Marriott Hotels changes price category to 3. Mars, this is what goes up and down

Gary Leff at 4. February 2021.

Marriott has just announced a change in the 2021 hotel price category, with some properties going up in the category and others going down.

A total of 201 hotels are changing this year, with 150 coming in (and thus worth fewer points) and 51 coming out (and thus worth more points). In contrast to last year, almost 30% of hotels changed categories.

These amendments shall enter into force on 3. March is in effect and allows you to book now for hotels that are going up a category to get better rates, and lets you know when to try to redeem benefits at hotels that are getting cheaper.

Marriott says it is changing the prices of many new hotels for which it currently has current data, often lowering the category and making the most changes in Asia.

For the first time in ten years, the number of declining hotels exceeds the number of growing hotels

I’ve been following this phenomenon since 2012 and in each a year more hotels have gone up in category (and therefore in buyout price) than down.

The price drops more than the increases are pretty unheard of, but only 201 hotel price changes is also less movement than we’ve seen in the past.

Analysis of changes

There are changes across all Marriott brands, with about 20% for Fairfields (43), 10% for Four Points (20) and 10% for Marriott (19), followed by Courtyard (17), Moxy (13) and Sheraton (13). Only 2 W hotels, 2 Luxury Collection hotels and 1 Ritz-Carlton hotel are changing categories.

No hotel changes more than one category. The only category 8 hotel is the W Aspen. Las Alcobas in Mexico City, which I really liked, goes up to category 7.

Las Alcobas, Mexico City

Other notable increases : The Westin Tampa rises to 5; the JW Marriott Gold Coast (Australia) rises to 6; the Marriott Puerto Vallarta rises to 6; the Sheraton Kauai rises to 6.

Almost all Marriott hotels should be downgraded, but isn’t?

Any time Marriott doesn’t devalue its program, it’s a good thing. The annual creep class has been working against you guys for years, not just under Bonvoy, but for years. However, given the pandemic and its duration, most hotels will fall into this category.

Marriott has approximately 7,500 hotels in its portfolio. Only about 100 hotels fall into this category – following the largest ever drop in average room rates per day. Rooms are cheaper, and Marriott’s income-based program should cost you fewer points. They should not only offer low seasonal rates as a promotion, but all year round. And the base category for most hotels will likely be lower in 2019 than at the top of the hotel industry.

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