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A few days ago Starwood announced their annual category changes. While these changes do not happen until March 6, 2018, they made one slight change to booking reservations – right now you can book up to 550 days out, but starting tomorrow, you’ll only be able to book 350 days out. That means right now you can book a Starwood hotel through August 13, 2019. Tomorrow that date will change to January 27, 2019. So if you are looking to lock in a rate for most of next winter, all of next spring, and most of next summer, you will want to book TODAY! Remember, there are a decent number of good properties that will require more points in less then a month!
While you can view a list of hotels changing here, below is a list of some popular properties that you might want to pay attention to:
- The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa – moving from a category 5 to a category 6
- Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel – moving from a category 5 to category 6
- Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok – moving from a category 4 to a category 5
- Le Méridien Chiang Mai – moving from a category 3 to a category 4 (when I stayed at this hotel a long time ago it was a category 1!)
- King George, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens – moving from a category 5 to a category 6
- The Westin Palace, Madrid – moving from a category 5 to a category 6
- The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler – moving from a category 5 to a category 6
- Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview – moving from a category 2 to a category 4
- Walt Disney World Dolphin – moving from a category 4 to a category 5
If you are looking to visit Disney World next year, you definitely will want to consider the Dolphin. They recently went through a renovation bringing them in par with the Swan next door (which is already a category 5 property). Right now it is only a category 4, which means 10,000 points a night – a steal for an onsite Disney property! While I do not think a visit to Disneyland is on our radar for next year, I’m still going to make a reservation just in case.
And if you are looking for a top beach property, definitely consider making a reservation at The Westin Grand Cayman. Unfortunately though, for some reason this property is not accepting reservations between January 6 through June 3, 2019, but if you are looking to stay during the Summer 2019, you can still book June 4 through August 12, 2019. I will definitely be making a speculative reservation at this property to lock in the lower rates, but keep in mind that there is a hefty resort fee.
And remember, if you are looking to increase your Starwood balance, you can still apply for either of the Starwood credit cards – Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card (personal version) or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card (business version). I am assuming this card will no longer be available at some point (due to the Marriott/SPG merger) but as of right now there is no set date.
Where will you be making a reservation?