I've never been that excited about hotel status or hotel upgrades. It's just a room, and a suite is just a bigger room - sometimes an apartment. Generally when my travel includes a hotel stay I'm usually working at a client site, visiting friends, or seeing the city. However, sometimes it's nice to have the points available to redeem at some of the great properties around the world including the Park Hyatt Tokyo, Hyatt Regency London and Grand Hyatt Santiago. And for that, having top status helps to earn more points faster.
As with many other programs, if you have status with one hotel chain you can often "challenge" to the same status at a new chain. Hyatt offers a trial to their Diamond level. If you have Priority Club Platinum Status, Marriott Gold or Platinum, SPG Platinum status, or Hilton Gold or Diamond status you can sign up for the Hyatt Diamond trial. To fulfill the challenge you need to stay at least 12 nights within 60 days. In general, signing up is quick (usually under 24 hours) so I'd suggest waiting until close to your first stay so you have the full sixty days.
The nice thing about this challenge, is you are given Diamond status immediately. With Diamond status comes 4 suite upgrades that you can use on paid stays (not point redemptions). In addition, if you do the status match in the second half of the year, the status is good for all of next year as well. In addition to a 30% bonus on points, Diamond members are upgraded to the best available non-suite room. Diamonds also get a welcome bonus: either additional points or a small item like a free drink or snack. Diamonds also have access to the Regency Club or if the hotel does not have a club, many offer a free breakfast instead.
Since I'm new to the program and only have a handful of non Hyatt Place stays, I'm not sure how often the "free upgrade" really manifests itself as anything interesting. My four stays resulted in two corner rooms, one queen suite that was really just a very large single room and one regular plain jane room.
Oddly, every Hyatt I stayed at had plumbing issues. From the leaky knob at the Hyatt Denver to the sideways spraying shower head in Florida to the faucet that fell like it was about to fall off in Long Beach. In addition, Hyatt stocks shampoo and soap that has the scent of cat pee. I find it very unpleasant. So I've added a small shampoo and body wash to my 3 oz or less collection. Am I the only one that can't stand that smell? (Ben reports that new soaps are on the way - anyone tried them yet?)
As a new Diamond, I'd be curious what other Diamonds have experienced and what I should expect. Have the upgrade certificates been hard to use?