Starwood offers 35% discount when redeeming points for select resorts, reminds us just how overpriced they are

Starwood has announced a promotion offering a discount of 35% at seven of their most luxurious resort properties. The offer is valid for bookings made through March 1, 2014, even for stays on subsequent dates. Bookings using this promotion have to be made by phone and not online, oddly enough.


The resorts and costs are as follows:

  • 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
  • Mystique (Luxury Collection), Santorini, Greece 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
  • Pine Cliffs Residence (Luxury Collection), Albufeira, Portugal goes from 40,000 points per night to 26,000 points per night
  • Vana Belle (Luxury Collection), Koh Samui, Thailand goes from 40,000 points per night to 26,000 points per night

As is always the case on Starwood free night redemptions, the fifth consecutive night is free, if you do choose to stay that long.

Now, these hotels are way overpriced to begin with. That’s because these are all properties that don’t have standard rooms, so they’re at a minimum charging double of what they’d charge if they did have standard rooms.

These rates are simply uncompetitive and ridiculous, though. Starwood points are almost universally considered more valuable than Hyatt points, yet Hyatt doesn’t charge more than 22,000 points per night at any of their properties.

So while this sale makes the rates a little bit less ridiculous, they’re still ridiculous, in my opinion. That being said if you have a special trip coming up and have been dying to stay at one of these properties this may be about as good as it gets. In fairness 26,000 points per night for the W Koh Samui isn’t a horrible value, especially if you have the fifth night free, which brings the cost down to 20,800 Starwood points per night. That’s a deal I might actually consider taking advantage of, even.

I do hope long term that Starwood reconsiders how they price properties without “standard” rooms. I find this promotion interesting given that it doesn’t just last for a week or a month, but for eight months. I think it shows that they realize these properties are overpriced, and hopefully they’ll make adjustments accordingly eventually.

Fortunately for low to mid tier hotels, Starwood free night redemptions remain an excellent value.

(Tip of the hat to Gary)


  1. One would think that if they realized these properties were overpriced, they would make a permanent adjustment. We know that’s not going to happen in our lifetime!

  2. All you have to do is look at the actual nightly price tag on those properties and you’ll appreciate the points redemption.

  3. @ Rob — Yes and no. Lets use airlines for example. If you had to book a certain ticket and the rate was $500 or 25,000 miles, chances are you’d use miles, since most don’t value miles at over two cents each. If we were to apply the same standard to premium cabin travel, it’s not uncommon for international first class to retail for $20,000, so does that mean you’d consider a million miles for that award to be a good deal?

    Similarly in this case (at least for me) it’s not a function of what the higher end hotels charge in cash, but what the competition charges in points. In this case it’s 22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.

  4. I’m seeing Al Maha on cash has a 3 nights, pay 2 special ~$2500. On points (117k on discount!), you are barely getting 2.1 cents per point.

    For airlines, some hotel programs like Hyatt, as you go up the point scale (first/biz) the points are worth slightly more, but that’s never the case with top end SPG properties.

  5. I wasn’t a huge fan of Koh Samui either. Its curious the island is so backwards, but all the big big luxury brands are there. Curious how vana belle compares to W though.

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