Analysis of 73 USA hotels rising in SPG Award Category on March 4, 2014

The USA was the global hot spot for hotel rate increases and occupancy in 2013. The number of Starwood hotels rising in award category in the USA at 73 comprises about 1 in 8 hotels across the country.

This post has a table showing the 73 hotels by state and a second version of the table showing the same hotels ordered by SPG award category.


SPG award category reassignment for 73 hotels in USA moving up on March 4, 2014.

Some observations:

California sees W Los Angeles and W San Francisco rise from category 5 to 6. That means a 67% increase for non peak season dates from 12,000 to 20,000 points and a 56% increase in peak season dates when hotel award rate rises from 16,000 to 25,000 points per night.


St. Regis Atlanta, W Austin, Hawaii beach resorts and the Rocky Mountain ski resort in Avon, west of Vail, are other locations hitting the peaks of SPG award category.

Since peak season dates for category 5 hotels are already posted for 2014, you can look to book these hotels by March 3 for later dates, while rates are still 12,000 or 16,000 points per night.

You can check peak season dates for current category 5 hotels on this page and book before March 4 to get the lower category 5 rates.

SPG Category 5 hotels peak season dates.

Oh California

California is hit hard by these changes with several category 2 hotels rising to category 3.

Four Points Ventura Harbor was one of the best deals on the California coast at SPG category 2 on a weekend night for 3,000 points when the rates typically are highest at this hotel. I stayed at this property frequently as a stopover night when traveling between Monterey and Los Angeles. At 7,000 points I expect to see far less of this hotel and if I do return, almost certainly the cash rate will be the better value.

Four Points San Jose and Sheraton Sunnyvale are two locations rising to category 5 putting these Silicon Valley hotels into the realm of San Francisco city award rates.

Aloft Silicon Valley is rising to category 4, a position it could not ever reach during its decade as the W Silicon Valley.

Sheraton Garden Grove is a Disneyland-area deal at Category 2 that will now more than double for weekend stays from 3,000 points to 7,000 points per night.


Four Points Miami Beach moving to category 5 is one hotel that has received many comments of bewilderment. Location, location, location. The Four Points is just a few miles south from category 7 St. Regis Bal Harbour and the Four Points has an even better central location for Miami Beach action. This hotel is a place where new peak seasons will likely take effect and raise 2014 award rates by 60% when Four Points Miami Beach rates climb from 10,000 to 16,000 points per night.

I expect this hotel to go peak next Christmas season when Miami Beach is typically packed.


Hawaii is rarely a hotel deal and far less so now that three Starwood Hotels rise from category 5 to 6.


Maui is the most popular island for travelers wanting to see more than Oahu and the resorts there will command the higher points or force SPG members to pay over the higher cash rates. Typically at the category 6 level, the high cost of award nights makes cash the better way to stay.

Pieces of Eight with only 8 SPG category-1 hotels  in the USA as of March 4.

Four Points by Sheraton St. Louis –  Fairview Heights (Illinois) and Four Points Detroit Metro Airport rise from category 1 to 2. Despite the loss of two category-1 hotels, SPG only drops from nine to eight category-1 hotels in the USA with one new low-class hotel member addition for 2014, Four Points Orlando Studio City dropping from category 2 to category 1.

I am not familiar with the Orlando hotel, however, I have to wonder if it is on the verge of rebranding after dropping to category 1.


Sheraton Baltimore Washington BWI Airport Hotel is the only property in the USA jumping two category levels from 2 to 4. Those 4,000 points weekday nights jump to 10,000 points per night. Ouch!

All that money floating around D.C. has obviously trickled down to the burbs in Maryland and around the BWI airport hotels.

The big shift from category 2 to category 3 hotels in the USA

The greatest proportion of Starwood Hotels changing award level are 32 hotels rising from category 2 to category 3 in the USA. Only 10 hotels are dropping from category 3 to category 2. These changes combined with category 1 changes will result in an overall net loss of 21 hotels in SPG category 2 hotels for the USA when this subset of Starwood Hotels declines from 111 to 90 hotels on March 4, 2014.

Rising from category 2 to category 3 means award rates on Friday and Saturday night climb from 3,000 points to 7,000 points, a 133% award rate increase.

List of Starwood Hotels by award category level.


SPG Hotel Award Category Reassignment on March 4, 2014 for 73 USA Hotels.

SPG continues to move USA hotels overall to a higher award category path with fewer hotels remaining in the low category 1 and 2 award levels after the March 4, 2014 hotel award category reassignment.

Source: SPG hotel reassignment pdf for March 4, 2014 changes. Click here to view the list of SPG hotel award category changes.

Related post: Analysis of SPG Hotels outside USA rising in award category March 4, 2014.


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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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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  1. Starwood has some nice hotels and many that are disappointing yet expensive. Though I stayed extensively with them for many years its unlikely I will stay with any of their properties soon again
    They have become vastly overpriced for revenue or redemption in the properties I personally like to stay.
    A real shame as they have a great program design that has become less interesting like the hotels. So sad that this once great program became stingy with previous rewarding promotions and plagued with overpriced rooms and worse massive devaluations. Time after time after spending 300 dollars plus dollars a night I was tired of hearing after receiving no upgrade What do you want from us? There are just to many of you Platinum’s in house!
    I rarely use my SPG points these days for anything but mileage transfers to airlines.
    I find great value with IHG/InterContinental Hyatt and even Club Carlson and in last place even Hilton outside of NYC.

  2. i am a recent adopter of spg & not having a lot of experience in the past. based on status+amenity+green choice+cc, I get ~15 pts per $ spent at SPG. how is this compare with others? I target hotels that are $150 max, not the high end $250+.

  3. also, i focus on 2-3 days stay with birth year promo. i usually redeem the pts in Asia, where the hotels are much nice in every aspect.

  4. Stayed at The 4P San Rafeal for 3K on two separate occasions when visiting friends north of the golden gate. Fairly average hotel, average rooms, boring location in no mans land. 3K points seemed like the perfect amount for it. Oh well, I guess as Bay Area room prices increase, hotel redemption will organically increase.

  5. And to paint another example on the list of many that exist
    The Nines in Portland
    Category 5 Really? as much as the Westin in Sydney! Or some NYC hotels?
    I stay at the Doubletree for 79 dollars to 119 dollars a night understanding its probably a cut below
    I’ve heard complaints about the poor offerings in the club lounge from some that stay in the Nines
    Fuzzy math if you ask me for a cat 5!

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