Huge Discounts At Royal Palm, Starwood’s First Tribute Portfolio Hotel

In mid-April, Starwood announced their 10th hotel brand, called Tribute Portfolio. While I don’t get all that excited over most new hotel brands nowadays, I am quite excited about the idea behind Tribute Portfolio. The idea is that it’s intended to be a collection of independent hotels, which otherwise don’t fit in any of the other brands.

As a consumer this is the best of both worlds, in my opinion. You get to stay at a hotel that feels “independent,” while getting the benefits you’re used to through one of the best hotel loyalty programs — room upgrades, late check-out, complimentary breakfast, Starpoints, elite qualifying stay/night credits, etc.

The Tribute Portfolio brand is launching with the Royal Palm South Beach Miami.

Royal-Palm-Tribute-3

Even though Tribute Portfolio is intended to be more of a mid-range brand than Luxury Collection, this property isn’t cheap at all. Weekday rates start at ~$350+. But I guess that’s largely a function of the hotel being in South Beach, which isn’t a cheap market regardless of the brand.

Tribute-Portfolio-1

If you’re looking to try out the Royal Palm South Beach (and for that matter the Tribute Portfolio brand as a whole), there’s an opportunity to stay with a huge discount at the moment.

While Starwood’s lowest weekday rate at the hotel is ~$349+, virtually all other sites are selling the hotel for ~$199+ on weekdays. For example, hotels.com is selling an identical room with identical terms for $199+.

Hotels-Dot-Com

Starwood offers a “Best Rate Guarantee,” whereby they match the lower rate you find elsewhere, plus give you either 2,000 bonus Starpoints or a further 20% discount on the rate.

SPG-BRG

In this case you’d book the Royal Palm through Starwood’s website at the higher price and then immediately fill out a claim form. Then they’ll match that $199 rate and either give you 2,000 bonus Starpoints or a further ~$40 discount.

Keep in mind that this stacks with the promotion SPG is offering for 2,000 bonus Starpoints per Tribute Portfolio stay.

Portfolio-10K

Bottom line

While this rate isn’t so cheap that it’s “mattress run” worthy, it certainly makes staying at a Tribute Portfolio property much more affordable. I’m keen to try out the brand and see how they execute the “SPG experience,” and this is a great rate at which to do so.

Is anyone else planning on checking out the Royal Palm South Beach? 

(Tip of the hat to Sam)

Comments

  1. it is so annoying they use the word “lanai” in Florida… they really try very hard to make Florida seem just as awesome as Hawaii (they will fail).
    if the hotel is not in Hawaii, it does NOT have a lanai… call it a patio, porch, balcony, veranda or what not… but it is NOT a lanai.

  2. SPG always denies my BRG claims. They say they don’t find the price as reported or they say that the difference is to minimal.

    Do you have better luck with it?

    I have attempted the claims about 20 times now and maybe one was approved. Most of the time it is with a hotel in Euros and they claim that the conversion is too minimal to matter so they deny the claim. I still don’t understand why they need to convert the rate when the hotel currency is in Euros and the selling webpage is in Euros…. But that’s another story. I use hotelscombined and give them a link to the actual partner webpage showing the lower rate.

  3. John, Ben: Also wanted to ask the same. What’s your experience with BRG claims? It must work when the difference is this big, like over 40%.

  4. @Lantean As a native, I can tell you that is a Florida thing, actually. You may disagree, but a lot folks in Florida call their patios and porches “lanais”, especially older folks. My one grandma always called it the lanai and the other called it the porch. So I assume Starwood is just fitting with the local terminology.

  5. @ John — To be honest can’t say I’ve done many. But in a case where the difference is so huge/obvious/straightforward, I don’t see how they can deny it.

  6. @Lucky — If the Conrad were the only “luxury” Hilton property in Cindy City, I might have considered staying at the converted Conrad as a SPG Gold elite. However, with the Drake, Palmer House and Waldorf-Astoria remaining in the same vicinity, I’ll still have of plenty of Hilton choices where my HHonors Diamond would still do me good. The multiplicity of “luxury” HH properties in the same area of Windy City, in fact, might have made the decision to let go of the Conrad easy for Hilton to get some liquid assets to invest elsewhere…

  7. The “Golden Girls” was set in Miami and Blanche and Sophia always called it a “lanai” so gotta go with Lisa on this one.

