Posted by Ric Garrido

Conde Nast Traveler Gold List 2013 is the annual list of best ranked hotels by CN Traveler readers. 47,000 participants in the Readers Choice survey selected about 500 of the world’s best hotels for the 2013 list. Hotels making the Gold List five consecutive years are designated Platinum Circle status. The Platinum Circle list has 182 slides of hotels.

The 2013 CN Traveler Gold List grabbed my attention when I saw Marriott had published the list on the Rewards-Insiders.Marriott.com forum site.

Dromoland Castle in County Clare, Ireland is a Platinum Circle member of the 2013 CN Traveler Gold List.

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CN Traveler Gold List Dromoland Castle hotel review. Each hotel member of the 2013 Gold List has a detailed write-up and score ranking on the CNTraveler.com site. 

Dromoland Castle is available as a Marriott Rewards Partner Hotel Reward at a hefty 75,000 points per night in the off-peak season.

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What has happened with loyalty program awards over 5 years?

One of my first projects in 2008 when I started Loyalty Traveler blog was an analysis of the Conde Nast 2008 Hotel Gold List to categorize hotels that were part of hotel loyalty programs. The hotels on the 2008 Conde Nast Traveler Gold List did not mention any hotel brand affiliation if the brand name was not part of the hotel name.

I also analyzed the 2009 CN Traveler Gold List for hotel loyalty program affiliation. Looking back at those articles I wish I had included the hotel award category for each property in both my 2008 Gold List analysis and 2009 Gold List Analysis to track the five year changes.

In my 2008 Gold List analysis I included the award night cost for Marriott brand Gold List hotels in Europe, but not Dromoland Castle.

The rest of this post looks at hotels on the 2008 CN Traveler Gold List and their award costs in 2008 compared to 2013 for hotels in Marriott Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport, InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club, Hilton HHonors and Starwood Preferred Guest.

Five Year Changes in Hotel Loyalty Program Award Rates  

Marriott Rewards

JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel, Bucharest, Romania
2008 = Category 4 hotel award.

  • 20,000 points per night in 2008.
  • 105,000 points for a 7-night stay (15,000 points/night)

2013 = Marriott Rewards Category 3 Award

  • 15,000 points per night (25% less) in 2013
  • 90,000 points for a 7-night stay (12,857 points/night; 14% less than 2008).

Marriott Berlin, Germany
2008 = Marriott Rewards Category 5 award.

  • 25,000 points per night in 2008.
  • 115,000 points for a 7-night stay (16,429 points/night).

2013 = Marriott Rewards Category 6 Award

  • 30,000 points per night (20% more) in 2013.
  • 180,000 points for a 7-night stay (25,714 points/night; 57% more than 2008).

Renaissance Chancery Court, London, UK and JW Marriott Tiberio Palace, Capri, Italy were 2008 CN Traveler Gold List hotels that are no longer with Marriott.

Ritz-Carlton Berlin, Germany
2008 Marriott Rewards Tier 1 Partner Hotel Award.

  • 45,000 points per night in 2008.
  • 175,000 points for a 7-night stay (25,000 points/night).

2013 Ritz Carlton Rewards Tier 2 Award:

  • 40,000 points per night (11% less).
  • 160,000 points for 5-night stay.
  • 240,000 points for 7-night stay (34,286 points/night; 37% more than 2008).

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Arts, Barcelona, Spain
2008 Marriott Rewards Tier 2 Partner Hotel Award. 

  • 70,000 points per night in 2008.
  • 250,000 points for a 7-night stay (35,714 points/night).

2013 Ritz-Carlton Rewards Tier 3 Award:

  • 50,000 points per night in 2013.
  • 300,000 points for a 7-night stay (42,857 points/night; 20% more than 2008).

The comparison of 2008 rates to 2013 rates shows there are actually lower nightly award rates in 2013, but 7-night stays increased when Marriott Rewards went to a simple 5th night free chart in 2009.

Comparison of these Marriott Rewards five-year changes in award stay cost to Hyatt, Hilton, IHG and SPG changes for award nights since 2008.

HYATT GOLD PASSPORT

Park Hyatt Milan, Italy

  • 2008 Gold Passport Category 5 Award
  • 2008 Free night =18,000 points
  • 2013 Gold Passport Category 6 Award
  • 2013 Free Night = 22,000 points (22.2% more)

Park Hyatt Zurich, Switzerland

    • 2008 Gold Passport Category 5 Award
    • 2008 Free night =18,000 points
    • 2013 Gold Passport Category 6 Award
    • 2013 Free Night = 22,000 points (22.2% more)

 

Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome, France(Reserve List)

  • 2008 Gold Passport Category 5 Award
  • 2008 Free night =18,000 points
  • 2013 Gold Passport Category 6 Award
  • 2013 Free Night = 22,000 points (22.2% more)

 

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club

InterContinental Carlton Cannes, France

  • 2008 Priority Club Rewards Free Night = 40,000 points.
  • 2013 Priority Club Rewards Free Night = 50,000 points; 25% more than 2008. 2013 also has Points & Money option for 40,000 points + $70.

Ceylan InterContinental Istanbul, Turkey

  • 2008 Priority Club Rewards Free Night = 40,000 points.
  • 2013 Priority Club Rewards Free Night = 50,000 points; 25% more than 2008. 2013 also has Points & Money option for 40,000 points + $70.

InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam, Netherlands

    • 2008 Priority Club Rewards Free Night = 40,000 points.
    • 2013 Priority Club Rewards Free Night = 50,000 points; 25% more than 2008. 2013 also has Points & Money option for 40,000 points + $70.

