Recap of Marriott, Hyatt, Radisson, and Wyndham Category Changes and Important Dates to Book By

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This year seems to be getting hit quite hard with some hotel devaluations. In just the past few weeks we’ve heard from Marriott, Hyatt, Radisson, and Wyndham on both hotel category changes and award chart changes. While changes typically happen annually around this time of year, this year seems to be exceptionally bad. This is why earning and burning is a much better strategy than hoarding your points, although I am absolutely guilty of the latter. So here is a recap of all of the changes and important dates to keep in mind.

Radisson Rewards

Date to book by: February 28th

If you are looking to redeem your points for a free night stay in the Barbados, book now!

I am pretty indifferent to the Radisson changes. It is not a program I pay much attention to anymore, although there are about 100 properties increasing in the number of points. Some of the more notable properties increasing include the Radisson Aquatica Resort in Barbados (increasing from a category 5 to 6), the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Dublin (increasing from a category 6 to 7) and the Radisson Blu Azuri Resort & Spa in Mauritius (increasing from a category 6 to 7). The increase from a category 6 to 7 is huge as it will require another 20,000 points for a free night—which is a ton of points!

Despite some properties going up a category, there are also some going down, making it a pretty even change overall. You’ll see that the Radisson Blu Hotel at the Dubai Waterfront and the Radisson RED in Brussels are moving down categories.

Marriott Bonvoy

Date to book by: March 4th

Many Marriott beach properties are increasing in the number of points for a free night!

I personally think Marriott is getting hit pretty hard. Out of the 383 properties changing categories, only 37 of them are going down a category. That means about 90% of them are actually moving up a category which means the numbers are not in our favor at all. Here is a breakdown of some very popular areas you should pay attention to:

Hawaii

Staying in Hawaii on points is not cheap and unfortunately some of the better redemptions will not be a great value anymore.

  • Courtyard Waikiki Beach — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Sheraton Waikiki — moving from a category 6 to 7
  • Sheraton Princess Kaiulani — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Residence Inn Maui Wailea — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection  — moving from a category 6 to 7

New York City

Right now New York City actually has many category 5 properties where you are still able to use your free night certificate from one of the Marriott credit cards. Unfortunately many of these properties will be moving up to a category 6, although you’ll still be able to stay in downtown Manhattan or in some of the boroughs with your category 5 free night certificate.

  • Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Residence Inn New York Downtown Manhattan/ World Trade Center Area  — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Courtyard New York Manhattan/Central Park — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Courtyard New York Manhattan/Times Square — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Courtyard New York Manhattan/SoHo — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Courtyard New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Fairfield Inn New York Manhattan/Financial District — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Downtown Manhattan/ World Trade Center Area — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel  — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Aloft New York Brooklyn  — moving from a category 4 to 5

Disneyland

If staying in Anaheim is on your radar to visit Disneyland, these properties are increasing as well.

  • Courtyard Anaheim Resort/Convention Center — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Four Points by Sheraton Anaheim — moving from a category 3 to 4
  • Residence Inn Anaheim Resort Area/Garden Grove — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Residence Inn at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • SpringHill Suites Anaheim Maingate — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • TownePlace Suites Anaheim Maingate Near Angel Stadium — moving from a category 3 to 4

Florida Beach Resorts

Many family friendly resorts in Florida are increasing as well. This hits most of South Florida on both the East and West Coast.

  • JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort — moving from a category 6 to 7
  • Hollywood Beach Marriott — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel — moving from a category 6 to 7
  • The Saint Hotel Key West, Autograph Collection — moving from a category 6 to 7
  • Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection — moving from a category 6 to 7
  • Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, Autograph Collection — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Sheraton Suites Key West — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Courtyard Marathon Florida Keys — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Delray Beach Marriott — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa — moving from a category 6 to 7
  • W Miami  — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach/Oceanfront — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Residence Inn Cape Canaveral Cocoa Beach — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami — moving from a category 5 to 6

Mexico and Caribbean Beach Resorts

Resort vacations throughout Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, Puerto Vallarta, British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas are about to get more expensive as well. I am personally disappointed to see The Westin Grand Cayman moving up again! Just a few years back you could redeem 12,000 Starwood points for a free night stay and now it will require 60,000 Marriott points (equivalent to 20,000 Starwood points) or even 70,000 Marriott points during peak dates (equivalent to 23,333 Starwood points).

  • Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort — moving from a category 6 to 7
  • The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa — moving from a category 6 to 7
  • Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman — moving from a category 7 to 8
  • The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta  — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort— moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection — moving from a category 7 to 8
  • French Leave Resort, Autograph Collection — moving from a category 6 to 7

And remember, this date also coincides with Marriott introducing their category 8 property. Right now, any property that is in the category 8 group is only pricing out at 60,000 points (category 7 equivalent). Starting on March 5, those properties will actually cost 85,000 points—so make sure to book them now even if they are not technically “changing” categories.

