Last autumn, Hyatt promised there would be no additional hotel category changes in 2021. But someone changed their mind. In just hours, two of my favorite properties within a 90-minute radius of my house, one to the south in Carlsbad, the other to the north in Santa Barbara, are going up in price.
Hyatt’s Surprise 2021 Category Changes
You would think that during a global pandemic with so many travel restrictions, hotel rates would come down, not go up. Furthermore, Hyatt promised us last October that only four hotels would increase in price in 2021.
That included these four properties:
- Hyatt House Nashville/Downtown-SoBro – category 4 to category 5
- Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport – category 2 to category 3
- Mar Monte Hotel – category 4 to category 5
- Park Hyatt Aviara – category 5 to category 6
But yesterday, Hyatt announced seven additional hotels would go up in price effective March 25, 2021:
- Andaz Scottsdale – category 5 to category 6
- Hyatt Place Delano – category 1 to category 2
- Hyatt Place Fair Lawn/Paramus – category 1 to category 2
- Hyatt Place Houston Downtown – category 3 to category 2
- Hyatt Place Palm Bay/Melbourne – category 1 to category 2
- Hyatt Regency Dharamshala – category 2 to category 3
- Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico – category 3 to category 4
The changes are not earth shattering, but nevertheless represent broken trust.
But what I recently noticed for the first time was that two properties near and dear to me are going up in price:
Mar Monte (Unbound Collection) Goes From Category 4 To Category 5
I knew this would happen after the hotel completed a total remodel and update of its property. During construction, the (former) manager assured me that this hotel would not go up in category, but the decision was beyond his control.
For years, this property has been a steal as a category four, with rates often running over $300/night. That made it a compelling use of the free anniversary night from the World of Hyatt credit card from Chase.
I love coming to this property with my family. My parents love it too. Our inability to use our free night award won’t keep us away, but it is disappointing nonetheless.
Note, this category change was announced last fall.
Park Hyatt Aviara Goes From Category 5 to Category 6
Most people I talk to do not like this property, but my wife and I enjoy it. It’s an easy drive from LA, the grounds are lush, I love the spa, breakfast is tasty, and we usually score a suite upgrade.
Since I last reviewed the property, it has been remodeled. I look forward to returning.
The move from Category 5 to 6 means that a room now runs 25,000 World of Hyatt Points per night.
Note, this category change was also announced last fall.
> Review: Park Hyatt Aviara
If I am being fair, one reason I like the Mar Monte and Park Hyatt Aviara is because I generally scored a good value using points versus paying cash. Closing those loopholes of outsized value are always a question of when, not if. Nevertheless, I hate to see the price go up on two properties I am particularly fond of. Furthermore, Haytt’s decision to raise the price on seven more properties appears penny wise, pound foolish in terms of building trust, the foundation of any loyalty program.
How do the last-minute World of Hyatt category changes impact you?