Oct132008

Starwood Better Tomorrows 2-Night Stay 25% Discount

Starwood has a 25% discount promotional rate called “Better Tomorrows” for stays of at least 2 nights.  The promotion is actually Pay 1 night, Get 2nd at 50% off.  Best savings are for stays of even-number nights 2, 4, 6, 8…. 

Starwood normally has a 20% discount on 2-night stays using links given below in this post for multi-night discounts.  These links also provide for a 33% discount on a 3-night stay if the hotel is participating.  Better Tomorrows is less than 17% discount if rate used for a 3-night stay.

Is the name “Better Tomorrows” a stock market response or what?

Starwood Hotel rates (rate check 10-13-08)

Weekday rates are generally higher in urban city business districts

San Francisco, California

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Portland, Oregon

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2008

Vancouver, British Columbia

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

$479 St. Regis San Francisco

$329 W San Francisco

$299 Westin San Francisco Market

$299 Palace Hotel

$299 Le Meridien

$269 Westin St. Francis

$199 Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf

$121 Four Points San Rafael

$159 Westin Portland

$159 Sheraton Portland Airport

$139 aloft, Portland Airport

$120 Four Points Portland East

 

$209CAD Westin Grand

$199CAD Westin Bayshore

$179CAD Sheraton Vancouver  Wall Centre 

$145CAD Four Points Airport

$125 CAD Sheraton Vancouver Guildford

 

Better Tomorrows Special Rate – Stay two nights – Pay one night and second night 50% off

2 nights, Fri-Sun, November 21-23

$403.50 W San Francisco 2 nights

$268.50 Westin Portland 2 nights

$253.50 CAD Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre 

 

Starwood has a newly launched promotion, Better Tomorrows, for stays of two nights or more. This special offer gives a 25% discount overall for stays of 2, 4, or 6 days.  Be aware the promotion is actually Pay 1 night, get 2nd night for 50%.  This means hotel stays with an odd-number of nights will have less than 25% overall discount.

 

3 night stay on $150 per night rate:  Night 1 = $150, Night 2 = $75, Night 3 = $150 or in other words $375 is a total savings of $75 on the regular $450 3-night rate.  This is only a 17% savings.  Many Starwood hotels have a 3rd night free offer that will be a better savings (33%) than the Better Tomorrows rate.

 

 

Better Tomorrows Discount Rate Terms:

1.       Promotional rate code = ZBT

2.       Minimum 2-night stay with arrival Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

3.       Reservation is prepaid, non-changeable and non-refundable.  (Watch out!  Be Certain!)

4.       Reservations must be made by March 31, 2009 for stays completed by March 31, 2009

 

Special rate should be eligible rate for “You Choose” Hotel Stays and Nights eligibility.  Check with SPG.

 

Longer stays of 3 to 6 nights may be available using a different offer, the on-going Starwood Hotels special room rate links for discounts up to 33% off regular rates at participating hotels around the globe.

 

Starwood Hotels Multi-night Discounts for City Hotels (2 to 6 night hotel stays): http://www.starwoodhotels.com/promotions/promo_landing.html?category=GENDRE_H

 

Starwood Hotels Multi-night Discounts for Resort Hotels (2 to 6 night hotel stays):

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/promotions/promo_landing.html?category=GENDRE_R

 

 

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I wonder sometimes how I plan out my hotel travels and here is an opportunity to share how I go about using a loyalty promotion.

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) is now into the second week of the fourth quarter SPG promotion called “You Choose”.   The promotion allows the SPG member to choose the promotion type.  The offer is an assortment of bonus points based on the number of hotel nights stayed or hotel stays and also includes an option for earning free nights during the final three months of 2008.  Another good value choice for some members is “Double Stays” or “Double Nights”. 

The difference between stays and nights is based in the rule that consecutive nights at the same hotel count as one hotel stay. 

 Hotel stays-nights graphicA

Road travel pattern of hotel stays

A person who spends one night at four different hotels is credited with 4 hotel nights and 4 hotel stays.  

A person who spends 7 nights at a beach resort hotel is credited with 7 hotel nights and 1 hotel stay.  Many hotel loyalty promotions have a lower requirement for the number of hotel stays required compared to the number of hotel nights to benefit travelers who stay frequently, but have short stays.

 Hotels Stays-Nights GraphicB

 

Typical vacation leisure pattern

Your travel pattern determines the best promotion choice. Frequent one or two night stays can be the cheapest way to fulfill a hotel promotion using hotel stays because the number of nights required is usually more than the number of hotel stays.  Many leisure travelers do not want frequent one-night stays and the multi-night leisure traveler may favor a promotion choice for nights.

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SPG “You Choose” 4th Quarter Promotion

2 Stays = 2,000 bonus points

4 Nights = 2,000 bonus points

 

6 Stays = 9,000 bonus points

12 Nights = 9,000 bonus points

 

10 Stays = 25,000 bonus points

20 Nights = 25,000 bonus points

 

Remember this promotion only lasts until December 31, 2008 so be sure you have a complete plan for sufficient hotel stays or nights before picking a higher threshold bonus.  You must register and select your offer choice by November 15, 2008.

