Six SPG Hotels to Book Before Tuesday’s Points Increase

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The 2015 annual Starwood Preferred Guest category adjustments kick in on March 10th (Tuesday), so I wanted to share a reminder to look over the list of preterites increasing in points price one more time and lock in any properties you think you may want to visit in the next 18 months or so.  The booking calendar is open as far as out early September 2016, so you should be able to make speculative bookings that far out at some hotels, though not all properties have their availability loaded that far in advance.

You can view the full list of properties changing category here, and truthfully I think the changes are overall a net win for most of us since some pretty solid properties will be going down in points price.  However, there are still some good options getting pricier, so here is a sampling of six properties I recommend locking in ASAP before the points price goes up on Tuesday.

The Westin Austin at The Domain

This property is going from a 4 to a 5 (10,000 to 12,000 – 16,000 points per night).  I’ve stayed here many times, and while it isn’t downtown, it is located within walking distance to some shopping and restaurants, and is a preferable location if you want to visit Austin, but don’t want to deal with the craziness of downtown Austin and related parking issues and prices.

Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort

This family friendly property is walking distance to Disneyland (there is also a shuttle you can pay for if you don’t want to/can’t walk).  It is also a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel and has a dedicated Disney Desk in the hotel.  The hotel is going from a Category 3 to a 4 (7,000 to 10,000 points per night).

Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort - Hotel Exterior - Fireworks

Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco

This iconic hotel is walking distance to San Francisco areas such as Union Square and features the Garden Court’s stained glass dome and many beautiful chandeliers.  It is going from a Category 5 to a Category 6 (12,000 – 16,000 points per night to 20,000 – 25,000 points per night).

The Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Boston

This hotel is located in Boston’s Beacon Hill and used to be the Charles Street Jail built in 1851.  Now it is 300 room hotel that looks pretty cool to me!  The hotel is going from a Category 5 to a 6 (12,000 – 16,000 points a night to 20,000 – 25,000 points per night).

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Four Points by Sheraton Destin-Fort Walton Beach

If you are looking for a family getaway right on the beach in Ft. Walton, then this one may do the trick.  It is currently a Category 3, but going to a Category 4 (7,000 points per night to 10,000 points per night).

The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale

This property is one I really would love to consider for a final family vacation before Baby #2 arrives as it has a pool, activities like “dive in movies”, a splash pad, Kid’s Club, playground, bicycles, and more.  They also have lots of Memorial Day Weekend activities planned if you are looking for a getaway that weekend.  It is currently a Category 5, but going to a Category 6 (12,000 – 16,000 points per night to 20,000 – 25,000 points per night).

Discover our Resort Activities

SPG points are not very easy to earn with actual SPG stays and use of the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex being the only viable options for most us to rack up points (plus the new Uber partnership!), so be sure to get these hotels at the lowest points price possible while you still can.  Also pay particular attention to hotels going from a Category 4 to a Category 5 as they will no longer be eligible for the valuable Nights + Flights redemption option.

Did you get in any SPG bookings in advance of the March 10th changes?

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  1. I personally prefer the Westin on Market Street than the Palace Hotel because of Westin has nicer rooms and better location.

    One of my favorite hotel in the bay area is the Westin Verasa in Napa, Starwood’s only property in Napa Valley and one of the finest in area. The hotel is currently a Cat 5. It usually requires a two night stay on the weekends, and would normally require 16,000 points. However, for 2016, one night redemption at the low level of 12000 points are widely available through the end of schedule (Labor Day weekend 2016). The cash rates are listed at $999 per night for a traditional room and I know that it is incorrect, but I also know that staying only Saturday night in the summer can rarely be done on points at this hotel. So I have been booking a few speculative redemptions for long weekends so I can just drive up for some wine and dine! 🙂 I just have to monitor my bookings so I don’t miss the cancellation deadline (which is one week before arrival).

    • Which one is the Westin on market street? I made a reservation for the Palace in august, before I knew it was going to change categories. From everything I read, seemed the best and the best value. As a platinum I was expecting a nice suite? Can you elaborate between the two? I am going with my wife and 2 kids. Which hotel in San Francisco would you recomend?
      Also, I will spend 1 night at the Verasa. Found it with cash and points. Its a weekday night though. Is there any problem in weekdays?

  2. I booked the Sheraton Old San Juan for next Feb. Because of Location alone, that hotel was a steal at category 3 (7,000 points). I just hope my plans don’t change to where I need to change the reservation…

  3. Rooms are the least desirable aspect of Palace Hotel. Better to stay at one of the other Starwood Hotels and visit the public spaces of Palace Hotel like Garden Court and Pied Piper Bar with its Maxfield Parrish painting.

    • Ric, for sure. I’m just a sucker for the nice public spaces in classic looking hotels. Regardless of where you want to stay just get your bookings in soon!

    • Have you stayed in their suites? I have a reservation for 3 nights in august (with wife and teenage kids). Where would you stay? I am a platinum and was expecting an upgrade.

  4. We stayed at The Phoenician last weekend, using our free night from the SPG Tap Into Luxury game and then using points. Fabulous hotel!

  5. Booked the Phoenician a week ago for Dec. 31 to Jan. 5 for just 48,000 points. Looking forward to New Years Eve at this beautiful resort. We live in Scottsdale and use the Phoenician and Kierland for local getaways.

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