Ominous Sign: Hyatt Website Displayed a New, Pricier 8th Category
Update 8:27pm: A Hyatt spokesperson has responded to clarify that it doesn't plan to move Hyatt-branded hotels to a new Category 8. However, some Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties will be listed as new Category 8 properties. Here's the full statement from the spokesperson:
Thank you for flagging! Let me first assure that we have no plans for any Hyatt-branded hotels or resorts to move to a new Category 8.
As you know, we have been working toward launching an alliance with Small Luxury Hotels of the World that will allow members to earn and redeem World of Hyatt points at participating SLH properties in the future. Given the diversity and caliber of the SLH portfolio, we anticipate that some SLH properties will fall into a new eighth category on our award chart. We look forward to sharing more details when the alliance officially launches.
We already know that in less than a week, on Nov. 1, a World of Hyatt Cash + Points devaluation is coming. There are other Hyatt changes coming on that date as well, such as the ability to redeem points for premium suites and the loss of annual United Club passes for top-tier Globalist elites.
However, some solace could be taken in the (assumption) that the World of Hyatt award chart was remaining basically the same for full-points award bookings
Except that, maybe it isn't.
An eagle-eyed TPG reader spotted an ominous sign today on the Hyatt website: a greyed-out new Category 8 that costs 40,000 World of Hyatt points per night appearing under the "Explore Hotels" drop-down menu.
We saw the greyed-out Category 8 ourselves, as evidenced in the screenshot above. I reached out to the hotel brand for comment, and in less than an hour from my first email to Hyatt, Category 8 disappeared from the website.
Currently, the World of Hyatt award chart tops out at 30,000 points per night for standard rooms in Category 7 properties, such as the Park Hyatt New York or Park Hyatt Zurich. There are all-inclusive resorts and Miraval properties that cost more than 30,000 points per night, but "regular" Hyatt hotels and resorts top out at Category 7 level.
No hotels were listed under the Category 8, nor are any of the current Category 7 properties we tested pricing at higher than the current maximum of 30,000 points per night. However, it is an ominous sign that a grey Category 8 with an attached higher price point was listed on the live Hyatt.com website.
From a historical perspective, Hyatt introduced a 7th category to its award chart in 2014, and the chart has remained basically the same in structure since that time.
We will update this post if we receive a response from Hyatt.