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If your family wants to use World of Hyatt points, and especially Hyatt Category 1–4 awards, to book family vacations, pull up a seat. Following closely behind Radisson Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy, it is now Hyatt’s turn to drop the hammer and tell us which properties are about to get more (or less) expensive using points in 2019. This year, there are 130 Hyatt hotels going up in points cost and 129 coming down — which is far more balanced than we saw from Marriott. They are not adding another category (they already did that in advance of Small Luxury Hotels joining the program) and they are not changing the points cost for each category (they already kind of did that to cash and points late last year).

But yes, this is the year that some longtime Hyatt family favorites increase their award rates. We’ll outline a larger list of Hyatt properties that are likely of interest to families below, but first, here are the five biggest 2019 Hyatt award chart changes for families who like to vacation using World of Hyatt points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.

1. Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa Increasing to Category 5

The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort in Florida makes for a tremendous long-weekend family getaway. It’s the kind of place where you can easily put some Hyatt Category 1–4 awards you earned from the World of Hyatt Credit Card to good use as three nights at the resort is a perfect amount of time.

Waterslides at Hyatt Coconut Point (Photo by Shelby Soblick for The Points Guy)
Waterslides at Hyatt Coconut Point (Photo by Shelby Soblick for The Points Guy)

Sadly, the property is increasing from a Category 4 to a Category 5, and thus out of range from the Cat 1–4 free night awards. The corresponding award rate is going from 15,000 to 20,000 points per night. Considering the caliber of the on-property waterpark and included boat access to a “private” island, it is still a property worth considering, but obviously not as good of a choice as when you could use some Cat 1–4 awards.

Check out our full review of the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point to decide if it’s the right spot for you before the March 18 changes kick-in.

2. Andaz Costa Rica Resort Also Increasing to Category 5

The only vacation destination my family visited in both 2017 and 2018, other than Disney World, was the Andaz Costa Rica — it was that good. Playing heavily into what made it worth a back-to-back repeat visit (first without kids, then with kids) was that it could also be booked with Hyatt Category 1–4 awards as a Category 4 resort. The other reason was the on-site barista and ceviche classes (only partially kidding, they are also that good).

Andaz Costa Rica (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Andaz Costa Rica (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Andaz Costa Rica has a tremendous breakfast spread that is included for those with Globalist status, has gorgeous pools built into the hill, a free kid’s club and a new included Beach Club located not far from the resort.

If that’s not enough, the resort also has five-star sunsets, free snow cones and included rollaway beds. It’s a real loss for this property to increase out of the Hyatt Category 4 zone, so lock something in while you can at that award rate.

Here’s a review of our most recent trip to the Andaz Costa Rica as a family.

3. Use a Category 4 Certificate In NYC(ish)

Families looking to use points in NYC for award stays at midrange hotels are already getting hit squarely by the Marriott award changes, but there is a bit of good news coming from the Hyatt changes as they pertain to NYC. Both the Grand Hyatt and the Hyatt Herald Square are dropping from a Category 6 to a 5, but even better than that is the Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson going from a Category 5 to a 4.

Hyatt Jersey City on the Hudson Lobby (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

It’s true that this property is across the Hudson from NYC, but that small detail may be worth it if you want to use a Category 1–4 award as you can lock in 368 square feet with two double beds for just 15,000 points once these changes kick in. That is a compelling offer for families visiting the NYC area. The hotel is just steps away from the PATH rapid transit station that can take you right into Manhattan.

Summer Hull / The Points Guy

Being out of Manhattan also means enjoying great views of Manhattan, even from the indoor heated saline pool. It’s been years since families had a full-service NYC-area option for their Hyatt Category 1–4 awards, so this property dropping back into the mix for awards available to World of Hyatt Credit Card holders and those just looking to conserve points, is good news.

View from Hyatt Jersey City on the Hudson. (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

4. Hyatt Regency Maui Increasing to 25,000 Points Per Night

As far as Hawaii resorts go, the beachfront Hyatt Regency Maui was a steal at just 20,000 Hyatt points per night at a Category 5 Hyatt property, but it’s jumping up to a Category 6 that will cost 25,000 points per night. The somewhat nearby Andaz Wailea is also increasing, from a 6 to a 7, but frankly, the Hyatt Regency Maui is a much better match for many families.

