All About Las Vegas: Hyatt mattress run towards Globalist status at Rio Hotel & Casino (Part One)

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We finally made our way back to Las Vegas. And if I’m being honest, we do not gamble. We do not party. We didn’t have a convention or had an event to go to. So why go to Vegas? Let’s slice and dice this. This is a two-part write up.

  • Part One:
    • Earn Hyatt qualifying nights that will count towards extending our Hyatt Globalist status
    • The connection with staying at Rio Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
  • Part Two:
    • Casino status match
      • Earn top tier casino status
      • Earn dining and spa credit
      • Free parking
      • And many other benefits

Earning top Las Vegas casino status match WITHOUT gambling (Part Two)

So for this entry, let’s focus on our quest to extend or requalify for Hyatt Globalist by earning qualifying nights at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Earn Hyatt qualifying nights

We are current Hyatt Globalists, a top tier elite status with Hyatt that gives us the following perks:

  • Complimentary room or suite upgrade when available
  • Late 4pm checkout when available
  • Free breakfast up to 4 guests (2 adults, 2 children)
  • Waived resort fees
  • Free parking

These are the known perks that we value quite a bit. We have been Hyatt Globalists for the past few years and have taken advantage of many of these perks. The challenge though is to maintain or earn the status. To be a Hyatt Globalist, this status is NOT earned by signing up for a credit card. One would need to complete 60 qualifying nights during a calendar year. To the seasoned travelers, to those who travel for work quite a bit – this is easy peasy. But that’s not exactly an easy feat for many others. 60 nights per year is about 5 hotel nights per month. Not many spend 5 nights per month in a hotel, what more with 60 nights per year.

However, in the past few years, we have easily met the required number of 60 nights through organic stays. Many of our vacations and staycations were spent in Hyatt properties. In 2023 alone, we exceeded the 60 nights when reached close to 80 nights of stays with Hyatt.

In 2024, however, we’ve had a bit of a challenge. Our personal lives were quite busy and we haven’t really had many vacations in early 2024. As of the end of May, we’ve only had 15 qualifying nights with Hyatt. Therefore, we’ve got a ways to go to get to 60 nights.

How long do you keep your Hyatt Globalist status

Once you meet the required 60 nights (let’s say we meet the 60 nights by August 1, 2024), we will have Hyatt Globalist status for the remainder of 2024, all of 2025 through February 2026. This is what we are currently working on – to get our current Globalist status re-extended through February 2026.

What does Rio Hotel & Casino in Vegas have to do with Hyatt

So, what’s the Vegas connection here? Rio Hotel in Las Vegas is now part of the Hyatt family. So what? What’s the big deal? When timed properly, you could book a night at the Rio in the $20 range. And so what? What about all the other fees? Vegas is known for charging crazy fees. How does being a Hyatt Globalist help?

If you are a Hyatt Globalist, and you book your stay at the Rio using the Hyatt app or Hyatt website, you will receive the following benefits:

  • FREE parking – valet or self-parking
  • FREE breakfast for up to 4 guests at Hash House A Go Go – onsite restaurant – gratuity included
  • FREE upgrade to a renovated room or suite when available
  • FREE two bottled water daily
  • Late 4pm checkout when available
  • Waived resort fees ($45.35 value incl. resort fee tax)

NOTE: Booking directly using the Rio website or other travel sites will NOT give you Hyatt Globalist perks towards your stay.

For our most recent stay, we found a few nights for $25 per night, and we didn’t have to worry about all the other fees or charges I mentioned above. At $25 per night, that easily earned us 1 qualifying night per night. So multiply that with a few more nights for our booking, we easily racked up additional qualifying nights that could help us as we worked towards re-extending our Hyatt Globalist status.

But why stay at the Rio to get Hyatt Globalist status

For clarification, staying at the Rio Hotel & Casino is NOT the only property that will get us to Hyatt Globalist status. In reaching the required number of 60 nights to become Globalist, we could stay at the cheapest or the most expensive Hyatt property. However, one night at the Rio for $25 will earn us a qualifying night, the same way that it would if we stayed at a swanky and luxurious Park Hyatt property that charges $2,000 per night. A qualifying night earned is a qualifying night earned. In addition, we could also stay at any Hyatt property using Hyatt points, but the $25 rate per night at the Rio is cheap, that it made more sense for us to earn these qualifying nights in the most inexpensive way possible (cash or points).

Is this what they call “mattress run”

If you’ve heard this term – mattress run – yes, this is a mattress run. It’s a way of us staying at properties for the sake of earning the qualifying nights that would count towards earning top tier status. Some folks would drive or fly to different states, cities, or even countries that charge very few points or low cash rates just so they could earn or re-extend their top tier elite status.

Mattress run when it makes sense. What do I mean by that? Make sure the math adds up correctly for you. Find the properties that charge low rates (cash or points). Many road warriors would book a series of mattress runs and make a little vacation out of it, where they could work remotely, earn qualifying nights at the same time.

Our stay at the Rio – paying $25 per night vs 12,000 Hyatt points per night

Once we learned about the new relationship between Hyatt and Rio, we began searching for different dates when we could book at the Rio. And to be very specific, we searched for low-priced cash-priced dates that would work for us so we could fly or drive to Vegas, stay a few days, and easily earn qualifying nights.

We found a few days in the Spring, and later in the Fall and early winter in the $20 range. So we just booked those dates as placeholder dates without having real plans. We could’ve also booked using points, but a standard room at the Rio using Hyatt points is 12,000 points per night. I value Hyatt points at 2 cents per points, so 12,000 points, for me, is worth at least $240. Why should I shell out 12,000 points that I value at least $240, when I could pay around $25 per night.

