It is the time of the year again when Starwood adjusts its hotel award categories. The list of properties moving up and down was just announced earlier today. 13% are moving down and 17% are moving up.
Note that the award category only reflects the ADR (average daily rate) of the hotel and is not indicative of its quality. There are great category 1 properties that are far better and nicer than some category 5 or 6 ones.
The average decrease for all the of 141 properties that went down is 2900 Starpoints per night, and for the 180 properties that went up 3194 Starpoints. Please note that these were calculated using non-peak rewards and for a weeknight.
You can book using old rates until March 1st. If you have booked a property that is going down in category, just give SPG a call after the March 1st and they can adjust the redemption. For those desiring to book at old levels? Better get your reservations done rather sooner than later.
Here’s the breakdown of hotels moving down:
There are total of 141 properties that have seen their award categories lowered. Categories 3 and 4 saw the largest number of properties going down. On the higher end only the Le Meridien Bora Bora, W Koh Samui, and St Regis Punta Mita saw their category drop from 7 to 6.
Probably due to the flooding in Thailand last year, there are number of very good redemption values currently in Thailand. Le Meridien Chiang Mai and Le Meridien Chiang Rai are now both category 1 hotels requiring only 3000 points during the week and 2000 points on Friday and Saturday. These are two fine hotels, although I prefer the one in Chiang Mai.
In Bangkok the Royal Orchid Sheraton drops to category 2 requiring 3000 points during the weekend and 4000 during the week. The newly opened Aloft is down to category 1 and justifiably so.
Here’s the breakdown of hotels moving up:
There are 180 hotels moving up in award categories. Only three hotels move more than one category. Two goes from category 3 to 5 and one from 2 to 4.
More than half of the hotels that are going up are in the category 4. These will become award category 5 hotels. With category 5, 6, and 7 the point requirements are becoming ugly. Category 5 moving to category 6 will go up from 12-16K to 20K per night during the non-peak season.
It always pays carefully to check, whether paying using cash, points, cash + points, or staying entirely at a different chain/independent property makes sense.
Moving up from categories 1 to 3 by a notch up to category 4 is quite sensible point requirement wise. Personally, I don’t see a reason to redeem at category 6 or 7 where the point requirements per night are rather obscene.
You can download the PDF list of properties that are changing their categories at https://lacek.hs.llnwd.net/e1/starwood/2012categorychange/SPG_CategoryChanges2012.pdf.