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I was genuinely excited when I found out that the Hyatt hotel chain was entering into the home rental market. Any chance to earn Hyatt points and status credit sounds good to me! However I haven’t seen any blogger write about trying Oasis out, so this post is intended to rectify that situation.
The Booking Process
Browsing for a home to rent is pretty straightforward, assuming you are looking to stay in one of the 20 cities covered by Oasis Collections. I needed somewhere to stay in Buenos Aires, so I decided to give Oasis a try.
Once you’ve found your dream home, you will jump into a time machine and head back to the 1990s. You have the option of a webchat, calling an agent, or making an online booking request. All three options will ultimately lead you to a back-and-forth negotiation via email about the actual availability of the home you requested.
In my case, I clearly felt that I was being “upsold”, as I was informed that they were “checking availability” but that I could confirm one of a handful of alternative options (all much more expensive…).
After I realised a few days later that “checking availability” was a euphemism for “the availability calendar isn’t actually real”, I chose a different one and repeated the email process of confirming availability. Once that was finally agreed, I was then asked to click on a link that took me to make payment. Booking an Oasis home is not for the faint-hearted. 100% was due up front (months in advance), with only 50% of that refundable provided that I cancelled more than 10 days before arrival.
To make matters worse, I am not quite sure where Oasis Collections is based, but my credit card provider certainly didn’t appreciate being asked to approve a £1,200+ charge from some strange land. A different credit card worked fine.
After a few days, I was required to electronically sign a rental contract for my month-long stay in Buenos Aires.
The Check-In Process
A few days before arrival, Oasis got in touch to confirm my flight details, so that somebody would be waiting in the flat to let me in. Astonishingly, I had to reply with a request that they might actually want to provide me with the exact address of the flat.
Upon arrival at the building – thankfully there was a porter on duty – we discovered that I had been given the wrong flat number! Luckily this was mostly just an inconvenience to the woman living in the flat we buzzed two or three times, and we eventually figured out where I was supposed to go. I am not sure whether the porter would have had enough English to manage if I wasn’t fluent in Spanish…
Once inside the flat, I was given the keys and a quick tour; the local Oasis rep left shortly thereafter.
The Oasis website sounds impressive enough…
The reality was rather different. A lady did come once a week to change the sheets and towels. Dusting, sweeping, hoovering, taking out the trash, cleaning the kitchen/bathroom, or even replacing those little shampoo bottles… none of that was included. Definitely not “hotel standards”, not even 2-star standards…
The kitchen was lacking most of the utensils that one might require to do actually do some cooking. The most criminal oversight? No corkscrew to open those bottles of Argentine Malbec that you are surely there to enjoy…
That speedy (free) WiFi? Not working… although the Oasis rep did suggest that I could wander next door to a hotel and ask to use their wifi. After three days I made it clear that they would need to find me alternative accommodation if they couldn’t fix the internet, and a miracle did indeed eventually occur… (although the technician showed up two weeks later)
I definitely missed those “lame hotel gyms” because “we hook you up with the best fitness studios” actually means being told that “you have a fitness centre around the corner that you can pay for”. I decidedly prefer those hotel gyms where the machines are always available because nobody else is using them, and nobody asks me to pay or bring my own towel…
And I was certainly welcomed to the “private club” to pay for dinner or a special exhibition, as long as I emailed in advance. Not exactly the executive lounge at a nice hotel…
So Was There Anything Positive?
I definitely paid more for my Buenos Aires flat than an equivalent from Airbnb would have cost. But I was able to take advantage of a 1,000 point per night promotion I wrote about a few months ago.
So there’s the happy ending to this story… 30 relatively cheap elite qualifying nights from World of Hyatt, along with 41,000 points worth £500-£550.
If you are a big Hyatt fan, and value the opportunity to pick up elite status credit in cities without a Hyatt hotel present, then Oasis Collections might be worth trying out. If not… well… Airbnb just does it better and more cost-effectively…