Coming March 2nd: 2009 Starwood Category Adjustments!

Update: Today is the last day to lock in rates at hotels that are climbing in category!

The Sheraton Jerusalem Plaza has lots of Cash and points availability, which is one of the best uses of Starpoints when a Cash and points award is available. The Cash and points award will go up tomorrow from 2,800 Starpoints+$45 to 4,000 Starpoints+$60 with its rise from category 3 to category 4 hotel.

Cash and points availability is often better when calling an agent than when searching on

Have Starwood call you.

Originally posted on 02/24:


Starwood AMEX Linky 

 The US Mint should be able to help you there…

Starwood Eliminates All Peak Season Award Upcharges!

There are 7 Starwood hotel categories. Hotels are categorized by the average rates that they charged over the past year.

82 hotels will go up and will now cost more Starpoints, 156 will go down and will now cost fewer Starpoints.

You can lock in the old rates for hotels going up in category by booking before March 2nd even if you don’t currently have enough Starpoints! Starpoint reservations are generally fully refundable until a day or so before check-in.  Again, the old rate is valid for stays anytime until the end of scheduling at all Starwood hotels as long as they are booked before March 2nd!

If you have Starpoint reservations at a hotel that is going down in category just wait until March 2nd and then get it readjusted downward. Also don’t forget to get Starpoint reservations for peak dates booked at category 5-7 hotels readjusted as well!

Hotels that went up in category: 82
From 1->2: 9 hotels.
From 2->3: 27 hotels.
From 2->4: 1 hotels.
From 3->4: 22 hotels.
From 4->6: 1 hotels.
From 4->5: 14 hotels.
From 5->6: 6 hotels.
From 6->7: 2 hotels.

Hotels that went down in category: 156
From 2->1: 11 hotels.
From 3->2: 37 hotels.
From 4->3: 46 hotels.
From 4->2: 4 hotels.
From 5->4: 41 hotels.
From 6->5: 11 hotels.
From 6->4: 1 hotels.
From 7->6: 5 hotels.

Overall there are now:
Category 1: +2 hotels.
Category 2: +11 hotels.
Category 3: +14 hotels.
Category 4: Unchanged
Category 5: -22 hotels.
Category 6: -2 hotels.
Category 7: -3 hotels.

-A number of NYC hotels have gone down, there is now even a category 4 option in Manhattan and some great category 5 options in the W NYC, the Westin Times Square, and the Le Parker Méridien (which can cost over $800/night at times!)

Here are some sample hotels that stood out among the changes:

Sample hotels that went down:
-Sheraton Kansas City Sports Complex Hotel went from 2->1
-Sheraton Newark Airport Hotel went from 3->2
-Westin LAX went from 3->2
-Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles Westside went from 3->2
-Sheraton London Heathrow Hotel went from 4->2
-Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel & Conference Center went from 4->3
-Westin Harbour Castle Toronto went from 4->3
-W Silicon Valley went from 4->3
-Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan SoHo Village went from 5->4
-W Montreal went from 5->4
-Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten went from 5->4
-THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego went from 5->4
-W San Diego went from 5->4
-Sheraton Kauai Resort went from 5->4
-The Park Lane Hotel London went from 5->4
-The Westin Kierland Arizona Resort & Spa went from 5->4
-Le Parker Méridien New York went from 6->5
-Westin New York Times Square went from 6->5
-W New York went from 6->5
-Hotel President Wilson, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Geneva went from 7->6
-Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice went from 7->6

Sample hotels that went up:
-Sheraton Tiberias went from 2->3
-Sheraton Jerusalem Plaza went from 3->4
-Sheraton Moriah Tel Aviv went from 3->4
-Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Honolulu went from 3->4
-Sheraton Iguazu Falls, Argentina went from 4->5

Standout countries:
-Argentina: 0 went down, 3 went up.
-Australia: 5 went down, 0 went up.
-Fiji: 2 went down, 0 went up.
-India: 15 went down, 0 went up.
-Israel: 0 went down, 3 went up.
-Italy: 10 went down, 1 went up.
-Japan: 0 went down, 5 went up.
-South Korea: 4 went down, 0 went up.
-Spain: 5 went down, 1 went up.
-UK: 6 went down, 0 went up.

