It figures that Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort has $85 for nearly every weekday of September, except the one night I need a hotel and the $117 SPG Hot Escapes rate is the highest weekday rate for the month.

SPG Hot Escapes offer prepaid, nonrefundable discount rates at participating hotels for some dates over the next six weeks. Bookings allowed through Saturday, August 30.

Here are some hotel picks from SPG Hot Escapes that stand out for me.

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran at $141 for first two weeks of September.

Hotel Bristol, Luxury Collection, Odessa, Ukraine at $100 per night for the entire month of September. Interesting to see it has a 0% recommendation. War seems to have that effect on places. I saw a low airfare to Europe the other day when searching routes to Greece flying Ukraine International Airlines with stopover in Kiev.

Four Points by Sheraton Zaporozhye, Ukraine $63.

Starwood Ukraine

What ever happened to the slogan, “War is Over! (if you want it)”?

Sheraton Mendoza, Argentina in wine country for $99 to $110 per night every date in September.

USA has 48 hotels this week

Sheraton Desert Oasis Villas in Scottsdale, Arizona is $106 for Sunday through Tuesday during the third and fifth week of September. I never heard of this property before. Anyone know its story. The hotel gets high TripAdvisor ratings at #15 of 78 Scottsdale hotels.

Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown at $75 with lowest rates on weekends.

Sheraton Anchorage shows $83 on the front page, but the rate is more like $150 for most dates. That $83 rate was not there today.

W Vieques Island, Puerto Rico is $196 to $213 for all dates in September which is half the rate for this Labor Day weekend. Just remember to factor in the $60 per night resort fee.

W Retreat Vieques


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.


There are a relatively small number of hotels at 117 listings for this week’s SPG Hot Escapes list for 20% or greater discounts. These are prepaid and nonrefundable room discount rates for select dates over the next six weeks. Bookings through SPG Hot Escapes are available through Saturday, August 23.

This week I look at choosing SPG Hot Escapes by hotel recommendation score. A high Starwood Hotel recommendation score does not assure you will have a fantastic experience on your stay, but it is a good indicator when most guests rate a hotel highly favorably.

Starwood Hotels Thailand

SPG Thailand

Many tourists love Thailand with its extensive beaches and urban chaos of Bangkok. The low cost of luxury hotels in Bangkok is an attraction.

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, a Luxury Collection Hotel is a relaxing oasis and the hotel has an astounding 4.7 of 5 rating with 95% recommendation. The hotel rates are $140 to $156 for every date in September. The $137 rate is only available August 30.

I have been to the hotel and loved its opulence for an oasis from the outside reality of Bangkok, yet the street hawkers nearby outside  selling hard core porn DVDs, and pimps pushing young prostitutes in my face totally turned me off. To each his own.

Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers has a 4.4 rating and 90% recommendation. I preferred the river location of the hotel and the large outdoor pools to the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit. Royal Orchid is $107 to $112 per night for every date the next six weeks.

Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui is $368 for every date in September for the SPG category 6 Gulf of Thailand island beach resort. This is supposedly 47% off regular rates. The hotel receives a 4.7 rating with 93% recommendation.

Le Meridien Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia is $92 per night through September and the hotel receives a 4.5 with 94% recommendation.


The Gritti Palace, Venice is one of the premier Starwood Hotels of the world and this category 7 hotel is listed on this week’s SPG Hot Escapes at $707 per night. That rate is available for exactly two dates, September 28-29. The next best deal is $859 for Sep 9-10 and $889 September 1-4. Gritti Palace was recently renovated and the hotel rates 4.8 with 97% recommendation.

St. Regis Rome is under $400 per night for the first few days of September with rates at over $1,000 per night for several dates. The hotel has a 4.6 rating and 89% recommendation.

The Park Lane Hotel London is $290 or $340 for most dates in September. This is a hotel with a poor rating of 3.1 with only 51% recommendation. Looks like a hit or miss with guests. The hotel was described in one guest review as “shabby, not chic”. This Mayfair property will begin renovation September 22 through April 2016 while the hotel remains open. I suspect the rating will likely drop once renovation noise interferes with stays.


Only 35 Starwood hotels this week for the USA and 21 of these hotels have a guest rating under 4.0.

Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside in Punta Gorda, Florida is rated 4.5 with 93% recommendation and the hotel is $68 per night in August and $75 for nearly every date in September.

The Equinox, a Luxury Collection Golf Resort & Spa, Vermont in Manchester Village, Vermont has a 4.4 rating and 89% recommendation. This hotel is a weekday bargain at $205 to $219 in September. The higher rate is for late September dates. Weekend rates are over $500 per night. This category 5 property is 12,000 points for some weekend dates with $700 room rates after tax if you really want good value from your Starpoints.

