brightlybob

What the 2019 category changes mean in one place

Blog Post created by brightlybob on Feb 10, 2019

And that place is the UK - Now my American friends, please do not be put off, this isn’t an in depth analysis of the hotel business in the UK, but a breakdown of the inflationary effect of Marriott’s category changes in this country. 

 

Although the UK is top-heavy in full service and hence high-category hotels I think it’s a good place to analyse the effect of the latest category changes, in no small part because it’s a smaller market but with a good category distribution. With less than 100 properties it’s maths are manageable without talking in the thousands of hotels and billions of points. It’s also much easier to gather the data. And that’s what I’ve done.

 

The last time I looked at this in June 2018 I found that the combining of both Marriott and SPG programs led to a net reduction of 6,000 points to redeem for 1 night at every UK Marriott/Starwood property. Has the latest announcement of category changes effected that?

 

Well, the launch of Bonvoy next week will be followed swiftly by a category adjustment and right now we have the following category numbers in the UK:

 

Category | Number of Hotels | Points per night | Total Points 

 

1.                         0.                           0.                        0

2.                         3.                      12,500.               38,000

3.                       13.                      17,500.             227,000

4.                       32.                      25,000.             800,000

5.                       24.                      35,000.             840,000

6.                         8.                      50,000.             400,000

7.                       12.                      60,000.             720,000

8*                         1.                      85,000.               85,000

 

Total Points to stay one night at every UK Bonvoy @ 28/02/19 - 3,110,000

 

*Note although Cat 8 didn’t start in 2018, I calculated in June 2018 on the basis of its existence and hence the London Wellesley at Category 8 since it’s reduction was merely temporary.

 

Point adjustments on 5 March 2019

 

1 increase from Cat 3 to 4   =   7,500

4 increase from Cat 5 to 6   = 60,000

1 increase from Cat 7 to 8   = 25,000

LESS

1 decrease from Cat 7 to 6  = 10,000

 

Total net increase is.               83,000 points

 

As a result the new category list in the UK looks like this:

 

Category | Number of Hotels | Points per night | Total Points 

 

1.                         0.                           0.                        0

2.                         3.                      12,500.               38,000

3.                       12.                      17,500.             210,000

4.                       33.                      25,000.             825,000

5.                       20.                      35,000.             700,000

6.                       13.                      50,000.             650,000

7.                       10.                      60,000.             600,000

8.                         2.                      85,000.             170,000

 

 

Total Points to stay one night at every UK Bonvoy @ 10/03/19 - 3,203,000

 

Overall this represents an increase of 2.7%. To be honest I didn’t expect a big increase this time around, I think despite its bullish public position that the merger went well overall and problems effected only a small number of members, in private Marriott realises it’s in the doghouse with us here and doesn’t need to start waving the red flag of depreciation to top-off its - and hence our - IT woes.

 

As a matter of interest all the UK changes have effected the London hotels. The London Edition which was in 2018 slated to remain at Category 7 is the Cat 8 climber, joining the Wellesley there. If I recall correctly the Edition was originally launched in 2013 at 35,000 points. In days now it’ll be 85,000, that’s one heck of a rise! The London Gatwick Courtyard is the one that went from Cat 3 to 4 and the London Marriotts in Kensington and Regents Park increased from Cat 5 to 6, as did the Residence Inn London Bridge and Autograph Xenia. The sole reduction from Cat 7 to 6 was the Autograph Bankside...

 

 

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