Sorry for a long absence. I’m fighting a really nasty bug that’s now threatening my traditional family New Year Eve feast (mom’s cooking). My books new editions have been pushed a couple weeks back until I’m a better man (to deal with). Anyhow…
Last week, I wrote about New and Upcoming Hilton Hotels and Resorts. Today is my second installment.
It is no secret that I love SPG. And it is no secret that I hate how hard it is to earn their currency. Basically, there are two ways getting free SPG points, the AMEX SPG personal credit card bonus and the AMEX SPG business credit card bonus. But wait, it’s even worse. Since AMEX restricted the bonus to the first-time only, that means, the AMEX personal credit card is out for repeat offenders like me.
That makes my approach to SPG points somewhat unusual. I treasure them. I do not transfer them to airlines no matter how good the deal is, and I never use them on higher category redemptions. If you stay at SPG properties on business, or don’t mind paying for your stays, you might find my approach ridiculous, but to me, only Category 1-5 hotels exist for points redemptions. And of those I prefer 1 and 2. So now you know. 🙂
- SPG Category 1 Hotels: 2,000 – 3,000
- SPG Category 2 Hotels: 3,000 – 4,000
- SPG Category 3 Hotels: 7,000
- SPG Category 4 Hotels: 10,000
- SPG Category 5 Hotels: 12,000
- These categories are dead to me:
- SPG Category 5 Hotels: 16,000
- SPG Category 6 Hotels: 20,000 – 25,000
- SPG Category 7 Hotels: 30,000 – 35,000.
Unlike Hilton (but like Hilton used to do ), SPG usually announces changes to their categories in winter/spring. This year, unlike the last one, the changes were overwhelmingly possible. You can read more about it here.
There are tons of hotels that have come back into the realm of reasonable this year; here are a few.
- Sheraton Bogota Hotel, from 4 to 3;
- Aloft San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica, from 3 to 2;
- Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel and Towers, Mexico City, from 4 to 3;
- The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, from 3 to 2;
- Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village, DR, from 2 to 1;
- Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, from 3 to 2;
- Sheraton At The Falls Hotel, Niagara Falls, NY, from 3 to 2;
- Le Royal Mansour Méridien, Casablanca, from 4 to 3;
- Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Darling Harbour, from 5 to 4;
- Le Méridien Angkor, Cambodia, from 3 to 2;
- Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, Haidian Hotel, from 3 to 2;
- Sofia Hotel Balkan, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Sofia, from 3 to 2;
- The Westin Zagreb, Croatia, from 3 to 2;
- Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow, from 6 to 5.
In addition, there are dozens of hotels in Asia that went down (in categories) in countries like China, India, Indonesia, and Japan. So, things are not bad with the category changes. Not bad at all! We’ll see what 2015 holds for us.
Please keep in mind what I’ve said before when I list the most notable (IMHO) hotels. You can get the full list here.
- THE ST. REGIS MOSCOW NIKOLSKAYA: Category 5
- ALOFT SEOUL GANGNAM: Category 3
- FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON BOGOTA: Category 3
- ALOFT LIVERPOOL: Category 3
- LE MÉRIDIEN SUVARNABHUMI, BANGKOK GOLF RESORT & SPA: Category 2
- LE MÉRIDIEN NEW ORLEANS: Category 4
- SHERATON BERLIN GRAND HOTEL ESPLANADE: Category 4
I’m only listing those hotels which category has already been assigned. You can see them all here.
- SHERATON SAMOA AGGIE GREY’S RESORT: Category 4
- FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON CANCUN CENTRO: Category 2
- ELEMENT VANCOUVER METROTOWN: Category 4
- ALOFT NEW ORLEANS DOWNTOWN: Category 4
- ELEMENT MIAMI DORAL – OPENING MARCH 5, 2015: Category 3
That’s it! There are many more upcoming SPG hotels with an unassigned category that look interesting, too. So, let’s just watch and see. Besides, for the last two years, SPG has announced category changes in February. The suspense is killing me (not really, LOL).
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Photo By: Ken Bosma