

    Even the receptionist at Comfort Inn last night thanked me for being a Choice Privileges member. I think every hotel I stayed this past week with Marriott and IHG also thanked me for being a loyalty member.

    THEhotel suite I booked is large at 750 sq. ft.

    The bell staff, valet parking staff and other staff were polite and talkative.

  23. @JaggerFoo – When I picked up my Mlife Noir card there was my address on file from 1999 when I lived in Eureka, California.

    I imagine my points expired since then.

  24. Ric, to be honest NOIR status does nothing at check-in. I mentioned this on FT, so people don’t get upset about not getting upgrades as a Platinum also. Most (if not all) NOIRs have hosts making their reservations for them, so they’re going to get the better rooms at the time of reservation, instead of check-in.

    The only things I would look forward to as a NOIR in your situation (not a high roller or gambler that plays quite a bit) are the comp. limos to/from LAS, priority service at restaurants/taxi lines/buffets, comp. access to a few clubs/dayclubs, and check-ins in the VIP room.

  25. I am looking forward to the fast-track for buffet lines. The lines were long when we arrived last night.

    Also, I was told the $15 daily fee for the fitness room and spa access at THEhotel would be taken off my bill as Mlife Noir member.

    Surprised that fitness room access is not part of the daily $28 Resort Fee comps.

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