(Changes go live Tuesday: Book now) Hyatt announces 2022 award category changes. It’s a doozy.

36

Update 3/22: Hyatt’s Category 2022 category changes go live on Tuesday at 8:00am Central.  Make your prospective bookings now!

Hyatt category changes for 2022 have been announced today and will take effect on March 22, 2022 at 8:00am CDT.  In all, 146 properties will be affected, with 70 going up in category and 76 moving down. It’s a smaller increase than the last major change in 2020, but US category 1-4 hotels are particularly hard-hit. If you have 1-4 certificates, it’s worth taking a look and booking before the change.

The full list of properties changing in category can be found here. Hotels worldwide are affected and, of the 146 properties changing category, there will be 9 moving to category 8 for the first time, including one of the most sought-after US redemptions, the Alila Ventana Big Sur.

The sun is setting on category 7 redemptions at Alila Ventana Big Sur

Bad News First

14 hotels will no longer be eligible for the Category 1-4 annual free night certificate. This certificate is an annual benefit on the World Of Hyatt credit card and is also awarded after staying 30 nights in a year or after staying at 5 different brands. 14 may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but the US is particularly tough with 11 properties moving to category 5, including:

  • The Gild Hall by Thompson, the last category 1-4 left in Manhattan.
  • The Confidante, the only beachfront category 1-4 in South Florida
  • Hyatt Place Santa Barbara
  • Hyatt Place Santa Cruz
  • Hyatt Regency Monterey on Del Monte Golf Course

This is usually counteracted by the fact that some properties will be newly bookable with a Cat 1-4 certificate, but in this case there are only 2 US hotels moving down into category 1-4, a net loss of 9 properties.  It’s a definite blow to the utility of the 1-4 certificate in North America.

There will be 9 hotels moving to category 8, a level previously confined to Small Luxury Hotels and Destination Hotels.  These properties will no longer be bookable with a category 1-7 certificate and the list includes some of the most aspirational Hyatt properties in the world:

  • Park Hyatt New York
  • Alila Ventana Big Sur
  • Alila Napa Valley
  • Andaz Maui
  • Park Hyatt Sydney
  • Park Hyatt Kyoto
  • Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono
  • Park Hyatt Milan
  • Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme

It’s very disappointing to see these properties no longer bookable with certs and potentially costing up to 45,000 points a night in peak season (which given their popularity will probably be a very high proportion of the year).  In the near future, Hyatt needs to rethink its cat. 1-7 certificate.  It will lose quite a bit of luster if it continues to exclude more and more of Hyatt’s most aspirational properties.  This also marks the beginning of Hyatt moving their own properties into category 8, something I’m sure we’ll see more of in the future.

As a reminder, here is the current award chart:

But there’s Good News too, Right?

In the US, not really.  Only 13 hotels are dropping category in the US, all but one within the category 1-4 range.  It’s nice to see the Hyatt Centrics in Portland and Alexandria go to category 3 and the Hyatt Place across from Universal in Orlando will be good value at a category 2.  But overall, the changes in the US are broadly negative.

Internationally, there’s more choice in Category 1-4. As international travel continues to open up, this will be a welcome development.  There are a whopping 20 additional 1-4 properties world-wide, compared to just three moving out.  It’s a nice list, with some very desirable properties including:

  • The Sukhothai Shanghai
  • Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Grand Hyatt Macau
  • Hyatt Regency Sydney
  • Altstadt Vienna
  • Brooks Hotel, Ireland
  • Hyatt Regency Amsterdam
  • Opus XVI, Norway

I’m thrilled to see the Hyatt Regency Amsterdam and Sydney back in cert territory.  The Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui is a terrific property in Kowloon and a much needed option in Hong Kong.

Bali is a steal.  Bali, like many destinations, has had several stops and starts as it’s moved towards re-opening.  Eventually, we’ll see travel restored and when it does, there will be excellent value to be had here. The Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and Alila Manggis are all moving to category 1, while the terrific Alila Ubud moves to a category 2.  The cash prices for these hotels oftentimes didn’t match their previous category levels.  However, combined with dynamic pricing these will be enticing options when we’re able to go back.

