In July of last year I wrote about Starwood’s promotion for 35% off select resort free night redemptions. At the time, the promotion was valid for bookings made through March 1, 2014.
In my post a couple of days ago about hotel elite perks I’d like to see, a reader pointed out that this offer was actually extended. That means you can get 35% off award redemptions at select Starwood resorts for bookings made through March 3, 2015.
Eligible Starwood properties for 35% off
This promotion is valid at the following properties:
- W Retreat and Spa Maldives goes from 90,000 points per night to 58,500 points per night
- W Retreat Koh Samui, Thailand goes from 40,000 points per night to 26,000 points per night
- Le Meridien Bora Bora goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 points per night
- Pine Cliffs Residence (Luxury Collection), Albufeira, Portugal goes from 40,000 points per night to 26,000 points per night
- Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa (Luxury Collection), Dubai, UAE goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 points per night
- Vana Belle (Luxury Collection), Koh Samui, Thailand goes from 40,000 points per night to 26,000 points per night
To make a booking through this offer, simply call Starwood customer service — these can’t be booked online.
The promotion is stackable with fifth night free
Starwood offers fifth night free on free night awards, and this promotion is eligible for that. So for example, you can book four nights at the W Retreat Koh Samui for 26,000 Starpoints per night, and get the fifth night free, meaning you’d pay an average of 20,800 Starpoints per night.
This makes resort redemptions much more reasonable
If you’re not familiar with the Starwood program, you’re probably thinking “wow, those award rates are really expensive. And you’d be correct.
That’s because Starwood charges double as many points for stays at the above properties as they do for other hotels in the same categories. That’s because they’re all “specialty” properties without standard rooms, so they charge you the suite price, which is double of a standard room redemption.
Except that doesn’t totally make sense, since award categories are based on the average daily rate to begin with, so you’re basically getting double penalized. The category a hotel belongs to is based on the rate for the specialty suite, and then they’re doubling the cost on top of that.
So as far as I’m concerned the 35% discount simply makes these rates more reasonable.
Is this 35% off bonus worth it?
There are certainly some properties on the list I’d like to visit.
I’ve heard good things about the W Retreat Koh Samui, and at an average of 20,800 Starpoints per night for a five night redemption, it’s certainly not a bad deal.
For example, pulling up rates over New Years, it looks like the nightly rate would be $1,250USD per night including tax.
I mean, their entry level “Jungle Oasis” is 1,800 square feet and has a private plunge pool, so that’s kind of tough to beat.
While I’ve stayed at the Conrad Koh Samui before, the W Retreat does look a bit nicer. That being said, I’m generally not a huge fan of Koh Samui (I find it to be too touristy and not have all that many local attractions), but for this hotel and at the redemption rate of 20,800 Starpoints per night, I might be encouraged to return.
Also, while outrageously expensive even with the discount, I’d really like to stay at Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, just outside Dubai.
Now, it’s probably not somewhere you’d want to spend five nights, so at 39,000 Starpoints the price is steep. That being said, if I’m not mistaken you get half board and two daily activities included even when staying on points, so you can get a lot of value out of it. During peak season I’m seeing rates of $2,000USD per night here.
Even the entry level rooms here are over 800 square feet and have private plunge pools.
While these redemptions probably aren’t for everyone, if you’re looking for a truly unique trip and are Starpoints rich, then at least a couple of these redemptions can be a good value, in my opinion.