I've been a rewards member for years and finally made it to Platinum this year!
I was just wondering where others have stayed using rewards. We usually save ours for somewhere special. Examples are...
Scrub Island - 8 days
JW Marriott Cancun Club 91 - 7 days
MVC Royal Palms - Disney - 3 bedroom villa - 8 days
Looking forward to many more!
Marriott Marquis Times Square for 8 nights, including NYE. Had a decent view of the scene down below.
Would have been over $1k/night for most of the stay, but was covered with a standard rewards redemption. Insane return on points.
Curious to follow the thread to see if there's other nutty points deals like this to share.
Hi gm1 - I've been looking at the St Ermin's and am wondering what your experience was. Did you use the executive lounge? Are rooms as small as the Grosvenor House? Did you find the area quiet for sleeping? Easy access to sights? Appreciate your insights and any photo's you may be willing to share. Thanks!
Stayed 5 nights at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Locked in the redemption rate at a category 7 before it moved up to category 8. Details below.
Planning to redeem 10 nights in Hawaii (5 on Oahu, plus 5 on Kauai) early next year.
Great thread crnkotm
I've had some great redemptions including
A long weekend at the Champs Elysees Marriott reserved at Cat 8 just before the CE Marriott became a cat 9, upgraded to a suite overlooking the Champs Elysees
A week in Monaco
10 days in Egypt, before the sad troubles
A week in Moscow
A long weekend at the NYC Marquis with 4 teens marvelling at the "cool hotel"
But I think the best one was probably my most recent one, our honeymoon on Miami Beach with first class return flights - an $8,000 holiday all on Marriott points!
Mine is the same as bejacob.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Only I haven't gone yet. Mine is booked for early 2017. I got 7 nights for 240,000 points. They had a stay 4 get one free that also worked with the points. So essentially I am using 40,000 points per night for 6 nights and staying 7!
Our best in recent years are without a doubt BVI Luxury Villas | Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection and Cabo Resorts - Hotels | JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa. Got both for 160,000 for five night stays.
I looked at it and I can see how you would LOVE it! Wow!!!! It will be on my To Do list. Now that we are transitioning from World Cruises to resorts, we have a lot to hit. Thank you very much for the tip. Living in Florida I have been to most of the Islands, but we have missed this gem, so I owe you! Much appreciated. All the best, Tracy
We currently live in Jupiter. Just north of Palm Beach. Of all the previous locations in Florida, I must say it is my favorite because you are not as reliant on tourism. We do have our snowbirds, but for the most part Jupiter is just extremely nice people from diverse backgrounds. Once my son graduated high school, we are not sure where we will end up. Probably somewhere where I can here southern accents again. I have no problem with the Tito's as I am truly excited at the Scrub find. It is generous members like yourself that help new one's like me find these gems. We own Marriott Vacation Club Destination Points so we use those also.
Are you anywhere near Florida?
We are MVC owners as well, including Ocean Pointe and Oceana Palms. We like visiting the area, including Jupiter. I'd appreciate any restaurant recommendations you have for the area. We've had bad experiences on our last two visits to Carmine's on PGA, which previously was a favorite.
Regarding future 'home' locations, I highly recommend Greenville, SC or Asheville, NC. We've lived all over the US and Greenville was our favorite.
I'm heading back to Oceana Palms in October since my son has 4 days off school. Thank you for the recommendation for our future home. We will check out Greenville.
Restaurants : My #1 is being re done which was Riverhouse. These are all fabulous! Seasons 52( Palm Beach Gardens) , Jetty's (Jupiter), Leftover's which is owned by and same food at Food Shack but we like it better (Jupiter), Coolinary Cafe (Jupiter), Spoto's (Palm Beach Gardens) , The Cooper (PBG), Cool'A FishBar (PBG) Just to name a few....
Carmines's has been sold and there food has not kept up to standards unfortunately.
I hope this helps and if you need any other information in the area or help with anything please reach out and I would be happy to help.
