Best Category 8 Marriott hotels for redeeming Suite Night Awards

Mar 1, 2020

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Hotel suites can mean far more than just extra square footage to mitigate the discomfort of a large traveling family. They can transform a hotel experience entirely. They sometimes offer private pools, beachfront villas, bi-level living areas and dramatically improved window views.

A fun and valuable aspect of the Marriott Bonvoy program is the ability to earn five Suite Night Awards (SNAs) after staying 50 nights in a calendar year, and an additional five SNAs after staying a total of 75 nights in a calendar year. They expire at the end of the following calendar year.

SNAs aren’t easy to acquire (though some ways are easier than others, as we’ll discuss later), but they can be astoundingly valuable. Deciding which hotels to book with your SNAs is very important. A commodity as precious as SNAs aren’t to be squandered at your local Courtyard by Marriott. This is your chance to experience life in the shoes of the 1%.

We’ve compiled a list of the top Category 8 hotels (the best of the best) that offer suites which will transform your stay. This list doesn’t include rooms that are simply bigger — they’re revolutionary.

In This Post

Hotel Danieli
Private water entrance to Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

Overview

All hotels below are Category 8 hotels. That means you’ll spend:

  • 70,000 points per night during off-peak dates
  • 85,000 points per night during normal dates
  • 100,000 points per night during peak dates

While all the below suites will indeed transform your hotel stay, they vary greatly in value. Some will save you thousands of dollars per night, while others may save just a couple hundred. The great thing is that Marriott Suite Night Awards usually don’t limit you to just the base suite — some allow you to request the best room in the house!

Unfortunately, to view which suites you can request, you must first book the property. This is an enormous pain. You’ll spend days on end reserving and canceling properties until you find the one you’re after. But don’t worry — we’ve made test bookings with all the top Marriott hotels to find the best options.

There are some inconveniences baked into Marriott Suite Night Awards, and you’re going to hate them. To skip the depressing stuff and get on with the amazing hotel suites, click here.

Related: Using Marriott Suite Night Awards

Pitfalls to using Marriott Suite Night Awards

Not all hotels participate in Suite Night Awards

First, only certain Marriott brands participate in Suite Night Awards. You can’t redeem them at the following hotels:

  • Ritz-Carlton
  • Protea
  • Aloft
  • Element
  • Design Hotels
  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • EDITION
  • Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • The Ritz-Carlton Destination Clubs
  • Marriott Grand Residence Club
  • Any all-suite hotels (such as the St. Regis Maldives, St. Regis Bali, etc.)

Suite Night Awards are also not redeemable at select participating properties. You can contact Member Support for individual hotel Suite Night Award participation.

Suite Night Awards are never a guarantee

If you tell a Marriott loyalist your plans to use your collection of Suite Night Awards at a hotel in the U.S., most will embrace you firmly and bid you godspeed. Unless you’re booking a hotel with plenty of suites (think brands like St. Regis and W), you’ll almost certainly have a difficult time redeeming your certificates domestically. European hotels offer an exponentially higher success rate.

In fact, even if a suite you’ve requested is available at check-in, you still may not be granted the upgrade. Per Marriott authorities on FlyerTalk, the Suite Night Award system is completely separate from the hotel reservation system. Just because you can show the front desk clerk that your desired room is vacant per the Marriott website doesn’t mean you can have it. Insane, I know.

Also, a bit of common sense worth mentioning: You’ll likely have better luck with a suite night award if you’re traveling during less popular seasons.

You need sufficient Suite Night Awards to cover your entire stay

You can’t use two SNAs during your four-night stay. You’ll have to make two separate reservations if you want to mix the suite life with a standard room.

You can’t book Suite Night Awards with prepaid rates

There remains a bug on the Marriott site that won’t allow you to use your Suite Night Awards with prepaid reservations. Check this ingenious workaround until Marriott fixes this.

Some hotels offer a sorry excuse for an upgrade

Some properties restrict your upgrade request to low-tier rooms. For example, The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York City has dead gorgeous suites, but you’ve only got one option when upgrading, and it’s lame.

At the top is the room you can reserve with points. Below that is a list of rooms you can request for an upgrade. As you can see, the more rooms you select, the better chance you have for receiving some kind of upgrade.

Let’s take a look at the best Category 8 hotels to book with your Suite Night Awards.

