The World of Hyatt Devaluation 2019: Part 1 — New Sweet Spots

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Hyatt devaluation
Park Hyatt Zanzibar: 15,000 points after March 18, 2019

The World of Hyatt devaluation is going to affect about 1/3 of their hotels. Here is the word from the horse’s mouth.

3. When will the changes to the award chart become effective?
Effective 11:01 p.m. CT, March 18, 2019, World of Hyatt will adjust the award categories for 259 hotels.
4. How many hotels are shifting to a higher category?
130 hotels will move to a higher award category. Free night award redemptions at these hotels will require additional World of Hyatt points for reservations made beginning at 11:01 p.m. CT, March 18, 2019.
5. How many hotels are shifting to a lower category?
129 hotels will move to a lower award category. Free night award redemptions at these hotels will require fewer World of Hyatt points effective 11:01 p.m. CT, March 18, 2019.

This World of Hyatt devaluation is different from other brands

While you might see it as a 50/50 split, rest assured that destinations you’re likelier to visit are likelier to get hit. Still, World of Hyatt is doing it differently from other players in the field like IHG or Club Carlson, as there are a number of interesting destinations where Hyatt hotels are going down. Kudos to them. Really!

One other thing that I appreciate about the Hyatt changes is how thoughtfully they’re handling them. You have until March 18 to book a hotel at the old levels, and if you book a hotel that is going to become cheaper after March 18, they will automatically refund the difference!

Any Free Night or Points & Cash Award booked prior to 11:01 p.m. CT, March 18, 2019, for nights on or after March 18, 2019, at a property that is shifting to a lower category and will require fewer points will receive an adjustment. World of Hyatt Customer Service will proactively deposit the point difference into a member’s account starting on March 19, 2019.

That’s a class act! Read the full F&Q here.

World of Hyatt Devaluation Full List of Changes

My World of Hyatt points valuation

I value World of Hyatt points slightly less than Ultimate Rewards points — at around 1.7 cents per point — and the new Hyatt devaluation hasn’t changed it much for me. Of course, you can get a much better value out of a Hyatt, but if you consider yourself a free agent (I do) and take into account other hotel and even vacation rental options ( I do), that helps not to go crazy about one particular hotel brand.

On the other hand, if you have the top Hyatt’s Globalist status (I don’t) then you might value Hyatt points a bit higher (for all those upgrades, breakfasts, and lounges). However, if you stay at a hotel for 5 nights or more you might value them less (unlike IHG, Hilton, or Marriott, Hyatt doesn’t offer a free 4th or 5th night). In any case, always remember the taxes when you’re calculating the total cash rate.

For all hotels in the following tables, I’ve checked them during low and high seasons and found that redemptions might be worth it — sometimes! The “from” cash rates I’m enclosing are just for reference — it’s a minimum rate you might have a hard time finding, or it can be a non-refundable rate, or whatever.

Hotel prices do not just fluctuate, they jump up and down depending on a variety of factors, and the difference can be hundreds of dollars for the same hotel room. Always check the cash rates for your specific dates.

Read my section Points or Cash? The reminder in this post for more.

Hyatt Devaluation 2019: new sweet points in the U.S.

Please keep in mind that I’m mostly an international traveler, so I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of interesting spots.

Hyatt Regency Atlanta is a centrally located hotel with the rotating Polaris lounge. It’s a gem and a bargain for 8,000 points.

Hyatt Regency Atlanta: 8,000 points for a room that starts at $180

All Houston hotels have been downgraded, so if you’re heading into town, there are quite a few to choose from. The Galleria Mall location is not exactly central, but it’s less than 10 miles from downtown, and 5,000 points is hard to beat.

Hyatt Regency Houston is central, and is also a great choice for 8,000 points, especially when its nightly rates go into $200+.

HotelOld Cat /PointsNew Cat /PointsCash Rate FromVerdict
Andaz San Diego 5/20K4/15K$189Maybe
Hyatt House San Diego/Carlsbad 3/12K2/8K$132Maybe
Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine 4/15K3/12K$164Maybe
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina 4/15K 3/12K $152Maybe
Hyatt Regency Atlanta 3/12K2/8K$182Yes
Hyatt Regency Chicago 4/15K 3/12K $149Maybe
Hyatt House Houston/Galleria
Hyatt Place Houston/Galleria
2/8K1/5K~$100Yes
Hyatt Regency Houston 3/12K2/8K$129Maybe

Hyatt Devaluation 2019: new sweet spots in the Caribbean and Latin America

None. There are a few Hyatt hotels in this list I’d stay at, but my brief research hasn’t revealed any point-worthy redemptions. It doesn’t matter if the redemption levels are low when the cash rate is cheap too. Better pay cash.

Hyatt Devaluation 2019: new sweet spots in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East

Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg is a top hotel in one of the most interesting Russian cities, a city with incredible architecture and a vibrant art and music scene. If you’re exploring Russia beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg, take a short, 2.5-hour flight from Moscow on S7 for 7,500 Avios — it’s well worth the “detour.” And paying 5,000 points for a room at (arguably) the best hotel in town helps too.

