This is my second year with Marriot and I am getting frustrated trying to find a decent hotel to use my annual Category 5 award. Help!
All decent hotels NY City, Boston, Mystic, CT even Saratoga Springs NY, are Category 6 or more.
Looking for a hotel us use my loyalty reward.
You do not realize how frustrating this is. You are about to loose frequent fliers. Hilton is much more flexible with their program.
Do you have any geographic restrictions for your reward redemption? I used to use mine for a "staycation" near home (I live on Oahu), but now we have no cat 5 property until the CY opens in Laie. Last year I ended up using my certificate at the Renaissance LHR and this year will use it at the CY Kahului.
I agree though, the category 5 is almost useless for what most of us want to use it for. This is especially true as hotels continue to rise categories every year.
I am considering using one of my Cat 5 certificates at the Renaissance in Westchester. I have never stayed there before, but wanted to point it out because it is geographically close to the others you mentioned.
If you are considering using your Cat 5 certificates abroad you may find this blog post useful:
I agree this is frustrating. I have had Marriott Rewards Visa credit card for a few years now, one of the perks is one free night annually at a Category 1-5 hotel. The value of this "perk" continues to deteriorate as Marriott continues to re-categorize its properties in desirable destination cities. Within the last 3-4 years, I was able to use this certificate for a night at the Manila Marriott Hotel. About two years ago, this property was upgraded from category 5 to category 6. Now it's category 7.
Since the annual fee is significant for this credit card, how about upgrading the category for this "perk" to match the upgrading of the categories for so many properties. It has gotten to the point where I usually have to scramble to find a way to use this certificate before it expires as I cannot use it anywhere that I want to travel for leisure - since all properties in those cities are higher categories than 5.
Try finding a good property with a Cat 4 certificate!
In fact, I did; it was an airport Courtyard in Seattle last weekend. We were thrilled. (See my review.)
There are still quite a few excellent and relatively unknown Cat 5, and lower, properties out there. You just have to do your homework. I go to google maps and pick an area, and then I enter "Marriott near xxxxx" location into the search field. Once I see where they are I can open another window and check the property page to see what category it is. Then I save everything in a bookmark folder for easy reference.
There is also a "Hotel Rewards Category" option under "Advanced Search" on the Marriott site. That makes narrowing down your options quite handy.
Try Tuscany - wow!!!