Shortly after Marriott announced its huge award category changes, we here similar news from another hotelier. That’s right, Hyatt is adjusting its hotel award categories too now. So let’s see how the changes impact Hawaii.
Ironic or not? Marriott announced its annual award category adjustments late last week. And now, just days later, Hyatt is answering back with its own category changes. But, the Hyatt changes aren’t as bad as the Marriott ones. In fact, nearly the same number of hotels are going down a category as there are going up. That’s in stark contrast Marriott, which is increasing the category level of a truly astonishing number of properties.
World of Hyatt Category Changes
Unlike Marriott, which is adding an extra category this year, there are no significant changes to the World of Hyatt award structure. This year is a simple adjustment as is usually the case. But, that still means 130 hotels are moving up a category, while 129 are moving down one, for a total of 259 hotels changing. And to Hyatt’s credit, their table showing which properties are affected is MUCH more thoughtfully organized than Marriott’s.
The above changes go into effect on March 18, 2019, at 11:01 pm CT. Hyatt states that you can book now to lock-in your rate at properties that are increasing in price. And, on the other end, if you have an award stay at a property decreasing a category, you can leave the reservation as is and they’ll refund you the difference in points. Hyatt says their agents will begin proactively refunding points on March 19, 2019.
World of Hyatt Changes Impact in Hawaii
This year only three Hyatt properties in Hawaii are experiencing award category adjustments. And, in a first I’ve seen in ages (excluding Marriott’s weird program integration adjustments), a Hyatt property is moving down a category in Hawaii. I know what you’re thinking too; shockingly, it’s not the Hyatt Place Waikiki that’s adjusting down.
To my surprise, it is the Hyatt Centric Waikiki that is moving from Category 5 to 4. That makes the property eligible for use with the World of Hyatt Visa Certificate! And that’s great news because the Hyatt Centric is one of my favorite Waikiki properties. The other two changing, unsurprisingly are the Hyatt Regency Maui (Category 5 to 6) and the Andaz Maui (Category 6 to 7).
Maui is an incredibly popular destination, so it makes sense that these two properties would see an increase. Especially since the Andaz, to this day, continues to play games with award night availability. I’ve pretty much given up on staying there on points anyway, so not like this matters to me.
And, in case you’re wondering, an award night at the Hyatt Centric is going from 20,000 points per night down to 15,000. But an award stay at the Hyatt Regency Maui is going from 20,000 to 25,000 points per night. And, finally, an award stay at the Andaz Maui is going from 25,000 to 30,000 points per night. If you can find award stay availability, that is.
Hyatt is Adjusting its Hotel Award Categories Too, Final Thoughts
While I’m not Hyatt Loyalist by any means, it’s nice to see a more balanced annual award category adjustment. Especially in an age where Marriott can’t seem to make adverse changes quick enough! And, I’m not going to lie, if Hyatt continues to make positive or well-balanced moves as they have been, I may consider going back to them. But, I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the transition from Gold Passport to the World of Hyatt, so we’ll see. It’s not like Marriott is doing much to keep me happy anyway. Their program has, after all, turned into a complete joke.