Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
One of the many things Emily and I love to do when traveling is learn about the history of a city or country. Like exploring a 16th century church in Rome!
A fun way to add to the experience is to stay at fascinating hotels with historical importance! And even use points at these hotels for free nights!
For example, you can redeem Starwood points for a luxury stay at the 100+ year old St. Regis New York.
I’ll show you where to use Starwood points for stays at historic hotels!
Link: Starwood Hotels
1. The St. Regis New York
Flashback to the early 1900’s in New York City. Famous American businessman Colonel John Jacob Astor broke ground on The St. Regis New York in midtown Manhattan.
This was less than 10 years after Astor built the Astoria Hotel next to his cousin’s Waldorf hotel. This became known as the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
When The St. Regis New York opened in 1905, it was the tallest hotel in New York City with 19 floors. A lot changes in 100+ years!
Sadly, Colonel Astor died in the sinking of Titanic just a few years after the hotel opened.
Despite the age of the hotel, folks on TripAdvisor say this hotel has modern touches.
A free night at this hotel costs 30,000 to 35,000 Starwood points. Using points is a fantastic way to save money because nights can regularly cost more than $800!
2. Palace Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco
When it opened in 1875, the original 755-room Palace Hotel was the largest hotel in the Western US.
It had several modern amenities for the era, including hydraulic elevators and an intercom system. Unfortunately, the original hotel was completely demolished after it burned down in a fire caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
The “New” Palace Hotel was rebuilt on the same site in 1909 with slightly fewer rooms.
Throughout the years, famous entertainers, international royalty, and political figures have stayed at the hotel. This includes President Warren G. Harding who passed away at the hotel in 1923.
One way to experience tradition at the hotel is the signature tea in The Garden Court. This area was originally used as an entrance for horse drawn carriages back in the late 1800s.
Room nights at this historic landmark hotel cost ~$400. Or you can use 20,000 Starwood points to 25,000 Starwood points.
3. Hotel Bristol, Warsaw, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Poland
For a bit of European history, you can enjoy a stay at the Hotel Bristol in Warsaw, Poland.
Following a competition for the architectural design, the historic hotel opened in 1901.
When Poland became an independent nation in 1919, the first session of government was held at the hotel. And during World War II, this hotel was one of few structures left standing in the neighborhood.
Another interesting tidbit about this hotel relates to Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She was born in Warsaw and attended a banquet at the hotel in her honor after receiving a 2nd Nobel Prize. The even was held in the hotel’s Old Ballroom, which is now a prestigious cocktail bar with live music.
Besides the amazing history at the hotel, it’s also in an excellent location in Old Town!
Team member Scott recently came back from a trip to Warsaw and says the location and hotel are a must-see!
You’ll use 10,000 Starwood points for a free night, which will save you ~$200+.
4. The St. Anthony, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio
Built in 1909 and located in San Antonio, Texas, The St. Anthony Hotel is famous for its luxury.
The men behind the construction of the hotel believed San Antonio would eventually become a tourist attraction. And they wanted to build a hotel that attracted wealthy visitors.
So they didn’t spare any details and installed mahogany moldings and furnishings. And equipped rooms with automatic lights, which were very modern for the era.
The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Several US Presidents have stayed at this hotel, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon Johnson. And John Wayne stayed here when he was filming The Alamo.
And besides amazing history, you can also enjoy excellent food at The St. Anthony Club restaurant.
You can redeem 12,000 to 16,000 Starwood points for an award night. I think that’s a great deal because you might pay $275+ to stay here otherwise!
5. The St. Regis Florence
The St. Regis Florence served as a palace for different noble Italian families throughout the years beginning in the 1400s. It was converted to a hotel in the 18th century.
This magnificent hotel overlooks the Arno River. And it’s walking distance to amazing attractions like the Uffizi Gallery.
One of the highlights is its iconic architecture. It was designed in 1432 by Filippo Brunelleschi, the architect of the Florence Cathedral.
No detail is spared at the hotel. All of the rooms have hand carved gold leaf plaques with custom designed furniture, paintings, and crystal chandeliers.
And the guest rooms are named after famous Italian artists or notable individuals.
You can splurge on a free night at this hotel using 30,000 to 35,000 Starwood points. Rooms here can cost $750+ per night, so using points is a great way to save money!
Earn Points for Free Nights With the Best-Ever AMEX Starwood Sign-Up Bonuses
Until April 5, 2017, you can earn the best-ever sign-up bonuses with the AMEX Starwood cards.
With the personal AMEX Starwood card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And 10,000 more Starwood points for spending another $2,000 on purchases within the first 6 months.
And with the AMEX Starwood small business card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And 10,000 more Starwood points for spending another $3,000 on purchases within the first 6 months.
With either offer, you’ll earn a total of 35,000 Starwood points after meeting the tiered minimum spending requirements! You can use these points for award stays at the historic Starwood hotels!
There are lots of Starwood hotels you can stay at that have amazing history!
Like The St. Regis New York, which was the first St. Regis hotel. It opened in 1905 just a few years before its owner Colonel John Jacob Astor died in the sinking of the Titanic.
Or you can stay at the Hotel Bristol in Warsaw, Poland, where Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie was honored with a reception in 1913.
And you don’t have to break the bank to experience these fascinating hotels. You can use Starwood points for a free night with the limited time 35,000-point sign-up bonuses on the personal and small business versions of the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express cards.
Have you stayed at a historic Starwood hotel?