Hyatt is making its annual hotel category changes, but 2023’s changes are simply devastating. A whopping 214 properties are getting upgraded, with numerous luxury properties jumping from category 7 to category 8. These changes go live March 28,2023. Here’s the full recap!
For the official announcement by Hyatt Hotels, Check HERE.
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Hyatt Category Changes
Hyatt makes category changes year to year and typically the impact is marginal. This year, a whopping 214 properties are getting upgrade, with many being luxury properties. We see a large amount of category 6 & 7 properties jumping up a level. The bottom line is, award nights at top tier properties are going to cost more. In some cases, significantly more than just 2 years ago. Nine hotels are moving into category 8 with a good amount of hotels also jumping form category 4 to 5 further reducing
Most Notable Changes
Carmel Valley Ranch – Carmel, CA
Carmel Valley Ranch has been on my favorite properties and is an excellent places to go for a weekend getaway. Just 2 years ago, I snagged this property for only 25,000 points in category 6. This property has been bumped up in back to back years and now sits at 40,000 points per night(standard price). Category 1-7 free night certificates will also no longer work at this property, which only adds to the pain. The property was already getting pricey with the move to Category 7, but this additional jump probably prices me out of an award redemption in the future.
My Past Visits to Carmel Valley Ranch
A property that’s been on my bucket list for a few years, I booked a three night stay for this April a few months back. With the only other option in Zurich being the Hyatt Regency & Hyatt Place next to the Airport, this one does sting. The Park Hyatt is located a couple blocks from the train station and provides easy access to visit the city’s many attractions. Unlike other properties in category 8, the Park Hyatt Zurich doesn’t scream “over the top luxury” or even “top of the line luxury”. A true bummer for those planning to travel to the Swiss city in the future.
Already an outrageously priced hotel, the Hyatt Place Santa Barbara has also jumped 2 categories in just 2 years. When I redeemed two free night certs a few years ago, the probably was alright but definitely not work 15,000 points per night, much less 25,000. Between the Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches(which we had to heat up) and the subpar amenities, this is definitely a reach by Hyatt.
One of the best category 1 deals, you could enjoy the serene beaches of Bali for as low as 3,500 points per night(off-peak). This was one of the best deals for budget travelers and it’s sad to see the bump to category 2. Bali doesn’t scream Grand Hyatt type resort and hotels as group travelers often stay in Villas. Another major devaluation here!
Latin America – All Inclusives
My Gosh, All-Inclusive hotels were murdered in this round of devaluations. A long list of all-inclusives were hit extremely hard in Mexico with many properties jumping up 2 categories which means increases of 15,000 points per night. I’m not a big all-inclusive/resort type of guy and neither is Jen, but for families looking to travel, this can put a significant dent in your plans.
A fantastic hotel and perhaps Hyatt’s top property in Cabo San Lucas, the Cape Thompson is also jumping up one category from 6-7. As a category 6 hotel, this property was a massive steal with rates easily hovering around $600 plus a heft 30% tax. With a bump to category 7, this property can still be of solid value, but no longer a steal.
I think these changes are significant and definitely hurts, but won’t impact my hotel loyalty in 2023. While several properties I enjoy are on this list, I do believe that Hyatt still offers some of the best perks for top tier elites. For some properties, especially Hyatt Places and Hyatt Centric, I think there should be a general cap that these properties should not exceed category 5. I can’t even begin to understand why the Hyatt Place Santa Barbara is going to be category 6 after March 28, 2023. This property lacks all the amenities and is also not walking distance from the Santa Barbara beachfront. Enough of this rant, I think Hyatt is still solid but a couple more years of big changes and I may need to reconsider my loyalty.