All the best,
Thanks for the recommendations. I will print them out to save for my next stay. When you go to Oceana Palms, I suggest you request a North View because there is construction of a new high rise on the lot on the South side. We are actually going to Chrystal Shores this year, which will be the first year we haven't used our Oceana Palms week since we bought it. We own and have visited several MVC resorts, so let me know if you ever have any questions about them.
We are heading to the Renaissance ClubSport in Walnut Creek Labor Day week. This is one of our favorite MR redemption properties due to its proximity to the BART station, and access to a great Health Club and Olympic pool. This is a nice alternative to the more expensive and noisy hotels in SF.
I hope that you are enjoying your stay at Renaissance ClubSport in Walnut Creek. Thanks for the recomendation of staying on the North side of Oceana Palms. The south side construction has not started, but it is not very nice looking at the empty lot being prepped for construction. We enjoyed Crystal Shores especially the balconies. They are incredible large when you are oceanfront and very nice. The expansion of the resort hopefully will end within this year. The resort bar Stilts is a Miss, fyi.
I lived in Ft. Myers during high school and often would take the boat across the state for a weekend in the Stuart area with my parents. They passed years ago, but I still go down to the grave site about three-four times a year. It's a very short flight from Houston so it makes for a great weekend trip.
As long as we find the Southern drawl I'm good with any place almost!
I had two great MR award stays in the same year a few years ago. My first was for 5 nights at Wentworth by the Sea, where I was upgraded to the 2BR villa on the harbor. The second redemption was for 7 nights at Marriott Key West Beach resort, where I was upgraded to a 1BR with kitchen and living room overlooking the bay and pool. Even though both were classified as resorts, each offered complimentary breakfasts to platinum. I locked in category 6 rates prior to their first category increase. I think both are now cat 8 or 9.
Next month i will be going to Puerto Rico and staying at the San Juan Ritz Carlton for 10 days, I signed up for their current offer which is offering extra points per stay- since im staying 10 nights i will be getting my normal points plus 120K on top of that.
Now for next year i will cash out all my points for a stay at another Ritz property in Maui a $4,300 Value for 4 days+ the free night..making it now 5 nights all free!
Best redemption stays for us:
5-Star Luxury Hotels on the Champs-Élysées | Paris Marriott Champs-Élysées Hotel - 5 nights, 7 nights.
Boulogne Billancourt Hotels, Hotel Porte St. Cloud | Courtyard Paris Boulogne - 5 nights 100K points (now higher). Cheapest Paris Marriott stay ever. Not luxury, but extremely pleasant property, fantastic room and lovely neighborhood, with great staff. Comp suite upgrade. Not your typical Courtyard and while no free brekkie for elites, plenty of neighborhood Bou's abound.
Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora: Rome hotel accommodations - 5 nights (X2), comp suite upgrade.
Central Vienna, Austria Hotels | Imperial Riding School Renaissance Vienna Hotel - 5 nights, LOVE Vienna. Comp suite upgrade.
Old Town Hotels in Prague, Czech Republic - City Centre | Prague Marriott Hotel - 5 nights, LOVE Prague, too!
- 7 nights, and this one was probably the best, because we were able to parlay the points from a Marriott Vacation Package into 2 R/T business class tix on one of AA's new 77W's, and what a great product! Also had a room view of the Thames and Big Bennie!
- 4 nights, 80K points on a Marriott Flash Perk deal a couple of years ago, and what a great deal that was!
- 5 nights, and a real treat since we got in on a point saver deal. The Griffin Club Boutique Hotel within the hotel here can't be beat.
Coming up next month:
Venice, Italy Hotels | JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa - 3 nights, points + cash.
With plans to visit the following in the next two years using points:
The best is yet to come! And thank you, Marriott!
My top two - combined, they consumed about 1 million points - but it was worth it!!!:
Hey, pluto77, nice to see you've got BOTH on your list - you are gonna love them!!!
My best redemption was probably the essex house for 5 nights. Hotel was okay, but since I didnt have to pay for my hotel, I splurged on dinner and ate at Atera, which was (in my opinion) a life changing dining experience.
Second best would be the few thousand points I spent on a hotel in Jacksonville for my 7 hour layover for my JetBlue points match mileage run.
