The plan was to allow any of the 288 hotels in the Design Hotels portfolio to choose to be promoted by spg.com, in return for paying a revenue share to Starwood and giving benefits to Starwood Preferred Guest members.
Only five hotels have signed up in this initial phase, although the plan is to add more as rapidy as possible. These are:
- Grammercy Park Hotel, New York
- Ten Bompas Hotel, Johannesburg
- C-Hotel and Spa, Cassago Brianza (Italy)
- Nira Montana, La Thuile (Italy)
- Kruisherenhotel, Maastricht
You cannot redeem SPG points for stays at these hotels at the present time. Redemptions will be available from next year.
Earning and stay benefits:
The earning rates are (click here for full details):
- 2 points per $1 spent, plus status bonus for Gold and Platinum members
- Stay credit towards status renewal or progression
- Free internet and bottled water
You will NOT receive an upgrade or late check-out. This may prove to be an issue for some status members.
To be honest, launching with just five hotels is a weak showing given that there are 288 Design Hotels properties out there. I think that Starwood has rushed out this launch because, with the company in the middle of takeover speculation, it wants to force the highest possible price from its suitors.
(A similar argument could be made about Starwood agreeing to accept the SLS Hotel Las Vegas into the Tribute portfolio which was also announced this week. The deal adds 0.5% to the Starwood room bank but, frankly, the hotel has exceptionally poor reviews and there is little Starwood can do to fix the tiny rooms or the vacant lots which surround it.)
Long term, I am positive about the Design Hotels deal and believe that it can only be a plus for SPG, even if adding another brand will make the company even more of a headache for a trade acquirer.
(Want to earn more hotel points? To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)