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Anyone Redeemed Starwood Points for Hotels in Italy?

Anyone Redeemed Starwood Points for Hotels in Italy?

Mar 15th, 2002, 10:57 AM
  #1  
nicole
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Anyone Redeemed Starwood Points for Hotels in Italy?

Wondering about using my Starwood points for hotels in Italy--I am using Starwood points for hotels in Venice (Danieli), Florence (Excelsior) and Rome (Excelsior) this July this is my first time to redeem points for a stay--I've been saving them for two years for this Italy trip). When I redeeemed them I couldn't really make any requests as regards the room and I'm worried mostly about my reservation at the Danieli since everyone says to make sure you are in the historic building, etc. I am a Platinum member so I'm hoping that they will upgrade me when I arrive but I'm nervous since I'm not sure I can count on that. From experience, do they upgrade your room when you arrive? Do they treat you differently at all b/c you redeemed points for the room (ie staying there for free) rather than if you were a Starwood member paying for the room? Any comments would be appreciated. I am contemplating changing my Danieli reservation to the Westin Europa b/c I don't want to get stuck in a subpar room at the Danieli.
 
Mar 17th, 2002, 12:12 PM
  #2  
anyone?
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ttt
 
Mar 17th, 2002, 11:38 PM
  #3  
Joelle
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My husband has a "regular" Starwood card and we always experienced nice surprises at Starwood hotels in general, whenever being there on a paying basis or on a "starpoints" basis.
In Venice we stayed at both Europa Regina and Danieli hotels and both were nice. The Europa Regina seems however to give more upgrade opportunities when you are a card member.
Anyway room upgrade on site will always depend on the room availability at the hotel.
But don't worry, you'll have a great trip to Italy and the hotels you selected belong to the best ones in Italy.
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 03:19 AM
  #4  
Arlene
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We usually do use Starwood points..the sci 50 50%off. We have stayed at many of the luxury properties in Europe, including the Danieli, the Exelsior (Rome) and the Grand in Rome. The Danieli is a jewel of a hotel. We couldn't get upgraded to a room with a view. We probably had one of their cheaper rooms, but it was nonetheless lovely. To give you an idea about the hotel..our room overlooked a lower roof of the building...so to block an unsavoury view..they planted shrubs...and it actually looked very good! The lobby is gorgeous....and...there is a heated towel rack in the bathroom

At the Grand (before their renovations) we had a HUGE room. It was such fun...we had his/hers bathrooms...we actually videotaped the room. BUT...it was the noisiest room I ever slept in. We could hear the pipes in the morning!! So...when we went to the Exelsior...we asked for a quiet room. They gave us one overlooking a side street. This was also a HUGE room...only one bathroom, but a walkin closet that could sleep two!!!!

As for treatment...there are as many different personalities as there are staff...you soon get to know who to approach for help and who to avoid.

Go and enjoy...it's the only way to go.

This year, we are going to a city where there is no Starwood...and we are staying in a 3*...for the first time. I hope we like it!!!
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 03:33 AM
  #5  
Clare
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Hi Nicole,
I've also used starwood points for their 50% off award (50% off rack rates). This entails using 1500 points to get a 50% off rate for 5 consecutive nights. I've been lucky at most starwood properties in europe - I have obtained upgrades - I only usually have problems with upgrades in the US or Canada. With my experience they treat you the same whether you are using an award or not but I guess it depends on the person etc. The 3 times I've used this particular award I have had upgrades each time - but again it depends on their availability. Phone the hotel direct and ask if you can book specific category rooms using awards - I have had good luck doing this. Enjoy Italy, you'll have a great time.
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 03:38 AM
  #6  
Arlene
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Clare, I think that is good advice..to phone the hotel directly. I think I will do that for my upcoming trip. Thanks
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 07:47 AM
  #7  
nicole
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Thank you so much Joelle, Arlene and Clare for your responses. Clare, that is a good idea about contacting the hotel to try and insure a specific category of room using points. I think I will try and e-mail them. I know we will enjoy our trip no matter what type of room we receive. My husband keeps reminding me that many of the negative posts made about the Danieli are most likely a result of actually having to pay $400-$500 a night and the room not living up to expecations (which I can certainly understand as that is a lot of money and expecations should be high)!

Arlene, if you check back can you let me know if you stayed in the historic or the modern section of the hotel at the Danieli? Thanks so much.
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 01:32 PM
  #8  
seattle
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nicole,

I have used starwood points at the Danieli, Rome Excelsior and the Grand in Florence and was treated incredible at all three places. I too am a platinum member and got upgrades in all three hotels. I had balconies at all three with the Grand overlooking the Arno and the Danieli overlooking the Grand Canal. In fact at the Danieli the room was a HUGE suite with two balconies and at the Grand we were greeted with a bottle of nice wine in our room. So...don't worry I think you are in good hands and at worst you are going to be in a bad room in three really nice hotels.
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 02:50 PM
  #9  
Sally
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I hate to appear naive but how do you acquire Starwood points? Is it through a credit card?

Thanks.
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 03:17 PM
  #10  
ttt
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ttt
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 03:19 PM
  #11  
Mel
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Sally:
Starwood is the umbrella group for a number of hotel chains - including Sheraton and Westin (www.starwood.com). You receive points through hotel stays at participating hotels. There is also a Starwood credit card available through American Express. It's actually pretty good as far as mileage-earning credit cards go - no annual fee the first year ($30 thereafter) and you can convert 20,000 Starwood points into 25,000 airline miles with partner airlines.
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 03:38 PM
  #12  
RG
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We used our Starwood points and United 50% off coupons to stay at the Florence Westin Excelsior in Dec/Jan. The room they gave us was beyond nice. My wife even took a video of it! The hotel is really nice and is in a good location. I would highly recommend it.
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 03:45 PM
  #13  
kate
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We used Starwood points to obtain two nights at the Rome Excelsior last November. I earned the points years ago when I used to travel quite a bit & had been wanting to cash them in (so...no special status here.) The room that we received was in the back of the hotel...less luxurious than others I had seen in passing. It was very nice...but not the best(we overlooked scaffolding.) I enjoyed the visit...but I might go a different route next time (e.g. the 50% of rack rates seems to be a good deal.) Good luck!
 
Mar 18th, 2002, 08:46 PM
  #14  
Arlene
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Nicole, I remember where the room was but I don't know what section. It was on the small side, but very nicely furnished...it looked recently renovated. We were only gold...you are platinum...that may make a difference...also the time of year and the occupancy level of the hotel. Don't worry..as someone else said...you will be staying at very fine hotels...and the price will be right!!!
 
Mar 20th, 2002, 02:27 AM
  #15  
Joelle
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There are three buildings at the Danieli: the modern one, the 19th century building and the "historic" one (13th century).
Our room was located in the 19th century building and was pretty nice with three windows overlooking the Venice lagoon.
This definitely is an excellent memory!
 
Mar 20th, 2002, 02:39 PM
  #16  
nicole
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Hi everyone--thanks for all of the responses. I hadn't checked my post for a couple of days. All of the posts are very reassuring (especially yours, Seattle & RG).

Sally--as Mel mentioned, you can simply sign up to be a Starwood member at their website and you gain points by staying at the hotels within their group (i.e. Sheraton and Westin). I am also a meeting planner so I receive points for the catering functions I plan. However, I also have the AMEX card that Mel mentioned and it has really helped boost my points--I believe you receive one point per dollar charged.

Thanks again for the responses. My trip is not until early July but I will report back...
 
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