Starwood hotels are offering compensation for those a little more tolerable of their own pigsty.
First launched in 2013, Starwood Hotels and Resorts now offers hotel guests a unique option for cashing in on their stay through the Make a Green Choice program. It allows guests to opt-out of housekeeping services in exchange for either 250 or 500 Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints or a $5 food and beverage voucher (some hotels may not have the latter option).
If the hotel participates, guests are given a Make a Green Choice door hanger, which needs to be hung by 2 a.m. the night before to qualify. You can also call the front desk and tell them you wish to opt-out of housekeeping. The hotel then tracks how many nights you declined housekeeping and add up your rewards when you check out. But racking up those points might not be as simple as reusing the same towels for a few days in a row.
The deal can be offered at any Starwood hotel brands, which includes Four Point, Sheraton, Aloft, W Hotels, Le Meridien, The Luxury Collection, Westin, Element and the St. Regis. However, it’s up to individual hotels to participate. So, for example, the program might apply at a Westin hotel in California but might not apply in Florida. Unfortunately, there is no online list of which hotels do and do not participate (these FlyerTalk commenters share my grief with this).
The best (and possibly only) way to know whether or not the hotel you are staying at participates in the Make a Green Choice program is by calling the hotel itself. There is one exception, though. According to a Starwood Reservation and Accounts Supervisor I talked to, every Element hotel should honor the program. I suppose this makes sense, considering Element boasts being the most environmentally friendly of all the Starwood brands.
The brands also differ on the number of Starpoints. Specifically, participating Sheraton, Westin, Luxury Collection, Le Méridien, St. Regis and W hotels offer 500 Starwood points to guests who opt-in for the program but Aloft, Element and Four Points by Sheraton hotels will only offer 250 points. The $5 voucher value appears to remain consistent across all hotels.
The points or voucher dollars that you receive will accrue for each night that you refuse housekeeping but the offer won’t count the day of your departure towards the benefits — only full night stays are considered. The first night also doesn’t count, meaning if you stay for four nights at a hotel (at 500 points a night), you could potentially receive 1500 Starpoints if you refuse housekeeping for every night you’re there. If you’re only staying for one night though, you’re SOL.
The hotel can also cap how many nights you use the program and this varies by hotel. For instance, Starwood also caps the reward benefits at a maximum of three rooms booked per guest, granted you are staying in at least one of them.
The company does not mention whether or not they will split the rewards — for example if you stay for five nights at a Sheraton and want your 1000 Starpoints and $10 in food vouchers. A Starwood representative told me there are currently no rules on this (she also told me that she had never heard of anyone asking for it before) but that she didn’t see why it couldn’t be possible. She advised to make the request upon checkout to see what strings the concierge can pull.
But you can still receive extra toiletries and towels upon request with no penalty. Starwood mentions this on their page:
If you opt-in to the Make a Green Choice program, you are declining all housekeeping services for the day. This includes all room cleaning and coffee & bathroom amenities will not be automatically replenished but you can contact housekeeping for additional items as necessary.
Whether or not Starwood is saving the planet with Make a Green Choice or just reeling me with a fancy PR gimmick, making my bed in the morning for a few bucks off a meal sounds worth it to me.
Plus, mom would be proud.