In 2016, I had status as a Starwood Platinum Ambassador level (100 nights), a Hyatt Diamond, and a Hilton Diamond.  Status in the Hilton and Hyatt programs was by virtue of status matches.


I love Starwood hotels and Starwood points (Starpoints) and the Starwood frequent guest program (SPG).  Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood in 2016 was disturbing.  In 2017, what will happen to my Lifetime SPG status, my SPG credit cards, and SPG benefits and transfer partners?

In 2016 as a Lifetime Platinum with Ambassador status (100+ nights n 2015), I had 75 nights and 37 stays at SPG properties including 10 nights from the SPG AMEX personal and business cards.  SPG 75 with the extra Starpoint and Your 24 benefit where I can check in at any hour and checkout at the same time (or later) is more valuable than having Ambassador, which is basically a glorified Platinum rep.

Some of the more memorable Starwood stays in 2016.

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Lobby at the Sheraton Bogota Hotel
Sheraton Jakarta Airport Hotel
Lounge Le Meridien Hotel Bangkok
Sheraton Maldives Resort
Club lounge Le Meridien Chiang Mai Thailand
Sheraton Hanoi Vietnam
Suite (above) club lounge (below) Plaza Athenee Bangkok, a Royal Meridien hotel
Four Points Sheraton LAX, a decent layover hotel

My best Starwood hotel stay was at the Palacio del Inka in Cusco, Peru.

Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel


I had never stayed much in Hyatt hotels.  In 2016, however, Hyatt matched my SPG Platinum status with Hyatt Diamond status, its top elite level.  I requalified for top tier, which will be called Globalist under the new World of Hyatt (World of Hurt) program in 2017 with 25 Hyatt stays in 2016.

I was able to stay at some very nice Hyatt properties in 2016.   The best was the Park Hyatt Hadahaa in the Maldives.

Pool Villa Park Hyatt Hadahaa


Using Diamond confirmed suite upgrades brought many other nice stays.

Suite at the Grand Hyatt Washington DC
Suite at the Grand Hyatt Beijing China
Grand Hyatt Beijing indoor pool with palm trees
Lam Son Suite, Park Hyatt Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
Performance area next to the Erawan Shrine


I had only three or four stays in Hilton properties in 2016.  In 2017 I’ll have Gold status by having a Hilton credit card.  Gold is the sweet spot with Hilton as it comes with free breakfast and upgrades to the best room except suites.

Non Chain Stays

Some of the most interesting and fun stays in 2016 were in hotels not affiliated with a large chain.

Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst North Carolina – a fantastic golf resort
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Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel & Spa Kathmandu, Nepal – inexpensive and adventurous

It was a very pleasant stay at La Yegua Loca in Punta Arenas, Chile.

My stable-themed bedroom
Excellent restaurant
Spectacular view of Punta Arenas and the Estrecho de Magallanes from my room at La Yegua Loca

By securing SPG Platinum75 with Starwood and Diamond (soon to be “Globalist,” yuck) with Hyatt, I reached my goals for hotel stays in 2016.  The goals for 2017 will be covered in a subsequent post.