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Last week, Hyatt announced that a significant number of properties that participate in the World of Hyatt program will be moving categories at the end of this month. Overall, the news isn’t good, but a look at the numbers shows that how someone views the upcoming changes will probably depend on where in the world they most enjoy spending their points so the upcoming changes will almost certainly not be universally disliked.
Effective as of Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at 8:00 a.m. CDT, World of Hyatt members will see updates made to the number of points required for a free night at 372 hotels.
- All free night awards and Points + Cash redemptions booked before 8:00 am CDT on Tuesday, March 28 will follow the current Award Chart regardless of stay dates, even if the hotel is shifting to a higher award category.
- Members who have existing award or Points + Cash bookings as of 8:00 am CDT on Tuesday, March 28 for a night on or after Tuesday, March 28 at a Hyatt hotel that moved down to a lower category, will receive an automatic one-time refund on the point difference. Points will be returned to members’ accounts starting Tuesday, March 28.
- Any free night award and Points + Cash redemptions booked on or after 8:00 am CDT on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, will follow the new Award Chart.
- Once changes go into effect on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at 8:00 a.m. CDT, any adjustments made to existing reservations will follow the terms of the new Award Chart.
You can reference the Award Chart Changes FAQs here.
In total, 372 properties will be changing award categories. These properties are spilt across five regions:
- United States – 120 movers
- Africa & Middle East – 10 movers
- Asia & Pacific – 55 movers
- Canada, Caribbean and Latin America – 72 movers
- Europe – 115 movers
Of the 372 properties that will be changing award categories, 158 will be moving down at least one category (42%) while 214 will be moving up at least one category (58%).
- Only 1 property will move down by more than 1 category:
- Stonebridge Inn Colorado will move from Category 7 to Category 5
- 9 properties will move up by more than 1 category (8 will move up 2 categories & 1 will move up 3 categories):
- Hotel La Compañia – Panama – will move from Category 3 to Category 5
- Hyatt Zilara Cancun (All Inclusive) – Mexico – Category C to Category E
- Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana (All Inclusive) – Dom. Rep. – Category C to Category E
- Hyatt Ziva Cancun (All Inclusive) – Mexico –Category C to Category E
- Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana (All Inclusive) – Dom. Rep. – Category C to Category E
- Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmen (All Inclusive) – Mexico – Category C to Category E
- Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana (All Inclusive) – Dom. Rep. – Category C to Category E
- Zoëtry Casa del Mar Los Cabos (All Inclusive) – Mexico – Category C to Category E
- Secrets Impression Moxché (All Inclusive) – Mexico – Category C to Category F
Numbers affecting free night certificates
World of Hyatt members can earn free night awards by crediting elite nights to their World of Hyatt accounts and through holding and using the World of Hyatt credit card so with that in mind, these are the numbers that will interest holders of those certificates.
Category 1-7 certificates
- 28 properties will be moving up from Category 7 to Category 8
- 11 properties will be moving down from Category 8 to Category 7
Category 1-4 certificates
- 15 properties will be moving up from Category 4 to Category 5
- 33 properties will be moving down from Category 5 to Category 4
These numbers alone, however, don’t really tell the full story as some of the properties moving up and out of Category 4 and Category 7 have been long-term member favorites and for a lot of people, the properties moving in the opposite direction to take their place won’t make up for these losses.
Interesting category moves
Everyone will have their own opinion on what category moves are interesting, but for me, these are the ones that stand out.
- Grand Hyatt Bali – Category 1 to Category 2
- Hyatt Regency Bali – Category 1 to Category 2
- Tommie Austin – Category 3 to Category 4
- Andaz San Diego – Category 4 to Category 5
- Grand Hyatt Seoul – Category 4 to Category 5
- Hyatt Regency Amsterdam – Category 4 to Category 5
- Park Hyatt Saigon – Category 4 to Category 5
- Andaz London Liverpool Street – Category 5 to Category 6
- Andaz West Hollywood – Category 5 to Category 6
- Andaz Costa Rica – Category 5 to Category 6
- Park Hyatt Dubai – Category 5 to Category 6
- Park Hyatt Bangkok – Category 5 to Category 6
- Grand Hyatt Kauai – Category 6 to Category 7
- Hyatt Regency Aruba – Category 6 to Category 7
- Hyatt Regency Maui – Category 6 to Category 7
- Park Hyatt Aviara – Category 6 to Category 7
- Park Hyatt Vienna – Category 6 to Category 7
- 7Pines Resort Sardinia – Category 7 to Category 8
- Alila Marea Beach Encinitas – Category 7 to Category 8
- Carmel Valley Ranch – Category 7 to Category 8
- Hyatt Carmel Highlands – Category 7 to Category 8
- Hyatt Centric Key West – Category 7 to Category 8
- Park Hyatt Beaver Creek – Category 7 to Category 8
I don’t intend to give a long commentary on the properties I’ve listed out above, but I think that it’s worth mentioning that I don’t recall another set of Hyatt hotel category changes that included this many popular properties moving up in the category ladder.
