Hyatt’s World of Hyatt program announced their annual hotel category changes today. These are the hotels that will be moving up or down in the eight categories that the program has. It is not a change to the actual categories or points requirements themselves as those stay the same. Overall the program will see 146 hotels changing worldwide, 70 will be moving to a higher category (69 move up one, 1 hotel moves up two categories) while 76 will move down in their categories. Here in Canada we have two of the current 16 hotels falling into those 70 hotels that are moving up.
The hotels here in Canada that are affected are the Walper Hotel, which just joined the Hyatt family last year and it moves up to a Category 2 hotel from Category 1. This means a standard award night will now cost 8,000 points here instead of 5,000. Next is Spirit Ridge in Osoyoos, B.C., this resort hotel is moving up from Category 3 to Category 4 and will be 15,000 points per night for a standard award night versus the previous 12,000. All other locations remain unchanged.
There are some big changes of note however and even Hyatt was up front about it with us:
Nine Hyatt properties will move into Category 8, which has historically included Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) hotels and Destination by Hyatt residences.
There are some Hyatt properties that are moving into the highest category which as Hyatt points out was historically for the select SLH Hotels and residences. We now see some high end Hyatt move into that category as well and they are:
- Alila Napa Valley
- Alila Ventana Big Sur
- Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
- Park Hyatt New York
- Park Hyatt Kyoto
- Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono
- Park Hyatt Sydney
- Hotel Lou Pinet
- Park Hyatt Milan
- Park Hyatt Paris Vendome
If any of these ten locations have been on your wish list you do have some time to lock in the previous category pricing. Here are the details of when the category changes will take place and what happens if you book now or wait:
- All free night award and Points + Cash redemptions booked before 8:00 am CDT on Tuesday, March 22 will follow the current Award Chart regardless of stay dates, even if the hotel is shifting to a higher award category.
- Any free night award and Points + Cash redemptions booked on or after 8:00 am CDT on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, will follow the new Award Chart.
- Members who have existing award bookings as of 8:00 am CDT on Tuesday, March 22 for a night on or after Tuesday, March 22 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 Thursday, March 23.
- Once changes go into effect on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. CDT, any adjustments made to existing reservations will follow the terms of the new Award Chart.
This is the same we see from Hyatt each year, if you book a hotel that is moving up in a category right now you can lock it in a lower price and not charge you the increased price. However, for hotels going down you don’t have to wait like other programs to get the lower points requirement. You can still book now and Hyatt will refund you the points difference. This has always been one of the better customer service aspects from Hyatt in that regard.
Wrapping it up
Looking at the big picture these changes aren’t too bad as you actually
have more hotels going down in price and we only see very slight changes here in Canada. However you have those ten key
properties that are on a lot of traveller’s radars that just moved up to
highest level. If you think about what a Category 7 hotel cost before
the introduction of Hyatt’s Off Peak and Peak pricing and then that
hotel moves up to Category you could be paying as much as 15,000 more
points per night (30,000 previous to 45,000 now) at these locations. That’s a big shift in points requirement. On the flip side the same thing could be said for hotels going down like the Trident Hotel in Jamaica moving from Category 8 to 7. I guess it’s whether you look at the glass as half full or half empty.
Image via Hyatt