While we can’t draw conclusions about other properties based on this, I do find it rather interesting. When pulling up Cash & Points availability on the St. Regis Houston’s website, here are what the rate details say:
Now I assume the website isn’t supposed to display that information since it’s intended for internal reimbursement, but it sure is interesting to know that Starwood is reimbursing the hotel all of $21.19 for 6,000 Starpoints. Now if only we could buy points at that rate!
This also suggests that hotels are compensated a consistent amount for Cash & Points bookings, regardless of how full they are. This isn’t surprising given that Cash & Points availability is capacity controlled and at the hotel’s discretion. Meanwhile for free night bookings the compensation from Starwood to the hotel is variable based on whether the hotel is close to occupancy or not.
(Tip of the hat to Chris)