Oct162013

SPG Hot Escapes hotels are hard to search

The new format with SPG Hot Escapes combining limited time offers for discount hotel rates that were previously known as Starpicks and Beat the Timer needs some improved navigation tools.

Does SPG have the objective to increase the time stayed on the SPG Hot Escapes website searching for hotel offers?

There is a way to see all the hotels on one list if you can find the not so obvious link.

SPG Hot Escapes All

Click on the button at the right side of the page to “View All Deals”.

Or simply remember this link: http://www.spghotescapes.com/all

Do you shop for hotels by adjectives?

Hotels are listed in categories along the side with adjective descriptors like Beach, City, Spa, Romantic Getaway, Family and Outdoor Adventure.

Or the website visitor is asked to “Search for a destination”.

I type in Europe and no hotels are found. I pick a country like Germany and I get one hotel found.

I type USA and 15 hotels return in a search. That seems like a low number of hotels participating this week in SPG Hot Escapes.

Last week there were 128 hotels offered through SPG Hot Escapes. This week there are 34 hotels with 15 hotels in the United States.

  1. W Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona $197/$207
  2. Four Points by Sheraton San Jose – Silicon Valley, San Jose, California $79/$83
  3. Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado $113/$119
  4. Four Points by Sheraton Cocoa Beach, Cocoa Beach, Florida $65/$68
  5. The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Florida $166/$175
  6. Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown, Tallahassee, Florida $98/$103
  7. W Atlanta – Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia $113/$119
  8. Sheraton Gateway Hotel Atlanta Airport, Atlanta, Georgia $68/$71
  9. Aloft Leawood-Overland Park, Leawood, Kansas $75/$79
  10. The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa, Henderson, Nevada $96/$101
  11. Four Points by Sheraton San Antonio Airport, San Antonio, Texas $75/$79
  12. The St. Regis Deer Valley, Park City, Utah $175/$184
  13. Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, Norfolk, Virginia $71/$75
  14. The Westin Alexandria, Alexandria, Virginia $98/$103
  15. W Washington D.C., Washington, District of Columbia $204/$215

There are some low rates listed here, yet when the rate is selected a calendar for October and November reveals these rates may only be available for a couple of dates over the next six weeks.

SPG W ATL Buckhead

W Atlanta Buckhead advertised as $113, yet calendar reveals this rate is only valid for two Saturday dates over the next six weeks. The colored dates have a rate range from $113 to $227.

I found this common among several hotels where the low rate advertised is only available for two nights out of six weeks.

International Hotels:

  1. Park Tower, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Buenos Aires, Argentina $209/$220
  2. Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center. Buenos Aires, Argentina $137/$144
  3. Sheraton Mendoza Hotel, Mendoza, Argentina $99/$104
  4. Four Points by Sheraton Kelowna Airport, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada $87/$92
  5. W Paris – Opéra, Paris, France $340/$358
  6. Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris, France  $639/$672
  7. Sheraton Frankfurt Congress Hotel, Frankfurt, Germany $118/$125
  8. Hotel Pulitzer, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Amsterdam, Netherlands $287/$302
  9. Hotel President Wilson, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Geneva, Switzerland $318/$335
  10. W St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation $170/$179
  11. Le Royal Méridien Shanghai, China $181/$190
  12. The Astor Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tianjin, China $118/$125
  13. Sheraton Shenzhou Peninsula Resort, Wanning Shenzhou Peninsula, Hainan, China $120/$126
  14. Le Méridien Jaipur, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India $139/$146
  15. Le Méridien Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia $99/$104
  16. Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia $146/$154
  17. Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia $140/$147
  18. The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa, Langkawi, Malaysia $179/$189
  19. Four Points by Sheraton Penang, Penang, Malaysia $60/$63

There are 15 USA hotels and 19 international hotels for 34 Starwood Hotels available during this week’s SPG Hot Escapes. Last week there were 128 hotels.

Why not make a simple list of the 34 hotels easy to find by country, state and city for the website visitor?

Instead SPG Hot Escapes designates these 34 hotels among 10 categories.

  • Featured Deals (4 hotels)
  • Beach (6 hotels)
  • City (21 hotels)
  • Romantic Getaway (5 hotels)
  • Golf (2 hotels)
  • Ski (0 hotels)
  • Spa (9 hotels)
  • Family (14 hotels)
  • Resort (7 hotels)
  • Outdoor Adventure (3 hotels)

71 hotels listed in these ten categories means some of the 34 unique hotels available this week with SPG Hot Escapes appear on at least three different lists.

Do travelers really plan hotel stays by these categories? Really? Especially considering these rates are only available over a six week period.

I still think geography is the driving force for hotel travel plans. I get the idea that Starwood Hotels may want guests thinking of their properties as beach and golf locations, but at least give us an easy way to see hotels geographically.

This SPG Hot Escapes layout is a real time waster.

 

SPG Hot Escapes T&C

  • Book Wednesday to Saturday.
  • Hotels are available until midnight hotel local time Saturday.
  • Savings start at 20%.
  • Extra 5% savings for SPG members.
  • HOT Escapes rates are prepaid, nonrefundable.

 

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 my page of collated current hotel promotions.

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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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Comments

  1. I hate it as well, I suspect they felt Starpicks were eating into business bookings, and this is a way to segment better. I want to be bale to quickly see all the deals and not have to search.

  2. Although I’d prefer more deals – I can’t complain about the hotels who choose to participate. However, the usability of the new website is quite poor. It is very hard to search and no one searches the way they suggest (c’mon, romantic getaway? please). They should have a full map of properties and allow us to click on the dot on any participating property to see the dates available. Furthermore, not all participating properties are shown on SGP Hot Escapes. If you search Starwood.com in Bangkok you’ll find the Four Points Sukhumvit is participating. And yet it does not show on the SPG Hot Escapes website. And it’s not the only property like this. Many do not show – and yet are participating. I hope they hired an outside agency to develop this – easier to fire them then to let an in house hire go.

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