Which Miami Starwood Hotel is Best for Award Nights?
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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 of the Miami Beach Starwood properties over the years. The W South Beach is amazing, but it’s a super expensive Category 7 hotel. The relatively new St. Regis is also very luxurious, and both of these hotels typically cost 30,000+ points per night.
The Four Points Sheraton Miami Beach was a bit of a dump years ago, but recently it has cleaned up and is now a great value. I’ve put people up there a number of times, and because it’s a Category 5 property, it only costs around 12,000-16,000 points for an award night. I love the location because it’s right next to Soho Beach House, plus the beach around the hotel is great and much less crowded than in the teens and twenties off Collins and Ocean Drive. Now that Miami Beach has Uber, it’s easier to get around, so you have better access to South Beach if you stay here.
A few weeks ago Starwood launched the Tribute Portfolio — a collection of boutique, independent hotels — and the first one is the Royal Palm in South Beach. The hotel is a Category 6 property starting at 20,000 points per night, and is located at 15th and Collins right on the beach.
It may make sense if you want to splurge to stay at the W, as it’s hip and trendy and ideally located at 22nd and Collins, but the Royal Palm is a great new option and is much less expensive. The St. Regis is gorgeous and offers a delicious Starwood Platinum breakfast. but it’s about 20 minutes north of South Beach.
So I’d have to say my top choice is the W (I just love that brand in general), followed by the new Royal Palm, and if you’re really looking to stretch your points, you can stay at the Four Points Sheraton.
The Aloft South Beach is opening up across from the W at the end of May, and while it’s not directly on the beach, it’s only a five minute walk away and will probably have a great pool area. There’s also an Element at the Miami airport, and the new hotspot Brickell also has an Aloft. But just know that the traffic can be crazy in Brickell, and if you plan on spending time at Miami Beach, it makes more sense to just stay there, especially if you’re only in town for a weekend.
Here’s a more thorough list of your Starwood options in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area:
- Tribute Portfolio Resort: Royal Palm South Beach Miami: Category 6: 20-25 K points
- W South Beach: Category 7: 30-35K points
- The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort: Category 7: 30-35K points
- Aloft Miami – Brickell: Category 4: 10K points
- Four Points by Sheraton Miami Beach: Category 5: 12-16K points
- Aloft South Beach: Category 5: 12-16K points *Opening May 28, 2015
- Element Miami International Airport: Category 3: 7K points
- The Westin Colonnade Coral Gables: Category 5: 12-16K points
- Aloft Miami Doral: Category 3: 7K points
- Element Miami Doral: Category 3: 7K points
- W Fort Lauderdale: Category 5: 12-16K points
- The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort: Category 4: 10K points
- The Westin Fort Lauderdale: Category 3: 7K points