W Verbier

The W Verbier is personally one of my favorite Marriott hotels anywhere. It’s a ski-in/ski-out hotel located in the Swiss Alps, nearly 5,000 feet above sea level. Even if you’re not an inveterate skier, Verbier is stunning in the spring and fall. You can view a live webcam of the W Verbier here.

Upgrade options

The W Verbier allows you to request up to eight room categories higher than the standard room. For my sample booking, the regular room costs 660 Swiss francs, and this suite costs 2,478 Swiss francs. That’s a savings of 1,818 francs, or more than $1,850, per night.

If you’re able to use all five SNAs for the highest-category room, you’re effectively “saving” an extra $9,250 on your stay.

Suite overview

The Sublime Penthouse Suite is the top room you can possibly score with SNAs. Only three of these suites are available. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Bi-level
  • Top floor
  • Up to 969 square feet (versus the standard room of 388 square feet)
  • Both mountain and valley views
  • Maximum occupancy: 3 (1 more than the standard room)
Sublime Penthouse balcony view
Sublime Penthouse bedroom
Sublime Penthouse second story loft

Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

Overlooking the grand canal in Venice, Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice is central to many attractions in the city. The hotel has an on-site terrace bar and a rooftop restaurant with an atmosphere that receives astronomical reviews. Seriously, look at it.

Upgrade options

Of all the properties on this list, Hotel Danieli offers the largest inventory of Instagrammable options — every room looks amazing, so I’ve included more of the options.

You can request up to 10 room categories higher than the standard room. For my sample booking, the regular room costs 686 euros, and the highest-category upgrade costs 4,214 euros. That’s a savings of 3,528 euros, or more than $3,800, per night.

Using five SNAs for this suite could “save” you $19,000.

Suite overview

The Lagoon View Suite 1 Bedroom Suite, 1 King, Lagoon view is the top room you can request with SNAs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Balcony
  • Up to 645 square feet (versus the standard room of 376 square feet)
  • Entertaining area for up to six guests
  • View of the Venetian lagoon, the renowned Grand Canal, and the Riva degli Schiavoni
  • Maximum occupancy: 3 (same as standard room)
Lagoon view bedroom
Lagoon view living room
Lagoon view bathroom

Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection

Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection is a jewel of the British Virgin Islands, and one of the few Category 8 Autograph Collection properties. Rooms are limited at this low-key resort, with just 65 rooms in total. It’s a nice choice for a stress detox.

Upgrade options

Scrub Island Resort allows you to request up to two room categories higher than the standard room. For my sample booking, the regular room costs $416, and the highest-category upgrade costs $658 per night. That’s a savings of $242 per night.

If you can use five SNAs for this suite, you’ll effectively “save” an extra $1,210 on your stay.

Suite overview

The Governor 1 Bedroom Suite is the top room you can request with SNAs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Balcony
  • 1,370 square feet (versus the standard room of 357 square feet)
  • Full kitchen
  • 1.5 bathrooms
  • Maximum occupancy: 4 (same as standard room)
Governor Suite bedroom
Governor Suite kitchen
Governor Suite balcony view

The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, Costa Navarino

Alright, it’s not a Category 8 hotel yet, but The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, Costa Navarino will increase from its current position as a Category 7 hotel on March 4, 2020.

The property resides in the Peloponnese region of Greece, hovering over the Ionian Sea. Not a household name destination like Santorini or Mykonos, but just as stunning. Any area of the resort not touching water is surrounded by resort gardens and golf landscape.

Upgrade options

The Romanos allows you to request up to eight room categories higher than the standard room. For my sample booking, the regular room costs 337 euros, and the highest-category upgrade costs 1,449 euros. That’s a savings of 1,112 euros, or $1,200+, per night.

Use five SNAs for this suite and you could receive an extra value of $6,000 on your stay.

Suite overview

The Premium Grand Infinity 1 Bedroom Suite, 1 King, Beachfront, Private pool is the top room you can request with SNAs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Beachfront with direct sea views
  • Private terrace with infinity pool
  • Jacuzzi
  • 882 square feet (versus the standard room of 463 square feet)
  • Full kitchen
  • 1.5 bathrooms
  • Maximum occupancy: 5 (2 more than standard room)
Premium Grand Infinity bathroom
Premium Grand Infinity bedroom
Premium Grand Infinity living area

London Marriott Hotel County Hall

The London Marriott Hotel County Hall is situated at one of the most absurdly advantageous spots in London for a good view. The stately hotel owns a waterfront view of the Thames, with the Palace of Westminster in plain view. Book a room at the north end of the hotel and the London Eye revolves literally feet from your balcony.

