A reader asked me about two hotels that recently changed Marriott award categories – and thus the number of points they cost when redeeming for a free night – that didn’t appear on Marriott’s list of hotels going up or down in cost for 2021 which went into effect March 3, 2021.
It turns out that the two hotels I asked about – the Moxy Chelsea and the Sheraton Puerto Vallarta – changed leading up to the publication of the list of 201 hotels changing category, and that’s why they weren’t on it. However 15 properties that were not on the list did change categories for 2021.
They went up some time between the list’s publication and now, with 11 of the 15 going up in category (charging more points for hotels despite the pandemic’s historic blow to travel) and 4 hotels going down in category. Marriott spokesperson John Wolf offers, “Adjustments are made based on significant changes to business conditions.”
Here’s the list of changes:
|Hotel Property||Old Category||New Category||Change|
|The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm||8||7||Down|
|Residence Inn Slough||5||4||Down|
|The Tuxon Hotel, Tucson||5||4||Down|
|The MC Hotel, Autograph Collection||4||5||Up|
|The St. Regis Changsha||4||5||Up|
|Schloss Lieser, Autograph Collection||4||5||Up|
|Renaissance Milwaukee West Hotel||3||4||Up|
|Fairfield Inn & Suites Oakhurst Yosemite||3||4||Up|
|Element Spring Valley||2||3||Up|
|SpringHill Suites Winchester||1||2||Up|
|Delta Hotels Kunming||1||2||Up|
|Four Points by Sheraton Houston Energy Corridor||1||2||Up|
|SpringHill Suites Houston I-10 West/Energy Corridor||1||2||Up|
|Residence Inn Houston I-10 West/Park Row||1||2||Up|
The hotels going down in category are clustered at the top end, with four hotels in categories 5 and above going down a notch. Meanwhile the hotels going up were clustered at the lower end (all started out as category 4 or below).
Interesting, 3 of the 14 changes (and all increases) were in Houston. Two hotels go from category 4 to 5, meaning that during peak redemption periods co-brand cardmembers cannot use annual ‘up to 35,000 point’ free night certificates.
The only hotel here that I’m directly concerned with is St. Regis Dubai, and that’s going down, although some will be disappointed to see the increase at Schloss Lieser, But remember that if you’re disappointed, late Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said that was just noise around the edges.