As Loyalty Traveler I am focused on the economics of travel and helping leisure travelers get better value from upscale hotel stays. I say a promotion is a great deal when I see an opportunity to get a high value future rebate on hotel spend.
Starwood Preferred Guest “Getaway Free” promotion is a great opportunity for leisure travelers to earn SPG elite status while buying a high-value vacation opportunity at a luxury Starwood Resort at a bargain price. This is the third year Starwood has run a free night promotion. Although this is a bit more restrictive than prior years with free nights earned limited to redemption at 200 resorts, the more positive aspect of this offer compared to the past two years is the ability to redeem free nights any day of the week.
Starwood’s Getaway Free may very well be the best hotel loyalty promotion we see in 2011.
Spend a lot to save a lot and earn elite status.
What I like about this promotion is the ability to earn SPG elite status while earning high-value free nights.
In 2009, during the height of the financial crisis, Starwood Hotels offered a promotion for a free night at any hotel up to category 6 after two hotel stays. In 2010 the promotion was changed to three stays earn a free night at any hotel up to category 6. This year the promotion is limited to free night redemptions at 200 Starwood Resort properties.
I worked the Starwood free nights promotion hard in May 2009. My wife was going through cancer treatment and the hotel stays provided us with some desirable distractions from the daily reality of being totally stressed about our future life together. Kelley just received results of her CT scan last week conducted 18 months after finishing treatment for Stage 2 rectal cancer. No cancer detected.
I wrote several posts on my Starwood Hotel strategies during the 2009 promotion and detailed my hotel rate search methods, hotel rate savings, and room types I received on my paid stays.
Many leisure traveler readers question the logic and real value of frequent stays when spending money to earn free nights through possibly unnecessary hotel stays.
Here are links for three posts from May/June 2009 that I think still offer good information for travelers interested in the current Starwood Getaway Free promotion for a free Starwood Resort night after three stays. These posts illustrate how Starwood hotel stays paid off in our travels.
How I search hotel rates (May 8, 2009)
My Starwood Free Night Promotion Progress (May 20, 2009)
My May 2009 Starwood Free Nights Promotion Analysis (June 25, 2009) – This post has a table showing details of my Starwood stays for earning seven free nights and how I calculated getting about $6,000 in hotel rooms for under $2,000.