Westin Palace Madrid
After chowing down on croissants and beautiful pieces of jamòn and downing 1 Euro beers, we walked the rest of the way to the hotel. It’s a real looker when you come upon it.
When planning this trip, there were plenty of hotels to choose from in Madrid, but this one seemed to be the grandest. I decided to burn some of our Starpoints.
At 4,800 points and $90 per night, this hotel offered great value. The rooms were consistently going for over 200 Euro (almost $300) so each Starpoint ended up to be worth about 3.8 cents. That beats the pants off 1-2% cashback!
About two weeks prior to our stay, I had emailed the GM to ask about upgrade options. He promptly replied with two options:
- A free upgrade to a “premium view room”
- A Junior Suite for 7,500 Starpoints per night
I did some research, particularly on Oyster, to see if the room would be worth it to us. Ultimately, I told the GM that we would take the upgrade for 7,500 Starpoints per night. Why not, at the time we had about 160k burning a hole in our pocket anyway. We were confirmed for a Junior Suite for a total of 22,500 Starpoints (3 nights).
Upon arrival, the agent at the front desk brought out the Manager who explained that we had been upgraded to the Executive Suite for free! Now THAT’S the way to start a trip. Not bad for an SPG Gold.
The front desk agent also thanked me for being a Gold member and asked which welcome gift I’d like – 250 Starpoints, complimentary Internet, or a complimentary beverage. Normally, the Internet is the best value, but since we were traveling with an international MiFi device, I chose the Starpoints.
Our keys were made and the Manager had a bell hop take our bags to our room. She was going to show us around the hotel. She brought us through the grand lobby, the hotel restaurant, and the other facilities.
Finally, she brought us to our Executive Suite. She walked us through each part of the room and then left us, but not before giving us a few maps and brochures and one thing that I thought was very thoughtful – a new 2012 edition of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide. Funny because Joann borrowed that same book (older edition) from a coworker.