Westin Trianon Palace, located in Versailles near Paris is leaving Starwood Hotels and Starwood Preferred Guest on January 15, 2009. The hotel will be branded the Waldorf=Astoria Paris in the luxury segment of Hilton Hotels and HHonors. This is the second Waldorf=Astoria rebranding for 2009 in Europe. The Hilton Rome Cavalieri was rebranded in September 2008 as the Waldorf=Astoria Collection, The Cavalieri Rome. I wrote a post about cashing in points before February 28, 2009 for the Cavalieri. Beginning in March 2009 the Rome property will cost 50% more for a free night using points with a jump from Hilton HHonors Category 6 redemption for 40,000 points per night to 60,000 points for a high season Waldorf=Astoria Collection nightly rate using HHonors points. I await the HHonors redemption rate and peak season schedule for the rebranded Trianon Palace.
This property is a loss for Starwood Preferred Guest members visiting Paris where the Category 5 SPG property offered some occasional great deals with Cash & Points rates and the 5th night free redemption discount. This leaves the SPG member with just the two Le Meridien properties for Category 4 redemption at Le Meridien Montparnasse and the Category 5 Le Meridien Etoile. The Westin Paris and Hotel Prince de Galles are both Category 6 properties, at times requiring more than double the points of Category 5 SPG redemption. There is still the Sheraton CDG Airport hotel at Category 5.
Paris has been the strongest hotel economy in Europe for 2008 and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to the Le Meridien Montparnasse go up a category in 2009 SPG hotel redemption category shifts.
A word of advice. Paris is too beautiful to spend the night at the airport.