Hyatt just announced their annual category changes where we will see 217 hotels moving categories — 117 hotels will move up while 100 hotels will move down. After reviewing the entire list, it is not nearly as bad as it could be. Fortunately, no new categories were added and they promised to still reserve the category 8 level just for Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) hotels. These changes will take place on Sunday March 22, 2020 so you’ll want to make sure to book any reservations for properties going up a category by this date. If you have any properties booked that move down, you’ll receive the difference in points back into your account.
Additionally, back in December, Hyatt announced that they were going to introduce peak and off-peak award chart pricing. At that time, there was no known date, but we are now told that this will go into affect on March 22, 2020 as well. So if there are any hotel reservations you are looking to book during peak dates (think: Christmas vacation), you’ll want to book those now as well.
Related: Hyatt Globalist status secured
Disney World Getting Cheaper
Mouse land is also seeing a positive impact. Both the Hyatt Place across from Universal Orlando Resort™ and the Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista are moving down to a category 2. This means for just 8,000 World of Hyatt points, you can be easily positioned to visit Disney World, Universal and many other theme parks.
Unfortunately though, the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport is moving up to a category 4 property, although you can still use your free night certificate from the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
Many Desirable Resorts Increasing
Two very popular vacation destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America are about to get hit hard. Both the Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo and the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino are moving up categories. The Andaz in Costa Rica is moving up to a category 6 (25,000 points per night) and the Hyatt Regency in Aruba is moving up to a category 7 (30,000 points per night). I personally do not think either of them will be worth it at their new category level, so I highly suggest locking in reservations at these two hotels now if they are on your radar. For example, you can stay at the the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva properties for just 20,000-25,000 points per night (up to two adults).
Now, if you are looking to vacation south, but stay in the United States, the Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa is also moving up to a category 7. This is a property that is absolutely not worth it at that price level, especially because the three Hyatt vacation club properties in the Key’s are only at 20,000 to 25,000 points per night (although availability isn’t as good).
Additionally, the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina is moving back up to a category 5. This property moved down to a category 4 last year, so now is right back where it was two years ago. If you are looking to visit this hotel this summer during peak summer dates, you can still use your free night certificate from the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
The last disappointing property to move up is the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa in California. It is moving from a category 5 to a category 6, which is understandable. It is right across the street from Huntington Beach and has some great amenities. Although, personally I prefer other beaches along the California coast.
New York City is Moving Around
One of my favorite New York City properties, the Andaz 5th Avenue, is moving up from a category 6 to a category 7. (Although I do love the Hyatt Union square which is staying as a category 6 property). This is unfortunate and it makes staying there are on points no longer worth it.
The Parker New York, on the other hand, is moving down to a category 5 property and will join either other Hyatt properties at this level. In my personal opinion, there is no reason to redeem more points at the category 6 or 7 level in New York City, when you can redeem just 20,000 points at many other great hotels. New York City is definitely one of those destinations where I suggest saving your points.
If you do stay at the Parker New York, make sure to eat at the Burger Joint in the lobby.
Related: 10 tips to using Hyatt certificates
Skiing is Getting More Expensive
The Hyatt Centric Park City is about to move up to the category 7 level. I personally stayed at this hotel when it was just a category 4, which I admit was a steal, but I think 30,000 points for this property is quite high. The property is ski-in/ski-out, offers a ski valet and an outdoor heated pool/hot tub, but I am not sure I’d redeem my points now at this property. If you are looking to redeem your World of Hyatt points, you can always stay at the Hyatt Place Park City for just 15,000 points a night. Although it is a mile or two down the road, it is half the number of points.
The Rusty Parrot Lodge & Spa in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is also moving up to a category 7.
Portugal Now Less Expensive
If an international trip is on the horizon, there are actually three properties in Portugal that are going down. The Hotel Da Estrela, right in Lisbon, will now only cost 12,000 points a night at a category 3 property. The Palácio Estoril Hotel, Golf & Spa, right on the coast outside of Lisbon is going down to a category 5. And, the Hotel Infante Sagres, near Porto, is also going down to a category 5. These are all Small Luxury Hotels, which means the benefits are slightly different than what you’d normally get and most of them are capped at just two guests in the room. But for those looking to travel to Portugal (which I highly recommend!), Hyatt is now a better option.
Other Notable Properties Changing Categories
Some other properties that you might want to lock in a reservation now include:
- The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch — moving from a category 3 to 4
- Carmel Valley Ranch — moving from a category 6 to 7
- Hyatt House Washington DC / The Wharf — moving from a category 3 to 4
- Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall Boston — moving from a category 5 to 6
- Hyatt Place Ocean City / Oceanfront — moving from a category 4 to 5
- Château de Fère Hotel & Spa — moving from a category 5 to 6
- Elounda Gulf Villas and Suites — moving from a category 7 to 8
- Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa — moving from a category 7 to 8
- Naxian Collection — moving from a category 6 to 7
- Park Hyatt Saigon — moving from a category 4 to 5
- Park Hyatt Chicago — moving from a category 6 to 5
- Grand Hyatt Seattle — moving from a category 5 to 4
- Hyatt at Olive 8 — moving from a category 5 to 4
- Grand Hyatt Dubai — moving from a category 4 to 3
- Park Hyatt Hamburg — moving from a category 5 to 4
- Grand Hyatt Athens — moving from a category 3 to 2
- Hyatt Regency Amsterdam — moving from a category 5 to 4
- Park Hyatt Seoul — moving from a category 6 to 5
- Nam Nghi Phu Quoc — moving from a category 5 to 4
- Hyatt Regency Sydney — moving from a category 5 to 4
- Park Hyatt Melbourne — moving from a category 5 to 4
- Carmelo Resort & Spa — moving from a category 6 to 5
I am definitely sad to see some of the resorts moving up a category, but I am glad to see some great properties around the world moving down as well. Make sure to make your reservations by March 22nd to lock in the new rate. And if you have points to spare, make some speculative reservations just in case. Just remember though, any changes to your reservation, even if they are one day in either direction will re-price your stay at the new points required. You might want to consider booking longer stays at one night reservations just in case.
Earn up to 50,000 bonus points — Earn 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, plus an additional 25,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. Receive a category 1-4 free night certificate every cardmember year.
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