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Hyatt Hotels Are Getting Rid of This, as of March 22

The chain's latest changes could affect the next trip you book.

Like airlines, choosing the right accommodations while traveling can be a point of pride for well-seasoned travelers. And with just over 1,000 locations in 69 countries, Hyatt Hotels has developed a loyal fan base of customers who are happy to check in to the chain whenever they're on the road. Besides its attention to detail, the brand has become beloved thanks to its broad selection of properties that range from landmark buildings in major cities to pristine beach resorts. But after a recent decision made by the company, Hyatt Hotels will be getting rid of one thing its customers covet in the coming months. Read on to see what you will no longer be able to expect from the hospitality brand.

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Guests will no longer be able to book free nights at ten of the chain's popular properties.

A person entering a hotel room

In a post on Feb. 14, Hyatt announced it completed its hotel category adjustments for 2022 that determine which tier each of its properties is designated on a scale from one to eight, which in part determines how many loyalty points will be required for customers to book a free night. As one of the most notable changes, the company will elevate ten of the chain's most sought-after properties to the top designation. Unfortunately, this means that even top-tier Globalist members of Hyatt's loyalty program will no longer be able to use their allotted free night certificate when making reservations at the hotels, which are limited to categories one through seven, travel news outlet The Points Guys reports.

Hyatt's newly elevated hotels include Alila Napa Valley, Alila Ventana Big Sur, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Park Hyatt New York, Park Hyatt Kyoto, Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono, Park Hyatt Sydney, Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, Park Hyatt Milan, and Hôtel Lou Pinet. The changes will go into effect for all reservations booked after March 22 at 8 a.m. CDT.

Other Hyatt properties will also be out of range for another type of free stay certificate.

A man who appears to be a business traveler standing in a hotel room using his phone

But it's not just the very top tier that will be affected by the change. Loyalty program members who earn an automatic free night certificate for categories one through four will no longer be able to redeem them for 14 of the chain's properties that will be elevated to a higher tier, The Points Guy reports.

The affected hotels include The Confidante Miami Beach; Park Hyatt Istanbul-Macka Palas; Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel; Hyatt Place Santa Barbara; Hyatt Place Santa Cruz; Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on Del Monte Golf Course; Hyatt Place Portland-Old Port; Hyatt Place State College; Hyatt Residence Club Dorado, Hacienda del Mar; Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa; Park Hyatt Zanzibar; Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina; Park Hyatt Hangzhou; and Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island, Okinawa.

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Experts are calling the changes a "massive devaluation" of the brand's loyalty points.

A young woman traveler sitting with her suitcase and looking angrily at her laptop

The upcoming changes don't just feature hotels being bumped up a tier: Of the 146 changes taking place, a total of 76 are being shifted to a lower category, while 70 are being upgraded. However, it's a considerable acceleration from last year's adjustments, which only saw 11 hotels moved to a different category, according to The Points Guy. And while guests can still cash in points for free stays at some of the properties, the change means that the top hotels will see a 50 percent increase in the number of points needed when the new rules go into effect next month.

The alterations to the loyalty program were met with criticism from some experts. "These changes are terrible for those who like aspirational redemptions," travel news site One Mile at a Time wrote. "Make no mistake: this is a massive devaluation."

Marriott also recently made major changes to its rewards program.

The exterior of a Marriott hotel

But Hyatt isn't the only hospitality brand to cause controversy with a change recently. In January, Marriott said it would be getting rid of its hotel and air travel packages for its guests, Gary Leff of travel news outlet View From the Wing first reported. To date, the company has also not announced a replacement for the option, which allowed its Bonvoy rewards members to redeem points for a hotel stay and frequent flyer miles that could be used to purchase airfare.

"The popularity of Travel Packages has been steadily decreasing," John Wolf, Vice President of Loyalty for Marriott, told travel news outlet The Points Guy in an official confirmation of the change on Jan. 19. "With the introduction of flexible point redemption rates sometime in March and the elimination of hotel categories, we can no longer offer Travel Packages."

Besides making travel packages unavailable for the future, the sudden policy change also means that people who may have purchased the option with their points are now in a time crunch to use them. According to Wolf, customers who bought the discontinued bundle need to contact Marriott by Feb. 28, 2022, to redeem the hotel portion of the package. Anyone who does not redeem their stay before then will be refunded points based on peak pricing determined by the hotel, The Points Guy reports. However, the frequent flyer mile portion of the package is now completely non-refundable and must be used as such.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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