As I mentioned in this post, I have a soft spot for SPG. I’ve never had a bad experience in an SPG hotel, regardless of the category. And just to clarify, never having a “bad” experience to me doesn’t mean there weren’t any shortcomings, but that these shortcomings have always been promptly and generously addressed.
- The hot water is out in New Orleans for a few hours. Not the hotel’s fault, but I get 10,000 points without asking.
- A roach is found in a room in San Diego. Immediate relocation and all the points credited—without asking.
- A shuttle bus failing to pick me up in Rio. Free breakfast and lounge access till the end of my stay.
- A suite request in Lima. Granted twice (just Gold)
Please note, I am not a complaining type. I don’t complain about a burned lamp bulb (well, I will ask them to replace it, but this is where it ends). I don’t complain about noisy toilets. I never look for a reason to complain and get a freebie. I never ever blackmail hotel managers to leave bad reviews on Trip Advisor. Considering all the above, my experience with SPG is that they are proactively oriented toward problem resolutions. And, by the way, all these stays were reward stays.
This is why I treasure SPG points. And this is why it pains me that their points are so hard to get. And because their points are so hard to get, this is my personal MO when it comes to SPG reward stays. These categories comprise the bulk of my SPG stays.
- SPG Category 1 Hotels: 2,000 – 3,000 (perfect point-wise, but rarely anything good)
- SPG Category 2 Hotels: 3,000 – 4,000
- SPG Category 3 Hotels: 7,000
These are the categories I will consider under the right circumstances. For example, I stayed at the Sheraton Rio during the World Cup for 12,000 points. The cash price was around $700-900 a night.
- SPG Category 4 Hotels: 10,000
- SPG Category 5 Hotels: 12,000
And the following categories do not exist to me. Too expensive:
- SPG Category 5 Hotels: 16,000
- SPG Category 6 Hotels: 20,000 – 25,000
- SPG Category 7 Hotels: 30,000 – 35,000.
Now that we’ve gotten my MO out of the way, here are some Cat. 1-3 new SPG hotels added (or to be added) in 2015 I really like.
Category 2: 3,000 points weekend, 4,000 points weekday
FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON CANCUN CENTRO
There is ALOFT which is also a Cat. 2 hotel and very close to the beach, but the more the marrier.
FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON LAS VEGAS EAST FLAMINGO
Yes, there are plenty of places to stay on the cheap, but if you want a “free” stay, that’s usually gonna cost you. The cheapest point stay from what I could find is Hyatt Place, a Cat. 2 hotel that goes for 8,000 points a night. Four Points offers the cheapest “free” hotel stay, and it’s new, even if you’re staying a few blocks away from the strip.
FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON BALI, KUTA – OPENING JULY 15, 2015
Well, it’s Bali. And the value you can get out of it is very reasonable.
Yes, there are cheap points places if you’re going to see Taj Mahal. I’m not sure I’d rather spend 3K-4K SPG points than 9K Club Carlson points to stay at Park Plaza. Of course, in the days of 2 for 1, it would’ve been a total no brainer.
Never heard of Zhanjang? Neither have I. But it’s right across from the beach, and the description I read makes it an interesting base for exploring the coast of the South China Sea.
Category 3: 7,000 points (28,000 for 5 nights)
This is probably the most interesting low budget addition to the SPG collection. The rates start at $200+ a night in high season.
ALOFT STUTTGART – OPENING JULY 22, 2015
Near Dolpbin Mall. During my recent visit to Miami, I was absolutely appalled (LOL) to find how expensive Miami hotels were— and not just the beach hotels. Think I’m kidding? Nope.
SHERATON ZHUHAI HOTEL – OPENING AUGUST 1, 2015
Across the bay from Macau and a ferry ride to Hong Kong and Shenzhen
You can access the full list of new SPG hotels here
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Thinking about the new property in Bali for mid-July. I’m also doing the Le Meridien in Siam Reap, and the Sheraton property on Lombok. All cat 2 properties. Sadly, this burn through most of my remaining SPG points.
LM is a great hotel. Fantastic pool area, beautiful garden, and the closest hotel to the temples. Breakfast and WiFi are the weakest links, though. Never been to Lomboc, so can’t comment. I did post a report with a few pics back in a day.
For our first time in Asia, the wife and I are doing the Sheraton Senggigi on Lombok too, in September. Hopefully, it’ll be nice. WeI were going to Bali anyway, so a cheap Sheraton on the next island over sounded great. We’re going to Thailand in Feb as well. I wanted the Sheraton Krabi for the beach part, but it leaves the SPG umbrella as of next month, so no dice there. The Sheraton Koh Samui sounded interesting, but without a lounge and $30 pp per day for breakfast, it seemed like a lot, and wasn’t sure what food options… Read more »
Sheraton Samui resort? It’s right down the road from the main Chaweng beach. Might be on the other side of the hill, though – I can’t remember. Still, easy to catch a tuk-tuk for a short ride to “town”, but there’s food options everywhere in the area from 50 Baht fried rice to expensive hotel food. Should be awesome.
I don’t know where exactly this Sheraton is, but it says it’s 3 miles to Chaweng which is the main tourist area on the island. Might be a little bit away from it all, which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you rent a car, which, I think, would be a good idea. I stayed at Conrad last year, and would’ve been bored to death at nights without a car.
my problem with doing the low cat redemptions is I often feel I could have done better by just using arrival card instead of spg to collect points. I also sometimes feel I shouldn’t be wasting my precious vacation time in low cat properties. So I like the hilton reserve free weekend night after 10k spend. 10k spend gets you an awesome hotel with hilton and with spg you get an OK hotel. And you can have multiple hilton cards. Plus the free breakfast from hilton gold is nice. so overall, I’m NOT a fan of spg program. It’s ok… Read more »
Andy, I thought, this is just what I was looking for. a listing of the hotels by category. However, when I click on your link for cat 1, 2, or 3 I get a listing of ALL the hotels. Clicked on several that looked interesting but they were Cat 5 or 6. Can you please direct me to a listing by CATEGORY? thank you
Sure. When you scroll down you see SPG categories listed on the left: Category 1, 2, etc. After clicking on and viewing the particular category, you need to hit the Back button to get to the original page in order to continue. For example, click Cat.1, back, click Cat 2, etc.
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