Ten years ago the most you could spend to stay at a Hyatt was 15,000 points. There was nothing higher than category 4. However,
- At the end of 2006 they created category 5 as the new highest redemption tier.
- In 2010 they created category 6 as a new highest redemption tier. With room rates not at all yet recovered from the Great Recession it was surprising that they were charging more points for rooms.
- Four years ago Hyatt introduced a new category 7 and raised the price of category 5 and 6 awards.
We went from the Park Hyatt Tokyo running 15,000 points per night in 2006 to 30,000 points per night 7 years later and during a timeframe when room rates hadn’t really gone up.
Now with the addition of Miraval to the Hyatt portfolio we’re seeing something dangerous. Hyatt has amended its terms and conditions to describe properties “not included by Hyatt (in its sole discretion) in the category 1-7 classification system.”
Up until now, 30,000 points was the most you’d have to pay for a Hyatt redemption. That meant you could still get some fantastic value at hotels during their peak season that might charge $1200 a night. The redemptions aren’t as cheap as when they topped out at 15,000 points, but they were still good.
Now Hyatt has freed themselves to charge as many points as they want and they can do so on a case by case basis without announcing any new redemption tiers. They just give the hotel a price and remove it from a tier (and in the process remove it from redemption eligibility using an earned free night that is limited to redemption at hotels in specific tiers).
For Miraval though awards start at 45,000 points and aren’t even double occupancy.
Despite the inclusions, the property isn’t even that expensive. A weekend in the fall appears to be running a bit over $700.
Once they’ve done this, it’s hard to imagine the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives remaining just 25,000 points.
When Hyatt introduced ‘World of Hyatt’ they announced top tier members would earn a free night, essentially, at any participating Hyatt property — because that free night was valid at any category 1 through 7 hotel and all hotels were categories 1 through 7.
Award pricing has now set a precedent which could take it over to the Dark Side. World of Hyatt, it seems, is a Galaxy Far Far Away from the Gold Passport we grew up with.