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If you haven’t booked your Starwood hotels for the year, there are some hotels you should book now.
On March 10, 2015, 130 hotels will move up a category and 138 will move down a category. All the European hotels on the list are moving down and will cost fewer points.
While that seems like a lot of hotels, there are 1,206 Starwood hotels worldwide. Let’s look at the changes.
Starwood Category Changes
Link: Starwood Award Chart
The changes begin on March 10, 2015. So book your hotel before then, if you’re booking a hotel that’s moving up a category. But if your hotel is moving down a category you should wait because it will be cheaper!
Starwood hotels include:
If you’re new to Starwood or want to learn more, here’s my series on Starwood hotels.
And remember you can get Starwood points quickly with the sign-up bonuses to the Starwood personal (Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express) and business (Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) cards.
Hotels Moving to a Higher Category
There are 130 hotels moving to a higher category. However, most are in the lower and mid-tier categories.
That’s because only Category 3 and Category 4 hotels can be booked with Nights & Flights.
Here are a few hotels that will cost more Starwood points per night and their new category:
- Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh – Category 5
- Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco – Category 6
- The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale – Category 6
- The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi – Category 6
- The St. Regis San Francisco – Category 7
- The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas & Spa, Cancun – Category 5
- The Westin New Orleans Canal Place – Category 5
- The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter – Category 5
- The Westin Verasa Napa – Category 6
- W San Diego – Category 5
Note: This is not a comprehensive list, just a few recommendations from the long list of hotels increasing in cost.
If you already have a hotel booked or book before March 10, 2015, you’ll pay the old award chart rates.
Hotels Moving to a Lower Category
Most of the 138 hotels moving to a lower category are in the middle tiers, including 1 that I’m excited about, The St. Regis Rome. Emily and I wanted to stay there on our 2nd anniversary but we had a lot of Hilton points so we used those instead. Maybe we’ll stay there on our 3rd anniversary.
Here are the hotels that will cost fewer Starwood points per night and their new category:
- Hotel Excelsior, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Naples – Category 4
- Le Meridien Munich – Category 4
- Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa – Category 5
- The St. Regis Rome – Category 6
- The Westin Grand Frankfurt – Category 4
- The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas – Category 6
- The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain – Category 5
- Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini – Category 6
- W Paris – Opera – Category 6
Note: Again, this isn’t the entire list! These are just some of the interesting hotels that will cost fewer Starwood points.
Because you get the 5th night free at Category 3 to Category 7 hotels you could save a lot of Starwood points if you wait to book.
For example, the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas is going from a Category 7 to a Category 6 so you’ll save 10,000 Starwood points a night. On a 4-night stay you’ll save 40,000 Starwood points and get the last night free!
Because the US dollar is so strong right now compared to the euro, all European hotels on the list are moving down a category. That’s because their room values have gone down relative to the US dollar.
It’s similar for Canadian hotels. Of the 17 hotels changing category in Canada, there are only 2 moving up. The rest are going to a lower category, and it’s also because of the exchange rate.
Starwood is changing their award chart for bookings made starting March 10, 2015.
There are 130 hotels moving to a higher category. So you’ll pay more Starwood points for stays at hotels like The St. Regis San Francisco. And some hotels will no longer be available for Nights & Flights like the W San Diego.
But 138 hotels are moving to a lower category which means you’ll pay less at hotels like the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. And you can now use Nights & Flights at hotels like the Hotel Excelsior, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Naples.
How will Starwood’s new award chart affect you?