10 Marriott properties to book now before the award chart disappears
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You’ve been saving up Marriott Bonvoy points for a while, doing everything you can to maximize your earnings and now … the game has changed.
As you may have seen, Marriott is doing away with award charts and moving to a fully dynamic award-pricing model. To top that, a small portion of hotels in the Marriott system will no longer have any award chart when March 2022 rolls around. Most properties will continue to follow unpublished award-chart pricing bands for 2022, but around 3% (which is over 200 properties) will be freed from any award chart as early as March 2022.
It’s fine to be bummed about this change, but don’t panic. You still have some time, and we have curated 10 of our favorite Marriott properties that are highly likely to go up in Marriott award pricing when the award chart goes away.
So, take a deep breath, check your points balances and then consider one of these properties for an epic trip before these big changes take place. All of these properties are currently Category 8 hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy program, meaning they’ll set you back 70,000 points per night on off-peak dates, 85,000 on standard nights and 100,000 on peak dates while we still have award charts.
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Hotel Danieli, Venice
Whether it’s the old-fashioned skeleton key that unlocks your room or opening the window shutters to the bustle of the San Zaccaria pier, the Hotel Danieli will transport you back in time. As one of our favorite hotels in Europe, this luxury hotel dates back to the 1400s.
Start the day with breakfast on the rooftop overlooking the canal and linger for a drink in the lobby once the sun sets with the piano softening the background noise. Located just past Piazza San Marco, you’ll be close enough to everything Venice has to offer but just far enough away from most of the crowds.
The Chatwal, New York City
Located in NYC’s Theater District, this property actually got its start over 100 years ago as a theater club in Manhattan.
With fewer than 100 rooms, it’s already tough to get an award room at this property. Even tougher still is a suite upgrade. There are 10 uniquely themed suites in the hotel, though most aren’t available for a free upgrade using Suite Night Awards.
Every room gets butler service. If you’re staying there during warmer months, put in a request for one of the rooms that has a balcony, a rare amenity in NYC. Another unique feature of the property is a “perpetual” saltwater lap pool. With paid rates that frequently have four digits per night, this property is poised to break the bank for points redemptions.
You’ll find this property at the top of many “best of” lists for NYC hotels.
The St. Regis Bora Bora
You can debate whether the Maldives are better than Bora Bora, or vice versa (and we have). But one clear advantage Bora Bora has is that it’s a much shorter trip from the U.S., especially from the West Coast. The St. Regis Bora Bora is located in French Polynesia, which has air service from the U.S. via airlines such as United, Air Tahiti Nui and French Bee fairly consistently. And, while you will need a flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora, you won’t have the same league of expensive air transfers as a trip to some resort spots in the Maldives.
At the St. Regis Bora Bora, you’ll find garden villas with private pools available using points, with pricey paid upgrades to jump from there to overwater villas. However, even the base villas are an incredible experience. Expect to pay plenty for food and beverage at the resort. There’s a price to pay for paradise, but The St. Regis Bora is well worth it, especially when you redeem points to cover your room costs.
The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos
The number of points needed per night at The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos will sting a little but the breathtaking beach should make up for it. (As a side note, our award searches did not yield a resort fee on award stays. It’s possible that’s a glitch in Marriott’s booking engine, but it’s worth noting.) While this hotel may not rival some other Ritz-Carlton hotels when it comes to stunning architecture, the location more than makes up for it.
You’ll find both an adult and family pool as well as a stunning beach. And you won’t have to leave the resort to find incredible, if pricey, food options. A day on the Lady Grace catamaran is a can’t-miss excursion that leaves right from the hotel’s spot on the beach. Pro tip: Skip the paid transfer through the hotel and just grab a taxi at the airport.
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
Al Maha is a unique resort in so many ways. One of the reasons you can expect the number of points required to book a room here to go way up is the way packages are currently structured at Al Maha. Room rates typically come with full board and three meals per day, plus two activities such as dune drives and falconry.
Where else are you going to redeem points to spend time with a falcon?
Due to the desert setting, you’ll find very little light at night, which makes for incredible stargazing. And the wildlife is equally amazing.
