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Marriott recently announced its hotel category changes for 2019 which will soon see over 285 of its properties charging more for an award night than they do right now.
These hotel category changes will be effective for bookings made from 5 March 2019 onwards which means there are only 18 full days left to lock in the exiting rates at properties moving up a category….and I’ve selected 9 such properties which are worth a closer look.
10 Marriott Properties Which Will Soon Cost More
Paris is one of the more expensive cities in Europe when it comes to booking accommodation so it’s often possible to get great value out of your hotel loyalty balances when visiting the city.
Sadly, three of Marriott’s Paris properties will be charging more for an award night from 5 March so, if you’re planning on visiting ‘the City of Lights’ this year, now may be a good time to make some award bookings.
The Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel is moving up to Category 6 which will see its standard award rate increase from 35,000 points to 50,000 points per night.
Prices during the more popular months to visit can easily pass €400/$450 per night while award nights at just 35,000 points/night aren’t hard to find.
On a nightly basis this would see a guest getting almost 1.3 cents of value out of each Marriott point or, on a 5-night stay where the 5th award night is free, over 1.6 cents of value out of each Marriott Point.
I value Marriott points at 0.6 cents each and most don’t value them any higher than 0.7 cents each so this the Renaissance Paris Republique can offer outstanding value to Marriott Bonvoy members.
Le Dokhan’s, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel is the second of Marriott’s Paris properties to be moving up a category and, just as with the Renaissance Paris Republique, this hotel is moving up to Category 6 (50,000 points/night).
In June (for example) room rates at this property range from €364/$410 to €503/$566 per night and award availability doesn’t look too bad.
At 35,000 points per night (the current rate) a guest would get a minimum of 1.2 cents of value out of each Marriott point used and, at double the value I set for Marriott points, that’s a great deal.
The third and final Paris Marriott property that’s moving up a category is the Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel. This is currently a Category 6 property costing 50,000 points per night but, from 5 March 2019, that will be increasing to 60,000 points/night.
In September (a great month to visit Paris) the rates at this property range from €427/$480 through to €569/$640 per night so, at 50,000 points per night the worst return a Marriott Bonvoy member would get on their balance is 0.85 cents/point while, at the top end and on a 5-night stay, the member would get over 1.4 cents of value out of every point.
Moving away from Paris but staying in Europe the next property to look at is the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel which is moving up to category 6 (50,000 points/night).
At busier times standard rooms at the Renaissance Amsterdam cost between €350/$395 and €400/$450 per night while easy to find award nights cost just 35,000 points – that’s a minimum of 1.1 cents/point of value out of each Marriott point.
Moving out of Europe and into Asia we come to the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel which is moving up to Category 5 (35,000 points/night) on the 5th of March. Right now this property can be booked for just 25,000 points per night.
Prices for a standard room at the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott are, on average, around HK$1,500/$190 per night (including taxes/fees) so, at 25,000 points per night, each Marriott point will get a guest around 0.8 cents of value.
That’s not exactly fantastic (although it’s not bad either) but value isn’t the main reason for including this property on this list.
The Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott is one of the few good hotels that’s convenient for Hong Kong airport and can be a very good option for anyone with a short overnight layover – if you’re points rich and don’t want to part with any more cash than you have to this property can be a very good option.
Also, at 25,000 points per night this property can still be booked using the lowest “free night certificate” that Chase issues with its Marriott Visa card (the legacy card that’s no longer open to new applicants) so this could be a good way of using such a certificate if you’re transiting through Hong Kong
Sticking with Marriott’s Asia portfolio, the next property I’d like to highlight is the JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach which will soon be a Category 7 property costing a painful 60,000 points per night.
I stayed at this property on points in 2017 (review here) and thought it was good value at 40,000 points per night (which it what it cost at the time) but, at 50,000 points (which is what it costs now), it’s a 50:50 proposition depending on the nightly rates and, when the cost increases to 60,000 points per night in March, the value will be all but gone.
Lastly, as far as the Asia-Pacific Marriott properties go, we have the Courtyard Seoul Namdaemun which will be moving from category 3 (costing just 17,500 points/night) to category 4 (costing 25,000 point/night).
This is a property I visited in 2017 (review here) and I thought it was the best Courtyard property I’d ever stayed at.
I’m not about to suggest that you won’t find the hotel great or get decent value out it when it costs 25,000 points per night…but what I am going to suggest is that at 17,500 points per night this place is a very good deal indeed.
It’s not so much that you’ll be able to get amazing value out your points by using them at the Courtyard Seoul it’s the fact that you’re unlikely to find many better Marriott properties which cost just 17,500 points.
The last two properties I’m going to mention are both in the US…and I’ll start with the W Miami.
Not to be confused with the W Miami South Beach this property sits in downtown Miami and currently costs 35,000 points/night. From March 5th that will be going up to 50,000 points per night (a 43% increase in cost).
The cheapest room on a randomly selected night in May at the W Miami costs from $440 which, when taxes are added in, comes to nearly $500.
The same night can currently be booked for 35,000 points which would see a Marriott Bonvoy member getting over 1.4 cents of value out of a currency that, as I mentioned earlier, most people don’t value any higher than 0.7 cents.
That’s a fantastic deal.
At 50,000 points per night a guest would still be getting ~1.0 cents of value out of each point which, while still pretty good, is nowhere near as fantastic as the deal you can get right now.
The last property I’m going to mention is The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Autograph Collection.
This isn’t a property that I’ve ever stayed at but its one that I know is popular with people who like to use their points to visit Vegas.
From 5 March the Cosmopolitan will go from being a Category 6 property to being a Category 7 property costing 60,000 points per night and, considering the deals you can get on accommodation in Vegas, this will almost certainly be a very poor deal.
The thing with Vegas is that there aren’t actually that many properties at which you can use points to book a room so, if you’re absolutely set on not using cash, the Cosmopolitan is a legitimate option….but please don’t spend 60,000 points on it. That will almost certainly be a colossal waste of points which cold be used more economically elsewhere and without much trouble at all.
285 Marriott properties will be charging more for an award night from 5 March 2019 so the 9 properties I’ve highlighted are just a drop in the ocean.
If you’re planning any trips and you’re considering using Marriott points for your accommodation then make sure you review the list of properties which are changing categories – it would be a shame to overpay now (or later) just because you weren’t aware of which properties were changing categories.