Every year Starwood announces category changes to it's program and usually this ends up being a sticker shock. It becomes a race to redeem points before the deadline.
That is true for several properties in Hawaii this year which sadly go up.
– The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka'anapa (to 6)
– Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa (to 6)
– Sheraton Waikiki (to 6)
However this year's changes have a long list of changes that go down one or more categories!
China gets a number of properties in Category 1 which are usually great value with Starwood.
– Sheraton Shanghai Waigaoqiao Hotel
– Sheraton Hefei Xinzhan Hotel
India also gets a number of category 1 hotels:
– Four Points by Sheraton New Delhi, Airport Highway
– Aloft Bengaluru Whitefield
– Four Points by Sheraton Visakhapatnam
There are a number of hotels I consider booking anyways in Asia that will also drop:
– Le Méridien Jakarta (to 3)
– Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka (to 2)
– Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort (to 1)
Your strategy should be quite easy – for properties you consider booking that will go up – book now and cancel later. For properties that will drop – wait until March 4th and save a number of points.