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SPG Keyless / Starwood Hotels / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hotel News / Keyless Entry / Mobile Check-Ins / → All Tags
UPDATE: Hilton Hotels also announced a "mobile room key deployment" today for four of its brands – Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton. HHonors members can open their hotel room doors via smartphones starting in spring 2015.
Back then, you had to be an SPG member (duh) and an Aloft reservation, but also, you had to apply to be a tester of the keyless entry. Now, starting on Wednesday, November 5, all you'll need is the SPG app on your smartphone and a reservation at one of the participating W, Element or Aloft Hotels, made directly through Starwood.
Here's how it works (you can watch the video above or read the step-by-step instructions below):
Hotel Technology / Google Glass / Starwood Preferred Guest / SPG / Starwood Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Apps / → All Tags
Google Glass hit the market for the general public yesterday for one day only (and for $1,500 a fully tricked out pair) and already, a hotel brand is catering to the
Glassholes new owners.
Starwood Preferred Guest announced this morning that they will soon be releasing its SPG app for Google Glass. Here's what you'll be able to do with Glass and SPG:
· Search and Book: Voice search Starwood's 1,150+ hotels worldwide and then book your room
· Explore: Get turn-by-turn directions to any hotel and explore photos of amenities, rooms or local areas
· Check Your Account: Access your Starpoints balance
· State Aware: The state aware technology already found on SPG's mobile app will be implemented here so guests can display upcoming stay details, recognize arrival, and customize experience.
In essence, it's not that much different from what you do on your phone, except you'll be showing off your Glass-ware.
The app has not yet been released to the Google Glass store but it is coming soon. SPG's Glass website also says that the app will be updated based on member feedback and of course, any new Glass features that come out.
[Photo: SPG for Glass]
Room Service / Nobu Hotels / Turndown Service / Viva Vegas / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hotel Services / Caesars Entertainment / Natura Bisse / → All Tags
Here's what greeted us one Saturday morning--green tea waffles ($20), a specialty of the Nobu in-room dining menu, served with an egg and bacon along with traditional maple syrup, Yuzu whipped cream, and a sweet Shiso syrup.
Another thing that's still alive and well at The Nobu Hotel is turndown service which features not only little boxes of chocolates and a properly turned-downed bed but also a special lavender mist from Natura Bisse (they do the bath toiletries at Nobu as well.) Turndown service is in addition to the complimentary Welcome amenity at Nobu which is a pot of freshly made green tea and specialty crackers.
Another nice touch was the Nobu Hotel chapstick, passion-fruit flavored and with SPF 15 too. We wonder if all these goodies will make it inside the Nobu Hotel that's to open soon at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami. Or maybe they'll put a different spin on it--iced green tea and sushi bento boxes on the beach come to mind.
Loyalty Program News / Loyalty Programs / Viva Vegas / Hyatt Gold Passport / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hilton HHonors / Marriott Rewards / Fine Hotels and Resorts / → All Tags
If you're a frequent hotel guest, then you're probably a member of that hotel's loyalty program. Or you should be, so you can earn and use loyalty points at different hotels across the world.
While using a hotel's loyalty program is pretty straight-forward (find the hotel brand in whatever city you like and book), things work a little bit differently in Las Vegas which is dominated by massive hotel-casino resorts. In past years, you needed to be a member of a casino's players club program to earn rewards like upgrades, dinner comps and free rooms.
But that's no longer the case. Even first-time visitors to Vegas (affectionately called Vegas Virgins on our sister site, VegasChatter.com), can get a free room, a killer view, and more, all through their existing loyalty program membership.
See where your favorite hotel loyalty program can be used in Vegas below!
Starwood Hotels / Hotel Apps / Hotel News / Starwood Preferred Guest / Loyalty Program News / → All Tags
The new app, which was built from scratch to run on the iOS 7, was created in response to a massive increase in mobile traffic for Starwood, and launched simultaneously in Chinese.
The company has optimized more than 50,000 images of their properties for iPad retina display, with the result that scrolling through the app is just like flipping through your favorite glossy travel magazine, except that you can make a reservation without leaving the app -- and with just one click, if you've preloaded your information.
Hotel Loyalty Programs / Starwood Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest / → All Tags
Marriott, Hilton, and Starwood Hotels have all made changes to their reward/loyalty programs as of late, and while there may be a silver lining here or there in terms of hotel participation and member benefits, the long and short of it is that your points won’t go as far. Here’s the down and dirty:
Citing pricing and popularity as the main motivations, Marriott rearranged its tier structure, moving 36% of its hotels into a higher point category while making only 1% less expensive. Marriott also created a new category for its 12 most popular properties, raising the cost of a night’s stay to 45,000 points from 40,000. These changes will go into effect on May 15th.
Changes are coming much earlier for Hilton on March 28th when it will add a 10th category for its top hotels and charge approximately 95,000 points per night. Stays during peak periods (i.e. the holidays) will see the harshest increases in point requirements, but Silver, Gold or Diamond elite status will enjoy a 5th night free when they book consecutive nights.
Hotel News / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hotel Loyalty Programs / Hotel Partnerships / Delta Airlines / → All Tags
A new partnership was announced this morning between Starwood and Delta Airlines, and it's a doozy. Starting March 1, SPG elite members will be eligible to earn one Starpoint for every dollar spent on a Delta flight—not to mention free checked bags, priority check-in, and priority boarding on eligible Delta flights for Platinum members.
And that's all in addition to the regular miles earned on flights. In other words, you're earning points before you even get to the hotel. Not a bad deal, eh?
Luckily, the partnership works both ways, so if you're a Delta Medallion member (which you actually have to be in order to participate in the program) who's staying at a Starwood hotel, then you automatically earn SkyMiles, as well as being entitled to late check-out and free WiFi (huzzah!).
The idea is to "provide elite members of both loyalty programs reciprocal benefits," and, as SPG Senior VP Chris Holdren states, "This partnership is the first of its kind. To have SPG Gold and Platinum members earning points on Delta flights is something that really hasn't been done before. You know that saying, 'A friend of yours is a friend of mine'? It kind of brings that idea to life."
For more info on Starwood's new "Crossover Rewards" partnership, read on!
Summer Road Trip Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Nashville Hotels / Free WiFi / Starwood Preferred Guest / → All Tags
Ahhh...we all remember what it's like to be young and in love on a cross-country road-trip staying in a different hotel each night. Or maybe not. For those of you who never got the chance to drive across America after college, we've got a special Summer Road Trip series from Teddy Worcester, a recent Wheaton College grad who's making his way out to San Fran for a job in tech. Along the way, he's hitting up about six hotels and reporting back to us on each one. So grab your iced beverage of choice, settle into your lawn chair and let the sprinkler run.
After another 10 hours on the road filled with torrential downpours and hundreds of miles of Virginia and Tennessee farmland, we pulled into Nashville. We went directly to the Sheraton Downtown Hotel where we stayed for the night.
I had reserved the hotel weeks ago through my Starwood Preferred Guest account with the cash and points option, which set me back $45 and 2,800 Starwood points. The room regularly books for $179 ($208.80 total with tax).
Hotel Cars / W Hotels / Hotel Lobbies / Starwood Hotels / Starwood Preferred Guest / Loyalty Program News / Barcelona Hotels / Formula One Hotels / → All Tags
No, the W Barcelona hasn't turned into one of those European shopping malls with cars being raffled off by pretty women in tight dresses. The answer is pretty simple, actually: Starwood is gearing up to announce a new partnership to sponsor the Mercedes-Petronas Formula One team, and just in time for the press conference tomorrow, an actual formula one race car has been put on display in the lobby, for guests to admire.
We're used to just seeing cool art, a cocktail bar, and maybe some of that weird signature W grass in lobbies. But a race car? That'll do nicely!
Hotel Loyalty Programs / Loyalty Program News / Starwood Hotels / Starwood Preferred Guest / Starwood Ambassadors / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
Starwood just launched a brand new culinary program for SPG members that provides discounts at over 500 restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as other perks like online cooking classes taught by Starwood chefs. Just in time for the launch, Starwood built a brand new SPG Restaurants & Bars website, on which guests can type in the name of the city they're traveling to and find out what discounts they're eligible for.
But, as with any major points program, not all hotels are created equal. So we did a little digging to find out just which cities are offering the biggest bang for your buck.
Click below to find out which ones top our list!
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Dessert / Hotel Freebies / Starwood Hotels / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hotel Loyalty Programs / Starwood Ambassadors / → All Tags
On the sidelines, if you've checked into a Starwood property over the past few weeks, you will have received a token of the brand's
appreciation burning desire to make you, too, a member of the SPG ambassadors program. At Aloft, for example, all guests are receiving little purple foil-wrapped chocolate bars. Bearing the slogan, "Being an SPG member has never been sweeter," the yummy snack directs you to Starwood's website to learn more about the program.
Knowing how much of a weakness everyone (including us) has for chocolate, we're guessing they've been successful in, at the least, catching people's attention.
Hotel Club Lounges / Hotel Deals / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hotel Loyalty Programs / Loyalty Program News / Starwood Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Killer Views / Hotel WiFI / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
120 Sheraton Club Lounges around the world got an upgrade this year, and we just happened to have caught a glimpse of the one in Times Square yesterday during one of our routine Manhattan hotel inspection rounds (we don't actually do those, but it sure sounds fun, doesn't it?).
The VIP lounges are only accessible to SPG members, but regular civilians who want to cough up an extra $50-$150 (depending on the season) can also experience the lofty life too.
In the mornings, fruits, cereals and other breakfast items remain laid out until 11am; while in the evenings, dessert is brought up, hors d'oeuvres are served, a bar opens, and guests are invited to linger as long as they like. You see, at Sheraton, the Club Lounge is open 24/7—no weekday closings, no curfew. And because the facility is always available, they've made the new design super user-friendly with individual TV screens, plenty of power outlets all over the place, and of course, killer views everywhere you turn.
Click below to see our photo gallery!