Nov122010

Starwood Hotels up to 30% off Nov 4-Jan 17

This limited time offer requires booking by November 15. My gut feeling is this discount rate is not anything spectacular. I need some reader feedback to confirm my hunch. Has anyone found a really good value that makes these rates worth the prepaid, nonrefundable terms? There might be better value if looking to book a suite for one night, but I’d check the multiple night discount rates for extended stays to possibly find even lower rates.

This offer is for hotel arrivals Thursday through Sundays or any day of week arrival at resorts. Hotel stays are allowed from November 4 to January 17. There is a 7-night resort stay limit. Advance reservations required online or call 866-924-8704 and ask for rate plan ‘CCCLTO’.

Online the rate plan shows as ‘LTONVB’.

Offer Terms & Conditions (link)

  • Offer is valid at participating Starwood Hotels & Resorts worldwide, please see participating property list.
  • Offer is only valid for reservations booked between October 29, 2010 and November 15, 2010.
  • For hotels, offer is valid for Thursday – Sunday stays November 4, 2010 through January 17, 2011 . Guests must arrive on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.
  • For resorts, offer is valid seven days a week November 4, 2010 through January 17, 2011 with no arrival day requirement for a maximum stay of seven (7) nights.
  • For hotels and resorts, offer is valid seven days a week 18 – 28, 2010 and December 16 – 30, 2010, based on availability.
  • Advance reservations are required and may be made online or by calling 866-924-8704 and mentioning rate plan “CCCLTO”.
  • Advance purchase required. Credit card will be charged at time of booking. Reservations cannot be changed, are pre-paid and non-refundable; if cancellation takes place, guests forfeit total room charge plus tax.
  • Rates are per room, per night, based on single/double occupancy and availability at time of reservation and do not include additional per room, per night charges that may be imposed or state/local taxes.
  • A limited number of rooms may be available at these rates.
  • Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.
  • Offer not applicable to groups.
  • Not to be combined with other offers or promotions and subject to change.
  • Not responsible for omissions or typographical errors.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
  • Starwood reserves the right to discontinue this offer at any time.
  • Starpoints, SPG, Starwood Preferred Guest, Sheraton, Four Points, W, Aloft, Le Meridien, The Luxury Collection, Element, Westin, St. Regis and their respective logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates.

 

Loyalty Traveler analysis

Last month I posted Travelocity flexible date rate calendars for several Four Points hotels in the San Francisco Bay Area. The sale rates shown here for this 30% off sale barely beat the rates on Travelocity and those rates from last month did not include any AAA group rates that may have offered lower rates for the Starwood Hotels. This promotion sale rate puts the Four Points San Jose at $109 per night for November 23 when I can get a refundable AAA rate for $118. I’ll gladly pay the extra $9 as insurance to cancel the stay.

At least for the San Francisco Bay Area, my bet is there will be lower rates than this Starwood hotel sale as the dates approach through January. I know the hotel industry feels like it can push rates up and up – some of the rates I am seeing for downtown San Francisco over the next two months are triple the rates of just 12 months ago. I stayed at Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf last November and December for $49 per night. Hotels that are $119 one Friday night, like Le Meridien San Francisco are $300+ on a different Friday night in December.

I think Starwood Hotels is using a tactic of high rates and then lowering just before arrival dates. Of course this is a risky strategy that requires some hardened nerves for the consumer, but the hotel revenue management teams are hoping you are too scared to wait and see if rates drop. They want you to lock in a high nonrefundable rate a month or two before your arrival.

Remember that hotels are not like the airlines. Hotels have far more room capacity than typically needed and rates tend to drop as the stay date approaches, unless you coinciding with a high demand hotel weekend. You can usually determine if hotel rates are high all over for your destination by comparing your primary hotel brand to other hotels in the same competitive set. Compare 4-star hotels from Westin, Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt. Compare Four Points, Hilton Garden Inn, and Courtyard hotels for similar  room rates.

I looked over San Francisco’s convention schedule for the next two months and there are not too many big conventions. San Francisco is banking on a high shopping tourist and business travel occupancy. I am still betting against the consumer and tourist, the larger share of hotel guests, and I think there will be better deals than this limited time offer of up to 30% off at participating Starwood Hotels for a prepaid, nonrefundable rate available through November 15, 2010.

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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