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Hyatt recently announced that more than 100 hotels will be changing categories on March 22, 2022. Unfortunately, it’s generally bad news, but there are a few bright spots, mostly for the European travelers. Nearly 150 hotels will change categories, with 70 properties shifting to a higher category, including some of our readers’ favorites. Sixty-nine properties are moving up one category, and one property is going up two categories.

A few Category 4 hotels where you currently can use the Category 1-4 free night certificates will be moving up a category. That means that you won’t be able to use the certificates at these properties after the changes go into effect.

The free night certificates can be earned in a couple of ways:

  • The World Of Hyatt Credit Card holders earn one free night certificate on their account anniversary.
  • Hyatt frequent guests earn a milestone award after staying 30 qualifying nights.
  • Those who mix up their hotel stays earn a Band Explorer night after staying at five different Hyatt brands.

All reservations made prior to March 22 will follow the current award chart. Hyatt releases about 13 months worth of availability, so if you know your travel plans, it’s worth booking now to lock in the old rates. You can always cancel later. Just be mindful of cancellation deadlines.

If you’ve booked a hotel that’s going down in category, Hyatt will reprice your stay and refund the difference, so there’s no need to cancel and rebook.

This is Hyatt’s current award chart.

Domestic and International Properties Moving from Category 7 to Category 8

Historically, Hyatt properties have been capped at Category 7, and only some Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) properties fell into Category 8. This is about to change, as some of the most popular, and most luxurious, Hyatt properties are moving into Category 8:

  • Alila Ventana Big Sur
  • Alila Napa Valley
  • Andaz Maui
  • Park Hyatt New York
  • Park Hyatt Sydney
  • Park Hyatt Kyoto
  • Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono
  • Park Hyatt Milan
  • Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme

Hyatt Globalists who earn a free night award redeemable at the Category 7 hotels after earning 60 qualifying nights, won’t be able to redeem their certificates at these aspirational properties starting March 22. So if you had your eye out on any of these, book before the new prices go into effect.

This is a big devaluation. Prior to Hyatt’s introduction of the seasonal award chart, these properties were capped at 30,000 points per night. Now, an award night at these nine hotels can cost as many as 45,000 World of Hyatt points in peak season.

U.S. Properties Moving From Category 4 to Category 5

Some of the most popular Category 4 U.S. hotels that you could previously book with Category 1-4 certificates are going up in category. That means that the free night certificates won’t work at these properties any more:

  • Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel
  • The Confidante Miami Beach – The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
  • Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
  • Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina
  • Hyatt Residence Club Dorado, Hacienda del Mar
  • Hyatt Place Portland-Old Port
  • Hyatt Place Santa Cruz
  • Hyatt Place Santa Barbara
  • Hyatt Place State College

U.S. Properties Moving from Category 5 to Category 4

Only two U.S. hotels are moving from Category 5 to Category 4. You’ll be able to use the free night certificates at these hotels:

  • Hyatt Residence Club San Antonio, Wild Oak Ranch
  • Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia

International Properties Moving from Category 4 to Category 5

The list is shorter for the International properties, but it includes some previously hidden gems, including the Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island and Park Hyatt Istanbul:

  • Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island, Okinawa
  • Park Hyatt Hangzhou
  • Park Hyatt Istanbul – Macka Palas
  • Park Hyatt Zanzibar

U.S. Property Moving from Category 2 to Category 4

Hyatt Place Moab is going from Category 2 to Category 4. This is a beautiful property in a town that doesn’t have a lot of chain hotels. If Utah’s been on your list, book Hyatt Place Moab before the price goes up in March.

13 U.S. Properties Dropping in Category

Now to some good news. There isn’t much to celebrate, as most changes are within Categories 1 through 4, so Hyatt didn’t add any properties where we can use the free Category 1-4 certificates. Most hotels on the list are lower end properties, but Disney enthusiasts will be happy to see these properties going down from Category 3 to Category 2:

  • Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista
  • Hyatt Place across from Universal Orlando Resort

18 International Properties Moving to Category 4

There’s good news for international travelers, especially those with free night certificates. These international properties are dropping in category and are moving to Category 4:

  • The Plettenberg Hotel
  • The Sukhothai Shanghai
  • Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Akyra Manor Chiang Mai
  • Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa
  • Grand Hyatt Macau
  • Hyatt Regency Sydney
  • Altstadt Vienna
  • The Pand Hotel
  • Schlosshotel Kronberg
  • Brooks Hotel
  • Hyatt Regency Amsterdam
  • Opus XVI
  • Movich Cartagena de Indias
  • The Lodge & Spa at Pico Bonito
  • Grand Hotel Parker’s
  • Hotel Bergs
  • The Grand Hotel

Four Hotels in Bali Dropping in Category

If Bali is on your bucket list, four Hyatt properties on the island are dropping in category:

  • Alila Ubud (from Category 3 to Category 2)
  • Alila Manggis (from Category 2 to Category 1)
  • Grand Hyatt Bali (from Category 2 to Category 1)
  • Hyatt Regency Bali (from Category 2 to Category 1)

What to Do Now?

If you have your heart set on one of the hotels that are moving up in category, book your stay now. If the plans change, you can always cancel and get the points back. Just be mindful of the cancellation deadlines.

If you don’t have any World of Hyatt points, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your Hyatt account at a 1:1 ratio and book your stay. Keep in mind that transfers are one-way only, and even if you cancel your stay, the points will stay in your Hyatt account.

Final Thoughts

This is definitely a devaluation, especially for the Hyatt loyalists who like to redeem the Hyatt points and free night certificate at high-end properties. Some of the top-tier hotels can now cost as many as 45,000 points per night.

Many of the Category 4 favorites are also gone, and we won’t be able to redeem the free night Category 1-4 certificates at these properties. There is some good news for international travelers, but on balance this is not a good development.