The big news overnight was the annuncement that Marriott has agreed to buy Starwood, in a deal worth over $17 billion dollars (AUD). The deal will result in the largets hotel company in the world, and will be managing over 5,500 hotels across 100 countries.
The deal is currenty expected to close in mid-2016, and will see a company that has 30 different hotel brands created. From the Starwood side, there is an extensive family of brands including Sheraton, Westin, W, St Regis and Le Méridien.
At present, there has been no announcement on whether the new Marriott will keep the brands, or rebrands the hotels under the existing Marriott brands. Additionally, there is no word on whether the two separate loyalty programs will remain. An email received from SPG makes mention of them staying separate for the moment, but does hint that the two programs may be merged in due course.
Today we’re excited to share the news that Starwood Hotels & Resorts will join together with Marriott International to create the world’s largest hotel company. For our Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) members, this will mean even more choices in even more places, giving you access to 1.1 million rooms across 5,500 hotels and resorts in more than 100 countries.We will work to bring you the very best of SPG and Marriott Rewards®, two of the most rewarding loyalty programs in our industry. Our members are at the core of everything we do, and that will not change.Today is the first day of a long journey as we combine our two companies. For now, we remain separate, and there is no change to your SPG program status, your Starpoints® or your existing reservations. You will continue to earn Starpoints and elite stay/night credit for your stays, as well as bonus Starpoints for any promotions in which you are participating. There is no change to how you manage your SPG account or book reservations.
The Marriott Rewards program is the larger of the two. Marriott Rewards boasts 54 million members, while Starwood Preferred Guest has a memebership of 21 million.
It’s ealry days, and it is likely that the two programs will be running for some time after the merger. We will have to wait and see what the final program looks like.