Jan312010

Starwood Preferred Guest uber-Category hotels

Starwood Preferred Guest classifies 16 hotels in their highest Category 7 level requiring 30,000 points per night. A closer look at these hotels reveals that many of these properties are not available for 30,000 points per night despite the elimination of peak season rates for 2010.

SPG peak season rates for 2010 were eliminated for all SPG Free Night awards except for three hotels on the Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Italy from July 1 to August 31, 2010 at a peak season rate of 35,000 points per night.

 

Cala di Volpe, 35,000 points

Hotel Pitrizza, 35,000 points

Hotel Romazzino, 35,000 points

 

There are other hotels which require additional points based on time of year, room types, and/or mandatory full board requirements. Here are ten uber-category hotels in Categories 5, 6, and 7.

 

1.       The Resort at Singer Island, Singer Island, Florida (Category 5: 24,000 to 64,000 points)

2.       Pine Cliff Residences, Albuferia, Portugal (Category 6: 40,000 to 100,000 points)

3.       St. Regis Resort Bora Bora, French Polynesia (Category 7: 60,000 to 140,000 points)

4.       Le Méridien Bora Bora, French Polynesia (Category 7: 60,000 to 140,000 points)

5.       W Maldives (Category 7: 60,000 to 140,000 points)

6.       Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, Key West, Florida

(Category 7: 60,000 to 140,000 points)

7.       Mystique, Santorini, Greece (Category 7: 60,000 to 140,000 points)

8.       Cala Di Volpe, Porto Cervo, Italy (Category 7: 60,000 to 140,000 points)

9.       Hotel Pitrizza, Porto Cervo, Italy (Category 7: 60,000 to 140,000 points)

10.   Hotel Romazzino, Porto Cervo, Italy (Category 7: 60,000 to 140,000 points)

 

Half of SPG Category-7 hotels, 8 of 16 hotels in SPG Category 7 globally, have special points requirements and are not available for 30,000 points per night. In essence, 50% of SPG category 7 hotels are actually a higher category in terms of points. These additional points requirements are not fully transparent to the member to indicate what room types and seasons are charged at what rate for these “Category-7-plus” hotels.

 

I calculated the lowest paid rate cost of a 5-night St. Regis Bora Bora overwater suite to the value of 480,000 points for a 5th night free award stay a few months back. At $4,850 for 5 nights based on November 2009 rates, I concluded that paying cash would be a better value than spending 120,000 points per night for a Bora Bora overwater bungalow. But I also see how $5,000 in spending spread out over many Starwood hotel stays could earn a large number of points if you decide to blast away at your accumulated points balance for a luxury vacation in the South Pacific.

(Loyalty traveler St. Regis Bora Bora analysis Oct. 25, 2009)

 

Starwood Hotels hotels = 961 hotels in global chain

Geographic and category distribution at higher category

 

SPG Category 7  =  16 hotels

  • North America = 3 hotels
  • Europe = 9 hotels
  • Asia/Pacific = 4

 

SPG Category 6  =  46 hotels

  • North America = 15 hotels
  • Europe = 21 hotels
  • Africa = 2
  • Middle East =5
  • Asia/Pacific = 3

 

SPG Category 5  =  119 hotels

  • North America = 59 hotels
  • Central & South America = 4 hotels
  • Europe = 30 hotels
  • Africa = 6 hotels
  • Middle East = 9 hotels
  • Asia-Pacific = 11 hotels

 

SPG Category 4  =  307 hotels

  • North America = 153 hotels
  • Central & South America =  11 hotels
  • Europe =  52 hotels
  • Africa =  10 hotels
  • Middle East =  20 hotels
  • Asia-Pacific =  61 hotels

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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