I wrote about this free service a couple of years ago, but wanted to write about it once again, as I just scored huge value with it yesterday (and full disclosure — I just find this service to be useful, and don’t even know anyone who works at the company).
The value in “Open Hotel Alert”
As anyone who collects hotel points knows, finding hotel reward nights is typically much easier than finding saver level award flights.
At least in the case of Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt, they have true “no blackout date” policies, where you can redeem points for any standard room that can be booked with cash (meanwhile IHG Rewards Club and Marriott Bonvoy don’t make all standard rooms available as awards).
This really isn’t that restrictive, though I also know that I’ve found myself in countless situations where I wanted to redeem points at a hotel, only to find they didn’t have availability. Maybe they only had premium rooms, or maybe the hotel was sold out completely.
The thing is, award rooms almost always open up closer to the arrival date, as people cancel. You just have to be really persistent.
The good news is that there’s a free site that can help with that. Open Hotel Alert will alert you when a room opens up at a hotel (you can either set it so that it will let you know if any room opens up, or you can set it so it only alerts you if a specific room type opens up).
While this is also intended for revenue stays, for us the best use will probably be on award stay.
Use this to monitor for standard rooms
Say you want to redeem points at the Park Hyatt Paris over a period where a standard room currently isn’t showing — for example, I picked dates where a “1 King Bed Deluxe” is the most basic room type, and that doesn’t qualify as a standard room.
If you wanted to redeem points here you’d need for there to be a 1 Queen Bed or 2 Twin Beds room.
So that’s where Open Hotel Alert can help. You can select the hotel, and then select your check-in and check-out date.
It will display availability for the room types that are available, and will offer to alert you for the room types that aren’t available. If a room isn’t available, click any of the “Alert Me” buttons.
Then you’ll be able to select which room type you want to be alerted about. Just provide your phone number and email address, and they can text and/or email you when that room type opens up.
Use this to monitor for Hyatt suite upgrades
While this is great for standard rooms, it can also be valuable for Hyatt suite upgrades. Globalist members receive four confirmed suite upgrades per year, which can be used to confirm a suite upgrade at the time of booking, assuming it’s available.
Ford and I are headed to the Park Hyatt Kyoto in a few weeks, and we redeemed points for a stay In a standard room. We wanted to confirm a suite upgrade, but no standard suites were available at booking. I set an alert with Open Hotel Alert, and yesterday got an alert that a Park Suite opened for my dates.
I applied a suite upgrade, and now we’re confirmed in a Park Suite. Yay!
This just helped me confirm a suite at the Park Hyatt Kyoto
What is Open Hotel Alert’s business model?
In case you’re wondering how it’s possible that they can do this, they explain their business model on their FAQs page:
This is a wonderful service. How can it be free?
We are able to provide our service at no cost to travelers because we earn a commission when travelers book rooms using our service.
Essentially if you do end up booking a hotel, you can follow their link to booking.com, and then they’ll get a commission.
Unfortunately they won’t be making any money off of those of us who are just trying to find award nights or upgrades.
I wrote about Open Hotel Alert a couple of years ago, and since then, I’d say I’ve probably successfully booked half a dozen awards (either for standard rooms or upgrades) thanks to them.
For example, just recently I’ve used this to find standard room availability at the Park Hyatt Paris, Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, Alila Ventana Big Sur, and to confirm a suite upgrade at the Park Hyatt Kyoto.
If you haven’t yet used this site, it’s definitely worth being aware of.
Has anyone used Open Hotel Alert, or a similar site?