Marriott Hotels revise their hotel categories on an annual basis. With these category changes, the number of points required for stays changes, making reward stays more or less expensive at hotels. Usually, this exercise is linked to the occupancy rate and the general pricing of the hotel.
Marriott Rewards currently categorises all its hotels under nine categories, apart from the Ritz Carlton Hotels :
Marriott Rewards Hotel Category Changes for 2018
Effective March 6, 2018, ~1330 Marriott hotels will be changing categories. This represents one-fourth of all Marriott hotels worldwide. 1,082 (81%) will be moving up in categories in comparison to only 247 (19%) moving down. Here is a full list of hotels changing categories in 2018.
At this point, it’s worth mentioning that I have nearly started fearing Marriott’s announcement of category changes. In 2015, there was a category raise in 75% of hotels getting affected. Then in 2016, 560 hotels became expensive versus 237 becoming cheaper. In 2017, with Marriott Starwood merger the increases to decreases ratio were 1.5x: 1. The program has been getting devalued over the last few years, and reward stays are becoming expensive at more and more Marriott hotels with every passing year.
Marriott Hotels India Impacted
It’s sad news for India. As a result of these changes, all the 12 hotels changing categories in India are moving up by one category. For example, my favourite Marriott hotel in India, the JW Marriott Walnut Grove Spa & Resort in Mussoorie has jumped from category 4 in 2015 to category 7 this year. That’s steep! We were fortunate to have used Marriott Category 1-5 Free night certificates here but looks like that is not going to be possible anymore.
Similar is the case with other beautiful Marriott properties in India, such as The JW Marriott Bengaluru, Jaipur Marriott Hotel and the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa.
I’m not happy to see Marriott hotels become expensive year after year. These category adjustments also give an insight into occupancy and the average daily rate forecasts into these hotels. It’s interesting to note that India properties are going higher up in price which means that the revenue forecasts are favourable for this region.
If hotels are becoming more expensive, then you have about a month to make bookings before the changes kick in. As a Marriott Rewards member, you can make reservations for later dates as the cut-off for changes is calculated on when you book the hotels and not when you make your stay.
As a Marriott Rewards member, what do you think about this year’s changes?