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.

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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.

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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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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SPG Hot Escapes for July 9, 2014 has 239 hotels listed for some discount rates over the next six weeks. This week’s list has 110 hotels in the USA and 15 hotels in Canada for summer travel discounts. These numbers compared to 26 hotels in Europe shows where the summer travel rate discount emphasis is with Starwood Hotels.

SPG Hot Escapes are prepaid, nonrefundable rates for hotels worldwide released every Wednesday. Bookings through SPG Hot Escapes for this week’s offers must be made by Saturday, July 12.

Some Starwood discount rate deals

Westin New Orleans Canal Place is $97 tonight, Thursday, July 10. Rates are $104, $112 and $119 for most weekdays into August.

Westin Las Vegas $83 for most weeknights. There is a resort fee here.

Westin Beach Resort Fort Lauderdale $92 first two weeks in August and $99 last week of July.

Sheraton Davos Hotel Waldhuus, Switzerland $149 for most of August.

Aloft San Jose, Costa Rica $61 to $69 most weekends.

Westin Calgary, Alberta Canada $86 Sat. July 19 and $96 Sun. July 20 are lowest rates for a hotel that is over $300 per night many nights.

W Minneapolis – The Foshay $112 for several Friday dates.

Le Meridien Versailles, Montreal, Canada $120 to $135 weekends in July.

There are some good deals around this week with SPG Hot Escapes.

SPG Hot Escapes banner

SPG Hot Escapes for Starwood Hotels discount rates

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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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AA and US 20% bonus miles offers from American Airlines and US Airways add 20% more miles to Starwood Preferred Guest points transfers made between July 1 and July 31, 2014.

Starwood points transfer at 1-to-1 rate into American Airlines AAdvantage miles or US Airways Dividend Miles.

5,000 Starpoints = 5,000 AA or US miles.

AA and US bonus miles with SPG points-to-miles transfers gives 20% bonus miles from American AAdvantage or US Airways Dividend Miles for an extra 1,000 miles. This applies to all SPG points-to-miles transfers into AA and US during July 2014.

Starwood AA transfer

20,000 Starwood points = 30,000 American AAdvantage Miles bonus offer for July 2014.

The best deal here is a transfer of 20,000 Starwood points with the normal 25% bonus from Starwood = 25,000 AA miles or 25,000 US miles. American or US Airways adds 20% more miles for an additional 5,000 bonus miles.

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There have been so many changes to hotel loyalty programs in the past three years that I needed to check again to see which hotel programs count award stays for elite membership.

Redeeming points for award stays while earning elite membership credit comes in handy when you are trying to reach 25 to 30 stays or 60 to 75 nights in your favorite hotel chain in a calendar year.

Hotel Stays and/or Nights completed in a calendar year qualification for high hotel loyalty program elite membership.

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This post looks at the hotel distribution for Hyatt and Starwood of low category awards and compares hotel spend needed to earn points for these awards.

Hyatt Gold Passport has 267 category-1 and category-2 hotels in the USA for low points award nights compared to 109 hotels with Starwood Hotels in the USA for category-1 and category-2 award nights.

Starwood Hotels with 1,180 hotels worldwide has 250 hotels (21%) available as category-1 and category-2 awards. SPG has 109 hotels (44%) category-1 and category-2 hotels in the USA and 141 hotels (56%) outside the USA.

Hyatt Hotels with 554 hotels worldwide has 308 hotels (55%) available as  category-1 and category-2 awards. Of the 308 category-1 and category-2 hotels, there are 267 hotels (87%) in the USA and 41 hotels (13%) outside the USA.

Starwood Preferred Guest offers 109 hotels across the USA in its two lowest award categories while Hyatt Gold Passport offers 267 hotels across the USA in its two lowest award categories.

Hyatt Gold Passport offers far more choice in low award category hotels across the USA than Starwood Preferred Guest.

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Even before there was a hotel loyalty program called Starwood Preferred Guest, I was an elite member of Westin Hotels in the early 1990s. Frequent stays at Westin and Sheraton hotels were my introduction to these brands and elite benefits in the world of hotel loyalty programs.

In 2003, Starwood Preferred Guest became my primary loyalty program for several years while I repeatedly qualified for SPG Platinum elite membership. The greatest value of Platinum elite to me were the frequent upgrades to suites. Upgrades were typically a $100 to $200 benefit in terms of room rates. Occasionally the room upgrades to full suites were rooms that would have cost more than $500 per night over the rate I paid. This was a generous benefit of Platinum elite membership since I usually did not pay over $100 per night for my hotel stays.

Starwood Preferred Guest elite status holds generous benefits.

The addition of breakfast for Platinum members in 2012 was a major improvement to SPG elite benefits. Receiving breakfast at a Four Points for every morning of your stay rather than 250 bonus points is far greater hotel stay value for many Platinum elite guests. The breakfast component of Hyatt Gold Passport may have spurred a catch-up move by SPG.

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Starwood Preferred Guest is known for its high proportion of Starwood Hotels in upper upscale and luxury hotel properties with more than 250 hotels in brands like W Hotels, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien and Westin around the world in many countries. 

Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton are the workhorse brands of Starwood Hotels as the upper upscale to upper midscale brands with about half of all 1,300 hotels in the Starwood chain. Like horses, some of these hotels are thoroughbreds. Starwood Hotels has a good track record for hotels that are functional and with luck, in a good location for business or tourism. 

Two newest brands in the Starwood family are Aloft and Element. These brands saw their debut in the past decade and were the forerunners of what are now being labeled a ‘millennial’ style brand in the 2014 hotel industry with newcomers like Moxy from Marriott and Even at InterContinental Hotels Group. Aloft had pool tables and a bar in an open-space lobby with electrical charging tables for guests over six years ago. Starwood’s Element offers apartment style amenities like a functional kitchen in what remains a very small brand for Starwood in the extended stay market with fewer than 20 hotels.

Starwood Vacation Ownership properties sometimes offer rooms for award nights in certain locations like Colorado ski resorts.

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