There is not a single Starwood hotel in Europe going up in the 2015 SPG reward category changes. Europe sees 46 hotels drop in category. 33 of 46 hotels are located in countries on the euro currency.
One year ago on February 24, 2014 the Euro was worth $1.37 USD. Today, 1 EUR = $1.14 USD. That 20% decline in the value of the Euro compared to the dollar reduced the revenue value for Starwood Hotels in Europe.
200 EUR per night room rate one year ago meant $275 USD.
200 EUR per night room rate tonight = $228 USD.
Europe offers a great exchange rate in early 2015 for American travelers and SPG rates have dropped at many hotels, meaning your Starpoints have a better exchange rate too for hotel stays on points.
Category 1 hotels return to Europe.
Two hotels drop to Category 1 in Europe. It has been years since there was a category 1 hotel in Europe.
Sheraton Athlone, Ireland is the tallest building in the geographic center of Ireland. I spent two nights at the Radisson Blu Athlone in November with a view of the Sheraton.
Sheraton Catania Hotel & Conference Center Italy is another addition to category 1.
Four SPG Category 7 hotels drop to category 6
- Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Fuschlsee-Salzburg, Austria
- W Paris – Opéra, France
- Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini, Greece
- The St. Regis Rome, Italy
Convento do Espinheiro, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, Evora, Portugal and Sheraton Lisboa both drop to category 3. Portugal is much more affordable at 28,000 points for a 5-night stay.
Four Points Barcelona back to category 2 is a good deal for this city hotel. I stayed there in 2012.
Loyalty Traveler – Four Points Diagonal Barcelona on the Poblenou (Oct 3, 2012).
Sheraton Heathrow Hotel LHR hotels dropping to category 2 means potentially big savings on a first or last night trip to London compared to the cost of city center hotels.
Sheraton Skyline Hotel London Heathrow drops from category 4 to 3.
Loyalty Traveler – SPG 2015 category changes Asia Pacific Region Starwood Hotels