In mid-November I wrote about the exciting new marketing partnership between Starwood and Design Hotels. Design Hotels is a group of almost 300 independent hotels around the world, all of which are selected for their emphasis on style and design.
While Design Hotels is Starwood’s 11th brand, it works a bit differently than the others. Starwood’s 10 other brands are fully integrated into the Starwood Preferred Guest program, while Design Hotels only has a “marketing partnership” with Starwood.
To recap how SPG benefits work at Design Hotels:
- SPG members will receive high-speed internet access and complimentary bottled water in-room
- Gold and Platinum members will automatically receive a Starpoints bonus as their welcome gift
- SPG members only earn Starpoints and elite qualifying stays/nights if they’re booking through Starwood channels
- Starpoints can be accrued at the same rate as at other SPG properties:
- 2 Starpoints per dollar spent for base members
- 3 Starpoints per dollar spent for Gold and Platinum members
- 4 Starpoints per dollar spent for 75 night Platinum members
- Those paying with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express will earn 2 Starpoints per dollar spent at Design Hotels, just as they would at other Starwood properties
- It will be possible to redeem Starpoints at Design Hotels as of early 2016
In other words, it’s certainly not going to be the same experience as staying at other Starwood hotels, given that you don’t receive elite benefits like room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, guaranteed late check-out, etc. Still, given how unique these hotels are I’m thrilled to be able to earn elite points and stay credits at them.
The other “catch” is that not all ~300 Design Hotels properties are participating in Starwood. As of now the partnership is just a “soft launch,” kicking off with the following five properties:
- The Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City
- The C-Hotel in Lake Como, Italy
- The Nira Montana in La Thuile, Italy
- The Ten Bompas Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa
- The Kruisherenhotel Maastricht Hotel in Maastricht, Netherlands
However, Starwood is hoping to add 40 Design Hotels properties by early 2016, and they’re making nice progress towards that.
Starwood just sent me an email reminding me that they’ve added additional properties to the partnership, including the following:
- Hotel Americano in New York City
- Habita Hotel in Mexico City, Mexico
- Tribe Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya
- Mainport Hotel in Rotterdam, Netherlands
- Nira Alpina Hotel in Silvaplana, Switzerland
The website also indicates that the following three hotels are joining SPG soon:
- Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel in Selfoss, Iceland
- La Purifica Dora in Pueblo, Mexico
- Condesa DF in Mexico City, Mexico
I’m excited to see more Design Hotels join SPG, and can’t wait to check some of them out. While it won’t be the full SPG experience, this partnership would still cause me to consider staying at these properties when I otherwise might not have even thought of them, given how cool they look.
I’m hoping to check out a few of these soon.
Have you had the chance to stay at a Design Hotels property yet? What was your experience like?