Which are the Most Exceptional Starwood Hotels?

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Lighthouse, Feb 7, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lighthouse
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    Lighthouse Gold Member

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    In my stays at different Starwood hotels I have found some of their hotels (particularly St Regis and Luxury Collection) extraordinary with tall ceilinged classical rooms, and suites with stunning views.

    I am extremely interested in what hotels in the Starwood group other members feel combine extraordinary architecture, history, beauty and/or views well worth the trip?

    My experience is there are some hotels that while extremely well appointed with excellent service you could basically be in any warm climate or any city and not know the difference. I really have come to appreciate those hotels where you know you are in Hawaii or London from the view from your hotel room.

    This is a very subjective matter and I appreciate the perspectives of all milepoint members each from their own unique experience. They can be urban or resort hotels; historic or brand new. I hope we can use this thread to cull out the very most distinctive hotels in their portfolio around the world that are well worth a special personal trip.

    To initiate the discussion I have composed a very subjective top 15 draft list. I would appreciate friendly commentary on whether the hotels on this list really deserve to be on this list and in what order.I will continue to update this list as additional members provide their input.

    1) St Regis Bora Bora

    2) Hotel Imperial Vienna

    3) The Lanesborough London

    4) St Regis Lhasa Tibet

    5) The Danielli Venice

    6) The St Regis Bali

    7) St Regis Grand Rome

    8) St Regis Princeville Kauai

    9)The Grand Mauritian Resort

    10) The Turnberry Scotland

    11) Tambo del Inka Resort Valle Sagrado Peru

    12) Marques de Riscal Elciego Spain

    13) The Phoenician Scottsdale

    14) Mystique- Santorini

    15) St. Regis San Francisco
     
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  2. Considering a visit to The Palace for my birthday weekend - glad to see it made the list.

    Top of my list is the Hotel Eden in Rome. Beautiful old hotel, attentive staff and amazing view from the rooftop bar. It was truly like no other Starwood hotel I've stayed at.
     
  3. SC Flier
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    Just a few additions in no particular order:

    The Hacienda hotels on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
    Hotel Alfonso XIII, Sevilla, Spain
    Blue Palace, Crete
    Vedema, Santorini
    Nearly every other Starwood in Greece, for that matter.
     
  4. Flews
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    Flews Silver Member

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    Given it's (non) SPG status, I've never really considered the Lanesborough to be truly part of the *wood family.

    When I saw the thread title with the word "exceptional", the first property that came to mind was the Westin Diplomat. Not a luxury property like other on your list; but exceptional in all kinds of ways none-the-less.

    Perhaps the Dip doesn't meet the "history" test, but the architecture is distinctive (our two-year-olds exclaimed 'we're living in a castle!') and it's certainly well worth checking out if you have any interest whatsover in a sunny beach location.

    Cheers,
     
  5. singtx
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    Marques de Riscal Elciego Spain
    This place is unreal...from architecture to service, to storytelling from the bartenders. Underground wine cellars, exceptional grounds, and heated pools.... Review here
     
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  6. I'd replace The Palace with the St. Regis San Francisco.

    While the Palace is a beautiful, old-world hotel, the Regis has become my SF property of choice. The rooms are gorgeously appointed and the service is impeccable. The Palace's service, while good, has in my experience been like that of a high-end Westin.
     
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  7. Cuse44
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    I visited Madrid over Thanksgiving this past year and found the Westin Palace Madrid to be a fantastic hotel. Classic architecture, beautiful dome, and very classic guestrooms. Probably one of the nicest Westins I have ever stayed in...
     
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  8. Mozzarella
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    Mozzarella Silver Member

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    I would also add the Grand Hotel (soon to be St. Regis) in Florence, IT. Outstanding service and great architecture. The Westin across the square is also nice (with fabulous balcony views of the Arno) but the Grand had that little extra.
     
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  9. Djlawman

    Djlawman Active Member

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    I think our favorites so far are the Westin Excelsior in Florence (Grand, soon to be St. Regis was closed, so have not stayed there); the Westin Europa & Regina in Venice (if you get a Grand Canal view room), and the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Sevilla.
     
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  10. derpelikan

    derpelikan Active Member

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    i stood there many times too, and found the hotel beautiful, but not exceptional compared to the other hotels on the list.
    the rooms are old and worn, nothing special in my eyes.

    dp
     
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  11. derpelikan

    derpelikan Active Member

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    totally agree. at the St. Regis, i got two suites as a platinum (had two rooms booked)
    one suite was so huge, that you needed 10 seconds to go from the windows to the door if anybody came to visit..

    and i like the st. regis, as its modern and brand new
     
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  12. Lighthouse
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    Lighthouse Gold Member

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    Flymeaway and derpelikan,
    Thanks I have edited the list to reflect your recommendation. There are a number of worthy hotels mentioned by others in this thread not on this list. Would appreciate everyone's thoughts on whether SF should be bumped from the list altogether.
     