Infinity Pool at the Alila Ubud

Book hotels that are increasing category now

Hyatt has always been good about providing notice on these category changes, as well as dealing with pre-existing award bookings. If you make a reservation by March 21, you will lock in the current pricing for hotels increasing in category. If you make a reservation for a property that decreases in price, Hyatt will refund you the difference, so you’ve got nothing to lose by making prospective reservations now.

Bottom line

This is a smaller change than the last two pre-pandemic Hyatt category changes. Despite the size, it’s a tough one.  Many of the most aspirational category 7’s are moving to category 8, outside of the reach of certificates and potentially costing as much as 45,000 points per night.  Combined with the pillaging of US category 1-4’s, this announcement feels like unhappy news overall. At least Hyatt is generous with the notice and cancellation, giving us a chance to have a last dance with these properties at their current pricing.

4.5 8 votes
Post Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

36 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim

What happens when you book now and need to reduce nights later? Will they have to rebook and reprice or will they simply remove the nights that’s not needed?

Frank

California is badly hit with these changes. My go to place is Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur and so the Cat 1-4 and even 1-7 certs are devalued significantly. If they allowed a points addition like Marriott is about to do then it wouldn’t be so bad. But where can I use my cat 1-4 certs now? I go to Portland and Bellevue often where they have decent Hyatt Houses, but they are not giving best value. For the mid-tier hotels in California I think Marriott is now a better deal. I never thought I’d say that.

[…] Upcoming Hyatt Category Changes:  One thing to keep in mind with this hobby is that it’s best to “earn and burn” your points and miles because loyalty programs change or devalue with little to no notice.  Here you’ll see some category changes to several Hyatt properties which changes the number of points needed for award stays. […]

Brian

If I make a globalist insufficient points (points advance) reservation now, and deposit the points after March 22, will i pay the current award price or the post March 22 award price?

Brian

Thanks for following up. I asked this same question on the Hyatt Flyertalk forum and was told that when Hyatt went to peak pricing, points advance reservations repriced. I realize you have this straight from the horse’s mouth but I wonder if they properly understood the question. I expect points advances booked before March 22 WILL price at the current prices. The question becomes what happens to those reservations after March 22 if they haven’t been paid for yet.

Brian

Thanks Tim. I’m globalist lite so don’t believe I have a concierge team but perhaps I’ll DM Hyatt and get them to confirm in writing to me

Brian

Deleted

Last edited 3 months ago by Brian
Brian

Tim, the Hyatt twitter account said the exact opposite to me of what they said to you.

I sent them to them: “I am looking at making a globalist points advance (ie insufficient points) reservation for the Tokyo Hyatt Regency in November. That hotel is changing from category 3 to category 4 in a few weeks. Can you please confirm that if I make the points advance reservation now, I’ll still only need the category 3 amount of points to pay for it, even if I earn/transfer in the points to my account after March 22?”

They sent to me: “Hello! Sorry for the delay! The points will pull at the category the hotel is when the points are pulled. Even for a pre-booked reservation. So, it will pull the higher amount if the award is issued past the date of the category change. Let me know if I may assist with anything else! ^Tori”

Peter

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey in 2020. It felt like quite a stretch to call it cat 4 given its condition. Can’t believe it’s now moving up rather than down…

Jim Lovejoy

I stayed this month. It didn’t look run down, but my wife and I agreed that it was OK, but nothing special. And that’s with getting what I expect was one of the best standard rooms on the property, one that opens to the golf course.
I only stayed there as a Cat 4 because we got the low-season rate. As a Cat 5 we’ll give it a miss entirely.

JohnnieD

Lovely. The last cat 4 in Manhattan is gone. Been to Gild Hall multiple times. You dont suppose that Hyatt is raising it because too many 1-4 redemptions?

Boonie

Darn, Darn Darn, not much going down in US but more going up. Glad I stayed at the Confidante Miami Beach was a great Cat 4.

