This is #bucketlist stuff indeed!
Two weeks ago I wrote about a fantastic opportunity for booking luxury hotels ‘on the cheap’.
As most of you will hopefully be aware by now, Marriott is in the process of creating a brand new combined Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program.
Overall, the program announcements have been largely positive. But there is one standout opportunity that has had everyone talking.
Between August and early 2019, you’ll be able to get discounts of more than 40% when booking St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton or Luxury Collection hotels.
What we didn’t know, was just how lucrative this would turn out to be…
The window of opportunity
We already knew that Marriott is introducing off-peak and peak pricing as well as a new top-tier Category 8 for points redemptions. We also knew that this wouldn’t be rolled out until early 2019.
Instead, from August until early 2019, every hotel across the Marriott/Starwood portfolio will be capped at 20,000 SPG points (equivalent to 60,000 Marriott points) per night.
This will mean hugely discounted redemptions at high-end hotels.
For perspective, top-end Category 7 Starwood properties such as the St. Regis Bal Harbour or Hotel Danieli, Venice currently cost up to 35,000 SPG points per night – the equivalent of 105,000 Marriott Rewards points!
And if that wasn’t good enough, Marriott has now revealed changes that will elevate this deal from simply ‘really good’ to ‘sublime’!
Off the charts hotels – a thing of the past
There are select Starwood properties that are classed as ‘all-suite’. They aren’t capped at the usual 35,000 SPG points per night and generally require eye-watering numbers of points for a free night
- St. Regis Resort Bora Bora
- Le Méridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora
- W Maldives
- The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
- W Koh Samui
- Vana Belle Koh Samui
- Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, Key West, Florida
- Mystique, Santorini, Greece
- Pine Cliff Residences, Albuferia, Portugal
- Cala Di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza
- Hotel Romazzino, Porto Cervo, Italy
The minimum number of Starpoints required for a free night ranges from 40,000 to a whopping 140,000 Starpoints per night!
Their future remained up in the air – would they remain expensive and off-limits to most or was there any hope of them being added to the new program?
Marriott revealed late last week that these properties will no longer be ‘off the charts’ and will be slotted into Marriott’s new Category 8 when it arrives in 2019.
What’s even better is that all of the above properties will also be bookable for just 20,000 SPG points/60,000 Marriott points per night between August and early 2019 – that’s incredible!
When you factor in the fifth-night free benefit available on reward stays, you could end up paying as little as 16,000 SPG points per night at amazing hotels such as the St. Regis Maldives. Currently, it would cost a huge 72,000 points per night. That’s a reduction of more than 70% – ridiculously good.
Other key movers
The news that these all-suite properties are to become available at standard redemption rates was revealed as Marriott unveiled the new redemption categories for all hotels.
You can view the new pricing for all Marriott/Starwood properties via this handy search tool.
It would be impossible to list all of the changes here, so I’ve picked out a couple that looked interesting:
Hotels increasing in price from August:
(Prices in Marriott Rewards points, per night, ‘standard’ redemptions)
- London Marriott Park Lane = up 15,000 points to 60,000
- London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square = up 15,000 to 60,000
- The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami = up 15,000 to 85,000
- The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong = up 15,000 to 85,000
- The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto = up 15,000 to 85,000
- The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya = up 14,000 to 50,000
- The St. Regis Rome = up 25,000 to 85,000
- Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection = up 40,000 (!) to 85,000
- Pine Cliffs Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort, Algarve = up 14,000 to 50,000
Hotels decreasing in price from August:
- Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Napa Valley = down 30,000 points to 60,000
- The St. Regis San Francisco = down 30,000 to 60,000
- Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami = down 10,000 to 50,000
- The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai = down 10,000 to 60,000
- Hotel Imperial, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna = down 10,000 to 50,000
The news that even ‘all-suite’ hotels will all be bookable for 20,000 SPG points or less per night has just reiterated what a stormingly good offer this promises to be, come August.
Granted, you need to hope that hotels don’t play games with their reward night availability, but given that cash rates at many of these hotels are well in excess of £1,000+, this is a great chance to tick off some bucket list hotels.
To be clear, there’s no requirement to actually complete your stay between August and early 2019. You simply have to book within that timeframe to lock in the reduced rate!