New Option and Great Marriott Award Availability in the Maldives
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
If you've been dreaming about a vacation to the island paradise of the Maldives and have Marriott points at your disposal, listen up. The brand-new (and not-yet-open) JW Marriott is now bookable for stays starting this fall, and we're also seeing fantastic award availability at the program's other locations in the tropical nation.
Let's start with the JW Marriott. Even though the property's website lists "Aug 2019" as the timeline for opening, it's currently accepting reservations for stays beginning September 15, 2019, as first reported by One Mile at a Time. Availability for award stays is quite good through the fall, into the winter and through next spring — including Valentine's Day 2020.
But this gets even better. Unlike many Maldivian properties across the major chains, you can actually use your Marriott points to book an overwater villa.
However, if you'd rather be on land, the property is also classifying a "Beach Pool Sunrise Villa" as a standard room for award purposes. In either case, since JW Marriott Maldives is a Category 8 hotel, an award stay will cost you 85,000 points a night (off-peak rates of 70,000 points aren't available yet). Both rooms are listed at over 2,500 square feet and include private pools, ensuring a luxurious and relaxing trip.
If you're not willing to try out a brand-new resort but still want to redeem your Marriott points, you're in luck. TPG Points & Miles Editor Nick Ewen found terrific 2020 availability at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort — including the entire month of April. And since all award stays of four nights or more get a fifth night free, you could snag five nights in paradise for just 340,000 Marriott points.
Rates in April for the property's standard garden villas range from $1,000 to $1,600, giving you an estimated value of 1.6 to 2.3 cents per Marriott point, well ahead of TPG's most recent valuations.
We're seeing similarly excellent availability at the Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort, one that just opened last year. These rooms can be booked for 60,000 points per night (note that it's showing 85,000 points initially, but as a Category 7 property drops to 60,000 points when you select the room).
This award books into the 1,506-square-foot Island Villa complete with its own plunge pool and easy beach access. It wouldn't be surprising at all for this property to jump to Category 8 in Marriott's next round of category changes, so it may make sense to book now.
If you don’t have a Marriott card in your wallet currently or you're running low on points, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases made on your new card at U.S. restaurants within the first six months of card membership. Though it has a $450 annual fee (see Rates & Fees), you’ll receive up to $300 in statement credits for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program and Priority Pass Select membership (enrollment required). You’ll also earn 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 3x points at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
Remember too that you don't need all of the points in your account to make these reservations. Thanks to Marriott's Points Advance feature, you can book these award stays now and then have until 14 days before your stay to earn the required number of points. This is a fantastic way to lock in award availability at high-demand properties; these fantastic resorts in the Maldives clearly fit into that category.
Finally, all of these properties will incur significant transfer costs, so keep those out-of-pocket expenses in mind as you're finalizing your trip.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, please click here.