If you’re familiar with the Starwood SPG program you know that category 1 & 2 hotels are insanely cheap. We’re talking 2,000 to 4,000 points for a night. SPG and Hilton seem to have the biggest gap between highest and lowest hotels.
Albeit nearly impossible to redeem only for category 1 weekends, but in theory, a night at a top tier hotel could be 17 nights at a category 1. Huge difference, and there are some even “off the chart” priced hotels in Santorini, Bora Bora, etc…
So what I did here is basically used the Complete Map of Starwood Hotels, and sorted so I could only see Category 1 and 2 hotels. And trust me when I say, there are some great hotels on the list… especially the Category 2 list.
Understand, that I’m choosing more “destination” hotels. Places I would want to stay. As someone who lives out of hotels and doesn’t own a car, what I’m looking for are hotels that don’t have an interstate in the name of the hotel. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great airport hotels on here that have great value, but I wouldn’t destination there.
Pricing Category 1 & 2 Hotels with SPG Starpoints
Basically, you have a weekend price and weekday price. For Category 1 hotels, the weekend price is 2,000 points and weekday price is 3,000 points. For Category 2 hotels, the weekend price is 3,000 points and weekday price is 4,000 points.
The Best Starwood SPG Category 1 Hotels
Le Méridien N’Fis, Morocco
I’ve never been to Marrakech or even Morocco but have been thinking about it. This hotel looks stunning and the town itself looks really interesting. It also looks like the hotel is going for $200 a night when I checked prices for October.
Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort, Lombok, Indonesia
I’ve spent a lot of time in Bali and still have never been to Lombok, the next island over. It’s an easy ferry ride and I hear good things from people who love and live on Bali. Last time I was tempted to hop on over, but our 3 weeks flew by. Next time.
Best Starwood SPG Category 2 Hotels
The Westin Zagreb
This is my favorite hotel on the list… and I’ve never even been to Croatia. Every traveler I’ve met who’s been to Croatia absolutely loves it.
I can’t understand why this is a category 2 hotel, and why it’s lower priced than the cheaper Sheraton. It’s clearly in a great location and all the photos look amazing.
I hope this doesn’t change by the time I get there!
Le Méridien Angkor
One of my favorite places on earth is Angkor Wat. This is a killer redemption for anyone wanting to check out the ruins. This is my second pick for this list.
Aloft Cancun, Mexico
Cancun is easy to get to. 4,500 Avios from Miami and Avios transfer from Chase, Amex, and SPG. We’re looking at a Southwest flight for 8,000 points, plus we have a Companion Pass (read How to Maximize the Southwest Companion Pass).
But this hotel seems like it’s on the main Cancun strip/island and a real deal on points.
Le Méridien Chiang Mai & Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort, Thailand
Not to get too SE Asia heavy, but these are well known as some of the best low category SPG redemptions around. Both hotels in northern Thailand are beautiful hotels/resort in a beautiful part of the country. I love the culture of northern Thailand so much, and these hotels try to capture that.
Other Cat 2 Redemptions
- Sheraton Athlone Hotel, Ireland
- Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
- Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka
- Sheraton Hanoi Hotel
- Sheraton Adana Hotel, Turkey
- Sheraton Catania Hotel & Conference Center, Italy
Category 1 & 2 hotels in the USA:
Egypt Cat 1 & 2 hotels:
- Sheraton Luxor Resort – 79% TA rating
- Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna – 90% TA rating
- Sheraton Sharm Hotel, Resort, Villas & Spa – 68% TA rating
- Le Méridien Dahab Resort – 88% TA rating
- Sheraton Montazah Hotel – 64% TA rating
- Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa (Cairo) – 78% TA rating
- Le Méridien Heliopolis (Cairo) – 69% TA rating
- Sheraton Dreamland Hotel & Conference Center (Cairo/6th of October City) – 53% TA rating
Interestingly enough the Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna is the only category 1 in Egypt, the rest listed are category 2 hotels, but it has the highest TA rating. And it’s probably the most expensive hotel on cash.
India category 2 hotels:
We stayed at two of the ITC hotels and while I don’t recommend anyone ever visit Agra, they are good hotels.
- Le Méridien Kochi
- Le Méridien Coimbatore
- Sheraton Park Hotel & Towers, Chennai
- The Westin Chennai Velachery
- ITC Kakatiya, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hyderabad
- The Westin Pune Koregaon Park
- ITC Rajputana, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jaipur
- ITC Mughal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Agra
Only 3 hotels in South America:
- Sheraton Mendoza Hotel
- Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center
- Four Points by Sheraton Medellin
There are a ton of hotels in Asia, including two in Borneo and too many to count in China. So there are tons more options, if you just check out the Complete Map of SPG Hotels.
My picks are clearly the Westin in Zagreb and the hotels I mentioned in SE Asia – Angkor Wat (Siem Reap), Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai and Lombok.