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9 Must-Not-Miss Marriott Hotels

Who doesn’t love a great hotel? A well-turned-out room at the end of a long flight can often be just as invigorating as a five-star luxury experience. It’s even better when you don’t have to pay a dime for the pleasure.

That’s why Marriott Bonvoy has been one of our favourite loyalty programs here at Prince of Travel. Alas, that program has been subject to numerous devaluations, and the most recent changes are not looking good for value maximizers such as myself.

The list of affected hotels is very long, and includes some of the hottest properties on the planet. It’s no surprise that you’ll want to start booking now rather than be unable to attend some of these options in the future.

So rather than wait for doom to approach, let’s take a look at nine amazing Marriott hotels that offer outsized value to book over the next few days. With Bonvoy permitting you to schedule your stay up to a year in advance, book now or forever hold your peace with dynamic pricing.

A Few Assumptions

I have written this article on the basis of a few assumptions that I think help round out options for most travellers, while keeping in mind which countries will be open. If your preferred hotel isn’t on the list, do feel free to drop it in the comments.

This list is designed to provide value, so we are aiming for a valuation above 1 cent per point (CAD). Because of this, South America, which has great products, is currently less of a great redemption area because of its low cash prices relative to points.

Second, Mainland China has many excellent hotels and tourist attractions, but it’s also closed and likely to remain that way for a long time to come. Aya! Japan is a little bit different, and I do hope it opens, but for now I will assume that their caution should be forecast to continue for the purposes of this list.

Third, I won’t be listing Ritz-Carlton or EDITION Hotels (with one notable exception). This isn’t because these institutions offer poor service or lacklustre hard products. On the contrary, they hold themselves as being ultra-luxury!

However, this high-brow attitude comes with a commensurate lack of benefits for those of us holding Marriott Elite status, and I feel that detracts somewhat from their value proposition.

What is this “free breakfast” you speak of?

1. The St. Regis Aspen Resort

First on our list is a winter getaway for all those skiers out there – and I’d hurry, because this property books out even with rooms that run over US$3,700 a night.

The St. Regis Aspen Resort is located right by some of the best ski hills found in North America. Aside from slaloms on scenic slopes, it offers fine dining on-site, with many other restaurants within walking distance, a full spa, and of course St. Regis’s signature 6pm champagne sabering ritual.

If you go to this hotel, you’re certain to be rubbing shoulders with some of the wealthiest and most elite members of society. Wouldn’t it be even more entertaining if you were paying with points?

Right now, I’m looking a year in advance, right after New Year’s Eve of 2023. I’ve found a five-night stay, meaning that one night is free in the lowest category of room. As a Category 8 hotel, this will run you 340,000 Bonvoy points.

What about the cash price?

A whopping US$18,537! This booking would not only get you an unforgettable five nights in Aspen, it would also represent a staggering redemption value of 5.4 US cents per point!

As this hotel will be seeing a hike of 20,000 Bonvoy points per night on March 29, you’ll want to get those skis ready now!

2. Paris Marriott Champs-Elysées Hotel

Like it or not, Paris is the most iconic tourist destination on the planet, and France still remains one of the highest receivers of foreign visitors. As a de facto cultural capital of this world, this isn’t surprising, and nowhere in Paris is more of an epicentre for haute cuisine and haute couture than the Champs-Elysées, a place which has spawned about as many songs about it as the concept of love has.

Can you put a price on being in the bosom of this haute romance during the joyous Bastille Day celebrations? Marriott International did: it’s €646 per night, which is $917 (CAD), at the Marriott Champs-ElyséesSacre bleu.

Book on your points now, because the hotel is already a Category 7 property, and it’s going to see a price hike of 30,000 Bonvoy per night very shortly.

Right now, you can get it for 70,000 Bonvoy per night in peak season. That’s a value of 1.3 cents per points, so allez-y and book! 

3. Aegon Mykonos, Autograph Collection

The Cyclades have a soft spot in my heart ever since my high school Greek teacher Mr. Blair furnished us with the classics of Homer, and also some fascinating artefacts recovered from the pre-Hellenistic period.

