The 2015 category changes have been announced. The announcement can be found here: First look at 2015 hotel category changes – Book before March 19, 2015 using the current hotel categories Some like brightlybob have touched briefly on European hotel category changes.
A few observations about properties here in the US (please feel free to share other observations about US or international properties):
Nashville is looking at 12 hotels going up in category; Baltimore Inner Harbor is seeing five properties go up and will no longer have a Category 5 within walking distance to the Inner Harbor; Charleston, SC is seeing 11 properties go up; Denver and its suburbs (including Boulder) has been hit hard with 30 properties going up
The following properties are ones I felt were good or decent uses of Category 5 and will be moving to Category 6:
FFI Ithaca, NY
Sawgrass Marriott - Florida
Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa - Florence, AL
Renaissance Charlotte South Park
I am happy to see the Dearborn Inn is staying a Category 5. It is a really unique property and in my opinion continues to be a good use of Cat 5 certs. (jerrycoin is a big fan and bejacob stayed here in 2014). Dallas while also not a resort destination also seems to still be a place where you can get value from a Cat. 5 certificate with three full service properties at category 5 or below. Where else can we find a sweet spot for using the Cat 5 certificates?
Related to the Cat 5 certificates - a question that has been circulating on travel boards and blogs with airline devaluations is whether or not the co-branded credit cards are becoming less valuable (i.e. Delta Airlines). Anyone planning to or considering cancelling their Marriott CC?
For information on previous years category changes see links below:
We were also lucky to have pingreeman provide us a great analysis of last years changes which can be found here: The 2014 Categories Announced – the Numbers Crunched
One thing that we have found out over the years is that we can not control which properties change, but we can share our tips on properties to book before changes go into effect. Which properties should be on people's lists? iahflyr, ks77, arkwright, sledchick, razorbackfan, lakersfan, foxglove, bejacob, pluto77, vaboywnder, brightlybob, superchief1, ssindc, psudad, shoeman1000, kharada46, jasper100, zukracer, jerryl, nuhusker, fschumpert and anyone I may have forgotten give us your thoughts and recommendations.
Mark March 18 on your calendars to get those bookings in.