7 Hyatt hotels to book now, before award rates increase on March 22
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Every year, most of the large hotel chains make adjustments to where properties fall within their respective award charts. It’s rarely a fun time for points and miles enthusiasts, since some favorite hotels inevitably get pricier.
But some annual hotel category adjustments are more painful than others. This year’s Marriott adjustments that kick in on March 4 are particularly brutal, with 1,686 hotels increasing in award cost and only 499 becoming more affordable. (Here are the Marriott properties to book before that happens.)
Thankfully, this year’s annual World of Hyatt hotel category adjustments aren’t quite as bad in terms of how many hotels are moving up the award chart. On March 22, 117 Hyatt properties hotels will shift to a higher award category, and 100 will shift to a lower award category — a much more balanced category realignment.
Related: Guide to 2020 Hyatt category changes
You can book an award stay at most Hyatt properties up to about 13 months in advance. This means that, by the time this round of category changes takes effect on March 22, you’ll be able to book award stays well into April 2021 at the current award rates. So, if you’re comfortable planning far in advance, lock in another season of summer vacations, fall foliage trips, ski trips and even next year’s spring break getaways at the current rates.
If you’re running short on points in your World of Hyatt account, but want to secure some of these properties before the award rates increase, there’s an easy fix, since Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer instantly 1:1 to Hyatt from cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
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You can find the list of affected hotels here, but consider booking these Hyatt hotels now, before higher award rates arrive.
Hotels moving from Category 4 to 5
The World of Hyatt Credit Card awards an annual free-night certificate valid at a Category 1 to 4 Hyatt property. You can even earn a second free night after spending $15,000 on the card each year. So, it’s especially painful when a Hyatt property moves up from a Category 4 to 5 slot on the award chart, since it becomes out of range for these certificates.
As we revealed in our initial analysis on the changes, 21 hotels will be moving up from a 4 to a 5. On the flip side, 14 hotels, such as the Hyatt Olive 8 and Grand Hyatt Seattle, will actually be coming down from Category 5 to 4, effective March 22.
Examples of hotels that are moving out of range of a Category 4 World of Hyatt award on March 22 include:
- Park Hyatt Zanzibar
- Park Hyatt Saigon
- Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina
- Hyatt Place Portland-Old Port
- Hyatt House Nashville/Downtown
- Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel & Villas
Great-value hotels moving up the chart
Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport
Increasing from Category 3 to 4
If you ever visit Disney World, Universal Orlando or cruise out of Port Canaveral, you should have the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport on your radar as a great way to start or end a trip to the Orlando area. This hotel is actually in the Orlando airport, making it ideal for a stay the night before a cruise, after a late arrival into the area or at the very end of a long trip where you maximized every minute of theme park fun.
We usually stay here on our first night in the Orlando area, as it allows us to use just 12,000 Hyatt points for the night (and avoid high Disney resort prices), but still start our vacation bright and early the next morning after a quick Magical Express bus ride to Disney.
Related: Best hotels located within airports
Andaz 5th Avenue
Increasing from Category 6 to 7
There are many points-friendly hotels to choose from in New York City, but one of my favorites has long been the Andaz 5th Avenue. It’s no longer shiny and new, but it’s still in a prime location with great Globalist perks (hello, room service pancakes) and a fair award price of 25,000 points per night. Sadly, with its upcoming rise to 30,000 points per night, it will no longer be the sweet spot priced a category lower than the Park Hyatt New York.
Related: Review of the Andaz 5th Avenue
Hyatt Centric Park City
Increasing from Category 6 to 7
If you want to use your points to make a fun ski trip more affordable, this budget-friendly Utah hotel is about to cost you more. Just a few years ago, the Hyatt Centric Park City was a Category 4 Hyatt property, but it’s now set to jump from Category 6 to 7. It will now cost the same on points as the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, which frankly feels incongruous. But, if a ski-in, ski-out property at Canyons in the Park City area of Utah is on your wish list, book soon or spend more points later. Just remember, it’s not a true ski-in and ski-out spot for beginners, but it’s close.
Related: Skiing at Canyons with kids
Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo
Increasing from Category 5 to 6
Like the Hyatt Centric Park City, the Andaz Costa Rica has been ascending the award chart. In fact, it has risen in award cost in all of the last couple award chart changes. What was once, not that long ago, a Category 4 property, will now be a Category 6. I’d argue it’s still worth the points, though certainly not as great of a value at 25,000 Hyatt points per night as it was at 20,000 (and 15,000 before that).
