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We’re just three days aways from seeing Hyatt’s 2019 Hotel category changes kick in so I thought this would be an opportune moment to recap the changes we’ll be seeing and to remind readers to book any properties that will be going up in cost before Monday.
The best place to start the recap is with the Hyatt award chart….so here it is (excluding Category 8 SLH properties):
- 259 Hyatt properties will see the cost of an award night change from 18 March 2019
- 130 properties will be increasing the cost of an award night
- 129 properties will be decreasing the cost of an award night
- No property appears to be moving by more than one category
- 150 US properties will see the cost of an award night change from 18 March 2019
Of the properties moving up a category….
- 9 are Park Hyatt properties
- 5 are Andaz properties
- 4 are Grand Hyatt properties
- 4 will be moving up to top-tier Category 7 costing 30,000 points/night
- 14 will be moving up to Category 6 costing 25,000 point/night
Of the properties moving down a category….
- 4 are Park Hyatt properties
- 6 are Andaz properties
- 14 are Grand Hyatt properties
- None will be moving down from Category 7 to Category 6
- 6 will be moving down to Category 5 costing 20,000 point/night
With 259 properties changing categories there are simply too many to go through each individually so, based on nothing but my best guess, here are a few of the properties changing category that I think readers may be interested in.
Moving Up A Category….
- The Andaz Costa Rica is moving up to Category 5 (20,000 points/Night)
- The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is moving up to Category 7 (30,000 points/Night)
- The Andaz Napa is moving up to Category 6 (25,000 points/Night)
- The Grand Hyatt DFW is moving up to Category 5 (20,000 points/Night)
- The Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco is moving up to Category 5 (20,000 points/Night)
- The Hyatt Centric South Beach is moving up to Category 5 (20,000 points/Night)
- The Hyatt Regency Amsterdam is moving up to Category 5 (20,000 points/Night)
- The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa is moving up to Category 6 (25,000 points/Night)
- The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi is moving up to Category 6 (25,000 points/Night)
- The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is moving up to Category 7 (30,000 points/Night)
- The Park Hyatt Mallorca is moving up to Category 6 (25,000 points/Night)
- The Park Hyatt Seoul is moving up to Category 6 (25,000 points/Night)
There are a few ‘no surprise’ movers here, a few ‘oh nos’ and one or two ‘who cares?’ as well.
The Andaz Maui is a property that I wouldn’t ever bother visiting based on a few things:
- The reviews (which are mixed at best)
- The resort fees (obnoxious and abhorrent)
- Compulsory valet parking (ridiculous)
- The games it plays with award availability
Based on those four points the fact that the property is moving up to Hyatt’s top-tier is really no big deal to me at all.
The Park Hyatt Maldives is such an aspirational property within the World of Hyatt and so often mentioned as a ‘great use of points’ that I’m surprised it’s only now being moved up to Hyatt’s top-tier long.
The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi is a beautiful property and was cheap at 20,000 points per night….
….and the same can be said for the Park Hyatt Mallorca too so it’s no surprise to see both of these properties move up to Category 6.
The Andaz Costa Rica has long been a favorite for families to visit and I know of quite a few people who speak highly of the property. At 15,000 points/night it could be a steal at times when prices were high so it’s a shame to see the cost of an award increase to 20,000 points/night…but that may still be a good deal most of the year round.
The biggest disappointments here are seeing the Grand Hyatt DFW (great for layovers and for times when irregular operations/aircraft issues leave you stranded), The Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf (good location) and the Hyatt Centric South Beach move up in category as each offered good value at their existing rates (although the Hyatt Centric South Beach does insist on charging ridiculous resort fees).
Moving Down A Category….
- The Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi is moving down to Category 2 (8,000 points/Night)
- The Andaz London Liverpool Street is moving down to Category 5 (20,000 points/Night)
- The Andaz San Diego is moving down to Category 4 (15,000 points/Night)
- The Andaz Singapore is moving down to Category 5 (20,000 points/Night)
- The Andaz Wall Street is moving down to Category 5 (20,000 points/Night)
- The Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo is moving down to Category 3 (12,000 points/Night)
- The Hyatt Place London Heathrow is moving down to Category 2 (8,000 points/Night)
- The Hyatt Regency Chicago is moving down to Category 3 (12,000 points/Night)
- The Park Hyatt Siem Reap is moving down to Category 3 (12,000 points/Night)
There’s actually quite a bit of good news here and there are a few properties I’m surprised to see moving down a category.
Both the Andaz Capital Gate and the Hyatt Place London Heathrow are very convenient for overnight layovers due to their proximity to the local airport and, at 8,000 points/night can offer excellent value for times when cash prices are high.
I’m amazed to see the Andaz London Liverpool Street come down to 20,000 points/night and this brings the property right back into my scope of interest when looking for somewhere to stay in the center of London – this is great news.
Likewise I’m very surprised to see the Andaz Wall Street moving down to Category 5 as, despite the often reasonably weekends rates, midweek prices can be high here – 20,000 points/night could offer a lot of value for a very nice property.
I’m not particularly surprised to see the Andaz Singapore drop down to Category 5 as I’ve always thought it was on the expensive side at 25,000 points/night (there are many other hotels which are better located and which offered better value) – the Conrad Singapore being a great example.
The Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo (reviewed here) is a bargain at 12,000 points/night. It may not have the most central of locations but the property is nice, the staff are very friendly and the breakfasts are great.
The Andaz San Diego is another property which, at its new nightly rate of 15,000 points/night, is now looking like a very good option for anyone visiting SoCal. It’s located within the popular Gaslamp District, room rates during busier times are often pushing $450 (after taxes) and suite upgrades are easy to score (for top-tier members) so this could be a very good place at which to burn some points.
Credit Card “Free Night Awards”
Both the Hyatt Credit Card and the World of Hyatt Credit Card offer “free night award” certificates which can be used at properties in Category 1 through Category 4.
In this latest set of hotel category changes there are 18 properties moving up from Category 4 to Category 5 while only 12 properties are moving down from Category 5 to Category 4 – holders of the two Chase Hyatt credit cards will soon have 6 fewer properties at which their free night certificates can be used.
The net change is actually not all that bad but it’s a little disappointing that 5 of the properties I highlighted as being notable for going up a category will now no longer be available to certificate holders while only one of the notable properties moving down a category (the Andaz San Diego) will now be open for free night certificate redemptions.
As I said when Hyatt first released its 2019 hotel category changes, this news could have been a lot worse than it is and compared to what we’ve seen from IHG and Marriott I think we can say that Hyatt has let us off lightly.
Yes, there are a few very popular/much discussed properties where award nights will soon cost more but there are also a few very nice properties that will soon be cheaper and even more that haven’t been touched in this reshuffle.
Considering how badly IHG and Marriott have been devaluing their awards recently Hyatt is coming out of this looking remarkably good and, more importantly, the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points is being upheld because there’s not much here that constitutes a serious devaluation.
Overall I’m pretty happy with how this has played out – I may be disappointed with a few of the movers but I expected the news to be a lot worse.