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One complaint you won’t hear from award travel enthusiasts is that there aren’t enough places we want to go. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Nick Ewen stretches that list even further as he shares his favorite Marriott properties for award redemptions.
To borrow from a well-known phrase, value is in the eye of the beholder. This is especially true when it comes to redeeming your points and miles for flights and hotel stays. The awards you covet might be of little interest to someone else, and vice versa. Still, some properties tend to offer strong redemption options, so I wanted to follow up on my earlier posts about top Hyatt, Hilton, and Starwood redemptions, and today take you through my list of Marriott properties that are worth every point.
In compiling this list, I utilized a number of factors to determine which Marriott properties offer the “best ” value:
- Typical revenue rates
- Uniqueness (amenities, location, etc.)
Remember that Marriott Rewards automatically gives you the fifth night free on all award stays, and you should also keep your eyes peeled for PointSavers awards, which can save you up to 33% when available. You can also make award reservations even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire stay, giving you some great flexibility when it comes to redeeming your points.
In addition, you can extend the value of your award stays even further simply by holding the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, which offers automatic Silver status by giving you 15 elite credits every year (check out my post on the value of Marriott Elite Status for more info). This gives you bonus points, late checkout, and some on-property discounts. In addition, Marriott Rewards led the free Wi-Fi trend that started last year, giving all guests complimentary internet for stays booked through official channels (which by definition includes award stays).
Of course, you likely have a different way of defining what makes a redemption valuable, so feel free to include your favorite Marriott properties in the comments below! These are my picks:
As one of the only luxury hotels right on the the most famous boulevard in the city, this Parisian Marriott gives you an ideal location for exploring the sights. Choose from a variety of elegant rooms and suites, all of which are equipped with marble bathrooms, robes, and 24-hour room service. Most rooms offer a view of the Champs-Élysées. The property dining options (like Le Restaurant and it’s adjoining terrace) allow you to stay casual, but more formal options are just a short walk away, as are numerous stores and boutiques to satisfy all types of shoppers.
This is a Category 9 property, requiring 40,000 – 45,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at $529 per night, giving you a value of 1.18 cents per point.
If your travel plans include Hawaii, be sure to consider this luxurious property on the island of Maui. Located between two pristine, white sand beaches, the resort offers standard rooms that start at 437 square feet and include marble bathrooms, Marriott Revive bedding, and deep soaking tubs. Lounge in a private cabana next to the infinity pool, or relax with a treatment at the on-site Mandara Spa. Dining options include a nightly luau dinner show as well as local cuisine at Mala Wailea. For the golfing enthusiast, Wailea Golf Club and its world class courses are just a short drive away.
This is a Category 8 property, requiring 35,000 – 40,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at $339 per night, giving you a value of 0.83 cents per point.
Another fantastic tropical hotel for redeeming your Marriott Rewards points is the Scrub Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands. Part of the chain’s Autograph Collection, this property is located on a private island just one mile off shore from Tortola Airport (EIS), with complimentary boat transportation from the Trellis Bay ferry dock. All guest rooms include a separate shower and tub, refrigerators, and a balcony or terrace, complete with breathtaking views of the ocean and/or island. The multi-tiered infinity pool includes a swim up bar, though you can also unwind on one of three private beaches. With both casual and fine dining options, the hillside Ixora Spa by L’OCCITANE, onsite dive shop, and complimentary ferry transportation to neighboring island, you’ll always find something to do.
This is a Category 9 property, requiring 40,000 – 45,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at $469 per night, giving you a value of 1.04 cents per point.
For a completely different experience, consider a trip to Michigan and The Dearborn Inn. Spanning 26 acres just outside Detroit, this property was built on the grounds of Ford Motor Company in 1931, and retains much of its historic feel (though with updated amenities and services). The 229 guest rooms and suites are spread across eight buildings and all include luxurious bedding and HDTVs. With an onsite fitness center, outdoor pool, and several nearby golf courses, you can stay busy even while on vacation, while Edison’s and Ten Eyck Tavern ensure you’ll stay full throughout your stay.