- El Capitan Hotel (California) – Category 3 to Category 2
- Hyatt Place Kyoto – Category 4 to Category 3
- Hyatt Place Washington D.C. – Category 4 to Category 3
- Hyatt Regency Cologne – Category 5 to Category 4
- Thompson Washington D.C. – Category 5 to Category 4
- Flemings Mayfair (UK) – Category 6 to Category 5
- Hyatt Regency Kyoto – Category 6 to Category 5
- The Inn at English Harbour (Antigua) – Category 8 to Category 7
I guess the most notable thing that comes out from the list above is just how few of the downwardly moving properties I consider to be interesting or notable.
Where a good number of the properties moving up a category will be recognized by a significant number of World of Hyatt fans, I suspect that a lot of the properties moving down a category will be less well known.
A few other things…
In the United States, there are two key things that stand out.
Firstly, while 93 properties are moving up one or more categories, just 27 are moving down. That will probably mean that it will be those of us who spend most of our points at properties in the US that will feel most of the pain from these category moves.
Secondly, California has taken quite the beating.
- While 23 California properties are moving up at least one Category, just 4 properties are moving down.
- California is getting 4 new Category 7 properties and two new Category 8 properties
- With the Andaz San Diego moving from Category 4 to Category 5, Californians are losing a key property at which a Category 1-4 free night certificate can be used.
Also, and I appreciate that this isn’t strictly a numbers thing, I have to point out that the fact that the Hyatt Centric Key West will soon be a Category 8 property is laughable. The location may be nice, but from what I’ve seen the property is very, very ordinary. You’d have to be nuts to spend up to 45,000 points/night for a standard room here.
In Asia, it’s interesting to see that out of the 6 properties in Japan that are changing categories, 5 are moving down. That’s good news for any Hyatt fans planning to Visit Japan this year.
In Latin America, most of the movers belong to Hyatt’s all inclusive portfolio (46 of the 72 movers are AI resorts) and of these, 9 are moving up by 2 or more Categories. Ouch!
In Europe, where 31% of all the properties moving categories are to be found, 65% of the movers will be moving down a category.
That may seem pretty remarkable considering the way European hotel prices have been going up over the past year, but this can be explained by the fact that the overwhelming majority of European properties that are moving down a category are SLH properties which have been overvalued (in the World of Hyatt charts) for far too long.
- The UK will be seeing a lot of movers (22) and all but 2 are downwards (mostly SLH properties).
- 17 of the 28 properties that Hyatt is moving into Category 8 are in Europe:
- Italy – 6
- Switzerland – 3
- Greece -2
- France – 2
- Spain – 2
- Croatia and Montenegro – 1
For those of us with Category 1-4 free night certificates to burn, it’s also worth noting that 18 European properties are moving from Category 5 to Category 4 while only 3 European properties are moving from Category 4 to Category 5.
Clearly, most of us would probably like to see the status quo remain, but as that’s simply not going to happen, I think it’s important to be realistic here and to concede that we can’t really give this set of category changes a single label like “disastrous”, “brutal”, “fair” or “acceptable”.
Because of how significantly the category changes vary from region to region, different people will have different views on what these changes represent.
If you usually spend most of your Hyatt points in the US, this is probably going to be a pretty painful set of hotel category moves that is coming our way, but if you’re more likely to find yourself spending your points in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, or Asia, things probably don’t look quite so bad.
Overall, however, this is still very clearly a World of Hyatt devaluation, so it’s just the severity of the devaluation that’s really up for debate.
Featured image: Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas courtesy of Hyatt