Hilton and Marriott recently changed their policies for cancelling rooms and now Starwood has as well. Effective last month, Starwood hotels worldwide will require guests to cancel room reservations as of 6pm local time the day before arrival. Starwood says that this will change the policies of about 35 percent of their hotels, since some hotels already have more restrictive policies in place. The amount of the fee, according to a Starwood spokesperson, “will be determined by the individual property and cited in the rate terms at the time of booking and in confirmation emails.”
Bottom line: It will be up to individual travelers whose plans change and who are not able to cancel their reservations a day in advance to ask the hotel to waive the fee, or more likely, get a refund when the hotel charges the fee on your credit card. As with Marriott and Hilton, so far, elite members of the loyalty programs will have to pay if they miss the deadline to cancel their room, just like everyone else.