Update: Category changes normally take effect at midnight local time. Most hotels have generous cancellation policies, so make some speculative bookings now!
Originally posted on 2/18:
Read about previous category changes:
–Starwood 2015 Annual Category Changes
–Starwood 2014 Annual Category Changes
–Starwood 2013 Category Changes
–Starwood 2012 Category Changes
–2011 Starwood Category Adjustments
-2010 had no Starwood category changes
–2009 Starwood Category Adjustments
–2008 Starwood Category Adjustments
–Starwood 2007 Changes: Launch Of Worldwide Cash+Points Awards (The good old days of Starwood in Israel)
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Starwood 2016 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes (Click all to view all hotel changes)
Book stays before 03/01 local hotel time to lock in current rates for future stays at hotels that are going up. Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print). If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 03/01 when this year’s category changes go into effect.
12% of SPG hotels will become more expensive and 8% of SPG hotels will get less expensive when redeeming points.
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.
This list is subject to change and other hotels can still be added to it.
Starwood’s standard award chart will not change:
If you stay 5 nights with points at category 3-7 hotels the 5th night will be 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).
Point transfers to airlines with a 25% bonus for 20K transfers remains unchanged as well.
Changes are pretty harsh this year:
-The Westin Lagunamar Cancun, a crowd favorite, jumps from 5 to 6 just a year after it went from 4 to 5.
-The Sheraton and Westin Maui went from 6 to 5 last year, but go back to 6 this year. That makes the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas the smarter redemption at category 6.
–I loved the Le Meridien Chiang Mai Thailand and am sorry to see it go from a 2 to 3.
-LA hotels continue their climb. Not long ago the Four Points LAX was a category 1 and the Westin a category 2, now they come in at 4 and 5 respectively.
-The popular Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale at Cypress Creek climbs from 2 to 3.
-Central London hotels climb from 5 to 6.
In the good news department:
-The Four Points Miami Beach drops from 5 to 4, a welcome change in pricey Miami Beach.
-Niagara Falls and Toronto hotels drop as well.
-Le Méridien Bora Bora falls from out or reach 7 to more manageable 6.
-Sheraton Mahwah, near Monsey, drops from 4 to 3.
Sample hotels going more expensive:
-Four Points by Sheraton Penghu Taiwan, was 1, now 5
-Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale at Cypress Creek, FL, was 2, now 3
-Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, Orlando, FL, was 2, now 3
-Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel, OH, was 2, now 3
-Le Méridien Chiang Mai, Thailand, was 2, now 3
-Le Méridien Ile Maurice, Mauritius, was 2, now 3
-Sheraton Agoura Hills, CA, was 3, now 4
-Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles Westside, CA, was 3, now 4
-Four Points by Sheraton LAX, CA, was 3, now 4
-Westin Atlanta Perimeter North, GA, was 3, now 4
-Sheraton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel, IL, was 3, now 4
-Westin Kansas City at Crown Center, MO, was 3, now 4
-Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel, NJ, was 3, now 4
-Aloft Cleveland Downtown, OH, was 3, now 4
-Le Méridien Bangkok, Thailand, was 3, now 4
-Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand, was 3, now 4
-Westin LAX, CA, was 4, now 5
-Aloft San Francisco Airport, CA, was 4, now 5
-Westin San Diego, CA, was 4, now 5
-Westin Denver Downtown, CO, was 4, now 5
-Walt Disney World Swan, FL, was 4, now 5
-Aloft Chicago City Center, IL, was 4, now 5
-W Minneapolis – The Foshay, MN, was 4, now 5
-Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel, TN, was 4, now 5
-The Westin Bund Center Shanghai, China, was 4, now 5
-The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Bali, Indonesia, was 4, now 5
-Le Méridien Vienna, Austria, was 4, now 5
-Sheraton Lake Como, Italy, was 4, now 5
-Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico, was 4, now 5
-Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, HI, was 5, now 6
-Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali, HI, was 5, now 6
-Le Méridien San Francisco, CA, was 5, now 6
-Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, CA, was 5, now 6
-W Hollywood, CA, was 5, now 6
-Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain, CO, was 5, now 6
-W Washington D.C., was 5, now 6
-W New Orleans – French Quarter, MS, was 5, now 6
-Westin Copley Place, Boston, MA, was 5, now 6
-W Hoboken, NJ, was 5, now 6
-Westin New York Grand Central, NY, was 5, now 6
-Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas&Spa, Cancun, Mexico, was 5, now 6
-The Park Lane Hotel, London, UK, was 5, now 6
-Great Northern Hotel, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, London, UK, was 5, now 6
-Westin Grand Cayman, was 5, now 6
-S. Regis Macau, was 5, now 6
-Westin Tokyo, Japan, was 5, now 6
-Westin Singapore, was 5, now 6
-W Seoul, South Korea, was 5, now 6
-Hotel Grande Bretagne, Luxury Collection, Athens, Greece, was 5, now 6
-Westin Palace, Milan, Italy, was 5, now 6
-Le Méridien Barcelona, Spain, was 5, now 6
-Hacienda Uayamon, Luxury Collection, Uayamon, Mexico, was 5, now 6
-Westin St. John Villas, Virgin Islands, was 5, now 6
-W Mexico City, was 5, now 6
-W Retreat & Spa Bali, Indonesia, was 6, now 7
-Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto, Japan, was 6, now 7
Sample hotels getting cheaper:
-Le Méridien N’Fis, Morocco, was 2, now 1
-Sheraton Eatontown Hotel, NJ, was 3, now 2
-Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview, Canada, was 3, now 2
-Westin Bristol Place Toronto Airport, Canada, was 3, now 2
-Sheraton San Jose, Costa Rica, was 3, now 2
-Sheraton Mahwah Hotel, NJ, was 4, now 3
-Sheraton Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel – BWI, MD, was 4, now 3
-Westin Baltimore Washington Airport – BWI, MD, was 4, now 3
-Westin Prince, Toronto, Canada, was 4, now 3
-Sheraton Libertador Hotel, Buenos Aires, Argentina, was 4, now 3
-Four Points by Sheraton Miami Beach, FL, was 5, now 4
-Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center, IL, was 5, now 4
-Westin St. Louis, MO, was 5, now 4
-Westin Houston, Memorial City, TX, was 5, now 4
-W Istanbul, Turkey was 5, now 4
-St. Regis Bangkok, was 6, now 5
-Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove, Seychelles, was 6, now 5
-Westin Athens Astir Palace Beach Resort, was 6, now 5
-Le Méridien Bora Bora, was 7, now 6
-S. Regis Istanbul, Turkey, was 7, now 6
Which hotel change will affect you the most?
Where will you be booking before 03/01 and where will you be booking after 03/01?
Hit the comments!