5 Reasons Why W Guangzhou Should Be the Brand Standard

After being wowed by the W Beijing Chang’an, I had very high expectations for the W Guangzhou—and it delivered. Ideally, all W Hotels would offer the consistent level of quality I experienced in Guangzhou. This hotel had it all—luxury, service, design, everything. The W Guangzhou was the first W Hotel in mainland China, but it’s still only…

9 Low-Level Starwood Properties that Make for Awesome Awards

Award travel enthusiasts often focus on earning first class flights and five-star hotels, but sometimes the best value can be found further down on the award chart. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Nick Ewen shares his favorite redemptions for lower-tier properties in the Starwood Preferred Guest program. The “top” awards tend to be the most expensive, but…

Can I Convert Amex Membership Rewards to AAdvantage Miles?

TPG reader Randy tweeted me to ask about points transfers: @thepointsguy– “How easy is it to convert American Express Membership Rewards points to American Airlines miles?” I think the American Airlines AAdvantage program has some of the most valuable frequent flyer miles out there. American has fairly low redemption thresholds (especially in first class to places like Asia),…

Should I Use Points or Cash for my Upcoming Hotel Stay?

TPG reader Roman tweeted me to ask about which points to use for a hotel stay: @thepointsguy–”For a one-night stay at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, we have three options: $495 AAA rate, 20K SPG points or 42K Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Which is best?” Deciding whether to use points or cash is tricky, and…

Favorite Places: The Great Wall at Mutianyu, China

For the our new TPG weekend series, “Favorite Places,” I’m sharing a day trip I recently took from Beijing to Mutianyu—one of the many sections of the Great Wall of China that are open to visitors. (All photos by Julio Gaggia.) Roughly 5,500 miles long, the Great Wall of China was built in sections starting back in the 7th…

What Would a Starwood – IHG Merger Mean for Award Travelers?

After hiring a financial advisor, Starwood Hotels has rekindled speculation that the company is interested in acquiring IHG. Board Chairman Bruce W. Duncan neither confirmed nor denied that any formal merger discussion was in the works, but explained that Starwood would “explore a full range of strategic and financial alternatives to increase shareholder value.” Hotel mergers are…

Hotel Review: W Beijing Hotel Chang’an

Though the high-design W Beijing Chang’an had a soft opening about six months ago to get all the kinks out, they recently had their official launch, and invited me to the spectacular opening party. I stayed three nights there as well, and was impressed—the property is stunning from the outside, and inside the staff shine even brighter. Throughout my…

Travel Like Mad Men (And Women)

Ever wish you could visit hotels you see on fabulous television series like Mad Men? TPG Contributor Drew Limsky offers up some hotels to visit for those of you who want to live large, Mad Men retro-style.  The characters on Mad Men are hotel people—they drop hotel names in conversation and use their restaurants and rooms as…

Which Miami Starwood Hotel is Best for Award Nights?

TPG reader Carlana tweeted me to ask @thepointsguy – “I saw your post last Sunday about which NYC Starwood hotel is best for award nights, and was wondering what are the best options for redeeming SPG points in Miami Beach?” Even though I’m a resident of Miami Beach, I’ve still managed to stay at most…