One app I cannot travel without is the SPG app for my iOS devices. If you’re also an SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) member, I highly recommend it. In case you’re not, SPG is the rewards program for people who stay at any of the 9 Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. It’s made up of The Westin, Sheraton, St. Regis, W Hotels, Aloft, Element by Westin, The Luxury Collection, and Four Points by Sheraton.
If you are travelling to any of those hotels, the SPG app can be handy. In whatever way you have made your hotel booking, so long as it’s linked to your SPG number, the reservation will automatically show up in the app the minute the booking is confirmed. When it’s your first time travelling to the hotel in a country you’re not familiar with, all you need to do is open the app, find your upcoming stay on the home page or under ‘Stays’, find the hotel name, click on it and it will open in Maps. From the Maps app you can get directions from wherever you are, provided you have Internet connection.
That’s just one of the great things about the app. Another hotel rewards program I use has an app that is nowhere near as handy: it won’t store your booking information automatically if you’ve not booked it from your device; it won’t help you with directions to getting to your hotel; and it also won’t show you your membership details—another thing I love about the SPG app.
The SPG app will show your membership details including current points and level of membership. If you are a non-Platinum member, it will say how many more stays or nights left you require within the year to reach the next level of membership. All past stays and the number of points you have received for each stay are also stored in detail. From the date you check-out of a Starwood property, your starpoints balance should get updated in the app within one working day.
Another reason I love the SPG app is that I can see information on the kind of room I get, days before I check-in. As a Platinum member, I’m entittled to room upgrades and even standard suite upgrades when available. At the very mininum, I get upgraded to a club floor room and so I save money by choosing pretty much the most standard room because I know I will get an upgrade. With the app, I am normally able to know the sort of upgrade I will receive days in advance of my stay.
Of course, the most basic function of the app is making hotel bookings without needing to go on your browser. Here, you also have the option of booking free nights instead of paid nights after you have searched and selected your hotel (just tap ‘Book using starpoints’).
On top of all this, the SPG app supports the Passbook app for iPhone.