My wife and I spent our honeymoon at the St. Regis Bali, and I scrimped and saved for a couple years to earn enough Starpoints for a suite there. A new property opening in September, the St. Regis Maldives, may have it beat.
Dan’s Deals reports that the hotel is offering overwater villas for just 32,500 points per night even though they normally retail for over $2,000. Few people reading this blog would actually pay that much, but as a result this represents the only way you’d ever get a chance to stay there. Remember also that you get your fifth award night free when you book a five-night stay with SPG. That would mean paying 130,000 points total for a five-night stay, lowering the price to 26,000 points per night.
That’s about the same as I paid at the St. Regis Bali. Frankly, the beach bungalows at this hotel are more attractive but the award price for those starts to get ridiculous. Maybe you could book the overwater villa and arrange a separate upgrade with the hotel before arrival. (Head over to Dan’s Deals for more information on the cost of other room categories. All rooms a this hotel need to be booked by phone, so you won’t find awards listed online.)
If you need points in a hurry, remember that you can always consolidate them between accounts if both members have lived at the same address for 30 days. You can also buy more, or apply for a SPG personal or business credit card. I don’t recommend transferring them from Membership Rewards since you get only 1 Starpoint for every 3 Membership Rewards points.
Getting to the Maldives is also not easy and the main reason I have chosen destinations like Bali instead. Even after booking a flight around the world, most hotels require a mandatory transfer by boat or airplane. In the case of the St. Regis you can expect to pay $700 per person for a seaplane. Food and drinks on the ground are similarly expensive. If this worries you, I have read Tripadvisor reviews of competing all-inclusive properties that also offer overwater bungalows at a competitive price so you can save your Starpoints for something else.
However, my past experiences at St. Regis properties suggests the service and amenities at this hotel will be hard to beat. Keep this one on your radar, and book soon if you’re worried that the hotel may come to its senses and raise the award price.