Sunday, September 25, 2011

Suite Dreams At The Princess Kaiulani

This time at the Princess Kaiulani we're on the 28th floor in the Kamani Suite.

It's another large and lovely suite. These corner suites have obviously been renovated since we stayed here last year with Australian friends Bill and Sue. The views are terrific.

Best of all, it has a soaker tub and Kathy is able to put her feet up and really relax.

As Jackie Gleason used to say, just before "And Away We Go," How Sweet It is.


  1. Clearly you've been enjoying the suite upgrade benefit of platinum status in Starwood. So what about next year? Is it going to be HH diamond or Starwood platinum? Or both? I know I can only maintain top elite status in 1 lodging program. It's been HH diamond for me for a while, but all the good things I've heard about Starwood (and the dilution of HH diamond force) make me wonder whether it might be the time to seek a match to Starwood and switch my loyalty. What do you see as the main benefits and negatives of each program?

  2. Between our travels and some careful juggling we hope to requalify with both for 2012. After that it will be back to Hilton for us. The simple reason is that there are far more Hilton properties around SEA and other places for us, and more of the reasonably-priced properties such as Hampton Inns and Hilton Garden Inns. It's those stays before and after flights, including Park and Fly options, that have enabled us to maintain our HH Diamond status. The free breakfast is a Hilton benefit that Starwood doesn't match, except for properties with a lounge. Another significant difference is that HH award stays (points or promotions) count as stays, while Starwood award stays do not.

    We still don't know the Starwood program inside and out but they do offer good promotions. For example, our stay at the Royal Hawaiian was free (other than that darned resort fee), similar to Hilton specials. We could have stayed at any of their resorts worldwide for two nights, just like last year's HH Q3 (?) promotion. Again, it won't count as a stay, but it was most enjoyable.

    A few months ago at Whistler, we stayed in the Westin and in the Hilton next door. Our room in the Westin was superior, but the Hilton wasn't bad either. We've also enjoyed wonderful Starwood upgrades in Iguazu Falls, SYD, and ICN, but of course at some point a room is a room and how much room do we really need? It was the possibility of scoring an upgrade at Iguazu Falls that led us to the status match, and that really paid off for us. Starwood is so enticing that we're stretching for one more year to renew it.

    We've also gotten some good deals, notably at Oz Fest, through Intercontinental, after successfully completing the "Crack The Case" promotion. Friendly Skies (Daniel), whom we met in person this visit, is a Hyatt fan, as is UpUp&Away, who just crossed two million UA miles. The HNL Hyatt Lounge is far superior to most domestic Hilton lounges, let alone those in the HNL properties.

    It depends more on travel habits and there are certainly a lot of enthusiastic Starwood fans.

    Although we'll probably revert to Hilton for those reasons, it could be worth your taking a serious look at the Starwood program. It might be a good fit for you.