Last year, Marriott decided it wanted to get into the home rental industry with a pilot program in the UK under the name of Tribute Portfolio Homes. It allowed the brand to offer premium and luxury properties in areas not served by their hotels, competing with Airbnb in the upper segment of the holiday home rental market.
The program has just been launched publicly under the new name Marriott Homes & Villas which admittedly is less of a mouthful than Tribute Portfolio Homes! It has expanded globally.
There are now over 2,000 properties available in over 100 destinations in Europe, the US, Caribbean and Latin America. The Asia Pacific region is notably absent, although Marriott says it intends to increase availability in current and future destinations.
Marriott is slightly more involved in its “curated selection” of properties than Airbnb. They have teamed up with various established high-end property management companies and presumably can exert some level of control and oversight. The fact that you cannot simply sign up to list your property with Marriott suggests that it is keen to select properties that fit in the premium and luxury markets.
The benefit of booking Marriott Homes & Villas is that it part of the Marriott Bonvoy network, allowing you to both earn and redeem points. Members will earn 50% fewer points than at Marriott’s full service hotels, so you are only getting 5 points per $1.
If you’re an elite member of Marriott Bonvoy, you’ll also earn elite status bonus points as well as an Elite Welcome Gift or welcome points.
How to book Marriott Homes & Villas
The plan is that properties will automatically appear on marriott.com for stays that are three nights or longer although this is still being rolled out at the moment.
Alternatively, you can browse properties on this dedicated Homes & Villas page. Whilst the nightly rates are shown for many properties, some require you to fill out a form and “inquire” for your preferred dates.
A quick browse shows properties available for as low as $177/night for a two bedroom unit sleeping a family of six in Austin, Texas. If you are feeling flusher, you can stay at a $12,969/night property on Capri with direct water access and room for 18 guests.
Is it worth using Marriott Homes & Villas?
It is worth bearing in mind that Marriott does not have exclusive rights to all these properties. I was available to find one property on Airbnb easily – for the same seven night stay in June, Marriott Homes & Villas wanted $2,910 whilst Airbnb only charged $2,163. It certainly isn’t worth paying a premium for a handful of Bonvoy points.
This was only a quick search, and I am sure many other properties are available elsewhere too – potentially at a lower price. Many property owners charge less on Airbnb because there is more competition and it is a less exclusive place to list.
As well as showing a cash cost for these rentals, Marriott also allows you to pay with Marriott Bonvoy points. This is a particularly interesting option for families who often struggle to find hotel rooms that can fit everyone in.
I took a look at a variety of properties at various price points in both Europe and the USA and found that, in general, you get a value of around 0.5p per point. This is in line with Rob’s notional Marriott Bonvoy valuation of 0.5p per point. You can certainly do better than 0.5p at peak hotels on peak dates, but in general this new option does offer fair value.
On the whole, Marriott Homes & Villas looks competitive. You will get fair value if you choose to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for a holiday home, and you can pick up a modest number of points if you choose to book a house or villa via Marriott – but do check Airbnb, onefinestay etc first to check if the same property is listed elsewhere for less.
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!
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, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.
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.