Combined Marriott Award Chart Released: Huge Winners and Losers for Families
Today is the day that Marriott Rewards has released the full line-up of award chart costs for all 6,500 worldwide SPG and Marriott hotels and resorts. There are some huge winners on the award chart, especially at the luxury end of the scale. However, there are some real losers, too. You can lock in properties at the current prices until August 2018, for travel through the end of the booking window, which should be into mid-July 2019 on the final day of the current SPG and Marriott award charts.
In some cases, you will absolutely want to lock in hotels for those 2019 family vacations before August, but in other cases, you will want to wait until August to book in order to get better award rates. Or, you will want to rebook beginning in August if the award prices drops in order to get some of your points back (if that doesn't happen automatically).
We knew that high-end resorts like the St. Regis Princeville in Hawaii and the St. Regis Punta Mita were temporarily going to be a deal at 60,000 Marriott points per night as opposed to currently costing the equivalent of up to 105,000 Marriott Rewards points. This is because when the combined award chart goes live in August, Marriott is capping properties at a Category 7 cost of 60,000 Marriott points per night until early 2019 when an 8th category will be introduced.
What we didn't know until the property costs were released today is that some very high-end unique SPG properties that are normally astronomically out of range on points will also price at a maximum of 60,000 Marriott Reward points per night for a limited time beginning in August 2018!
For example, even during some periodic SPG suites sales, the insanely gorgeous St. Regis Maldives is still 58,500 SPG points per night, with normal prices hitting 90,000 SPG points per night. That is the same as 270,000 Marriott points per night. However, beginning in August 2018, it will price at the equivalent of 20,000 SPG points per night (aka 60,000 Marriott point)! With the fifth award night free, that is just 16,000 SPG points per night for a hotel that sells for thousands of dollars per night. Other normally out-of-range resorts such as the St. Regis Bora Bora and Al Maha Resort will also fall into this insane limited-time pricing model of just 60,000 Marriott points per night.
A return trip to the Maldives wasn't on my 2018 or 2019 radar, but maybe it should be at those once-in-a-lifetime prices. If it was on your radar for that timeframe you are in big time luck, assuming you have some SPG/Marriott points at your disposal and you can snag some standard award rooms, which will be limited.
Despite that excitement, today's list is not all good news. Many families will not like that both the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are jumping from the current equivalent of 36,000 Marriott points per night to 50,000 Marriott points per night. You will want to lock in bookings at those properties before the price increase hits in August.
Bad news is also in store for the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista, the resorts on Grand Cayman, the higher end towers at Atlantis in the Bahamas, several ski properties in the Beaver Creek area, the ski-friendly Westin in Tremblant, and more. Families will also not enjoy the reality that many Marriott Vacation Club properties are going up in award cost. On the flip side, it isn't all bad even at the lower and mid category levels, so here are just a few examples of how the award pricing will change beginning in August.
St. Regis properties will temporarily be a deal:
We already knew this, but high end resorts such as the St. Regis Princeville Resort, St. Regis Bali, St. Regis Deer Valley, St. Regis Punta Mita, and more will top out temporarily at 60,000 Marriott Reward points per night beginning in August. While you may not want to haul your family all the way to the Maldives, Utah, Mexico, or Hawaii may well be within range at these prices at least until 2019 when rates will again rise for those properties.
Orlando Disney properties:
- Walt Disney World Dolphin: going from 36,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
- Walt Disney World Swan: going from 36,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
- Sheraton Lake Buena Vista: going from 12,000 Marriott points to 25,000
North America ski properties:
- Westin Snowmass: going from 36,000 Marriott points to 35,000 points
- Element Basalt: going from 30,000 Marriott points to 25,000 points
- The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, Beaver Creek Mountain: going from 36,000 Marriott points to 60,000 points
- Hotel Talisa, Vail: going from 60,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
- Vail Marriott Mountain Resort: going from 45,000 Marriott points to 60,000 points
- Westin Whistler: remaining at 60,000 Marriott points per night
- Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant, Quebec: going from 36,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
Resorts in the Caribbean:
- Atlantis, Coral Towers, Autograph Collection: going from 40,000 Marriott points to 35,000 points
- Atlantis, Royal Towers, Autograph Collection: going from 40,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
- The Cove Atlantis, Autograph Collection: going from 45,000 Marriott points to 60,000 points
- Westin Punta Cana: going from 30,000 Marriott points to 35,000 points
- The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman: going from 70,000 Marriott points to 85,000 points
- Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort: going from 45,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
- Westin Grand Cayman: going from 36,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
Hotels in Europe:
- The Westin Excelsior, Rome: going from 60,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
- The St. Regis Rome: going from 60,000 Marriott points to 85,000 points (in 2019)
- The Westin Palace, Madrid: going from 60,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
- The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka'anapali: going from 60,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
- Marriott's Kauai Lagoons - Kalanipu'u: going from 40,000 Marriott points to 60,000 points
- Sheraton Waikiki: going from 60,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
- Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa: going from 40,000 Marriott points to 50,000 points
- Moana Surfrider: remaining 60,000 Marriott points
Properties bookable with Marriott Category 1 - 5 certificates
Several of the co-branded SPG and Marriott credit cards will issue Category 1 - 5 anniversary award night when the new program rolls out to cardmemebrs, so you will want to pay attention to hotels that can be booked at the Category 5 level and below. Here are some examples of hotels that will launch in that 5th category that normally costs 35,000 points per night.
- Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
- Delta Hotels Whistler Village Suites
- Residence Inn Mont Tremblant Manoir Labelle
- Four Points by Sheraton Havana
- JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa
- The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club
- St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino
- Courtyard Edinburgh
- The Westin Austin Downtown
- Sheraton Kauai Resort
- Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass
- The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
- Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay
- The Westin Las Vegas Hotel & Spa
- W Las Vegas
- Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas
- Residence Inn Breckenridge
While not headline making, there are numerous properties in various towns across the world that are becoming a better award value. These will be more niche wins that don't help everyone, but they are there. For example, the Aloft Austin Downtown is dropping from 36,000 to 25,000 points per night and the Aloft Wichita is dropping from 30,000 to 17,500 points per night.
The formal unveiling of the Marriott and SPG award prices that will launch in August is neither all good or all bad news. There are some big wins and losses in the line-up, but we have several more weeks to line up stays for roughly the next year at current prices and strategize on what we will book beginning in August 2018.
What do you see as the biggest SPG/Marriott Rewards award chart winners and losers today?