Last chance: 201 Marriott hotels changing award price on Wednesday

Mar 1, 2021

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A few weeks ago, Marriott Bonvoy announced its line-up of hotels that are going up or down in award category for the coming year. Normally, this is a very stressful time of year for award travelers who have to watch their favorite hotel redemptions get pricier with points, but likely as a byproduct of the pandemic, this year’s changes from Marriott are incredibly mild.

However, even though only 3% of Marriott’s portfolio of over 7,500 hotels is changing its award category (and most that are changing category are actually going down in award price), there are still 51 properties going up in award price effective March 3.

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For context, just prior to the pandemic really taking hold last year, Marriott changed the category of over 2,000 properties — mostly in the upward direction. This is nothing like that, but now is the time to double-check your potential travel plans over the next year and lock in a hotel going up in award price ASAP if it may be on your list.

You can see the full list of changes here, but we’ll outline a few highlights to be aware of.

  • W Aspen increasing from a Category 7 to a Category 8 (this hotel has been an 8 before and is returning to that category)
  • Aloft and Residence Inn Ocean Beach, Maryland increasing from a Category 5 to a Category 6
  • Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort increasing from a Category 5 to a Category 6
  • SpringHill Suites Hilton Head Island increasing from a Category 4 to a Category 5
  • Courtyard Aruba Resort increasing from a Category 4 to a Category 5
  • Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Mexico City increasing from a Category 6 to a Category 7
  • Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort decreasing from a Category 6 to Category 5
  • Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa increasing from a Category 5 to Category 6
  • The Langley, a Luxury Collection Hotel increasing from a Category 6 to Category 7

Related: Marriott makes it easier to earn elite status in 2021

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Pay particular attention if one of the properties you are interested in is increasing out of range of the Marriott 35k or 50k certificates that are available with several of the Marriott credit cards, as you will certainly want to lock those bookings in before the March 3 increases, if possible.

Bottom line

On the whole, this is a very mild annual categorization of Marriott properties, but it’s still now worth a look before the changes kick in this week.

If a property you have booked goes down in award cost on March 3, it may make sense to wait until then to book, or perhaps re-book your stay at a lower award price after that time. But if you have your heart set on somewhere like the W Aspen, then you’ll be best served by making your stay for the next year or so by March 3 before award prices increase.

Featured image by author

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