Regular Insiders will know that London Marriott Hotel West India Quay is one of my favourite Marriotts. This is how I came to go there - on points.
We had a particularly bad stay at another Marriott. I won't say where, as it would not be fair, and we still go there very happily. But it was one of those stays where if anything was going to go wrong, it was going to happen to us. The staff were great in getting things sorted out, but every day something else happened. I don't mean little things either. I mean such as the wardrobe door falling off in the middle of the night! The GM was on holiday at the time, and I wrote to him when I got home.
He immediately contacted me and never once tried to make an excuse. As well as giving us a 2 night free stay in the hotel in a top suite - with dinner - he also awarded us 90,000 points compensation, enough for 3 nights at a Marriott of the same redemption level. His only request was that we let him know where we would go using the points.
So we decided on West India Quay, at 30,000 points a night at the time. We did a 5 nights for 4, using 30,000 of our own points, and told the GM of the original hotel what we had booked.
When we arrived at WIQ, the receptionist immediately called the Head of Customer Service who came and met us. He personally took us to our room - we had been upgraded to a top suite. He then took us to the Executive Lounge for a drink and a chat.
So for 30,000 of our own earned points, we had 5 nights treated like royalty at WIQ, and so began our long standing love affair with the hotel.
Well, crnkotm, great minds think alike, so you might want to check out this thread:
I've had great luck at the JW Camelback, and I'm looking forward to returning soon!
Our best redemption stay has to be the Rive /gauche Paris, in 2014. We stayed 5 nights on points and 2 at a very reasonable rate. We were comped with a very large suite and had and extremely comfortable stay, The service was great as was the CL, where both the service and the food were spectacular. We've made two attempts to return to this hotel and were forced to cancel both trips but I still hope to return!
I'm just about to book our honeymoon for August 2017, which, thanks to some unexpected business travel this year, is all going to be points redemptions. The current plan is:
3 nights at the Algonquin Autograph Hotel in NYC
3 nights at the Mayflower Autograph Hotel in Washington DC
2 nights at the Marriott Fallsview in Niagara
1 night at the Marriott Downtown in Toronto
1 night at the Ritz-Cartlon Central Park in NYC
Add to that First Class British Airways flights using Avios + Companion Voucher thanks to my Amex and I'm pretty happy that all of this travel away from home on business has finally paid off!
This recent summer, we had booked to go to the southern coast of Turkey for our annual holiday (non marriott hotel). Unfortunately, our departure date coincided with the problems in the country, so we had to make a difficult choice. Clearly safety is paramount, so we chose to cancel the Turkish holiday (full refund on the hotel), but had to find somewhere pretty quick as a replacement. I was sat on 700 k marriott points, and in the end booked 8 nights at the domes of elounda, crete. Fantastic place.
its so valuable to me having these points - the odd night here and there or a full on vacation. Its easy to complain or moan about the rewards scheme changing , or not being the same as it was - but when you shut your eyes on a comfy bed knowing it hasnt cost you a penny - whats not to like ?
Not sure if this counts - but back before Vacation Club Points system - I would deposit my Aruba 2BR + 2 BA Week into Interval. By Depositing the lockoff and main villa separately - I was able to exchange the Lock-off week for a two bedroom villa at Waiohai Beach Club in Kauai (They only offer 2 bedroom villas). I was then able to exchange the 1BR Villa week to a 1BR Villia at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Lahaina & Napili Towers.
The good old days.
It still works like that for us. I didn't convert our weeks to points. I'm able to deposit our 2br unit at Shadow Ridge, Palm Desert, deposit it at Interval. It wasn't an instant redemption, but eventually I get the week I want. The key is planning in advance. I've booked a 2br at Marriott's Newport Coast Villas, Marriott Ko Olina, Maui Ocean Club & Kauia Beach Club.
I just have 20 stayed nights in 2016. Only one or two nights were payed by points, cause i spent all in last year at JW Marriott Phuket resort and spa. It was my best experience in points redemption!
