Starwood Hotels

With more than 1,300 luxurious hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries, finding the perfect match, well take your time.

Starwood Preferred Guest SPG

Get access to award winning hotels and resorts in exciting destinations, with the ultimate in luxury of every corner of the world. SPG give you more choices and rewards.

Starwood Hotels unique portfolio offers the best luxury brands in the world with rewards. More luxury, more destinations means more ways to get the rewards.

Hotels offering Free Wifi, Business Travel

More Hotels Offer Free wifi with Extras

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts is giving travelers the one thing they’ve said they want the most: free wifi.

hotel wifi

Starting February, all guests at Hyatt hotels worldwide receive free wifi on an unlimited number of devices in both guest rooms and public spaces.

You won’t have to be members of Hyatt’s loyalty program. Nor will they have to book directly with the hotel rather than a third-party site like Expedia or Travelocity.

Hyatt believes the move “doesn’t just help travelers. It helps us just as much,” Kristine Rose, vice president of brands for Hyatt, wrote in a blog item. “We can’t continue to differentiate and innovate our guest experiences when we’re charging some guests for the technology that powers future improvements.”

Hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott have given free wifi to guests at their less-expensive properties while charging for it at their premier brands.

Starting next month, Starwood Hotels and Resorts will offer complimentary wifi in rooms and public areas to all Starwood Preferred Guest members, and those with Gold and Platinum status. The guests will have to book directly through Starwood channels such as its website or mobile app.

Marriott Rewards members will receive free wifi in Marriott Hotels, Renaissance and JW Marriott. Members will be able to pay $5 to $7 a day, depending on the market, for premium bandwidth. The upgrade will be free for Gold and Platinum elite members. Wifi is free in the lobbies of all Marriott International brands.

Hilton offers complimentary wifi to all Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members. Several Hilton brands also offer free standard wifi to guests. In 2014, Hilton started a new system that lets guests purchase premium Internet starting at $3.95.

InterContinental Hotels Group, ICH, offers free wifi to its Rewards Club members. Premium service is also available for a fee at select properties.

Wifi Policies at our Major Hotel Chains

  • IHG: Free wifi for all Rewards Club members.
  • Hyatt: Free for all guests. Premium wifi available for a fee (Free for Diamond and Platinum Hyatt Gold Passport members).
  • Marriott: Free for all Rewards members. Premium wifi available for a fee (Free for Fold and Platinum elite members).
  • Hilton: Free wifi for all Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members. Premium wifi available on a tiered pricing system.
  • Starwood: Free wifi for all Starwood Preferred Guest members. Premium wifi free for SPG Gold, Platinum, and Partners.

Demands of Business Travel

Where some of us dream of a day at the spa for relaxation, Peggy Fucci looks forward to boarding a plane and traveling thousands of miles to meet with a potential customer.

A long flight to Europe gives her time to take in a movie, clear email and read a magazine without interruptions: “It’s peaceful. My phone doesn’t ring. It’s me time.”
Yesterday’s road warriors have evolved into today’s global gladiators who are not just taking the red-eye across country for business, but across hemispheres and time zones.

They are shaking off jet lag to meet with clients across continents and mastering ways to use extended flight time to their advantage.

Avoiding lost luggage, delays and travel mishaps takes know-how and planning.

Whether she’s off to Sao Paolo or Beijing, Fucci takes only a carry-on, a prepacked, wheel-in-any-direction bag that she refers to as her miracle suitcase. Fucci has found a driver in most international cities with whom she can leave her suitcase and rush straight to meetings.

Most crucial, she has gained global clearance, allowing her to breeze through security checks and bypass long lines. She also uses airline apps to check ahead on her mobile phone for flight delays. “Between that and traveling light, I can gain at least an extra 30 minutes to an hour at home with my family,” she says.

For international travelers raising children, balancing work demands with the family’s needs takes extra coordination. Embracing technology and using international data apps help.

United Pay with Miles, Starwood Marriott Hilton Hotel Updates

Marriott and Hilton Announce Last-Minute Penalties

The airline industry has generated billions in revenue by charging fees on top of base fares. Now the hotel industry has the same idea.

Marriott Resort Cayman Islands

2 hotel companies, Marriott and Hilton, recently announced that they would increase their fees by tightening rules on last minute cancellations. Business travelers have been accustomed to being able to cancel a reservation at many hotels, without charge, some as late as 6 p.m. on the day of arrival.

