Contests and Sweepstakes Hotel Loyalty 2011 Q2 Promotions Starwood Hotels Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood Resorts Pack Your Bags Sweepstakes is 5-Keys

Five nights at the St. Regis Bora Bora or W Maldives with a resort stay value of $17,500 or your choice of ten other Starwood Best Exotic Escapes is the first of 10 grand prize packages in the SPG Pack Your Bags Sweepstakes. The grand prize also includes 150,000 Starpoints for the 10 winners in the Starwood Hotels Pack Your Bags sweepstakes ten entry periods between now and April 14, 2011.

Loyalty Traveler 5-keys rating means I think this Starwood Resorts sweepstakes is likely one of the best travel prizes you will see offered in 2011.

This promotion is part of the launch of a new website for photos and brief descriptions of more than 200 Starwood Resorts organized in a variety of categories like SPG members’ favorites, travel professionals’ favorites, award-winning resorts, newest resorts, spas, honeymoon, islands, golf, ski and more.

Starwood Resorts Pack Your Bags Sweepstakes

Basic Rules (Pack Your Bags sweepstakes FAQ link)

There are 9 resort categories for the sweepstakes and one final prize on April 15 for a total of ten grand prize giveaways over the next month.  Every Tuesday and Friday during the promotion period there will be a different set of hotels offering a grand prize package. 

  • You can enter once every 24 hours.
  • Each entry is unique and you may choose a different resort within the choices of the Starwood Resort category with each entry.
  • You can only win one prize during the promotion period.
  • Prize is not transferrable.
  • Winners are chosen from member entries within the posted time frame for each category of Starwood Resorts.
  • Resort stays must be completed by December 31, 2011.

The first set of Starwood Resorts is the Best Exotic Escape package and entries must be received by 11:59pm Eastern (NYC) time on Thursday March 17.

Starwood Resort Categories for Pack Your Bags Sweepstakes:

  1. Best Exotic Escape (Tuesday March 15 – Thursday March 17)
  2. Best Winter Adventure
  3. Best Family Adventures Resort
  4. Best Beach Resort
  5. Best Spa Indulgence
  6. Best Golf Getaway
  7. Best Romantic Paradise
  8. Best Small Wonder
  9. Best Island Retreat
  10. The 10th grand prize winner will be picked April 15 and have the choice of any Starwood Resort in the SPG members’ favorites list.  

Who can enter: Anyone age 18 or over from

  • fifty (50) United States (including D.C.),
  • Canada (excluding Quebec residents),
  • Argentina,
  • Australia,
  • Austria,
  • Brazil,
  • China,
  • Indonesia,
  • Ireland,
  • Finland,
  • France,
  • Germany,
  • New Zealand,
  • Portugal,
  • Singapore,
  • South Korea,
  • Switzerland,
  • Taiwan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom.

Important Promotion Term to Note:  Winning SPG members may substitute a different resort from the one originally chosen. For this reason you should pick the most expensive resort stays since you can always trade down, but you can’t trade up.

From Starwood Resorts Pack Your Bags promotion FAQ:  

“What if I win, but then decide I don’t want to go to the resort I had originally chosen?

Members may substitute a resort of equal or less value from the resort options originally provided to the member during the Giveaway. “

For example: Choose the Grand Mauritian Resort in Mauritius in this Best Exotic Escapes and after winning you realize that the airfare is going to cost $5,000 to fly economy class to Mauritius for two. You decide you really want the $800 economy class special ticket to Tahiti instead.

Tough Luck!

Grand Mauritian has a resort stay ARV of $2,000 and the St. Regis Bora Bora is valued at $17,500 (I hope that is an overwater villa?), so you can’t trade up from Mauritius to St. Regis Bora Bora.

My advice is check the package rate for each separate category of resorts and choose the most expensive. That leaves you the option of trading for any different resort location within the category set of Starwood Resorts if you are the winner.

Check the Pack Your Bags Terms and Conditions link to see the tables of hotels and prize value for each of the nine Starwood Resort categories during the Pack Your Bags sweepstakes.

The image below shows the 12 hotels for this first prize in Best Exotic Escape.

Starwood Resorts Best Exotic Escapes Prize Values

150,000 Starpoints Component of Grand Prize

The 150,000 points component of the grand prize are yours for whatever purpose you choose. Air travel to the Starwood Resort prize is totally left up to the prize winner.

150,000 Starpoints are available for conversion into airline miles if you choose to use points for air travel.

150,000 points = 185,000 miles for most airlines with 1:1 point-to-mile exchange

Loyalty Traveler Analysis:

  1. Remember to enter every day through April 14.
  2. Choose the most expensive resort for each entry. If you win, then you can always change to any other resort in the list for each resort category prize. You can always trade laterally to an equally expensive resort or trade down later, but you can’t trade up to a more expensive resort.
  3. Air travel to the resort is left up to the member. In general, 150,000 Starpoints will have more value used for hotel nights rather than air miles. Actual prize winners may disagree when faced with the cost of airfare to the Maldives, Mauritius or Seychelles.
SPG Best Exotic Escapes Resort Choices in Pack Your Bags Sweepstakes


  • Adam March 16, 2011

    You’re forgetting one huge problem, at least for US residents: taxes. Sweepstakes winnings are taxable, and this big a prize will be reported.
    Say taxes are one-third, as a rough estimate. That means for the Maldives the winner would have to pay $7000 to the government. I’m sure the Maldives plus 150K starpoints is lovely, but $7000 lovely?

    I’d much rather win a First Prize of just 150K Starpoints. Taxes would be $1250-1500, which gets me the points at 0.8 – 1.0 cents each.

  • Frankie March 16, 2011

    Exatamundo Adam.

    I won a trip to Europe a few years back staying at high end hotels and several business class flights. Total tax paid was $3,700 for that “prize”. Which i took for the once in a lifetime experience.

    While i had a blast i could have bought my own coach ticket and stayed at less nice (but still good) hotels for three times the length of a trip for that price!

  • jung sun hee March 17, 2011

    W Retreat & Spa – Maldives

  • HYOJUN LIM March 17, 2011

    lovely promotion

  • […] Pack Your Bags to win a resort stay on us up to $21,250 (imagine the tax bill on that!). Check out Loyalty Traveler’s expert analysis for some more […]

  • HoKo March 19, 2011

    Hmm, the website seems to allow you to enter more than one entry every 24 hours. I would’ve thought they would limit you. Is the one per day enforced on a 24 hour basis or a calendar day basis.

    For example I made my first entry at 11:45PM last night, so does that mean I can’t make my 2nd entry until 11:46PM tonight or can I do it right now since it is a different calendar day (despite the fact it is only 11 hours later)

  • […]  Simply be a registered member in Starwood’s loyalty program.  Loyalty Traveler has a nice detailed analysis on this contest. This contest is a great chance to go to destinations that would otherwise be out […]

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