• Travellers take measure of the Marriott-Starwood merger

    For their honeymoon, Alex Diacre and his wife, Sarah, traveled halfway around the world, from New York to the Maldives, a chain of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The breakfast menu at their hotel, the St. Regis, was a journey unto itself. Each morning they’d find a table looking out over the ...

    POSTED 6 Aug, 2018 8 Comments

  • Revised American Express points transfer rate for SPG, Marriott

    With the imminent merger of the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs, American Express is revising the conversion rate for transferring American Express Membership Rewards credit card points into the new combined hotel loyalty scheme. The revamped rates kick in from August...

    POSTED 3 Jul, 2018 12 Comments

  • Marriott's new program: how many points you'll need to book a stay

    With Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards being merged into one giant hotel loyalty program from August 1, Marriott has finally revealed how many points will be needed to book a room at each hotel under the new scheme. This includes the shift from a flat rate to de...

    POSTED 28 Jun, 2018 7 Comments

  • Winners and losers from Starwood SPG in Marriott's new program

    With the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program winding down in August, SPG members will soon be moved across to a new, giant loyalty program under the Marriott banner, bringing with it a fresh set of rules, benefits and status levels, as one of the final stages of the Marriott+SPG merger. For a...

    POSTED 20 Jun, 2018 11 Comments

  • Marriott downgrades elite status for SPG Gold members

    Starwood Preferred Guest Gold members hoping to nab Platinum Elite status under Marriott’s new combined hotel loyalty program will be disappointed, with the chain now confirming that these travellers will only be matched to Gold Elite under the new scheme – not Platinum Elit...

    POSTED 11 May, 2018 23 Comments

  • Five things you need to know about Marriott’s new loyalty program

    UPDATE | Earlier advice and commentary provided by Marriott International to Australian Business Traveller has proven to be incorrect. Claims from the company that SPG Gold members would be granted Platinum Elite status under the new program by way of their linked Marriott Rewards tier were false...

    POSTED 18 Apr, 2018 18 Comments

  • Revealed: Marriott's new mega hotel loyalty program

    Marriott has taken the next big step to align its three hotel loyalty programs into one, revealing the details of what will become the brand’s single loyalty program, merging members from Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards. The new scheme still doesn’...

    POSTED 17 Apr, 2018 26 Comments

  • Buying Starpoints for Virgin Australia business class upgrades

    Fancy upgrading to Virgin Australia business class on the airline's longest domestic flights – including Sydney-Perth or Melbourne-Perth in 'The Business' aboard Virgin's Airbus A330s – for just $244 per flight? The secret lies in the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) hotel loyalty prog...

    POSTED 12 Feb, 2018 24 Comments

  • Instant status match: how to link your Marriott, Starwood accounts

    Thanks to the merger between Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, elite members of the chains’ respective Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty programs can snap up elite status in the other program, just by linking their accounts. For example, if y...

    POSTED 23 Jan, 2018 3 Comments

  • Fast-track to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold, Platinum status

    Gold or Platinum status in the Starwood Preferred Guest hotel loyalty program normally comes as a reward for spending 25 or 50 nights in hotels each year, but there’s a sneaky way to fast-track that process and Go for Gold (or Platinum) in less than half the time. It’s done by regist...

    POSTED 11 Jan, 2018 4 Comments

  • Uber, Starwood Preferred Guest end points partnership

    Uber users will no longer earn Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty points on their trips from December 17 2017 as the ride-sharing app and Marriott-backed hotel chain end their mutual points tie-up. Under the current scheme, riders can earn 0.5 SPG Starpoints per US$1 (A$1.30) spent with Uber...

    POSTED 27 Oct, 2017 1 Comment

  • Best credit cards for earning Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints

    Only a handful of Australian credit cards allow customers to earn Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoints, but it’s a great option to have for advanced, points-savvy spenders, as it opens the door to a host of global frequent flyer programs and even comes with bonus points every time you ...

    POSTED 28 Sep, 2017 5 Comments

  • The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan hotel opens its doors

    Business travellers visiting China’s financial capital can now stay at the luxurious St. Regis Shanghai Jingan hotel which blends Western and Chinese design styles to give the property feelings of both familiarity and foreignness, regardless of where you’re from. Meander upstairs to ...

    POSTED 23 May, 2017 0 Comments

  • How to get Marriott Gold Elite status from just one hotel stay

    Gold Elite status in the Marriott Rewards program usually comes in return for spending at least 50 nights a year at hotels like Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton and Autograph Collection – but thanks to a crafty partnership between Marriott, Starwood and MasterCard, there’s a wa...

