22 Starwood Hotels in USA drop category March 10, 2015. Is 2015 the year to take advantage of lower priced rewards?

Starwood Preferred Guest is raising the reward night category for 94 hotels in the USA, while only 22 Starwood Hotels in USA drop category on March 10, 2015. Still, there are some highly desirable hotels dropping in category. Several of these hotels only reached their higher SPG reward category in 2014 and are now retreating to more reasonable points levels.

Starwood: List of Starwood Hotels with SPG Category Change on March 10, 2015. This list from Starwood orders hotels by brand. I have reorganized their list to look at hotels geographically by state and city.

Here is my table of 22 Starwood Hotels in USA dropping in category, followed by some thoughts on the 2015 changes.

SPG 2015 USA 22 down

Vacation destinations in the drop zone

Maui, Scottsdale Arozona and Colorado Rocky Mountains are three vacation resort destinations dropping SPG reward category.

Colorado Rocky Mountain High: A category 7 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado seems ludicrous outside of peak ski season. There are thousands of rental condos in the area. The drop from 30,000 points to 20,000 points is a big gain, but still the lure is for skiers. Paying 20,000 points per night in other seasons is still a high price to pay.

Avon, Colorado is at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain, about ten miles west of Vail Valley. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is up the mountain on the ski slopes. The Starwood Hotels are in the town of Avon by the river. I have hotel reviews from May 2013 for Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas and Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas when these properties were at the SPG category level they will be returning to on March 10 2015. Category 5 for Westin Riverfront and Category 4 for Sheraton Mountain Vista are appropriate value for these hotels. These two hotels were priced too high in points for any stays outside of peak ski season for 2014. Apparently legal weed is not helping the nonsmoking ski resort rooms boost rates. Denver on the other hand is on the hotel category high rise.

Loyalty Traveler – Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas Beaver Creek (May 27, 2013)

Can’t seem to find the Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas review. I still might need to write it.

Scottsdale, Arizona is a decent place to visit in the winter and early spring before the sun gets scorching hot at 100F and hotter for months of the year. Two other hotels returning to a more appropriate SPG category level.

Maui – this could be the year for booking Maui with Starpoints. The way hotels are rising in the USA, this drop may be a one year temporary move. Three resorts all drop in category with a big difference between 48,000 points for a 5-night stay at Westin Ka’anapali as SPG category 5 vs. 80,000 points as SPG category 6. Similarly for an even more luxurious splurge are the Westin Villas on Maui at 80,000 points when it drops to SPG category 6 with a compared to 120,000 points as a category 7 hotel stay 5th night free reward.

Cheaper Airport Stays in 2015 – Baltimore Airport BWI, Washington Dulles, Los Angeles LAX and Detroit DTW see Starwood airport hotels drop in price. Personally, Westin LAX is a hotel I have stayed many times and category 4 placed it out of my consideration. Category 4 hotels are $75 + 5,000 points for Cash & Points reward night. The drop to SPG Category 3 puts the room at $55 + 3,500 points.

BWI and IAD in the Washington DC metro area offer even better deals with several hotels dropping from SPG category 3 to category 2. That makes these hotels only 3,000 points for a Friday or Saturday night or 4,000 on a weeknight compared to 7,000 points every night.

Detroit Metro Airport DTW with a Starwood category 1 hotel is a savings if you find yourself hanging around Detroit.

Bakersfield Four Points drops back to category 2. This is a good category for this hotel. The distinctive feature of this hotel I recall is a working oil rig pumpjack in the parking lot that gives an authentic There Will be Blood vibe to the downtown Bakersfield hotel.

FlyerTalk: Starwood Lurker IV (Starwood company representative)-Announcing SPG’s 2015 Category Changes

MilePoint: SPG Champion 2 (Starwood company representative) –Announcing SPG’s 2015 Category Changes

Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel Reward Night Table

Related Loyalty Traveler Posts:

Loyalty Traveler – Overview of SPG category changes March 10, 2015

Loyalty Traveler – List of USA 94 Starwood Hotels with SPG category increase March 10, 2015 

Loyalty Traveler – SPG 2015 category changes Asia Pacific Region Starwood Hotels (23 hotels go up and 34 hotels go down).

Loyalty Traveler – SPG Europe 2015 hotel category changes are all down (46 hotels drop SPG category on March 10, 2015.

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. Hi, Ric!
    We have a reservation in maui for Mar 22 & 23 at 20k points per night, will they automatically credit the points back, or should I call them?

  2. @Dino – Starwood Lurker gives this advice on FlyerTalk

    “If you intend to take advantage of the lower categorization, our recommendation would be to re-book at the lower category first when it becomes available and then, when the lower Starpoints booking is secured, cancel the higher one.

    Best regards,

    William R. Sanders
    Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide”

    Easy if you have lots of points, but I’d recommend you call if you do not have the points for this strategy.

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