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  13. pearl girl
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    The Bora Bora property is stunning. It is also close to where those equally stunning pearls are made.
     
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  14. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Starwood certainly does have more true top-end properties than other chains. I'd add W Maldives to that list.

    It's worth distinguishing from truly aspiration properties from great value properties and in particular properties that are great values for Platinum members. I love love love the Westin Diplomat. But I love it not because it's in the same class as the St Regis Bora Bora. I love it because Platinums can expect to receive a corner suite with wraparound balcony most of the time and there is a really lovely club lounge. So for Starwood Platinums in Southern Florida, it's worth staying there even if it's a bit out of the way.

    The aspirational properties, though, are really something that you don't find in the same way with say Marriott.

    That said, many of those properties are priced so egregiously by SPG as to hardly be a part of the program in a meaningful way. Remember when category 6 was first introduced, before there was a category 7? And remember when they didn't charge double for 'all suite' properties (well, not all all-suite properties, you don't pay double at the Sheraton Suites Philadelphia airport..)?

    The all suite properties in category 6 or 7 earn there room rates precisely because of the character of their room offerings. And those rates justify category 6 and 7. To them charge double for redemption because of those room offerings double counts the very same thing, to the detriment of members.

    Starwood used to have Bora Bora Nui in its fold, and was charging something like 70k points per night. Fast forward to the property moving to Hilton, it now takes fewer Hilton points to redeem a multi-night award there than it does Starwood points. And Hilton points are usually considered an inflated currency (My Hilton Surpass Amex earns 9 HHonors points per dollar on Hilton spend, compared to the 2 SPG points per dollar my SPG Amex earns on Starwood spend).

    There are some really nice Starwood properties, independent of elite treatment, that aren't at the upper bounds of the award chart or room rates. I truly love the Le Meridien Chiang Rai for instance, and it's a category 3 hotel. On the whole I think it's fair to say that Starwood just has nicer hotels than other chains.
     
  15. abk
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    The two nicest places I have ever stayed in, the Danielli and the St Regis Grand Rome, made your list and I couldn't agree more as to these two hotels.
     
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  16. sdcarver
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    I thought Grande Bretagne in Athens and Westin Excelsior in Floren were both amazing Hotels--Great Locations, Incredible Rooms and amazing service!
    sdcarver
     
  17. illico
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    I'd have to say the Four Points SFO is one of the best... Kidding kidding!

    The St. Regis in San Francisco was pretty impressive IMO. Beautiful.
     
  18. stuartfla
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    Completely agree on the Lanesborough not being listed as they Do not participate in SPG
    The Diplomat is unique but less so when it is hosting a convention which is nearly all the time and the atmosphere of the hotel changes with each particular demo for the 2,000+ conventioneers .
     
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  19. MSPeconomist
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    The two new Starwood properties on Bali look pretty impressive: St Regis (all suites) and W (soft opening about now)
     
  20. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    The Le Meridian Chiang Rai was pretty fantastic and definitely would recommend that to anyone. I also really enjoyed St. Regis San Francisco and the very nice upgrade. The St. Regis Monarch Beach is a great property but the room wasn't quite as fantastic IMHO. Although the Phoenician is a nice property, I just wouldn't put it in a list with other aspirational properties. My personal experience with a few of the Luxury collection properties (US Grant, Phoenician, SLS) hasn't been that great and although they tend to be historic, architecturally unique and more independent, I just find that the overall experience didn't live up to my expectations.
     
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  21. sdcarver
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    Another hotel I enjoyed very much was the Le Meridien Vienna, excellent location, Good Upgrade experineces for Platinums and Customer Service was exemplary.

    sdcarver
     
  22. Pete
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    Pete Silver Member

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    Agreed.
     
  23. Pete
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    Pete Silver Member

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    I thought that the rooms were fantastic, exceptional even.
     
  24. Bonnie
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    Although Shanghai has seen the arrival of several great hotels recently, we stayed 3 years ago at the Royal Meridien Shanghai and loved it! The Club Floor had probably one of the best food presentations we've experienced. Beautiful enormous room with gorgeous views of the city and excellent service. Our deluxe room was extremely comfortable and had a very modern feel to it with floor to ceiling windows and enough toiletries to open my own pharmacy!
     
  25. QF009
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    Ws usually do it for me - trend-forecasting design, culturally agnostic, intuitive yet sassy service without the insufferable deference one finds at most regular 'luxury' hotels. Exceptional Ws are Hong Kong, Seoul-Walkerhill, Istanbul and Westwood. Props go to Seattle for upgrading me to a sensational WOW Suite and awesome service but the property feels rather early noughties and in need of an update so I can't include it in the exceptional list unfortunately.
     

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