I am going to have to completely re-write my Atlantis book now. Yes, this one:
The better way to play at the Atlantis Hotel and Resorts on the Paradise Island, Bahamas, is still to use Choice Privileges points at the Comfort Suites, the property next to the Atlantis. It’s practically next door, and besides the Comfort Suites guests have all Atlantis privileges plus free breakfast and internet. The problem is, however, that Choice Privileges points are not easy to come by.
But there is another option to stay at the Atlantis that is much easier. This summer, Atlantis has joined Autograph Collection, the part of the Marriott family. Since there are several hotels, they have different redemption values.
I was glad to find out that it costs the equal amount of points to stay in the Beach Tower and Coral Tower, since the Coral Tower is considered nicer than the Beach Tower and always costs more to book for cash. If you have at least Gold status with Marriott, I would book the Coral Tower in hope to be upgraded higher up the food chain. On the other hand, being a resort, Atlantis might only upgrade you within the tower where you have booked. You also shouldn’t expect a free breakfast, but it would be nice if I were wrong.
How Many Credit Cards Will It Cost
Just two Chase Marriott credit card 70,000-point sign up bonuses will do the trick and buy you five nights at the Atlantis (with the fifth night free). If you want more, there is an awesome Chase Ritz Carlton card with the same bonus and a slew of other great benefits–that one, however, carries a $395 annual fee, and yes, it’s worth it. Read my detailed review of Chase Ritz Carlton credit card and its unique perks.
In addition, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to the Marriott at 1×1 ratio. This is not something that I would do, but it’ll help in a pinch.
Are There Any Additional Tricks to Increase the Value?
Perhaps. The Marriott offers hotel plus air packages. It sounds slightly misleading because they won’t fly you there–instead they will convert you excess points to the airline of your choice at 1×1 ratio. And they have increased their bonus transfer offer to United MileagePlus by 10%, so it has gotten even better. Note, however, that the package is good for exactly 7 days, but if you want a 7-days anyway, then yes, it is a terrific value, provided you have the points.
Why is it such a great deal? Because the best you can normally get out of transfer from Marriott to an airline is 2,24×1 (50,000 United miles for 112,000 Marriott points and even less for transfer to other airlines). With this deal you can transfer the rest of your miles at 1.1×1 ratio (77,000 United miles for 70,000 Marriott points).
Let’s crack some numbers.
The Beach and Coral Towers at the Atlantis are Category 7 hotels, so you will need 280,000 miles to buy the package. If you simply book a week at the hotel, it will cost you 210,000 points.
However, if you use the Hotel + Air package, it will cost you 280,000 points, but you will get 77,000 United miles out of it. It’s not just a good deal, it’s a terrific deal, provided, again, that you do have the points.
* Those who don’t believe there is such a thing as free travel, will be happy (LOL) to find out that Atlantis reportedly adds $27.95 per day in fees for every adult in the room at the cheapest towers, which are Beach and Corals (expect to pay more at other towers). I’m using the word “reportedly” because the agent didn’t sound as if she was absolutely sure. However, you should be ready that you will have to dole out $56 a day for your free stay at the Atlantis resort.
So, would you spend Marriott points to stay at the Atlantis?
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