Posted by Beth | May 24, 2016
Starwood Preferred Guest points are considered one of the most valuable points currencies out there. They are harder to earn than other types of points, but can be redeemed at much lower levels. We redeemed most of our SPG points for stays in Southeast Asia because there are terrific properties for only 3,000 or 4,000 points a night, making it a great value.
We redeemed 54,000 SPG points for 15 nights at five different hotels in four different countries. We stayed mostly at the “lower end” of hotels in the SPG portfolio, including Four Points, Aloft and Sheraton, all which were category one or two hotels. But all five of the hotels were wonderful in their own way and we would absolutely recommend anyone to stay in them if you happen to be in these areas.
How we earned the points: We both signed up for the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express. The sign-up offer we received was for 30,000 SPG points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. Recently the bonus reached an all-time high of 35,000 SPG points at sign-up, but has since dropped back to the usual 25,000 points. The upside is now the spend is only $3,000 to get the bonus. If you have two people traveling together and each person signs up for the card, that’s still more than enough points (after hitting the spend requirement) to stay for free for two+ weeks in Southeast Asia.
Since you can only receive one sign-up bonus per card for a lifetime on American Express cards, we would recommend waiting until a higher bonus comes back to apply for this card. But if you’re eager to get the card now, we’d greatly appreciate you using our link to sign-up so we earn some bonus SPG points as well.
Four Points by Sheraton Bali, Kuta Beach, Indonesia: 18,000 points for 5 nights
Highlights: Welcome honeydew popsicles and cool towels, several different promotions including BOGO beers during happy hour and free drinks for ladies mid-week (though there was lots of confusion among the staff about which promotions were happening where, as there were multiple bars and restaurants on site). Live music at Best Brew, rooftop pool/swim up bar, lagoon pool, nice fitness center, sent treats to our room and plenty of extra water bottles. Free shuttle to the beach, but only a 10 min. walk. Great location with lots of touristy restaurants and shops nearby. The staff was incredibly friendly and this ended up being one of our favorite hotels of our entire trip.
Sheraton Mustika Resort and Spa, Yogyakarta, Indonesia: 9,000 points for 3 nights
Highlights: Free airport pick up and drop off, free shuttle to main tourist area, free drop off at Prambanan temple, my foot was injured and they kept calling to check in and sent plenty of ice and free breakfast up for me, large gym with exercise studio and one evening group exercise class. Outdoor and indoor pool and jacuzzi and a very nice spa. Ate at both Indonesian and Indian restaurants onsite and both good, though Indian was exceptional.
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Malaysia: 8,000 points for 2 nights
Highlights: Great location right next to the main train station and Little India. Very big and busy hotel. Cool rooftop, good happy hour at lobby bar, 24-hour food market, mini-fridge in room, fast Internet, and very comfortable beds.
Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit Soi 11, Thailand: 11,000 points for 3 nights
Highlights: About as good a location as you can get in Bangkok, right in the heart of Soi 11, one of the trendiest streets for food and nightlife. Nice outdoor pool deck on 11th floor with a great view of city, good size fitness center, very helpful concierge, live music at the lobby bar, small rooms but with full amenities including mini-fridge, large TV, coffee pot, bathrobes, etc.
Sheraton Hanoi, Vietnam: 8,000 points for 2 nights
Highlights: Our top highlight was being upgraded to the club level floor (thanks to our measly Preferred Guest Plus status from the SPG Amex card), which meant free breakfast and free evening drinks and heavy-enough appetizers to constitute dinner. This is the hotel I’m writing this from right now and we’re a little bitter we only booked it for two nights originally and now it’s full because we’d love to stay longer. It’s a bit outside of the main touristy area of Hanoi, but the hotel runs free shuttles and this neighborhood, set right on the lake, is quite cool in and of itself. The gym is great and offers free yoga classes, and the outdoor pool looks nice though it’s been pouring here all day so we couldn’t enjoy it. The hotel is huge, in a good location, is well-maintained, the staff is friendly, the food onsite is excellent and generally you can’t ask for much more at only 4,000 points per night.