Here are the complete lists of Starwood hotels. Hotels that are changing on March 2nd are still listed in their old categories.
Complete list of Starwood Category 1 properties.
Complete list of Starwood Category 2 properties.
Complete list of Starwood Category 3 properties.
Complete list of Starwood Category 4 properties.
Complete list of Starwood Category 5 properties.
Complete list of Starwood Category 6 properties.
Complete list of Starwood Category 7 properties.

For reference sake, here are the hotel point options available, by category.  Peak prices for 2009 have been eliminated and are not shown.

Starpoints Needed, by Hotel/Resort Category








Free Night -Weekdays








Free Night -Weekends

just 2,000!

just 3,000!






Cash & Points

1,200 Starpoints +$25

1,600 Starpoints + $30

2,800 Starpoints + $45

4,000 Starpoints + $60

4,800 Starpoints + $90

8,000 Starpoints + $150


5th Night Free








Room Upgrade

1,000 – 1,500

1,000 – 1,500

1,000 – 1,500

1,000 – 1,500

1,500 – 2,750

1,500 – 2,750

1,500 – 2,750

Suite Upgrade








50% off Regular Rack Rates








Nights & Flights








Finally, here is a spreadsheet of the hotels undergoing changes in category courtesy of “sc flier”

Thanks to help from numerous Flyertalkers!

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22 Responses to “Coming March 2nd: 2009 Starwood Category Adjustments!”

  1. chulent Says:

    You can lock in the old rates for hotels going up in category by booking before March 2nd even if you don’t currently have enough Starpoints!

    please explain how do you book if you dont have the points.

    (they said you cant?)

  2. moe Says:

    Help!!! What do we do about israel??? I can’t reserve the entire next year, can i??!!

  3. abe Says:

    i read that after 3/3 if you have a booked reservation in Sheraton Jerusalem and want to cancel there is a 2 day penalty – which means you dont get back all points.

    Dan is this true???

  4. HSS Says:


    You mentioned for hotels going up in category that you can book now before March 2 even if you don’t currently have enough points.

    I assume that you mean to hold the reservation now on CC at the lower category and then later switch it to pts.

    I spoke to a SPG rep about this scenario and she said that trying to switch later to points will get you the new point rate, because before the reservation was on CC.

    I am trying to make Israel plans for the summer and I really want to know where you got your information from, and is there something I am missing.

    I looked at the entire 11 page flyertalk thread and noone seemed to discuss this “locking in” process.

    Thanks for your help!


  5. ggcheckpointline53 Says:

    Having stayed at the Sheraton Moriah Tiberias one night this past summer, it was a real bargain in the category 2. Clean, spacious comfortable and great location on the water.

    Jerusalem plaza had also undergone major renovations and many of the rooms were updated. an award reservation got me a gorgeous room on the 18th floor with a balcony view of the old city. Shame that’s going up.

  6. K Says:

    Darn, the Sheraton Plaza in J town was one of the best deals as a 3. 2800 points and $45 per night!! I am gonna miss that one!

  7. Dan/Ctownbochur Says:

    @chulent and @HSS:

    I have had success in the past getting SPG reps to let me book a points stay even without the points as long as I’d get the required points by the time of stay. It looks like I should add YMMV (your mileage may vary) in regards to locking in the rate if you do not have the required points…but try pushing your luck with a manager (“a friend of mine has done this before, etc.”) and let us know if you’re successful!

    Wait until next year’s adjustments! If the economy stays like it is for the rest of 2009 we should see a lot of hotels dropping categories come next March…

    As far as I know you just need to cancel the Sheraton Jerusalem by 6pm local time prior to the day of arrival for a full refund of payment, whether cash or points.

