Save 35% On Points Redemptions At Starwood Resorts

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Starwood has just announced a promotion offering 35% off free night redemptions at select resorts through February 28, 2017.

Starwood-Resort-Promotion

This promotion almost exactly mirrors the ones offered by Starwood in 20152014, and 2013, though it’s slightly better than before.

Which SPG properties are 35% off?

This 35% off promotion is valid at the following properties:

Starwood-Promos

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 Le Meridien Bora Bora 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 free night chart. As a reminder, here’s the free night award chart for SPG:

Starwood-Free-Night

Why are these properties largely double the cost (or more) 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.

Thoughts on these properties

Last year I redeemed Starpoints through this promotion at Al Maha, Starwood’s Luxury Collection resort near Dubai. I had an incredible stay, and thought it was one of the best uses of Starpoints ever. You can find the trip report installments here:

The base rooms here are villas, and the resort was all inclusive, and even included two daily activities, so it was a much better value than you usually get out of hotel redemptions.

The Al Maha Resort in Dubai
The Al Maha Resort in Dubai

If you’re headed to Dubai and can splurge, I highly recommend staying here.

Al-Maha-Activities - 31

But there’s another property that stands out to me with this promotion. Specifically, the St. Regis Bora Bora, as the price has been lowered this year. Last year the sale price at this property was 58,500 Starpoints per night (down from the original price of 90,000 Starpoints per night). This year the sale price at the hotel is 39,000 Starpoints per night. With a fifth night free offer, you’re paying 31,200 Starpoints per night.

Then again, I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so to me redeeming 31,000+ Starpoints per night is the cash equivalent of spending $600+ per night. The St. Regis often has rates of under $600 per night, which can be stacked with the Citi Prestige® Card fourth night free benefit. Now, I know some people would rather part with points than cash (understandably), but from a valuation perspective I figured I’d point that out.

Since I’ve vacationed in other relaxation destinations like the Maldives and Bali, I’d love to visit Bora Bora to compare, as I’ve heard great things.

St-Regis-Bora-Bora-1

Bottom line

I’m excited to see this promotion return. Last year I redeemed Starpoints through this promotion to stay at Al Maha, and am so happy I did, because I had an incredible stay. Given that it was all inclusive (including activities), I actually found it to represent a great value.

This year the promotion is even better than last year. They’ve added a hotel to the list (Mystique in Santorini), and have significantly lowered the redemption costs at two properties (the St. Regis Bora Bora and Le Meridien Bora Bora).

Do you plan on taking advantage of Starwood’s 35% off redemptions promotion at resorts?

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Comments

  1. The language in the terms doesn’t quite clarify, is it saying you have to book AND stay by Feb 28, or only book by Feb 28?

  2. “Le Meridien Bora Bora goes from 40,000 points per night to 26,000 points per night”

    At 26K/night that’s one of the “cheapest” awards offered, but it is still truly insane. To afford one night at at that rate requires the equivalent of about 26K * 6 = 156K HHonors points PER NIGHT. Without the discount would require 40K*6 = ~240 HH points for ONE night! Contrast that with the 380K HH points I spent for FIVE (5) nights at Conrad Koh Samui last Xmas holiday and one begins to have clear sense of why the program went belly up…

  3. Yeah that is too bad I am going to be in Dubai in mid March 2017 and would have loved to stay at the Al Maha.

  4. Regarding Al Maha, Do you think five nights would be overkill (regarding excursions and food options). I get that its a personal preference, but trying to figure out the right duration to stay.

    Given how much the Resort costs in points/dollars, it doesnt make much sense (to me) to spend much time outside the resort (i.e. exploring Dubai or Abu Dhabi) while based at Al Maha. I havent been to the UAE before so maybe 2 nights in the city and 3 in Al Maha might make more sense. What would you recommend for first timer to the UAE?

    Thanks Ben

  5. I’d love to stay at the Al Maha for a night on a layover from DXB to SIN, but curious if it’s worth it based on arrival/departure times. We get in at 7:25pm on a Friday, and leave at 9:35am on Sunday. Would the best night to stay be Friday or Saturday? It sounds like if we did Friday, we’d miss the afternoon activity, and if we did Saturday, we’d miss the morning activity.

  6. @ Evan — I would have loved to stay five nights, because I found the resort and desert wonderfully relaxing. Much more so than many tropical destinations. But it’s not for everyone, and many people would be bored after 3 nights. You’re spot-on in thinking you won’t want to spend much time outside the resort, as it’s far from everything. If you’re wanting to sightsee as well, then splitting your stay is probably the way to go.

  7. just to confirm, does this redemption “St. Regis Bora Bora goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,00 points per night” refer to the redemption of lowest accommodation type (reef side garden villa) at SRBB?

    cant find the redemption points information online – i think this is something that requires calling in to find out.

    thanks!

  8. Once again, DCS proves he should stick to his lab, and stay away from hotel M&A analysis, as his repeated “belly up” claims shows how light on grey matter he is.

  9. We stayed at Naka Island 2 months back using a Citi Prestige 4 for 3 and it was an excellent stay. Lots of activities to do and hotel views were great. Recommend the Ocean Villa next to the Z Bar – has by far the best view room out there. We paid using cash and it was ~ 400 usd/night, so def check cash before spending SPG points

  10. Hello, the offer looks great but I couldn’t see it on the web page neither the app. Where did you see this offer?

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