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Loyalty program wins call for a clear strategy

Loyalty program wins call for a clear strategy Feb 22nd, 2012 at 1:00PM: Working loyalty programs for airlines, cruise lines, hotels or rental car agencies can be tricky business. Core benefits of one program are often overshadowed by promotional offers from another. Navigating our way around them in an organized manner to get the most benefit, then keeping track of what we earn can take a lot of time that few are willing to invest. Those who do not travel all that...

Westin rolling out new gyms

Westin rolling out new gyms Feb 2nd, 2012 at 4:00PM: It's time to get your workout on. Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced this week that they are revamping the fitness studios at its Westin-branded hotels. WestinWORKOUT fitness facilities at 186 Westin hotels around the world are getting new equipment and blue light therapy throughout the course of the year. New equipment we can understand - after all, people are pounding away on the machines...

Starwood first to launch user ratings and reviews on its hotel websites

Starwood first to launch user ratings and reviews on its hotel websites Oct 25th, 2011 at 1:00PM: Reader-generated hotel reviews - and the sites that host them - have gotten a bad rap lately. But, it's for a good reason. In July, TripAdvisor came under scrutiny when it was revealed that some hotels were paying TripAdvisor users to post positive reviews of their properties. There have also been concerns that hotel employees and management were posting positive reviews of their properties in...

Enjoy Chinese hospitality at Hilton and Starwood hotels

Enjoy Chinese hospitality at Hilton and Starwood hotels Aug 2nd, 2011 at 10:00AM: In an effort to cater to the surge of tourism from China, both Hilton Hotels and Resorts and Starwood, which includes the Sheraton, Westin, and W brands, are launching Chinese hospitality services in their hotels. The welcome program includes special breakfast items, such as congee rice porridge, fried rice, and dumplings; in-room amenities like tea kettles, a selection of Chinese teas, and...

Starwood makes checking in a social affair

Starwood makes checking in a social affair May 11th, 2011 at 12:00PM: Starwood Preferred Guest, the rewards program for such brands as Sheraton and Westin, just took "checking in" from the front desk to the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android. The hotel company is launching a new program with social media company foursquare to increase member benefits. According to foursquare's blog, this partnership is "the first truly global loyalty integration of its kind," an...

Starwood hotels plans to recycle hotel shampoos, soaps

Starwood hotels plans to recycle hotel shampoos, soaps Apr 23rd, 2011 at 4:00PM: Some hotel guests take the mini soaps and shampoos from hotel bathrooms, others leave the pint-sized amenities behind - which option is better for the environment? Did you know your unused hotel toiletries could be put toward recycling efforts to help people in need? That's the premise behind Clean the World, a social enterprise working with hotels around the world in an effort to help...

Five great cherry blossom hotel packages in Washington DC

Five great cherry blossom hotel packages in Washington DC Mar 22nd, 2011 at 10:30AM: The National Cherry Blossom Festival officially kicks off on March 26, with peak bloom days beginning on March 29. Want to make a road trip to Washington, DC? Here's a list of five great hotels offering Cherry Blossom-themed packages. For more Cherry Blossom fun, stay tuned later this week for our suggestions on where to eat and play. Mayflower Renaissance Hotel We're not talking hippies when...

Starwood Preferred Guest program offers FaceTime customer support

Starwood Preferred Guest program offers FaceTime customer support Nov 8th, 2010 at 2:30PM: As a kid, I remember playing with a video phone at the local phone store - and thinking how cool it would be if we all had access to video phones in the future. Well, the future came, and along with a total lack of jet packs, video phones never really took off. Apple has managed to change that with their FaceTime application, and while it is by no means the first video calling application,...

Starwood to open seven hotels in NYC this year

Starwood to open seven hotels in NYC this year Jul 27th, 2010 at 11:00AM: New York City is getting a few new addresses. Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced its plans to open seven more hotels in New York City, upping the hotel's portfolio by 50 percent in the Big Apple. Starwood currently operates 12 hotels in New York City across six of its nine brands, and expects to have 18 properties open in the city by year's end, including the local debut of the Aloft and...

Starwood's scavenger hunt rewards players with free hotel nights

Starwood's scavenger hunt rewards players with free hotel nights May 11th, 2010 at 12:00PM: You know the game - you love the game - you win the game, especially if it means going home with free travel perks! Scavenger hunts have been used for team building exercises, corporate functions and the bachelorette-parties-gone-bad, but this time, the scavenger hunts takes on a new prize: free nights at a Starwood hotel. That's right - Starwood Hotels is hosting a social media scavenger hunt...

