Are Certain Starwood Hotel Properties Limiting Free Night Awards Only to Single-Occupancy Rooms?
If you are married or have a significant other who has been patient with you as you have traveled frequently — especially when you travel on business — away from home for days or weeks at a time, you might want to reward them with a trip to a place anywhere in the world where they would like to visit, using your frequent travel loyalty program points or miles at hotel properties and on airline flights.
FlyerTalk member SAN-man has reported that at the Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam — which participates as A Luxury Collection Hotel of the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program — you can “do a standard Starpoint redemption” only if you are a solo traveler: “Previously, you could book a standard award (12K pts) for 2 adults, and you were booked into a deluxe king room. My father did just this last summer, online with no issues. Now, the hotel is saying that Starpoint redemptions are only valid for the ‘classic room.’ The issue is that they will not allow 2 people to book into a classic room, either for cash or using points. As soon as you change a search from 1 person to 2, the classic room disappears from availability. So, the hotel is effectively not allowing any standard Starpoint redemptions – at any time – for parties of 2.”
Apparently, at least one other hotel property is engaging in a similar policy: “The same is true for the Des Indes hotel in The Hague – standard redemptions are for single bed rooms only”, posted FlyerTalk member Stoontje.
In response, FlyerTalk member Starwood Lurker III — also known as Christina Zhou, who is a social media specialist for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide — responded that “the hotel is allowed to set single standard room occupancy” and that “According to the terms and conditions, ‘Free Night Awards are each valid for one free night, single and/or double standard room occupancy at participating properties, and include the cost of your hotel room and room tax/service charge.’”
The reaction from FlyerTalk member heakja reflected how many fellow FlyerTalk members feel about this policy: “Holy cow…so you have to travel alone in order to redeem a free night ‘award’ at this hotel? Couldn’t this lead to other spg hotels creating small single rooms and only offer THEM to members who want to use their hard-earned points? Bad policy, bad customer service.”
When FlyerTalk member Starwood Lurker IV — also known as Jesus Partal, who is another social media specialist for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide — campaigned for FlyerTalk members to vote for the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program for the 2014 Freddie Awards, FlyerTalk member tattikat2 responded: “I for one will wait for the outcome to the question asked in this thread…before deciding which program to vote for.”
I do not believe that the responses posted by most FlyerTalk members in the discussion pertaining to the 2014 Freddie Awards were exactly for what Starwood Lurker IV was aiming — but I digress.
With FlyerTalk members looking for and demanding clarification on the policy in question pertaining to hotel properties limiting free night awards only to single-occupancy rooms, FlyerTalk member Starwood Lurker — also known as William R. Sanders, who is the original social media specialist posting on FlyerTalk for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide — is seeking to get a definitive official answer on the policy, stating that “We will see what SPG says about this particular situation when the answer comes.”
If indeed the official word from administrators of the Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program is that this seemingly unpopular policy will be upheld, FlyerTalk member Dr. HFH posits this thought: “And what happens if you have a guest in a single occupancy room? How would they prove it? 3 a.m. bed check?”