Aspirational Hotels Undergoing Category Changes – Starwood

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Each year, Starwood and Hyatt choose some hotels that are doing financially better than expected/worse than expected, and moving them into categories that they believe will match their revenue and traffic best. Sometimes, there’s good news and bad news about the hotels I really want to stay at, and that’s what these posts are for. I’ll cover Hyatt’s category changes in another post.

So from the properties I’ve stayed at, I notice the W Retreat Koh Samui and the St. Regis Grand Rome (okay, to be accurate, I wasn’t the one who stayed there). Both properties exceeded our expectations.

screen-shot-2014-06-11-at-10-00-51-pmThe W Retreat Koh Samui is moving up to a Category 7 property

img_00124The St. Regis Rome is moving down to a Category 6 property

Apart from these two properties, I also spotted a few properties that I’d want to stay in that have moved up or down a category, and I’d like to share them here.

Moving up

The Westin Blue Bay Resort (Category 4 -> 5)

wes3826gr.155396_xxThe Westin Blue Bay Resort Premier Oceanfront Room Twin

Away from Sanya, I’ve always been intrigued by the location of the Westin Blue Bay Resort. The hotel looks nice, and it’s in front of the sea in a location away from most touristy hotels, so I’ve always wanted to give it a try. That said, being a Category 5 hotel seems justified for the hotel, due to how nice it is, and if the cost is too much the rest of Sanya is still there for trying.

Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort (Category 3 -> 4)

she3556gr.128664_xxSheraton Bali Kuta Resort Deluxe Ocean View Room

While there are nicer properties in Bali (such as the St. Regis Bali Nusa Dua or the InterContinental Bali), the Sheraton Kuta Bali is a property I aspire to try. While it being a category 3 hotel would be a hell of a deal, I don’t think that “justifies” the hotel that well, and category 4 suits the hotel much better.

Moving Down

Sheraton Guilin Hotel (Category 2 -> 1)

she483gr.116294_xxSheraton Guilin Classic Room

The Sheraton Guilin seems like the best points property up at Guilin, and the fact that it’s part of Starwood and it’s now a Category 1 hotel makes the property even more aspirational. I want to visit Guilin, and this hotel seems like a great one to stay in.

Le Méridien Taipei (Category 6 -> 5)

mer3385gr.105322_xxLe Méridien Taipei Deluxe Room Twin

While the W Taipei is my favourite in Taipei, it’s the only hotel I’ve stayed at there, and I’m tempted to see what Le Méridien offers. A category downgrade means that the chances are even fatter.

Sheraton Hotel and Towers Singapore (Category 5 -> 4)

she471gr.137537_lgSheraton Hotel and Towers Singapore Towers Cabana Room

In Singapore, most hotels seem to have crazy high ratings, yet the Sheraton seems like a middle of the pack, much like Hong Kong. I’m intrigued to see what the Sheraton Singapore has to offer. The “rustic” resort-style hotel feel may have negatively impacted its rating, but I’m damn interested. That said, especially with its rating, Category 5 was a little too much for the hotel.

What are your favourite aspirational Starwood properties affected by the year’s changes?

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