Starwood Hotels Annual Category Changes

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As they do on a yearly basis, Starwood has reassessed their properties and is changing the categories for 268 hotels. At this time, a total of 268 hotels will be changing categories – about half of them going down a category and the other half going up a category. To me, this is really neither good or bad news, just a shuffle in hotels. No devaluation in my mind, and actually if you are looking to stay in Europe you will be pleasantly surprised since all hotels effecting are actually going down a category! Additionally, there are no changes to the overall award chart which is great.

This change will take place on March 10, 2015, 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:

  • W Paris – Opéra
  • Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens
  • Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini
  • The St. Regis Rome
  • Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa
  • Le Westin Montreal
  • Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas, Avon / Vail Valley
  • The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, Beaver Creek Mountain
  • Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas
  • The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas
  • The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali
  • Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
  • The Westin Kierland Villas, Scottsdale
  • Sheraton Desert Oasis Villas, Scottsdale
  • Vistana’s Beach Club

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

  • 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

It is funny to compare the last from this year to last year. Many of the hotels that went up a category last year, went back down a category this year. For example, the Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens, the St. Regis Rome, the Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas, the Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, the Sheraton Maui, and the Westin Maui all went up a category last year and are back down a category this year making them even to where they were in 2013.

I am personally excited to see many ski properties get more affordable when using points! I also like that Maui and Europe has gotten a little cheaper as well. I do not like, however, that multiple Caribbean, Boston, San Francisco, and San Diego properties will be more expensive.

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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