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Marriott’s best family redemption – Domes of Elounda, Crete – bookable again

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Domes of Elounda is a luxury ‘all suite’ hotel in Crete.  It is unbranded but is part of Marriott’s Autograph collection.  

Autograph is a group of independent hotels who use Marriott’s sales and marketing system, including their website, and in return agree to give and redeem Marriott Rewards points and respect elite benefits.

We featured Domes last year after a couple of readers flagged it up as probably the best value family redemption available in Europe using Marriott Rewards points.

Domes of Elounda 1

Unfortunately, Marriott Rewards agreed with us ….

Domes of Elounda was such outstanding value that Marriott is putting a stop to it.

Of all 6,500 hotels on the new combined Marriott / Starwood redemption chart, Domes of Elounda faces the biggest increase.  From 18th August, it will jump from 45,000 points per night to 60,000 points, and from January 2019 it will be 85,000 points!

The sensible thing to do, of course, was to lock in a booking now.  Except that the hotel had been refusing to load its reward availability for 2019 ……

2019 reward availability is now available at Domes of Elounda

We had assumed that the hotel was going to wait until 18th August to load its 2019 availability, given the huge increase in points required.

However, yesterday, rooms became available on

The standard redemption is a suite which sleeps four people (1 king bed, 2 x sofa beds) which is why this is great if you have kids.

As a Marriott Rewards redemption, Domes is currently 45,000 Marriott Rewards points per night.  In reality, Marriott offers five nights for the points of four on reward nights, so five nights would only be 180,000 points.

If this sounds steep, take a look at the cash prices.

It is currently sold out entirely for August, but a one bedroom suite to sleep four is around €700 (£617) per night.   Alternatively, you can use 45,000 Marriott Rewards points.  That works out at 1.37p per Marriott point, compared to my usual 0.5p value.  If you stay five nights and only pay for four, the value is even higher.

Outside school holidays it is a lot cheaper …. but of course it is a family resort and struggles a bit when the kids are in school.

Domes of Elounda 2

Domes of Elounda is even better value when you book a Marriott Travel Package.  I outlined how Marriott Travel Packages work in this article.  You can find details on the Marriott website here.

Domes of Elounda is a Category 9 Marriott property until 18th August.  As far as a travel package goes, it would cost:

320,000 points = 7 nights plus 50,000 Avios or other airline miles, or

340,000 points = 7 nights plus 70,000 Avios or other airline miles, or

370,000 points = 7 nights plus 100,000 Avios or other airline miles, or

390,000 points = 7 nights plus 120,000 Avios or other airline miles

Assuming you value an Avios point at 1p, the 390,000 point package would get you £1,200 of Avios points plus (£617 per night x 7 nights) £4,300 of Domes of Elounda stay at peak season.  That works out at £5,500 of value for 390,000 Marriott Rewards points, or 1.41p per Marriott point.

The value is even higher if you value an Avios at more than 1p, or if you take a different airline currency which you value at more than 1p.

Domes of Elounda 3

But is the hotel any good?

A few HFP readers contacted me after reading about Domes of Elounda on the site.  Amusingly, they had only read about it in the article comments because we hadn’t written about it at that point.

I want to stress that this is not such a good option for couples.  Readers report that 75%+ of guests have children.  There is, however, an adults-only pool and the restaurants rotate in having ‘adults only’ nights.

Reader 1 wrote:

Domes of Elounda was simply amazing. Obviously, very upmarket and the clientele generally reflects that but on top of that the service and location are also major plus points.

The accommodation and food was great with lots of kids options. On points the best room you can get officially is the 1 bed sea facing suite which is what we got. Breakfast was included as we are Marriott Gold and they had a 70 m long family pool. This was if you like the social hub but it never felt crowded and kids mixed and made friends easily. There is also a decent private beach which is not the most amazing beach in the world but they have made it into a good space with atmosphere.

All in all we had a great time and it was probably the best redemption we have done as it was a Marriott Travel Package booked during the ‘35% bonus Avios for transferring from a hotel scheme’ period.  My advice would be to go. You won’t regret it!

Reader 2 wrote:

Just wanted to mention that I recently stayed at Domes of Elounda using a Marriott Travel Package.  Was wonderful, and certainly the best family holiday I’ve ever had.  I booked a “family suite with sea view” using my points (which itself is a few rungs up) and was lucky enough to be upgraded (as Marriott Gold) to a 2-bed luxury residence.  Beautifully appointed 2 bed/2 bath suite with its own swimming pool (which was large enough to do laps in!).  

Given the cash price of around €800 per night, the travel package was a true bargain – I can’t imagine there would be a better use for the package (for a family at least) in Europe, and breakfast is included to boot. Highly recommended and have already booked up for another week next year.

