‘Tis the season for hotel category changes. We have seen the changes come from IHG, Marriott has just announced, and SPG has announced as well. Can we get a big “thank you” to Hyatt for not changing anything – yet? 🙂 They normally have their changes go into affect before now so we may be safe with them for this year.
Almost 300 SPG Hotels Changing Categories In Less Than 2 Weeks
But this is all about SPG. They announced a change in categories for 282 of their hotels and it is kicking in March 1, 2016. That means you have only 11 days to make your plans and book the hotels that will be going up in price.
There are some on the list that I am not happy about (but who is every happy about something costing more??) but I do understand. After all, if a property is doing well and the rates are being booked, award rates would go up as well. Again, I am not saying I am happy, simply that I understand with some.
As a reminder, here are the point requirements by category:
- Category 1 – 3,000 (2,000 on the weekend)
- Category 2 – 4,000 (3,000 on the weekend)
- Category 3 – 7,000
- Category 4 – 10,000
- Category 5 – 12,000 – 16,000
- Category 6 – 20,000 – 25,000
- Category 7 – 30,000 – 35,000
One of those is the W Washington (review). I stayed there a few years ago and still think it was a steal at only 16,000 points per night. It has incredible proximity to the White House and is also a hotel favored by many well-known/wealthy visitors.(for you runners, I met Joan Benoit Samuelson at breakfast one morning there!) In fact, on my last trip to DC, Barcelona football team was staying there. This property is going up from Category 5 to a 6.
Some of the hotels will be going down in price so it is not all bad. For those, make sure you snag them after the changes go into affect. There is one property which is changing drastically – from a Category 1 to a Category 5! It is the Four Points by Sheraton Penghu (Taiwan). If you book it now, you can get it on a weekend night for only 2,000 points. Soon, it will run between 12,000 – 16,000 points per night!
On the flip side, the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel in Croatia is going from a Category 4 to a Category 2. That means it will drop from 10,000 points to only 4,000 points (3,000 points on the weekend). I have had my eye on staying there at some point so will definitely book it after the changes occur.
Boston Marathon Runners – Take Note!
For those of you running the Boston Marathon, you will definitely want to lock up your hotel now if you wanted to stay at the Westin Waltham hotel (going from Category 4 to 5) or the Westin Copley Place (going from Category 5 to 6). In fact, if you want to get a jump start, book now for Boston Marathon 2017! You can always cancel later if you should not get in (but use it as motivation!)
What Should You Do?
Point reservations are normally very friendly towards cancelling without fee (though always read the terms) so it is best to book now for travel through August 2017 and get whatever rooms you want at the current, lower rates.
HT: Starwood Lurker