A couple months ago I wrote about the forced postponement of our Grand Hyatt Baha Mar reservation due to the hotel’s delayed opening. At the time I praised Hyatt’s generosity in compensating reservation holders for the hassle endured. As I was assured by Hyatt that the hotel would open in September, we re-booked for November, figuring that extra buffer of a couple months eliminated any chance of another issue.
Well, Hyatt just sent me an email notification that the hotel will not be open by November and for that reason they’re canceling my reservation (again). It’s hard to believe this resort’s opening has been screwed up this bad. Though it was originally slated to open in December 2014, the resort is mired in bankruptcy proceedings and court battles, and there is no definitive opening date in sight.
Whereas Hyatt was extremely generous towards holders of affected reservations earlier this year, they seem to have become a lot stingier at this time. This latest round of hotel booking cancellations was accompanied by the news that the only standard compensation that will be offered is a refund of airline ticket cancellation fees, up to $300 per guest.
Here is the full text of the latest communication:
Thank you for choosing Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar. We certainly understand the importance of vacations and appreciate your choice of Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar. As you may be aware, the ownership entity of the Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas, Baha Mar Convention Hotel Company Ltd. (Owner), recently filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States bankruptcy code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Unfortunately, this means that the opening of the Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar hotel will be delayed due to the bankruptcy filing. At this time, we have not received confirmation of the Hotel opening date, but we are hopeful the Owner of the resort will resolve the issues that resulted in the bankruptcy filing so the Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar hotel soon can be fully operational.
In the meantime, because we cannot predict the timing of the Owner’s bankruptcy resolution, we believe it would be in your best interest to re-schedule your upcoming reservation at an alternate location in order to minimize the inconvenience to you. We realize this situation may cause you airfare penalties for rescheduling and we will reimburse you up to $300.00 per person on your reservation for cancellation fees and non-refundable airfare.
You will receive a cancellation notice from us for your reservation in the upcoming days due to this situation. If you need assistance with alternate accommodation options or with the airfare compensation please contact Hyatt Guest Services at your earliest convenience at 888-848-9496.
Again, our sincere apologies for this inconvenience and on behalf of the entire Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar Team thank you for your understanding.
When I spoke on the phone with a Hyatt representative she commented that Hyatt couldn’t offer compensation other than the airfare fee refunds due to the bankruptcy filing. I stated that of course Hyatt can offer goodwill compensation whether they’re required to or not and she then implied that the previous compensation provided by Hyatt was covered financially by the developers, and that at this point that well has dried up.
Since speaking with Hyatt I have seen one report on FlyerTalk of someone getting points awarded within the past couple days for the cancellation hassle. So hope is not completely lost for those going through this for the first time. You may be able to get some points awarded but it appears you’ll have to really push this time around. Because we were already generously compensated with the first cancellation I don’t know that I’ll push for any further compensation, even knowing that there might be some chance of it.
With this latest development, Patty and I decided to put our Baha Mar plans on hold indefinitely and instead explore alternate arrangements elsewhere in the Caribbean. We didn’t even bother attempting to get additional compensation for our airfare as we booked our flights using (refundable) Southwest Rapid Rewards points and we had been previously compensated for them. If/when the resort opens, maybe then we’ll consider making a booking but it won’t be before then, as there are plenty of other great places to visit with lodging without these sort of hassles.