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Hotel category changes are a part of life, and as long as they’re adequately communicated, I have no problem with them. As is the case with any outstanding travel deal, if there’s outsized value, you better take advantage while you can, because it’s not going to last forever.
Last month it was IHG’s turn to change categories, and now it’s Starwood / SPG. They’ve announced 282 hotels that are changing category.
- 1 is going down 2 categories (the Sheraton Dubrovnik in Croatia)
- 113 are going down 1 category
- 166 are going up 1 category
- 1 is going up 2 categories – the Element Hanover in Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
- 1 hotel is going up FOUR categories – The Four Points by Sheraton Penghu in Taiwan is going from a Category 1 (2000 points on weekends and 3000 points on weekdays) to a Category 5 – 12,000 to 16,000 points / night! Not sure what is up with that but I’m bummed I missed it!
The category changes are going into effect on March 1st, and as long as you book before then, you can get the current award rate. On a personal note, I’m bummed that the Category 2 Sheraton Suites in Columbus is going up to a Category 3. Another notable change is the Walt Disney World Swan (the only points hotel actually on-resort at Disney) is going up from a Category 4 to Category 5. Interestingly enough, its sister resort the Walt Disney World Dolphin was NOT listed and apparently remains a Category 4.
Map of SPG hotels changing category
As always, I find it much easier to look at a map to see where these changes are. The geocoding isn’t great (to the street level) but it will at least should get you in the right city / country
You can also find a sortable table on the official SPG announcement page. One thing that becomes pretty apparent from looking at it is that although the spin is that many hotels are going down in addition to the ones going up, North America and western Europe are COVERED in red (hotels going up in category)
Readers: Any hotels changing category that are on your “list”?