Which Marriott Bonvoy hotels are going up in points on 5th March?

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Marriott Bonvoy is launched today.  Alongside it, Marriott has released the list of hotels changing award category in 2019.

“But hang on”, I hear you say.  “Didn’t that happen in August when Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest were merged into one award chart?”

I thought so too, but clearly we were wrong.

The pricing changes take effect from 5th March.

For clarity, two separate things happen on 5th March:

Category 8 is officially launched, so the 60 hotels listed at the bottom of this article which have always been identified as forming the new Category 8 will finally move

A raft of other hotels will be changing category too, mainly upwards

What won’t be happening is the launch of peak and off-peak pricing, which appears to have been delayed until later in the year.

The first point is arguably the most important.  If you look at the Marriott Bonvoy reward chart here:

Marriott Bonvoy reward chart

…. the current highest price is 60,000 Bonvoy points per night.  This is, let’s be honest, a steal for hotels such as St Regis New York which was selling for $1,100 plus taxes per night when I was there last Autumn.

On 5th March, 60 hotels such as St Regis New York move to Category 8 and immediately become 85,000 points per night.  

Renaissance Paris Republique

What other hotels are changing Marriott category?

Here is a PDF from the Marriott website showing the hotels.

In Marriott’s defence, it is only a very small percentage of the total number of hotels which are moving.  A quick scroll down the list will show you that the impact is disproportionate, unfortunately, with places you might actually want to visit – New York, London, Paris – hit multiple times.

There are a further eight hotels which will now be placed into Category 8 when it is launched:

  • Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection (British Virgin Islands)
  • The London EDITION
  • Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Napa Valley (United States)
  • Pine Cliffs Residence, a Luxury Collection Resort, Algarve
  • The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
  • W Hong Kong
  • The Westin Europa & Regina, Venice (closed, will re-open soon as St Regis Venice)

I want to highlight The Ritz-Carlton Al Hamra Beach on the list aboveI reviewed The Ritz-Carlton Al Hamra Beach last year and it is an amazing redemption, given that every room – as you can see below – is actually a villa with a private pool and direct beach access.

It is also frustrating that St Regis Venice, image below, is not bookable at present.  I imagine it will be after 5th March when reservations open.

Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach

What should you do?

If you have any existing Marriott Bonvoy reward reservations, it is worth going through the list to see if they are dropping in price.  It is unlikely, but there are some fallers which you could rebook after 5th March.

More importantly, think about your plans for the hotels moving into Category 8.  At present you can book them for 60,000 points but, from 5th March, they will cost 85,000 points.  Once peak and off-peak pricing is introduced, they will cost up to 100,000 points per night.

Remember that you can book for up to a year ahead.

The full list of hotels moving to Category 8 is at the bottom of this article.

St Regis Venice

Is ‘Points Advance’ changing?

‘Points Advance’ is a unique Marriott Bonvoy feature.  It lets you book reward nights even if you don’t have the points.

This is very clever.  After all, nothing is going to motivate you to move your upcoming stays to Marriott more than the knowledge that you have a reward stay booked and only another xx days to earn the points.

With ‘Points Advance’, you can book reward nights now.  You have until 14 days before your stay to get enough points in your account, otherwise it is converted to a cash stay.

Due to a badly worded email sent to Marriott Bonvoy members, there was some confusion over whether ‘Points Advance’ was changing.  The email implied that you were no longer locking in the points cost, and that if it went up between the day of booking and the day you had enough points, Marriott would ask for the extra.

Marriott has now stated on its own members blog that this is not the case.  If you make a ‘Points Advance’ booking now you are guaranteed the rate even if you don’t have the points.

Since I am swimming in Marriott Bonvoy points this is not a scheme that appeals to me, as I can only lose out if others without any points book rooms I want.  I do admire it, however, because it is 100% successful in changing customer behaviour in Marriott’s favour.

St Regis New York on Marriott Bonvoy points

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Marriott Bonvoy points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

Appendix – Marriott Bonvoy hotels moving from Category 7 (60,000 points) to Category 8 (85,000 points):

This is the full list of hotels moving into Category 8 on 5th March.