On-site food and beverage options are excellent and the service is impeccable. It’s a different type of luxury than the Maldives and without the expensive airplane transfers.
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua
Hawaii is chock-full of options to burn up your Marriott points, but few properties offer the sort of luxury that The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua does. While Maui offers plenty to explore, we wouldn’t blame you if you spent a few days without leaving the resort.
The on-site food options are great and activities such as golf and tennis are readily available. The pools are everything you’d expect from a luxury resort in Hawaii. The only drawback for some may be the less-than-perfect beach. The rates at The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua are consistently high, making it an excellent place to redeem Marriott points before those award rates potentially skyrocket.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto
Tokyo is an iconic destination that everyone should explore. Once you’ve spent some time there, consider a high-speed train to Kyoto. The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto is impeccably appointed, with many rooms featuring a river view. Just don’t expect a ton of elite benefits from your Marriott status.
Rates typically stretch to well over $1,000 per night (and are rarely less than $700), so your points will definitely help you out here, at least for now. The rooms are spacious with plenty of thoughtful touches. And, while there are plenty of great restaurant options within a short walk or taxi ride, we highly recommend the breakfast at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto.
Prince de Galles, Paris
The Prince de Galles is in one of the prime neighborhoods (or arrondisement, if you prefer the French term) in Paris. It’s an easy walk to the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees and Eiffel Tower and so many other top sites to visit. This art deco gem features stunning, compact rooms and exceptional service.
The rooms are thoughtfully laid out and don’t lack color or amenities. We also highly recommend a cocktail in the open-air courtyard bar, complete with palm trees. The Prince de Galles is a worthy comparison to the Four Seasons George V, located next door, but won’t set you back nearly as much cash when you redeem Marriott points.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
It would be irresponsible as a points site not to include a Maldives option when assembling a list of places to consider spending a bunch of Marriott points. Don’t be surprised to find rooms at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli for $2,000 a night or higher if you are paying cash. If ever there was a resort worth those kinds of prices …
The Maldives are famous for their beauty and the difficulty getting there. You’ll have your own seaplane butler to help you with the final plane ride to the resort, and a butler will be waiting for you once you arrive at the St. Regis. Whether you have a standard villa or an overwater bungalow, you’ll find plenty of technology and stunning rooms. There are also plenty of activities, including a well-appointed spa as well as snorkeling and scuba diving.
The food at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli is famously exceptional and famously expensive. There are no “off-island” choices, so be sure to save up. At least you can savor the money you saved on your room while sipping Champagne and looking out over the ocean.
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, British Virgin Islands
Scrub Island Resort may just be a unique option to consider booking with Marriott points that you’ve never heard of. It’s not the easiest place to get to or the nicest property, but it’s a lot shorter (and cheaper) of a trip than the Maldives. And you’re likely to have a rum punch in your hand for a good portion of the journey.
Scrub Island is a short ferry ride from Tortola. That means you can fly into Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) and you’re almost there. It’ll be hard to get there using miles, but Cape Air and InterCaribbean Airways provide service to San Juan (SJU) and St. Thomas (STT). Both of those airports have service from most of the major airline hubs, including those for American, Delta, JetBlue and United. That last flight might be a bit pricey, though, so book early if you can.
Once you’re on Scrub Island, think of it as a home base. You’ll find plenty of things to do, especially with a very active marina. Pools and a small, quiet beach are also at your disposal. There are also great food options, shops and historic landmarks waiting for you if you take the ferry boat back to the mainland.
If you’re looking for a great location in the Caribbean without the crowds or cruise ship terminals, head to Scrub Island.
On the whole, we’re not happy about the Marriott changes. We’re hopeful that you have enough Marriott points saved up to book one of these dream properties before the inevitable spike in award pricing next year. Some of these exceptional properties date back to the Starwood Preferred Guest days, and after a brief stint at 60,000 points per night, saw massive inflation when Marriott merged the SPG program into the new Bonvoy program.
Now, with Marriott removing award charts altogether, we expect most of these properties to go up in price even further, especially during peak travel time frames for their respective regions.
One last thing: If the opportunity presents itself, keep the fifth-night free benefit in mind. It can maximize your time at one of these incredible destinations.
Featured photo of Scrub Island Resort by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.
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