As my blog name says it, I enjoy skiing and winter sports in general. Or anything to do with the mountains. As luck would have it one of my favourite hotel chains, SPG recently added a lot of properties in Hokkaido, Japan. Three to be exact, the Westin Rusutsu, the Sheraton Kiroro and The Kiroro, the last of which is branded as a Tribute Portfolio hotel which is Starwood’s newest brand of hotels. Since it is winter now in Japan and over the New Year holiday, room rates are really expensive.
Given that I was headed to Japan, and I had an extra 2 days before meeting my ski buddies in Niseko, I took a look at the room rates in Kiroro. (Kiroro is halfway between Sapporo and Niseko and close to the town of Otaru) And, here was what I got from the SPG website directly.
Apparently both the newly added SPG properties in Kiroro was charging around ¥86,500 (~$719) for what is a
standard Deluxe room. But as you can see below, the SPG Free Nights was just 7,000 Starpoints per night.
Obviously, I would never think of ponying up that much for a standard room in a ski resort. Perhaps for a suite at the St Regis in Aspen I might consider. And when I clicked on the booking, ¥86,500 is really the lowest rate. It is obviously high season since I picked a stay on the 1-3 January and with the New Year’s Holiday in Japan, it is peak vacation time. That is where I was amazed that there was award availability, and it truly creates amazing value in terms of using points. Redeeming this meant I was getting about $0.10 worth out of my Starpoints.
Given that you can buy Starpoints at a 25% discount through 31st December and one can easily get 20,000 Starpoints at $525, that translates to buying Starpoints at a rate of $0.026 or paying essentially $184 per night. Not a bad discount I must say and this also probably makes the 2 Kiroro resorts one of the lowest redemption opportunity in a ski resort!
Now if anyone wants to look for me over the New Year, I guess they know where to find me!