Best can mean a lot of things. There are pure quality metrics, and we can debate those. But Starwood has done something interesting in coming up with a list of bests as deemed by Starwood Preferred Guest members which is to say that they are the hotels that best satisfy members and meet their needs (which is going to incorporate quality but also convenience of location and price point).
It’s an interesting methodology: What they did is they took the hotels with the highest customer survey ratings (“Guest Experience Index”), the best ratings and reviews on the Starwood website, and the most award nights redeemed. These three categories were evenly weighted, though they removed the properties that had low scores on customer surveys and online reviews, so ultimately removed several frequently redeemed-for hotels.
As part of the survey there’s some interesting data. The single property with the greatest number of award night redemptions last year was the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Florida. The city with the most redemptions is New York — Starwood has many properties, and its an expensive destination where people would want to use their points although in my view most of the properties there are overpriced in points. (I would never have spent 20,000 Starpoints for the W Times Square when I was able to book it for $180 this summer.)
W Times Square
The most popular places to redeem after New York are (in order): San Francisco, Orlando, Chicago, San Diego, Lake Buena Vista, Fort Lauderdale, Maui, Paris and London.
The hotel that had the most SPG members staying during the year was the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers. That doesn’t surprise me:
- It’s a good business hotel (with phenomenal views of Victoria Harbor)
- The Chinese market is points-obsessed, I’ve seen survey data that suggests Chinese loyalty program members view their points as a right rather than a privilege (as it’s seen throughout much of the world)
- It’s a large hotel.
Interestingly while I’ve stayed at the Phoenician, I haven’t stayed at the Canyon Suites, and I haven’t been to any of the other properties on their list.
While they meet the needs of most members I haven’t found a need for the Element DFW Airport North (since I’ll always and every time choose a closer property to the airport) and when I’m in New York I don’t choose the pricey St. Regis.
I do probably need to get a first-hand look at the St. Regis Punta Mita, though.
Here’s their top 9 member favorites in the Americas (when I first received the list there were 10 in the Americas, but the St. Regis Bora Bora was listed in the wrong region.. so, 9):
- Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Nayarit, Mexico
- Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne, North Carolina, USA
- Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, Pennsylvania, USA
- Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport North, Texas, USA
- The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Florida, USA
- Four Points by Sheraton Midtown – Times Square, New York, USA
- The St. Regis New York, New York, USA
- The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Arizona, USA
Asia Pacific Winners
Woo Bar at the W Seoul
Junior Suite at the W Seoul
Breakfast at the St. Regis Bali includes all the caviar, lobster, and foie gras you can eat
Here’s their top 11 member favorites in Asia:
- Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort, Zhejiang, China
- The Royal Begonia, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Sanya, Hainan, China
- Sheraton Zhoushan Hotel, Zhejiang, China
- Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, Kowloon, Hong Kong
- Aloft Ahmedabad, SG Road, Gujarat, India
- Le Meridien Pune, Maharashtra, India
- The St. Regis Bali Resort, Bali, Indonesia
- The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, Motu Ome’e, Bora Bora
- W Retreat & Spa, Fesdu Island, Maldives
- W Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
- W Retreat Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Thailand
Europe/Africa/Middle East Winners
I’m much looking forward to an upcoming stay at Al Maha and its private infinity pools looking out at the desert and dune racing and camel riding.
Here’s their top 10 member favorites in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East:
- Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Salzburg, Austria
- The St. Regis Florence, Florence, Italy
- The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice, Italy
- Four Points by Sheraton Ljubljana Mons, Ljubljana, Slovenia
- The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, Mallorca, Spain
- Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, Spain
- Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert, Dubai, UAE
- Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai, UAE
- Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Dubai, UAE
- Le Meridien Fairway, Dubai, UAE