News in brief:
Why Starwood and Marriott should be a focus for upmarket travellers
My main article today draws on a huge analysis of the major hotel loyalty schemes from Travel Expert.
One other interesting nugget from this research work sprang out.
Starwood has 750 hotels in the Luxury / Upper Upscale segments if you define that as St Regis, Luxury Collection, W, Le Meridien, Sheraton Grand (not Sheraton) and Westin.
Marriott has a further 540 such hotels if you define Luxury / Upper Upscale as Ritz Carlton, Edition, JW Marriott (not Marriott), Renaissance and Autograph.
Hilton, shockingly, has just 97 Luxury / Upper Upscale hotels globally. This assumes you define it as Conrad, Waldorf Astoria and Curio.
This means, once the merger completes, Marriott / Starwood will have 13 times the number of Luxury and Upper Upscale hotels than Hilton.
You can argue about the nuances here – as our recent Hilton Tallinn review showed, there are some exceptionally good Hilton properties that knock the socks off many Westin and Le Meridien hotels – but the trend is startling.
Introducing Good to Go, our new insurance partner
I receive regular emails from readers asking about recommended travel insurance for older travellers or those suffering from pre-existing medical conditions.
This became especially acute a couple of years ago when American Express Platinum cut the maximum age on its insurance cover from 80 years to 70 years. This impacted many people, including myself, who were insuring their parents for free by issuing them free supplementary cards.
I was recently introduced to Good to Go Insurance. Good to Go is a well regarded (98% Feefo rating) insurer which specialises in cover for anyone who has trouble qualifying for standard travel insurance policies.
For obvious reasons I don’t have any personal experience of using Good to Go, but based on feedback I am happy to promote them on the site. You may see their ads popping up here and there and I have added a link to the sidebar on the desktop / tablet site. For clarity, HFP will receive a commission if you make a purchase via the link.