Ok, you've studied up your Marriott Category Rewards changes http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/blogs/news-promotions/2013/02/11/first-look-at-2013-hotel-category-changes-book-before-may-16-2013-using-2012-hotel-categories
and you've lived inside the Marriott.com pricing grid for weeks, your eyes are droopy and bloodshot, and yet you still have a few certificates and rewards points you would love to max out before the May 15th midnight (make sure you're playing in the proper time zone - whatever that may be!);
How about if we tap the experience and expertise (and giving nature) of Insiders and share some of the sites we've already booked, just in case it might provide that last minute 'Hail Mary' strategy for other members.
To kick it off:
I booked the soon to be Cat. 5 RESIDENCE INN - Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf this summer for my hang out at the lake Canadian vacation (some possible uses also exist for the drive from Buffalo or Toronto on up there)
Also for evening out local overnights (after dinner and a play/movie) - the soon to be Cat. 5 Dulles Marriott Suites (weeknights mind you, Plats get a great buffet and rooms cost even more, providing me the guilty pleasure of puttin' it to "The Man" ) and my favorite, Residence Inn Bethesda Md.
californian - following the lead of pluto77 booked a points saving stay at Phoenix Marriott Tempe at the Buttes and pluto also closed some deals on some Bay area Courtyards and is ready to pull the trigger on a 50 week away London stay.
So how about it Insiders - where were the pre-devaluation bookings that made you happy that you got one last bite of the 'good ol' days apple'? (Nostalgia isn't what it used to be)
Good topic! I just went thorough the category changes list and have noted the following note-worthy properties which are changing from Category 5 to 6 and Category 4 to 5. Hopefully some Insiders can take advantage of using their certificates for these before the May 15th deadline.
Category 5 to 6:
JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead- My favorite place to stay in Atlanta. Lots of great restaurants and shopping in walking distance. Marta is right across the street.
Toronto Downtown Marriott Eaton Centre- Great hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto near Yonge Street.
Raleigh Renaissance North Hills- The best Marriott property in Raleigh. Walking distance to great shops and restaurants.
Casa Magna Cancun- Have not stayed at this property but heard good things.
JW Marriott Las Vegas- Also not stayed at this property but also have heard good things about it.
Category 4 to 5:
Courtyard Burbank Airport & Marriott Burbank Airport- Both properties are excellent places to stay when in the Hollywood area. Both are close to Universal Studios and other attractions in the area.
Courtyard Downtown Toronto- Another great hotel in downtown Toronto.
Atlanta Airport Gateway Marriott- Excellent Airport hotel connected to the airport via the SkyTrain.
Thanks for the useful input (perhaps the Insiders were more droopy and worn out than I had thought). I share your high regard for those two fives, JW Buckhead and the Raleigh Renaissance, they will be missed and will soon require 30k, oh well, onward we go. Vaboy - the good news for you, who like to travel up the road to the nation's capital, the Gaithersburg, Tysons, and Fairview Marriotts (yeah, yeah I know, Dunn Loring CY, but Fairview gives you a very nice CL and also has free parking) remain fours and the lovely Residence Inn Pentagon City will still be accepting Category 4 certificates.
For playing the Help Other Insiders Out with Last Minute Ideas game, vaboywnder, you will have your answer marked as the Correct Answer (which goes on your permanent record and may be used in job interviews) and, 'Tell him what he's won, Johnny'; Free waffles at any participating Marriott SpringHill Suites*
*may not use more than three butters or syrups on any one waffle (but you can call our customer service hotline and we'll manually cut you a deal )
In interacting with vaboywonder, another property came up (which was the concept behind the post). I've read a lot about folks checking out the new to Marriott, Gaylord at National Harbor in Oxon Hill Md. (just down the Potomac River from DC and across from Alexandria) and not necessarily being 'wowed'. The Residence Inn at National Harbor is a Category 4 for a few more hours and is a terrific use of the certificate. You can enjoy the attractiveness of the Gaylord atrium at your leisure and you're still in walking distance to all of the activites throughout National Harbor - so if you're planning on visiting National Harbor, consider the Residence Inn, it's an excellent value.
If anyone is planning a trip to NYC...the Marriott Eastside is a great property to book before their category is increased. Centrally located in Manhattan it is a great spot to launch a trip from in any direction. Close to Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza, a lot of really good restaurants are within walking distance, and the subway is two blocks away at 49th, or if coming in through Grand Central that's only 5 blocks...an easy walk.
