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Just a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have a wonderful five-day getaway to Tuscany, including three nights in beautiful Florence. While planning, I figured that the home to Michelangelo’s David, Brunelleschi’s Duomo, and the Ponte Vecchio was sure to have a few wonderful lodging options. I knew that the potential use of Starwood Preferred Guest Points would be ideal, and looked into category 6 Starwood hotels The Westin Excelsior and The St. Regis.
Both upscale hotels are on the Arno River and actually sit across from each other on the same square, which is within easy walking distance to all of the city’s attractions. Both are dripping with elegance. My decision came down to price. The nightly rate for a standard room at the Westin was about $600 per night, where the St. Regis was almost double at $1,150 a night. Of course, I was going to use my SPG points. The Westin was 20,000 points per night, so 60,000 for the three-night stay. The St. Regis was 40,000, or 120,000 for the three-night stay. The choice was a no-brainer.
We arrived at the beautiful Westin, which has an arched entryway and original 14th century woodwork. Upon checking in to the hotel, we were told that the building was originally a 14th century monastery. Our room was ready, and although they were unable to offer us an automatic upgrade due to capacity, we were given free breakfast and wifi plus complimentary drink vouchers for the rooftop lounge.
The lounge, with its breathtaking views of the Arno, butter-colored Florentine buildings and rolling Tuscan hills, was a standout of the stay. The lounge is open to not just hotel guests, but both locals and visitors who flock there to enjoy the views for 20 euros per person, which includes a drink and a buffet of delicious cured Tuscan meats and cheeses. With our SPG status and drink vouchers, we were able to imbibe free of charge, which made it even better.
Our third floor standard room was luxuriously comfortable, quiet, and very inviting. The concierge was quick to secure a few reservations for dinners at what would be some of the best food of our trip, and the rest of the staff was most helpful.
Our breakfast was just what you would expect from an upscale property in Florence. Amazing espresso and baskets full of biscotti, warm rolls, and native Tuscan bread with spreads and cheese gave us a great start for each of our days in Florence.
The city was enough to make wonderful romantic memories, but our luxurious, stay at the Westin Excelsior, which was free with SPG points, put the trip over the top.
Do you have an SPG experience that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
- Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- Redeem Starpoints® for free nights at over 1,300 hotels & resorts in over 100 countries.
- Redeem Starpoints® for free flights on over 150 airlines with SPG Flights – all with no blackout dates. Some hotels and resorts have mandatory service charges.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
- Free, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Terms and conditions apply.
15.49% – 19.49% variable
$0 first year; then $95