On March 5th, Starwood changed the award categories up on approximately 20% of its properties and less than 5% went down. You can read my article about the change here.
One of the properties that went down from category 3 to category 1 was the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel.
Guess what happened less than one month later? Surprise! Surprise! The hotel moved from category 1 to category 3. This change happened on April 5 or 6.
On March 20th, I wrote about other unannounced category changes that Starwood had done (you can access that piece here):
Westin Panama from category 4 to 5
Aloft Miami Doral from category 2 to 3
St Regis Shenzhen from category 5 to 6
Starwood’s response to question like “why these sudden changes” is basically because we can (see here):
3.2.d. The amount of Starpoints needed to obtain rooms at SPG Participating Hotels varies by the category of the SPG Participating Hotel and may also vary by time of year. A list of SPG Participating Hotel categories is available on the SPG Program website (www.spg.com) under “Hotel Categories”. Starwood may change the category in which a specific SPG Participating Hotel is classified at any time.
I believe that it is shameful of changing hotel categories without giving any prior notice. Not sure if there can be a rational reason why a property moves from category 3 to 1 and back to category 3 all within 30 day period.