Rio check in process

We arrived quite late, it was already past midnight when we got to the hotel. We knew there was a VIP room  where Hyatt Globalists could go and check in.

VIP Registration – Rio Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

But the front desk was not packed at all when we arrived after midnight, and we were assisted rather quickly by Liliana. She welcomed us, acknowledged our Hyatt Globalist status, and informed that she gave us a high floor “renovated” room that was facing the Las Vegas Strip. She handed us two bottled water, and gave us a few more details about our Globalist perks at the Rio.

Front Desk Registration

Our room did not look like a “renovated” room

I kept hearing the word “renovated” when other Hyatt Globalists checked in at the Rio. It was a generous upgrade to be given a renovated room. This was our first visit or stay at the Rio, and when we walked in to our room on the 20th floor of the Ipanema Tower, we questioned ourselves. “Is this a renovated room?” I mean, it was clean, smelled good, and all but it looked dated. Perhaps a decor from 20+ years ago. Honestly though, there was NOTHING wrong with this room. We had great views facing the Las Vegas Strip, and right below were the pools at the Rio. We didn’t bother to call the front desk anymore to question the room we were given. It was already past 1 am…and we were tired. We slept like a log.

The non-renovated room – Rio Hotel & Casino
Views from our room – Rio Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

I got up early that morning, I had work to do. Around 7am, I called the front desk and I asked if we were given a renovated room. One of the managers spoke with me, and informed me that our room was renovated. I said, I looked at your website for pictures of your renovated room, and this room did not look like one of the renovate rooms. I then asked, could you describe the color of the sofa in a renovated room? Light grey she said. I said, “our sofa is dark green.” She then said, “I apologize. That’s not a renovated room. I’ll send a bell man to help you with your luggage and give you new keys. I will give you another room, also with the same view of the Strip.”

With 7 hours from our early morning check-in, we moved to another room, a renovated room. I walked in, and immediately noticed the difference in the furniture color, headboard. The bathroom was smaller. There was no jetted tub, unlike our other room. No big deal. We had no plans to use the tub. The bathroom lighting also didn’t seem that bright, but it worked. It was clean, that’s all we really cared about.

Our new room had one king bed, and a sofa sleeper. There was a counter-height round table, and that’s where I placed my laptop to work. I could see the Strip, the pools, and the 15 Freeway from our room. We were happy with our new room.

 

Hash House A Go Go – FREE Breakfast for Hyatt Globalists

One of the great perks as Hyatt Globalists is the FREE breakfast. Up to 4 guests staying in the same room could get the free breakfast. This is for two adults and two children. Tip/Gratuity is also included with this benefit.

For the Rio Hotel, however, there has been a huge contention with this benefit at Hash House. When Rio and Hyatt started this partnership, Globalists were able to order from the regular menu from the Hash House. However, there has been lots of discussion where this benefit was being abused, and the menu had since been modified for Hyatt Globalists when they go to Hash House A Go Go.

As of this writing (May 30, 2024), we were able to order from their modified menu. Each guest could get:

  • 1 entree (or main item)
  • 1 hot drink
  • 1 cold drink

Basic Breakfast - Hash House A Go Go

Healthy Start Breakfast - Hash House A Go Go

Nancy and I ordered the Basic Breakfast and Healthy Start, along with cranberry juice, orange juice, and two cups of coffee. There really wasn’t a whole lot of variation. Was it the greatest breakfast in the history of breakfast meals? No. Was it good enough to jump start our day….YES. We had an option to add items from the “regular” menu, but frankly, we didn’t see a reason to pay anything more than what we needed to eat. Breakfast is breakfast and what we had was good enough.

Overall impression of the Rio

Let’s go with what I do not like. Well, this one is a given. I guess one reason why we don’t go to Vegas that much is because of the smell of cigarette smoke when you walk by the casino. Yes, I expected this. In the grand scheme of things, the smoky smell was only expected in the ground floor at these casinos. And it’s kind of a “given” – I did expect to smell the smoke. I only noticed it when we walked in, and as we made our way to the elevator to go to our room, and as we walked towards Hash House A Go Go. Was the smoky smell a dealbreaker for me? No. Again, I expected this since this is quite standard for a hotel with a casino. Nothing much I can do with this.

For this particular visit, we really just needed a place to sleep, for me to work, and shower. And our rooms (yes the renovated room, and the non-renovated room that we were given initially) both rooms were clean, roomy, the A/C worked well. The Wi-Fi was decent, it worked with what I needed. There was a small fridge for our bottled water. The shower had a great water pressure with hot water….yes, that’s all we needed. Everything else was icing on the cake – the free breakfast, the waived resort fees, the free parking.

Would we stay at the Rio again?

No Vegas pun intended. You bet! Our kids will enjoy the space, appreciate the breakfast, and will have access to the pool.

Rio Hotel & Casino Las Vegas – Pool Area

Who will probably NOT appreciate staying at the Rio Hotel?

If you are expecting a super luxurious hotel or resort, this is not the property. If you need to be walking distance to all the other casinos, this is not the property for you. If you need to stay in a newer property, despite Rio’s recent renovation, the hotel is still quite dated so if you need a newer, fancier property, stay elsewhere.

But if you just need a very decent place to stay, this property worked very well for us. If you need to do a Hyatt mattress run, this is a great option.

 

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Editorial Disclosure – The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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