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Last week I wrote that Starwood is going through their annual category re-assessment and is changing the categories for 268 hotels. It is a pretty even mix where about half of these hotels are moving up a category and half of them are moving down a category. This type of change happens yearly with all hotels, so this is expected. Fortunately, there are no other overall changes throughout the SPG program. For this particular change, this is really neither good or bad news in my opinion, 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 10, 2015. TODAY is the last day to book a hotel at the current rate for a hotel that is moving up a category. 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. DO NO FORGET TO BOOK!
For this post, I will focus on the hotels that are moving up since those are the ones to pay attention to today. So here are a sample of hotels that are increasing and could be popular amongst many readers.
- Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel
- W Retreat Koh Samui
- The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort
- Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino
- The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas & Spa, Cancun
- Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs
- Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco
- The St. Regis San Francisco
- The Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Boston
- W Boston
- The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale
- The St. Regis Houston
- The Tremont Chicago Hotel at Magnificent Mile
- The Westin Austin at The Domain
- The Westin New Orleans Canal Place
- The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
- W San Diego
- The Westin Verasa Napa
So book now and cancel later (as long as the hotel has a flexible cancelation policy). I also suggest booking one night stays as it will give you more flexibility to cancel if you are not exactly sure of your check in and check out dates (unless you are looking to use the 5th night free award).
If you are new to the Starwood Preferred Guest program, you can learn more about it in these prior blog posts:
- Perks of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card
- Understanding Starwoods Cash & Points Redemption
- Getting your 5th Night Free with Starwood Points
- Redeeming your Points for Hotels & Flights
- Redeeming your Points for Upgraded Rooms and Suites
- Transferring your SPG Points to Airline Miles
- Transferring SPG Points Between Accounts
- Getting Starwood Status and the Perks
- How the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Annual Fee Pays for Itself