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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Marriott's 2020 hotel category changes are here and they aren't pretty globally - not as bad here in Canada


It's the time of year where we start getting news from all the hotel chains about their hotel category changes. That is, not changes to award charts or amounts but rather where individual hotels fall into for those categories. Some hotels move up categories, that is become more expensive in terms of the number of points required to redeem for free night, while others go down in price and become cheaper to redeem for.

Today, one of the most popular hotel chains and frequent guest programs, Marriott Bonvoy revealed their changes for 2020. These changes will take effect on March 4 and a total of 29% of their hotels worldwide will be changing categories. That's a lot of hotels! And how is that 29% broken out? 22% will go up in price while only 7% will drop down. What this  means is that over 1,500 hotels will be more expensive come March.

Here in Canada a total of 76 properties out of 255 will be changing categories and we do a lot better number wise compared to the global numbers. 42 of our hotels are actually going down a category while 34 are moving up, a 55-45% split.  Vancouver gets the worst of it with many of their hotels moving up while the opposite is happening in Alberta with lots of hotels going down - a sign of the times I guess!

Some of the notable changes in Canada
  • Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel moves down to Category 4 from 5
  • JW Marriott Parq Vancouver moves up from Category 6 to 7
  • The Algonquin Resort St. Andrews by-the-Sea, Autograph Collection moves up from Category 4 to 5
  • The Westin Grand, Vancouver moves up from Category 5 to 6
  • Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant, Quebec moves up from Category 6 to 7
A quick look around the globe shows popular locations in French Polynesia, Maldives etc. aren't changing (they could only go down since most are Category 8). A lot of hotels in Hawaii are going up a category - not all of them, but quite a few. Same for California, Arizona and other popular sun destinations for Canadians - a lot of locations moving up in price.

As we always advise when these changes are announced you should book now for hotels that are going up in price and hold off on booking if a hotel you are eyeing will go down in points cost.

You can check out all the changes happening to 2,185 hotels globally here(They have a search box where you can filter the results to put in a specific hotel, city or country.)

HT One Mile at a Time
 

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