Upgrade options

The London Marriott Hotel County Hall allows you to request up to six room categories higher than the standard room. For my sample booking, the regular room costs 583 pounds, and the highest-category upgrade costs 1,171 pounds. That’s a savings of 588 pounds, or more than $760, per night.

You could save $3,800 by using your five SNAs for this suite.

Suite overview

The River Thames View Suite M Club lounge access, Suite, 1 King, Sofa bed is the top room you can request with SNAs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Balcony
  • Views of the River Thames, London Eye and Big Ben
  • 753 square feet (versus the standard room of up to 484 square feet)
  • Maximum occupancy: 3 (1 more than standard room)
River Thames View Suite living area
River Thames View Suite bedroom
River Thames View Suite view

Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda

There are a handful of Category 8 Luxury Collection hotels in Porto Cervo, Italy, but Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda blows the rest out of the water when it comes to SNAs. Bonus points for the hotel’s appearance evocative of an in medias res 007 opener.

Upgrade options

The Hotel Cala di Volpe allows you to request up to six room categories higher than the standard room. For my sample booking, the standard room cost 992 euros, and the highest-category upgrade cost 3,360 euros. That’s a savings of 2,368 euros, or more than $2,500, per night.

If you’re able to use all five Suite Night Awards for this room, their value could prove north of $12,000 for your stay.

Suite overview

The Heritage Premium Suite, 1 King, Sea view, Balcony is the top room you can request with SNAs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Private terrace and patio
  • Sea view
  • 484 square feet (versus the standard room of up to 215 square feet)
  • Maximum occupancy: 2 (same as standard room)
Heritage Premium Suite bedroom
Heritage Premium Suite alternate bedroom
Heritage Premium Suite living area

Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Cortina d’Ampezzo sits within the Dolomite mountain range in Italy, surrounded by snowy peaks and alpine valleys. The hotel’s site claims that the hotel is frequented by “Italian high society.” The resort’s rooms are notably cramped (the cheapest options are single occupancy with just 215 square feet), so Suite Night Awards are a boon.

Upgrade options

The Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Cortina d’Ampezzo allows you to request up to six room categories higher than the standard room. For my sample booking, the regular room costs 693 euros, and the highest-category suite upgrade costs 1,924 euros. That’s a savings of 1,231 euros, or more than $1,330, per night.

If you’re able to use all five SNAs for this room, you’re effectively “saving” another $6,650 on your stay.

Suite overview

The Panoramic Suite, 1 Double is the top room you can request with SNAs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Private balcony
  • Dolomites view
  • 484 square feet (versus the standard room of up to 280 square feet)
  • Maximum occupancy: 3 (1 more than standard room)
Panoramic Suite bedroom
Panoramic Suite living room
Panoramic Suite window view? (I’m honestly not sure, but this was on the suite page)

St. Regis New York

The St. Regis New York is the hotel that started it all. Built in 1904, it was the inception of St. Regis, and likely remains the most opulent and highest-quality of the brand. It’s home to King Cole Bar, where the Bloody Mary was conceived.

Guests receive complimentary chauffeur privileges with the hotel’s Bentley House Car. You can be dropped off up to 10 blocks from the hotel for no charge.

Upgrade options

The St. Regis New York allows you to request up to four room categories higher than the standard room. For my sample booking, the standard room costs $1,583, and the highest-category suite night upgrade costs $2,545. That’s a savings of $962 per night.

Use five Suite Night Awards for this room and you could receive a value of $4,800+ during your stay.

Suite overview

The Deluxe Suite, 1 King is the top room you can request with SNAs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Markedly high ceilings
  • 1.5 bathrooms
  • Butler service
  • 800 square feet (versus the standard room of 430 square feet)
  • Maximum occupancy: 3 (1 more than standard room)
Deluxe Suite bedroom
Deluxe Suite living room

Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete

There’s something altogether unique about the Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete. It’s cheap. I do not recommend spending points for a stay at this hotel, as it’s not difficult to find rates for under $250 per night, weeks at a time. Spending 70,000-100,000 points for rates this low isn’t a good idea.

