If you’ve been following this blog for awhile you know two things: 1) I recently went to Thailand and LOVED it AND 2) I stayed at all Starwood properties during my stay. While I have MANY points in all of the major programs, Starwood had some of the best properties throughout the country and their redemption rates were ridiculously low. Well… to make things even better, Starwood just went through their annual review of hotel categories and new changes went into affect March 1st. While this might have been a disappointment to some, Thailand properties actually benefited.
As of March 1, the following hotels in Thailand are a Category 1, which now requires only 3,000 points during the week and 2,000 points on the weekend for a free night:
- Le Méridien Chiang Mai
- Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort
- Aloft Bangkok – Sukhumvit
I actually stayed in all of these three hotels and they were great! I also stayed at the Sheraton Krabi hotel, but they did not change in categories and still remain as a category 3 (still a great value)! You could easily spend three nights in Bangkok and then maybe another six nights between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, all of this for only 25,000 points total! That is almost the same cost as a high end category 6 hotel in Europe! Additionally, the Starwood American Express credit card gives at least 25,000 points depending on the offer when you apply (upon meeting the minimum spend requirements for the particular offer), so these 9 nights could be FREE!
Additional hotels went down a category too, although they are slightly above a category 1:
- Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers (Bangkok) – now a category 2 (3,000 points for a weekend and 4,000 points for a weekday)
- W Retreat Koh Samui – now a category 6 (20,000-25,000 points for a free night – and the 5th night is free!)
- The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket – now a category 3 (7,000 points for a free night – and the 5th night is free!)
For a trip to Thailand, Starwood is really the only major chain that has properties in all the tourist destinations (Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai). If you are thinking about Thailand, make sure to focus on Starwood this year as the number of points is now extremely obtainable!
And on a side note – I promise to get my Thailand trip report posted soon!