Home Industry News Marriott Has Added 19 Autograph Collection Properties To Its All-Inclusive Portfolio

Marriott Has Added 19 Autograph Collection Properties To Its All-Inclusive Portfolio


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It was only a little over two years ago that Marriott announced that it would be adding all-inclusive resorts to its portfolio and since then we’ve seen the hotelier buying up exiting properties and promising new builds too.

In February of this year, Marriott confirmed plans to add a number of Blue Diamond all-inclusive resorts to its Autograph Collection brand but, at the time, didn’t actually say when the properties would be available to book on Marriott.com. Well, as of right now, 19 new all-inclusive properties are bookable with Bonvoy Points and/or cash.

The Properties

The 19 properties that have been added to the Autograph Collection are all in the Caribbean, they’re spread across six nations, and all fall into one of Marriott’s top two Bonvoy tiers.

Antigua

Royalton Antigua, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort & Casino – Category 8

Royalton Antigua – Image courtesy of Marriott

Costa Rica

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort – Category 7

Dominican Republic

Note: Royalton CHIC Punta Cana, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort & Casino (Adults Only) is expected to be welcomed into the portfolio in 2022 as a category 8 property.

Hideaway at Royalton Punta Cana – Image courtesy of Marriott

Grenada

Jamaica

*I never thought I’d see Marriott add a naturist resort to its portfolio!

Royalton White Sands Montego Bay – Image courtesy of Marriott

Mexico

Hideaway at Royalton Riviera Cancun Luxury Ocean View Junior Suite – Image courtesy of Marriott

St. Lucia

Interestingly, while all of the other properties have been mentioned by Marriott before, I don’t believe that Marriott has ever discussed including the Grand Lido Negril Au-Naturel property in its portfolio before.

Thoughts

As I’ve mentioned before, I have mixed feelings about these properties.

On the one hand, I’m happy to see all-inclusive properties being added to the Marriott portfolio as they give Bonvoy members a new option when it comes time to redeem some (or all) of their points. On the other hand, I don’t understand why these properties are being added to the Autograph Collection.

These (generally) large resorts have little in common with Autograph Collection properties like the Grand Universe Lucca in Tuscany, the St Ermin’s Hotel in London, the Stones Hotel in Bali, the Triada Palm Springs, or the Clancy in San Francisco, all of which are boutique properties with their own individual charm and designs.

Sure, there’s a chance that the 166-room Hideaway at Royalton Saint Lucia and the 168-room Hideaway at Royalton Punta Cana may have a boutique feel to them (I’ve never visited these properties so I don’t know), but there’s absolutely no chance that properties with 300 – 800 rooms will feel like Autograph Collection properties at all. So why is Marriott insisting on calling these properties “Autograph Collection” properties? To me, this just devalues the brand.

Another concern that I have surrounds the quality of these properties.

Somehow, a lot of these properties already have a few guest reviews on Marriott.com (presumably the reviews predate the addition of the properties to Marriott’s portfolio), and while some of the review scores are clearly pretty good…

…a sizeable number of the new all-inclusive properties come with scores that are less than stellar.

Here are four of the new Cancun properties with review scores of between 3.4 and 3.9:

And here are four of the new all-inclusive properties in the Dominican Republic with scores ranging from 3.1 to 3.8.

Yes, it’s important to note that some of the properties have only had a handful of reviews (so the sample sizes are not significant) and that the reviews almost certainly relate to stays made before the properties came under the Marriott umbrella, but they’re still a little concerning.

Some of the TripAdvisor reviews make things look a little better (the Royalton Splash Punta Cana, for example, gets a very good TA review while the property only scores a dismal 3.1 on Marriott.com) but I wouldn’t be in any hurry to book any of the properties with poor Marriott reviews until more data from Marriott guests is available.

From a point redemption point of view, it’s not surprising to see these properties being included in Bonvoy Categories 7 & 8 as by the very nature of all-inclusive properties, stays will include all food and drink. Having said that, it’s going to be important for Bonvoy members to be careful how many points they redeem for stays at these properties as I’ve seen a number of examples where a redemption would get a guest less than 0.4 cents of value from each Bonvoy point used.

Tip: When checking prices, make sure you search using the correct number of adults and children in your party as unlike with most regular properties, the pricing at these all-inclusive resorts varies depending on the number of guests.

Bottom Line

Marriott has now added 19 new all-inclusive properties to its portfolio and all are now bookable on Marriott.com (a 20th property is expected to be added in early 2022). As things stand, I’m very much undecided about these properties as although I like the idea of having the opportunity to burn Bonvoy points at nice all-inclusive resorts, I still have questions about the quality and the value that these resorts will offer. Given time and more data from Marriott guests I may be happy to try out one or more of these resorts, but for the time being, I think I’ll sit back and watch the reviews come in before I part with any points or cash.

Featured Image: Hideaway at Royalton Saint Lucia courtesy of Marriott

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