 

4 stays = 1 free night (up to Category 5 hotel);  maximum of 2 free nights

8 nights = 1 free night (up to Category 5 hotel);  maximum of 2 free nights

 

The remaining choice of any value is Double Stays.

 

Loyalty Traveler loves this elite fast-track choice.  Going for SPG Platinum Elite status will pay for itself as long as you plan to travel sufficiently with Starwood Hotels in 2009 to the tune of 10 to 15 nights or more.   You will actually maintain your Platinum status through February 2010 for at least 14 months of complimentary upgrade opportunities, bonus points, and additional hotel stay amenities.  SPG has run a double stays promotion once or twice a year for the past few years so regaining Platinum elite in 2009 may require as few as 13 stays (25 stays is normal qualifying requirement).

 

During the first quarter this year I made Hyatt Diamond status on a “Stays Count Double” promotion and this quarter I will take the SPG Double Stays promotion to retain Platinum elite membership with SPG.

 

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As I looked over rates in California and I checked Oregon and Washington, I saw Portland, OR has the overall lowest rates in a west coast location with multiple Starwood hotels.  Anaheim area around Disneyland midweek looked good too.  But these rates are around $100 to $120 per night for mediocre hotels.  San Francisco and Seattle rates are sky high in the $200+ range for most hotels on most nights.

 

And this brings me around to Canada.  I happened to search Vancouver and was surprised to see rates for hotels like the Sheraton Wall Centre at $159CAD and then I was shocked to see the US Dollar is now worth $1.17 CAD.  (well, the USD has dropped 2% during the time I have been writing this piece today and the exchange rate is now $1.15 after Monday, Oct. 13 trades.)

 

Just three months ago, in July 2008, the exchange rate was an even 1.00 to 1.00 between the Canadian and US Dollar.  Canada’s currency has dropped 15%-18% in just three months since July 2008.  (Mexico has dropped over 20% and makes Mexico a huge bargain for Americans right now.)

 

At the current exchange rates I don’t think the prices of Starwood hotels in Vancouver have changed much since I first visited Vancouver’s Starwood hotels in 1999 to fulfill an SPG promotion bonus and they haven’t changed much from 2003 when I snapped these photos.

 

Vancouver Skyline view from Sheraton Wall Centre

Vancouver Skyline from Sheraton Wall Centre

 

After looking over rates for Starwood Hotels in California, I branched outwards from the state.

Rather than stay at the usual suspects for cheap rates like the Sheraton San Jose ($84) and Sheraton Sunnyvale ($99) or East Bay locations like the W Newark ($99) or Sheraton Pleasanton ($71), this Loyalty Traveler has decided to head to the great north country of Vancouver, British Columbia for some Starwood Double Stays.

 

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Alaska Airlines – Say goodbye to 20,000 mile domestic tickets

Alaska Airlines is raising their domestic economy frequent flyer tickets to 25,000 miles as of November 1, 2008.

I am cleaning out my Alaska Airlines account and a flight to Vancouver, Canada is still only 20,000 miles and $40 in award taxes for the frequent flyer ticket.

Alaska Airlines-Horizon Air plane

 Alaska Airlines-Horizon Airlines propeller plane

 

One of the great benefits of having a coordinated plan for frequent flyer programs and frequent guest programs is the ability to use points and miles when needed to reduce the cost of travel needed to fulfill other promotions.

 

My Alaska Airline miles are primarily leftover miles from 2003 when I fulfilled an Alaska Airlines promotion for 100,000 bonus miles.  I earned 150,000+ Alaska miles in 2003.  I cashed in 100,000 miles for a British Airways First Class ticket to Europe a few years back.  I transferred 1,000 Diners Club points to Alaska miles earlier in 2008 to raise the account to a domestic award ticket level from 19,000 to 20,000 miles.  I can now cash in the miles, get a ticket to Canada for $40, and vacation while earning Double Stays with Starwood Preferred Guest at the relatively cheap Vancouver urban hotels.

 

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 Vancouver, British Columbia, Stanley Park 2003

Vancouver’s Stanley Park in 2003

I love Canada.

Every time I have gone to Canada by plane I swear I will never go back.  The world over, I have experienced nothing even close to the amount of questioning I receive by Canadian airport immigration.  This is how I recall our typical conversation.  The conversation seems similar if I am going to Canada for 2 nights, 7 nights, or two weeks.

Airport Mountie: “Why did you come to Canada?”

LT: “Hotel stay.”

Airport Mountie: “You are only here for one night?  Why would you come to Canada for one night?” 

LT: “A hotel stay and weekend vacation.”

Airport Mountie: “Who spends money to travel all the way from California to Canada for just a weekend?  Now tell me, why have you come to Canada?”

LT: “I like Canada? And it is only two hours away by plane.”

Airport Mountie: “Where are you staying while you are here in Canada?”

LT: (I usually rattle off a Starwood Hotel name).

And after one to two minutes more of inane back and forth Q and A they eventually let me in. 

 Westin Bayshore view, Vancouver, British Columbia

View from Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, British Columbia

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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