The Hyatt Place in St. Petersburg downtown area (Florida) has always been one of those hidden gem properties in the Hyatt award chart. It has been a category 1 property for awhile (thus costing only 5,000 points for a free night) and is in an awesome location. While it is not a “resort” property, it is still walking distance to everything and has a pool. While I’ve never personally stayed at this property, it has been on my radar based on great recommendations from friends and such an incredible value.
Unfortunately though, that is about to change. As of 9am EST this morning, this property is now a category 3, thus costing 12,000 points for a free night. That is more then double the points required for a free night! While I agree this is probably the proper category for this hotel, absolutely no advance notice was given. Typically, Hyatt goes through annual category changes and members are given time to book hotels that are going up a category in advance. With this change, there was no option to do so. This was a once off change. Members who already have point reservations made at this hotel will still pay only the 5,000 points, but all new reservations or changes to existing reservations will cost 12,000 points.
While I understand why Hyatt is making the change (quite honestly I am not sure why it was ever placed at a category 1 to begin with), I am disappointed that no advance notice was given as that is the norm with Hyatt category changes. If you’ve been able to use your points at this property, congrats! If you are looking to stay at this hotel in the future, 12,000 points still might not be a bad redemption, especially during peak months.