Starwood 2013 Category Changes

Just as a reminder, 03/04 local hotel time is the last chance to book at the old rates.  For example if you want to book the W Taipei which is moving from category 5 to 6 you would have to do so before 10:59am EST which is 11:59pm there.

Originally posted on 02/20:

Starwood 2013 Category Changes Linky

Book stays by 03/04 to lock in current rates for future stays.  Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print).

For now, somehow, someway, the Le Meridian Dead Sea Israel remains a category 1 hotel even with its $500 paid rates. Go figure?

Hotels that are not on the list are still subject to change without any warning on 03/05.

All in all these changes are worse than Hyatt, but far better than the massive devaluations going on with Hilton, Marriott, and Priority Club as point rates catch up to hotel prices that continue to creep up.

Most hotels chains reorganize their categories yearly to keep them current with the average rates that they charge.  The beauty of hotel points is that there are no blackout dates or capacity controls, if there is a room you can use points for it.  So even if a major event is in town and rates are quadruple what they normally are you can still use the regular amount of points as long as the hotel is not sold out of standard rooms.

Sample hotels going more expensive:
-The great SLS Beverly Hills (reviewed here) goes from category 5 to 6. This leaves the Andaz West Hollywood at LA’s best points bargain as a Hyatt category 4 property.
-The Westin Kierland Villas, Scottsdale goes from category 5 to 6.
-The St. Regis Princeville Resort Kauai (which I didn’t particularly care for) goes from category 6 to 7. All the more reason to opt for the GHK.
-The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas goes from category 5 to 6.
-The Westin Moana Surfrider Honolulu (which we loved) goes from category 5 to 6.
-The Westin Ka’anapali Maui Ocean Resort Villas goes from category 6 to an insane category 7.
-The Westin Southfield Detroit near the jewish community there goes from category 2 to 3.
-The Aloft Brooklyn goes from category 3 to a whopping category 5.
-The Sheraton Brooklyn goes from category 4 to 5.
-The Danieli Venice goes from category 6 to 7, leaving the Westin (reviewed here) as the only affordable SPG property in that stunning city.
-The St. Regis Beijing goes from category 5 to 6.
-The W Taipei goes from category 5 to 6.
-The Le Méridien Khao Lak Beach & Spa Resort (so good and yet so bad) goes from category 3 to 4.
-Sheraton Denarau Villas Fiji goes from category 4 to 6.

Sample hotels getting cheaper:
-The Westin Aruba goes from category 5 to 4.
-The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, Beaver Creek goes from category 6 to 5
-The Luxury Collection’s Hotel Ivy Minneapolis goes from category 5 to 4

Starwood’s standard award chart will not change:
If you stay 5 nights with points the 5th night is free.
Category 1 = 2,000 (weekend), 3,000 (weekday).
Category 2 = 3,000 (weekend), 4,000 (weekday).
Category 3 = 7,000
Category 4 = 10,000
Category 5 = 12,000 (Low Season), 16,000 (High Season).
Category 6 = 20,000 (Low Season), 25,000 (High Season).
Category 7 = 30,000 (Low Season), 35,000 (High Season).

Cash and Points Changes:
While all hotels must offer standard points rates at all times, they don’t have to ever offer cash and points availability. The cash and points award chart is getting more expensive in an effort to get more hotels to open up additional cash and points availability.

The current chart is bookable until March 4th for future stays:
Category 1 = 1,200+$25
Category 2 = 1,600+$30
Category 3 = 2,800+$45
Category 4 = 4,000+$60
Category 5 = 4,800+$90
Category 6 = 8,000+$150
Category 7 = 15,000+$275

The new cash and points chart is as follows:

 

Point transfers to airlines with a 25% bonus for 20K transfers remains blissfully unchanged.

HT: Drago, via DDF

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21 Responses to “Starwood 2013 Category Changes”

  1. Moishebatchy Says:
    1

    Am I the only one surprised that the Le Meridien Dead Sea isn’t going up?!

    ReplyReply
  2. Mitch Says:
    2

    How sad. The SLS is a great stay,

    ReplyReply
  3. Dan Says:
    3

    @Moishebatchy:
    Nope, though it can still change on the 5th.

    @Mitch:
    Indeed, such a bummer!

