My Starwood Year in Review
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Starwood Preferred Guest released a year-end wrap up of the program and how members earned and used their points - and my own Instagram photo of the Westin Palace Hotel in Madrid was included!
Among the interesting factoids they included were:
-The top-earning SPG member from hotel stays earned 955,100 Starpoints
-The top-earning SPG member from food/beverage expenses earned 441,123
-Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka'anapali was the most popular redemption destination
- Westin St. Francis Union Square was the most checked-into Starwood property on Foursquare followed by the W San Francisco, and Sheraton Times Square in NYC
This all prompted me to take a look back at my own year with Starwood.
As you know, I got in on the 30,000-point bonuses for both the personal and business Starwood American Express cards back in August. Not only did that earn me 60,000 points, and 4 stays/10 nights' credit toward elite status, but I now also earn 6 points per $1 I spend at Starwood since I'm a 75-night Platinum elite (I earn 4 points per $1 as a Platinum, and 2 more points per $1 with my SPG cards).
Starwood was my main hotel program and I'm closing in on 100-night uber-elite status with an upcoming trip to Ireland where I'll stay at the Westin Dublin. That means in addition to regular Platinum perks like 10 Suite Night Awards, 4 Starpoints per $1 and YOUR24 check-in, I'll also get my own personal Starwood Ambassador, the highest level of Starwood phone reps who can act as a personal concierge and resolve any customer service issues.
-Best Stay: Sheraton Stockholm - I got early check in, there was a nice lounge, I was given a huge suite and the location was perfect (and I saved a ton, in an already expensive city).
-Best Upgrade: Le Meridien Beach Plaza Monte Carlo - It wasn't the biggest suite, but it had great views of the sea and I thought the modern decor was lovely.
Can't Wait to Return: St. Regis Princeville - I loved everything about my stay, from the junior suite with ocean views I was upgraded to dining at the Kauai Grill to taking a surfing lesson in Hanalei.
Most Underwhelming: SLS Beverly Hills Hotel - I stayed several times and never got upgraded and I usually had to wait to check in, plus I find the rooms dark and a little depressing. On the plus side, it's a great, central location and I love the rooftop pool.
Worst Stay: W Hong Kong - I was "upgraded" to smoking Cool Corner Room but had to move again late at night to a non-smoking room after I was first told none was available and then one magically appeared after I tweeted my dismay.
Best New Hotel: St. Regis Bal Harbour - This new luxury property in my own backyard, and while there were some hiccups with my elite perks, I enjoyed my stay overall and thought it was a beautiful hotel.