World of Hyatt has just revealed that some more hotels will be changing category for bookings as of March 25, 2021, even though it was promised that there wouldn’t be more category changes this year.
World of Hyatt 2021 category changes
It’s normal for hotel loyalty programs to make annual hotel category adjustments. In October 2020 it was announced that World of Hyatt would only be making minimal changes for 2021. At the time it was revealed that only 12 hotels would be changing category for 2021 — eight would require fewer points, and four would require more points.
Rather generously, World of Hyatt lowered the categories of the following hotels immediately upon the announcement (in October 2020):
- Stonebridge Inn, A Destination Hotel from category 5 to 4
- Wailea Grand Champions Villas, A Destination Residence from category 6 to 5
- Wailea Ekolu Village, A Destination Residence from category 6 to 5
- Wailea Ekahi Village, A Destination Residence from category 6 to 5
- Lichenhearth, A Destination Residence from category 6 to 5
- Parker New York from category 6 to 5
- Grand Hyatt Vail from category 7 to 6
- Mauna Lani Point, A Destination Residence from category 7 to 6
- Wailea Elua Village, A Destination Residence from category 8 to 7
- Kaanapali Alii, A Destination Residence from category 8 to 7
- Vail Residences at Cascade Village, A Destination Residence from category 8 to 7
- The Lodge at Spruce Peak, A Destination Hotel from category 8 to 7
Then it was revealed that the following hotels would increase categories for bookings as of March 25, 2021:
- Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport from category 2 to 3
- Hyatt House Nashville/Downtown-SoBro from category 4 to 5
- Mar Monte Hotel part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt from category 4 to 5
- Park Hyatt Aviara from category 5 to 6
The Park Hyatt Aviara is moving to a higher category
We have now learned that a further seven World of Hyatt properties will be changing categories for bookings as of March 25, 2021:
- Hyatt Place Houston Downtown goes from category 3 to category 2
- Andaz Scottsdale goes from category 5 to category 6
- Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico goes from category 3 to category 4
- Hyatt Regency Dharamshala goes from category 2 to category 3
- Hyatt Place Delano goes from category 1 to category 2
- Hyatt Place Fair Lawn/Paramus goes from category 1 to category 2
- Hyatt Place Palm Bay/Melbourne goes from category 1 to category 2
The Andaz Scottsdale is moving to a higher category
These changes rub me the wrong way
While I don’t consider this change to be a huge deal, this still leaves a bad taste in my mouth (which in all honesty I’ll get over very quickly).
For one, I think World of Hyatt jumped the gun by telling us last fall that category changes would be suspended for 2021 with few exceptions. We were told that only four hotels would be increasing in cost, but now another six are increasing in cost. Obviously we’re talking about small numbers in absolute terms, but that’s 150% more hotels increasing in cost than we were expecting.
Then there’s the bigger overall issue — if you’re going to make category changes during the biggest pandemic the travel industry has ever seen, shouldn’t we overwhelmingly see hotels going down in category, rather than up in category?
In many ways World of Hyatt was doing itself a favor by not making category changes in 2021, given that the changes should have overwhelmingly been positive for members. But instead we’re seeing more properties go up in price with this latest announcement.
Mar Monte is moving to a higher category
World of Hyatt peak pricing coming July 2021
This is also just a reminder that World of Hyatt still plans to introduce off-peak and peak award pricing as of July 2021. This change was initially supposed to kick in about a year ago, but that was suspended due to the pandemic. Here’s what that pricing will look like:
Expect peak & off-peak award pricing at Hyatt properties this summer
10 World of Hyatt properties will require more points as of March 25, 2021, while one property will require fewer points. If you’re interested in a stay at a hotel going up in price, you’ll want to lock that in ASAP.
All things considered World of Hyatt has done an incredible job providing value and engaging members during the pandemic, so this doesn’t change my perception of the program. Still, I do find this to be a bit disappointing.
What do you make of World of Hyatt’s 2021 category changes?