December 27th, 2011

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This is an installment in my Istanbul: End of Year Mileage Run with Dad series. Posts include; Cheap Istanbul Flights: From $576 Total Roundtrip on Delta from JFKHelp Plan My Long Weekend in IstanbulFlight Review: Alitalia JFK-Rome in CoachHotel Review: Westin Excelsior RomeHotel Review: Park Hyatt Istanbul Spa RoomIstanbul Eats and Excursions. 

Since we were flying to Rome on Alitalia en route to Istanbul, my dad and I decided to take a breather and spend a night in Rome to get our bearings and have a good Italian meal.

Last time I was here I stayed at the Intercontinental De La Ville as a Priority Club Royal Ambassador. This time I decided to test out my SPG Platinum status at the Westin Excelsior Rome.

The Rate

I used the SPG Cash & Points option to book a standard room for us using 8,000 points and $150 in cash (plus 10% VAT), bringing the total to $165. I thought that was a decent deal considering rooms at the time were starting for 280 euros ($365 USD) plus tax. That meant each SPG point I used was worth roughly 2.5 cents at least. Especially considering that when we got there, we were upgraded to a Grand Luxe Suite, which goes for upwards of 1,500 euros! Plus, Cash & Points stays count towards elite status now, so I was upping my stay count.

The Suite

My Grand Luxe Suite was positively enormous (at least by European standards) at over 800 square feet. It had a master bedroom with a king-size bed, and a second bedroom with two twins. In the living room, there were a couple sitting areas including a small breakfast table, and a sofa and chairs upholstered in colorful velvet near the Bang & Olufsen flat-screen. There were windows overlooking the street and city. My all-Italian-marble bathroom had a Heavenly Shower plus a separate bath, a bidet, toilet, and two sinks. All in all, there was tons of space, and it was a beautiful room to relax and kick back with my dad before grabbing a cocktail in the hotel bar and heading out to dinner.

Westin vs. Intercontinental

Though I loved the Intercontinental’s location right atop the Spanish Steps, I actually enjoyed my experience at the Westin (on Via Veneto) better. As a top-tier Starwood elite, I got all the perks, including free WiFi (15 euros a day value), and a very valuable upgrade on an award stay. Priority Club Royal Ambassador benefits don’t technically apply to award stays, which makes me favor Starwood in this important respect. In my general experience, upgrades as Starwood Platinum are hard to come by in US, but I get treated like a king in Europe, which makes it all worth it since I go there so much. I’ll definitely be checking into the Westin Rome again!

Meanwhile, check out my room and hotel photos below for an inside look at my suite and some of the other beautiful aspects of the property. One of our favorite features of the hotel was the ornate lobby bar that featured a fantastic piano singer nightly.


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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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