It’s normal for the major hotel loyalty programs to adjust some of the hotels that are in each award category every year. The number of points required for a free night at a hotel is typically based on the average daily rate and also the average daily occupancy (since that’s what impacts how much World of Hyatt has to reimburse hotels for award stays). Understandably over time those amounts change, either due to the changes in a city’s hotel market, overall conditions changing in a city, etc.
World of Hyatt has just announced some hotel category changes, which kick in for bookings as of 12:01AM CST on Wednesday, December 13, 2017. The good news is that not many hotels are changing categories — eight hotels are going up in price, and one hotel is going down in price. I’m frustrated by the lack of notice here, but then again this is a fairly minor adjustment.
The following eight hotels are going up in category:
- The Hyatt Place Orlando Airport is shifting from a Category 1 to a Category 2
- The Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Mary is shifting from a Category 1 to a Category 2
- The Hyatt Place St. Paul is shifting from a Category 1 to a Category 2
- The Hyatt Place Augusta is shifting from a Category 2 to a Category 3
- The Hyatt Place Santa Cruz is shifting from a Category 2 to a Category 4
- The Highlands Inn Carmel is shifting from a Category 6 to a Category 7
- The Hyatt Place Long Island City/New York City is shifting from a Category 2 to a Category 3
- The Hyatt Place Shenzhen is shifting from a Category 1 to a Category 2
The Highlands Inn will become a Category 7 hotel
Meanwhile the following hotel is going down in category:
- The Confidante Hotel Miami Beach is shifting from a Category 6 to a Category 4
So any booking made starting at 12:01CST on December 13, 2017, will follow the new award chart, meaning you have just over a day remaining to lock in stays at the old prices. Any modifications made to existing reservations after the changes kick in will be charged per the new rates.
If you book before December 13 for a stay at the one hotel that is shifting to a lower category, World of Hyatt customer service will proactively deposit the point difference into a member’s account, which is a nice gesture.
On principle I’m disappointed by the lack of notice with these changes. There’s no reason Hyatt couldn’t have been provided more than a day notice of category changes. At the same time, these changes could have been much worse, as only nine of Hyatt’s 739 hotels are changing in category. We’re seeing a net increase in award costs at under 1% of Hyatt’s properties.
The way I see it, the most significant changes are to the Highlands Inn (which is becoming a Category 7 hotel), the Hyatt Place Santa Cruz (which is going up by two categories), and The Confidante Hotel (which is going down by two categories). The rest of the hotels are changing by only one category, and continue to be eligible for free night certificates that are valid at Category 1-4 hotels.
What do you make of these World of Hyatt category changes?