Plan your travel with exclusive perks using Marriott’s STARS & Luminous programmes

Marriott has long offered many ways to provide privileges to members. One of the easiest and most well-known ones is through their loyalty programme, the Marriott Bonvoy. However, there are many more ways to add to it, using an exclusive membership programme offered to specific travel agents. The best part is, if you are a Marriott Bonvoy elite member, you can club benefits from both and even use bookings via this programme to earn points and status nights on your stays.

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Special Perks via travel advisors

While most self-booked travel is booked through OTAs and via the direct websites of the hotel themselves, luxury travel advisors have never had it better. As room rates go up, people look for a more value-added experience, especially when they head to a luxury hotel.

Programmes such as Virtuoso have affiliated travel advisors who can offer you rates which grant an upgrade upon arrival and complimentary breakfast, amongst other perks. Major chains, such as Hyatt and Marriott, have their own proprietary programmes that offer benefits at their own chain hotels. The thought process is to bring the travel advisor to the table so they can also bring their guests to the chain’s hotels rather than book away at boutique brands only.

Booking via Marriott-affiliated travel advisors

Marriott has two programmes for travel advisors, namely, Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous. Both these programmes offer additional perks for stays at various Marriott properties around the globe. Over 300 Marriott properties participate in these programmes.

The Marriott Stars programme offers you benefits at the following luxury brands of Marriott:

  • Luxury Collection
  • Ritz-Carlton
  • Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • St. Regis

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The following perks are offered by properties participating in Marriott STARS:

  • 100USD equivalent property credits per stay
  • Priority for complimentary room upgrade (based on availability upon arrival)
  • Daily complimentary breakfast for two guests per day
  • Personalised welcome amenities & note
  • Early Check-in/Late Check-out, based on availability
  • Complimentary basic Wi-Fi daily

There is no minimum or maximum length of stay, and the rate offered is the same as the Best Flexible Rate. As you can see, a USD 100 property credit is an excellent addition to the benefits offered, apart from the complimentary breakfast. Remember, even elite members only receive complimentary breakfast at some brands, such as St. Regis and Luxury Collection.

Marriott Luminous benefits are offered at the following brands:

  • Autograph Collection
  • Le Meridien
  • Marriott
  • Renaissance
  • Tribute Portfolio Hotels
  • W Hotels
  • Westin

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The following perks are offered by properties participating in Marriott Luminous:

  • 100USD equivalent property credits per stay, available at select hotels
  • Complimentary room upgrade (based on availability upon arrival)
  • Daily complimentary breakfast for two guests per day
  • Local welcome amenity
  • Complimentary basic Wi-Fi daily
  • Early Check-in/Late Check-out, based on availability

There are two significant differences between Luminous and STARS, apart from the brands participating. Firstly, hotels can opt out of the Luminous programme, while the STARS programme has all the brand’s properties. Second, even when participating, some properties can refrain from offering the 100 USD property credit.

As for the rates, the best available rate/standard rate, sans any member discounts or advance purchase rates are the rates that qualify for the Luminous/STARS offer. Which, given the perks in many cases, and the upgrades, is a great rate. You also earn points with Marriott on these rates.

With Virtuoso, the credits offered are specific to spa or F&B, while all sorts of eligible incidentals can be using these credits. Also, there is a broader spread of hotels participating in Marriott STARS/Luminous over Virtuoso.

How to book?

The Marriott Luminous and STARS rates are bookable only via a Travel Advisor and not directly on the hotel’s website or chain. However, one of our partners, ClassicTravel, has done a great job bringing these rates online, so if you want to book by yourself, you can book it via their website. Just do a one-time registration at, login, and you should be able to book.

For instance, you can go and search for W Goa. In this case, I am looking for a rate in March 2023. Here is the Luminous Rate on

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And here is the rate through the Marriott Website.

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The rate difference is because of some forex conversions, but even then, it is within 1% of the hotel’s rate. But on top of the room rate (and a pay-at-hotel rate), you can look forward to breakfast for two, USD 100 credit which can be adjusted against hotel dining and spa when you put the charges on the room, and an upgraded room as well.

Plus, you get your room nights counted for earning points, elite nights and any ongoing promotion with Marriott, just like any direct booking made with Marriott.

For example, here is a hotel in Dubai where I’ve stayed a few times, the Ritz-Carlton DIFC. The flexible rate and the STARS exclusive rate match.

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Why should you consider using these rates?

The Marriott Luminous/STARS programme works well with the Marriott Platinum/Titanium and Ambassador benefits. But in some cases, some top-end hotels, such as BVLGARI and Ritz-Carlton Reserve, don’t even participate in Marriott Bonvoy and forget getting a complimentary breakfast there as a Marriott elite. So, in every way, you are treated as an on-property VIP in these cases.


Marriott offers two unique programmes for travel advisors: STARS and Luminous. Each offers different brands of Marriott properties under their coverage, and over 300 properties of Marriott participate in these programmes. STARS offers perks such as hotel credits, breakfast and room upgrades at the top luxury brands of Marriott. Luminous is a bit different and may or may not provide hotel credits. There is no minimum stay requirement, and you also get the Marriott Bonvoy elite tier nights and points counted.

Have you taken advantage of the Marriott STARS or Luminous programme? If so, what was your experience like?

Book your next Marriott Stay via an online Marriott Advisor

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. hi ajay
    thanks for this.
    i have already registered.

    this is quite similar to the AMEX FHR.
    but like the amex fhr, do we get the bonvoy points as well? since this is through a travel agent?

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