Which Starwood Hotels Made Conde Nast Traveler’s Top 100 Hotels List?
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I’ve written about the up to 30,000 point increased sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card, which ends on June 30, 2014.
Readers have asked about the best ways to use Starwood points, and often folks will use the points for hotel stays. Starwood hotels include Aloft, Element, Four Points, Le Meredien, Sheraton, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, Westin and W brand hotels.
But did you know there are 3 Starwood hotels on the most recent Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World list? You could use the increased sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card to treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
The Condé Nast Traveler Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World
Link: Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World
Each year, Condé Nast Traveler magazine surveys its readers and asks them to share their favorite hotels worldwide. Each hotel is given an overall score, based on rooms, service, food, location, design, and activities.
In 2013, over 80,000 people participated in the survey. I’ve looked at their Top 100 list of hotels and resorts, and each of them are incredible. Many are independent hotels or part of small chains, but Starwood hotels has 3 hotels on the list.
You can take part in the Reader’s Choice Awards for 2014! They’ll publish the results in November.
Which 3 Starwood Hotels Made the List?
1. The St. Regis, Florence (Tied for #41)
Link: The St. Regis, Florence
The St. Regis, Florence in Tuscany, Italy, is tied for 41st place in the Condé Nast Traveler Top 100 list. It’s a 15th century palace in the center of Florence with only 100 rooms, and has custom artwork, chandeliers, and frescoes.
And you can get full butler service, including coffee and tea, unpacking and packing, and garment pressing. You can even request butler service via email, 24 hours a day!
How Much Do Rooms Normally Cost?
I searched for a room in September at the St. Regis, Florence. The lowest rate was 752 Euros per night (~$1,026) for a non-refundable deluxe room.
But if you use Starwood points, you’ll pay 35,000 points for the same night. This hotel is in Starwood’s top category (7), and the calendar shows lots of nights available.
In this case, you’re getting a value of ~2.9 cents per point ($1,026 room cost / 35,000 points). I usually try to get at least 2 cents value per Starwood point, so this is a good deal.
If you sign-up for the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express with the up to 30,000 point bonus, you’ll have the 35,000 points for the room once you complete the minimum spending requirements (30,000 point sign-up bonus + 5,000 points from spending $5,000 in the 1st 6 months).
A night that costs over $1,000 at a spectacular hotel, just by signing-up for 1 credit card, sounds like a pretty good deal to me! Then again, you could save your points for more nights in a cheaper hotel elsewhere!
2. Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete (Tied for #41)
Link: Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete
Also tied for 41st place on the Condé Nast Traveler Top 100 is the Blue Palace Resort & Spa in Crete, Greece. Known for breathtaking views, luxurious rooms, and fine dining, all rooms in the resort overlook the Aegean Sea.
Most rooms even have their own private infinity pool. And their spa is ranked as 1 of the best in Europe.
How Much Do Rooms Normally Cost?
I looked for rooms this fall at the Blue Palace Resort & Spa. The lowest rate was 315 Euros per night (~$430) for a non-refundable superior room.
Using Starwood points, you’ll pay 20,000 points for the same night (category 6), and the calendar shows lots of available nights. There’s also an option to pay with cash and points, which costs 10,000 points plus $180 per night.
In this case, for a free night, you’re getting a value of ~2.2 cents per Starwood point, which still isn’t bad ($430 room cost / 20,000 points).
The up to 30,000 point bonus from the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card could get you 3 nights at this hotel if you use cash and points. Emily and I may have to start planning a vacation to Greece! 🙂
3. The St. Regis Lhasa Resort, Tibet
Link: The St. Regis Lhasa Resort, Tibet
Ranked 15th in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, the St. Regis Lhasa Resort is decorated in traditional Tibetan style, inspired by a nearby monastery. A Gold Energy Pool, made with 24-carat gold leaf, is the focal point of this hotel. I’ve never seen a pool like this!
As with other St. Regis hotels, butler service is available 24/7. They also have hands-on cooking classes and a meditation garden for those interested in Tibetan culture.
How Much Do Rooms Normally Cost?
The lowest non-refundable rate for a deluxe room at the St. Regis Lhasa this September is 2,346 Chinese Yuan, or ~$376.
This is a Starwood Category 6 hotel, so the same room costs 25,000 Starwood points per night. Or you can book with cash and points for 10,000 points plus $180 per night. There are plenty of rooms available.
For this hotel, you’re getting a value of ~1.5 cents per Starwood point. That’s a little less than I normally like to use Starwood points for, but if this is a dream trip for you, it’s worth it!
Again, the up to 30,000 point bonus from the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card is enough for 3 nights at this hotel if you use cash and points. I know many folks dream of visiting Tibet, and this would be an amazing way to do it!
The Starwood Preferred Guest program has 3 hotels on the Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World. And all can be booked using Starwood points:
Until June 30, 2014, you can get an up to 30,000 point sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card. That’s good for up to 3 nights using cash and points at some of these hotels!
Now that’s definitely Big Travel with Small Money! If you’ve stayed at 1 of these hotels, please let me know about your experience in the comments!
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