Sep132013

Rate Checks: Starpicks and Beat the Timer LTO rates

Starwood Hotels offers two portals for limited time offer (LTO) discount rates with weekly Starpicks offers for hotels globally and daily Beat the Timer discount rates for hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

This article examines a hotel from each of these offers for a detailed rate analysis. Hotel rate discount is relative to the time of year and specific hotel property. Sometimes these rates are far from the best deal and may actually be a high average rate for a specific hotel compared to other times of the year.

For example, Westin Verasa Napa is $363 to $600+ in September and October peak season with Starpicks rates. Come in early December after the grape harvest and rates are as low as $161.

Starwood Starpicks

Starpicks are weekly offers available for booking Tuesday through Friday.

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  • Starpicks.com 
  • Save 20% to 40% booking prepaid, nonrefundable rates. Keep in mind this discount is based on BAR, refundable rate and the Starpicks rate might actually be higher than other available rates.
  • Participating hotels offer room rates for weekend stays for next three weeks.
  • Participating resorts offer room rates most days of the week for next six weeks.
  • New hotel listings are loaded on Tuesday and must be booked by Friday of the week.
  • Current list has 23 international hotels in 16 countries and 30 hotels in 16 states and Puerto Rico for the U.S.

Starpicks are not exclusive rates. These same rates will be found for participating hotels in a regular hotel rate search on a Starwood Hotels site. The primary value is the list of hotels that may offer a discount. The Starpicks rate is not always the best offer for the hotel.

Sample Rate analysis Four Points San Jose Silicon Valley Sep 20-22, 2013

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Starpicks Rate = $95 per night for Traditional Room, King Bed with prepaid, nonrefundable, no changes allowed Starpicks booking.

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AAA rate for Traditional King Bed room for same dates is $3.80 more per night, yet allows cancellation on day of arrival without penalty.

Selecting AAA and Senior rates shows this offer for the same nights.

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AAA Autodeal rate = $99 for One Bedroom Suite, King Bed is even a better deal for this hotel stay. This is basically a free suite upgrade compared to the same rate for a basic room.  The prepaid, nonrefundable  rate for this suite is $164 per night. The AAA Autodeal $99 rate for this suite allows cancellation with no penalty up to 6pm September 20, day of arrival.

 

Beat the Timer 72 hour rates for Europe

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Beat the Timer is a Starwood website offering limited time rates for 72 hours. New hotels are added everyday and the website states how long the rate is offered and how many rooms are left at that rate.

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Thinking about Oktoberfest?

Check the rate calendar for the 82 EUR rates.

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Oktoberfest is 16 days from September 21 to October 6, 2013. Rates during this time are 250 to 414 EUR.

After Oktoberfest Munich the rates drop to 82 EUR.

October 19-21 rates

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For this stay the prepaid rate at 82 EUR is far less than the AAA rate for Oct 19-21 at Sheraton Munich Westpark.

The hotel offers a different prepaid, nonrefundable 2-night stay discount rate at 103 EUR per night.

AAA rate is 121EUR per night for these same dates.

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In this case the Beat the Timer prepaid rate saves 39 EUR per night and is a significant discount at 82 EUR vs. 121 EUR. This is a rate discount to consider.

Bottom line is check and compare rate options

Beat the Timer and Starpicks are limited time offer hotel discount rates. My two random picks for hotel rate analysis shows there was a better rate deal available for the Four Points San Jose Silicon Valley while the Sheraton Munich Westpark offered a 20% discount on the next lowest rate I could find for the stay dates.

These two sites, Starpicks.com and BeattheTimer.com may offer a great deal or may not. Only a check of the alternative rates available for your hotel stay dates will determine if the prepaid, nonrefundable rate offer is a deal worth picking or if there is a better rate to beat the limited time offer for the specific Starwood Hotel on your stay dates.

 

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out my page of collated current hotel promotions.

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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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