Hyatt Regency Belgrade — Belgrade may not be as historic as Prague or Budapest, but the consensus is, it’s very cool, It’s getting more and more popular for its amazing nightlife, and as Telegraph put it in an article aptly called Why Belgrade is the greatest city you’d never thought to visit“you get two rivers for the price of one.”

But if there is one intriguing property that makes this devaluation especially worth it to us, that’s Park Hyatt Zanzibar. It’s still relatively expensive at 15,000 points per night, but considering the hotel’s cash rates … well, no, not really.

Park Hyatt Zanzibar: 15,000 points for a magnificent hotel in Stone Town ($300+)

From the hotel’s website:

Park Hyatt Zanzibar is located on the beachfront in the heart of Stone Town. Housed in Mambo Msiige, a magnificent building of great historical and cultural significance, steeped in history, grace and mystique, guests can truly immerse themselves in Stone Town life of days gone by, experience a typical Zanzibari mansion and revel in one of the island’s true architectural gems.

HotelOld Cat /PointsNew Cat /Points Cash Rate FromVerdict
Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg2/8K1/5K$152 Yes
Hyatt Regency Belgrade 2/8K1/5K$119Yes
Hyatt Centric Levent Istanbul 3/12K2/8K$116Maybe
Hyatt Regency Sharm El Sheikh Resort 2/8K1/5K$88Maybe
Grand Hyatt Amman 3/12K2/8K$119Maybe
Park Hyatt Zanzibar 5/20K4/15K$315Yes
Andaz Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi 3/12K2/8K$124Maybe

Hyatt Devaluation 2019: new sweet spots in Asia and Australia

China

Most Hyatt hotels in China and India are going down a Category, but I don’t know much about China. Beijing and Shanghai are obviously very touristy cities, and it doesn’t hurt that 2 major hotels in China (Hyatt Regency Beijing and Hyatt on the Bund, Shanghai) went down from Category 4 to Category 3. I’ve heard good things about those properties, especially Hyatt on the Bund, but after checking cash rates, I’m not convinced I’d choose using points at those hotels.

India

While you might feel that Andaz Delhi would be a terrific redemption at 12,000 points, I couldn’t find cash rates that would justify this redemption (YMMV of course). All other Hyatt hotels in India are also getting cheaper after March 2018, and, I think, are worth exploring, since the price is about right.

I loved the pictures of Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty but I didn’t know anything about Kochi, so I had to read about the area. It seems that Kochi is a very popular domestic touristy spot for Indians. This waterfront hotel is located on an island, and I thought it looked great. Would I fly to India with the only reason visiting Kochi? Now that would be silly, but if I were exploring this fascinating country with some time on my hands and the state of Kerala in particular — certainly!

Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty – a luxury waterfront hotel in a popular tourist destination in Kerala, India. 5,000 points per night after March 18, 2019

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is still quite cheap despite its worldwide popularity, which is probably why Park Hyatt Siem Reap, one of the poshest hotels in town, starts at $137 per night. This “cheapness” is a little deceiving, though, because in winter Park Hyatt’s rates jump to $250+ (and winter is the time you want to be in Cambodia).

Bali, Indonesia

Paying 12,000 for a night at Grand Hyatt Bali may feel like a lot for a hotel where prices start at $135. However, the resort is gorgeous with the rates going well into $300+ in winter, so that would be points well spent.

Hyatt Devaluation
Grand Hyatt Bali: pay 8,000 points for a room that can cost $300+

Canberra, Australia

Canberra might not be the first or even second choice for travelers to Australia, but by many accounts, the Australian capital is lovely and a must visit if you’re interested in Australian history. So, once again, while you won’t probably fly to Australia just to visit Canberra, it’s a nice add-on if you’re planning to explore the country. And you can’t go wrong with Hyatt Hotel Canberra for 12,000 points per night.

HotelOld Cat /PointsNew Cat /PointsCash Rate From Verdict
Park Hyatt Siem Reap 4/15K 3/12K $137Maybe
Hyatt Regency Delhi 2/8K 1/5K $130Yes
Hyatt Centric Candolim Goa 2/8K 1/5K $139Yes
Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty 2/8K 1/5K $140Yes
Grand Hyatt Mumbai 3/12K 2/8K $127Maybe
Grand Hyatt Bali 3/12K 2/8K $135Maybe
Hyatt Place Bangkok Sukhumvit 2/8K 1/5K $78Maybe
Hyatt Hotel Canberra – A Park Hyatt Hotel 4/15K 3/12K $176Maybe

Hyatt Anniversary Free Night: new sweet spots

The Chase World of Hyatt credit card offers one annual free night (up to Category 4). Here is a list of hotels that is going down from Category 5 after March 18 (HT: divinebaboon on Reddit).

  • Andaz San Diego
  • Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
  • Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach
  • Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile
  • Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago
  • Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina (Maryland)
  • Hyatt House Jersey City
  • Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson
  • Park Hyatt Istanbul – Macka Palas
  • Hyatt Regency Kiev (Ukraine)
  • Park Hyatt Zanzibar (Tanzania)
  • Park Hyatt Hangzhou (China)

Have you stayed (or are you going to) at any of these hotels?

Next -> Part 2: Hyatt Sweet Spots That Will Be No More — Book Now!

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