World of Hyatt has just announced that starting March 25, 2021, a few more hotels will change category for bookings, despite promises that there will be no further category changes this year.
Changes in the World of Hyatt 2021 category
It is normal for hotel loyalty programs to make hotel category adjustments on an annual basis. In October 2020, it was announced that World of Hyatt would make minimal changes for 2021. At the time, it was announced that only 20 hotels would be switching categories in 2021 – eight would require fewer points and four would require more points.
Rather generously, World of Hyatt lowered the categories of the following hotels immediately after the announcement (in October 2020):
- Stonebridge Inn, a Category 5 to 4 destination hotel
- Wailea Grand Champions Villas, a Category 6 through 5 destination residence
- Wailea Ekolu Village, a Category 6 through 5 destination residence
- Wailea Ekahi Village, a Category 6 through 5 destination residence
- Lichenhearth, a Category 6 through 5 target residence
- Parker New York from Category 6 to 5
- Grand Hyatt Vail from Category 7 to 6
- Mauna Lani Point, a target category 7 through 6 residence
- Wailea Elua Village, a Category 8 through 7 target residence
- Kaanapali Alii, a target category 8 through 7 residence
- Vail Residences in Cascade Village, a target category 8 through 7 residence
- The Lodge at Spruce Peak, a destination hotel of categories 8 to 7
Then it was announced that the following hotels would increase the categories for bookings from March 25, 2021:
- Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport from Category 2 to 3
- Hyatt House Nashville / Downtown-SoBro from Category 4 to 5
- Mar Monte Hotel is part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection from categories 4 to 5
- Park Hyatt Aviara from Category 5 to 6
The Park Hyatt Aviara moves to a higher category
We have now learned that another seven World of Hyatt properties will change booking categories starting March 25, 2021:
- The Hyatt Place Houston Downtown is changing from Category 3 to Category 2
- Andaz Scottsdale is moving from Category 5 to Category 6
- The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve in Puerto Rico is transitioning from Category 3 to Category 4
- The Hyatt Regency Dharamshala is switching from Category 2 to Category 3
- Hyatt Place Delano is changing from Category 1 to Category 2
- Hyatt Place Fair Lawn / Paramus switches from Category 1 to Category 2
- The Hyatt Place Palm Bay / Melbourne changes from Category 1 to Category 2
The Andaz Scottsdale is moving into a higher category
These changes rub me in the wrong direction
While I don’t see this change as a big deal, it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth (which I honestly will get over with very quickly).
For one, I think World of Hyatt jumped the gun by telling us last fall that category changes are on hold for 2021 with a few exceptions. We were told that only four hotels would increase their costs, but now the cost of an additional six hotels is increasing. Of course we are talking about small numbers in absolute terms, but that’s 150% more hotels whose costs are rising than we expected.
Then there is the bigger overall problem: if you make changes in category during the biggest pandemic the travel industry has ever seen, shouldn’t we mostly see hotels falling in category and not rising in category?
In many ways, World of Hyatt did itself a favor by not making any category changes in 2021, as the changes should have been mostly positive for members. Instead, with this latest announcement, prices for more properties are rising.
Mar Monte moves to a higher category
The top prices for World of Hyatt arrive in July 2021
Also, this is just a reminder that World of Hyatt is still planning to introduce prices outside of the peak and peak prices starting July 2021. This change was originally supposed to go into effect about a year ago but has been suspended due to the pandemic. This is what this pricing will look like:
|Outside of peak hours||default||summit|
Expect top and side prices at Hyatt hotels this summer
10 World of Hyatt properties will require more points as of March 25, 2021, while one property will require fewer points. If you are interested in staying in a hotel the price of which is increasing, you should lock it down ASAP.
All in all, World of Hyatt did an incredible job during the pandemic generating value and dedicated members. So this doesn’t change my perception of the program. Still, I find that a bit disappointing.
What do you think of the changes in World of Hyatt’s 2021 category?