SPG announces 2015 category changes: India gets lots of category downgrades

It is that time of the year when hotel loyalty programs make adjustments to their hotel categories. The category of a hotel depicts how many loyalty points should your be charged to stay at the hotel, or how many points required for cash+points and so on. Very recently, Hyatt adjusted their category charts, and a lot of India hotels dropped a category down.

Here is a full list of all the hotels [PDF] which are going to be adjusted. I read that 22% of the hotels are going to be impacted by this move, which means if you have an award stay upcoming you should be interested in this. The new prices go into effect as of March 10, 2015, so if you have some time to make plans with hotels where prices are going up, and if your hotel is going down in category, you should call after March 10 to reclaim the extra points.

In terms of Indian hotels, the following hotels are going to be impacted:

Hotels Going Up:

  • Four Points by Sheraton, DehraDun : 1 –> 2
  • Four Points by Sheraton, Delhi Airport : 1 –> 2
  • Le Meredian Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa (yet to open) : 3 –> 4
  • The Westin Pune Koregaon Park : 2 –>3

Hotels Going down:

  • Four Points by Sheraton, Navi Mumbai : 3 –> 2
  • ITC Gardenia, Bangalore : 4 –> 3
  • ITC Grand Bharat, Gurgaon : 6 –> 5
  • ITC Grand Chola, Chennai : 3 –> 2
  • ITC Maurya, Delhi : 4 –> 3
  • ITC Rajputana, Jaipur : 2 –> 1
  • ITC Sonar, Kolkata : 3 –> 2
  • ITC Windsor, Bangalore : 3 –> 2
  • Le Meridian Bangalore : 3 –> 2
  • Le Meridian Coimbatore : 2 –> 1
  • Le Royal Meridian Chennai : 2 –> 1
  • Sheraton New Delhi : 3 –> 2

Clearly, most Indian properties are not pricing the same way in the $ Index of Starwood and hence they come cheap to SPG members. A good thing for those of us in India, since we don’t have many ways to earn Starwood points.

Which ones are you going to book, speculatively or otherwise?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Hi AJ, not too sure about how this translates into revenue bookings into these properties? Does it mean that Gardenia and Windsor become cheaper? Or does it only mean that these properties have been downgraded on the basis of lower earn and burn rates?

    • @Rohan no impact on revenue bookings. This just means the cost that spg reimburses to these properties for award redemptions goes down. That is a function of the average daily rate of the property in $ terms so nothig changes in inr.

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