Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oct 2012 - Hurricane Sandy & SPG

Hotel Stay Details 
Hotel: Sheraton New York 
Dates: October 31 - November 3, 2012 
Rate Paid: 12,000 SPG points / night 
Regular Rate: $400 / night (incl. taxes) 
Total $ Savings: $800 
Point Redemption Value: 3.3 cents/pt 

Around Halloween 2012, there was a Hurricane Sandy that tore apart much of the NJ coast as well as indirectly causing a blackout of lower Manhattan.

The blackout cut-off almost all power below 26th street.  Unfortunately, our apartment was on the wrong side of 26th and we spent a few nights in the dark while looking at all the happy people with electricity a few blocks up.

The first night (Monday 29th) was kind of fun as my parents lit candles and we all went to bed early.  However, spending all day the next day (Tues 30th) trapped on the 23rd floor with limited food and water was getting old quick.

Luckily, my father had enough power on his cell phone to check the news on Tuesday night and found out that the blackout would be for another few days! He immediately used his Starwood Preferred Guest app on his phone to book a room with SPG points at the Sheraton New York Hotel on 53rd Street for Wed the 31st.

It cost him 12,000 points, but given the dire situation (including a young baby), they made the call and didn't look back.  The going cash rate for the hotel was $400/night (implying a 3.3 cents/pt redemption value) and by the time everyone woke up Wednesday morning to check the latest news, everyone had already booked any hotel they could find.

Hotels that coming weekend were already pretty busy given the NYC Marathon (scheduled for Sunday) had thousands of people visiting the city to run/spectate.  In fact, my father heard that many guests with reservations for that weekend were being turned away as Manhattanites became hotel room squatters refusing to check out if they had secured a hotel room.

Nevertheless, we secured our room (for $0 cash out of pocket) and we were able to recharge (cell phones as well as our spirits).  Another reason to stock up on airline & hotel points.  You never know when they'll come in handy in an emergency.

No comments:

Post a Comment