Last year Hyatt Gold Passport made some pretty substantial changes to their award chart, whereby they added Category 7 redemption properties, which increased the cost of some of Hyatt’s most aspirational hotels.
On the plus side, Hyatt quickly followed that up with some new benefits, including the introduction of Points + Cash awards (whereby you can redeem part points and part cash for an award stay) and “My Elite Rate” (whereby elite members get 20% off stays at select properties).
In addition to all that, every year Hyatt adjusts some of the hotels in each category. The award redemption category that a hotel belongs to should reflect a combination of the average daily rate and occupancy, and obviously that can shift over time due to changes in travel trends, etc.
Anyway, the good news is that Hyatt isn’t making any actual changes to their award chart in the future (in other words, they’re not introducing a new category), though Hyatt Gold Passport has now announced which hotels will be shifting categories in 2015.
These Gold Passport category shifts apply for bookings made on or after January 22, 2015. That means you can make bookings by that point for stays through January 21, 2016.
In this case, a total of 70 Hyatt properties are changing categories — 22 hotels are moving up a category, while 48 hotels are moving down a category.
Here are the 22 Hyatt hotels that are moving up a category for bookings made as of January 22, 2015:
I think the most noteworthy increases are:
- Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo is shifting from a Category 3 to 4, which doesn’t really surprise me given how expensive paid rates at this property can be
- Park Hyatt Seoul, which is my favorite Category 4 property, will finally be shifting to a Category 5 (which is unfortunate, since the free annual night from the Hyatt Visa Card will no longer be valid for it)
- Andaz Amsterdam is shifting from a Category 5 to 6, which certainly makes redeeming points for it less of a no brainer
- Park Hyatt Maldives is shifting from a Category 6 to 7, which isn’t surprising in the least given that paid rates here are $1,000+ per night
Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo shifting from Category 3 to 4
Andaz Amsterdam shifting from Category 5 to 6
Then here are the 48 Hyatt hotels that are moving down a category for bookings made as of January 22, 2015:
It’s interesting to see how many limited service properties, as well as hotels in China and India, are going down in category. I can’t say there’s anything that really stands out to me on the list as being especially interesting or surprising. It is cool that the Park Hyatt Washington DC is going from a Category 6 to 5, though.
It’s also worth noting that if you book a stay at a hotel that’s going down a category before January 22, you’ll proactively receive the difference in points deposited into your Gold Passport account. Per the FAQ:
Any Free Night Award booked at a property, prior to 12:01 am CST, January 22, 2015, that is shifting to a lower category on January 22, 2015 and requires fewer points will receive an adjustment. Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service will proactively deposit the point difference into a member’s account. For example, a member with a Free Night Award booked before 12:01 am CST, January 22, 2015 for a Category 2 hotel for 8,000 points that is moving to a Category 1 hotel for 5,000 points on January 22, 2015 will receive 3,000 points returned to his/her account. Points will be deposited into a member’s account after January 22, 2015.
These are actually net positive changes, which are kind of surprising to see. More than twice as many hotels are going down a category than going up a category. With hotels full and the economy largely recovered, you’d think the trend would be towards higher hotel categories and not lower ones.
Just wait until you see the category adjustments from Marriott and Starwood — something tells me they won’t be nearly as positive.
How do you feel about Hyatt’s Gold Passport award chart changes? Are there any properties you’ve redeemed at that went up or down in category?