July 25th, 2013
Updates, as promised:
-The W Maldives charges $180/night to confirm an upgrade to an overwater bungalow with a private pool, as reviewed here.
-The Le Meridien Bora Bora charges $220/night to confirm an upgrade to an overwater bungalow. However (and I was blown away by the class of this offer!), as an SPG Platinum member they said that if there were any overwater rooms for sale on the day of checkin they would refund the entire upgrade fee!
-Commenter “bitzy” is reporting that the Park Hyatt Maldives now charges $550/night during peak season to confirm an upgrade to an overwater bungalow though I haven’t confirmed that change myself. It seems that the $350/night upcharge still applies to non-peak travel times.
Originally posted on 07/18:
-You can earn 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $1 and another 15,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $5,000 within 6 months on both the consumer Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
Many people transfer their Starwood Starpoints into airline miles due to the lucrative transfer ratio and the plethora of airlines offered.
However using Starpoints for hotel redemptions can also be lucrative. There are no blackout dates or capacity controls, if a standard room is for sale you can use points for it, even during peak travel times. Additionally if you redeem for 4 nights you get the 5th night for free.
Last December I stayed at the S. Regis Bal Harbour for 12,000 points per night with a similar discounted award promotion. Though last year it involved a rebate of your points while this time the discount is applied at the time of booking. Also last year’s promotion was for resorts in North America and the Caribbean while this year’s are for overseas resorts.
Eligible SPG resorts:
-W Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
-Vana Belle, Koh Samui, Thailand. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
-Pine Cliffs Residence, Albufeira, Portugal. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
-Al Maha, Dubai, UAE. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
-Mystique, Santorini, Greece. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
-Le Meridien Bora Bora. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
-W Retreat and Spa Maldives. Normally 90K/night. Now 58,500/night or 46,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
It’s difficult to book these resorts online, so you’ll need to call SPG or use their click to chat option when logged in on SPG.com to book them. When I did click to chat the rates they quoted were already discounted.
You can read more about the overwater bungalow at the absolutely incredible W Retreat Maldives in my trip report here.
Bear in mind that the discounted rates are for the base room only, you’ll have to call/email the hotel directly if you want to arrange a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow in places like Bora Bora or the Maldives. I’ve reached to those hotels to see what they would charge for a confirmed upgrade on a 5 night stay and will update this post when I get a response.
Bear in mind that the Park Hyatt Maldives can always be attained for just 22,000 Chase or Hyatt points per night without any promotions as even the most expensive Hyatt hotels are capped at just 22,000 points per night. They charge $350/night to confirm an upgrade to an overwater bungalow in advance. Unfortunately their overwater bungalows don’t have a private pool though like the ones at the W Retreat do though it’s also a phenomenal 5 star resort with top-notch Park Hyatt luxury service. You can find Chase cards with mega bonuses that can be transferred to book Hyatt hotels here.