World of Hyatt

Date to book by: March 17th

The Hyatt Regency in Clearwater, Florida is about to get more expensive!

Hyatt is actually evening out the number of properties moving up vs. the number of properties moving down—130 properties vs. 129 properties. On the surface it looks pretty fair, although there are probably more quality properties moving up then moving down. There are also a good amount of properties moving out of that category 4 “sweet spot” where you can use the free night certificate that you receive annually from the World of Hyatt Credit Card. You can check out all the properties changing here, but here is my breakdown on areas to focus on:

Florida is Getting Much More Expensive

If Florida is on your radar, you might want to start booking now. It seems as though almost all of the properties in South Florida and the West Coast are going up. On the West Coast you are looking at the Hyatt Place Ft. Myers, Hyatt Place Coconut Point, Hyatt Regency Sarasota, Hyatt House Naples/5th Avenue, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa, and the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa. On the East Coast in South Florida, there are many properties moving up as well—Hyatt House Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port, Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale 17th Street Convention Center, Hyatt Place Delray Beach, Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami. I am definitely the most disappointed about the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa as this was a steal at a category 4.

Maui is Getting Hit

There are two Hyatt properties in Maui and both of them are moving up. The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort will soon require a whopping 30,000 points and the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort will be at 25,000 points. Fortunately the Hyatt in Kauai is not being hit, although it already requires 25,000 points a night. Although, if you are stopping in Waikiki Beach, the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach is moving down to a category 4 which is great!

Disneyland and Disney World Moving Around

Mouse land is also seeing an impact in both Orlando and Anaheim, but it is not all bad! Both the Hyatt Regency Orlando and the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress are moving down to a category 3, but both Hyatt House Orlando Universal and Hyatt Place Orlando/Universal are moving up to a category 3. In California, you’ll see that the Hyatt House at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center is moving up to a category 4.

Mexico and Central America Resort Properties Increasing

Probably the best bang for your buck in the Hyatt program is about to change. The Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo has been a category 4 for quite some time now and it was due to change categories at some point. This property is easily well over $500 on most nights and during peak holiday dates can be over $1,000. While I probably wouldn’t spend that kind of money at this hotel, it was a great value at just 15,000 points a night. And best yet, you could use the free night certificate with the World of Hyatt Credit Card. Unfortunately, this is one of the properties being hit and is moving up to a category 5. I would definitely try to lock in reservations now, but do keep in mind that award availability is limited and during peak dates reservations are many times non-refundable.

Two other desirable properties in Mexico include the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort and Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya. Now that they will cost 25,000 points a night they probably are not a great value for using points and you are probably much better off staying at the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cancun.

Other Notable Properties Changing Categories

Some other properties that you might want to lock in a reservation now include:

  • Hyatt Regency Bali — moving from a category 1 to 2
  • Hyatt Place Saratoga/Malta — moving from a category 2 to 3
  • Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District — moving from a category 3 to 4
  • Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa — moving from a category 3 to 4
  • Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country — moving from a category 3 to 4
  • Grand Hyatt Seattle — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Hyatt at Olive 8 — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Hyatt Centric Fishermans Wharf SF — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Hyatt Regency Amsterdam — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Hyatt Regency Boston — moving from a category 4 to 5
  • Andaz Napa — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Hyatt Centric Park City — moving from a category 5 to 6
  • Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa — moving from a category 6 to 7

Wyndham Rewards

Date to Book by: April 2nd

One of Wyndham’s better properties right near the Santa Monica pier. I suspect it will soon cost 30,000 points for a free night!

For the past few years, Wyndham has had a fixed award chart where every single property cost a flat 15,000 points—it did not matter if you were staying at a $59 Days Inn or a $400 Wyndham all-inclusive. They are now changing this and actually introducing an award chart where properties will fit into one of three tier levels. About 3,000 properties are moving down a tier and 200 properties moving up. Of course, the better properties will now cost double the number of points.

  • Tier 1: 7,500 points for a free night
  • Tier 2: 15,000 points for a free night
  • Tier 3: 30,000 points for a free night

While they have not yet announced which properties will be grouped into which Tier, if you are looking to stay at any Wyndham, Wyndham Grand, or Wyndham all-inclusive, I would assume it is moving up. Some of their most notable properties include: Wyndham Grand Clearwater, Wyndham Santa Monica Pier, Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill, Wyndham Canterbury at San Francisco, The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel, Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort, or any of their properties in the Caribbean or Hawaii. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they do not announce the tier levels until April 3rd.

Overall…

If you think you might want to stay at any of the properties moving up a category, make sure to book prior to the changes taking place. As long as there is a flexible cancelation policy, I suggest booking speculative reservations. You also might want to book as one night stays. If you need to change any portion of your reservation, they will price you into the higher category point bucket.

Where will you be booking within the next few weeks?

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