BML

Sigh a lot to search and speculatively book before the doomed March devaluation month for both Hyatt and Marriott!!

Reno Joe

And, I’m wrong about hotel loyalty programs and owners because . . . ?

Scott

@Tim Steinke Looking on the upside, what are you thoughts in terms of points pricing for the 120ish all inclusives that Hyatt bought from ALG? They said that they would be added in 2022. Copypasta of Ziva/Zilara? New chart exclusively for all inclusives? DSU eligible or ineligible? Eligible for certs? At 8-12 properties no certs was acceptable, at 10% of the portfolio no way. Love to hear your thoughts even if we’re just grinding the rumor mill.

Last edited 4 months ago by Scott
David Duff

so I am going to portugal in june & have been looking at all the Hyatt.. they are all SLH bookable with points & the 3 on list were downgraded so that they will be cheaper & that 1/2 the possibilities not sure if thats good or bad???

DSK

So, let’s see–as far as the places going up, I’ve stayed at Dewey Beach (a block from the water), Ocean City (on the water), Portland Old Port (a block from the water), Chesapeake (on the water), Huntington Beach (across the street from the water), the Confidante (on the water) and the Hill Country Resort (inland but a great lazy river). All nice places. Of the places I’ve stayed at going down, I’ve got Bangkok and Hong Kong. The places going up for a US based person are a heck of a lot easier to get to for a short trip, especially, now, than the places going down. At least I can use my Cat 7 for the Park Hyatt New York–this year.

Peej

Losing both Santa Cruz and Monterrey is going to be painful for us Nor-Cal weekend trippers. Both were great weekend trips with kids. There’s already no San Francisco category 4s after losing Hotel Del Sol.

james

yup, every place I’ve used a cert. in the last decade is moving out of cert. range- cakif. based

Josh

Sad to see these properties moving from cat 7 to 8 but it is probably needed

Darin

Good luck getting a room at Alila Ventana before the change. Just looked for rooms through end of schedule at standard and off-peak. Except for a few nights with suite availability, there is literally nothing.

John

Amen to that. I checked too…doesn’t even seem like they have Jan-March 2023 open to points at all yet (I think the booking window is 13 months). Sigh….

Satellite

I booked end of Jan 2023 for 25k a couple of weeks ago

Ivan Y

Ouch, more properties moving to Category 8 is not a good trend. It pretty much means that Category 8 is going to be become the category for most popular/expensive hotels (instead of Cat. 7).

Jonny

This all seems good to me. Have no care to stay in a Park Hyatt. It’s no wonder some of the domestic hotels which have been super busy with low international travel wanting to move up categories. An example is the Moab property. Could care less about some of these “aspirational” properties with ridiculous cash prices.

HADLEY V. BAXENDALE

For once, someone with same comments. Yeah, I wish that some of the Cat 4’s remained at that level, but it is ridiculous to expect so when their peers in the industry have raised comparably situated hotels to much higher point redemptions.

The fact that Hyatt has decreased some properties in high demand areas is laudable.

Travelin'Dandy

To me, the biggest hit is Gild Hall moving to 5. Myself and many I know use our free night certs there. And it seems strange, given that cash prices are often lower there than other NYC Hyatt properties. Maybe that’s the point?

Hyatt Centric Philadelphia becoming a 4 is great news, actually. Living in NYC that has become a nice family destination for us and the fact that it was a 5 made it sort of annoying for spur of the moment redemptions.

Love the Amsterdam Regency going to 4 and am glad they didn’t touch many of the low category Italy properties.

But those Park Hyatts moving to 8…ouch.

HADLEY V. BAXENDALE

Enjoy your carjacking – over 200 in Philly since the beginning of the year. Of course, woke DA Krasner also lets out criminal on no bail even if they commit assaults on your person even if not riding in an automobile.

Gene

Hyatt should award points for those stuck using points in place of a Cat 1-7 cert for a Cat 8. And, I bet Hyatt will be willing to do so.