Starwood 2016 Annual Category Changes

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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 advertiser.


Starwood 2016 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes (Click all to view all hotel changes)

Earn Starpoints on the Starwood Consumer American Express and on the Starwood Business American Express.

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).

The capacity controlled cash and points chart doesn’t change either:


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!

HT: yochiek93, via DDF

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47 Comments On "Starwood 2016 Annual Category Changes"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Sheraton eatontown coming 2 . Welcome Lakewood!!


Any update on upcoming changes to reward program due to merger with Marriot?


What are the chances Sheraton mahwah stays a category 3? For 2 years in a row they went back to a category 4 after a week.


We’re not going to hear about that for several more months.

Good question, the hotels can appeal their changes if the data is wrong, so time will tell.


I’m staying in the 4points miami 2/29-3/2. You think if I call customer service they’ll let me make a reservation now according to the new chart? It will save me about 12000 point.


Not a chance.
Best you can do is cancel the 3/1 night and rebook it that day.


thankfully I already stayed at the park lane in London. was a steal (considering the new renovations). this change makes sense.


Sheraton CLE used them twice to get to platinum.


Sheraton miami beach is rip off even at cat 4 , besides location it’s not worth 10000 points a night , not even close


Me too 🙁
I’d go make some stays there, except I don’t want to waste the points if Marriott is just going to blow up the program.

Location, location, location.


We’re there renovations? It could be increasing only because of the RNC convention. After it may,hopefully go back down.
Only time will tell.


Nope, very possibly RNC related. Quite unfortunate, probably won’t revert until next year…assuming there is a SPG next year 🙁

Mit rachmunis

not bad, pretty fair.. Nothing drastic.. Shame the W Hoboken is going up


what do u mean u dont want to waste points b4 marriot blows up the program isnt it better to spend all my points now to get better value b4 marriot takes over


Westin Lagunamar was a good value… Not so much anymore.. Sucks


How come the -Le Méridien Chiang Mai is 5K points (before the deval) not 4?

Also some of their hotels only have “suites” and not reg rooms so they rip you off and don’t charge you the reg Category rate


I meant spending points on nights just to earn elite status.

Book your trip for next year now.

On what date is it 5K?


The Hawaii, Cabo and Disney increases are a real disappointment.


Will i have to pay the difference for a date change after 3/1?


dan, you gotta stop staying with points in CLE otherwise they will continue to climb

Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel, OH,
Aloft Cleveland Downtown, OH,


Yes unless the hotel makes an exception.

Not my fault, RNCs fault.


W Hoboken big loss


Thanks! Gonna book now a weekend at Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, Orlando, for 3k/night (just in case I don’t get anything better).


I checked THE WESTIN MAUI for august and they are already charging 16,000 points per night. Any explanation?


Read the post:
“Category 5 = 12,000 (Low Season), 16,000 (High Season).
Category 6 = 20,000 (Low Season), 25,000 (High Season).”





29th is 4K:

1st is sold out of standard rooms. 5K is probably for an upgraded room.





Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, Orlando, FL
That was my baby, 4 great stays last year dirt cheap right outside disney, spg recongnition,
o well


I think the biggest disappointment is all the category 5 to category 6 changes. This change is a dramatic increase in the cost of points.


Pretty upsetting to see the W’s going up. W is my favorite brand, and ive only stayed in W’s in the past six year, including 2 in NYC, DC, Hoboken, and FL. Love the brand, but its definitely becoming less affordable. I definitely dont think they should be a category 6.


About Ma Gong City going from 1 to 5, does that necessarily mean that it’s extremely good (for category 1)?

Joe S

Do any SPG Los Angeles hotels have a cheap points rate to upgrade to a suite, similar to the Westin’s in Cancun (i.e. only 1500 points/night or something like that)?


so happy i got the westin lagunamar in cancun 2 yrs ago while it was a cat 4. i stayed 5 nights for 40k points! best vacay ever. thanks dan


Thanks for answering my question Dan 😉


If I remove a day from my reservation, will it be repriced?


Aren’t there 29 days this Feb so it’s really changing tomorrow night?


We were fortunate to take advantage of the Chaing Mai Sheraton in Thailand last year. Less of a deal at cat. 3. Gotta go club level.



In Samoa right now it’s 5:43pm on the 29th already.

Yup, was a nice deal at category 2.


Just stayed in the W in Hollywood didn’t have the best experience don’t see a reason why this property should become a 6


Wow thanks for this heads up! I had to anyway book a night at the Aloft City Center Chicago- and I would have just pushed it off for no good reason. I just completed my booking and got the category 4 rate! Thanks!!


I tried booking for feb 2017 laguna mar but the king suite room i usually get is no available at this time, only the studio rooms are..i told her the rates are doubling so i wanted to book she booked the small room and put a note in the computer that i wanted the larger one at the old rate…should i call corporate?


Call or Chat for old rates.


@Dan: I dont see an option to chat and when i called they said they cannot honor the old rates


That was only for the night of the 29th.


Can someone explain why there are cash payments associated with point redemption. I have accumulated some Starwood points but never redeemed. I am a Marriott guy so I’m not familiar with the Starwood redemption game but if I’m reading that chart correctly why would anyone cash in 15,000 points and then still be on the hook for $275 -$300 a night for a room? Aren’t the points supposed to be in lieu of cash payment?