16 ways to unlock incredible value at Category 7 Marriott properties with your 50k reward night
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information to reflect hotel category changes.
There are two primary ways to book “free” stays at Marriott properties worldwide. You can use points, of course, which can be earned in a variety of ways, including staying at Marriott properties and spending on the various Marriott cobranded credit cards.
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But, Marriott also issues reward night certificates — in 35,000- and 50,000-point denominations — each year you renew select cobranded cards. The more valuable 50,000-point certificate comes as a perk of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. Every time you renew, you get another certificate to use at hotels priced up to 50,000 Marriott points per night. (Note that The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card also offers the same 50,000-point certificate, but that card is no longer available to new applicants.)
Right now, however, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is offering an elevated welcome bonus that awards five of these certificates worth up to 50,000 points each with $5,000 in spending within the first three months of a new account opening. This means you could book a five-night stay at a Marriott property that costs up to 50,000 points per night for close to free, just for signing up for this card.
Elevated bonus: Earn five 50,000-point Marriott award certificates with $5,000 in spending after opening a new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card
Naturally, we want you to maximize this lucrative sign-up bonus, which could be worth up to 250,000 Bonvoy points if you use it wisely. We’ve already told you about 15 of our favorite Category 6 properties at which to use these certificates as well as where to use them if you’re traveling with your family, but there’s yet another great way to use them — at Category 7 properties on off-peak dates.
The caveat here is you have to be able to find off-peak availability, but if you’re flexible and determined in your travel planning, you can get a tremendous amount of value for your reward night certificates.
How to use the 50k Marriott certificates
You can use these 50,000-point Marriott certificates at any Category 1–6 Marriott hotel with standard award availability on standard and off-peak dates. With the introduction of peak and off-peak pricing, the certificates have gotten a little more complicated to use. Interestingly, off-peak Category 7 rates intersect with standard Category 6 rates, meaning off-peak dates at a Category 7 property are indeed eligible for use of the 50k reward night.
Once you receive your certificate, the booking process is simple. Log in to your Marriott Bonvoy account and search for an award stay of any length. If you find a property with award inventory for 50,000 points per night, the booking platform should prompt you to use the certificate instead of points. Remember: You only have a year to use these certificates, so don’t sit on them for too long.
Now, let’s talk about the best places to use these incredible reward night certificates.
Wailea Beach Resort, Maui
As its name would suggest, Marriott’s Wailea Beach Resort is set on 22 acres of land in the Wailea area of Maui, known to be one of the sunniest parts of the island. Perfectly situated just steps from the ocean, this resort boasts five pools — and even a waterslide for the kids — which guarantee that everyone has a great time. We’re big fans of sipping a mai tai beside the oceanfront infinity pool, for the record. There are also two beaches that offer swimming, snorkeling and other water activities. Elsewhere, there are a whopping seven food-and-beverage outlets and plenty of outdoor spaces to kick back, relax and enjoy the perfect Maui weather.
The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
Set within 78 acres on the so-called “American Riviera,” The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara is a posh coastal escape. Wake up in a comfortably appointed room — many with fireplaces — with a view of the Pacific coast. During the day, relax at one of the three infinity pools or get a treatment at the 42,000-square-foot spa. Pick from six venues for eating and drinking, including a tasting room featuring wines from the world’s top wineries.
A still-new spot in the tony ski town of Aspen, Colorado, the W Aspen gives its guests a hip and vibrant spot to hang out and lie their heads after a long day at the slopes. At the base of Aspen Mountain, the hotel offers four outposts for eating and drinking — the highlight of which is the signature Wet Deck, which offers panoramic views of the mountains and serves up aprés-ski beverages. Back inside the hotel, guest rooms feature ski decor with a very-W twist — including queen-size bunk beds in some of them.
The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale
Across the street from Fort Lauderdale beach (don’t worry, the views are not at all obstructed), this Ritz-Carlton property evokes a classic ocean liner, with a curvy, art deco-inspired facade and plenty of ocean blue glass. Relax with a cocktail on the elevated pool deck with views of the ocean in front of you, and then unwind with a massage at the spa. After a day of lounging in the sun, retire to your newly renovated guest room, which offers views of the Intracoastal Waterway or the ocean. The decor continues to nod to the cruise-ship vibe and draws from the ocean that lies in the resort’s front yard.
The New York Edition
Set in an iconic clocktower adjacent to New York’s Madison Square Park, the Edition brings a fresh face to New York’s downtown hotel scene. Outfitted with all the signature trimmings of an Edition property — minimalist decor, a faux-fur throw and crisp white linens, to name a few — this property is an uber-cool place to lay your head at night. And during the day, grab a drink at one of the three on-site bars and restaurants. And with rooms often going for over $500 per night, you’ll get tremendous value for your certificate if you can find off-peak availability.