Equinox Vermont

Equinox Hotel, Vermont

Friday, September 19 to Sunday, September 21

  • $727 per night after tax and resort fee
  • Standard Award = 12,000 points per night + $35 resort fee per night. (redemption value = $57 per 1,000 Starpoints).
  • Cash & Points Award = 6,000 points + $156 per night (tax + $35 resort fee). Remarkable redemption value of $95 per 1,000 Starpoints.

Compare SPG Hot Escapes rate to Starpoints rate for midweek stay at Equinox Main Hotel.

September 7-11 Sunday to Wednesday SPG Hot Escapes rate = $235 or $293 after tax and resort fee. $1,465 for five nights.

SPG 5th night free award = 48,000 points + $175 resort fee for redemption value of $26.88



Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

This is one of the largest selection of Starwood Hotels listed on SPG Hot Escapes this week for stays at 270 hotels August 13 to September 24, 2014. There is an extensive list of 131 hotels in the USA with a large number of them under $100 per night.

Westin Galleria Dallas $98

Sheraton Suites Market Center Dallas $75

Westin Arlington Gateway, Virginia $83

Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Durham, North Carolina $72

Aloft Oklahoma City Downtown Bricktown $87

Element Miami International Airport $75

Aloft Miami Brickell $75

Westin San Diego $102

Hotel Ivy, Luxury Collection Minneapolis $121

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Le Meriden Chicago Oakbrook Center opened this week in the affluent western suburb of Oak Brook, Chicago about 20 miles from downtown Chicago hotels. The hotel uses Oakbrook as one word. The city name Oak Brook is two words. Oak Brook is headquarters to McDonald’s and Ace Hardware.

The 172-room Le Meriden Chicago Oakbrook Center enters Starwood Preferred Guest as a high category 5 hotel at 12,000 points. This category 5 award level means peak season dates may apply during the year at 16,000 points per night.

The hotel features six Executive Suites and one Presidential Suite. The Classic Room features a 46-inch TV and chaise lounge. There is a Club Lounge for the hotel. Internet is $12.95 per day if you are not elite.

Le Meridien Hotels have an art-centric hotel design focus. Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook Center features Chicago area imagery and photographs.

Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook Center Room Rates

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Element Hotels are a room and hotel concept I like. A one-room apartment style space based on environmentally green concepts is a fine model for the hotel industry. The first Starwood Hotels extended stay brand Element Hotel opened in 2008. Six years later, there are only 11 Element Hotels open in North America. Element is Starwood’s smallest brand. The first Aloft opened less than a year before Element. Aloft currently has more than 80 hotels.

Element Basalt Aspen Valley opening August 2015 is in a town on Highway 82 on the way to Snowmass and Aspen, Colorado. That is fine when driving from Interstate 70. When arriving at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE), Basalt will be driving away from the ski resorts. Hopefully the distance to the ski resorts keeps the rates below $200 per night. Ha-Ha. The press release states less than 30 minutes drive to Snowmass or Aspen. Highway 82 gets some serious traffic congestion at times.

An apartment style hotel with Element Basalt Aspen Valley adds to Starwood’s growth in the Aspen ski and summer resort area. Starwood Hotels had only St. Regis Aspen until a couple years back when it was joined by Westin SnowMass Resort and more recently, a second property Wildwood Snowmass. There will be four hotels in the Aspen area with the new Element August 2015.

Element Basalt Aspen Valley will have 113 rooms. The hotel will be located within the new Willis Town Center. This will be the second Element Hotel in Colorado.

Element Basalt Aspen Valley will boast light-filled studios as well as one bedroom suites featuring a fluid design of modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving and custom-designed closets. Rooms will also offer fully equipped kitchens and the signature Heavenly(R) Bed, and spa-inspired bathrooms will feature an invigorating rain shower and dual-flush toilet. Other brand signatures will include a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center, pool and outdoor hot tub, and 626 square-foot meeting room with modular furnishings, a flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology that can be customized to meet any business or social needs. Guests can stay on the move with Element’s complimentary bikes to borrow and enjoy fun and free extras including complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, the signature RISE breakfast, RELAX evening reception, and salon bar carts stocked with premium wines and beers, soft drinks and snacks, available after hours.

Starwood Press Release


Element Las Vegas in HD

I have stayed in two Element Hotels in Las Vegas and Denver. The design was almost identical for the two hotels, except Denver had an indoor pool and Las Vegas an outdoor pool.

element Las Vegas refrigerator and dishwasher

Element Hotels have kitchen cooking facilities and this Las Vegas kitchen had a full size refrigerator.

