The sweetest of Marriott sweet spots post-merge: All-suite hotels for 60,000 points
Updated: April 18, 6:20 pm ET: As you can see in my prior update, there’s different information coming out, but I reached back out to Marriott to confirm what I wrote in this post following disbelief from other bloggers. While I can’t say for sure what will transpire in August, my Marriott contact replied to me as follows: “I just got clarification from the top… All suite hotels are being pulled into the Award Chart.” That’s an unedited quote. I guess we’ll see what happens!
Updated: April 18, 1:05 pm ET: While the information below came directly from Marriott, other bloggers, namely Lucky from OMAAT and Gary Leff, have told me they have gotten exactly the opposite information from Marriott. Gary cites a conversation with the Sr VP of Loyalty, who certainly would know what’s happening. So, I will update as I hear back but it looks like the below excitement may be a false alarm. I’m not going to delete anything until I hear further confirmation but it’s fair to say this is likely not playing out in the way I interpreted the statement I received.
Since the big Marriott announcement on Monday and the revelation that, between August and December 2018, we will be able to book the highest category properties for just 60,000 Marriott points per night (before they rise to a maximum of 100,000 points in 2019), there has been a lot of talk about maximizing this.
For example, as I mentioned yesterday, you’ll be able to book current SPG Category 7 hotels and resorts that can cost up to 35,000 Starpoints per night for just 60,000 Marriott points (the equivalent of just 20,000 SPG Starpoints) from August to December and then 70,000-100,000 points thereafter. This clearly presents some amazing opportunities, like the W Maldives and the The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort.
So one BIG question has been regarding the special properties such as all-suite hotels which currently require a phone call to book and can cost over 100,000 Starpoints per night.
I reached out to Marriott for clarification. The response surprised me and I read it a few times before smiling broadly…
My question: How will all-suite SPG hotels be priced – both Aug – Dec 2018 and then in 2019?
The answer, quoted verbatim: “All suite hotels will fall into our category tiers along with other properties and be subject to standard, peak and off-peak redemption values.”
Let that sink in.
This should apply to all of the following hotels and resorts:
Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand;
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand;
Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas, Steamboat Springs, Colorado;
The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica;
The St Regis Bora Bora and the Le Meridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora, French Polynesia;
Mystique, Santorini, Santorini, Greece;
The St. Regis Bali Resort, Nusa Dua, Indonesia;
Hotel Cala di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Costa Smeralda, Italy;
W Retreat & Spa, North Ari Atoll, Maldives;
The St. Regis Vommuli Resort, Vommuli, Maldives;
W Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand;
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, U.A.E.;
St. Regis Residence Club, Aspen, CO;
Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, Key West, FL;
Phoenician Residences, Luxury Collection Residence Club, Scottsdale, AZ.
Most of these properties cost over $1,000 per night (sometimes well over) and this would seem to be the sweetest of sweet spots to come out of the merger.
One big note is that some of the properties were priced more because of a half or full board requirement and I fully expect they will be compensated by us one way or another there. There’s just no way that will be included in the category redemption.
I do wonder if this can possibly last long-term. I wouldn’t be surprised if mandatory cash “upgrade supplements” or similar are added at some point and, of course, until this all goes live in August nothing is set in stone. This could change.
But as of today, I’m going to be mentally preparing to spend an absolute ton of my Starpoints on a few of these in the August – December 2018 timeframe while they will be just 60,000 Marriott points per night. You only need to book in that timeframe, so you can book throughout 2019.
Keeping in mind the 5th Night Free on awards, this means just 240,000 Marriott (80,000 Starpoints) for 5 nights. You may well never see a better redemption value – ever.
For those on the fence about new SPG/Marriott related credit card signup bonuses, I think the answer is Yes – we’ll 100% want them.
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