That Didn’t Last Long: Hyatt Adding New Category 8 Hotels, and Many Limited-Participation Properties

A year ago Hyatt introduced a new highest-priced category 8 to their award chart. The most expensive room in the system had been 30,000 points. Category 8 would be 40,000 points.

Hyatt promised that category 8 was just for special ‘SLH Hotels’ they were bringing into the program. SLH Hotels aren’t Hyatt hotels, they’re a set of properties they drive business to and allow members to redeem for. My sense was they might be paying SLH properties more for redemptions than they pay to their own Hyatt properties, and needed to offset that cost with higher points prices.

I also said, though, that once category 8 existed we’d start to see other hotels at that price. I predicted it would be ‘just a few’ hotels that are ‘very special.’ Hyatt has just announced that is happening as they add more Destination Hotels properties into the World of Hyatt program.

A year ago Hyatt announced its acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality and the Thompson, Joie de Vivre, Alila, and Destination brands (along with the nascent tommie brand). Destination Hotels started joining Hyatt August 20th.

Now Hyatt is sharing that,

  • There are two more waves of Destination Hotels joining November 5 and November 12
  • They’re adding Residence (timeshare) properties to the program
  • Timeshare properties are usually designed as extended stay and as limited service. Elite upgrade, late check-out, guaranteed availability and breakfast benefits aren’t honored at all of them.
  • Some properties are ‘earn only’ no redemptions permitted
  • Five Destination Hotels will be category 8 – the first hotels within Hyatt’s own portfolio priced at category 8.


Credit: Kaanapali Alii

I don’t have an issue with limited-participation hotels, and it makes sense for timeshare hotels not to offer complimentary breakfast as an elite benefit. Late checkout is subject to availability, asis standard for resorts. I’m not sure the logic in refusing upgrades. However it’s not really fair to say that Hyatt is growing and delivering more value to members by adding hotels where redemption is not possible.

And I think we can assume that moving five Destination Hotels into category 8 is just the beginning. We’ll eventually see more at the inflated 40,000 points per night level.

Here’s the list of Destination Hotels, along with join dates and category (if redemption is permitted) and whether full elite benefits are honored:

Hotel Location Join Date Category Elite Benefits? Free Nights?
The Carolina Inn  Chapel Hill, NC Aug 20  Yes Yes
Motif Seattle  Seattle, WA Aug 20  Yes Yes
Quirk Hotel  Richmond, VA Aug 20  Yes Yes
Tempe Mission Palms Hotel Tempe, AZ Aug 20  Yes Yes
Rizzo Center  Chapel Hill, NC  Aug 21  Yes Yes
The Scottsdale Resort at
McCormick Ranch 
Scottsdale, AZ  Aug 21  Yes Yes
The Elms Hotel &
Spa 
Excelsior Springs, MO  Sep 10  Yes Yes
Hotel De Anza  San Jose, CA  Sep 10  Yes Yes
Vail Residences at
Cascade Village
Vail, CO  Nov 5  No Yes
Christiania Condominiums,
Residences
Vail, CO  Nov 5  No Yes
Christiania Lodge Vail, CO  Nov 5  No Yes
Enzian, Residences Vail, CO  Nov 5  n/a  No No
The Landmark, Residences Vail, CO  Nov 5  No Yes
Montaneros in Vail,
Residences
Vail, CO  Nov 5  No Yes
Vail 21, Residences Vail, CO  Nov 5  n/a  No No
Vantage Point, Residences Vail, CO  Nov 5  n/a  No No
Westwind, Residences Vail, CO  Nov 5  n/a  No No
Aspenwood, Residences Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Capitol Peak Lodge,
Residences
Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Countryside at Snowmass,
Residences
Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Interlude, Residences Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Laurelwood Condominiums,
Residences
Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  No Yes
Lichenhearth, Residences Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  No Yes
The Lodge at Spruce Peak Stowe, VT  Nov 12  Yes Yes
Resort at Squaw
Creek 
Olympic Valley, CA  Nov 12  Yes Yes
Shadowbrook, Residences Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  n/a  No No
The Stonebridge Inn Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  No Yes
Tamarack Townhomes,
Residences
Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Terracehouse, Residences Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Top of the Village,
Residences
Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Villas at Snowmass Club,
Residences
Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  No Yes
Willows, Residences Snowmass, CO  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Champion Ridge at
Mauna Lani, Residences
Waimea, HI  Nov 12  n/a  No No
The Islands at
Mauna Lani
Waimea, HI  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Kaanapali Alii Lahaina, HI  Nov 12  No Yes
Lahaina Shores Beach
Resort
Lahaina, HI  Nov 12  No Yes
The Lodge
at Kukui’ula
Koloa, HI  Nov 12  No Yes
Makena Surf, Residences Kihei, HI  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Mauna Lani Point
Resort
Waimea, HI  Nov 12  No Yes
Polo Beach Club,
Residences
Kihei, HI  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Puunoa Beach Estates Lahaina, HI  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Wailea Beach Villas Kihei, HI  Nov 12  n/a  No No
Wailea Ekahi Village,
Residences
Wailea, HI Nov 12  No Yes
Wailea Ekolu Village,
Residences
Kihei, HI  Nov 12  No Yes
Wailea Elua Village,
Residences
Wailea, HI Nov 12  No Yes
Wailea Grand Champions
Villas, Residences
Wailea, HI Nov 12  No Yes
Wailea Point, Residences Wailea, HI Nov 12  n/a  No No

Are you excited about any of the new Hyatt ski or Hawaiian Destination Hotels properties?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Time to give up the last status I marginally cared about.
    Can any blogger who claims Globalist is worth $40000 buy my status for 25% off?

  2. There will finally be one place to use Hyatt points on the Big Island, if I’m reading correctly. Finally.

  3. Starts to turn the corner on Chase Freedom Unlimited as being a preferred non-bonus spend card. As Hyatt redemptions start hitting Marriott redemption levels, then 2x points per $ on a MR card start to look… better, though not good. A ways to go yet, though. Would eventually push me back to Citi 2x Cashback card as non-bonus spend card. Probably ought to be using it now……

  4. This is fantastic. Many new properties in Vail, Aspen (Snowmass) and Maui where I can use my Hyatt points. Of course they are 40k – in some cases you are getting a timeshare that can accommodate your family as opposed to a suite upgrade (that is only avail to top elites). Compare to cost of 2 rooms in peak season.

    I will decline to endorse the slippery slope argument until we see the expensive Cat 7s bumped up. No doubt that day will come but I expect it’s not imminent.

  5. Several months ago I booked a FREE night using a Marriott certificate for a February, 2020 trip to Bangkok. When I had to change the date, I discovered that the hotel rates had increased from 35,000 pts. (allowing me to use my free night certificate) to 40,000 pts., (too high to use my free night certificate). I was told that these rates will continue to fluctuate.

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