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Bits: Design Hotels now bookable with SPG points and a potential SPG bargain in Croatia

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News in brief:

32 Design Hotels now bookable with SPG points

Some of the Design Hotels portfolio has been slowly integrated into Starwood Preferred Guest this year.  My most recent article was two weeks ago, covering the launch of the well regarded Town Hall Hotel & Apartments in London.

32 Design Hotels properties are now available for SPG points redemptions.  You cannot use points to for suites or upgraded rooms, only for standard rooms.

The Town Hall Hotel is 12,000 points per night.  This is substantially cheaper than the SPG properties in Central London which are 20,000 to 25,000 points per night, albeit the Aloft at Excel is just 10,000 points.

There are now 19 Design Hotels in Europe available for redemption with options in Austria, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and of course the UK.

Design Hotels logo

One upside from the recent SPG category changes

Here is one potential upside from the recent Starwood category changes which kicked in this week.

Near Dubrovnik (but you’d need a car or rely on the hotel shuttle bus) and near the sea (but not on it) stands the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel.  This is a modern conference hotel which looks very smart.

In the devaluation it dropped sharply from Category 4 to Category 2.  This means it costs just 4,000 SPG points per night midweek and 3,000 points at weekends.

It is pretty cheap on a random night in April (€88).  Jump forward to August, however, and you will pay €230 per night.

This is amazing value for your SPG points.  Remember that Starwood has ‘last room availability’ so if the hotel has a standard room for sale for cash it MUST make it available as a reward.

American Express Membership Rewards convert into SPG at 2:1 or you can earn 10,000 points with the Starwood Amex credit card sign-up bonus.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (December 2023)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (14)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Nick M says:

    I spotted the Dubrovnik hotel when the changes were announced and thought it looked interesting… But there didn’t seem to be any direct flights and potentially a bit tricky to get there (with a toddler) – has anyone had any experience?

    • Pierre says:

      Summer flights with Croatia airlines from LGW to dbv

    • AndrewC says:

      There are lots of direct flights to Dubrovnik but many are only available in summer. Perhaps you were looking at the wrong season? Jet2, easyJet, monarch, flybe all fly direct I believe and from many airports in the UK.

      You probably want a car or to arrange for a car transfer from the airport, especially with a toddler.

      • Nick M says:

        Ah, thank you both – yes, can’t remember what dates I put in but was probably Spring rather than summer! Will have a proper look as I thought the hotel looked like a reasonable option, especially for so few points!

  • Matthew says:

    I mentioned the dubrovnik hotel too on your SPG post a few weeks back (1st comment) but must have been missed!

    Bargain like you say but a little out of town.

    • Stuart says:

      got 3 days in august thu-sun for 10,000 points. cost price is about €240 a night…bargain!

  • Alex W says:

    OT: Are there any good hotel search websites that allow you to filter results by hotel brand? I.e. IHG, SPG, Accor etc. I can never remember which hotels are in which chain! Thanks.

    • Brian says: used to have such a facility – haven’t used the site for a while, though.

    • Nick Burch says:

      Use Kayak – the hotel name filter lets you filter by brand (eg Sheraton) or by hotel grouping (eg all Starwood Hotels)

  • Leo says:

    OT: When is the Heathrow Express not the Heathrow Express? When they stick on you on Heathrow Connect rolling stock because “we haven’t got enough”. No WiFi (also no adverts) and they are promising non-stop to LHR (sat at Paddington as I type). They did say I was paying less but can’t fathom that out as I used the network card too. No Business First available.

    • Rob says:

      The trains have all been taken out of service because they found a nasty crack in one of them and there is a risk the other trains could have the same issue.

  • Gary says:

    Thanks for the heads up!..I’ve booked a long weekend in Aug.
    Prior to the SPG category changes I booked two rooms for a week over New Year at the Sheraton Golf & Spa in Fuerteventura. This was a bargain for a 5 star property at 4000 points a night with rates currently showing at 270 euros a night per room !!

    • Tom says:

      That hotel was a bargain. I stayed there last year in a suite with the family (2 kids) and it was ideal. Going to the Le Meridien Mauritius this year; just booked before the increase in points required. Spg has some fantastic value if you are not a stickler on location. Cheers for the heads up re Dubrovnik !

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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