Marriott, Starwood

A Few Notes: Booking All-Suite SPG Hotels for 60k Marriott Points

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Ever since a Marriott rep confirmed to me in April that all-suite hotels in the SPG fold, which at the time went for exorbitant rates on points from 70k SPG points (equal now to 210,000 Marriott points) and up, would be bookable for just 60,000 until Dec 31, 2018, I’d been quite excited – along with much of the miles and points space. And when the merger of programs happened on August 18th we got to see how it really played out…

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

These are the relevant properties:

Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand;

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand;

Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas, Steamboat Springs, Colorado;

The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica;

The St Regis Bora Bora and the Le Meridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora, French Polynesia;

Mystique, Santorini, Santorini, Greece;

The St. Regis Bali Resort, Nusa Dua, Indonesia;

Hotel Cala di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Costa Smeralda, Italy;

W Retreat & Spa, North Ari Atoll, Maldives;

The St. Regis Vommuli Resort, Vommuli, Maldives;

W Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand;

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, U.A.E.;

St. Regis Residence Club, Aspen, CO;

Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, Key West, FL;

Phoenician Residences, Luxury Collection Residence Club, Scottsdale, AZ.

Now, most people have been focused on just a few properties – namely the St. Regis in the Maldives and the St Regis and Le Meridien in Bora Bora.

The Al Maha outside Dubai, which includes two desert experiences and full board in the rate, the W Maldives, and the Vana Belle in Thailand also get a lot of love.

The Bedouin Suite at the Al Maha (private pool included)

 

1)  These properties indeed have base rooms bookable now for 60,000 points a night, and they are finally bookable in the Marriott app. But there are a few things you need to know.1Former SPG properties are still nto allowing you to book without having the points in hand. Marriott does allow that feature, but SPG properties remain, from a backend perspective, not fully integrated. For now, you need the points in your account and they will be deducted.  This means that most of us need to be fairly sure we either will use a reservation or won’t need the points elsewhere while we decide.

 

2) The base level rooms at the Bora Bora and Maldives properties are garden villas (not overwater). In my opinion, if you are going all that way and paying the other expenses (food will be hundreds a day and seaplane transfers for two will be around $1,000), you will want an Over Water Villa. Pricing remains murky for these upgraded room types. You can’t see availability online for anything but the base level room and upgraded pricing varies. For example, the beach villas at both the St Regis Maldives and the W Maldives are 60k. But the overwater lagoon villa at the W Maldives is 85,000 a night while the overwater villa at the St Regis is pricing at an insane 185,000 points a night. There is no chart, currently (though I could create one if enough of you want to contribute what you’ve learned!) so calling and asking about dates you’d like seems to be the only way both to learn what upgraded options are available and at what cost.

Also, be sure you know your costs above the room rate. Seaplane transfers, food and beverage, and ancillary fees can really add up.

 

3) Pricing that occurred just after he merger has changed – some up and some down. For example, the ST Regis Maldives overwater villas were pricing at 85,000 a night the first week post-merger.  Almost no agents had luck booking those then, but a few did. Those doubled in price now. However, at the Al Maha in Dubai, immediately post merger the Bedouin Suite was pricing at 66,000 points a night. That turns out to be the base room and is now pricing at just 60,000 a night. So if you booked the Al Maha early, call back and rebook.

I don’t know all the prices for all of the rooms, but it can’t hurt to simply call and ask for pricing for your dates and see if it’s changed. If it went up, hang on for dear life as you are set. If it went down, rebook.

 

4) Android apps are showing incorrect cancellation periods. The correct cancellation policy appears in your confirmation email.  I’m not quite sure what to suggest here, except either to call and ask or have a friend with iOS check for you. I would *not* advise just booking and waiting to see, as it really may be past the deadline to cancel, although I’d probably not be too concerned if I’m booking 6 months out.

Am I missing any “need to know” info here?  Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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