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Starwood Preferred Guest is holding a special 72-hour “Beat the Timer” flash sales on limited quantities of rooms at 250 properties in Europe and the Middle East now through January 20, 2013. Prices range from 50-567 EUR ($65-$740).
Each property has a timer on it ranging from 6 hours to 2 days and 6 hours at this point, and displays both the number of rooms in the inventory being offered at the special lower prices.
You can search by country, city, brand or specific hotel name, as well as by price range per night, date range, and what kind of property (resort, city, airport, etc.). Alternatively, you can just click on the “Book Now” button of a specific property, and a calendar will pop up with the dates the special rates are available. Just beware, stays must be prepaid and are non-refundable, so if you’re certain of your travel plans, you can find some savings, but if your plans might change, you could end up losing out on the money you spend.
Based on a quick look at a few properties, there are some savings to be had, but nothing crazy.
For instance, the Westin Paris has rates as low as 266 EUR ($345) per night in November and December, whereas the best rate I could find for it on SPG.com was 295 EUR ($382), so you’re saving $37 a night. Nothing to write home about.
The special rate at the Hotel Imperial Vienna is 270 EUR ($350) while the best rate I could find on SPG.com was 109 EUR higher at 379 per night ($490), so you’d be saving $140 a night. Getting better.
However, I’d strongly suggest that if you are considering booking one of these rates, you check SPG.com first because I was actually able to find lower rates just booking directly at the Starwood site than through the flash sale site. For example, the St. Regis Florence, one of Starwood’s flagship Europe properties, has rooms going for as low as 340 EUR ($450) with this sale and the calendar says that rates climb up to 413 EUR ($535) normally and even as high as 950 EUR ($1,230) a night.
However, a quick search on SPG.com revealed that I could get actually room on one of the “sale” nights for 322 EUR ($417), saving me $33.
As with any promotion, do your due diligence and avoid spending more money than you have to (especially with this promo’s stringent pre-payment requirements) by spending an extra couple minutes checking around for better rates.