Changes in Starwood Hotel Categories

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As they do on a yearly basis, Starwood has reassessed their properties and is changing the categories for 120 hotels. This is impacting about 20% of their hotels, with 56% of them moving down a category and 44% of them moving up a category. Fortunately, it will still require the same number of points to redeem a free night at each category lever. This is really neither good or bad news, just a shuffle in hotels. If a hotel you like to redeem at is going down a category, then this is great news, however, if a desired hotel is going up a category then not the best news.

This change will take place on March 4, 2014, and and hotels booked on or after this date will take on the new category. If a hotel you are looking to book is going UP a category, make sure to lock that reservation is now. You can typically book 364 days in advance, although point reservations booked on cash & points aren’t always available that far in advance. You can view a list of hotels changing here.

Some hotels that I am happy that are decreasing:

  • Le Méridien Angkor
  • St. Regis Beijing
  • Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran
  • The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali
  • The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali
  • Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort
  • Wildwood Snowmass

Some hotels that I am sad to see going up a category:

  • Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens
  • Arion, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Astir Palace, Athens
  • The Westin Athens Astir Palace Beach Resort
  • The St. Regis Rome
  • Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort
  • Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas, Avon / Vail Valley
  • The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, Beaver Creek Mountain
  • Sheraton Waikiki
  • Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
  • The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali
  • Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter

I am bummed to see SPG properties in Vail and Beaver Creek going up a category, however, I am glad to see Snowmass decreasing. And while Hawaii will require a slew more points, Bali is getting much more affordable! So there are definitely pro and cons to this change, just all depends on where you are looking to travel.

Starwood Blog Series to Learn More:

  1. Perks of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card
  2. Understanding Starwoods Cash & Points Redemption
  3. Getting your 5th Night Free with Starwood Points
  4. Redeeming your Points for Hotels & Flights
  5. Redeeming your Points for Upgraded Rooms and Suites
  6. Transferring your SPG Points to Airline Miles
  7. Transferring SPG Points Between Accounts
  8. Getting Starwood Status and the Perks
  9. How the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Annual Fee Pays for Itself

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