But of course, the reason most of us will want to go to Mykonos in this ancient aisle of isles is because of the amazing beaches. I’ve also had it on good authority that the seafood at the Aegon Mykonos is absolutely stupendous. 

So if you want to live out your fantasy of re-enacting Mama Mia! by badly lip-syncing to Abba on a scenic Greek beach, I can think of few places better than the Aegon.

But what about the prices? As a Category 6 hotel, there’s an attractive rate for a five-night stay at the height of the summer tourist season in July of 240,000 Bonvoy points.


How about cash?

At €715, or $1,015 (CAD) per night, this place is downright expensive. By redeeming Bonvoy points, one would see a value of an easy 2.1 cents per point!

When one considers that this hotel is slated to see a price hike of 20,000 points per night on March 29 – Mama Mia, here we go again, my mind, now’s the time for bookin’! 

4. The Bodrum EDITION

Going to the east of Greece, we come to Turkey and the Anatolian plateau, resting beneath the Black Sea and above the Mediterranean with the Aegean sandwiched in the middle. And there are few places on the Aegean coasts as beautiful as Bodrum.

Both the mountains and the sea combine to tell thousands of years of Greek, Roman, and Turkish history. Fortunately, you can enjoy them all with a glass of champagne in your hands and a hearty free full breakfast at the Bodrum EDITION hotel.

That’s well worth a place on this list. And not a moment too soon: this full-service hotel replete with restaurants, spa, and sailing is going to see a price hike of 30,000 Bonvoy points per night!

And at the cash rate’s they’re presenting, I don’t think you’ll be reaching for your pocketbook anytime soon.

At €518, or $735 (CAD) a night during the off-season around Halloween, Bodrum will definitely empty your piggy bank.

But on points, this property will give you a much better value, because as a Category 6 hotel, you can get it booked for as low as 200,000 points for five nights.

Booking for this low amount of points would not only allow you to conserve your Bonvoy points for other stays, it would also provide you with an impressive redemption value of 1.8 cents per point.

5. Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai

The Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa needs no introduction. But I’ll give it one anyways.

It’s a luxury property where you get individual Bedouin tents as your lodging. Your location: a gorgeous grotto in the Emirati desert. Your company: a wait staff who look after you 24/7 and ensure you have two free desert activities such as falconry and camel-riding per day.

The food? Gourmet, and included full-board (alcohol is extra, though). Oh, and there’s private pools and the obligatory high-end spa.

This is about the tippy-top of the resorts on Planet Earth that can be booked on points, and so it’s pretty much always in demand, even during the scorching summer months. That’s probably why the redemption rate will soon be increasing by 20,000 points per night.

Book this hotel over the December holiday rush, and you’d be looking at a cost of 385,000 Bonvoy points per five-night stay.

That’s not a small amount of points, but how’s it compare to the cash rate?

At a normal rate of 7,417 AED, or $2,557 (CAD) per night, you’ll be getting a fantastic redemption rate of 3.3 cents per point. You’ll also be booting the points hike, to boot, at one of the most exclusive resorts there is.

If this is on your bucket list, schedule it now, because prices are set to become prohibitively expensive soon.

6. Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, Mauritius

Beautiful Mauritius, formerly the home of the Dodo, makes for an exotic getaway location. With Air Mauritius having recently joined Aeroplan, it’s even easier to get to as well.

The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa offers the full experience its name would suggest: gourmet dining, the obligatory spa, and the vivid blue of the Indian Ocean. Coming March 29, it’ll also run you an extra 20,000 Bonvoy per idyllic evening. Book before those island dreams go the way of the Dodo!

Of course, the rooms will demand a bit of a premium, and I see that the resort is often full. Still, looking at January 2023, this Category 5 hotel can be booked for 160,000 Bonvoy points for five nights at the all-peak rate.

The cash rate in comparison? Relatively high at US$337 per night.

That’s a valuation of 1.1 US cents per point, and it’s in the middle of stunning Mauritius. Of course, you could look across the island at the Le Méridien Ile Maurice, but the reviews aren’t nearly as nice. The JW Marriott on the same island looks a little overpriced in points vs. the cash price, so I’d steer clear in favour of the Westin.

7. Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa

This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one entry from the Maldives. What more is there to say about this epic destination that is so quintessential to the Miles & Points community?

The Maldives is an archipelago that reminds me of the imagination of Ursula K Leguin’s Earthsea, and the waters of the Maldives are even more enchanting. I’ve heard the resorts are pretty nice, too.

Le Méridien Maldives

The Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa is great for those of us who may be on a tighter budget, because the rooms are more affordable than typical overwater villas. While this is a Category 5 hotel, I have yet to find a night priced at under 35,000 Bonvoy points at the moment, so keep that in mind.

You’ll be subject to peak pricing during the winter season. I looked into dates in January 2023 and found this property’s overwater villas, for which the country is famous, at 210,000 Bonvoy points for a five-night stay. There’s also an option to pay 160,000 points and US$250. 

This is the last time you’ll be seeing these prices, as the changes are bringing the infamous 20,000-point hike on March 29.

At the current rate, this seems like a great value to me for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but what about the cash price?

$844 (USD) per night, huh? Well that works out to a valuation of over 2 US cents per point, which is a bargain indeed.

I’d book this before it’s gone, because I seriously doubt any Maldives property will be bookable for such low points amounts anytime in the future.

8. JW Marriott Phu Quoc Island

But wait, maybe the Maldives feels a bit “overdone” to your taste. Or maybe you just love the delicious flavour of classical Vietnamese cooking (I know I’m a sucker for banh mi).

Then why not check out the luxurious JW Marriott Phu Quoc Island Emerald Bay Resort & Spa?

Vietnam is pondering a reopening to tourism on March 15, so I’d say now is a great time to look into visiting this underrated gem of a country in Southeast Asia. 

Phu Quoc itself is famous for its scenic beaches, and the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Island Emerald Bay Resort & Spa certainly lives up to its name. The colour of the water looks like gemstones, and don’t forget the on-site restaurants, spa, and beaches.

As for pricing, a night here in January 2023 will cost you 7.923 million Vietnamese Dong, or CA$408. That’s a pretty great price for a resort of this calibre – I’ve paid more for worse.

Paying with points, though, can be even better. 135,000 Bonvoy points for the same five nights I looked at in the Maldives what a bargain! 

This would give you a valuation of 1.5 cents per point and an unforgettable experience that many of your friends won’t have tried. You’ll definitely want to lock this in, because the rates will be jumping by 20,000 points per night as of March 29.

9. Marriott Resort Fiji Momi Bay

Of course, if neither the Maldives or Vietnam appeal to you, you could make your way all the way to the remotest corners of the Pacific and vacation on the remote island of Fiji.

While this isle may be famous for its bottled water, it’s also home to gorgeous ocean views, romantic sunsets, and a Marriott resort fully-stocked with fine dining options, spa services, and all the tropical pleasantry your heart could desire.

The Marriott Resort Fiji Momi Bay also has a whole variety of rooms, from basic ones overlooking the property’s lagoons up to overwater villas (though these are more expensive, and may require additional cash, points, or Suite Night Awards).

As a Category 5 hotel, this resort can offer a sweet spot for those Free Night Awards. Marriott corporate agrees, because they’re hiking rates 20,000 points a night on March 29!

Cash value isn’t terrible at $815 (FJD) or $487 (CAD) per night over the Christmas peak period – but points is where we can see a bit of better value.

For 160,000 Bonvoy points during the peak-est of peak seasons, you’d be getting $2,400 (CAD) in value. That’s a redemption value of 1.5 cents per point on the dot, which promises to be much better than the devalued rate that Bonvoy points will soon arrive at.

Conclusion

March 29, 2022 is bringing us Miles & Points fans a bunch of Marriott Bonvoy devaluations we never wanted, and many excellent hotels will see themselves be priced out of the reach of even our savviest numbers. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost – instead, it just means we have to be preemptive and strategic with our bookings.

If you’re sitting on a massive pile of Bonvoy points, now’s the time to strike boldly and schedule one of those super-extra holidays you’ve been craving all through the pandemic.

Until next time, may your suite upgrades ever be granted.

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