I travel for work from time to time and have racked up some points. And i am trying to get a vacation for 4 of us (me+Wife+2Yo+5Yo) to somewhere that has Pool/Beach/Sun.
We have been going to Punta Cana Paradisus Reserve for past 2 years, and we really like that type of setup.
Right now i have about 400k Marriott Points (Gold Member) and 188k AA Miles.
I am 900 points away from being a Gold on AA and the CSR called me today asked me to buy the points for $300 since i am very close to it. I refused. (Not sure if its wise - but i don't think its worth it)
Being a gold member in mariott chain, i can get into lounge access which means I can get free breakfast.
I read about Mariott Resort in Caribbean do not honor gold member for lounge/breakfast which i thought was strange.
Do you have any suggestion which Mariott Hotel In the US or Carribean/Mexico/Island (about 4 hours of flight time) is near Beach/Sun/Pool where we can go for about 10 days and using just the points? I am planning in May/June timeframe, but my days are quite flexible. Right now i have 4 Tickets on hold on AAdvantage from May 2 to May 12 for 4 of us, and that burnt 160k AA points, i have until Jan 4 to make a decision.
Or any other suggestion to make use of these points?
Thanks in advance.
In Florida, I recommend the Singer Island resort near West Palm Beach, the Ft. Lauderdale Beach resort, and the Marco Island Resort. I don't think any of these offer free breakfast options due to their resort status, but all have nice pools and are on the beach. The Clearwater Beach Marriott is an older property, but is located across the street from a beach and offers Gold/Platinum members daily complimentary continental breakfast. The Singer Island and Clearwater properties are all suites, so you have a little more room for a family of four. All our great family destinations.
I'm afraid I can't answer your question as I've never stayed at a US Marriott beach-type hotel. However I can elucidate regarding Marriott Gold benefits. As you righty surmise your Gold status confers free daily breakfast at all full service Marriott group hotels, which are JW, Autograph, Renaissance, Delta and of course Marriotts. You also receive lounge access and room upgrades (subject to availability). Alas Marriott has a rule uncommon to all other hotel groups, which is that the breakfast and lounge access benefits do not apply at resorts. Like many elite benefit restrictions this rule is gleefully applied right across the USA, but somewhat less commonly beyond its shores. So if you're planning a stay at a US resort you may find that your hard earned Gold status is worth only a room upgrade, and if that's refused, then effectively, Gold means nothing!
ITs one reason why I never have redeemed any of my 2million lifetime points at a US Marriott resort.
I would also suggest the Marco Island Resort simply because of the beautiful beach and location close to Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) which is about a 45 minute drive. The resort is very large and close to very good restaurants, but as is the case with most Marriott resorts probably does not offer free breakfast as there is no Concierge Lounge.
First off..Happy New Year and Welcome to Marriott Insiders!
Here are a few ideas that you may give consideration to:
* Hollywood Beach Marriott near Ft Lauderdale- Category 8 property on the Beach and offers a Concierge Lounge
https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/fllof-hollywood-beach-marriott/ 10 Night Stay = 320,000 Points
* Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale- Right on Beach- Would not have free Club Lounge Access,
10 night Stay = 400,000 Points
* Use your points for a Travel Package which includes 7 Night Stay at a Marriott Hotel and Airlines Miles.
This by far is the best use of points. Last January I redeemed 360,000 points for a travel package that includes a 7 Night Stay at a Category 8 property and 120,000 Southwest Airline Points. Obtaining that many Southwest Airline Points also made me eligible for their Companion Pass which was good for the remainder of the calendar year (2015) and all of the following year (2016) which means anytime I fly on Southwest the companion of my choice gets to fly with me for free. January is the perfect time to redeem points for a Southwest travel package in order the get the Companion Pass valid for a full 2 years.
Cayman is wonderful with more activities, the Marriott Resort left me wanting more in the way of pool and relaxation plus the view lacked a bit in my opinion from the balcony.
Our Ocean Front Jr. Suite in Cayman view straight out from the balcony then looking to the right.
Our view from the Scrub Island 1 BR Suite looking left toward Virgin Gorda and looking right over the Marina.