Starwood’s yearly hotel category changes for 2013 were announced earlier in the week and unfortunately there are many hotels moving up a level or two. Browsing through the PDF that was shared on Milepoint, there is only one page of hotels moving down in category while there are three pages of hotels going up. The changes go into effect March 5, 2013, but reservations made now for stays after March 5 will still be honored at the previous category rates.

I plan to go through the increases in detail later this weekend (along with Hilton’s very scary devaluation), but in the meantime here are some decreases at properties I’ve enjoyed during recent trips:

  • Westin Aruba – Going from category 5 (12k-16k per nt) to category 4 (10k per nt) – The hotel is nice (not as nice as the Hyatt down the street), but the decrease to category 4 means you can score 5 nights for only 40,000 points using the 5th night free benefit.
  • Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa – Going from category 2 (4k per night on weekdays and 3k per night on weekends) to category 1 (3K per night weekdays and 2k per night weekends). The hotel can also be booked with cash & points (at the new C&P rates that go into effect on March 5th) for 1,500 points and $30. Though the concept of building a hotel so close to the Pyramids is sad and unfortunate, the views from your room and the pool are…take a look below. Trip report coming soon…

  • W Istanbul – Going from category 6 (20-25k per night) to category 5 (12-16k per night)
  • Le Royal Meridien Shanghai – Going from category 5 (12k-16k per nt) to category 4 (10k per night) – This is one of my favorite hotels in all of Shanghai. Great views (and drinks) at the top of the 66 story hotel (and from the panoramic windows in your room) and very easy to walk around the central business district and Nanjing Road. Also, only a 10 minute walk to the Bund. Trip report coming soon…

I did notice that the Vedema Resort in Santorini is moving up to a category 7. At that level you may as well choose the Mystique which I think is much nicer and is also a category 7.  Have you noticed any other bright spots for properties you’ve recently stayed at or plan to visit?

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Teja February 21, 2013 - 2:14 pm

ITC Royal Gardenia in Bangalore is going from Category 5 –> Category 4. And this hotel is pretty nice!

adam February 21, 2013 - 6:15 pm

@Teja – I just checked out their website, it does look really nice!

Pointasaurus February 21, 2013 - 3:47 pm

Interesting, the Aruba location is undergoing a total renovation. Wonder if that is to attract guests while construction is going on?

adam February 21, 2013 - 6:13 pm

@Pointasaurus – Sounds logical, though I believe the upgrades and downgrades are due to average selling rates at the property based on the prior year.


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