Change Your Altitude

2017 Marriott and SPG Category Updates Announced

It’s that time of year when hotels announce any changes in category rankings within their current portfolio. Category rankings are determined by numerous factors, such as location, renovations, and on-site amenities. Hotel category rankings impact guests since it influences the number of points or cash (or well, a range) required to book a room.


The Scoop

The merged Starwood-Marriott hotels today announced the updates to their hotel categories. You can see the lists (currently separate) at the links below:


The changes will be effective March 7, 2017, so if you’ve got your eye on a property that’s moving up a category, we suggest making a reservation before March.


The Takeaway

Between the two chains, we are seeing a total of 1397 changes in categories – 325 from the Starwood side and 1072 on the Marriott side. Here are some key statistics:


Of all the hotels making shifts, it’s a pretty fair split, with 54% moving up in category and 45% moving down.

  • 63% of Starwood changes are trending downwards, while 37% are shifting upwards
  • On the inverse, 40% of Marriott properties are shifting downwards in category, while 60% are moving up.


On a per brand, we’re seeing the most changes (both up and down) in the  Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites, brands within the Marriott portfolio, and Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Westin within the Starwood portfolio.

 ↑ Up↓ DownChange in Brand Total
GRAND TOTAL6377601397
Design Hotels191332
Four Points by Sheraton412364
Le Méridien22628
St. Regis33
The Luxury Collection10414
Tribute Portfolio4711
W Hotels718
AC Hotel6612
African Pride224
Autograph Collection71320
Fairfield Inn70112182
Fairfield Inn & Suites549
Gaylord National11
JW Marriott61117
Residence Inn58137195
SpringHill Suites395695
The Ritz-Carlton336
TownePlace Suites3875113

The table above includes properties noted under “Other” and “Unbranded”,  which are hotels that either do not fall under a brand or hotels where the information provided by Marriott was inconclusive in determining which brand the property belonged to. 


Interesting changes on the Starwood side include downard shifts at The St. Regis Doha, The St. Regis Langkawi, and Luxury Collection property Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok.

We’re seeing category bump ups to The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe, JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, but a down slide to the The Ritz-Carlton Bali.

A notable change – some Starwood properties jumped (up or down) 2 categories. No such changes on the Marriott side.

  • Sthala, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Ubud Bali
  • Auberge du Vin, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
  • Four Points by Sheraton Halifax
  • The Westin Toronto Airport
  • Sheraton Grand Istanbul Atasehir
  • Four Points by Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport/Cruise Port


While we’d recommend booking any properties you’re interested in booking, just remember – a bump up in category does not automatically equate to an exceptional hotel experience! Great hotels get bumped down a category, but the service can still be fantastic.


Are you seeing changes to any of your favorite properties? 

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