When hotels rebrand within the same chain, the new brand is generally a lower tier. Hilton rebranded the Waldorf Astoria London Syon Park to Hilton London Syon Park in 2013 after the hotel spent two years in the luxury segment brand. Starwood goes the other direction with the recent rebrand of Westin Sunset Key Cottages in Key West, Florida to Luxury Collection Sunset Key Cottages.
Sunset Key is a private 27-acre island, ten minutes boat ride from Key West. Cars are not permitted on the island. There is 24-hour shuttle boat service. The hotel features Latitudes Key West for restaurant dining.
Sunset Key Cottages offer 40 units from one bedroom to four bedroom cottages. The smallest cottage is 900 square feet. A four bedroom cottage offer a private patio and plunge pool.
Sunset Key Cottages Luxury Collection is one of the most expensive Starwood properties worldwide as SPG category-7 cottages. Think 120,000 points per night in low season.
Good luck finding availability for a one bedroom cottage with points. I was able to find only one date in March 2015 for a 2-bedroom cottage at 140,000 points per night.
Peak Season dates: 1/1/2015 – 1/7/2015; 2/13/2015 – 4/4/2015; 12/25/2015 – 12/31/2015.
Paid rates for a one bedroom on March 16-18 are as low as $850 per night for a prepaid rate and tops out at $956 per night after tax. Rates are far higher for March 17 in a two bedroom cottage at $1,250. Shift the dates to March 17-19 and the rate rises to $1,750 per night for a two-bedroom cottage. November rates are as low as $705 for a two-bedroom at $793 after tax.
Paying cash rather than paying points is probably a far better value for a stay at Luxury Collection Sunset Key Cottages.
Rebranding Sunset Key Cottages as a Luxury Collection resort perhaps lessens the blow of account depletion for SPG reward stays.