It’s that time of year again. I got my monthly Hyatt newsletter, and noticeted that Hyatt has announced properties that are getting more expensive and cheaper to book using Gold Passport points in 2013.
It’s good to see that the list is very small this year (only 7 are going up). On whole, rates haven’t gone down this year. If anything, I think the average daily rate for a hotel has gone up just a bit. And, while rates aren’t a direct correlation to category changes, they do serve as a decent barometer.
Not only is it a small list, but I don’t view it to be that impactful in a negative way. Notable properties going up 1 category are Hyatt 48 Lex and Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Hyatt 48 Lex was the cheapest property for award redemption in Manhattan since it opened. It moves up to a category 5, which costs an extra 3,000 points a night. I enjoyed Hyatt 48 Lex when I stayed there, and still think it’s a pretty good value at 18,000 points a night.
As far as the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, I view this as a non-event for me. The difference in points (moving from a category 5 to a category 6) is 4,000 points a night. For the extra points, I would always choose the Park Hyatt Tokyo, one of my all-time favorite hotels. Now that the Grand is the same price it just further reinforces the value of the Park Hyatt.
Hyatt will still allow you to book a reservation at the properties going up a category through February 7th, so still plenty of time to lock in lower rates. And, you can book a room at one of the properties going down a category now and Hyatt will adjust the reservation in February to the lower rate.
You can see from the thread on Milepoint started yesterday that there’s no huge outcry or hurrah surrounding the announcement. In whole, I think this is about as reasonable a category change as could be expected this year.