Starwood Extends 35% Discount on Resort Award Redemptions
Last summer, Starwood launched a "Paradise is Closer" promotion for 35% off select resort free night redemptions, valid for bookings made through March 1, 2014. This offer has now been extended through March 3, 2015 for bookings made at select Starwood resorts.
Be aware that bookings through this offer can't be made online - you have to call Starwood customer service. (The different phone numbers provided in the link depend on your elite status.)
The extended 35% Starpoint discount will still be valid at the following Starwood resorts:
W Retreat and Spa Maldives - 58,500 Starpoints a night (previously 90,000)
W Retreat Koh Samui, Thailand - 26,000 Starpoints a night (previously 40,000)
Le Meridien Bora Bora - 39,000 Starpoints a night (previously 60,000)
Pine Cliffs Residence (Luxury Collection), Albufeira, Portugal - 26,000 Starpoints a night (previously 40,000)
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa (Luxury Collection), Dubai, UAE - 39,000 Starpoints a night (previously 60,000)
Vana Belle (Luxury Collection), Koh Samui, Thailand - 26,000 Starpoints a night (previously 40,000)
If you're familiar with SPG redemption rates, you'll notice that these rates are especially high. Since these participating resorts have only suites or villas, they're regarded as "specialty" properties within the SPG program, and their award reservations are booked at double the Starpoint rate of a standard room redemption.
However, note that these resort redemptions are eligible for Starwood's offer of the fifth night free on award bookings, effectively lowering the redemption cost by 20% for those who can swing the extra vacation time. For instance, if you book four nights at the W Retreat Koh Samui for 26,000 Starpoints per night and get the fifth night free, you'd spend an average 20,800 Starpoints per night, keeping your entire stay within the amount for a Category 6 free-night redemption.
The following video shows off the W Retreat Koh Samui, and has definitely piqued my interest:
Throughout October and November, the rate for a Jungle Oasis Room (which comes with a King bed and a private plunge pool) at the W Retreat Koh Samui is 22,000 THB ($684.40 US) per night, or 110,000 THB ($3,422 US) for five nights. Note that taxes of 4,114 THB [$128 US] per night would push those totals up to $812.40 per night or $4,082 for five nights. However, those taxes are not charged on award stays. Thus, you could get a value of about 3.12 cents per point for 1-4 nights, or about 3.93 cents per point with the fifth night free. My most recent valuations put Starpoints at 2.3 cents apiece, so this is a quality redemption for a sexy resort hotel.
I wish more Starwood resorts were participating in this promotion, but at least the ones available are impressive, desirable properties in places I'd actually like to visit. Basically, if you have a lot of Starpoints on your hands and an some extra vacation time to burn in a beautiful slice of the world, these redemptions could open the door to a great trip.