What I thought was worth mentioning was that Starwood is also now starting their own in-house partner programs for luxury properties, similar to Four Season’s Preferred Parter program which may be more familiar.
I really like Virtuoso and AMEX FHR especially for properties that don’t have elite status and it looks like this is a similar program that is specific to Starwood properties. All W, Luxury Collection, and St. Regis hotels, as part of this program.
These rates include the following:
- Upgrade on arrival if available
- Early check-in if available
- Daily breakfast for two guests
- Late check-out if available
- Extra amenity that differs by property
Like Virtuoso/AMEX FHR generally you see $100 Food and Beverage Credits, Spa service credits/treatment, but there are some properties where the amenities are a bit weaker and are more similar to the elite status (Hyatt Diamond comes to mind) amenities, such as wine/drinks/alcohol and chocolate/cheese/fruit. You can access what the amenity is which varies between each hotel here.
Note that these are not stackable with promotions so, I think if you’re booking these properties definitely calculate the value proposition between and sales/promotions that might be applicable to the hotel/SPG and this rate, although the bookings do qualify for status. The rates should be equal to the Best Available Flexible Rate.
There’s certainly a few things to be clarified, especially with check-in/out compared with other fhr programs, upgrade priority especially if customer is elite, and points earnings, but it’s definitely good to have a new option especially with some hotels which are not currently in AMEX FHR/Virtuoso, and a few of the W Hotels in the USA where the rates might dip below $200 a night which would make for a pretty good deal.
Note that these rates are bookable only through travel agencies who are partners with SPG, such as Ourisman Travel (who posted this on Flyertalk) and The Luxury Travel Group (who posted about this on Milepoint). * In the interest of full disclosure I do not receive anything for linking to these sites, for those who are concerned.