SPG Peak Season Award Nights return Jan 10, 2011

William R. Sanders, Online Guest Feedback Coordinator for Starwood Hotels and Starwood Lurker on FlyerTalk posted an update a few hours ago.

Peak season award dates have been announced at select properties. Check by region, hotel name or Category to learn individual property dates.

For the past two years, we suspended peak season free night redemption pricing at our Category 5–7 hotels. With the strengthening of the economic climate, our Category 5–7 hotels and resorts had the option of reinstating peak season pricing. Approximately 65% of our hotels in these categories opted to do so. Peak season pricing will be in effect starting January 10, 2011. See below for individual property dates.

Through January 9, 2011, you can redeem your Starpoints® to book free nights at these hotels for the current non-peak Starpoints rate.

Peak season dates are posted for 2011 and some properties have posted 2012 peak season dates. There are many hotels listed showing no 2012 peak seasons dates, although I expect that to change as we near 2012.

Loyalty Traveler analysis: 

Check the Peak Season dates for Starwood Hotels and book your hotel by January 9, 2011 to get lower rates before they change.

This seems to be a prelude to hotel category changes for 2011 when the hotel reward shuffle begins for hotel loyalty programs.

“Strengthening of the economic climate” is an interesting observation from the hotel industry. Corporations are sitting on loads of cash. Corporate travel is coming back strongly. The hotel industry news the past couple of weeks is filled with articles predicting 2011 is the year for hotel project and rebranding deals.

The financial crisis is devastating the public sector services of the U.S. This is an outcome predicted in Naomi Klein’s 2007 book  The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

I visited Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay yesterday. I took photos of Alcatraz penal regulations for my wife to post around her first grade classroom. They should come in handy in this strengthening economic climate.

This morning I read in the San Jose Mercury News that California schools will likely see their hardest financial year of the past few decades in 2011-2012. 

Here’s the likely result: “Schools will become more and more like prisons and less and less like schools,” said David Plank, a professor of education at Stanford University. “You’ll have huge classes, restive young people and overworked teachers.”

Sound drastic? So is the budget crisis.

Perhaps I am being a bit overdramatic about the impact of peak season dates for SPG hotels. But then again, a major complaint of Starwood Preferred Guest is the ridiculously high cost in points for high-end hotels in SPG category 5-7 award categories.

Personally I have let SPG Platinum elite status slip away for 2011 for the first time since 2003. I had a nice suite upgrade on my last stay using Cash & Points this past week, but in this economy I have to go where my money gives me the most value.

Starwood Hotels in 2010 has seldom been my best value hotel choice.

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 in 2008.

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  1. Funny you mention letting SPG Platinum slip next year ). I’ve done the same in preference for Marriott (I’ll still be Gold on SPG, but that is fairly useless). I just have not had as many upgrades with SPG and the free breakfasts at most Marriott locations swung it for me.
    Just burned 45k points for 2 nights at the W Times Sq in NYC, no upgrade, expensive blah restaurant. If they add a ‘peak’ upcharge on that it’ll be totally insane.
    Shame because I generally prefer Starwood hotels, but I’ll just eke out my remaining 200k SPG points as I rack up the Marriott points in 2011.

  2. I still like the low category award opportunities with SPG and Cash & Points for a cat 4 or cat 5 is still generally a good deal.

    The economy has been hitting my wife and I with the cost of everything going up while our income goes down.

    We actually had to stop saving so much for retirement to adjust for the increase in the month-to-month living expenses. Our household economy is slowly strengthening so I am hopeful for a better 2011.

    I would love to continue SPG Platinum, but I just don’t want to spend $600 this month just for a status extension.

    Hopefully I will get a SPG fast-track offer for 2011.

    The main thing I have noticed this year is better quality rooms at other hotel brands when I have done back-to-back with Starwood and another brand. Some of the Starwood Hotels I stayed in have looked a bit tired.

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