Reader 3 wrote:

What a spot Domes and Elounda itself was, treated very well as a Gold with some pre-arrival email back and forth. Upgrade to a villa with Haute Lounge access, which they are starting to limit now as they don’t have to give it being a resort.

These are all long-term HfP readers who I know.  For clarity, I haven’t been to Domes of Elounda myself but if you have a family it does seem to be working well as an excellent use of Marriott Rewards points.

If are tempted to go, make sure you book for 2019 before 18th August.  The price jumps from 45,000 points per night to 60,000 points per night, and then 85,000 points per night from early 2019.

The hotel website is here if you want to find out more.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (June 2022)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (76)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Charlie T. says:

    My wife has been set on this hotel (specifically the villas that come with the Haute Living thing, though I’m a bit sceptical about its value) for 2019 since reading about it on a different blog. Sadly all of my mileage balance is in Avios so will need to pay cash (eek). Any ideas on the best approach for getting best prices/perks – direct, agent, someone like Emyr? Happy to include the flight if worth it or do a BA redemption booking separately. Cash prices for 2019 have only just loaded and no special offers yet available, unsurprisingly. Don’t have a huge amount of experience with booking expensive hotels, so any advice much appreciated!

    • Rob says:

      Not sure Emyr can do anything because the hotel is not a Virtuoso partner, neither is it part of any the luxury chains (Four Seasons, Mandarin, Shangri-La, Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt etc) where he has added benefits.

    • Genghis says:

      I have lots of Marriott points that might not use anytime soon. If there’s redemption space for your dates, I’m sure we could come to some agreement for you to save some cash? @genghis1232 on Twitter.

      • Charlie T. says:

        Thanks Genghis. From what I can see the room type we’re after isn’t available for points redemptions, but would have been happy to talk!

      • mike says:

        question for u Genghis, u in the cake making business by any chance?

        • Genghis says:

          My wife is as a side line. Let me know if you want anything (London area).

  • BlueHorizonUK says:

    Anyone having trouble finding dates. Only seems to be loaded until Nov 2018 (trying to use cash and not points).


    • Rob says:

      Cash rates were there yesterday for 2019 ….

      • BlueHorizonUK says:

        All rates from Dec 1 have gone. Cash and Points.

        • BlueHorizonUK says:

          Ah think I have figured it out.

          I think the hotel is closed from Dec 1 to April 17.

  • RTS says:

    On another note… how do I actuallt use my travel package certificate? Can i do it online or do I have to ring through?

    i can’t seem to get it to work online.

  • Jon says:

    Nice article.
    Not surprised to see a big response. HFP will have a lot of readers who travel for work or accumulate points through their business and then use points for their leisure travel with young families. An article series on the ins and outs of family redemptions, and any family-friendly redemption sweet spots I’m sure would be popular….

  • mike says:

    For those of us who are not encumbered with kids… are there any similar “jump now or miss out” Marriott redemptions for couples? Europe ideally, not really interested in Maldives, Bora Bora, etc…

  • Melvin says:

    Is there any way to book a redemption for a family of Five?

    • Rob says:

      You’d need to see if they have bigger villas for 5 and then negotiate an upgrade cost direct with the hotel.

  • Pete says:

    Good heads up article Rob! Has anyone got any other advice for good family Marriott hotels slightly further afield – Middle East / India maybe? Similar high quality and good point value, either to book now or post Aug 18th?
    May be an idea for a seierate future article Rob…??

  • Roger1* says:

    I tried to book the hotel component of my Marriott Travel Package last week. It was for hotels 1-5.

    Thanks to Genghis and my man on the ground, I went for the Protea Franschhoek. 7 nights is really too long, but we’re happy to take it easy and relax.

    If we get there, that is. When I checked on Friday, Instead of 7 nights the Cork agent had just booked for one night! And the certificate seemed to have disappeared. I amended the dates online to a 7 night stay. Now I’m potentially in deficit as they have charged it as a new redemption.

    No point in calling back. They were closed, so I e-mailed.

    Today, 3 days later, the reservation for 7 nights is there at a charge of 60,000 points – 6 @ 10k + i free night. The website tells me I need to book a rewards stay. And the certificate shows as unused, so I could use it elsewhere.

    Dilemma. What do do?
    – nothing – see how Marriott handles this;
    – stick to ‘as is’. 60,000 points for this hotel looks like good value; As I used most of my points for the package, I’d need to buy some (if permitted) or reduce the length.
    – something else

    I’m reluctant to call to discuss the matter. My two calls so far have taken most of an hour. I’m hoping for a response to Friday’s e-mail.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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