Starwood Preferred Guest Posts

W Bangkok - Oh no, I'm the Old Guy

I Am Way Too Old For This...
Among premium international hotel chains, a new trend for hotels is to tailor to the younger, cooler generation.  Brands like W Hotels from SPG (Aloft is their junior brand), Andaz from Hyatt, or Autograph from Marriott speak in a vernacular that is casual with ...

Hotel Review: The Westin Portland Harborview


Located in downtown Portland, the Westin is one of two Starwood properties in the State of Maine. On a recent trip to Midcoast Maine, I had an extra night before flying back to Kansas City, so I booked a Cash & Points stay at the Westin Portland Harborview.

The property is less ...

Using SPG Keyless for the First Time (Video)

I was in Portland this past week for OSCON, and I stayed at the Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station. As my stay approached, I got an e-mail from Starwood, letting me know that my upcoming stay was eligible for SPG Keyless Entry.

Neat! SPG Keyless allows you to use your smartphone to ...

Free Sheraton Weekend Stays with Every 5 Paid Nights!

SPG is letting you earn free weekend nights by staying at Sheraton Hotels now through September 30, 2015 when you enroll in the hotel's newest promotion. The caveat is that the free nights are earned by staying at Sheraton hotels and are only good for weekend nights at Sheraton hotels. However the ...

The Sheraton Lima Stinks

(This is the continuation of a mistake prone journey that begin with a great hotel stay and went downhill quickly following.  If you haven't read the rest, I suggest you start from the beginning.)
I should clarify from my title for those that might misunderstand what I am staying.  I ...
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The Significance of American Airlines' Starwood Transfer Bonus


As the mantra goes, miles and points are a depreciating asset and are better burned than stored for future use. American Airlines is offering a generous 20% transfer bonus on points from Starwood Preferred Guest. Essentially, that means instead of 25,000 AA miles for 20,000 Starpoints, through ...
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Review: A Duplex Suite at the Sheraton Prague Charles Square

I had a great day touring Prague, and I also wanted to share a review of my home base while there, the Sheraton Prague Charles Square.  Rates were cheap, and I was fortunate to have my Suite Night Award clear 5 days out, so I had a nice multi-level suite for my stay.  Granted, I wasn't in ...

Review: Suite at The ITC Grand Chola, Chennai India


On my business trip to India, we spent a few days in the south of the country, in Chennai.  There are some excellent hotels here, and while there we stayed at the ITC Grand Chola, which is affiliated with Starwood Preferred Guest.  Like my stay at the Westin Gurgaon, I successfully ...
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Review: Executive Suite at the Westin Gurgaon, India

The Westin in Gurgaon, India is a fresh, modern hotel relatively close to Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi, and to the office where I would be working for a few days.  It also came highly recommended from a colleague, and it is pretty well reviewed online.  It was a very nice hotel, and ...
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Utilizing New Balance Workout Gear Rental at Westin Hotels

Working out, and for me especially running is a necessary part of my travel experience for both the physical and mental benefits.  Despite being a regular gym-goer, and a frequent traveler, I sometimes realize I didn't pack properly.  On a recent trip, I discovered I forgot my workout ...
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The Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt

I've stayed in Frankfurt many times on layovers.  This time, thanks at least in part due to having more time with a late afternoon arrival, I decided to leave the airport area to stay in the city.  I decided on the Le Meridien Parkhotel.  It would be the 3rd Le Meridien hotel of this ...
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A tour of Hyatt Hotels

After many years of wallowing around in the mire of other programs, I have become a fully-fledged Hyatt enthusiast.  I tried SPG, Hilton, IHG and even Club Carlson.  They all have their place and time.  I don't always have a choice of where I stay, but when a Hyatt is available, I am ...

Exclusive: SPG Opens an Opulent New Milanese Property

***It's time you UPGRD your inbox.  If you haven't yet subscribed to the UPGRD Newsletter you could be missing out on giveaways, events, and more.  Click here to subscribe and enter a comment below with what you like most about the new Milan Excelsior Gallia property or SPG for a chance to ...
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The Le Meridien Angkor, my home base in Siem Reap

Cambodia has been a place I've long wanted to visit, so it was exciting to finally be here!  Since my plans had changed somewhat, and was traveling alone, I opted to be a little more frugal and stay at the Le Meridien.  Its a plenty nice hotel, but I couldn't really justify the splurge on ...

My time in Kuala Lumpur and at the Le Meridien

I really enjoy Southeast Asia, and Kuala Lumpur is a favorite destination there.  I was excited to have a little more time to explore and eat in this fun city.  And gawk at the Petronas Towers...

Moon over the Petronas Towers
My time in Kuala Lumpur (KL) was just a bonus ...
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Review: Le Meridien Ile Des Pins


Prior to this trip, this was probably in the top three of SPG resorts I wanted to visit. I stumbled upon it a few years ago while just browsing the SPG website, and my first reaction was, “Where the heck is New Caledonia?” Reaction two: “Wait a minute… a tropical ...
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Credit Card Application - UPDATE

A couple of days ago I applied for a few cards and shared which they would be.  I mentioned that becuase of being out of the country off and on over a recent four-year span, my credit history looks like swiss cheese with holes all over the place.  I wasn't terribly confident in how many of ...
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It's Credit Card Application Day - Which Ones and Why I Value Them

I am not quite like other bloggers in that I have only as of late really started to apply for reward earning credit cards with any consistency, though I have carried a few accumulated over time.  My situation was unique, as my wife and I were in and out of the country for four years (mostly ...

The Le Meridien Vienna - Star to Spain

This trip was primarily intended to go Spain, but I was happy to explore some new places even for a short stay.  We ended up book ending this trip with some short overnights in some major capitals, Zurich, Madrid and now Vienna.

The sitting room in our Executive Suite at Le Meridien ...