Springtime in Paris conjures up warm sunny days of a romantic city as you walk through the Tuileries to enjoy an evening at the Louvre. It’s easy to love a city at its peak – sunny days, temperature just right and the locals enjoy the cafes and parks. It’s much harder for many to find the beauty in the same city. I’ve heard so many people say “it will rain”, “it’s cold, “its winter”. For me, winter in Europe means “less people in line”, “lower airfare and hotel prices” and “amazing hot chocolate” – the weather might be the same as home (you might even see snow) but you get to change the background and enjoy the city that I have a long standing relationship with.
Visiting Paris in Winter
As many attractions in Paris are museums such as the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay or the Paris Opera, a winter day is perfect to visit inside attractions. The boats on the Seine still pass by Notre Dame (not as frequently as summer), the Eiffel Tower will still have lines and city is still alive with visitors year round. You can easily use the metro or book an Uber if you are too cold to walk and eat inside the cafe. You can even go for Valentine’s Day like I did, just don’t abandon your friend or partner! This is where the free night in Paris comes in with the Starwood Luxury Privileges promotion which is good through April 30, 2017 stays (blackouts February 28, March 1-8).
Starwood Luxury Privileges is a program accessible only by travel agents (you can’t find this online) who are able to reward their clients with bonuses at select Starwood properties around the world. There are standard benefits provided (free breakfast, upgrade room, free in room Wi-Fi and property specific vouchers) all year long. And then there is the promotion on top of the standard benefits.
Paris Starwood Luxury Privileges Promotion
For Paris, the current promotion through December is pay for two nights, you get the third night free. Even better? You can stack this promotion and pay for four nights and get two nights free. Of course nothing is free, there is a catch, and actually there are two catches:
- You need to stay in a five star luxury Starwood property – ouch! That’s cruel and unusual punishment just for a free night
- You need to book through a Starwood Luxury Privilege travel advisor like me (shameless self-promotion)
Starwood Paris Hotels
- The Westin Paris Vendome in the 1st arrondissement, a short walk to the Louvre, Tuileries and the Seine
- W Opera located across from Paris Opera in a historic Haussmann era building and a short walk to Galleries Lafayette.
- Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel on Avenue George V near the Champs Elysees
Starwood Luxury Privileges Hotel Perks
In addition to the free night offered for a two night (or four night) paid stay at the SPG Luxury Privileges rate, the Paris promotion provides:
- An upgraded room (if available) at the time of booking
- A $100 voucher (will convert to Euro if you settle the bill in Euro) to use in the hotel on Food & Beverage
- Breakfast buffet for two each day of the stay
- Free in room Wi-Fi
- Early Check In/Late Check Out request (confirmed if available for your dates)
The Free Night in Paris Rate(s)
The nightly rate for the Paris promo is higher than you will find on the internet, however, the overall cost is lower once the free nights are factored in. The added hotel benefits are just special perks in comparison.
For a January stay, I booked a client (rates do vary)
- SPG Luxury Privileges Promotion Rate: Standard King Room (upgraded to Deluxe) for €331 a night
- Online Lowest (Non-Refundable) Rate: Standard King Room €271 a night
Sure the promo rate is higher per night but you only pay for four nights and get the extra hotel perks for a total of €1,333.24 vs. the online non-refundable rate for six nights for €1,626 total without extra perks like breakfast, upgraded room, etc.
While many may still consider this too expensive, it’s a great opportunity to experience five star Parisian luxury centrally located to walk to so many class Paris attractions and enjoy the city when it’s in a moody winter phase. You can still stroll the Seine, walk through the Tuileries and enjoy the wine bars in winter, the major difference vs. other times of the year is that it will feel like you have the city to yourself – your own slice of Paris to remember (book a Flytographer photo shoot to capture the winter memories). The city of lights sparkles all year long so anytime you have a chance to visit Paris – just GO!
Interested in Promotions in other cities? Currently, there are special third, fourth and fifth night free promotions ongoing at select Starwood properties around the world. Contact me to see if the promotions are of value to you.
On a quick check there is the W New Orleans, the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, the US Grant in San Diego, the W Hong Kong, a few in Hawaii (Royal Hawaiian and St. Regis Princeville) and New York (The Chatwal, St. Regis and W New York).