Finding a great low fare that everyone doesn’t know about is one of the toughest things to do if you don’t obsess about travel like I do. There are plenty of hidden places to find them, but by nature they’re not easy to find, organized in one place.
For those that are familiar with Starwood Preferred Guest, you may have been a fan of either Starpicks or Beat the Timer. These were promotional offers that SPG came out with periodically to discount inventory. They were traditionally non-refundable rates and the properties varied widely. There were plenty of budget properties as well as luxury properties available for reasonable discounts.
According to this Milepoint thread, Starwood is doing some reorganizing. Beat the Timer and Starpicks go away, to be replaced by Hot Escapes. They can be found at spg.com/escapes. They’re only available Wednesday through Sunday, and I’d assume they’re capacity controlled. So, might not be a bad idea to set a reminder to check them out on Wednesdays.
I took a peek at this week’s offerings for Hot Escapes. One property I’m familiar with was the Westin Diplomat. Here’s a quick peek at the rates they offered for October and November.
A quick check of the Westin Diplomat’s rates showed these were decent savings. For example, when this offer was live I looked at the rates the weekend of October 25th. The cheapest price was $249.
The other thing I noticed today when I went back to grab a screen shot of the Diplomat’s SPG page was that they’ve integrated Hot Escapes right into the main booking engine. See the box in the bottom right-hand corner?
I think the listing on the rate page is a big plus for the every day traveler. Even though I’m a travel geek I rarely remembered to look at Beat the Timer because it was just another site outside of my normal places to visit. It remains to be seen what will end up in Hot Escapes but I’m pleased with the initial offering.
What about you? Have you checked out Hot Escapes yet? Did you ever take advantage of Starpicks or Beat the Timer?