Starwood Hotel stays from May 1 to July 31 earn double points (4 points per dollar) at about 85% of hotels globally (about 150 hotels worldwide opted out of promotion). Include a Sunday night in your stay and earn triple points (6 points per dollar = 2 base points + 4 bonus points per dollar).

Register by June 30, 2014.

Key T&C for SPG Earn Away Promotion

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The weekly list of SPG Hot Escapes is out with 272 hotels this week. There has to be some great deals somewhere. 153 hotels are in the USA. Typical for Wednesday SPG Hot Escapes, the number of hotels is rising as I write this post.

(Now 286 hotels worldwide with 186 USA hotels one hour after posting this piece.)

In the uproar against Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Starwood Hotels apparently makes a statement by including W Hotel St. Petersburg as a USA hotel when the list is filtered for USA properties. So, I guess there are fewer hotels in the USA on this week’s Hot Escapes if Russia retains its sovereignty over its Baltic city St. Petersburg hotel.

Lakeside Terrace Villas in Avon, Colorado is a Starwood property I never heard of before today. It does not come up on spg.com when searching Avon. It is part of Starwood Villa Resorts? Keep in mind that late April and May are mud season in the ski resorts of Colorado and last May when I was staying in Avon, many of the ski resort businesses were closed and hotels were doing annual maintenance on their properties.

Remember:

SPG Hot Escapes are prepaid and nonrefundable rates available for stays over the next six weeks. Must book by this Saturday.

Another Wednesday and another set of SPG Hot Escapes. There are 131 hotels currently on the list, although more tend to be added during the day on Wednesday. Only 25 hotels in the USA.

Le Meridien San Francisco at $118 is a deal. That rate is available for one date only Sunday, April 20. And that is the basic problem with SPG Hot Escapes when I see a good hotel rate displayed that is only available for one date over the next six weeks.

One Hot Chicago Deal

W Chicago Lakeshore 106

W Chicago Lakeshore shows $106 for SPG Member Rate.

Then when I checked the hotel, the calendar display showed an even lower $87 per night over four consecutive dates from April 17-20. Even better is the rate priced out at $83.60 per night when booking.

W Chicago Lakeshore $83

Now that is truly an SPG Hot Escape rate. $97.31 per night after tax for the W Chicago Lakeshore.

I could get really excited about SPG Hot Escapes if this were a regular occurrence of finding lower than advertised low rates when clicking through the Starwood Hotel rate offers.

Remember these are prepaid, nonrefundable rates at booking. Hotels must be booked by Saturday for these weekly special rates.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Hotel Ivy Minneapolis opened in 2008 as a hotel and residential building in downtown Minneapolis. A unique feature of the hotel is its incorporation of a historic building into the modern main skyscraper structure.

The Ivy building  Starwood photo

My photo (on left, if you could not tell) was taken from the Minneapolis Skyway on a snowy day. The photo on the Starwood site gives a bigger perspective of the juxtaposition between historic and modern structures.

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Another Thursday and another list of SPG Hot Escapes with 142 hotels. While the list actually appears each Wednesday, I have pushed my post to Thursday since there seem to be hotels added throughout the day on Wednesday.

SPG Hot Escapes rules:

  • Available rates are posted for next six weeks.
  • Teaser rate shown may only be available for one or two dates over that period of time with higher rates on other dates.
  • Prepaid and nonrefundable, no changes allowed.
  • Must book by Saturday, March 1.

W City Center Chicago is $133 when I will be in Chicago in April. Now if it were $106 rate shown on the Hot Escapes page available for March 8, then I might jump on that price. I like the hotel lobby ambience and location in the Loop.

SPG chicago

I wrote this line to start my blog post from my 2010 visit to W City Center:

I walked into the W Chicago City Center and I felt that ‘WOW’ factor that I never got at the Chicago W Lakeshore.

W Chicago City Center in blue ray                                Loyalty Traveler, October 27, 2010.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

This post looks at 139 Starwood Hotels being reassigned to a lower hotel award category on March 4, 2014. Fewer points for a hotel night is a welcome change, but are these hotels in places you travel? Or places you actually want to travel?

State of the Globe or 60 seconds on hotel economic conditions

The hotel industry executives all love the USA this year. Seems like yesterday when the articles in 2008 decalred America the land of poor returns and executives patted each other on the back for all the hotel projects they had in the pipeline outside the USA.