This is a Category 6 property, requiring 25,000 – 30,000 points for a free night. Rates in May start at $159 per night, giving you a value of 0.64 cents per point.
If you’re after real value, the Renaissance Shanghai Putuo provides a great spot to redeem your points. Standard (deluxe) rooms at this boutique hotel start at 377 square feet and feature sitting areas and sweeping skyline views. Four onsite restaurants serve a variety of cuisine, while the sparkling indoor swimming pool and the property’s Mandara Spa ensure plenty of relaxation opportunities. Shopping, museums, and excited nightlife venues are all located nearby as well.
This is a Category 2 property, requiring just 7,500 – 10,000 points for a free night. Rates in May start at $132 per night, giving you a value of 1.32 cents per point.
At the opposite end of the “value” spectrum is the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong. Occupying the top 16 floors of the International Commerce Center in West Kowloon, the hotel boasts incredible views of Victoria Harbour and neighboring Hong Kong Island. The 312 guest rooms start at a whopping 540 square feet, with oversized windows, plush carpets, marble bathrooms, and Nespresso coffee makers. Onsite dining options cover a variety of cuisine and include two Michelin starred restaurants, Tin Lung Heen and Tosca. Be sure to visit the 118th floor to check out the swimming pool and OZONE, the highest bar in the world. You could also try to score an upgrade to the club level, as the property’s Club Lounge made my list of the top international hotel lounges last year.
This is a Tier 5 property, requiring 60,000 – 70,000 points for a free night. Rates in May start at $542 per night, giving you a value of 0.77 cents per point.
Located just outside of Mobile, Alabama, the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa may not be high on your list of dream destinations, but it’s a fantastic (and off-the-beaten path) way to redeem your Marriott Rewards points. Hit the links at two courses that are part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, or indulge in a treatment at the 20,000 square foot spa. Ten tennis courts, the onsite marina, white sand beaches, and a large pool complex ensure a nice balance of activity and relaxation, while seven restaurants and bars give you plenty of options for meals, snacks, and drinks.
This is a Category 7 property, requiring 30,000 – 35,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at $249 per night, giving you a value of 0.71 cents per point.
If a trip to Italy is in your cards, consider an award stay at the J.W. Marriott in Venice. As the newest hotel on this list (having just opened last month), it’s located on Isola delle Rose, a private island just 20 minutes from St. Mark’s Square (complimentary boat service across the lagoon is included). The 250 contemporary rooms span five different buildings, and all offer views over the lagoon, the city, or the century-old park on the island. You can dine at four restaurants, grab a drink at one of four bars, or schedule a class at the onsite Sapori Cooking Academy. The hotel also boasts the city’s largest spa, a church, and a rooftop lounge area and pool that give you panoramic vistas as far as the eye can see.
This is a Category 8 property, requiring 35,000 – 40,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at $377 per night, giving you a value of 0.94 cents per point.
If you’re planning a trip to the Middle East, consider a stop in Qatar to redeem your points at the Marriott Marquis in Doha. With a terrific location in the diplomatic area of the capital (right next to the city’s largest mall), the property boasts standard rooms starting at 409 square feet with luxurious amenities such as floor-to-ceiling windows, robes, slippers, and marble bathrooms complete with rainfall showers. Dining options include Italian fare and a New York-style steakhouse, while the indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, and onsite spa give you plenty of options to relax.
This is a Category 3 property, requiring 10,000 – 15,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at $196 per night, giving you a value of 1.96 cents per point.
Between the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, and transfers from Ultimate Rewards, there are plenty of ways to earn Marriott Rewards points, and this post features just a few of the great ways to redeem them. Remember too that you can redeem points for a seven-night stay at any of these properties AND airline miles through the program’s Hotel + Air Packages. You may even wind up with a Southwest Companion Pass in the process!
What are your favorite hotels for Marriott award redemptions?
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees