Amazing Redemption Value: St. Regis Maldives at Just 26,000 Points (8.5 Cents/Point)

Each of the past 5 years I’ve gone to the Maldives on holiday. The distance makes it a non-start for some but I prefer to vacation on the other side of the world with the time distance and to feel like I’m a world away. My go-to has been the Park Hyatt Hadahaa each time.

The St. Regis Maldives opens next month.

Starwood has some incredible high end luxury properties. Unfortunately the most expensive of them are priced astronomically in points. I can remember when there was no category 6. Category 7 was introduced for 2007 with reward nights costing 30,000 or 35,000 points per night for a standard room (the higher price in a hotel’s “high season”).

Top category hotels that are considered ‘all suite’ properties cost double the points. So a category 7 hotel that’s 30,000 points but offers only suites is actually priced at 60,000 points per night. For six years I’ve been calling this out as double-penalizing the member.

Hotel categories are determined by the property’s room rates. And room rates are a function of the type of rooms they sell. So many hotels become category 7-expensive because they’re all suites, but because they’re all suites Starwood charges twice the category 7 points for them.

I fully expected the St. Regis Maldives to work this way — since the W Maldives works this way.

It’s a ton of points, but when Starwood was offering 35% off all suite top category resort redemptions I booked Al Maha in the desert outside Dubai for 39,000 points a night.


Al Maha’s All Standalone Villas with Private Pools Come With Meals and Activities Like Camel Riding into the Sunset

I was super-excited to learn from Dan’s Deals last week that:

  • The St. Regis Maldives was pricing as a regular category 7, not a double points category 6 (with the basic room – a garden villa – a modest 1500 point premium over the usual 30,000 point price).

  • Since Starwood offers ‘premium rooms’ for modestly more points, overwater villas start at 2500 points more than the basic 30,000 point redemption for a category 7.


Bedroom of Overwater Villa, Credit: St. Regis

This means that a 5 night stay — since 5th night is free on reward nights — costs 130,000 Starpoints or just 26,000 points per night.

That’s still a ton of Starwood Starpoints, but an amazing value for $2000+ per night rooms.

Per Dan’s Deals you can spend additional nights for higher-category rooms as follows:

  • Beach villa: 60,000 points per night with 5th night free
  • Sunset overwater villa: 75,000 points per night with 5th night free
  • Overwater St Regis Suite: 90,000 points per night with 5th night free
  • Two bedroom family villa: 120,000 points per night with 5th night free

You will need to book by phone (or online chat).

I think the real sweet spot here is the overwater bungalow. Book now, book quickly, because the very best values do not last. And I consider this to be one of the best values for spending a lot of Starpoints on a top end luxurious stay.

It’s not for everyone of course considering the expense of getting there (the seaplane transfer from the Male airport is $645 per person) and the expense of being there. In my experience I assume someone buying 3 meals a day could easily spend $180 per person on food alone with no option to leave the resort.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I’m a bit confused. Are you saying I can book the overwater villa for 26k SPG pts per night or does that only get me the basic room?

  2. @Al 26k average price for overwater bungalow on a 5 night stay.

    @Paul I’m low on SPG points, I visited the Maldives already this year, and for some personal reasons may not make it back in 2017.

  3. Thanks for the info Gary, too bad I can’t afford a 5 night-stay in the Maldives, both money-wise and time-wise.

  4. The big question here is does the Air Conditioning work? the one reason why I wont stay at the Park Hyatt Maldives for any price

  5. Seems irresponsible to encourage people to “BOOK NOW BOOK NOW BOOK NOW.” The only way this *doesn’t* last is if Starwood is stuck paying rack rate at $2k/night because the hotel is so full. Granted, there is a bit of a barrier to entry since most don’t have 6 digit SPG balances, but still … Encouraging a run on redemptions is the surest way to make sure it doesn’t last. This isn’t like a fare sale/mistake fare that has an actual expiration…

  6. 8.5 cents/starpoints ~= 1.4 cents/HH points. So this redemption is just slight better than the value of 1.3 cents/HH points I got at the end of last year on a 5-night reward stay at Conrad Koh Samui 😉

  7. I second on the air conditioning. Well, there’s that and the fact it’s still likely to be having the kinks worked out in the early days.