  8. I live in South Beach and have actually stayed at the Royal Palm twice in the last year (long story), walk by it regularly, etc.

    It’s going to take a while for SPG to do the work necessary to get this property up to the level of the competition in South Beach. The pool area doesn’t have enough seating for the number of rooms, the dining area is too small for the number of rooms, the rooms/suites are tired, and the service has never been up to par.

    Rates at the Royal Palm under James management were always laughably low (like $215 + $100/day credit low) because they built too many rooms for the size of property. It’s a huge problem, and I have no idea how they plan to fix it.

  9. How about that for reading the situation correctly! As I’d surmised, Hilton will simply reopen another Conrad in Windy City — rather than elsewhere — quite likely using the liquid assets from the sale of the current Conrad Chicago to SPG. Here is the news item as reported ( http://www.businesstraveller.com/news/101681/hilton-to-open-conrad-chicago ):

    “Hilton Worldwide will open a Conrad hotel in Chicago in spring 2016.

    The 287-room Conrad Chicago will be a new-build property overlooking North Michigan Avenue on Erie Street.

    Twelve of the 20-storey hotel’s guestrooms will be suites and facilities will include restaurants and over 975 sqm of conference facilities that “will offer the most technologically advanced meeting spaces in North America”.

    John TA Vanderslice, global head of Conrad Hotels & Resorts, said: “The signing of the new Conrad Chicago underscores our commitment to delivering best-in-class hotels in key gateway locations that meet the growing needs of global luxury travelers.”

    Conrad Chicago has been designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon and will be the brand’s sixth US hotel.”

  10. Oops! There is more to the “Conrad Chicago turns SPG Luxury Collection hotel” story.

    What happened first was an announcement that a SECOND Conrad was going to open in Chicago:

    “Veteran hotelier Laurence Geller has closed a deal to turn a 224,000-square-foot Near North office building at 101 E. Erie St. into a luxury hotel.

    Geller, former chief of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, has joined with Wanxiang America Real Estate Group, the U.S.-based arm of the Chinese auto parts manufacturer, to develop a 290-room hotel, reportedly under the Conrad hotel brand. It would be the second Conrad hotel within four blocks — there is a Conrad just off Michigan Avenue, at Rush and Illinois streets.

    Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2015.”

    Then it was announced that the current Conrad Chicago would be turned into a SPG Luxury Collection hotel. What’s going on here? It turns out that Hilton Worldwide has not own Conrad Chicago since 2006, when they sold it to Diamond Rock, which simply decided to convert it to a SPG hotel. The timing suggests that Diamond Rock might have felt that two Conrads in Chicago would be too much:

    “NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced it will introduce The Luxury Collection brand to Chicago, following the conversion of the hotel now known as Conrad Chicago. Owned by DiamondRock Hospitality, the hotel will offer unparalleled luxury and personalized service in a prime downtown Chicago location with direct access to the upscale boutiques along the Magnificent Mile shopping district. To be maintained with a new as of yet, undisclosed name under The Luxury Collection brand flag this Fall, following a conversion and renovation, the hotel marks another milestone for the brand, which continues to debut marquee conversion hotels and invest in landmark renovations around the world.

    Adam Aron, CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. contributed “Starwood is keenly focused on accelerating the pace of our growth. Conversion opportunities, where we can bring existing hotel properties into the Starwood system, are a particularly compelling part of our strategy to expand the potential of our world-class brands.”

    “We are delighted to debut The Luxury Collection in Chicago in this ideal location downtown location, as we continue to seek out opportunities to grow the brand in premium markets around the world,” said Hoyt H. Harper II, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts. “This hotel will deliver impeccable service and modern sophistication to the new generation of luxury travelers near the Windy City’s best shopping, dining and attractions.””

    I always like to get my claims or stories straight 😉

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