CONFIRMED: Hyatt Is NOT Adding A Category 8 For Existing Hotels

Nothing gets loyalty customers agitated more than their favorite properties getting more expensive.  Hyatt made an announcement earlier this week that Points & Cash bookings would cost more going forward.  It met with some ire from Hyatt customers.  Overall, though, I wouldn’t label it an outrage.  Personally, I’m hoping it frees up more availability, though I think it could lead to a bit of customer confusion.

Category 8?

On the heels of that announcement, there was news from my friend Summer that there were some hints of a Category 8 on the Hyatt website.  The possibility existed that Hyatt might be creating a new category of hotels that required 40,000 points per night to book.  Sure enough, I could see that on the website:

As Summer noted, none of the current Category 7 properties showed up as 40,000 points per night.  But, we didn’t have an immediate answer from Hyatt.  I didn’t see the business case for a Category 8 given the existing portfolio.  There are only a couple of handfuls of properties in Category 7 now.  Discussing this with a couple of other bloggers, we surmised this might have something to do with Hyatt’s recent activity in partnerships and acquisitions.

Response From Hyatt

I received a response from Hyatt on this.  As we surmised, it’s about the new properties:

Rest assured 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.

Yup, that makes sense.  The Small Luxury Hotels integration sounds like it’s going to be a fun one, adding lots of cool new hotels to the mix.  Couple that with the announced acquisition of a collection of hotels around the world (Two Roads Hospitality) and there were bound to be some hotels that didn’t fit in the current structure.  Heck, Two Roads owns a pirate ship.  How many points to take that thing out for a spin?

The Final Two Pennies

More to come on this in the future, for sure.  But, it seems there won’t be any existing Hyatt hotels slipping into Category 8 anytime soon.  That makes sense, and so does the potential for a Category 8 when there are pirate ships and castles on the horizon.

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22 Comments

  1. Thanks for going beyond the scare headlines and getting the facts from Hyatt. Maybe not as good for clicks, but very professional!

  2. Agree re getting the facts. But seriously. “Breathe, people, breathe! Relax, it does not appear the sky is falling”? Condescend much?

  3. Ummmmm okay….. do u actually believe those random no name SLH joints have a chance to actually tier higher than Park Hyatt’s at exotic islands ?

    The only plausible explanation for that to be remotely true is if Hyatt were so desperate for footprint they signed a deal that calls for much higher compensation rates on award nights, thus forcing their hand into Cat 8

  4. Thanks for getting the facts from Hyatt, good reporting.
    I will bet you drinks though that the first Hyatt property will move to that tier within a few years.
    Remember Hilton made a similar promise when they changed their program – “no current plans” lasted about a year …

  5. Even if that’ not the plan right now, this is the first step towards moving some of their other properties into a new category. I’d give it a year tops before properties like Park Hyatt NYC are moved into category 8.

  6. Here is why I think they will move Hyatt hotels into the category 8 in the near future.

    This is business 101 to start something new and promise that it isn’t going to change anything and then to slowly move old products into it when people are not paying attention.

    These few hotels that are special properties that will be put into the Category 8 could have been treated like Miraval etc. They already have hotel partnerships not in categories so why not do the same thing here? Because it is smoke and mirrors. That is my take on it at least.

  7. So Hyatt is partnering with a company that admittedly has better high end hotel?

    These categories and points required as so fluid and could change. I like Hyatt and it seems to be the last of the hotel chains where there isn’t point inflation.

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