Click the text to enlarge – it is actually four separate images.  It was not designed to be readable directly from the article!  It is always difficult publishing tables on HFP because a lot of people read the site via mobile and tables distort.

If you still can’t read it, go to this page of marriott.com and sort the chart by category.  The Category 8 hotels will be on top.

Marriott Category 8 hotelsMarriott Category 8 hotelsMarriott Category 8 hotelsMarriott Category 8 hotels

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

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Comments

  1. 60k per night when transferring from Amex MR is still around 40k points which is a fair amount of points but I have noticed that often these top category hotels get booked up often so increasing the points makes sense and hopefully will mean more availability

  2. TGLoyalty says:

    85,000 points is about £425 a night plus losing out on any earned if it was a cash stay.

    Even the London Edition can be had for circa this price if not less for cash and tbh isn’t worth the cash.

  3. Stayed at Domes before the price increase to 60k it was good value but at 85k I would not bother unless your going on a family vacation to get the most value.

    • Domes is an example of a pretty shocking increase. We booked last year in early Aug for this July at 45,000 points a night, total 270,000. When peak dates are out, it will be 510,000. Crazy. Almost double in less than a year.

      • Rob Walker says:

        Indeed. We stayed last year using a travel package. There was a hotel -> BA transfer bonus running at the time, so it was fantastic value. We’ve booked again at 360,000 for a week. I don’t think we’ll be returning once it’s up to 510k.

        It’s the perfect resort for us with two small children, so to be honest the huge increase will probably push us away from Marriott and make us look elsewhere.

  4. Peter Taysum says:

    OT – am flying to PVG (Shanghai) to join the QM2 then flying back from Singapore. The ship sails at around 21:00; I’m wanting to do a days sight seeing (and not miss the ship) esp going to the Bund. Never travelled to China before – so looking for advice on how to do this (Private tour, alone, drop stuff at cruise terminal and venture out on “hop on hop off bus”), I literally have no idea…

    Thanks for any advice (oh and for transfer from Singapore Port to the airport).

    • If you can, try the Maglev train into Shanghai. Its incredible. Beware getting ripped off by a taxi when you leave the station like I did; I followed all the usual rules like not accepting hawker offers, picked my own signed and metered taxi and insisted on the meter, but still got done. Not sure how you avoid it really.

      Don’t get sucked into a discussion with a pleasant and attractive looking young couple on the Bund who ask you to take a photo of them, then engage you in conversation, then invite you to a tea ceremony they are going to, and then you find you have to pay a huge sum to large hoodlums to pay your bill / get out of the venue. Classic scam. My colleague and I got to the invite point and then realised what was going on and we scarpered sharpish. Other than that, its great !!

      • I’ve told this story before but a taxi driver also tried it on with us from the Maglev train station but in the end I actually ripped him off.

    • I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into with a cruise in Asia.

  5. To be clear, I have booked the Ritz Carlton NY for 5 nights at 60k per night on points advance, even though it is going up to 85k per night I have locked it in at that price? I have until 14 days before my stay in July to come up with the points without the points needed increasing?

    • Correct.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Well, that’s a relief, am 2k points shy of a 5 night booking at St Regis NY, was looking at plan B…

        • I’m looking at both the Ritz Carlton and St Regis NY hotels for a 5 night stay, any views on which is better for a splurge?

        • FlyingChris says:

          I had the same dilemma. Went with St Regis in the end as felt like it would be more of an experience I wouldn’t get to sample again when the rates went up. Yes there is the £50pn destination fee, but equally felt would make a large chunk of that back through F&B (quite fancy a few drinks in the King Cole bar) and museum ticket spend – but ultimately the novelty factor of StR won out. (butler etc.)

    • Has the ritz central Park a destination fee? I could find no menti9n of it when booking. How do you stand if a hotel introduces destination fees after booking

      • Thanks @FlyingChris. I’m having similar thoughts although both hotels look very impressive.

  6. MORE POINTS AHEAD promotion came up on my membership but when I tried to register it said Please correct the following and try again.
    Unfortunately, we cannot register you for this promotion, but if you call our Guest Services number, we would be happy to answer any question you have. Call 800-450-4442 In the United States and Canada, or one of our worldwide numbers.

    First bug of the new website?

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