If flying through LA on a stopover, don't forget to book the LAX Renaissance hotel, it's a gem and has had many good reports here on Insiders.
Sorry erc, I've been doing my 'Rip Van Winkle' regarding the site lately and was a 'Johnny-come-lately' to your good post!
My booked stays:
Burbank Marriott for Dodgers vs. Giants
SF Oyster Point Courtyard for - Giants vs. Dodgers
Prague Flora Courtyard for the kiddies in two weeks
The Buttes Marriott, Phoenix for next year's Spring training (getting my inner mlb groupie on)
My Favorite Hotels and their 2013 Categories (moving up)
New Cat 9
Boston Marriott Long Wharf 8
London Marriott Hotel County Hall 8
Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel 8
Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Elysees 8
Pancras Renaissance London Hotel 8
Renaissance Vendome 8
Renaissance Arc de Triomphe 8
New Cat 8
Boston Marriott Copley Place 7
JW Marriott Hotel Chicago 7
Marriott’s Custom House 7
New Cat 7
Niagra Falls Fallsview Marriott 6
Camelback Inn, A JW Marriott Resort and Spa (Scottsdale) 6
JW Desert Ridge Resort and Spa (Phoenix) 6
San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter 6
New Cat 6
Courtyard Chicago Downtown River North 5
Courtyard Los Angeles Century City/Beverly Hills 5
Courtyard SLO 5
Courtyard Paso Robles 5
Courtyard Page at Lake Powell 5
Fairfield Inn Chicago Downtown 5
Fairfield Inn Anaheim Disney Resort 5
Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa 5
Los Angeles Airport Marriott 5
Newport Beach Marriott Bayview 5
Portland Marriott City Center 5
Portland Marroitt Waterfront 5
Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains 5
The Buttes, A Marriott Resort 5
San Diego Marriott La Jolla 5
Imperial Riding School, Vienna 5
Residence Inn Downtown Chicago/Magnificent Mile 5
New Cat 5
Courtyard Los Angeles Burbank 4
Courtyard Los Angeles Marina Del Rey 4
Courtyard Los Angeles LAX/Century Blvd 4
Courtyard Los Angeles Pasadena/Old Town 4
Courtyard Oakland Downtown 4
Courtyard San Diego Carlsbad 4
Courtyard Salina Monterey 4
FFI Santa Cruz/Capitola 4
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport 4
Irvine Marriott 4
Long Beach Marriott 4
Oakland Marriott City Center 4
Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown 4
Renaissance Boulder Suites at Flatiron 4
Residence Inn San Diego North/San Marcos 4
Residence Inn Salinas Monterey 4
New Cat 4
Courtyard Long Beach 3
Stayed the Same
FFI San Jose Airport 3
Long Beach Residence Inn 4
Long Beach Renaissance 5
Courtyard Boulogne 5
MVCI Bailly-Romainvilliers 6
Renaissance La Defense 6
Marriott Vacation Club Newport Coast Villas 6
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa 6
Renaissance Chicago Downtown 7
Paris Rive Gauche 7
Great list. That's a good idea, baseball games, including spring training. That made me think of the Renaissance Suites O'Hare a great Cat. 4, blue line to Clark/Lake, then Red Line to Addison and Wrigley Field, very pleasant afternoon. The Irvine Ca. Marriott was one of my favorites Bogo's and the Fairfield Inn Santa Cruz/Capitola was always very intriquing to me, I still may end up there one summer. Thanks for your input.
Good to know about the Ren. O'Hare.
I used to use Cat. 4 certs for Irvine Marriott, now I'll have to use Cat. 5 certs there for Newport Coast overflow. But the Irvine Marriott also has some stellar rates at times, with breakfast and parking included. It seems far from Newport Coast, but it's actually only 3 miles. And they serve up a good breakfast. The Capitola property is a nice FFI, but can get pricey. The certs were great for that. (I think I hear Mavericks calling... )
I don't understand how the BOS Long Wharf can even be classified as a Cat 8 let alone moving up to Cat 9, that place was such a dive when we stayed there a couple of years back and even last year in September when we stayed at The Custom House we wander back into the Wharf and found it to be just about the same. And when you consider The Custom House is a Cat 7 moving to Cat 8 it makes one even more curious how these get classified!
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