This is a continuation of my discussion of the 9 Starwood hotel brands. Below are comments on Le Meridien, Westin, W, St. Regis and the Luxury Collection.
Pool and beach view at Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort
Le Meridien was originally established by Air France in its key destinations throughout the world. I have only stayed at one of these, but looking at other reviews as well as my own experience, they seem lovely. The Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort was a great place to stay during my time in Phuket. One item of note is that during my stay and according to other reports, free breakfast seems to be a common perk for Platinum members, despite the lack of a Starwood-wide benefit.
Kevin also reviewed Le Meridien Cyberport in Hong Kong. There are approximately 130 Le Meridien properties in over 50 countries globally. In my experience, it definitely had a european feel, and I would like to try more of these properties if given the opportunity.
Suite at the Westin Diplomat, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Westin currently has 160 hotels and resorts in 37 countries. It is Starwood's largest upscale brand, it joined the group in 1994. Many are modern hotel buildings, but some are old classic hotels that have been renovated to the Westin standard. I've never really stayed in a bad Westin, but they can be a bit sterile. Room upgrades are difficult to come by, but when the come, they can can be excellent. Westin claims to have pioneered several things that are now standard at many hotels including 24 hour room service, in room voice mail, and the Heavenly bed.
King Suite at the Westin Verasa Napa
W Hotels are a luxury boutique brand presumably marketed towards a younger crowd. These are generally out of my budget for business travel, but some decent rates can certainly be found. W hotels have a very trendy design and seem to have a fair number of suites to upgrade into. Their service motto is "Whatever, Whenever" and in my experience, high quality service is the norm. Each property includes a Bliss Spa, and typically have a nice gym "Sweat" and a pool, "Wet". One of my favorite hotels in the world is the W Hong Kong, which I reviewed previously.
Fantastic Suite at the W Minneapolis - The Foshay
St Regis is a luxury chain that took its inspiration on the St. Regis hotel in New York. The original St. Regis was opened in 1904 by John J Astor IV as a companion to the Waldorf-Astoria. These obviously are high end properties. Starwood classifies most St. Regis between category 5 and 7. Some signatures of this chain include 24 hour butler service and fresh cut flowers. I had a wonderful stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita, and Jamie gave high praise to the St. Regis Monarch Beach. I think both of us would gladly return to those beautiful places, and I know I'm looking forward to my next opportunity to stay at a St. Regis.
more views from the St. Regis Punta Mita
canal view from our room at Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam
The Luxury Collection is a grouping of hotels that don't fit within any of the existing brands, and in some cases are classic old hotels built many years ago, but keeping a high standard of quality. Others are luxurious new hotels that fall under the SPG umbrella but with their own branding. I've only stayed in one of these properties recently, Hotel Pulitzer in Amsterdam, when we had a stopover there on our trip to Venice. I have a vague recollection of staying at the Phonecian in Scottsdale, but that was long ago.
That is my summary of the various brands within the Starwood family. Thanks for following along. Do you have a favorite property that you would recommend? Which brand do you love or love to hate?
Please click here for part 1.
Historical information from various sources, but primarily StarNet.