I am kind of new at this rewards thing, and had a few questions. My husband and I are going to be spending Christmas in the Destin/Pensecola/Gulf Shores area. The dates are 12/23/2016-1/1/2017. We are looking at the Residence Inn at Miramar Beach, I think it is Residence Inn Sandestin. Anyone ever been there? Also, what would be the best way to earn the most points? How do I find out if there are any deals or packages then? I have tried to look around the website, but it's confusing! Any help or a point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated!
Hello demetriabeth and welcome to Marriott Rewards Insiders. There are a number of Insiders who can provide you fantastic information to help you with a given location, and with maximizing your points earnings. I'll try and help you get started.
Take a look at the link below to understand the points value per dollar spent at each Marriott brand. You'll note that Residence Inn and Towne Place Suites award 5 points per dollar spent on your room rate, while most other Marriott brands give you 10 points. If you trying to maximize points earnings, you may factor that into your decision on which property makes the most sense for you.
As is, I took a look at the reservation time frame and property you are considering, and because it's offseason, you are able to get a very good deal now. Depending on the size of the accommodations you need, you can get one or two bedroom suites at very reasonable rates. Take care to look at the rate alerts listed with each option, as the rates change on certain nights during your intended stay - some go up, and a few went down. Those changes will impact your total cost for sure.
Having spent the majority of my young life through college in North Central Florida, I spent a lot of time in this area of the state. I think you'll find the white sand beaches and water in this area to be a lot of fun - albeit a little cold in the offseason. I don't know this property in particular, but it's hard to beat the area. Further, I find the Residence Inn properties to be an outstanding setup for extended stays with my family. Lastly, you can leverage Member Rates, or any discounts you are eligible for: AAA, government etc. to shop your rates further. Unless you are getting an advance (prepay) rate, lock a reservation down soon so you are sure you get your room type, and then make a change if you find a better rate.
One more tidbit on points earnings: the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa is an outstanding way to earn an automatic 15 nights each year (Silver status out of the gate) and another 5 points per dollar spent at Marriott. As a bonus, you also get a 20%, 25%, or 50% bonus respectively on the base points you earn on your room rate as a Silver, Gold, or Platinum elite. The card is a must have if you get serious about points accumulation and accelerated status.
I hope this helps as you plan your holiday week adventure. Please don't hesitate to ask a follow up if some of this doesn't quite make sense. Safe travels!!!
Message was edited by: nationwide
Welcome to Insiders and best wishes on your Florida trip!
There is Residence Inn and Marriott Courtyard at San Destin area, and both afford access to great restaurants and shopping, although the facilities are not located on the beach. We've stayed here before and you can check the Marriott website to see if there are any promotions (deals) at particular times. Another of our favorite restaurants, a few miles east of Destin, is Stinky's Fish Camp, located in Santa Rosa Beach.
Regarding reward points, the best way to accumulate these is to not only have a Marriott Reward membership (no charge), but, as already mentioned, also Marriott "Signature" Visa charge card, which requires an annual fee. It's a little more expensive, but with the annual award for free hotel night and bonus points it's well worth the expense.
Another Florida panhandle, Marriott facility that we've enjoyed is the Legends End Villas, Bay Point, near Panama City Beach area.
Thank you everyone for the great advice! I do have the marriot rewards credit card, but not the signature one that has an annual fee. Maybe i will try to apply for that one before we go. It was good to hear that some have stayed here and enjoyed it. And who could resist Stinky's fish camp? With a name like that, it's got to be good! Thanks again for the information.