Hate having to watch the clock until your hotel check-in time? If you’re among the super-elite international business clientele targeted by Starwood Hotels (NYSE:HOT), sitting around will be a thing of the past.
Starwood recently announced a line of high-end perks for varying tiers of its Starwood Preferred Guests, most notably international business travelers, who, according to USA TODAY, make up 30% of the company’s profits. Among those perks are the “Your 24” program, which allows guests to check in and out at any time; the “ambassador” service, a one-on-one service Starwood touts as better than traditional concierge; and eligibility for SPG Lifetime Status.
In a press release, Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen touts the “Your 24” program, saying, “Your24 reflects very clearly that the preferences of our guests drive how we do business, and that’s another reason why Starwood and SPG have earned such intense loyalty with global travelers.”
Among the new benefits, according to annual visits:
- 10 Stays or 25 Nights: Awarded Gold status, and will receive their choice of bonus Starpoints, free in-room Internet access or a free beverage upon arrival on each stay.
- 25 Stays or 50 Nights: Awarded Platinum status, and free continental breakfast becomes one of the check-in gift options.
- 50 Nights: Awarded 10 Suite Night Rewards that can be used to upgrade rooms.
- 75 Nights: Awarded four Starpoints for every U.S. dollar spent, and also get access to the “Your24” program.
- 100 Nights: Awarded access to the personal ambassador.
Starwood Hotels’ properties include the Westin, Sheraton and St. Regis hotels.
HOT shares were down about 2.5% midday Thursday after reporting a 51% decline in fourth-quarter earnings. However, most of the fall came on one-time charges — excluding charges, earnings were up to 71 cents per share from 52 cents in the year-ago period. Starwood also projected current-quarter earnings in a range of 49-53 cents per share, with analysts predicting 36 cents.
– Kyle Woodley, InvestorPlace.com Assistant Editor