Starwood is offering 35% off free night redemptions at select resorts for stays through March 5, 2018. This is a promotion they’ve run for several years, and that they’re running again this year. While the promotion has unofficially been available for a while, they’ve finally updated the webpage for it (which is useful, since some of the details have changed compared to last year).
Which SPG properties are 35% off?
According to the website, the 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 60,000 points per night to 39,000 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
- St. Regis Maldives goes from 90,000 points per night to 58,500 points per night
- St. Regis Punta Mita goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 points per night
- St Regis Bahia Beach goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 points per night
- Prince de Galles (Luxury Collection) Paris goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 points per night
The St. Regis Maldives is a new addition, given that it just opened late last year.
The last three properties are also new additions, though I must be missing something. These aren’t hotels that are subjected to Starwood’s higher award pricing, as they’re all Category 7 properties that can be booked online for 30,000-35,000 Starpoints per night. So I assume this is a glitch.
To make a booking through this offer, simply call Starwood customer service — these 35% off awards 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 St. Regis Maldives for 234,000 Starpoints, which is an average of 46,800 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:
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
A couple of years ago I first 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:
- Review: Al Maha Bedouin Suite
- Review: Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai Dining
- Review: Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai Activities
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.
If you’re headed to Dubai and can splurge, I highly recommend staying here.
Unfortunately it looks like the redemption costs at some of the other properties have increased compared to last year. Last year Le Meridien Bora Bora and Vana Belle had standard redemption costs of 40,000 Starpoints, meaning that a discounted redemption cost 26,000 Starpoints. This year they have standard redemption costs of 90,000 Starpoints, meaning that a discounted redemption costs 58,500 Starpoints per night, which isn’t as good of a deal.
I’m excited to see this promotion return. A couple of years ago 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.
The good news is that the St. Regis Maldives has been added to the list this year. The bad news is that two other properties have become more expensive.
Do you plan on taking advantage of Starwood’s 35% off redemptions promotion at resorts?
(Tip of the hat to LoyaltyLobby)