9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 2, 2010 9:18 PM by shoeman1000 RSS

What the competition is doing

mikiegfla Platinum 4 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

You aren't going to believe this sports fans, but Starwood just announced that they are 1) REDUCING points required for stays 2) downgraded the categories on many of their top properties and 3) instituted a true No Blackout days policy, which states that if a room is available for payment, it's available for points redemption.

These changes appear to be a direct assault on Marriott's recent changes and in the case of No Blackout dates, a demonstration of what the true meaning of a No Blackout policy is.

Search Google on the following URL and you will see how ecstatic Starwood members are as the program is actually placing points back into members accounts for stays already booked using points.

 

http://www.spgpromos.com/categorychanges/

  • Re: What the competition is doing
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks for the tip.  I'm impressed, the Starwood Starpoint program offers several pleasant surprises.  One feature I really like is the option to 'Book with Cash and Points.'

     

    For example, you can book a room at the  Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel on Market Street downtown overlooking the harbor for a mere $60 plus 4000 points.  This is a much better deal than the Fairfield Inn Portsmouth Seacoast for $89 or 15,000 points located 2 miles from downtown on a backroad with no view.

     

    One major setback is that Starwood properties are limited.  The closest hotel to Newport, Rhode Island is 38 miles away in Providence.  Similarly, Starwood lacks a presence in Lake Placid, NY, the Adirondack town that hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980. The closest location is 40+ miles in Burlington, VT. This is not exactly a show-stopper, Starwood and Starpoints has my attention.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What the competition is doing
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated
    Starwood has a reciprocal arrangement as well:  if you can prove your Platinum Status with Marriott is genuine and active, they will jump you to their top teir for a year with no stay requirements!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What the competition is doing
    mikiegfla Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    In reply to TJCNewYork, the ability to mix points and cash is a great feature. Delta employs a something similar with their Skymiles program and it works out well.

    I guess there's no hope for innovation at my beloved Rewards program.


    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What the competition is doing
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Of interest is the relative size of Starwood versus Marriott:  Their web site ways that Starwood's hotel portfolio includes about 900 owned, leased, managed and franchised hotels comprising 275,000 rooms. While their brands are as diverse as Marriott their precence is much smaller. 

     

    So, consider that when making other comparisons since the place you want to stay might have several Marriott choices and no Starwood choices from which to choose.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What the competition is doing
    noothername Gold
    Currently Being Moderated
    About a year ago, my wife and I went to Spain and Portugal for two weeks. Marriott does not have a huge presence in either country, so we had to stay at Marriott, Starwood and Four Seasons hotels during the trip. I was pleased with all of the hotels; however, the Starwood (Luxury Collection - Alphonso XII ?) in Seville was one of the most memorable and wonderful hotels we have ever stayed in.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What the competition is doing
    noothername Gold
    Currently Being Moderated
    The point to my prior post was that Marriott (and all other chains) are limited in many geographies. Saying that Starwood is limited in some parts of New Hampshire or New York is may be true, but its really short-sighted given the Marriott does not have a hotel within 100 miles of Seville, Spain.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What the competition is doing
    james30 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated
    WOW, this is very impressive.  Unlike many, Starwood is not using the economy as an excuse to take from loyal customers but instead is building on current relationships and enticing new ones.  Kudos to them.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What the competition is doing
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    MikiegFLA

     

    How does SPG's 'no blackout dates' policy compare with MR?  Does SPG give a complimentary upgrade if available based upon elite status?  Anyone have experience with this?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What the competition is doing
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I've stated before on this site that Starwood produced a pleasant experience to the traveler.  I believe we can be appreciative of competing properties without dissing Marriott.  It seems that any time someone suggests a competitor has a leg up in one regard, some insiders feel the need to attack that company on a totally different issue.  I truly don't get it.  Bottom line:  I have primary choices in hotels (Marriott) airways (American) auto rental (avis) etc., but that doesnt mean that 1. I don't deviate from those primary choices when a specific property, deal, or past experience directs me toward a different choice. 2.  I don't freely recognize that competitors of my primary choices also run good operations and may do something specific better.  3.  experiencing the competition once in a while exposes one to whats out there. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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