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Starwood has just announced a promotion offering 35% off free night redemptions at select resorts through February 28, 2017.
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 60,000 points per night to 39,00 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 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
- 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
- Mystique (Luxury Collection), Santorini, Greece goes from 60,000 points per night to 39,000 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 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:
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:
- 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.
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.
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?