The combined Marriott Rewards-Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program kicked in from August 2018. Marriott International’s revamped loyalty programme, that will be called Bonvoy will allow you to earn and burn points at 6,500 hotels around the world. As a consequence of the new programme, existing properties have been re-categorised.
One of the repercussions of the new award chart was the creation of a temporary arbitrage opportunity. Marriott will put about 50+ properties in a new category eight sometime in March 2019, and then that Category 8 will also have a peak and off-peak award pricing. So, redeeming at many aspirational properties will be significantly cheaper at 60,000 MR points as compared to a range of 70,000 to 100,000 Marriott Rewards points. Additionally, if you redeem for four nights, you get the 5th night free, which means your net pricing becomes 48,000 Marriott Rewards points per night.
Marriott has some of their best hotels and resorts in South East Aisa and the Middle East under The Ritz Carlton & JW Marriott banner. We earlier put out our ten (make that eleven!) not-to-miss redemption options in Asia.
Now, here comes our pick of top-tier Marriott Hotels which will get significantly more expensive redemptions in the coming days. The good news, however, is that you can still save up to 25,000 points per night if you book these by March 2019. And mind you all these hotels are located in destinations with easy flight access from India.
Available for 60,000 points per night until March 2019, Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai is a private, resort located among the lush palm groves, emerald canopies and iconic dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. The hotel has 42 luxury tents, and if you are looking for luxury in the desert, there isn’t a better place to stay in. The resort usually prices at over 1000$ a night, so this is great value for your points. At five nights, you can redeem for just 48,000 Marriott Rewards points/night.
Bali has always been a popular holiday destination among Indians. Nusa Dua is lined up with high-end hotels but the St. Regis, Bali is a statement on the sandy beach. The resort is lined up with exquisite chandeliers, statement pieces of artwork and even a fancy champagne bar.
The villas have private gardens, pools and you could spend an entire week strolling around the resort. Priced at $550/ INR 40,000, a reward night here will currently only cost you 60,000 points, and I don’t need to repeat this, 48,000 points when you book for five nights.
If a vacation on a private island is on your mind, then pack your bags and head to the Maldives. The only way to reach this tropical island resort is via a seaplane. At the St. Regis Maldives, each villa comes with its private deck. For the water babies, snorkelling here will mean regular encounters with clown fish, parrot fish, turtles and if you’re lucky, the dolphins may also come by and swim alongside. The resort frequently goes away for $1,500 / INR 1,00,000 a night. And 60,000 Marriott Rewards points is outsized value in comparison for getting on the main island which you can upgrade.
This is an iconic 5-star hotel, located in one of the most beautiful streets in Paris. Here since 1929, The Prince de Galles is an elegant hotel, that houses a Michelin-star restaurant. The best part Champs-Elysées is only a few steps away from here. Try booking a room this summer, and you wouldn’t find anything below $1100/ INR 80,000 a night.
In an attempt to attract tourists from India, Thailand is currently offering free visa on arrival to Indians. Head to Vana Belle in Koh Samui to soak up the sun, sand and the sea. The resort only has a private beach with an infinity pool but also is steps away from shopping, local eating and the nightlife in Thailand. 60,000 Marriott Rewards here could save you about $550/ INR 40,000 a night.
Staying at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo means that you are living on the 45th level of Tokyo’s tallest building. Here floor-to-ceiling windows perfectly frame the skyline, right from the Tokyo Tower to Mt. Fuji. Now, I will be pleased if using 60,000 points in the cherry blossom season could get me a value of $1300/ INR 90,000.
It is not a hotel. It is a haven located in the world famous bamboo forests in Kyoto. Situated along the peaceful Hozu River, offering authentic Japanese-style living experience, Suiran is a retreat inspired by traditional Japanese touches and culture. Soak in nature and the culture, all for 60,000 Marriott Rewards points or $900/ INR 65,000 per night.
There’s nothing like London summers. This Luxury Collection Marriott hotel overlooks the Hyde Park amidst the glamour of Knightsbridge, and it is sophisticated luxury where rooms are beautifully finished with contemporary touches and elegant artwork that pays homage to the building’s Art Deco past. This is the reason guests do not mind paying $750/ INR 55,000 for a night’s stay here. Of course, 60,000 Marriott Rewards points can buy you the same experience.
Rising 118 floors above the ground, the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong earlier used to be the highest hotel in the world. The Hotel offers mesmerising 360-degree views of the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. And it has service to match the price. Redeeming 60,000 Marriott Rewards points at this hotel will get you a value of $470/INR 33,000 per night.
This was the flagship St. Regis hotel in Europe that opened it’s doors more than a hundred years ago in 1894. While the building has undergone many makeovers, the hotel still retains its old world charm. The Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and other attractions are just walking distance from the hotel.
New York’s flagship Ritz-Carlton hotel is located in a historic 19th-century building. The location is perfect, right across the street from Central Park and walking distance to Midtown, Times Square and the Theater District. But the real highlight of this hotel is the exceptional staff and concierge team of Les Clefs d’Or.
Those are some of my picks for the reservations I am looking at by raiding Ajay’s Marriott Rewards stash this year. If you don’t have enough Marriott Rewards points, remember, you can always transfer them from the American Express Membership Rewards. In India, the following cards get you Membership Rewards, and these links get you bonus points:
- American Express Platinum Charge Card
- American Express Gold Charge Card
- American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card
I know of at least three people who are headed to the Maldives just in February 2019, and I am hoping at least one of them will be able to write us a Reader Review. But I am more interested in knowing now, which (to be) Category 8 Property are you redeeming your Marriott Rewards points at?
What do you think is the Marriott Rewards Best Redemption at the moment?