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.