that's a good question. I am not aware of any tricks of the trade, so to speak, that would help in achieving your goal. From the standpoint of the actual hotel stay, I am not aware of any additional points being awarded per stay. There could be something connected to a Marriott credit card, but I do not have one and am not aware of points earned from the use of the card. Hope that helps.
Staying at higher rate adds points, while draining your wallets. Using the Marriott Rewards (Chase) Premier Visa card adds 5 points per dollar spent in the hotel. And certain hotels have incentive bonuses, but fare from a majority. I guess making Gold and Platinum are also good since your bonus at the highest level is 50%,
Yeah, to my knowledge, it really doesn't matter. You get more points when you spend more and certainly get alot of extra points when using the Marriott Visa and when you have status of Gold or Platinum.
I would think the only additional points you could get from changing hotels would be if you are platinum you would get an extra 200-500 points at check in, but that is hardly worth repacking and moving to another hotel.
The only other benefit is if there are promotions running based on 'stays'. A 'stay' is counted from check in to check out, regardless how many days you are there. So, if you stayed in one hotel for three or four nights, you would get credit for one 'stay'. Versus promotions based on 'nights'. A night is a night, so if you stay at the same hotel or three different hotels over three nights - you still get credit for three nights.
I guess it all depends on what your tolerance is for moving around. My other half and I spend eight days travelling in the Orlando and Tampa Florida are and a couple of nights somewhere else. This was during the spring megabonus where for every two stays, you got an e-certificate for a free night at a category 1-4 hotel.
While, yes, we did move to a different hotel every night, we probably would have done that anyway for all but three nights. But for those three nights, we went from hotel A to hotel B, back to hotel A (and they were less than 100 yards from each other). We travel light and usually live out of the suitcase rather than unpacking an hanging things up. so it wasn't a huge inconvenience for us.
All in all, we both ended up with two free nights each (for a total of four) which we've been using steadily all summer. I will acknowledge this isn't the question originally asked by Rodrigst, but I found the free nights to be a very good deal.
For point maximizing, YES, get the Chase Marriott Signature Visa card. The value of the perks you get exceed the $85 annual fee. Even if you only use the free night certificate (CAT 1-4 the first year. CAT 1-5 with each renewal. yes, restrictions apply) and none of the other benefits, in most locations you can't get a night's hotel stay for $85 at most CAT 1-4 hotels. But the $5/dollar charged on the card at Marriott properties in addition to what you earn at the hotel does add up quickly.
As much as I dislike Chase's very poor imitation of Customer Service, the benefits of holding the card are enough that I'll deal with the Chase headaches.
A "stay" is a checkin-checkout at a property when the checkin has at least a one day interval since the last checkout at the same property. In other words, you cannot checkin/out daily at one venue to run up the number of stays. T&Cs strictly forbid this policy in earning stays.
Stays, in and of themselves, do not earn points - unless there is a point promotion dependent upon the number of stays during the promo period. As such, it's best to read the details/requirements of the promotion to which you are registered.