  8. yudi Says:

    hey dan i booked a vacation at the st regis princvielle for july, when it opens. i got it a while ago as a catagory 5. inhigh season which means 16000 points a night instead of 12000 points. now that hotel is a catagory 6 , which means its 20000 points a night in low season. do you think i can call them and get them to lower the reservation from 16000, (cat 5 high) to 12000 points (cat 5 low) even tough that it is now a cat 6 (20000 points)?

  9. Dan/Ctownbochur Says:

    Interesting question! Definitely worth a try but I have no idea if you’ll be uccessful-let us know what happens!

    And nicely done on getting that hotel at a cat. 5!

  10. Jeff Says:

    Regarding the Jerusalem Plaza, If you booked for Succos and cancel in august there is a penalty. If you cancel after September 1st there is a very steep penalty.

  11. Jeff Says:

    Dan, We are still waiting for your trip report on your Hawai Vacation!!!!

  12. Jeff Says:

    I think the best news about the 2009 changes is the Westin Euroea in Venice came down to a Catagory 5. This makes it possible to stay in Venice where until now you needed a minimum of 20,000 for any Starwood there. Has anyone been to this Hotel???

  13. ? Says:

    o man whats gonna be i still didn’t get over the raise in the Le Meridian Dead sea from a cat 2 to 4 ! last year now the sheraton tiberias going up too? guess the only place to stay in Israel is @ the Sheraton Eilat….

  14. Dan/Ctownbochur Says:

    Le Meridian Dead sea is a cat. 3, not a cat. 4.

  15. Steve Says:

    Dan, how about booking rooms and changing dates later?

  16. GABE Says:

    JEFF: I stayed at the Westin Regina Europa it is a very nice hotel but not spacious. I am Platinum so I was upgraded to a room overlooking the Grand Canal it was worth it ( i booked with spg50 because it just wasn’t worth the 20,000 points). Also the minibar is very expensive you might want to consider buying food drinks at a shop outside the hotel.

    does anybody know which hotel is going up from cat. 2 to cat. 4?

    It seems like we’re getting screwed in Israel once again!

  17. ? Says:

    my bad –i believe it went from a cat 1 to cat 3…….and many time you need to book 2 or more days…

  18. DAN is the MAN Says:

    what happens if you cancel you reservation do you get you point back? because i nkwo my friend had a hard time last year after they changed the points…….

  19. Jeff Says:

    Dan, If you are talking about my post before the answer, yes you get the points back but there is monetary penalty. The Plaza got screwed last year with so many people canceling for Succos so they changes their policies this year.

    Gabe: Even at SPG50 they want over $400 Euro per night in May!!! Every decent Hotel is a fortune there so I was sure glad that it is going down to Catagory 5. It is worth 12,000 points it is so difficult to get another hotel. Is it walkable to the Jewish Ghetto and Gam-Gam as I will be there for Shabbos? Also, what other Starwood properties have you been to in Italy? (Florence, Rome…..)

  20. GABE Says:

    JEFF: I am not sure which date in may you are planning on being there but i checked random dates in may and they want 240 euro. It’s approximately a 25-30 minute walk to the jewish ghetto/ Gam Gam but a pretty nice one. But if you are interested I can sell you my free night award for platinum members you can PM me in the forums (GABE) it is valid for up to a cat. 5. Also you can try to book for 1 person it may be cheaper but they might cause problems. I was also at the four points by Sheraton in Milan the exterior was pretty bad but the rooms were very nice especially tv built in the wall over the shower/ jacuzzi was pretty sweet.

  21. levi Says:

    @Jeff: I’m not sure what you mean when you say “The Plaza got screwed last year with so many people canceling for Succos” they did not have a single vacant room over the entire Succos!!

  22. chulent Says:

    spoke many rep. they said the max. a res. can be held w/o the points is 7 days


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