Feb262014

The Tremont Chicago, sort of Starwood Hotels

The Tremont Chicago Hotel at Magnificent Mile is a Starwood hotel I first became aware of in October 2010. At that time, searching Starwood Hotels for Chicago showed the Tremont Hotel as not participating in SPG. In 2011, the Tremont Chicago hotel started participating in SPG and currently is listed as a category 3 award night.

A couple weeks ago I posted that I was looking to stay in Chicago at an upscale hotel for $100 per night for 7 nights before and during the U.S. Travel Association IPW convention the first week of April 6-9.

Chicago Hotel Status Update

I booked the Radisson Blu Aqua on a special $139 weekend rate and Aloft Chicago using the Starwood Birth Year rate to bring the price of that hotel down to $105 per night for three nights.

Basically, I booked placeholder hotels that I can cancel with no penalty if I find a better rate over the next few weeks. My objective is to find Best Rate Guarantee claims to reduce the nightly cost for my stay.

Tremont Chicago Hotel quickly revealed an easy Starwood Best Rate Guarantee price discrepancy.

 

Tremont SPG

Tremont Chicago Hotel $115 for Sunday April 6, 2015.

Booking.com showed a rate of $76 per night.

Tremont booking-com

Both websites showed Queen bed, prepaid, nonrefundable rate. This looked like an easy Best Rate Guarantee claim.

A successful Bet Rate Guarantee with Starwood Hotels results in a rate drop of 10% or Starwood matches the lower rate and awards 2,000 points.

Hey Starwood, one of your hotels is missing!

Then I ran into a first-time issue with the Starwood Best Rate Guarantee claim that has never happened before in the dozens of claims I have filed with Starwood Hotels over the years.

In years past, filling out the Best Rate Guarantee form required typing in the name of the hotel. When I went to file the Tremont Chicago claim, the Best Rate Guarantee page showed a drop-down menu for Chicago Hotels.

Tremont starwood

Tremont Hotel is not listed as a Chicago hotel on the dropdown menu on the Starwood Best Rate Guarantee claim form.

I made a call to Starwood Preferred Guest. The representative confirmed that  a Best Rate Guarantee claim can only be made online through the website with a completed claim form. She suggested I explain in the comments section that the Tremont Chicago hotel is not listed in the drop-down menu.

I submitted my claim for Four Points Chicago and in the comments section explained Tremont Chicago was not a hotel option on the claim form.

My BRG claim was approved 24 hours later based on the $76 rate and I was set to earn 2,000 points on the stay.

However, I decided to pass on completing my booking for the Tremont Chicago hotel one-night stay. The IPW conference is at McCormick Place and six miles from Tremont Chicago. I could have booked my entire stay at Tremont Chicago for $84 per night and made my challenge goal of staying in Chicago for under $100 per night. There are interesting comments about Tremont Chicago hotel on FlyerTalk that also kept me from jumping on the BRG approved claim.

Then, changes occurred to my itinerary on the same morning my BRG claim was approved. I will be taking a four day Iowa agricultural tour courtesy of Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau and that eliminates three nights I had planned to stay in Chicago before the IPW convention.

More pertinent to the Chicago hotels search is my desire to be within walking distance of McCormick Place, one to two miles, and now my objective is to be near the Chicago River or south of the river, closer to the convention center.

Best Rate Guarantee claims with other chains

Best Rate Guarantee claims have been relatively easy to find for hotels around Chicago. I could have booked the Renaissance Blackstone for $112 per night with a successful BRG claim when Marriott listed the hotel rate at over $200.

Choice and IHG best rate guarantee claims offer one free night and I found potential claims with those chains. Best Western offers $100 for a successful BRG claim and that is another possibility where I have found potential claims. I have found hotel rate discrepancies with each of these hotel chains that I am fairly certain would be approved.

Still plenty of time to find a great hotel rate discount over the next few weeks in Chicago. Finding a Best Rate Guarantee to bring the hotel cost to under $100 per night has been easy.

My challenge now is to find a Best Rate Guarantee hotel that will be under $100 per night, 4-star rating, near the McCormick convention center and offer a good promotional rebate or BRG value.

My Chicago hotel search continues.

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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Comments

  1. @I – Honestly, I can’t remember about Booking.com with Hyatt. I have used booking.com with other chains.

    I recall having a Hyatt claim rejected once due to no breakdown of room rate vs. tax. I booked with the OTA for 50% of the rate as Hyatt was asking for their Hyatt Place hotel.

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