Effective now, at the Marriott and Hilton hotels. Both companies say if you don’t cancel your reservation the day before your scheduled arrival, you’ll be charged a penalty of 1 night’s room rate.

Pay with Miles at Newark Airport

You maybe used to cashing in your frequent flier miles for a free flight, but now you can use them at the airport to buy a steak dinner, a neck pillow or perhaps a glass of wine?

United passengers flying through Newark Liberty Airport’s Terminal C can now pay for food and merchandise with miles they’ve earned through the airline’s loyalty program, instead of cash.

The new payment system kicked in at a few airport restaurants last week, and United and partners, OTG Management, believe this marks the first time a terminal has allowed the use of miles to pay for purchases.

Open Hotel Doors With Your Phone at Starwood

You leave your plane, get a cab, and arrive at your hotel, and stand behind a travel group as each tourist checks in one at a time. Starwood Hotels & Resorts is working toward a day when you’ll skip the front desk and simply open your door using your smartphone.

The service, called SPG Keyless, rolls out to Starwood loyalty customers on Nov. 5 at 10 in hotels across its Aloft, Element, and W brands, including Aloft Beijing, W Hollywood, and Element Times Square. The hospitality company tested the program earlier this year and plans to make it available in 150 hotels around the world by early 2015.

Hotel rewards and Car Rentals news

Riu Resort Cancun Mexico
Hotel Occupancy Rates Drop, Putting Pressure on Room rates
There’s more room at the inn for U.S. travelers, with the U.S. hotel industry finishing 2009 with an occupancy rate that was 4.2 percent lower than at the end of 2007, according to hotel consulting company STR.

The industry saw a decent start to the year, but became extremely negative during the past four months. Although occupancies fell, average daily room rtes actually increased by 2.4 percent. STR says the hotel industry will stay at this level for the next few months, but will see some improvements in the second half of the year.

Only two cities saw occupancy go up—New Orleans 8.6% and Houston 2.6%. Rates actually went up in many major cities, including Houston 9.4%, Denver (6.3 percent), San Francisco (5.4 percent). Ultimately, however, declining occupancies are going to put considerable pressure on hotels to lower their room rates, according to Lodging Econometrics, which covers hotels.
(Source: STR Global press, Lodging Econometrics press release)
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Starwood, Hilton Add Bonuses to Loyalty Programs
Starwood is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its Starwood Preferred Guest
program and Hilton is kicking off the 22nd year of Hilton’s HHonors loyalty program. Both are offering bonuses until spring. Starwood is offering members 10,000 bonus Starpoints for every 10 nights stayed now through April 30. Hilton HHonors, whose members can earn points and miles for the same say is offering double base points at the more than 2,400 participating Hilton family hotels through April 6. Register for the program at HiltonHHonors.com/globaldoublepoints.com
(Source: Hilton, Starwood press releases).

Car Rental Avis Budget Introduces Satellite TV in cars You can keep backseat drivers occupied with ATT CruiseCast, a new satellite television service that brings news, family, sports, comedy and music channels to the back seat of your car. Starting later this year, the service will cost $8.95 per day or $62.65 per week. It stores p to there minutes of content so obstructions such as overpasses or tall buildings will not interrupt a program. Channels include MSNBC, CNN Mobile Live, the Disney Channel, Comedy Central and many others.
(Source: Avis Budget press release)
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Expense Management in Tough Times

A recent travel study of Fortune 500 companies and their expense management practices found one of the most effective strategies—and the least expensive to implement—was holding employees accountable for their corporate spending. There were three simple ways,

  1. Communicate: make sure employees know what a company’s spending policies are.
  2. Educate: tell employees the financial implications, for both employees and the company, for disregarding those policies.
  3. Enforce: offer carrots and sticks to encourage employees to adhere to policy.

Source: press release

Hotel Car & Record Airfare Updates for Sept 2008

Hotels

Sheraton Opens at JFK
The Sheraton JFK Hotel, a new build, has opened at New York´s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The 150-room hotel is a full-service hotel with meeting facilities, complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport, a restaurant, indoor pool, business center, fitness center and Club floor. (Source: Starwood Hotels Resorts press release).

