OK, what is the real story with Marriott hotel categories? Are they location dependent? Does the FF Inn in Key West actually deserve it's category, or the Marriott Fort Lauderdale North. One is a five and the other a four. What amenities should we expect in a Cat 4 Marriott? A Cat 5 FF Inn? Is there a formula for making these category distinctions? Has there been an across the board review of categories? Should there be?
Good morning - Hotel categories determine the number of Marriott Rewards points necessary to redeem for a free night. For instance a category 4 hotel requires 20,000 points while a category 8 hotel requires 40,000 points (Here’s the full table). Marriott Rewards has 8 hotel categories which are determined by prior year redemption volume at each hotel and are not determined by brand, rate, amenities, location, or services offered.
We've actually just posted the list of hotel category changes for 2012 with an explanation of hotel categories to help clarify.
Helpful Hint: "Follow" the Exclusive Sneak Peaks blog for automatic updates on all the latest news, leaks and promotions.
Thank you Andy! That was a huge help and gave me a much different view than what I thought the criteria were! I am downloading the Category Directory to my mobile devices so I can search them on my iPad and access them from my iPhone. Too bad we can't get to that list from the main Marriott page when we try to use our points for a stay. I know some of that information is available, but this full listing will help me a lot more.
That is an excellent question. When I receive those Cat 1-4 hotel certificates, naturally I would like to use them at a more expensive Cat 4 so as to get my money's worth. Some Cat 4's are listed as low as $79/night, and others (I'm thinking of a CY in La Jolla) that can go for $279/night. It was disappointing to hear that the credit card annual fee is increasing to $85. I felt like I was getting a deal at $65, because of the annual hotel certificate.
Last October, I used one at a CY in Boise. The rate was only $79, but it was a beautiful property, the room was lovely, the breakfast lovely, and the public areas inviting. Below is a photo of one of the two tabletop outdoor fire pits. Weather was cold, but the fire and a glass of wine warmed the body and soul.