World of Hyatt has announced upcoming category changes, which are set to kick in on March 28, 2023. A whopping 372 hotels will change categories this year, with 214 moving up and 158 moving down.
If you’ve been collecting World of Hyatt points for some high-value stays or looking to make use of your Hyatt Globalist status, make sure to lock in some bookings with points or Free Night Awards before the changes take place.
World of Hyatt Award Chart + Peak & Off-Peak Pricing
It’s important to note that there aren’t any changes to the award chart pricing structure. There will still be eight categories, with off-peak, standard, and peak pricing for each.
As a reminder, World of Hyatt’s award chart for Standard Room redemptions is as follows:
You can also book into Club-Level rooms, as per the following chart:
The program also allows direct redemptions into Standard Suites, as per the following chart:
And you can also book directly into Premium Suites, as per the following chart:
Bookings made prior to March 28 will follow the existing hotel categories, even if the price is higher after the changes kick in.
If the price is lower after the category changes take effect on March 28, members will receive a refund of the points difference, although any subsequent changes to the reservation would be subject to the new pricing.
World of Hyatt remains the only major hotel loyalty program that still offers an award chart with fixed pricing for redemptions, as most others have moved to dynamic pricing.
Luxury Hotels Increasing in Category
Overall, Hyatt’s 2023 category changes can be described as quite negative. As is usually the case, the hotels that are dropping down aren’t very impactful, while the ones that rise are some of the more aspirational properties that many Hyatt members look to redeem points for.
On the luxury end of the spectrum, 28 properties are rising from Category 7 to the highest Category 8. This includes both Hyatt and Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties.
In North America, the following properties are rising to Category 8:
- Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas
- Carmel Valley Ranch
- Hyatt Carmel Highlands
- Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort
- Hyatt Centric Key West Resort and Spa
- The Lodge at Spruce Creek
- Wentworth Mansion
In Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, the following properties are rising to Category 8:
- Ksar Char-Bagh
- Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
- Viceroy Bali
Europe is seeing the largest number of properties increasing to Category 8, listed as follows:
- 7Pines Resort Sardinia
- Boheme Hotel
- Boutique Hotel Villa Geba
- Ca’ Sagredo Hotel
- El Lodge Ski and Spa
- Grand Hotel Cocumella
- Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola
- Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik
- Hôtel Martinez
- La Villa del Re
- Le Narcisse Blanc Hôtel & Spa
- Margutta 19
- Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa
- Nobu Hotel Marbella
- Park Hyatt Zurich
- Villa Orselina
- Villa Spalletti Trivelli
These include some of World of Hyatt’s most desirable properties for award redemptions, which will now rise from 30,000 to 40,000 points at the standard rate, with the price possibly increasing to 45,000 points on peak dates. Furthermore, all of these properties will soon be out of reach for a Category 1–7 Free Night Award earned as a Milestone Reward, which we will explore further below.
Notable on this list are the Hyatt Centric Key West, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, and the Park Hyatt Zurich properties.
Anyone who redeems World of Hyatt points in Hawaii will be frustrated to learn that four properties are seeing category increases. The Grand Hyatt Kauai and the Hyatt Regency Maui are moving from Category 6 to Category 7, the Wailea Ekahi Village is moving from Category 5 to Category 6, and the Lahaina Shores Beach Resort is moving from Category 4 to Category 5.
If you have your eye on any of the above properties, be sure to lock in an award booking before March 28, 2023, as you’ll otherwise have to part ways with more points for the same hotels once the category changes take effect.
Even looking at other less aspirational hotels, some of World of Hyatt’s better sweet spots are taking a hit, too.
For example, the Andaz London Liverpool Street is a fantastic hotel in the World of Hyatt portfolio. Currently, it’s a Category 5 property, and redemptions cost 17,000, 20,000, or 23,000 points on off-peak, standard, and peak dates, respectively.
As of March 28, it will rise to Category 6, and will cost 21,000, 25,000, or 29,000 points on off-peak, standard, and peak dates, respectively. This equates to a rise in 4,000, 5,000, or 6,000 points per night, which is around a 25% increase.
With more properties increasing in category than are decreasing, this is very much an overall devaluation, and a fairly significant one at that. This is especially unfortunate as World of Hyatt is becoming a more and more attractive alternative to Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors.
Changes to Canadian Hyatt Hotels
Three Canadian Hyatt properties will be changing categories this year, and all are increasing in price:
- Hyatt Place Calgary Airport will be rising from Category 1 to Category 2, and a free night redemption will increase from 5,000 to 8,000 World of Hyatt points at the standard rate
- Hyatt Regency Vancouver will be rising from Category 3 to Category 4, and a free night redemption will increase from 12,000 to 15,000 World of Hyatt points at the standard rate
- The Walper Hotel Kitchener will be rising from Category 2 to Category 3, and a free night redemption will increase from 8,000 to 12,000 Hyatt points at the standard rate
It’s worth noting that The Walper Hotel also increased last year from a Category 1 to a Category 2 property, so this is a second bump in redemption costs in a year.
Hyatt has a relatively small footprint in Canada to begin with, as there are currently only 19 hotels across the country. It’s certainly disappointing to see devaluation of award costs at three properties, but at least the more luxurious properties were spared this time around.
Impact to World of Hyatt Free Night Awards
Recall that 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, 33 Hyatt properties are falling from Category 5 to 4, while 15 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 particularly valuable Category 4 hotels are in desirable locations.
For example, the Andaz San Diego, Park Hyatt Saigon, and the Hyatt Regency Amsterdam are moving from Category 4 to Category 5 properties, and will therefore no longer be eligible for Free Night Award bookings.
To add insult to injury, the Hyatt Place Moab, which underwent a two-category increase last year, is rising yet again. As of March 28, 2023, the hotel will move to a Category 5 property, which is bad news for anyone who is planning a trip to Arches National Park.
In early 2022, you could book the Hyatt Place Moab for 6,500, 8,000, or 9,500 World of Hyatt points, depending on the date. As of March 28, 2023, the same hotel will cost 17,000, 20,000, or 23,000 points, which is almost a threefold increase on off-peak dates.
Meanwhile, 28 hotels are moving from Category 7 to 8 (as summarized above), while only 11 properties are decreasing from Category 8 to 7.
Indeed, the 2023 category changes are particularly brutal at the top end of the spectrum, especially when you consider that Category 1–7 Free Night Awards can only be earned by guests who cross the 60-night threshold each year.
World of Hyatt has announced its 2023 category changes, which are largely unfavourable for anyone who looks to maximize value through aspirational stays.
28 of the loyalty program’s best Hyatt and Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties will rise from Category 7 to Category 8, and 15 properties will move from Category 4 to Category 5, thus excluding them from Free Night Award availability.
On the other hand, at least we can be grateful that the costs in the award chart aren’t changing. As more and more loyalty programs move towards dynamic pricing, World of Hyatt remains one of the few to stick with a published award chart.
With a fair warning shot about the changes now fired, be sure to lock in any bookings that are set to increase before March 28, 2023, when the category changes come into effect.
If you need to top-up your Hyatt balance to lock in some bookings before March 28, consider grabbing a Chase Hyatt personal or business credit card if you have access to US credit cards, buy points with a 25% bonus through March 25, or register for the “Bonus Journeys” promotion to earn extra points on paid stays.