Planning a summer staycation? Book these Marriott Category 8 properties by June 30

Jun 24, 2020

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Editor’s note: As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.


It’s been months since the coronavirus pandemic began and nearly a third of Americans are ready to travel again, according to a TPG nationwide survey. While it might be a while until most of us are comfortable getting on a plane, you can still get a nice change of scenery by taking a staycation or “nearcation” — somewhere you can drive to from where you live. But you’ll probably want to start planning soon.

On Monday June 15, Marriott announced that it will only charge off-peak pricing in some markets for award bookings made through June 30 for stays completed by July 31, 2020. In other words, many properties will be charging their lowest redemption rates during what might normally be their busiest periods, including the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

While hotels of all categories are being discounted, you’ll likely get the most value from this promotion by booking Marriott’s top-tier, Category 8 hotels. Think St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton properties where nightly rates may sometimes exceed $1,000 and off-peak pricing may only come during less-desirable travel times.

These hotels typically require 70,000, 85,000 or 100,000 points per night on off-peak, standard and peak dates, respectively. That equates to about $560 to $800 based on TPG valuations, so you’d be saving up to $240 per night. Now, given the drop in demand, the cash rates are also lower than usual, but there are a number of reasons why it might be wise to redeem your points and miles before spending cash on travel this year. Plus, Marriott will always give you one of your nights for free when booking stays of five nights (or more) with points.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the top eight Marriott Category 8 properties in the U.S. that will be open this summer and offer the discounted rates.

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In This Post

Phoenician Residences, a Luxury Collection Residence Club, Scottsdale

(Photo courtesy of Phoenician Residences)
70,000 points can book you a 2-bedroom residence at Phoenician Residences. (Photo courtesy of Phoenician Residences)

The Phoenician Residences, located within the Phoenician Resort, has extremely limited award availability but nevertheless might provide the most bang for your buck. Your 70,000 points could get you a 1,700-square-foot, two-bedroom residence here, complete with a separate living room, dining room and full kitchen. If you’re lucky, you might even get upgraded to a residence with a private plunge pool.

While some amenities may be limited due to the pandemic, guests of the residences typically have access to all of the main resort’s activities, including a three-level pool complex, a world-class spa, tennis courts, golf course and high-end restaurants.

For young kids, there’s the Kid Zone which features a splash pad and 197-foot twisting water slide. There are also many off-site activities like hiking nearby, as well as Old Town Scottsdale with lots of stores and restaurants — though be prepared for the desert heat.

(Photo courtesy of Phoenician Residences)
(Photo courtesy of Phoenician Residences)

Re-opening date: Now open

Resort fee: N/A

Availability: Just a handful of dates, with a mixture of 70,000 and 85,000 points

Related: State-by-state guide to coronavirus reopening

The St. Regis Aspen Resort

(Photo courtesy of St. Regis Aspen)
The St. Regis Aspen has stunning grounds and rooms. (Photo courtesy of St. Regis Aspen)

Aspen is a year-round, high-end destination, and the St. Regis is one of the city’s most luxurious hotels. The hotel offers a Remède Spa, a heated outdoor pool and Michelin-starred fine dining. Guests also get to enjoy the signature St. Regis butler service, which includes complimentary coffee and clothes pressing.

The property is located within walking distance of Aspen’s many luxury shopping and charming dining options. Summertime activities in the area include mountain biking, hiking, golfing, horse-back riding, whitewater rafting and fishing.

Re-opening date: Now open

Resort fee: N/A

Availability: Most days in June and July for 70,000 points per night

Related: Yes, you really can visit Aspen on a budget. Here’s how

The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)
The Ritz-Carlton South Beach recently underwent massive renovations. (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Although a beachfront hotel in South Beach is a vacation destination for many, it can be the perfect staycation retreat for those from the area. The Ritz-Carlton South Beach recently underwent a $90 million renovation project, and it shows. The hotel is located right on the beach, offers beautiful rooms and has great food and drink options. Aside from the pool and gym, the hotel has a spa and terrific club lounge.

It isn’t a sprawling megaresort but does charge a resort fee like most other hotels in the area (though it wasn’t added to TPG reviews editor Nick Ellis’ bill on his recent award stay there).

Re-opening date: June 28

Resort fee: $45

Availability: Most dates in July for 70,000 points per night

Related: A review of the newly reopened Ritz-Carlton, South Beach

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort

The St. Regis Bal Harbour is generous with its upgrades for elites. (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

If you’d like to visit the Miami Beach area but not stay in South Beach, The St. Regis Bal Harbour is a more peaceful alternative. It’s a beautiful property inside and out and offers excellent service, as well as extremely generous upgrades for elite members.

The hotel features two pools for hotel guests — one for families and one for adults — three restaurants, a stunning bar, wine vault and an on-site Remède spa. It’s located right on the beach where guests can enjoy complimentary chairs and umbrellas, and it’s across the street from the Bal Harbour Shops, an ultraluxe outdoor shopping center that houses stores like Alexander McQueen, Chanel, De Beers, Gucci and Rolex.

