Starwood Restaurants & Bars: SPG member discounts and sweepstakes

Starwood Preferred Guest launched a new feature last week for member discounts of 10% to 20% at more than 500 participating Starwood Hotel restaurants and bars globally. Starwood Hotels has offered Starpoints for hotel dining spend the past several years, even when not a registered hotel guest.

Link: Starwood Restaurants and Bars 

San Francisco – 2 hotels and 4 restaurants

Checking San Francisco shows only 2 of 7 Starwood Hotels in the city participate in this program at present. The Palace Hotel has 3 of the 4 participating restaurants and bars and each offers a 10% discount.

If you have never been to the Pied Piper Bar at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, I recommend this as one of the must see tourist attractions to view the Maxfield Parrish mural behind the bar.



Around the World in 5 Meals Sweepstakes – Win an Around the World Food Journey

To celebrate the launch of the new culinary benefits, SPG is launching an exclusive SPG member only, global sweepstakes, ‘Around the World in 5 Meals.’

SPG members are invited to create a tailor made ‘around the world’ food experience by selecting five destinations from all participating venues on a world map.

SPG members submit their journey to be entered into a sweepstakes and one lucky member will then win their around the world culinary experience. To reward those SPG members that dine in participating restaurants and bars on an ongoing basis, every meal in a participating venue represents an extra entry to the sweepstakes. Register at www.SPG.com/aroundtheworld.


Sweepstakes Entry period runs from March 27, 2012, at 00:00:00 a.m. Central European Time (“CET”) and ends June 29, 2012, at 23:59:59 p.m. CET.

The Prize: A ten (10) day round-trip for the winner and one (1) guest a total of two (2) persons) to visit and have one (1) meal at all five (5) Starwood Restaurants that formed their winning entry. The cost of each meal shall not exceed $300.

The prize includes round-trip coach-class airfare to the five (5) destinations; two (2) nights’ standard room accommodation, double occupancy (cost of the hotel room and room tax/service charge only) at the Starwood hotel at each destination; a breakfast (not exceeding $20) for each person every morning of the stay (room service is not included); there will be no money provided to cover spending money and/or expenses. The final route for the destinations shall be decided at SPG’s sole discretion. Retail value of the prize is $23,000. The winner’s guest must be aged 18 or over.

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 BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. While the contest seems cool, would one really want to spend only 2 nights in each location of what seems like a RTW trip (in coach no less), and have to likely pay $8k-$10k in taxes for this trip for two?

  2. I assume some countries do not have any tax on prizes.

    $8 to $10K in taxes? Perhaps you need a professional accountant.

    I think the prize might result in about $2,500 taxes for me, if even that much. Become a travel blogger if you win the sweepstakes; before you take the trip.

  3. 8000 in tax is possible particularly in those high income state like Calif and New York. That 23K is in addition of your normal income. That could push you into higher bracket.

  4. @Ric – let’s assume the 28% tax bracket. Federal taxes alone are $6440 assuming the FMV is close to the ARV (and may be tough to dispute depending how SPG books your flights). Add in state and local taxes (here in PA anywhere from 4-7% combined) and it’s another $920-$1610. Other states are likely higher. You can try to claim a travel blog (even if starting one) or dispute the FMV, but both will throw up red flags for the IRS.

  5. Feel free to not enter if you fear the taxes. I’d be willing to take that chance since my deductions generally put me at about 10 or 11%.

  6. I’d also recommend the free 90 minute walking tour of the Palace Hotel given by SF city guides. It turned what would have been a pleasant overnight stay into something really special for my wife and I.

    She still raves about the Ralston Coctail from the Pied Piper Bar.

  7. @Ben – Every person’s tax situation is different. One of the main reasons I started Loyalty Traveler was being stuck paying about 40% taxes when my wife and I were full-time wage earners in California without a house or business.

    I anticipated the housing would crash. I worked as a professional tax preparer in 2005-06 and I was astounded by the number of people I saw with expensive houses and very little income. Houses in Salinas, near Monterey, dropped from an average price over $600,000 in 2006 to around $200,000 now.

    I went the own a business route instead. I make about the same take-home money now after taxes as when I worked a full-time wage job five years ago making twice the monthly wage on paper. I have the ability to work at home and travel.

    If you are in the 40% tax bracket, then try and start a business or invest in housing and become a landlord. That is the way out of the middle class tax squeeze.

  8. @James – I have taken The Palace 90-minute walking tour twice and it is definitely an informative time and loaded with historical facts about the hotel, people and San Francisco.

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