The Annual Category Change Roulette is Here

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Each year the major hotel chains update the award categories to which each of their hotels is allocated. Some might move down a category, but generally more hotels move up  a category or two. Luckily, we tend to get a few weeks advance notice, allowing members to book at the existing points levels well into the future (although you can’t change your reservation in any way after the category change).

Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest are doing their category changes on the same date – 7 March, 2017. You have until then to book any hotels that are moving up in category. (if you are interested in a hotel dropping a category, then obviously you should wait until after 7 March)

category changes

The list of Marriott Rewards hotels changing category can be found here. Marriott Rewards is notorious for inflationary changes in hotel categories and this year is no different with 60% of the hotels listed increasing, while only 40% are decreasing.

category changes

The list of Starwood Preferred Guest hotels changing category can be found here. I haven’t counted the number of hotels increasing / decreasing, but a quick review suggests to me that several hotels I’m interested in visiting are going to increase in category. So, I have until 7 March to get travel planning…


Are there any hotels on either list that you are regretting an upward move or looking forward to a downward one?

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