 

HILTON HHONORS

Mount Juliet Conrad, County Kilkenny, Ireland still made the 2013 CN Traveler Gold List, but is no longer part of Hilton Worldwide in 2013.
2008 = HHonors Category 6
2008 = Free night = 40,000 points/night or 175,000 points/6-nights.

Rome Cavalieri Waldorf-Astoria, Rome, Italy

This hotel did not make the 2013 CN Traveler Gold List.

  • 2008 Rome Cavalieri Hilton was HHonors Category 6
  • 2008 award = 40,000 points per night or 175,000 points for 6-night VIP award.
  • 2013 Rome Cavalieri Waldorf-Astoria = 50,000 points per night (low season) and 60,000 points per night high season; 25 to 50% more.
  • 2013 4-night stay Rome Cavalieri Waldorf-Astoria 170,000 points (low season) or 204,000 points (high season).
  • 2013 5-night stay Rome Cavalieri Waldorf-Astoria 200,000 points (low season) or 240,000 points (high season).
  • 2013 6-night stay Rome Cavalieri Waldorf-Astoria 225,000 points (low season) or 270,000 points (high season) (55% more than 2008).

Hilton Budapest, Hungary

Made CN Traveler Gold List in 2008 and 2013.

  • 2008 HHonors Category 5.
  • 2008 Award night = 35,000 points/night or 150,000 points/6-nights.
  • 2013 HHonors Category 5 = 35,000 points per night.
  • 2013 4-night stay = 119,000 points.
  • 2013 5-night stay = 140,000 points.
  • 2013 6-night stay = 157,500 points; 5% more than 2008.

 

STARWOOD PREFERRED GUEST

Starwood Hotels had more European hotels on the 2008 Gold List than any other chain. Most of the hotels on the hot list in 2008 missed the 2013 list. Here is a five hotel sample from the 21 Starwood Hotels on the 2008 CN Gold List to compare award rate changes.

Hotel Alfonso XIII, The Luxury Collection, Seville, Spain
Hotel Alfonso XIII did not make 2013 CN Traveler Gold List.

Hotel Alfonso XIII 2008 SPG Category 6. Award Night = 20,000-25,000 points/night or 80,000 – 100,000/ 5-night stay.
Cash & Points Night = $150 + 8,000 points/night. (NOTE: SPG Cash & Points category 6 rates are rising to $180 + 10,000 points as of March 5, 2013).

Hotel Alfonso XIII 2013 SPG Category 6. Same points in 2013 as 2008.

Hotel Grande Bretagne, The Luxury Collection, Athens, Greece

Made 2013 CN Traveler Gold List.

  • 2008 SPG Category 5.
  • 2008 Award Nights = 12,000-16,000 points per night or 48,000 – 64,000 for a 5-night stay. Cash & Points Night = $90 + 4,800 points per night.
  • 2013 SPG Category 6 Award.
  • 2013 SPG Award Night = 20,000-25,000 points per night or 80,000 – 100,000 for a 5-night stay (56 to 67% more than 2008).
    Cash & Points Night = $150 + 8,000 points per night. (NOTE: SPG Cash & Points category 6 rates are rising to $180 + 10,000 points as of March 5, 2013). This hotel will be 100% more in 2013 than 2008 C&P award cost.

Hotel Gritti Palace, The Luxury Collection, Venice, Italy

Hotel Gritti Palace did not make 2013 Gold List.

  • 2008 SPG Category 7 Award Nights = 30,000 or 35,000 points per night or 120,000 – 140,000 for a 5-night stay. Cash & Points Award nights were not available in 2008 for category 7 hotels.
  • 2013 SPG Category 7 Award Nights = 30,000 or 35,000 points per night or 120,000 – 140,000 for a 5-night stay. Cash & Points Award = $275 and 15,000 points per night or book a suite for 30,000 points + $625 per night.

Hotel Goldener Hirsch, Salzburg, Austria 

Hotel Goldener Hirsch did not make 2013 CN Traveler Gold List.

2008 SPG Category 5. Free Nights = 12,000-16,000 points/night or 48,000 – 64,000/ 5-night stay Cash & Points Night = $90 + 4,800 points/night.

2013 SPG category 6.

Westin Palace Madrid, Spain (Did not make 2013 CN Traveler Gold List)
SPG Category 5
Free Nights = 12,000-16,000 points/night or 48,000 – 64,000/ 5-night stay Cash & Points Night = $90 + 4,800 points/night.

Several Starwood properties from 2008 are still on the 2013 CN Traveler Gold List including:

These hotels have the same SPG award category in 2013 as 2008 with the main exception that St. Regis Lanesborough now participates in SPG awards.

Not too bad after 5 years?

Looking over the changes in hotel award stay cost for upper-upscale and luxury hotels in Europe that are considered the world’s best hotels by Conde Nast Traveler readers shows less change in the cost of high end hotel award nights than I would expect.

SPG = little change, except Cash & Points awards now available at category 7 hotels.

Marriott = highly variable from sample hotels with some hotels less and others as much as 50% more.

Hyatt = 22.4% increase for highest category hotels.

Hilton = Hilton Budapest had minor 5% rise in award rate while The Cavalieri Rome increased over 50% for some award stays.

IHG = 25% more points with 2013 option of buying 10,000 points for $70 when booking award stays.

I speculate that 2013 may see more bullish hotel category reassignment for hotel awards over the next two months.

 

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

3 Responses

  1. Fantastic post, thank you for taking the time to layout the reward levels for the different loyalty programmes- very informative.

  2. Anything from Club Carlson?

  3. [...] booking award stays. I speculate that 2013 may see more … … Originally posted here: CN Traveler Hotel Gold List and Loyalty Award Night Rates – Loyalty … ← Winnipeg to Puerto Vallarta | Getting All Inclusive Deals Root Criteria in Cheap All [...]

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