Marriott Raleigh City Center Opens The 400-room Raleigh Marriott City Center has opened next to the new 500,000-square-foot Raleigh Convention Center. The 16-story hotel is attached to the convention center and has more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space, a business center, swimming pool and fitness center. It has two Italian restaurants and a 1,400 square foot Starbucks. (Source: Marriott press release).
Cars
Avis and Budget Offer Flicks to Go
Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car are introducing Flicks-To-Go, portable DVD players that attach
to the back of a car’s headrest. They include a choice of speakers for multiple viewers or two high-quality headphones which customers can keep. (Source: Avis press release).
Record Airfares
If it feels as though you’re paying more for airfare, there´s a reason. The latest Business Travel Monitor reports that domestic and international airfares hit record levels in the second quarter of 2008. The good new is that companies can save money by emphasizing travel policy compliance.

Among the study’s findings:

  • The average one-way domestic fare was $260, up $24 from the same period last year, a 10 percent increase, and up $27 from the first quarter, a 12 percent increase.
  • The average one-way international fare hit its highest level since the inception of the Business Travel Monitor in 1999. These fares increased 11 percent over the same period last year, averaging $1,080.
  • The percentage of international business class tickets dropped to their lowest level since 2004. Increases in the percentage of tickets purchased for the back of the plane indicate that travelers are trading down.

(Source: press release).

Hotel Information May 2008

Avenue Hotel Opens in Chicago
The Avenue, a contemporary, post-modern hotel, has opened just a half block east of Chicago´s Michigan Avenue.

Garden dining in Rome

It has 150 one-bedroom and junior suites and 200 guest rooms. It has Special Tech rooms with iMac, dedicated T-1 Internet connection and color printer for business travelers and kid-friendly rooms with games and child-oriented décor.

It has more than 18,000 square feet of meeting space. It also has Stay for the Cure packages; ten percent of proceeds go to the Chicago Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and an Eco Avenue program supporting environmental and conservation initiatives. (Source: Avenue press release).

Aloft Hotel to Open at Dulles Next Spring
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has broken ground on the aloft Dulles South, which will open near Dulles International Airport next spring. It will be in the heart of the technology corridor and close to corporate offices in aerospace, technology and telecommunications as well as Westfields business park.

Aloft hotel rooms have loft-like, nine-foot ceilings, over sized windows, wireless internet, one-stop connectivity solutions for multiple electronics including PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops. (Source: Starwood press release).

What You Paid to Travel in 2007

The travel industry has analyzed North America-based domestic and international air, hotel and car rental rates for 2007 and found that international rates saw increases across the board, while domestic fares and rates were stable.

  • Average international fares increased a record 8 percent
  • Since 2004, the average international airfare has increased by 21 percent
  • Domestic fares stabilized-but that was after a 7 percent jump from 2005 to 2006
  • The expansion of low fare carriers and passengers booking farther in advance helped domestic fares
  • International hotel rates increased, domestic rates flattened
  • Car rental rates increased 4.4 percent-firms re dealing with high operating costs

Companies can achieve savings in this kind of environment with a well-managed, dynamic travel program and by clearly communicating policy changes with travelers, according to Hervé Sedky, vice president and general manager for Business Travel. (Source: press release)

Hotel Information March 2008

Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton will implement a smoke-free policy at more than 300 properties in the U.S., the Caribbean and Canada.

Both brands expect to be completely smoke-free in the U.S. and Canada by Dec 31. The two Starwood brands have begun converting all smoking guest rooms to nonsmoking rooms in preparation for the new policy.


Major Hotel Chains´ Internet services

Best Western
Free Internet is a standard in the United States. The brand is working on making it a standard in Europe.

Carlson Hotels
Began phasing in free Internet service as an in-room amenity at Radisson Hotels & Resorts in 2005 and into Latin America this year. Some lobbies offer free WiFi.

Hilton
Extended Stay, mid-price brands offer free Internet access. Individual upscale properties offer free access.

Hyatt
Upscale properties generally charge for Internet access. Midprice Hyatt Place offers free WiFi throughout hotels.

Intercontinental
Holiday Inn offers free Internet access. Extended stay brand Staybridge Suites made WiFi a free amenity in both the lobby and in rooms this year. Upscale properties generally charge for in-room service, although some offer free lobby Internet.

Marriott
Introduced free high-speed and WiFi to guest rooms three years ago at its midprice and extended stay brands and this summer announced that it is eliminating WiFi charges for guests in public areas. Upscale and luxury brands still charge for Internet Service.

Omni
Among the first upscale brands to make free WiFi a brand standard

Starwood
Four Points by Sheraton offers free wired and wireless Internet access. Many W Hotels offer free WiFi access, but in-room Internet connections usually carry a charge.

Wyndham
Free Internet access for mid-priced brands. Select upscale properties give Wyndham ByRequest members access.