Re-opening date: July 1

Resort fee: $45

Availability: Every day in July for 70,000 points per night

Related: A Review of The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort

The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York City

The Chatwal was built in 1905 and is now designated as landmark. (Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Many Manhattanites have escaped the city entirely, but if that isn’t an option for you, The Chatwal will soon be ready to welcome you. It will be the first Category 8 hotel to reopen in the city, with most other ones slated to reopen in September.

This landmark Luxury Collection property is located in Midtown Manhattan and offers some gorgeous suites, but upgrade options are limited. However, normal amenities include a complimentary Mercedes Benz house car, complimentary bicycle rentals, an on-site spa and 24-hour in-room dining.

Re-opening date: July 6

Resort fee: N/A

Availability: Every date in July (once reopened) for 70,000 points per night

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

(Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe)
Lake Tahoe is a great destination year-round. (Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe)

Lake Tahoe is an idyllic, year-round destination for travelers coming from across California and Nevada. The rooms at the Ritz are are a luxurious alternative to traditional rentals, and all feature floor-to-ceiling windows with terrific views. The hotel offers a full spa and a heated outdoor lap pool. Guests also have exclusive access to the waterfront Lake Club with direct beach access, watersports and al fresco dining.

While it’s unclear how many of these amenities will actually be available, the property is still tacking on a pesky resort fee. It’s supposed to include access to complimentary Wi-Fi, an evening s’mores experience, shuttle transportation to and from North Shore Beach and Lake Club, the fitness center with select group exercise classes, access to the spa’s facilities, a seasonal welcome beverage and more.

Re-opening date: Now open

Resort fee: $55

Availability: Every day in June and July for 70,000 points per night

Related: Maximizing points and miles on summer road trips

The St. Regis Deer Valley

A standard room at the St. Regis Deer Valley (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Although best known for its slopeside ski access, the St. Regis Deer Valley could still make for a great summer nearcation for those in the Park City, UT area. The hotel is heavy on amenities, featuring a multilevel outdoor heated pool complex, a 14,000-square-foot Remède spa, three dining establishments and a bar.

The property is supposed to offer St. Regis’ signature butler service, but TPG’s director of travel content Summer Hull didn’t experience that on her recent stay there. Summertime activities in the area include hiking and mountain biking.

Re-opening date: Now open

Resort fee: $38

Availability: Most days in June for 80,000 points per night (participating in Marriott PointSavers), then most days in July for 85,000 points per night

Related: A Review of The St. Regis Deer Valley in Park City, Utah

How to quickly earn Marriott Bonvoy points

The quickest way to earn a bunch of Marriott Bonvoy points is with a Marriott credit card. While you likely won’t be able to earn a welcome bonus in time to boost your balance before June 30, you might still consider picking up a card now so you can book your award right away the next time off-peak awards become available. Many of Marriott’s Chase and Amex cards are also currently offering extra perks in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Here’s a quick glance at the welcome bonus, annual fee and unique perks of some of the best Marriott credit cards:

Credit Card Bonus Annual Fee Bonus Value* Unique Perks
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening. Terms apply. $450 (see rates and fees) $800 Annual award night worth up to 50,000 points, $300 annual travel credit at Marriott properties, instant Gold Marriott elite status with the ability to earn Platinum with $75,000 in annual spending on the card. Terms apply.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card Earn 75,000 Marriott points after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months. Terms apply. $125 (see rates and fees) $600 Annual award night worth up to 35,000 points. Earn a second free night worth up to 35,000 points by spending $60,000 in a calendar year on your card. Immediate Silver status, ability to earn Gold status with $35,000 in annual spending on the card. Terms apply.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $95 $600 Annual award night worth up to 35,000 points. Immediate Silver status, ability to earn Gold status with $35,000 in annual spending on the card.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card Earn 30,000 Marriott points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. $0 $240 Marriott Bonvoy Silver status thanks to the 15 elite night credits awarded by the card.

*Bonus value based on TPG valuation and not provided by the issuer

Note that you can also now stack the 15 elite-night credits if you have both a personal and business version of these cards, putting you just 20 nights away from Marriott Platinum Elite status.

Related: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card is right for you?

Things to keep in mind

Understandably, not everyone is ready to begin planning future travels yet, but if you do plan on booking one of these hotels, you’ll want to keep these important things in mind:

Finally, you’ll definitely want to crunch the numbers to make sure that it makes sense to use points for these rooms (as opposed to paying for them outright). As an example, the St. Regis Bal Harbour is showing prices as low as $381 for mid-week stays or $450 for weekend nights, so while the 70,000-point, off-peak award rate is tempting, that may not offer the best redemption value.

Related: Marriott expands off-peak pricing through July, will add bonus elite-night credits

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex card, click here.

Featured image courtesy of St. Regis Aspen.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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