‘Tis the season for hotel award chart shake-ups (and mutilations in some cases…). Thanks to SPG for sharing the list of hotels changing category on Milepoint. On first glance, I’m not thrilled with the SPG category changes since it seems that there are at least 3x hotels that are increasing in category as opposed to decreasing (just based on the number of pages of hotels listed), but I am not overly upset with the SPG award chart changes since it is mostly gradual adjustments (I see a bunch of 2′s to 3′s and 3′s to 4′s type changes). Sure there are some properties that went up that I wish didn’t, but there are also some that went down that I also like. The changes just also seem pretty fair based on what is happening in the hotel markets where the properties increased.
Thank goodness they didn’t disappoint me too much since I basically wrote them a love letter this morning. I will say that this probably stings less than it otherwise would because of the timing coming right on the heels of the HHonors devaluation. In a vacuum I might be more upset about these adjustments – hard to say.
These changes go into effect on March 5, and remember you can also still book at the “old” cash and points rates until March 5th. I actually recently made a cash and points reservation at the Moana Surfrider in Hawaii that is going from a 5 to a 6, so I squeaked in under the wire with a double win – lower category and lower cash and points rate. I encourage you to make similar reservations if you can at properties that coincide with some trips your family wishes to take over the next year.
Examples of hotels decreasing in category:
Westin Resort & Casino Aruba – 5 to a 4
The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas – Beaver Creek – 6 to a 5
Aloft Abu Dhabi – 3 to a 2
W Istanbul – 6 to a 5
Sheraton Baltimore North – 3 to a 1
Aloft Denver International – 3 to a 2
Examples of hotels increasing in category:
Westin San Francisco Airport – 3 to a 4
Sheraton Park Hotel at Anaheim Resort – 3 to a 4
Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort – 2 to a 3
Moana Surfrider Waikiki – 5 to a 6
Four Points by Sheraton Chicago Downtown – 3 to a 4
Aloft New York Brooklyn – 3 to a 5
Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville – 2 to a 3
Westin La Cantera Hill Country – 4 to a 5
Aloft Austin at the Domain – 3 to a 4
As always, don’t just sit on your points. They are worth less over time. Saving up for a little while for a big trip is one thing. Saving for years “just because” is entirely different. I think I have already booked out 2013 as well as I can with hotel points, but I will now be looking at early 2014 to see if there are any reservations I should make now before the “price” goes up.
What do you think of these changes?