It was a big year for Marriott Rewards. They have added a very important resort to their Marriott Hotels Autograph Collection: Atlantis on Paradise Island, Bahamas. And they have won loads of awards, too.
- Best Hotel Rewards Program by US News and World Report;
- Top Hotel Loyalty Program by Travel and Leisure and Fortune;
- Top Hotel Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2014 Report;
- Program of the Year by Freddie Awards.
So, well, it’s been a good year for Marriott Rewards. Kudos to them.
In terms of not devaluing the living hell out of Marriott Rewards, I can’t say they’ve won any accolades from me, but at least, there has been an improvement from the bloody coupe of 2013. There are some interesting properties that have even become more affordable. Unfortunately, most of them are off the beaten path, but we are travelers, not tourists, right? No, seriously–right?
Here is the chart.
|HotelCategory||Points Required Per Night||Redeem4 Nights;Your 5th Night is FREE!|
Back in the spring, I wrote a couple of posts about Marriott Rewards changes.
My point back then, as well as now was this. The changes are bad for those of us who seek the most luxurious properties or/and properties in the most popular locations. But they are pretty good if you are OK with simpler properties or/and properties in not very popular locations.
Since my job (or obsession, call it any which way you want) is to look for a silver lining in everything, I was happy to find quite a few.
Cat 2 -> 1
- Courtyard Chicago Elgin/West Dundee;
- Fairfield InnChicago/Naperville
- Courtyard by Marriott Bhopal, India;
- Courtyard Shanghai/Jiading, China;
- Courtyard Monterrey San Jeronimo, Mexico;
- Courtyard Pilsen, Czech Republic
Cat 3 -> 2
- Courtyard Petersburg, Clearwater, FL;
- Fairfield Inn Chicago Gurnee;
- Residence Inn Toronto Mississauga/Meadowval
- Courtyard Ottawa East, Canada;
- AC Hotel Porto by Marriott, Porto, Portugal;
- AC Hotel Brescia, Italy;
- AC Hotel Valencia, Spain;
- Miri Marriott Resort & Spa, Borneo, Indonesia;
- JW Marriott Hotel Surabaya, Java, Indonesia;
- JW Marriott Ankara, Turkey;
- JW Marriott Hotel Cairo;
- Renaissance Mumbai Hotel & Convention Centre, India;
- Renaissance Yangtze Shanghai Hotel, China;
- Renaissance Shanghai Pudong Hotel, China;
- Renaissance Bochum Hotel, Germany (close to Dusseldorf)
- Renaissance Cairo Mirage City Hotel;
- JW Marriott Hotel Absheron Baku, Azerbaijan.
Cat 4 -> 3
- SpringHill Suites Las Vegas North;
- Fairfield Inn Twentynine Palms-JoshuaTreeNational Park;
- AC Hotel Cuzco, Madrid, Spain;
- Courtyard Panama City, Panama;
- Courtyard Wiesbaden-Nordenstadt, Germany;
- CourtyardVienna/Messe, Austria;
- Rayong Marriott Resort&Spa, Thailand;
- Newcastle Marriott Hotel Gosforth Park, England;
- Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino;
- Residence Inn San Jose Escazu, Costa Rica.
Cat 5 -> 4
- Renaissance Phoenix Downtown;
- AC Hotel Atocha, Madrid, Spain;
- Istanbul Marriott Hotel Asia, Turkey;
- Newcastle Marriott Hotel MetroCentre, England.
Well, enough about changes. You will find the full list of changes right here.
New Hotels (see the full list here).
Please note that I’m interested in the same thing you are: saving money. So below, I have listed the most interesting location- and budgetwise properties. And when I say budgetwise, I don’t necessarily mean cheap. “Budgetwise” means that using points must make sense compared to using cash. Wasting 40,000 points for a room that costs $126 is ridiculous, just like setting this level by Marriott is preposterous. But to each his own. 🙂
Residence Inn Kuwait City (if you find yourself in Kuwait, you can book this hotel for $225 or 7,500 points–your choice).
Azerbaijan (both are supposedly 5-star ski resorts with a $200-300 price tag, so you can combine a ski trip with a stay at the JW Marriott in Baku for 10,000 points a night).
USA: Fairfield Inn & Suites Fort Lauderdale Pembroke Pines (opening March 2015)
India: Courtyard Marriott Agra (Taj Mahal)
Malaysia: Mulu Marriott Resort (luxury resort in the jungles of Borneo, opening March 2015)
Thailand: Courtyard South Pattaya
- SpringHill Suites Orlando Kissimmee (opening February 2015)
- Courtyard Orlando South/John Young Parkway (opening February 2015)
- Residence Inn West Palm Beach Downtown (opening February 2015)
- Courtyard St. Petersburg Clearwater/Madeira Beach (opening January 2015)
- Residence Inn New York Manhattan/World Trade Center Area
- Fairfield Inn New York Manhattan/Financial District (Opening January 2015)
- Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection (opening January 2015)
- Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal
Denmark: AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen
Russia: Moscow Marriott Hotel Novy Arbat (opening January 2015)
Ritz Carlton Tier 3 (50,000 points)
Indonesia: The Ritz-Carlton, Bali
More Upcoming Hotels
This is really good! Up until now, there has been a real problem with getting award stays at safari lodges in Africa. Basically, they don’t exist (to the best of my knowledge, which is far from absolute). So Marriott, being good Samaritans they are, has decided to do something about it–starting, for now, with adding some South African properties.
Starting February 23, 2015, you can earn*, redeem and enjoy full Elite benefits at 26 participating Protea Hotels, Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! and African Pride Hotels in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Dozens of other Protea properties will join Marriott Rewards in late 2015, giving you even more places to experience Africa.
From chic urban hotels to luxurious safari lodges, Protea offers the best of the continent with more than 100 properties in South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.
Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge Waterfront
Protea Hotel North Wharf Waterfront
Protea Hotel President
Protea Hotel Sea Point
Protea Hotel Victoria Junction Waterfront
Protea Hotel Cape Castle Waterfront
Protea Hotel Wanderers
Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton
Protea Hotel Parktonian All-Suite
Protea Hotel Midrand
Protea Hotel O.R. Tambo Airport
Protea Hotel Samrand
Protea Hotel Transit O.R. Tambo Airport
Protea Hotel Roodepoort
That’s it for now. It’s a busy day
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Photo by: Herry Lawford