Feb232014

Analysis of SPG Hotels outside USA rising in award category March 4, 2014

This post lists hotels by country for 38 of 111 Starwood Hotels outside the USA rising in SPG award category for free nights effective March 4, 2014.

Click here to view the list of SPG hotel award category changes.

There are 38 Starwood Hotels outside the USA rising in award category on March 4.

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All these hotels are rising one category, except for Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort in Huzhou, China rising from category 4 to category 6. That means double points from 10,000 per night to 20,000 points per night or even a 150% increase with peak season rates at 25,000 points per night.

Sheraton Huzhou resort shows rates around $400 per night for dates I checked over several months. This may be a hotel to consider booking before the award category change, if China is in your sights.

In Europe, three Starwood Hotels in Athens rising from category 5 to 6 will see a big spike in award night cost when rates climb from 12,000 points to 20,000 points per night. 67% up and peak season rates in summer will hurt even more.

SPG Greece

Check 2014 peak season dates and book before the March 4 increase.

Peak season dates for 2014 are already posted for hotels currently in category 5 and 6. You can book award stays for peak season dates in 2014 before they rise from 16,000 points per night to 25,000 points at the three Athens hotels rising from category 5 to category 6. The cost of a 5-night award stay will rise from 64,000 to 100,000 points at these three hotels during summer 2014 peak season dates.

Unfortunately, for Starwood Hotels rising from category 4 to 5, there is no way to know if peak season dates will be added after the March 4 changes. The increase from 10,000 points to 12,000 points is only 20%, however, the addition of peak season dates at hotels moving from category 4 to category 5 means an increase of 60% more points per award night when the rate rises from 10,000 to 16,000 points per night.

You can check peak season dates for current category 5 and 6 hotels on these pages.

SPG Category 5 hotels peak season dates.

SPG category 6 hotels peak season dates.

St. Regis Rome and Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Fuschlsee-Salzburg are the biggest hits in Europe with category rises from 6 to 7. That is 50% more points per night at 20,000 to 30,000 points when these hotels become category 7 awards on March 4, 2014.

You want to spend your points now to book award stays before the March 4 change if either of these properties are in your sight.

Schloss Fuschl is not too bad for peak season dates compared to Athens with only July 18-August 30 and Dec 22-31, 2014 in peak season.

St. Regis Rome is peak season May 19 to June 27, 2014 and peaks again from September 15-29, 2014 when rates will rise to 35,000 points per night. This is a 40% increase over the category 6 peak season rate at 25,000 points.

Big increases for low category hotels changing from 2 to 3

While hotels rising from 5 to 6 and 6 to 7 are big hits to the point balance in your account, don’t overlook hotels changing from category 2 to 3 with proportionally higher percentage increases in award night cost.

Category 2 hotels at 4,000 points rising to category 3 at 7,000 points are a 75% increase and weekend nights that rise from 3,000 to 7,000 points are a 133% increase for award nights at these hotels. There are five hotels rising from category 2 to category 3 in the international list shown in this post.

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38 hotels are rising in SPG award category outside the USA and 73 hotels in the USA rise in award category on March 4, 2014.

The USA is one of the brightest regional spots for the hotel industry with strong rate growth and occupancy in 2013.

A look at Starwood Hotels in the USA is covered in this post (to come).

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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