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino
Increasing from Category 6 to 7
A beach trip to Aruba is always a good idea, and booking a stay on points makes it an even sweeter proposition. The Hyatt Regency Aruba is on a gorgeous stretch of Palm Beach, has a water slide, multiple pools, a club lounge, spa, kids club and more. Basically, you should book it now at 25,000 points per night and start counting down to a great beach getaway, before it leaps up to Category 7.
Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa
Increasing from Category 6 to 7
Hyatt historically hasn’t had much of a presence in destinations like Wyoming and Montana — both of which are five-star destinations for travelers who love the great outdoors. But that changed a bit with the integration of many Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties to the World of Hyatt program. In Jackson, Wyoming, you’ll find the Rusty Parrot, an upscale 32-room lodge that costs just 25,000 Hyatt points per night until March 22. However, the hotel doesn’t seem to be accepting reservations at the moment (due to a fire in late 2019), so it’s unclear if you’ll actually be able to book a future award reservation before the Rusty Parrot leaps to Category 7.
Related: Best times to visit Yellowstone
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa
Increasing from Category 5 to 6
A popular weekend getaway for points-savvy travelers in Orange County can be found on Huntington Beach at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort. You’ve got the beach, waterslides, multiple pools, a club lounge and a sprawling 20,000-square-foot Pacific Waters Spa — not to mention a great location for either the weekend or a larger trip to the area. Book it now for 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night, before it will take an even deeper cut of your points stash.
Related: Where to stay at Disneyland
Peak- and off-peak award pricing
While only 117 Hyatt properties are increasing in award category on March 22, all of Hyatt’s hotels will get 12.5% to 30% more expensive on points during peak nights due to the peak- and off-peak pricing that will also take effect on that date.
So, from ski weekends, to summer vacations and any other trips you’ll take during peak season, you’ll want to reserve those Hyatt award stays before March 22, or risk spending even more points later. For example, the popular (and fantastic) Grand Hyatt Kauai is remaining a Category 6 property, but instead of standard room awards always costing 25,000 points per night, they will now cost 21,000, 25,000 or even 29,000 points per night, depending on the date.
Peak- and off-peak dates will be set by Hyatt (not the hotel) and will be determined for an entire geographic market, rather than an individual property basis.
|Off-peak (% change)||Standard||Peak (% change)|
|Category 1||3,500 (-30%)||5,000||6,500 (+30%)|
|Category 2||6,500 (-18.75%)||8,000||9,500 (+18.75%)|
|Category 3||9,000 (-25%)||12,000||15,000 (+25%)|
|Category 4||12,000 (-20%)||15,000||18,000 (+20%)|
|Category 5||17,000 (-15%)||20,000||23,000 (+15%)|
|Category 6||21,000 (-16%)||25,000||29,000 (+16%)|
|Category 7||25,000 (-16.67%)||30,000||35,000 (+16.67%)|
|Category 8||35,000 (-12.5%)||40,000||45,000 (+12.5%)|
hotels moving down the chart
For now, focus on the hotels you need to book before the rates go up (which, I suppose, might be all of them). After March 22, however, there will be some good news: 100 Hyatt properties will shift to a lower category, and all of the hotels will presumably benefit from some off-peak night rates at some point.
Examples of notable hotels moving down in category include:
- Hyatt Place Across From Universal Orlando Resort: Category 3 to 2
- Grand Hyatt Seattle: Category 5 to 4
- Hyatt at Olive 8: Category 5 to 4
- Hyatt Centric Brickell Miami: Category 5 to 4
- Park Hyatt Chicago: Category 6 to 5
- Parker New York: Category 6 to 5
- Park Hyatt Mallorca: Category 6 to 5
You’ve still got more than a month to get at least an entire year’s worth of Hyatt award trips planned out and locked in at the current award rates. As always, you should pay close attention to cancellation rules. But, most of the time, you can cancel a Hyatt award stay without penalty until closer to the travel date if your plans change.
Keep in mind that travelers with existing award bookings for a night after March 22 can expect to receive a one-time, automatic refund on the difference if the property drops in award rate due to off-peak pricing or award category change.
Which Hyatt properties are you trying to lock in before rates go up?
Featured image courtesy of Hyatt Andaz Costa Rica by Summer Hull / The Points Guy
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