Probably the Best Value Use of SPG Starpoints

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.

Winter landscape
Winter landscape at Hokkaido, Japan

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.

Price per night at the new SPG Kiroro resorts

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.

Rate for Sheraton Kiroro over the New Year

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!

Renovated interior of Sheraton Kiroro. Photo from Sheraton Kiroro Hotel.

Now if anyone wants to look for me over the New Year, I guess they know where to find me!


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