Starwood ordered to pay $3m for spying on employee

Starwood ordered to pay $3m for spying on employee Mar 17th, 2010 at 3:00PM: File this under: What were they thinking?!? Starwood Hotels and Resorts was found guilty of spying on a New York employee and has been ordered to pay $3 million in damages. Apparently, the hotel set up a hidden camera to watch 46-year-old Moises Mendez, a baker at the Westin Hotel at Times Square, following repeated complaints from Mendez that he was being discriminated by the hotel. ...

Feds Try to Halt Starwood Suit of Hilton to Chase Criminal Charges

Feds Try to Halt Starwood Suit of Hilton to Chase Criminal Charges Feb 25th, 2010 at 2:00PM: Usually, it's what goes on inside the hotels that is mysterious. Illicit trysts, quiet business deals and the occasional rendez-vous of spies (very occasional, I suspect) are what we'd love to believe happens in behind the closed doors of hotels up-market and down. The reality, however, is far more interesting. There is plenty of espionage going on in the hotel world, but it's the hotels...

Starwood bets on Hollywood allure

Starwood bets on Hollywood allure Feb 23rd, 2010 at 2:00PM: What do you do when lenders take over two of your hotels, as your coping with the worst recession in seven decades? Well, if you're Starwood Hotels, you make a $350 million bet with a single property from your W line. The hotel opened on January 15, 2010, and it's banking on the reputation of Los Angeles as the center of the entertainment world. Located on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, the...

Hotels working on technology that could eliminate front desk check-in

Hotels working on technology that could eliminate front desk check-in Feb 19th, 2010 at 10:30AM: Imagine checking into your hotel room from your WiFi-enabled flight, or even in the cab on your way to the hotel from the airport. According to a story in USA Today's Hotel Check-in column, that's the concept some hotels are working on. Starwood Hotels has been at the forefront of this high-tech endeavor with their Aloft Hotel in Lexington, Mass. You have to be a member of the Starwood...

Starwood accuses Hilton of corporate espionage

Starwood accuses Hilton of corporate espionage Jan 16th, 2010 at 12:00PM: Two of the largest hotel chains in the world are locked in battle -- legal battle. Starwood Hotels has accused 44 of Hilton's top executives of stealing trade secrets. Christopher Nassetta, the CEO of Hilton, is alleged to have known about this activity, according to an amended complaint that Starwood filed with the Manhattan federal court. The object of affection thievery was the luxury category...

Starwood Hotels to add 6,000 U.S. jobs in 2010

Starwood Hotels to add 6,000 U.S. jobs in 2010 Jan 13th, 2010 at 10:30AM: Starwood Hotels, the operator of Sheraton, Westin and W brand hotels, gave the U.S. job market some much needed hope when it announced plans to add about 6,000 new U.S. jobs in 2010. Starwood said the new jobs will be created in accordance with the 80 to 100 hotels it plans to open this year, including hotels in New York City, Los Angeles, Biloxi, Miss., Kalamazoo, Mich. and more popular...

Cyber Monday: not just for retailers any more

Cyber Monday: not just for retailers any more Nov 29th, 2009 at 5:00PM: After four days off, the world will slide behind its desks again on Monday morning. They'll try to get back into the swing of work life, but it won't be immediate. So, as they ease back into productivity, many will push into the shopping world they dodged three days earlier on Black Friday. The hotels will be waiting for them, with more than 60 of them pushing deals to try to get in on the holiday...

Enter to win jetBlue's Jet and Drive Giveaway

Enter to win jetBlue's Jet and Drive Giveaway Oct 29th, 2009 at 2:30PM: I love a good travel contest, especially one that requires little effort to enter. So I'm excited about the jetBlue and Hertz Jet & Drive Giveaway, which runs now through through January 31, 2010. To enter, all you need to do is surf on over to the website, complete your free registration and then enter your email address. Easy, peasy. For that minimal effort, you could win some pretty cool...

Gadling hotel review - Aloft by W Hotels

Gadling hotel review - Aloft by W Hotels Jul 21st, 2009 at 11:00AM: This hotel review will give you a closer look at one of the newest brands in the Starwood chain. The Aloft hotels are touted as a "vision of W hotels". The Aloft hotels are smaller than W hotels, located outside the city center and offer rooms at a substantially lower rate. That said - the vibe and general "hipness" created in W Hotels is most certainly still present....

Save at Starwood hotels: your birth year equals your rate

Save at Starwood hotels: your birth year equals your rate May 6th, 2009 at 5:15PM: Is it agist? (Or rather, reverse agist.) Or simply paying due respect to your elders? In a new promotion at Starwood hotels, what you pay per night is determined by your birth year. You pay the last two digits of your birth year on your second and third nights. For example, if you were born in 1950, you'd pay $50/night. Random, right? But hey, it's a deal if you were born in 1935. Actually, I...

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