Travel News

6 Great Changes With The Hyatt Category Changes For 2015

Written by Charlie

Hyatt is updating their Gold Passport hotel chart for 2015 and that means the usual some hotels go up, some go down. Of course, the “up and down” refers to changes in categories for award stays. Just because a hotel changes a category does not mean it has become a better hotel or is a perceived worse hotel than before. There are many variables that go into play with category designations, not just if the hotel is a poorer value than the year before. For example, the Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica opened last year as a Category 5. Before it was even open a few months, they dropped the category ranking to a 4. It may have had to do with the number of award stays (or lack thereof), but it certainly wasn’t because it was a poor value. Many people were raving about the property, before and after the category change. So, before we get into the list, do not assume that because a hotel went down that it is going to be a lesser hotel than before while also do not assume that a higher category designation means it has become a much better hotel.

Hyatt Gold Passport Category Changes for 2015 (Beginning January 22, 2015)

6 Great Changes With the Hyatt Category Changes for 2015

In total, there were 22 hotels moving to a higher category and 48 moving to a lower category. In that number, only one hotel actually shifted by more than one category ranking – the Grand Hyatt Shenyang. It moved from a Category 4 to a Category 2! You can view the full list here, but I wanted to bring out what I find to be 6 great changes with the list. And this is why I believe they are great changes – these 6 hotels have moved from a Category 5 designation to a Category 4. Here is why that is great – the free anniversary night that comes with the Chase Hyatt card is only good on Category 1 – 4 hotels. That means that 6 hotels have moved into that magic area for redemption with the annual free night.


Grand Hyatt Washington DC – bookable with the Visa Anniversary night under the new changes!

  • Grand Hyatt Washington (website)- great news that this hotel has dropped a level. This brings a beautiful, nicely located hotel in the DC area down to a night that can be redeemed with the annual certificate.
  • Hyatt French Quarter (website) – this hotel is situation in a French Quarter landmark building in the city of New Orleans. 
  • Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa (website) – this resort hotel, located in Bonita Springs, FL will be a welcome addition to the category 4 ranking as it is always nice to have award options in Florida at lower levels.
  • Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (website) – another Florida resort hotel as a category 4. This one is located in the very hotel dense, Orlando area.
  • Hyatt Regency La Jolla (website) – this Hyatt is located in San Diego. Nice to see another option for the anniversary night in this area.
  • MGM Grand (website) – this MLife hotel is now bookable with Hyatt Visa anniversary night. It is a nice option because this hotel can be one of the more expensive Las Vegas hotels.

All of those above hotels will be able to be booked with the Hyatt Visa anniversary night beginning January 22. To actually book those hotels with the certificate, you will need to wait until then.

3 Hotels To Book Before January 22 (with the Hyatt Anniversary night)


Grand Hyatt Macau – this hotel will no longer be bookable with the Visa Anniversary night

On the flip side, there are 3 hotels that are changing from a category 4 to a 5. That change puts them outside of the possibility of booking them with the Hyatt Anniversary night. If you want to stay at any of these hotels, make sure you book the hotel with your certificate before January 22! The actual reservation can be as far out as you can book but it must be booked before January 22. The hotels changing are:

  • Grand Hyatt Baha Mar (website) – this hotel located in the Bahamas is actually not even open yet but it is already seeing a category change. You can make reservations for stays beginning June 1, 2015 and beyond
  • Grand Hyatt Macau (website) – this hotel has received many great reviews so not a real surprise to see the category go up a notch.
  • Park Hyatt Seoul (website) – this hotel going up is also not a surprise. To be honest, I thought it was very under-ranked at the Category 4 spot so it is to be expected that it went up. See my review here.

Other Notable Changes


Park Hyatt Chennai – will go from a Category 3 to a Category 2

For the rest of the list, there were just a few standouts to me. One was the Park Hyatt Maldives. That has been a favorite since it opened and is really no surprise that it went from a Category 6 to a 7. In fact, I think there was a lot of surprise that it had stayed at a Category 6 ranking during the last change. One of the unfortunate things about a hotel changing to a Category 7 isn’t necessarily the extra 5,000 points it requires but the extra $150 per night if you choose to pay with Points + Cash!

Another notable change is the Park Hyatt Chennai in India. This is definitely the lowest category Park Hyatt there is as it drops from a Category 3 to a Category 2! If you like the Park Hyatt brand, this will certainly be the cheapest for points that there is. It will only take 8,000 points per night or 4,000 points and $55 via Points + Cash.

For the other notables (to me), I was glad to see so many airport Hyatts drop in categories. I realize that they are really there are convenience instead of destination, so it is nice to see that so many will be available at a lower level after January 22, 2015.  Some have gone up, but there are others that came down – some as low as Category 1!


HT: Pizza in Motion


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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.