Every year Hyatt makes some adjustments to the award categories of their hotels. In other words, they’re not changing the number of points required for a free night in a specific category of hotel, but rather are adjusting which hotel is in which category.
Hotel categories are intended to reflect the average nightly rate and occupancy of a specific hotel, and understandably, those factors change over time, either due to local economies, hotel capacity in a particular cities, etc.
Hyatt’s last award chart category changes were in January 2015, so this year the changes are coming much later than usual.
Hyatt has just announced their 2016 award category changes, which kick in for bookings made as of August 1, 2016. You can lock in bookings now for stays after August 1 at the old rates, and similarly you can be refunded the difference in points after August 1 for stays after that date.
In total, 50 hotels are going up in category, and 56 hotels are going down in category. Hyatt has 650+ properties globally, so that means the category of ~15% of hotels is changing, though net the category of 0.5% of hotels is decreasing.
As a reminder, here’s the Hyatt Gold Passport award chart:
The following 50 hotels will be increasing in award category for bookings as of August 1, 2016:
Meanwhile the following 56 hotels will be decreasing in award category for bookings as of August 1, 2016:
When I saw the above changes I let out a sigh of relief, as I don’t consider any of the above to be “game changers.” Hyatt made some significant changes to their award chart in 2014, where they added a new Category 7 redemption, requiring 30,000 points per night (previously the most expensive redemption was 22,000 points per night). It’s nice to see that with these changes, no more hotels were added to that category.
As you can see above, a vast majority of the properties going up in price are limited service properties in the US. Meanwhile a lot of international limited service properties, as well as a good number of international properties in China and India, are going down in price.
Which properties stick out to me most among those going up in category?
- The Grand Hyatt Incheon and Grand Hyatt Santiago are going from Category 2 to Category 3, which isn’t too surprising, as the categories always seemed a bit low
- The Grand Hyatt DFW, one of the world’s best airport hotels, is going from a Category 3 to Category 4 property
- The Hyatt Regency San Francisco is going from a Category 4 to Category 5 property, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, given how expensive of a hotel market San Francisco is
The Grand Hyatt Incheon is going from a Category 2 to Category 3 property
As far as properties going down in price go:
- The Park Hyatt Chennai is going from a Category 2 to Category 1 property, making it the only Park Hyatt in the world to be the lowest redemption category
- The Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur is going from a Category 4 to Category 3 property, which only seems fair, given that Kuala Lumpur is a pretty cheap hotel market
- The Hyatt Centric South Beach is going from a Category 6 to Category 4 property, which represents a significant drop
Everyone is impacted by these types of award chart changes in different ways, since we all redeem points at different properties. In this instance I view the changes as a wash. And that’s awesome, because usually I get scared when I see hotels adjusting categories, since I assume the changes will be negative.
What do you make of Hyatt’s 2016 award category adjustments?