The main push following the 2008 recession in the USA was a focus by the hotel industry on the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Economists look at these places with booming middle class growth and think there is money to be made in consumer goods. Brazil and Russia have Olympics and World Cup. Tourists need hotels.

The major hotel chains concentrated growth in these places. Six years later, growth has slowed in Asia, regional conflicts are hurting tourism across much of Africa, Thailand, Ukraine. Many of the hotels that were built in the past decade are hitting the boom and bust bumps that hotel ownership brings. Sochi, Russia has plenty of hotel rooms now. Radisson, the largest of the chain brands in Sochi, lowered the reward night cost for many hotels there effective March 15, 2014. SPG lowers the Hotel National, a Luxury Collection property in Moscow, from category 6 to category 5.

Starwood Hotels award category reassignment = 139 down, 111 up on March 4, 2014

There are global factors and local situations affecting Starwood Hotels and the hotel industry as a whole, resulting in 139 hotel properties dropping in award category for 2014 compared to 111 hotels rising in award category effective March 4, 2014.

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The USA was the global hot spot for hotel rate increases and occupancy in 2013. The number of Starwood hotels rising in award category in the USA at 73 comprises about 1 in 8 hotels across the country.

This post has a table showing the 73 hotels by state and a second version of the table showing the same hotels ordered by SPG award category.

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This post summarizes dozens of hotel loyalty promotion offers in the major hotel chains for the month of February 2014.

Le Club Accorhotels – 5x points for first stay in 2014. Must book hotel by February 18.

This Accor promotion offers 5x base points for a member’s first stay in 2014 when booked by February 18, 2014. Loyalty Traveler post: Le Club Accorhotels 5x Anniversary Points (Feb 3, 2014).

Le Club Accorhotels 1 Million Points sweepstakes for stays by March 16, 2014. Each week has a winner for 25,000 points. All hotel guests worldwide who are residents of USA/DC and Canada (exc. Quebec) are eligible.

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Best Western Rewards – Online Booking Bonus Feb 3-April 6, 2014.

1,500 bonus points per stay for reservations booked online. Registration required. Elite members earn an additional 500 bonus points for 2,000 bonus points per stay booked online. Loyalty traveler post Feb 3: Best Western online booking bonus 1,500 or 2,000 points per stay Feb 3-April 6, 2014.

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Club Carlson38,000 Points after three nights. Jan 6-April 13, 2014.

Note: Nights do not need to be consecutive.  Loyalty Traveler post Jan 6, 2014.

100,000 Points Twitter Sweepstakes Jan 6-March 31, 2014.

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SPG Hot Escapes, the prepaid, nonrefundable discount rates for Starwood Hotels over the next six weeks, has 314 hotels on this week’s list, more than 25% of hotels worldwide.  This is by far the largest list of hotels to appear for this weekly Starwood Hotels promotional offer.

The list is too long to reproduce for this post.

You should check out these offers, especially if you are earning the SPG 2,500 bonus points for every five nights.

Winter snow resort destinations and warm sun beach resorts look sky high, but there are plenty of bargains in middle America and elsewhere in the off-season of mid winter.

SPG Hot Escapes 2-8-14

314 hotels on SPG Hot Escapes for bookings by Feb 8, 2014.

*****

Happy Birthday Bob Marley who would have been 69 today if his life had not been cut too short by cancer in 1981. Never forget who you are and where you stand in the struggle.

This post looks at how different hotel loyalty programs stack up for points-to-miles exchange rates now that Wyndham Rewards devalued its program.

Wyndham Rewards for many years offered the best points-to-miles transfer rate with 1000 Wyndham points exchanging into 400 miles, currently with 19 airline partners including all the major US-based carriers like United, Delta, American, US Airways, Alaska Airlines and Southwest.

Without any advance notice to members, the exchange rate was changed on Friday January 31, 2014 to a 5:1 rate where 1,000 Wyndham Rewards points exchanges into 200 frequent flyer miles.

Wyndham Rewards points-to-miles exchange rate was cut in half across the board with all airline partners.

Wyndham Rewards miles cut

Comparing Points-to-Miles Exchange Rates across hotel loyalty programs

The change in Wyndham Rewards follows the loyalty program changes in 2013 reducing the exchange rate of points-to-miles in Club Carlson and Marriott Rewards. Club Carlson gutted its exchange rate in 2013. Marriott Rewards was a slight devaluation in comparison to Club Carlson and Wyndham Rewards.

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