I was excited to learn that Design Hotels, a loose network of individual boutique hotels, would be partnering with Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Now the two companies are celebrating with a daily contest. Unscramble the puzzle pieces to see if you’ve won an instant prize. Even if you don’t, you’ll be entered to win a grand prize of five nights at Starwood category 1-6 hotel and 50,000 Starpoints.
The contest runs through December 18, 2015. Depending on your perspective, the puzzle isn’t difficult to solve. Drag the pieces around to rearrange them. As you make progress, some pieces will lock into place, which can be frustrating but also means that you won’t undo your efforts. Eventually you’ll find out if you won the instant prize or not.
Design Hotels are joining SPG on a rolling basis. Additional hotels will be added soon, but the current five properties include:
- Gramercy Park Hotel – New York
- Ten Bompas Hotel – Johannesburg
- C-Hotel & Spa – Cassago Brianza, Italy
- Nira Montana – La Thuile, Italy
- Kruisherenhotel Maastricht – Maastricht
Benefits to Starwood members staying at Design Hotels include:
- Starpoints, including an elite member bonus and welcome gift
- Eligible nights toward elite status
- Complimentary in-room Internet access and bottled water
You can’t redeem your Starpoints for a free night yet, but this should be coming early in 2016.
I stayed at a Design Hotel in Singapore earlier this year, and I’ve decided based on that and other experiences (e.g., Starwood’s Luxury Collection or Hyatt’s Andaz Collection) that I really prefer to stay in unique hotels over those that are heavily branded. That doesn’t always mean it has to be expensive — I think the one I was at in Singapore was under $200 per night. At the same time, I appreciate the benefits of being a frequent guest with a particular program.
That’s ultimately the challenge: How do you brand something when the whole point of the brand is to be unique? I’m not sure how Design Hotels will answer that but am excited to find out.