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Smart Traveler: Stash Hotel Rewards

Opus Hotel, Vancouver.

By Everett Potter

While there’s nothing wrong with existing hotel frequent stay programs that reward you for your loyalty, you might not exactly be pining to stay in a Hilton, Marriott or Hyatt on your next vacation in Colorado, Los Angeles or Florida.

That’s where Stash Hotel Rewards comes in. Founded by ex Expedia guy Jeff Low, along with e-commerce cohorts froms Zillow, Amazon and Microsoft, Stash has compiled a network of independent hotels that give out points that can be redeemed for future stays.

Unveiled in May, they now have 80 plus hotels, including Hotel Fifty in Portland, Oregon; Little Palm Island Resort on Little Torch Key, Fla.;  and Sunset Marquis hotel in West Hollywood.  Their newest members are the Opus Hotel in Vancouver and Mountain Lodge at Telluride, CO.

The properties encompass resorts, spas and city hotels, each one with a rating of three stars or higher, based on Stash’s review of a property’s location, service, and amenities. At this point, Stash points can be earned in more than 60 cities. The company anticipates another 100 member properties by the end of 2010. It’s clearly an idea that frequent travelers who want to escape the cookie cutter hotels are sure to embrace.

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