These are the Best Starwood Hotels in Each Region of the World

Best can mean a lot of things. There are pure quality metrics, and we can debate those. But Starwood has done something interesting in coming up with a list of bests as deemed by Starwood Preferred Guest members which is to say that they are the hotels that best satisfy members and meet their needs (which is going to incorporate quality but also convenience of location and price point).

It’s an interesting methodology: What they did is they took the hotels with the highest customer survey ratings (“Guest Experience Index”), the best ratings and reviews on the Starwood website, and the most award nights redeemed. These three categories were evenly weighted, though they removed the properties that had low scores on customer surveys and online reviews, so ultimately removed several frequently redeemed-for hotels.

As part of the survey there’s some interesting data. The single property with the greatest number of award night redemptions last year was the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Florida. The city with the most redemptions is New York — Starwood has many properties, and its an expensive destination where people would want to use their points although in my view most of the properties there are overpriced in points. (I would never have spent 20,000 Starpoints for the W Times Square when I was able to book it for $180 this summer.)


W Times Square

The most popular places to redeem after New York are (in order): San Francisco, Orlando, Chicago, San Diego, Lake Buena Vista, Fort Lauderdale, Maui, Paris and London.

The hotel that had the most SPG members staying during the year was the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers. That doesn’t surprise me:

  • It’s a good business hotel (with phenomenal views of Victoria Harbor)
  • The Chinese market is points-obsessed, I’ve seen survey data that suggests Chinese loyalty program members view their points as a right rather than a privilege (as it’s seen throughout much of the world)
  • It’s a large hotel.

The Americas

Interestingly while I’ve stayed at the Phoenician, I haven’t stayed at the Canyon Suites, and I haven’t been to any of the other properties on their list.

While they meet the needs of most members I haven’t found a need for the Element DFW Airport North (since I’ll always and every time choose a closer property to the airport) and when I’m in New York I don’t choose the pricey St. Regis.

I do probably need to get a first-hand look at the St. Regis Punta Mita, though.

Here’s their top 9 member favorites in the Americas (when I first received the list there were 10 in the Americas, but the St. Regis Bora Bora was listed in the wrong region.. so, 9):

  • Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Nayarit, Mexico
  • Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne, North Carolina, USA
  • Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport North, Texas, USA
  • The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Florida, USA
  • Four Points by Sheraton Midtown – Times Square, New York, USA
  • The St. Regis New York, New York, USA
  • The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Arizona, USA

Asia Pacific Winners

I’ve stayed at — and much enjoyed — the St. Regis Bali, Sheraton Hong Kong, and W Seoul.


Woo Bar at the W Seoul


Junior Suite at the W Seoul


Breakfast at the St. Regis Bali includes all the caviar, lobster, and foie gras you can eat

In Koh Samui I’ve stayed at the Conrad though, and in the Maldives at the Park Hyatt because both were more accessible redemptions.

Here’s their top 11 member favorites in Asia:

  • Sheraton Qiandao Lake Resort, Zhejiang, China
  • The Royal Begonia, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Sanya, Hainan, China
  • Sheraton Zhoushan Hotel, Zhejiang, China
  • Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, Kowloon, Hong Kong
  • Aloft Ahmedabad, SG Road, Gujarat, India
  • Le Meridien Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • The St. Regis Bali Resort, Bali, Indonesia
  • The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, Motu Ome’e, Bora Bora
  • W Retreat & Spa, Fesdu Island, Maldives
  • W Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
  • W Retreat Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Thailand

Europe/Africa/Middle East Winners

I’m much looking forward to an upcoming stay at Al Maha and its private infinity pools looking out at the desert and dune racing and camel riding.

Here’s their top 10 member favorites in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East:

  • Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Salzburg, Austria
  • The St. Regis Florence, Florence, Italy
  • The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice, Italy
  • Four Points by Sheraton Ljubljana Mons, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, Mallorca, Spain
  • Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, Spain
  • Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert, Dubai, UAE
  • Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai, UAE
  • Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Dubai, UAE
  • Le Meridien Fairway, Dubai, UAE

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary – I can’t find a recent or previous review by you on the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Hong Kong. Does anyone else have a review or recent comments?? Tx

  2. Having just checked out of The Goldener Hirsch, I can absolutely see why it’s on the list. My favorite SPG property.

  3. In APAC region you mention Aloft Ahmedabad, and not Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit (SGS)?

    A Luxury Collection property, the SGS is the best hotel in the Sheraton brand. I dare say worldwide!

  4. @Kalboz:

    If you read the article it’s not Gary who’s deciding what makes the list. It’s a mix of highest customer service rating, most reward nights redeemed, and best reviews on the Starwood site.

    There could easily be very good APAC hotels that don’t make the list because people don’t redeem as much there as in other places. I would argue Bangkok isn’t a great place for points redemptions in Western chains because the room rates are too low to really get much value as opposed to a cash booking, unless you highly value American chains simply because of the brand name on the hotel and are completely unwilling to look outside chains where you have status, points and shiny cards. If others felt that this could affect points redemption rates. The presence of cities with higher hotel room prices, like New York and Hong Kong on the list seems to reflect that.

  5. Sheraton 4 Points in NYC an award winning hotel lol
    I stayed there pitiful cramped and overpriced and the service so so
    Location is a giant meh too
    Starwood lost its way and I lost Starwood over the past number of years
    Their Domestic lounges are poor @!most anything Sheraton is in Sad shape
    Did I say their promotions suck?
    I would choose a Starwood properth over a Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza
    Reality is this once great company is making poor decisions across the board
    Sternlicht was the only one with the right vision back in the late 90s
    Under his leadership it was once a marvelous company
    I stay Marriott Hyatt even Hilton to avoid Starwoods perfume stinking properties that are fastly

  6. Part2
    Becoming overly trendy and dated with cheap inferior furniture that’s uncomfortable
    Yes they do have their exception properties

  7. The Aloft Ballantyne hotel is a suburban hotel with nothing to write home about. I stayed there once only to take advantage of a golf package at the nearby Ballantyne golf course. The Ballantyne hotel, a Luxury Collection hotel, is many times better than the Aloft and you can get golf deals there too but more expensive, obviously.

    The two Le Meridiens in Dubai are also overrated big time. The Dubai hotel and conference center is preferable to the Fairway hotel.

  8. @emponymous coward

    Since SPG categories are correlated with room rate, wouldn’t it follow that no place is a “great” use of points, on the whole?

    That is, you’d expect a rather flat X cpp redemption value no matter where you redeem, right? The corollary is that if a city’s room rate is generally low, then that will be reflected in its category. BKK, as we’re talking about, has plenty of Category 2-4 properties, whereas NYC (er, Manhattan) is all clustered in the 5-7 range.

    Things that skew redemption values are places with a heavy seasonal component. A great example are the Munich properties, which have a category rating reflective of their rooms throughout the year. But then Oktoberfest comes around, and they jack up room rates. All of a sudden you’re paying Category 3/4 points rates, when the hotel is asking a huge price premium.

  9. @emponymous coward

    So Bangkok isn’t a great place for points redemptions in Western chains and Ahmedabad is???

    I read the article and my question wasn’t directed personally at Gary but at the whole concept of SPG pushing some obscure properties for higher occupancy as part of their marketing scheme.

  10. SPG categories are based on projected ADR for the year ahead, not actual rates from the prior year. And redemption value comes in from given hotel nights varying from the average.

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