The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko
A new resort within Nikko National Park, The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko features stunning views of the lake or surrounding mountains. Of course, this hotel has Japanese minimalism in abundance and features a traditional onsen (hot spring). The 94 rooms have engawas (porches), and guests can enjoy several restaurants featuring Japanese and international cuisine, a spa featuring holistic treatments and a lakeside terrace.
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort
An overwater villa for 50,000 points per night? It’s a reality at the still-new Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort in the Baa Atoll in one of the most far-flung — and expensive — destinations on earth. Technically the base rooms are beach villas at this property, but on many nights the hotel offers an overwater villa for just a small amount more (on some nights this costs as little as $40). Once you make it to your island paradise, indulge in the utmost relaxation, with calm and clear turquoise waters just outside your door, a full spa and fitness center, and private plunge pools at most guest rooms. Trust us, you won’t want to leave once you step foot on the property.
The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui
In one of Thailand’s most famous locales, you’ll find The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui cascading down a gentle cliff to a private beach with unbeatable views of the Gulf of Thailand. Enjoy the best of world-famous Thai hospitality, with 11 restaurants and bars on offer, a soothing spa with eight treatment rooms, three massage pavilions, a yoga space, a lap pool flanked by private cabanas and a dedicated relaxation area. This hotel sports the country’s only ocean swimming pool and even has a swim reef contained within the resort.
The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler
The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler occupies a prime spot in the heart of Canada’s premier ski destination. Winter, spring, summer or fall you’ll find plenty to do in the area. You can’t miss a visit to the Olympic Village while you’re in town. While on the property, choose from any of three dining outlets, take a trip to the spa work up a sweat at the fitness center or take a dip in either the indoor or outdoor pool. If it’s chilly outside, don’t skip an evening soak in the hot tub.
The Bodrum Edition
Sporting one of the most extravagant hotel breakfasts we’ve ever experienced, the Bodrum Edition is a sophisticated retreat in one of the world’s most underrated destinations. Set in a cove amid Turkey’s dramatic Aegean Coast, you’ll feel special once you arrive on property. Take in the sights and scents of the property’s gorgeous flora and spend a lazy afternoon sipping cocktails by the beach or the chic infinity pool. Even though this hotel has moved up a category in Marriott’s award chart, it’s still a fantastic deal — even if you can’t find off-peak availability.
JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa
On a private island called Isola della Rose, the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of Venice. But, you’re just a 20-minute complimentary boat ride away from St. Mark’s Square when you feel like venturing into town. Grab an aperitivo and some authentic Italian dishes at the rooftop bar and restaurant and take in the views of the stunning floating city in front of you, or go for a swim in the adults-only rooftop infinity pool. With a property this stunning, you may never want to leave.
W Paris Opéra
Paris is a notoriously expensive hotel city, so you’ll really get a lot of bang for your buck if you can use a reward night certificate at the first W hotel in France. You’ll be just a short walk away from some of the city’s most notable attractions, such as the Paris Opéra House, the Louvre Museum and the Galeries Lafayette. And at the end of the day, you’ll have a tres chic home base to retire to — but not before sipping a craft cocktail or a glass of Bordeaux from the oh-so-stylish W Lounge.
Spain’s capital of partying — the island of Ibiza — seems like a natural fit for the W brand, and we can’t wait to finally check out this new property. You don’t just have to party, though. The W Ibiza is in the town of Santa Eulalia del Rio, which is also known for art galleries, charming boutiques and an incredible dining scene. Don’t worry, though. Once the sun goes down, you won’t be far from the hottest nightclubs on the island. And after a late night on the town, you’ll have a bright and serene guest room to sleep the next day away — until it’s time to do it all over again.
Solaz, A Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos
Solaz, A Luxury Collection Resort is a positively massive oceanfront property in one of Mexico’s most beautiful beach destinations. Rooms here are modern and luxurious, and many have outdoor showers and private plunge pools — all with stunning views of the Sea of Cortez. Sip on a fresh margarita beside any of the resorts four outdoor pools — two of them with infinity edges.
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island is one of the most prestigious addresses in the United Arab Emirates. Set directly in front of the glistening Arabian Gulf, this property blends luxurious accommodations with top-notch service and amenities. Relax by the beach or one of the three outdoor pools and then play a round of golf at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. You’ll feel miles away from it all — when in reality you’re just a five-minute drive from the glamour of downtown Abu Dhabi.
The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert
Just north of frenetic Dubai, The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert resort is a glamourous desert escape. Set in a 1,200+ acre protected natural reserve, the resort features luxurious Bedouin-inspired villas with private outdoor pools and endless views of the desert. While you’re there, partake in the best activities the desert has to offer, such as a camel trek, stargazing or even an archery lesson.
Featured photo courtesy of Marriott
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