Last Chance To Book SPG Hotels Before 2015 Category Changes

In late February, Starwood announced their annual hotel category changes. Every year they adjust which hotels belong to which categories, to better reflect the anticipated average daily rate and occupancy for the hotel.


This year’s changes actually look quite good:

  • 22% of hotels are changing categories
  • 10.49% of hotels are moving up in category
  • 11.78% of hotels are moving down in category

While the percentage increase/decrease doesn’t look bad at all, it is interesting to note the trends for the increases and decreases we’re seeing:

  • Hotels moving up in category: a vast majority of increases are in North America, along with a decent number in Asia/Pacific (literally not a single hotel in Europe is going up in price)
  • Hotels moving down in category: most decreases are in Asia/Pacific and Europe, and there are also a good number in Latin America and North America

So if you are interested in staying at one of the hotels which is moving up in category, you’ll want to lock in that stay by Monday, March 9, 2015. To clarify, March 9 is the last day to book, though you can stay up to a year from now, as long as the reservation is confirmed.

If you’re staying at a hotel moving down in category, you’ll want to call March 10 or later to rebook under the new points rate. There does still need to be award availability, as you’ll literally have to cancel and rebook.

Personally I think I still want to make a booking at the Parker Palm Springs.


I’ve never stayed there (or been to Palm Springs, for that matter), and my friend Nick keeps raving about the mix-and-match toiletries at that hotel, which in and of themselves seem like a good enough reason to stay there. 😉


And given the paid rates over weekends, it seems like a hell of a redemption value.


Do you have any bookings you’re planning to make before the category changes? Any other properties I should be considering?


  1. Good to see a couple Hawaii locations moving down, but my favorites – Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider stay put. Sheraton Maui and Westin Ka’anapali are not super spendy, but as Cat 5s they’ll be a decent value. If you’re flying from the central or eastern US, that helps a lot.

  2. Lucky, my wife and I have booked the Parker for the week after Christmas for my wife’s birthday. We stayed there a few years back in April and just loved it. It is an awesome property with a rich history, such as the Gene Autry residence. I would highly recommend it during the spring and fall as it is quite hot in the summer and can be cold in the winter.

  3. The Parker is snooty as hell. Stayed there 3 nights in Dec and hated. Snobby attitude, major nickel and diming, awful platinum recognition and insanely overpriced rooms. Go with pretty much any other property there. Just coz a hotel charges $700 a night doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile. Heck, $700 a night and you get one bottle of water per STAY!

  4. Is the Parker Palm Springs kid friendly in any way or no? Thinking about doing a 10 night trip next Jan for California, 5 nights in LA area and 5 nights in either Palm Springs or San Diego area, but not sure about activities for kids in Palm Springs or the hotel itself, especially in Jan when weather still may be cool for the pool. Don’t really like the San Diego locations in Gaslamp though for the kids.

  5. Joe S.
    Definitely go to San Diego instead of Palm Springs. In San Diego, there is Sea World, The San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, and Balboa Park. Way more fun things for kids. Plus, I wouldn’t stay as long in L.A., because you could stay near Disneyland in Buena Park. There is no reason to fight the traffic if you don’t have to, plus it will probably be cheaper.
    Just the drive down from Los Angeles to San Diego is great.
    I think Palm Springs would be really boring for kids and pretty much anybody except old people, plus, I don’t think the drive there is great.
    Malibu is worth the time in L.A. too.

  6. Just wanted to point out something I noticed for a reservation I have at a hotel which changed categories.
    I booked a Points + Cash reservation at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco back in January. I know the hotel just went from Category 5 to 6.

    I got an alert from Awardwallet that one of my reservations had changed. The reservation was showing at the newer rate which for a 3 night stay is an extra 12,000 points and $300 cash. I logged into my SPG account and the award is indeed showing at the higher rate.

    I reached out to SPGAssist on twitter. They looked my reservation up and confirmed that I am still being charged the lower rate but this definitely made me worried for a bit. Not sure if this is just a tech glitch but the only thing I have showing the lower rate now is the confirmation email, the twitter DM and the comfort that they have NOT removed any more points from my account. I figure at least I have 3 nights after checking in for them to straighten it out.

  7. @ Joeheg — Nothing to worry about, that’s pretty normal. They’ll show the higher rate, but only charge you the lower rate.

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