Hyatt Regency Maui
Hyatt Regency Maui (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

The Hyatt Regency Maui has a fantastic pool complex with a splash area for little kids, a waterslide and even a swim-up bar in a grotto. There’s a kid’s club (for a fee) and a recently redone club lounge that can sub in for one to two meals per day for those with access.

Hyatt Regency Club Lounge Summer Hull The Hyatt Regency is also within walking distance to other properties, snorkeling and food options, so you aren’t resort captive. Here are some of our nearby food recommendations if you make the trip. Spending 80,000 points for a four-night stay here is better than the new rate of 100,000 points for a four-night stay, so lock it in for less while you can.

5. Stay Near Mickey Mouse for Just 12,000 Points Per Night

One of our favorite points-friendly hotels near Disney World in Florida is the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. It did well in our data-driven study of the best points hotels near Disney and would have ranked higher if it was just 12,000 points per night when we did our rankings last year.

To be clear, this resort is not on Disney property and is not included in the collection of Disney Springs-area properties that get access to Extra Magic Hours and 60-day FastPass+ perks, but it has an above-average pool complex and an above-average Regency Club for those who want to keep food costs down.

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Club Lounge (photo courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress)
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Club Lounge (Photo courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress)

While the location is clearly not apples to apples, think of it this way. A Club Level room at Disney’s Contemporary or similar can easily run $700 per night while an award room with club lounge access at Hyatt Grand Cypress will now be bookable for just 17,000 Hyatt points per night as a Category 3 property. Of course, if you have Hyatt Globalist status or access to an Explorist annual Club Lounge pass, then you just need to spend 12,000 points to stay in a standard room and enjoy the lounge once the property drops to a Category 3.

Photo courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Photo courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Here’s a review of the near-Disney hotel, though note it’s been a few years since that stay.

Family-Friendly Hyatt Properties Decreasing in Award Cost

  • Grand Hyatt Bali — 3 to 2
  • Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress — 4 to 3
  • Hyatt Regency Orlando — 4 to 3
  • Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach — 5 to 4
  • Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego — 5 to 4
  • Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson — 5 to 4
  • Grand Hyatt New York — 6 to 5
  • Andaz Liverpool Street London — 6 to 5
  • Hyatt Herald Square New York — 6 to 5

Family-Friendly Hyatt Properties Increasing in Award Cost

  • Hyatt House Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port — 2 to 3
  • Hyatt House Orlando Universal — 2 to 3
  • Hyatt Place Orlando/Universal — 2 to 3
  • Hyatt Place Washington DC/White House — 3 to 4
  • Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo — 4 to 5
  • Grand Hyatt DFW — 4 to 5
  • Grand Hyatt Seattle — 4 to 5
  • Hyatt at Olive 8 — 4 to 5
  • Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami — 4 to 5
  • Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa — 4 to 5
  • Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya — 5 to 6
  • Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort — 5 to 6
  • Hyatt Centric Park City — 5 to 6
  • Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe — 5 to 6
  • Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa — 5 to 6
  • Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort — 6 to 7
  • Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa — 6 to 7

You can view the full list of Hyatt category changes here.

Image by Summer Hull
Park Hyatt Maldives Overwater Villa

Bottom Line

There are some beach and ski properties on the list of hotels getting pricier that hurt. I’m not thrilled to see a hotel like the Hyatt Centric Park City jump from a 5 to a 6, after just being a Category 4 a couple of years ago. However, there are slivers of good news in these changes in places like New York City, London and Orlando. You have until March 18 to lock in properties at the current rates — and remember you can supplement your World of Hyatt account with transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards cards such as the  Chase Sapphire Preferred CardChase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

If the property you have booked is going down in award cost, Hyatt states they will automatically refund you the points difference once these changes are in effect.

Which properties is your family locking in with points before the 2019 award chart changes kick in?

Featured image by author

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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