  8. @Justin – unless Starwood intended to make this a double points redemption and since the hotel hasn’t even opened yet has failed to do so. My guess is this doesn’t last regardless of booking levels.

  9. Hi Gary,
    Thank you for sharing this exciting news. I wanted to get your advice. I have never been to the Maldives before and have a trip for 10 nights planned at the end of January. Would you recommend doing 5 nights at the St. Regis Maldives in an overwater villa and then doing a 5 nights at the Park Hyatt in a Park Villa on the beach. I have both Platinum SPG status and Hyatt Diamond status so breakfast should be included at both properties. Otherwise, should we just do 10 nights at the Park Hyatt? We don’t have enough star points to stay at the St. Regis for 10 nights. Do you think transferring between properties would be too difficult and do you think the extra $1100 be worth our efforts? Or do you think staying at one property would be more relaxing? Thank you for your thoughts.

  10. @Justin for 10 nights if it was me i’d transfer properties and try them both. it does mean going back to the airport, you aren’t going to transfer direct and it’s more money. i’d love to do 5 nights and 5 nights rhater than 10 at the Park Hyatt which to me would be too many…

  11. Thanks Gary – I always appreciate your advice and perspective. You have a great blog – I always enjoy reading your articles.

  12. Thank you for this notice. We had a trip already planned to Dubai, Maldives and Singapore. We had booked the Hyatt already with certificates and points February 13-18. I went ahead and booked the St. Regis with points while we mull over our choices.

    I called yesterday morning and they only showed the Garden Villa with pool available at the entry rate. I inquired about using more points for an upgrade and it just about doubled. I then asked what the rate would be if I was paying for the room. The response: Sorry, there are no other rooms showing for me to compare. You got the last one. Without your email I never would have known, so I THANK YOU VERY MUCH!.

    Now, can you help me decide if my first trip to the Maldives should be to the Hyatt or St. Regis?

    I am Starwood Gold, and Hyatt Platinum so I think my upgrade chances are slightly better at St. Regis. The St. Regis website doesn’t have very many photos up yet. I’d also be interested in knowing the quality of the reef vs. Hyatt. Snorkeling was one of the major attractions to Maldives and Hyatt. Seaplane ride vs plane ride and boat ride is slightly more appealing. Newness of the St. Regis is very appealing and by February we hope the break in period is over…

  13. @Paul I can’t speak to the reef at the St Regis. I’d contact the hotel, if an upgrade matters to you, and see what you can negotiate in advance ($$).

  14. Confirmed from several calls. It is dead. They are doing evaluating for the points option due to too many reservations coming in recently. They may match the points with W.

  15. Some times I really do not like the bloggers to promote this kind of deal. You could let your reader know it but not this kind of “sell” it. It is indeed a good value if you plan to pay for this hotel. But considering the transportation cost and dining cost, I think it is a bad value for most of people. But after reading your article that selling the high value of SPG points, people may become emotional and run to grab a 5-day slot first anyway and think about it later. I think the hotel should be shocked by the total award reservation numbers coming during the past several days and stop it. In my mind, if it is not that publicly promoted by the bloggers, the deal could be last much longer and booked by people who really need it and use it.

  16. Gary – Cant’t thank you enough for this phenomenal tip. Got great value for what looks like an amazing overwater villa with private pool for Dec. 2017. May want to switch stay to early 2018, when those dates open up. Do you think SPG will allow me to switch dates of award without charging me the difference between the new higher redemption rate and the low rate I booked at? Any word on what Marriott will do to SPG program and value of SPG points after merger?

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