Starwood is changing the number of points required for some (20%) of it’s hotels tomorrow, March 4, 2014. 56% of the hotels will be moving down and 44% will be moving up.
The Starwood collection of hotels includes: The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, W Hotels, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Aloft and Four Points.
The award chart is not changing, but some hotels are switching categories and may require fewer or more points. Here is the Award Chart listing categories and how many points are required to redeem in each category.
I’ll start with the good news first. Some hotels are moving down a Category. One that is of particular interest to me is Le Meridien Angkor. It is moving from a Category 3 to a Category 2. 3,000 points for a weekend night? I’ll take it!
Le Meridien Angkor
We are heading to Thailand in 3 weeks and were scheduled to stay in Bangkok for 3 days. With the recent political turmoil and the “Bangkok Shutdown” I was thinking about skipping Bangkok and heading over to Cambodia for a couple days instead to check out Angkor Wat. Bangkok has since settled down and is back on our itinerary, but I will definitely keep this Le Meridien hotel on my list for the future!
A couple other noteworthy hotels moving down a Category are in Orlando. The Four Points Sheraton Orlando Studio City is moving from a Category 2 to a Category 1. I have never stayed at this hotel, but I have seen it many times. It gets good reviews on Trip Advisor and you can’t beat the location on I-Drive!
The other Orlando hotel is the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista, which is moving from a Category 3 to a Category 2. Another solid hotel choice, only 1 mile from Disney!
Neither of the Orlando hotels are 5 star luxury resorts. I’m not going to focus very much on luxury properties unless they are a terrific bargain on points. But these Sheratons are good choices for a family vacation to Orlando.
And now the bad news. 44% of the hotels moving categories are moving up. These moves hurt a lot more at luxury hotels like the St. Regis Rome which is moving from a Category 6 to a Category 7. Sure, it looks amazing. But I would never spend 30,000 Starpoints to stay there for one night.
Of more relevance to my upcoming travel is the Four Points by Sheraton Munich Olympiapark. I am going to Germany with a friend in late June and considered staying at this property. Tomorrow it moves from a Category 3 to a Category 4. That’s a difference of 3,000 points per night and we are staying 3 nights. We have not nailed down a location to stay in Munich and while this one is a bit further from the city center, it is near a metro station to get us to the center in a few minutes. I think I will go ahead and book this property before it changes categories because Starwood will allow me to cancel, without penalty, up until the day before arrival.
The other hotel in my future, and one that is making the biggest jump is the Sheraton Baltimore-Washington Airport Hotel. It is jumping from a Category 2 to a Category 4! That is 7,000 more points per night! We are going up for a wedding in Baltimore in August and I booked this hotel at the fantastic Starpoint rate of 3,000 points per night for weekend nights! Hubby wants to stay at the Holiday Inn where everybody else is staying. But I like to stay where I can get the best value! Since I haven’t convinced him of that yet, I will hold on to the reservation I have because I can cancel, without penalty, up until the day before arrival.
So – if you are thinking about planning a trip and staying at a Starwood property, check out the full list of changes here. If you see one you want to book that is going up in points, book it today! If you change your mind, you can usually cancel without penalty prior to the arrival date. But be sure to check the cancellation policy on each reservation!
If you have already booked a property that is going to go down, wait until after the changes take effect, book a new reservation at the lower category and cancel your existing reservation.
I hope you have found this post helpful and I hope you will share it with your friends and family. My blog is still too new to have affiliate links to apply for credit cards, but if you are interested in applying for the Starwood American Express card to take advantage of some of these great deals, please e-mail me and let me send you a referral link to apply.