Starwood has just announced a promotion whereby they’re offering 35% off free night redemptions at select resorts through March 8, 2016.
Which SPG properties are 35% off?
This 35% off promotion is valid at the following properties:
- W Retreat Koh Samui, Thailand goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 points per night
- St. Regis Bora Bora goes from 90,000 points per night to 58,500 points per night
- The Naka Island (Luxury Collection) Phuket, Thailand goes from 40,000 Starpoints per night to 26,000 Starpoints per night
- Le Meridien Bora Bora 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
- Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa (Luxury Collection), Dubai, UAE goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 points per night
- W Retreat and Spa Maldives goes from 90,000 points per night to 58,500 points per night
To make a booking through this offer, simply call Starwood customer service — these can’t be booked online.
This promotion is stackable with fifth night free.
When redeeming Starpoints for free nights, the fifth night of every redemption is free. For example, you could redeem for five nights at The Naka Island for 104,000 Starpoints, which is an average of 20,800 Starpoints per night.
Wait, why are these hotels so expensive?
For those of you not familiar with these SPG resorts, you might be thinking “damn, those stays are expensive.” And you’d be right, because they don’t really correspond with the SPG award chart. As a reminder, here’s the free night award chart for SPG:
Why are these properties at a minimum double the cost of “standard” hotels in their categories? Because these are all “specialty properties” and don’t have “standard rooms.” Technically the above rates are for redemptions in standard rooms, and by Starwood’s definition, those don’t exist at these resorts.
Therefore you have to redeem at least double points for stays at these properties. 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.
But I get Starwood’s struggle here, and I think they recognize these properties are ordinarily overpriced when redeeming Starpoints. And that seems to be why they’re frequently offering these 35% off promotions, which make the cost of redemptions at these properties much more reasonable.
I do think this is something Hyatt handles better, for what it’s worth. For example, the standard room at the Category 6 Park Hyatt Maldives is a Park Villa, which certainly doesn’t feel like a “standard” room. Yet you can redeem just 25,000 Hyatt points per night there, which is the same cost as any other Category 6 Hyatt property. The same is true at all Hyatt properties, as they all have “standard” rooms.
But again, I get Starwood’s struggle, and I appreciate that they at least offer this 35% off promotion every year.
35% off redemption I’m considering
Are there any resorts here which represent a great value?
I’ve long wanted to stay at Al Maha, which is the SPG desert resort not far from Dubai.
While I’ve stayed at another desert resort in the UAE — Qasr Al Sarab — this one looks much nicer, and is much more conveniently located.
And as you might expect, it’s outrageously expensive. For example, pulling up rates during peak season, rates are 8,040AED per night (~$2,200) including taxes and service charges.
Redeeming “just” 39,000 Starpoints per night there is quite a bargain, especially since the standard rooms are over 800 square feet and all have private plunge pools.
Also, don’t quote me on this, but I believe all rooms at this hotel come with full board and two activities per person per day.
So there’s definitely value to be had through this 35% off promotion, if you ask me, given how unique some of these properties are.
I’m excited to see this promotion return, and am seriously considering spending a couple of nights at Al Maha soon. While I love SPG, I don’t love their policy on redemptions at “specialty resorts.” That being said, this 35% off promotion certainly makes redeeming points at these properties more lucrative.
Do you plan on taking advantage of Starwood’s 35% off redemptions promotion at resorts?