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World of Hyatt Announces 2022 Category Changes

World of Hyatt has announced their 2022 category changes, which kick in on March 22, 2022. There are a total of 146 hotels that are changing category this year, although many of Hyatt’s best top-tier aspirational hotels are unfortunately increasing in category.

If you’ve been collecting Hyatt points for some high-value stays or looking to make use of your easy Hyatt Globalist status earned in 2021, make sure to lock in some bookings before the changes take place on March 22. 

World of Hyatt Award Chart + Peak & Off-Peak Pricing

World of Hyatt’s award chart for Standard Room redemptions looks as follows:

The program also allows direct redemptions into Standard Suites as per the following chart:

…as well as Premium Suites as per the following chart:

Bookings made by March 22 will follow the existing hotel categories, even if the price is higher after the changes kick in.

If the price is lower after March 22, members will receive a refund of the points difference, although any changes to the reservation would be subject to the new pricing. 

Keep in mind that as of March 2022, Hyatt will be the only major hotel loyalty program that still offers an award chart with hotel categories, as Marriott Bonvoy moves to a dynamic pricing model as of the same month. 

Luxury & Sweet Spot Hotels Increasing in Category

Hyatt’s 2022 category changes can be described as fairly negative overall. As with most rounds of hotel category changes that we’ve seen from the various programs in recent years, the hotels that are dropping in category are largely not very impactful, while the hotels that are rising in category are the ones that many Hyatt members want to redeem points for. 

On the luxury end of the spectrum, several properties are rising from Category 7 to the highest Category 8:

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

These include some of Hyatt’s most desirable properties, which will now rise from 30,000 to 40,000 points at the standard rate, with the price possibly rising to 45,000 points on peak dates. 

I myself had enjoyed a very nice stay at the Park Hyatt New York as a Globalist member back in 2021, and I’m disappointed to see the price increasing so dramatically should I wish to return.

Park Hyatt New York

The same is true for many of the Park Hyatt hotels I had wished to check out as a Globalist member this year, including the locations in Paris, Sydney, and Japan, so I’ll be looking to snag some bookings prior to the category increase. 

What’s more, Alila Ventana Big Sur has historically been one of Hyatt’s best sweet spots, given that the property offers an all-inclusive experiences even for guests who book on points.

I’ll certainly be looking into securing a booking here prior to the Category 8 bump – the challenge is that Standard Room availability is very tough to snag, so I may need to go with a Standard Suite booking (which is still going to cost a lot more after March 22).

Alila Ventana Big Sur

Even looking towards mid-range properties, some of World of Hyatt’s best sweet spots are taking a significant hit.

For example, the Hyatt Place Moab has been a very popular use of Hyatt points as a Category 2 property that only costs 8,000 points per night at the standard rate, given its prized location near Arches National Park and cash rates that can often reach US$300+ per night. 

As of March 22, this property will now rise to Category 4 (the only hotel that’s experiencing a two-step increase), costing 15,000 points per night at the standard rate. That’s a significant devaluation for anyone who was hoping to plan a high-value trip to the Red Rocks using Hyatt points. 

Similarly, the Park Hyatts in Zanzibar, Istanbul, and Hangzhou have been a few among the few Park Hyatt properties to be placed in Category 4, and therefore redeemable with a Category 1–4 Free Night Award. Alas, all three properties will rise to a Category 5 as of March 22.

Changes to Canadian Hyatt Hotels

Two Canadian Hyatt properties will be changing categories, both of which are increasing in price:

Hyatt’s footprint in Canada was already fairly weak to begin with, so it’s disappointing to see the program’s few Canadian hotels devaluing their award costs. 

Spirit Ridge in particular was an interesting Hyatt sweet spot redemption for domestic Canadian travel, which will now get a bit more expensive for anyone looking to spend time in the BC interior. 

Spirit Ridge Resort Osoyoos, Hyatt Unbound Collection

Impact to World of Hyatt Free Night Awards

World of Hyatt issues two different types of Free Night Awards:

  • A Category 1–4 Free Night Award as an anniversary benefit on the US-issued Chase Hyatt Visa, a Milestone Reward for staying 30 nights with Hyatt during a calendar year, and a reward for staying at five, 10, or 15 different Hyatt brands under Hyatt’s Brand Explorer feature
  • A Category 1–7 Free Night Award as a Milestone Reward for staying 60 nights with Hyatt during a calendar year

Altogether, 20 Hyatt properties are falling from Category 5 to 4, while 14 Hyatt properties are rising from Category 4 to 5. 

Thus, the Category 1–4 Free Night Award will see a slightly wider range of redeemable properties after the change, although this doesn’t take away from the fact that many of the previously very desirable Category 4 locations, such as Gild Hall in Manhattan, The Confidante in Miami, and the aforementioned Park Hyatt properties are all rising to Category 5.

On the other hand, the movements from Category 5 to 4 are largely concentrated among boutique hotels in Europe, which is at least some good news if you’re a Hyatt member who travels to Europe often, given Hyatt’s historical relative weakness in the continent. 

Meanwhile, 10 hotels are moving from Category 7 to 8 (as summarized above), while only two properties are decreasing from Category 8 to 7: the Boheme Hotel in Mykonos, Greece, and the Trident Hotel in Port Antonio, Jamaica. 

At the top end of the spectrum, Hyatt’s 2022 category changes are especially punitive, especially considering that the Category 1–7 Free Night Award can only be earned by Hyatt’s most loyal guests at the 60-night threshold.

Conclusion

World of Hyatt has announced its 2022 category changes, which are fairly unfavourable for Hyatt members who are looking to maximize the value of their points through aspirational stays.

Many of the chain’s best properties will be rising from Category 7 to Category 8, while several attractive Category 4 sweet spot hotels will also nudge higher and lose the ability to be booked using Free Night Awards.

On the one hand, it seems like no hotel loyalty program is safe these days, with Marriott Bonvoy also set to implement dynamic pricing in March 2022. On the other hand, perhaps we should be glad that Hyatt still retains an award chart with published categories… at least for now. 

I’ll be looking to snag some high-value bookings at Alila Ventana and some of the Park Hyatts that look interesting to me around the world before these changes kick in on March 22, 2022. I’m also re-evaluating whether it’s worth aiming to requalify for Globalist status this year, given the ominous signs around the future of World of Hyatt for 2023 and beyond. 

If you need to top-up your Hyatt balance to lock in some bookings before March 22, consider grabbing a Chase Hyatt personal or business credit card if you have access to US credit cards, or buy points with a 30% bonus through March 7.

2 Comments
  1. Jay*

    Unfortunate to see that you won’t be able to redeem the 1-7 cat certificate at all PHs anymore.

  2. Mitch

    Well this sucks! What am I supposed to do now with my balance of… (checks spreadsheet)… zero Hyatt points?!

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