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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Club Carlson – 38,000 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.
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.
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.
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.
Starwood Preferred Guest’s website offers tools for comparing different rates and a browse dates/rates calendar to quickly locate Cash & Points reward availability. Together these website tools can make finding discount rates a much simpler task.
Standard search for Starwood Hotels in London shows the availability of Lowest Standard Rate and SPG Free Nights. SPG Member-Only Hot Escapes is third option in this default search.
Cash & Points is my real interest and I want to see AAA rates when searching USA hotels. I’ll check AAA rates for London too.
Compare More Rates is the first step to get the rates I want to see.
A couple weeks ago I stayed at the Westin Detroit Airport for two nights courtesy of Ford Motor Company as a media attendee of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The funny thing is I arrived three days early for the show and I spent two of those nights in a Ford-owned Marriott Autograph Collection hotel called The Henry in Dearborn, Michigan. I don’t know who owns the Westin Detroit Airport.
One good reason to stay at the Detroit Airport is the limited public transportation to get anywhere other than the airport hotels without taking a cab. I paid $40 to go from DTW to The Henry in Dearborn some ten miles away. The alternative was a three-hour bus ride with a couple of transfers.
The Westin Detroit Airport is actually connected to the McNamara Terminal where Delta Airlines is based. Flying United Airlines meant I had to take a free shuttle to the other Detroit airport terminal for my flight.
Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport
The hotel shuttle dropped me off at the terminal check-in level and I fumbled around with the elevator until I realized that I needed to go to the top to reach the Westin hotel.
I liked the style of this hotel. For an airport hotel, this place is upscale.
The hotel is built around a large open-space interior atrium. My room faced the outside on the fourth floor, which I prefer to having an interior view room.
Staying in Las Vegas?
Caesars Palace, Mandalay Bay, Venetian and The Cosmopolitan are some of the Las Vegas casino resorts where hotel loyalty program members with Starwood, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott can earn hotel loyalty points and burn points for award stays.
Las Vegas, with nearly 40 million visitors in 2012, is a leading destination in the USA and more than 1 in 6 visitors to Las Vegas is from another country. Visitors to Las Vegas consumed 46 million hotel room nights in 2012, more hotel nights than any other U.S. city.
Las Vegas casino hotels in recent years have established partnerships for earning and burning loyalty points through mainstream hotel chain programs. InterContinental Alliance Resorts was created in 2010 partnering Sands-owned properties The Venetian and The Palazzo with IHG Rewards Club. The Cosmopolitan opened as a Marriott Autograph Collection property in December 2010. The M life partnership between MGM Resorts and Hyatt Hotels announced in summer 2013 placed many of the premier Strip resorts like Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand as Hyatt Gold Passport properties for earning points and redeeming award nights. Hilton HHonors shed some of its former casino hotel properties while expanding its Hilton Grand Vacations Club timeshares in Las Vegas.
Tapping into hotel loyalty preferences of visitors to Las Vegas is a win-win for casino resort operators who gain new customers and hotel program loyalty members who can earn and burn hotel loyalty points for Las Vegas hotel stays.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Caesars Total Rewards
The newest major chain partnership in Las Vegas effective January 9, 2014 pairs Starwood Hotels and Caesars Entertainment.