I need at least 30 to stay gold. So, i will ask my boss to send me for education to Germany. I found 30-days courses for that!
Hope to stay with you ladies and gentlemen!
My best points redemption stay was the Renaissance in Barcelona. We cashed in 3 nights at 30,000 points each and we got upgraded from a regular guest room with twin beds to an Executive Guest Room with 1 King and a City View plus we got the free breakfast! That's the best one yet (we don't do a ton of traveling).
My favorite redemption was staying at the St. Pancras Ren in London in 2012. It's an amazing property to begin with, but I had lived in London a decade earlier, when it was still a basically abandoned historical building that no one had bothered with in years. I used to walk by it all the time on the way to school, and you could tell that it would be a beautiful building, if someone would just do something with it. I think it had been bought at that point, and they were starting to talk about developing it, but it was a pretty gritty sight, in the middle of a pretty gritty neighborhood. To come back, a decade later, to my favorite city, and stay there, was truly amazing!
Best ever Location: St. Pancras Renaissance in good old London. Not that this is a real Landmark, their Club Lounge ist "like it should be" and the Ambiente of the former railwaystation with real high ceilings does the rest. Good for breakfast and then also a bruner in the evening. I surpised my wife twice - last time it was a Grand Junior Suite for our birthday Weekend ...
We redeemed 180,000 points for five nights at the Marriott Park Lane in London in late Sept/early Oct 2016. What a gorgeous, intimate, well-run boutique style hotel. The staff was phenomenal, and the location (steps from the Marble Arch station) can't be beat. The Executive Lounge was wonderful. I don't have a single negative thing to say about our stay, and the amount of money we saved by redeeming our rewards points (close to $2,000) left us with plenty of cash to explore Scotland for five days once we left London. Truly a dream vacation!
Back in December 2011 when you still could convert points into MR cheques, I did so and believe it was 1M points for $10,000 USD in cheques. I then used these to pay for corporate folios and was reimbursed for cash. I would have used points to pay for my stays, but then the folio shows "points" as the transaction. By using cheques, the folio showed "cash" as the transaction, thereby allowing me to meet corporate expense reporting rules.
I had a business trip planned to Hawaii and decided to fly out on a Friday vs a Monday and take my wife. We used Marriott Rewards points for the first 3 nights to relax on the beach and then moved to the hotel that my colleagues were going to stay and it made for a very relaxing long weekend vacation for me (and a full weeks vacation for my wife). It was nice not to have to deal with a 5 hour time change and facetime my wife when it was 2 or 3 AM at home!!!!!
Business with Pleasure made for a great business trip!!!! Well worth the points used!!!!
Happy Wife = Happy Life!!!!
A week at the Melbourne Marriott in Australia and then rented a car and drove the Great Ocean
Road through Victoria to see the twelve apostles! It's so hard to verbalize the most breathtaking beaches and awe inspiring scenery I've ever seen in my entire life!! WOW!! Worth every point!!!
I booked a stay at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes for about 20,000 points a night to take my family to Disney World. I asked the front desk if they had an upgrade since I would have four people in the room and the apologized and said no. No big deal and thanked the person at the front desk, within 10 minutes the front desk called me and said though they didn't have a suite, they could put me in 2 adjoining rooms. Two rooms for 20,000 points, Category 7 hotel, was a great deal and I always stay there when I travel to Orlando for how they treated me and my family so well.
Great topic! Our best redemption story was the JW Marriott Marquis Miami pre and post cruise. Not only did we book it just before it changed categories and the rates went up, but when we got there, we were upgraded to an amazing corner room on a high floor with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the water.
After the cruise, I asked if there was a chance that we could get that type of room again. They said they were all full, but gave us a suite instead. The next morning, after his shower, my husband was roaming around the room looking for me because I had disappeared. I was in the "guest bath" right off of the entrance to the suite. We still laugh about going from an interior cabin on a cruise ship to a hotel room so big that I could get lost.
And ... I was only gold then. Not even platinum and they treated me amazingly.
https://weberfamilytravels.shutterfly.com/2014valentinescruise/4 - Photos from pre-cruise stay