SPG Announces 2016 Hotel Category Changes
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Already this year, we’ve seen Hilton, IHG and Marriott announce their hotels that will be changing categories in 2016. And now, SPG is joining the list with the announcement of its properties that will be moving up or down this year.
Of SPG’s nearly 1,300 worldwide properties, 282 will be changing categories — around 20% of its portfolio. In total, 168 hotels are moving up at least one category (around 12% of the chain’s portfolio) and 114 hotels are moving down (around 8% of its portfolio). One property is going down two categories (Sheraton Dubrovnik in Croatia; 4-2), one is going up two categories (Element Hanover in Lebanon, New Hampshire; 2-4) and one is going up a whopping four categories (Four Points by Sheraton Penghu in Taiwan; 1-5).
The changes will take effect on March 1, 2016, so you still have some time to book at the 2015 rates before they go up. You can find the full list here.
Here are some notable property changes:
The Westin Tokyo
This property is located in the heart of Tokyo and includes numerous restaurants and bars, a spa and fitness studio. As of March 1, this property will increase from a Category 5 (12,000-16,000 Starpoints per night) to a Category 6 (20,000-25,000 Starpoints per night).
Le Meridien Bora Bora
This renovated and contemporary hotel is set on an islet surrounded by the waters Bora Bora is known for. As of March 1, this property will decrease from a Category 7 (30,000-35,000 Starpoints per night) to a Category 6 (20,000-25,000 Starpoints per night).
W Retreat & Spa Bali — Seminyak
This picturesque property, with its 229 retreats, suites and villas, has a fitness center, spa, world-class restaurants and lounges, as well as a pool. As of March 1, this property will increase from a Category 6 (20,000-25,000 Starpoints per night) to a Category 7 (30,000-35,000 Starpoints per night).
Overall, many of these changes don’t appear to be too drastic. How good or bad they are depends mostly on your travel, but if you’re planning on visiting one of the hotels or resorts that’s going up in category, it’s best to book by March 1. And with the upcoming Starwood-Marriott merger, and not knowing how SPG will be impacted, it might be in your best interest to use Starpoints sooner rather than later.