Significant Starwood Hotel Category Changes

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Similar to the recent Marriott announcement, Starwood is also changing a significant number of their hotels where some are going up or down a category or two. A total of 282 hotels are changing, approximately 25% of the entire SPG portfolio – 168 hotels are going up in category and 114 hotels are going down in category. This change will take place on March 1, 2016. That means you have until February 29, 2016, to lock in any any reservations at hotels that will be requiring more points.

While there have been times in the past were category re-allocation has been positive for many members, I personally think this years change is a negative affect overall. In my opinion, there are more popular hotels that are going up then down. You can see all the hotels changing here.

Popular Hotels Going Up a Category

  • W Retreat & Spa Bali – Seminyak (moving from a category 6 to 7)
  • The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali (moving from a category 4 to 5) – this hotel was a steal at a category 4 hotel! While I didn’t stay at this hotel, I did walk through their grounds and it was really nice
  • The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok (moving from a category 3 to 4)
  • Le Méridien Chiang Mai (moving from a category 2 to 3) – I personally stayed at this hotel and it was a steal for such low points. I am not surprised it is moving up a category, but you can also find incredibly cheap hotel prices in Chiang Mai
  • Le Méridien Vienna (moving from a category 4 to 5)
  • Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens (moving from a category 5 to 6) – This hotel seems to go up and down every year. Great location though, but now requiring a lot of points!
  • Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa (moving from a category 3 to 4)
  • Le Méridien Barcelona (moving from a category 5 to 6)
  • Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach, Golf & Spa Resort (moving from a category 2 to 3)
  • The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa (moving from a category 5 to 6)
  • The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas & Spa, Cancun (moving from a category 5 to 6)
  • W Hollywood (moving from a category 5 to 6)
  • The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square (moving from a category 5 to 6)
  • The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain (moving from a category 5 to 6) – I am personally bummed to see this hotel go up a category. This is a hotel I’ll probably make some speculative reservations at for next year as I love Beaver Creek and hotel prices can be outrageous during the winter ski months.
  • W Washington D.C. (moving from a category 5 to 6)
  • Walt Disney World Swan (moving from a category 4 to 5) – For those looking to visit Disney, book this hotel now!
  • Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa (moving from a category 5 to 6) 
  • The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali (moving from a category 5 to 6)
  • The Westin New York Grand Central (moving from a category 5 to 6) – I am currently at this hotel as I write this blog post and probably wouldn’t stay as a category 6. As a category 5 though, it is a good option during expensive nights in NYC.
  • The Equinox, a Luxury Collection Golf Resort & Spa, Vermont (moving from a category 5 to 6) – Probably not worth it as a category 6, but great option as a category 5.
  • The Westin St. John Villas (moving from a category 5 to 6) – This hotel actually used to be a category 4 a year or two ago, so I am sad to see it now requiring so many points! With that being said, I am not surprised. It just went through a major renovation and is in the Caribbean, so should probably have been priced like this to begin with.

Popular Hotels Going Down a Category

  • Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove, Seychelles (moving from a category 6 to 5)
  • Le Méridien Bora Bora (moving from a category 7 to 6)
  • Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran (moving from a category 4 to 3) – I never saw this hotel, but loved the Jimbaran area of Bali
  • The St. Regis Bangkok (moving from a category 6 to 5) – While there are many cheaper point options in Bangkok, if you are into the St. Regis brand this is a great option.
  • Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel (moving from a category 4 to 2) – A really cheap option now for Dubrovnik!

Of course there are many more hotels moving up or down and the above is a sampling that I picked out from the entire list. I highly suggest making any speculative reservations now and canceling later. Any changes to reservations past March 1 will require you to pay the increased number of points.

Which hotels will you book at?

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