SPG have announced their category changes for 2018 and it’s a mixed bag, with 145 properties moving up one or more categories and 131 properties moving down.
Lucky reported that there’s a net decrease, but going through the list myself it looks like there are more properties moving up categories than there are going down.
The vast majority of hotels are only increasing or decreasing by one category, although there are half a dozen that are moving up or down by two categories or more:
- Aloft Dhahran, Saudi Arabia – category 4 to 2
- Four Points by Sheraton Srinagar, India – category 4 to 2
- Four Points by Sheraton Kolasin, Montenegro – category 4 to 2
- Le Méridien Towers Makkah, Saudi Arabia – category 2 to 4
- Four Points by Sheraton Hakodate, Japan – category 2 to 4
- Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Falls Fallsview, Canada – category 2 to 4
These changes will be taking effect from March 6, 2018. The nice thing is that SPG are allowing you to make reservations for stays after that date at their existing points cost. If you have your eye on a property that’s moving up a category, it’d therefore be best to book before March 6. If you’re short of points, it might make sense to purchase additional points with their current 35% discount.
Needless to say, if you want to book a property that’s going down a category, you should wait until March 6 to make your reservation.
SPG will also be implementing a more negative change though. In the past, you could book Starwood properties up to 550 days in advance. Starting February 11, 2018 that window will reduce to 350 days in advance.
Overall these changes aren’t terrible and don’t represent a significant devaluation, especially not compared to the Marriott category changes. However, it’ll no doubt affect the travel plans some of you have in mind, so let us know in the comments below if you’re affected, whether that’s positively or negatively.