23 perfect getaways you can book with Marriott Bonvoy points
If you’re feeling ready to explore spectacular U.S. and Caribbean beaches, national parks and those snow-blanketed mountains that are beckoning this winter like never before, you’re not alone. More and more Americans are looking for ways to plan a safe getaway where they can earn or use points.
If you’re don’t already have the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, there’s no time like the present to sign up and to make your vacation dreams come true. You’ll earn points for future trips on your day-to-day expenditures.
Even if you’re staying put for the foreseeable future, you can start banking points now to have a stash available when you’re ready to go. There is no question that we’ll all be traveling again, and soon, living our best vacation lives. The big question is where you’ll spend your Marriott Bonvoy points when you’re ready to roam.
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Stash away points to travel now or later
Looking to jump-start that dream vacation? New Marriott Bonvoy Boundless cardmembers get 3 Free Night Awards (each free night award has a redemption value up to 50,000 bonus points, that’s a value of up to 150,000 total points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn 10X total points on up to $2,500 in combined purchases at grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations within the first 6 months from account opening. (TPG values Bonvoy points at $0.08 each so the bonus is worth up to $1,200.) And since most purchases with the card get you 2 points per dollar (with 6 points for every dollar you spend at Marriott’s more than 7,000 properties), you’ll have closer to 81,000 points when you hit the bonus threshold.
Additional points stack up quickly with this card — and with them, your free hotel nights. The $95 annual fee puts the Boundless card squarely among its peers — and renewing the card after the first year gets you a free night award, too (worth up to 35,000 points). Will you spend it on a night at a road trip hotel, or linger longer in a place farther afield?
Here are some vacation ideas to get you started.
The mountains are calling
Ski vacations are suddenly more in reach when you can defray hotel costs with points, putting the money you save on accommodations toward things like lift tickets or apres-ski fun.
Park City Mountain Resort in Utah is the largest ski resort in the U.S. and is less than an hour’s drive from the new Salt Lake City airport. And the town of Park City happens to be one of the most atmospheric base towns in all of the U.S.
Hotel Park City (Category 7, from 50,000 points) has suites with fireplaces and mountain views near the slopes. If tony Deer Valley, nearby, is more your scene, The St. Regis Deer Valley is ski-in/ski-out and spares no luxury (Category 8, from 70,000 points).
I’ve planned a few ski trips to Colorado and the toughest part is deciding which of the many spectacular mountain towns best suits your mood. With four mountains, Aspen Snowmass packs in tons of terrain and varied options for award stays, like the family-oriented Westin Snowmass Resort (Category 6, from 40,000 points) and the hip W Aspen (Category 7, from 50,000 points), right in the heart of Colorado’s most storied ski town.
Steamboat is another favorite with its authentic ski town vibe and public hot springs, and you can find award nights at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas (Category 5, from 30,000 points). It’s a great place to use your 35,000-point Marriott free night certificate.
Just two hours from Denver, in Vail, you can stay at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort (Category 7, from 50,000) or splurge slopeside in nearby Beaver Creek at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch (Category 8, from 70,000), which sits right at the base of the mountain.
National parks by day, creature comforts by night
America the beautiful owes its national parks the spotlight. And cashing in Marriott Bonvoy points means you can enjoy all the rugged beauty of the parks by day — then revert to hotel creature comforts for every other hour of your stay.
Marriott has 406 properties within easy striking distance of national parks. Will you finally make it to see southwest Utah’s spellbinding canyons and scenic drives with a stay at Springhill Suites Springdale Zion National Park (Category 6, from 40,000 points) or park your mountain bike in magical Moab at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Moab (Category 6, from 40,000 points)?
Close to major East Coast hubs, Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers an incredible diversity of plant and animal life, and you can make the new Courtyard Gatlinburg Downtown (Category 5, from 30,000) your base.
You can have the best of both worlds in South Florida, too, staying at The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort (Category 5, from 30,000) or The Miami Beach Edition (Category 8, from 70,000). Enjoy beach time at the resort between forays to Everglades National Park. It’s roughly an hour west of the beaches and encompasses some of the most impressive wilderness in the U.S.
Break for the beach
Banish the winter blues with beach days and spend them in a lounge chair on the sand, steps from the lapping ocean or a pool bar. When cold fronts blow across the country, South Florida almost always manages to stay warm and sunny.
The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort (Category 8, from 70,000 points) puts you oceanfront on a quieter stretch of sand north of Miami Beach’s busy heart. Key Biscayne is also nicely removed from the South Beach fray. Here, you can soak up the sun from the pool deck overlooking the ocean at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne Miami (Category 7, from 50,000 points).
Mexico is open to U.S. travelers, too, and as enticing as ever on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts with stays at spots like the Marriott Cancun Resort (Category 5, from 30,000 points), Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa (Category 5, 30,000 points) and the oceanfront Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos (Category 7, from 50,000 points).
Consider unexpected U.S. destinations for winter travel, too. Georgia’s coastline is small but mighty, and a weekend at The Westin Jekyll Island (Category 5, from 30,000) might see you enjoying a ranger walk through the maritime forest or basking on the island’s 10 miles of pristine beaches.
With three PGA golf courses in Hilton Head, even days off the sand offer plenty of outdoor fun at the Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa (Category 5, from 30,000 points), directly on the ocean in South Carolina’s famous resort town.
High time for Hawaii
Hawaii reopened to U.S. travelers on Oct. 15. And as a scuba diver friend of mine living there tells it, the waters have rarely been more beautiful or full of life around the islands than they are right now.
Kauai calling? Golfers flock to the island during the winter months to play the many public courses. The Kaua’i Marriott Resort (Category 6, from 40,000 points) sits minutes from the airport on a beautiful bay in Lihue. And The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas (Category 7, from 50,000 points), on the island’s North Shore, has luxe villas ideal for family and multigenerational travel.
Honeymooners hone in on The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua (Category 8, from 70,000 points) on Maui, surrounded by hiking trails and championship golf courses. And if the buzz of Waikiki is more your speed, consider The Royal Hawaiian (Category 7, from 50,000 points) on Oahu, a grande dame property known as the “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” where mai tais go down all the easier knowing your room is paid for on points.
Whether to travel now or plan for the future is a personal decision that only you can make. But, given the ease of earning Marriott Bonvoy points, you may find it worthwhile to start banking some now to plan the vacation of your dreams later.
Featured image courtesy of the St. Regis Aspen
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