Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
The pandemic may still be raging but Marriott’s relentless expansion within the Asia Pacific region doesn’t appear to have been slowed by the crisis enveloping the world. The hotel behemoth has reported that it opened 75 properties across Asia Pacific in 2020 and it expects to open almost 100 more in 2021.
If you ever wondered why Marriott has often appeared very keen to appease the Chinese Government, you only have to look at the hotelier’s growing presence in the country. With the opening of the JW Marriott Shanghai Fengxian in the coming weeks, Marriott will have 400 properties in Greater China and an incredible 50 properties in Shanghai alone (outside of New York City, I can’t think of anywhere in the world where Marriott has that many properties).
Marriott has reported that its leisure bookings in China have been incredibly strong – up over 25% year over year in the third quarter in Mainland China – and that goes a long way to explain why we’ll be seeing luxury properties like the W Changsha (March), the W Xiamen (July), the St. Regis Qingdao, and the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Jiuzhaigou opening their doors in 2021.
Outside of China Marriott continues to grow too and a few of the hotelier’s brands will be making their debuts in various parts of the Asia Pacific region. In Japan, W Hotels is expected to debut with the opening of W Osaka (March 2021), The Luxury Collection is set to debut in Australia with the opening of The Tasman in Hobart (June 2021) and the Ritz-Carlton brand is expected to debut in the Maldives with the opening of the Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands (May 2021).
Brand debuts aside, other APAC properties slated to open in 2021 include the JW Marriott Jeju in South Korea, a new Westin in Goa, India, and Melbourne, Australia will have two new Marriotts when the W Melbourne and the Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands both open later this year.
From a Marriott loyalist point of view, it’s worth noting that some of these properties may turn out to be very good places at which to burn some Bonvoy points or to use a free night certificate.
The new JW Marriott in Shanghai, the W Changsha, and the W Xiamen are all set to be Category 3 properties costing 15,000 – 20,000 points/night, the Melbourne Marriott Docklands will be a Category 4 property costing 20,000 – 30,000 points per night, the new Luxury Collection property in Hobart is set to be a Category 5 property costing 30,000 – 40,000 points per night and the W Osaka and the W Melbourne will be Category 6 properties costing 40,000 – 60,000 points per night.
That puts the JW Marriott Shanghai Fengxian, the W Changsha, the W Xiamen, the Melbourne Marriott Docklands, and The Tasman all within the range of the free night certificate (worth up to 35,000 points) issued by the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card from Chase as well as the free night certificate (worth up to 50,000 points) issued by the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card from American Express.
The certificate issued by the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card will also be able to book the W Osaka and the W Melbourne in off-peak and standard seasons and the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Jiuzhaigou (Category 7, costing 50,000 – 70,000 points per night) in off-peak season.
Unsurprisingly, the Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fai Islands will be a Category 8 property (70,000 – 100,000 points per night) when it opens in May, but if you’re prepared to travel out of season, it should be reasonably easy to avoid the 100,000 points/night peak rate (at the time of writing, most nights in July, August, and September cost 85,000 points/night).
Also, when considering a points booking don’t forget that all Marriott Bonvoy members receive the 5th night free on all bookings of 5 nights or more so, if you can book a stay of a reasonable length (who goes to the Maldives for less than 5 days?), the cost per night can become considerably more reasonable.
Marriott has announced that it expects to open almost 100 new Asia Pacific properties in 2021 and with a number of these properties set to be very nice and in very reasonable Bonvoy categories, Marriott loyalists may soon have a number of new excellent redemption opportunities across the Asia Pacific region.
Featured image: Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fai Islands courtesy of Marriott