Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Starwood Hotels: Category 1

The Starwood Preferred Guest program is popular for a reason: In addition to having over 1,100 hotels worldwide in excellent locations, the program has a reasonable award chart. The program’s Category 1 hotel list certainly proves that, offering incredible value at amazing hotels for just 2,000-3,000 points per night. Starwood definitely offers better value in terms of location and redemption levels, compared to other major hotel chains. It’s not always easy to earn Starpoints, with limited rewards credit card options, but it’s certainly worthwhile. Below are the best hotel redemption options within Starwood’s Category 1 portfolio:



There are no Category 1 Starwood Hotels in the US worth mentioning.

Central America

Aloft San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica (San Jose, Costa Rica)

Aloft San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica - A Category 1 Starwood Hotel
Aloft San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica – A Category 1 Starwood Hotel

Distinctions: N/A

Honorable mention: N/A


Aloft Bursa Hotel (Bursa, Turkey)

Aloft Bursa Source: Hotel website
Aloft Bursa – One of the Best Category 1 Starwood Hotels

Distinctions: Tripadvisor #2 Hotel in Bursa

Accommodations: Standard are colorfully decorated – very much reminiscent of a new age dorm room (the kind that isn’t overrun by rodents), with an ergonomic work station and 40 inch LCD tv. The bathrooms are spacious, with accessible showers and a phone in case you’re one of those workaholics who can’t bear to be unproductive while on the loo.

Location: Though it caters mainly to business travelers, the Aloft Bursa has a great location for leisure travelers as well – especially considering it’s just 2,000-3,000 points per night. The Bursa City Museum, Archeology, and Ataturk Museum are all less than four miles from the hotel. Guests can also find the Great Mosque, and the Green Mosque nearby.

For those more interested in  shopping than history, there is a shopping mall just a quarter mile away from the hotel, with two others within a four mile radius. For a nice family activity, head to the Bursa Zoo and Botanical Gardens, located just 3.7 miles away.

Honorable mention:


Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa (Cairo, Egypt)

Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa Source: Hotel website
Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa – One of the Best Category 1 Starwood Hotels

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014

Accommodations: Standard rooms offer city views and are decorated in neutral tones. Guests booking an award night can choose between a Classic room with two Single or one King bed. Wireless internet is absurdly overpriced at 26.80 Euro/$35 per day, which is half the cost of staying at the hotel during low season.

Location: You can’t go to Egypt without seeing the pyramids. If you stay at the Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa, you won’t even need to leave the hotel pool to do so. The hotel is just a mile from the Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza and 9 miles from the Egyptian Museum. Other nearby notable attractions include the Sakkara Pyramids (12 miles) and Gezirah Tower (6 miles), which is the tallest building in Egypt.

Honorable mention:


Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)

Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa Source: Agoda
Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa – One of the Best Category 1 Starwood Hotels

Distinctions: N/A

Accommodations: Standard rooms offer 452 sqft of space and feature a balcony offering garden views. The decor is a bit outdated, but this isn’t the type of place where you’ll be staying in your room all day long. The resort has gorgeous indoor and outdoor pools. The health club, to which guests have complimentary access, offers stunning views of a nearby waterfall. All guests get complimentary access to wireless internet in their rooms and throughout the hotel.

Location: There is no shortage of activities in the resort’s immediate area. Within walking distance, guests can check out the Sapto Hoedojo Art Gallery, or venture out 1 mile further to a nearby golf course. There are various museums under 5 miles from the resort, along with a local zoo and shopping mall to keep the whole family entertained.

For those looking for a bit of local culture and history, the Prambanan Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Sultan Palace are within 6 miles of the resort. There’s plenty to do in the area and guests looking to venture out further can walk to a nearby bus station or take a 3 mile cab drive to the closest train station.

Honorable mention: Aloft Beijing, Haidan

What are your thoughts on my list of best Starwood hotel redemptions for Category 1? Are there any hotels you think should be on the list that aren’t?

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  1. Great article. Can’t wait for the rest! My personal favorites for Cat2: Sheraton at Wakefield, MA & FourPoint at Niagara Falls, NY.

  2. Why is this shit on the flyer talk homepage? Any noob can look at redemption charts and find a worthwhile use for his points.

    • PointChaser

      I’m sorry you feel that way, but surely you can express your discontent like a civil adult.

      • The comment is not un-civil. What it is is honest. The articles on the homepage should be of much higher quality than a simple list that took 2 minutes to compile. This is very unimpressive.



        • PointChaser

          There is no need for profanity. I get your point of view – this series, which takes quite a bit of time to compile, isn’t your cup of tea. Not sure why you clicked on it if you thought it was “shit.” If you’re an expert on the subject, I’d love your feedback on what you think would make a more impressive post on the subject.

        • You’re an idiot who can’t spell home page. That is very unimpressive.

    • You are going to make one hell of a parent. Class act.

  3. I just want to say this is a really awesome post the rest of us can appreciate.

  4. I feel the same way that BLT does. I didn’t realize that I was clicking away from flyer talk and I didn’t realize that I’d end up seeing such a basic post about nothing special. I hope that this will not become a regular thing.

    • PointChaser

      I’m sorry you feel duped – the blog headline on FT is clearly “Pointchaser” as opposed to “Flyertalk thread,” “The Tarmac,” etc. I did a series on Club Carlson redemptions that FT members linked back to in the forums, so it wasn’t a long shot to assume this would be the appropriate platform to promote this post. Thankfully we all have the freedom to choose what we want to read and ignore the rest.

      • Queenfisher

        There’s a big difference between a link in the forums and a link on the home page. This article does not belong on the home page.

        • PointChaser

          As Editor I make decisions about what goes on the home page. Not every post on the home page will appeal to every person who sees it. Thank you for your feedback.

  5. klawansky

    pick one from each continent
    add a picture
    copy and paste a list of amenities right off the site itself

    how is this a time intensive post to write?

    back to the forums where there’s real useful information to be found. you blogger should just sop trying.

  6. What do you expect from the writer of FTG? I know we’ve talk about IB controlling and ruining the content there, but maybe its not all IB… maybe she’s just a poor writer with few original ideas? This article is such a copy&paste job right off the SPG site like klawansky called her out on.

    • PointChaser

      Thanks for your loyal readership on both blogs. I’m flattered you’d spend so much of your time following my work and critiquing it.

  7. JustSaying

    You’re starting to sound alot like Ingy, little girl. It is not a route you want to go down.

    • PointChaser

      Go take your misogyny out on your wife, you neanderthal.

      • Anonymous

        She’s sure starting to sound angry like INgy.

        • PointChaser

          I’m not angry at these proxy servers. I welcome constructive feedback but so far all I’ve gotten is, “I hate this shit”, “why is this on the home page?” and a comment that is insulting to women in general. I’m merely responding to those eloquent thoughts. Not sure what part of that is angry?

        • Typical mentality of small, insecure men. When a woman responds to an attack they accuse her of being emotional, hysterical, angry. Relax, boys. It’s just a girl talking to you.

    • Unbelievable. This space has gotten out of control with the misogyny. Nothing but vile, hateful bullies going off on disproportionate rants.

  8. Cut the lady a break, guys. There’s no need to berate her over a blog post. Spend your time writing a better blog, if you can. Otherwise shut up. You make Flyertalk look bad.

  9. Isn’t internet included for any ‘preferred guest’, which you get just for registering?

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