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Today brings some good news and bad news from Marriott and Starwood as they are announcing their annual category readjustments that take effect on March 7, 2017. The bad news is that whenever there are category changes of course some properties you have your eye on go up in price.
However, after looking over the lists both from Marriott and Starwood I have to say that on the whole it isn’t that terrible. There are a couple properties that I hate to see increase in price, but there are also some coming down in points price that I am equally happy about. In other words, given how brutal these things can be, this one was more like a flu shot than major dental work.
The new points prices take effect March 7th, but you can make your reservations prior to that date at the current award rates as far into the future as the schedule allows. With Marriott that is 50 weeks out and with Starwood it is about 18 months out.
Marriott 2017 Category Changes
With Marriott I keyed in on the properties that are either going from a 5 to a 6 or a 6 to a 5, and thus taking themselves in or out of contention for the base level Air + Hotel packages and other Category 1 – 5 Marriott certificates. In total 23% of the total Marriott properties are changing categories, and of those 60% go up in price and 40% come down.
- Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino 5 to 6
- Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel 6 to a 5
- Delta St. John’s 6 to 5
- Renaissance Santiago 6 to 5
- Santiago Marriott Hotel 6 to 5
- Venezuela Marriott Hotel Playa Grande 6 to 5
- Canyon Lodge, Autograph Collection 6 to 5
- Courtyard Miami Coconut Grove 6 to 5
- Fort Lauderdale Marriott North 6 to 5
- Renaissance Austin Hotel 6 to 5
- Stone Mountain Inn 6 to 5
- Gaylord National 6 to 5
Starwood 2017 Category Changes
Starwood has fewer properties in general, so it is easier to take a closer look at all of their 325 properties changing categories. Of those, 63% are moving down in category and 37% are going up. Most that are changing are just moving one category up or down, though a couple were hopping two categories. Below I have highlighted some of the larger changes and more popular properties that caught my eye. You can view the full Starwood list here.
- Four Points by Sheraton Havana 6 to 5
- The Westin Palace, Milan 6 to 5
- Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant, Quebec 4 to 5
- Le Méridien Bora Bora 6 to 7
- The Westin Fort Lauderdale 3 to 4
- The Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio 5 to 4
- The Park Central San Francisco 6 to 5
- The Westin Austin Downtown 6 to 5
- Aloft Austin Downtown 4 to 5
- La Posada de Santa Fe, A Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa 4 to 5
- Element Austin Downtown 5 to 4
- Four Points by Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport/Cruise Port 4 to 2
- W New Orleans – French Quarter 6 to 5
- The Westin Toronto Airport 2 to 4
- Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas (SSR) 6 to 5
I’m personally the saddest to see the Le Westin Resort & Spa Tremblant going from a 4 to a 5 as that one is on my radar in the coming years for a Canadian ski vacation. I am happiest to see the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas come down from a 6 to a 5 to match the category of the adjacent Sheraton Steamboat hotel as they are in a prime family ski location and falling from a 6 to a 5 is a major points swing! Thought truthfully I am happiest about the properties that simply didn’t change at all because there are some real gems in the SPG line-up.
How will the 2017 annual Starwood and Marriott category changes impact you?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.