Here is my hotel review of the Element Denver Park Meadows from 2011.


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

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SPG Hot Escapes this week has 34 hotels in Europe and 37 in the USA. There are 56 hotels in Asia Pacific with 11 Thailand properties, mostly under $100 per night. San Francisco has a couple of hotels with W San Francisco and The Palace at affordable prices for the last weekend of August.

Le Meridien Khao Lak Beach & Spa Resort at $71 per night for the next six weeks is quite the bargain for a beach vacation.

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You must book by Friday, August 1 to take advantage of Starwood Vacation Villas 1,000 bonus points promotional AAA rate offer at 13 properties. This “AUTOP” special AAA promotion requires prepaid, nonrefundable rates for bookings by Friday, August 1 for hotel stays completed by December 18, 2014.

Starwood Villas are timeshare apartment style properties. Most resorts have a choice of rooms, up to 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom villas. These are good properties for family travelers.

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Aspen budget hotels with SPG Hot Escapes hotel discounts this week can get you in a hotel near Aspen at a great discount compared to Aspen in-town rates .  This week’s SPG Hot Escapes has over 160 hotels including Wildwood Snowmass for $75 and $80 per night for most weekdays over the next six weeks and Westin Snowmass for about $40 more. Wildwood Snowmass is off Highway 82 about 15 miles from Aspen, Colorado.

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This post compares Hyatt and Starwood brands average room rates to see if there is a significant competitive advantage to Hyatt or Starwood for the frequent guest loyal to one or the other hotel chain.

Hyatt Hotels and Starwood Hotels are hotel loyalty competitors for similar types of business and leisure traveler guests who desire upscale and upper upscale hotel stays. The hotel loyalty programs allow these frequent guests to earn points for free nights. Both hotel chains offer a number of luxury hotels in their chain’s portfolio for discount hotel rates through award stays.

The primary difference between these two hotel chains is size. Starwood Hotels listed 1,180 properties on its 2014-Q1 investor report. Hyatt lists 554 properties. Starwood lists 14 Vacation Ownership timeshare properties and Hyatt lists 25 residential and vacation properties.

Starwood Hotels 2014 Q1 Average Daily Rates

  • Starwood Hotels Systemwide ADR = $174.63
  • Sheraton $151.61 (433 hotels)
  • Westin $187.06 (198 hotels)
  • St. Regis (31 hotels) /Luxury Collection (87 hotels) $315.09
  • Le Meridien (95 hotels) $186.14
  • W Hotels (45 hotels) $293.70
  • Four Points (182 hotels) $113.93
  • Aloft (80 hotels)  $110.49
  • Element (11 hotels) no ADR data

Hyatt Hotels 2014 Q1 Average Daily Rates

  • Hyatt Hotels Systemwide ADR = $182.04
  • Park Hyatt $363.11 (28 hotels) 32
  • Andaz $270.93 (9 hotels) 11
  • Grand Hyatt $241.02 (37 hotels) 40
  • Hyatt $166.38 (28 hotels) 39
  • Hyatt Regency $174.46 (138 hotels) 150
  • Hyatt Place $111.13 (170 hotels) 197
  • Hyatt House $129.65 (54 hotels) 58
  • Hyatt All-Inclusive Ziva and Zilara (2 hotels) No ADR data.
  • Note: average daily rate is based on (hotels) and number following is the total number of hotels in the brand. ADR data presented in Hyatt Hotels financial report is limited to (hotels). Systemwide ADR is my estimate based on data.

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Starwood Preferred Guest has offered Cash and Points awards since 2002. SPG operates an easy to comprehend model for Cash & Points awards. Here is a Loyalty Traveler Starwood Preferred Guest Cash and Points Awards guide.

How it Works: Starwood Preferred Guest Cash and Points award rates are assigned to each SPG hotel reward category. In 2013, SPG introduced a major change to Cash & Points reward rates by increasing the points portion from 40% to 50% of the standard reward rate and increasing the cash payment in each category by about 20%. This was the most significant adjustment to the program since it launched. SPG also introduced Cash & Points for its highest hotel reward category 7 and introduced Cash & Points rates for upgraded rooms and suites.

SPG Award Types-7-11-14

Starwood Preferred Guest Standard and Cash & Points Award Types – Loyalty Traveler – July 2014

*Please note: You will need to contact the Customer Contact Center to redeem for upgraded rooms, suites and Category 7 hotels and resorts. They are not bookable online at this time.

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