    POSTED 11 May, 2017 6 Comments

  • Starwood brings The Luxury Collection to Singapore in 2017

    Starwood and Marriott will bring the high-end Luxury Collection brand to Singapore next year with the opening of The Duxton Club, a Luxury Collection Hotel, following a multimillion-dollar renovation of traditional shophouses in the Tanjong Pagar district. Split across two pre-war colonial sites...

    POSTED 1 Nov, 2016 2 Comments

  • Le M

    Guests returning to the Le Méridien Etoile Paris hotel might hardly recognise it following an extensive multi-million dollar renovation to what remains the Le Méridien chain’s first-ever hotel. Spanning the guestrooms, suites, public spaces and the established Jazz Club Etoil...

    POSTED 23 Sep, 2016 1 Comment

  • Marriott, Starwood hotels to launch new super-loyalty program

    The ink is barely dry on the US$12 billion mega-merger of Marriott and Starwood, but it looks like the hotel colossus will be creating an all-new ‘unified’ loyalty program under a new brand. This would see Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards subsumed i...

    POSTED 23 Sep, 2016 3 Comments

  • New hotel credit card fees could hammer your hip pocket

    Hotel chains nationwide including Accor, IHG, Rydges and Starwood are amending their credit card fees in line with the Reserve Bank of Australia’s reforms on credit card surcharging. As a result, many hotel guests will now pay a lower credit card fee when using Visa or MasterCard, but whip...

    POSTED 2 Sep, 2016 27 Comments

  • Starwood brings new Aloft hotel to Melbourne's South Yarra

    Starwood Hotels and Resorts will open a new Aloft-brand hotel in Melbourne’s South Yarra district by early 2019, aptly named the Aloft Melbourne South Yarra. The brand’s signature high ceilings and oversized windows are central to the design of the property’s 176 loft-like gues...

    POSTED 26 Jul, 2016 1 Comment

  • Britain gains luxury Sheraton Grand London Park Lane hotel

    Starwood Hotels and Resorts will bring its premium Sheraton Grand hotel brand to the United Kingdom in October as the luxury Sheraton Grand London Park Lane property comes on board. Currently badged as the Sheraton London Park Lane but undergoing a multi-million pound top-to-bottom renovation, t...

    POSTED 26 Jul, 2016 1 Comment

  • Photos: inside Malaysia's new luxe St. Regis Kuala Lumpur hotel

    Joining Kuala Lumpur’s bustling skyline, the new St. Regis Kuala Lumpur hotel provides luxurious lodgings in the centre of the city: quite literally, two blocks from the KL Sentral railway station. Not only can you ditch the traffic and be here in 28 minutes from the airport via the non-st...

    POSTED 26 May, 2016 2 Comments

  • Diners Club shuffles the points partnership deck

    UPDATE | Diners Club has reversed some recent changes to its credit card rewards program, with points transfers to the American Airlines AAdvantage and Starwood Preferred Guest schemes both being retained. Transfers to these programs were to be axed from Diners Club Rewards as of June 1 2016, al...

    POSTED 3 May, 2016 13 Comments

  • Luxury St. Regis hotel to debut in Belgrade, Serbia

    Belgrade will boast new luxury lodgings come 2019 with the opening of The St. Regis Belgrade hotel and its 125 rooms. Joining that will be 220 St. Regis-branded residences in the same ‘Kula Belgrade’ tower, the country’s highest mixed-use tower situated on the waterfront. Hotel...

    POSTED 20 Apr, 2016 1 Comment

  • The top five credit cards for hotel perks and privileges

    Many credit cards offer predictable perks like travel insurance and airport lounge access, but a select few also make sure you’re taken care of after your flight through great hotel benefits like free room upgrades and breakfast for every day of your stay. Some cards achieve this by unlock...

    POSTED 4 Apr, 2016 12 Comments

  • New Starwood Aloft Dubai, The Palm hotel opening in 2017

    Starwood continues to ramp up its portfolio in Dubai with another new hotel on the way: this time, the Aloft Dubai, The Palm hotel on the man-made Palm Jumeirah island. With a planned opening in 2017, guests in the hotel’s 192 guestrooms including 10 suites can enjoy access to a 500m stret...

    POSTED 4 Mar, 2016 0 Comments

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