A Closer Look at Hotel Category Changes for 2017 Announced by Starwood and Marriott

A n announcement was released yesterday to inform members of both the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty programs of the hotel and resort properties which will change categories effective as of Tuesday, March 7, 2017…

A Closer Look at Hotel Category Changes for 2017 Announced by Starwood and Marriott

…but I thought I would take the time to break down the numbers so that you can view them at a glance — somewhere between a general overview and the details hotel property by hotel property, which you can access via the links provided in this article.

The numbers for the hotel category changes for Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest will be separate.

Marriott Rewards Hotel Category Changes for 2017

A total of 1,072 hotel and resort properties of Marriott Rewards will change categories — which equates to roughly 23 percent of the entire portfolio of properties worldwide.

Of those hotel and resort properties, 639 of them — or approximately 60 percent — in 31 countries and territories will move up at least one category.

They are listed below in descending order of the number of hotel and resort properties affected per country or territory; and in alphabetical order within a specific number:

  • 569 in the United States
  • 13 in Canada
  • Seven in China
  • Six in Spain
  • Five in South Africa
  • Four in each of the following countries:
    • India
    • Mexico
    • United Kingdom
  • Two in each of the following countries:
    • Costa Rica
    • Japan
    • Pakistan
    • Panama
  • One in each of the following countries and territories:
    • Austria
    • Colombia
    • Curaçao
    • Czech Republic
    • Germany
    • Indonesia
    • Italy
    • Peru
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Puerto Rico
    • Qatar
    • Romania
    • Russian Federation
    • Rwanda
    • Tanzania
    • Thailand
    • Vietnam
    • Zambia

Of those hotel and resort properties, 433 of them — or approximately 40 percent — in 32 countries and territories will move down at least one category.

They are listed below in descending order of the number of hotel and resort properties affected per country or territory; and in alphabetical order within a specific number:

  • 327 in the United States
  • 15 in South Africa
  • 11 in Canada
  • Ten in China
  • Nine in Turkey
  • Seven in Germany
  • Five in each of the following countries:
    • France
    • United Kingdom
  • Four in each of the following countries:
    • Mexico
    • Russian Federation
  • Three in each of the following countries:
    • Chile
    • India
    • Panama
    • Spain
    • Venezuela
  • Two in each of the following countries:
    • Belarus
    • Belgium
    • Brazil
    • United Arab Emirates
  • One in each of the following countries and territories:
    • Algeria
    • Austria
    • Columbia
    • Denmark
    • Haiti
    • Hungary
    • Indonesia
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Malaysia
    • Switzerland
    • Taiwan
    • Thailand

Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel Category Changes for 2017

A total of 325 hotel and resort properties of Starwood Preferred Guest will change categories worldwide.

Of those hotel and resort properties, 118 of them — or approximately 37 percent — in 29 countries and territories will move up at least one category.

They are listed below in descending order of the number of hotel and resort properties affected per country or territory; and in alphabetical order within a specific number:

  • 38 in Canada
  • 23 in United States
  • 16 in Japan
  • Ten in Indonesia
  • Three in Thailand
  • Two in each of the following countries:
    • Argentina
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Spain
  • One in each of the following countries and territories:
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • China
    • Croatia
    • Egypt
    • France
    • French Polynesia
    • Gabon
    • Georgia
    • India
    • Israel
    • Malaysia
    • Mexico
    • Peru
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Samoa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Taiwan
    • Turkey

Of those hotel and resort properties, 207 of them — or approximately 63 percent — in 51 countries and territories will move down at least one category.

They are listed below in descending order of the number of hotel and resort properties affected per country or territory; and in alphabetical order within a specific number:

  • 51 in China
  • 39 in United States
  • Twelve in Mexico
  • Eight in each of the following countries:
    • India
    • Turkey
    • United Arab Emirates
  • Five in each of the following countries and territories:
    • Colombia
    • Italy
  • Four in each of the following countries and territories:
    • Brazil
    • Malaysia
    • Taiwan
  • Three in each of the following countries:
    • France
    • Nigeria
    • Qatar
    • Russian Federation
  • Two in each of the following countries:
    • Algeria
    • Argentina
    • Austria
    • Bhutan
    • Canada
    • Chile
    • Egypt
    • Peru
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Switzerland
    • Thailand
  • One in each of the following countries and territories:
    • Australia
    • Azerbaijan
    • Bahrain
    • Bangladesh
    • Belgium
    • Cuba
    • Ecuador
    • El Salvador
    • Georgia
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Kenya
    • Lebanon
    • Morocco
    • Panama
    • Paraguay
    • Portugal
    • Serbia
    • Singapore
    • South Korea
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Tajikstan
    • United Kingdom
    • Vietnam

Hotel and Resort Properties Changing by Two Categories

Of the combined 1,397 hotel and resort properties which are changing categories in 2017, none from Marriott Rewards are changing by two categories; but the following five Starwood Preferred Guest hotel properties are changing by two categories:

  • Auberge du Vin, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel in Argentina — increase from Category 3 to Category 5
  • Sthala, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Ubud Bali in Indonesia — increase from Category 3 to Category 5
  • Four Points by Sheraton Halifax in Nova Scotia in Canada — increase from Category 2 to Category 4
  • The Westin Toronto Airport in Ontario in Canada — increase from Category 2 to Category 4
  • Sheraton Grand Istanbul Atasehir in Turkey — decrease from Category 4 to Category 2

Summary

The good news is that there are no changes to the number of categories or the number of points required to redeem by category; and no hotel or resort properties are changing by greater than two categories — but how the category changes affect you depends on at which hotel or resort property you plan to stay.

Please let me know if this article was helpful to you. If so, I intend to do more of them in the future.

The notice of category changes was announced almost one month in advance; so at least you have time to act upon them before then to get the best value. Book your award reservation as soon as possible prior to Tuesday, March 7, 2017 if you want to redeem your points at current rates; and if you have already booked a reservation at a hotel or resort property which will decrease in price, consider rebooking it after March 7 to save some points.

The Protea Hotel Samrand in Midrand, South Africa is decreasing from Category 2 to Category 1, which will save you 2,500 Marriott Rewards points per night at the standard redemption rate; and 1,500 points if it qualifies for a PointSavers Reward. Please click here for a review of the Protea Hotel Samrand. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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