For the glimmering Mediterranean views and five-star facilities, this resort is a steal — and a great option for Suite Night Awards.

Upgrade options

Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete allows you to request up to six room categories higher than the standard room. For my sample booking, the regular room costs 442 euros, and the highest-category suite night upgrade costs 827 euros. That’s a savings of 385 euros, or $417, per night.

If you manage to use five SNAs for this room, you could receive an extra $2,085 in value for your stay.

Suite overview

The Maisonette Suite 1 Bedroom Bi-level Suite, 1 King, Sofa bed, Bathrooms: 1.5, Sea view, Balcony is the top room you can request with SNAs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Bi-level
  • Veranda and patio
  • Private pool
  • Floor to ceiling soundproof windows
  • 1.5 bathrooms
  • 753 square feet (versus standard rooms are 430 square feet)
  • Maximum occupancy: 4 (1 more than standard room)
Maisonette Suite second story balcony
Maisonette Suite private pool
Maisonette Suite living room

Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Fuschlsee-Salzburg

Schloss Fuschl, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Fuschlsee-Salzburg lives in Austria’s Salzkammergut — the filming location of The Sound of Music. The hotel watches over the iconic Lake Fuschl — if you’re not familiar with the lake, Google images and you’ll realize that you know it well. It’s a bucket list item for many.

Upgrade options

Schloss Fuschl allows you to request up to four room categories higher than the standard room. For my sample booking, the points bookable room costs 331 euros, and the highest-category suite night upgrade costs 806 euros. That’s a savings of 475 euros, or $512, per night.

Use five Suite Night Awards with this room, and you can expect an additional value of $2,560 on your stay.

Suite overview

The Castle Suite 1 Bedroom Suite, Castle Tower is the top room you can request with SNAs. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Partial water view
  • Up to 473 square feet (versus standard rooms of up to 377 square feet). The pictures make this room look WAY bigger than that
  • Maximum occupancy: 2 (same as standard room)
  • Castle suites are radically different — below is just one example
Castle Suite tower bedroom
Castle Suite tower bedroom
Castle Suite tower living area

How to earn Marriott points and Suite Night Awards

The biggest step you can take to earning Marriott points and Suite Night Awards is opening a Marriott credit card:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: 100,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card: 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: Earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Enjoy complimentary Platinum Elite status with your Card for the 2021 status year. Offer Expires 1/13/2021. Terms apply.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Earn up to $150 in statement credits within your first 6 months of Card Membership for all eligible purchases on your Card on U.S. Advertising in select Media. Plus receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for one year (February 1, 2021-January 31, 2022). Offer ends 1/13/21. Terms apply.

Related: Which Marriott credit card to get

All these cards come with 15 elite night credits. That means if you open the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, you’ll only need to stay 35 more nights in a calendar year to achieve Marriott Platinum Status and five Suite Night Awards. If you stay another 25 nights on top of that, you’ll reach Marriott Titanium Status, which comes with the option to receive five additional Suite Night Awards.

Remember, both paid and award stays accrue elite night credits. If you travel with any frequency, staying 35 nights in a calendar year with Marriott shouldn’t be difficult. Even if you can’t quite hit that number, you can simply find cheap Marriott hotels and book them with no intention of staying. This is called “mattress running.” If you think you’ll get significantly more value from your Suite Night Awards than the money (or points) you’ll spend mattress running, go for it. Category 1 hotels cost as little as 5,000 points per night during off-peak dates (and even less if the dates are also eligible for Marriott PointSavers discounts).

As you can see from the examples above, Suite Night Awards can be worth $1,000+ each if you manage to secure many of the suites in this post.

Bottom line

Finding the perfect location to use your Suite Night Upgrades is no small task. If you want the glitziest, five-starsiest rooms, you want to reserve the above hotels.

Just realize that SNAs are never a guarantee. You may save your upgrades for a special hotel only to be declined. This is particularly risky if you intend to redeem them near their expiration date. Booking your stay during the low season will give you the best shot at the upgrade you’re after.

Change my mind. Let me know if you’ve found a better suite night upgrade not on this list, and I’ll add it.

All photos courtesy of Marriott

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.