    ReplyReply
  4. thingywingy Says:
    4

    Thats a big increase in Cash & Points. Bad.

    ReplyReply
  5. Joel S. Says:
    5

    Goodness sake!! What am I missing about the Le Meridian Dead Sea ??

    I loooove this hotel so so much. And for some very strange reason its getting so many (really) BAD reviews, what’s wrong with these people and what’s wrong with SPG?

    ReplyReply
  6. Moishebatchy Says:
    6

    @Joel S.: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Enjoy it while it’s cheap.

    I know I do… :-D

    ReplyReply
  7. wiggle room Says:
    7

    Why is it sad? You can stay there for next to nothing!

    What do you think is generally a better choice. To take a hotel only on points or do cash and points?

    ReplyReply
  8. dave Says:
    8

    The list seems to have every SPG hotel on there! Does anyone have any idea what percent of SPG hotels are going up? I personally like using 2 star hotels since you get the most bang for your buck in a decent hotel. If they all go 3 star its a jump to 7000 points! Why are they so freakin stingy with their ratings? They are usually overrated by a star or two

    ReplyReply
  9. Sfuzzi Says:
    9

    I am new to his way of life and need some advce. we are traveling to Spain in march on united miles

    I recently opened the Amex SPG card. So far I only have use of the 10,000 signuppoints. I was able to book 2/3 nights at the westin Madrid using points and cash (4800 each night plus $90) I will have to payout of pocket approx $230 for the third night.

    Is this a good use of my points? Or should I be saving my points for a better value?

    ReplyReply
  10. Sas140 Says:
    10

    @Sfuzzi:

    I get at least 3.5 cents per SPG point for my redemptions. Usually over 5.0 (and even up to 7.5 sometimes) in Europe and Thailand with cash and points. You’re getting just under 3.0. But that being said if you want to save money and don’t have a future use for the points, then 3.0 is still a decent redemption.

    ReplyReply
  11. yaks Says:
    11

    @dan
    are u sure that the current cash and points is still bookable?
    im getting the kne rates already…..

    ReplyReply
  12. Tt Says:
    12

    Good point. You can cancel
    Most places with no fee. So book even if maybe.

    ReplyReply
  13. Leserb Says:
    13

    You didn’t mention the W Los Angeles in Westwood. Have you ever stayed? Is that one going up on 3/4? It currently says its 12,000 per night for the dates I will be there.

    ReplyReply
  14. Dan Says:
    14

    @Leserb:
    Not changing.
    Though the SLS is and is a better property.

    ReplyReply
  15. me Says:
    15

    Sheraton Eatontown Hotel going up or down? Its currently rated as 3.

    ReplyReply
  16. KSN Says:
    16

    Hi
    I had a question about moving Starwood points to an airline program (with the 20 becomes 25,000 policy). I called Starwood to ask about moving points to avios where I already have a nice amount of miles. I want to transfer miles afterwards from avios to my iberia account to book 4 free reward seats to israel on an iberia trip. Right now there are 4 reward seats available on the plane. The Starwood rep told me it takes 3 weeks for the transfer to occur. My worry is that I will make the transfer and by the time the 3 weeks pass, the reward seats will be gone. At that point I can’t transfer back to Starwood. What would you do?

    ReplyReply
  17. mo Says:
    17

    the dead sea meridian should be a category 1……the worst hotel i ever stayed out!!!!!!dont stay there not even for 1 starwood point

    ReplyReply
  18. Sam the man Says:
    18

    I’m sitting on my porch Dead Sea right now and I have to agree with the reviews that besides being cheap it’s definitely not a classy 1 hotel examples dirty carpets , my do not disturb sign was totally ignored just now and whe the cleaning people left they didn’t replace the towels etc… So u get what u don’t pay for !!!!!

    ReplyReply
  19. GI Says:
    19

    which SPG hotels are good value or cheap points in Miami area and Orlando? Thanks!

    ReplyReply
  20. esther gross Says:
    20

    the meridien hotel in dead sea is no longer a starwood hotel ,as far as I know it is now a leonardo chain hotel

    ReplyReply
  21. Joel S. Says:
    21

    @esther gross: Nonsense, it sure is

    ReplyReply

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