Every year, Marriott Rewards makes adjustments to its award categories, moving properties up or down in category. This year, according to our contact at Marriott Rewards, approximately 350 hotels went down by one category and approximately 300 hotels increased by one category. Marriott has over 3,200 hotels so this adjustment is affecting approximately 20 percent of the hotels, leaving a good majority unchanged.
First, the bad news: there are several hotels moving up from category 5 (25,000 points per night) to category 6 (30,000 points per night) including, not surprisingly, some international properties such as the Hamburg Marriott Hotel and Berlin Marriott Hotel, along with some U.S. vacation spots like Courtyard Key West Waterfront and Courtyard Cape Cod Hyannis.
Current category 6 hotels moving up to category 7 (35,000 points) include Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort and Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and Wentworth by the Sea, A Marriott Hotel & Spa in New Castle, N.H.
And now, for the good news: there will be no hotels moving from category 7 to category 8. And hotels such as the Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe and the Renaissance London Chancery Court Hotel are moving down from category 8 to 7. Hotels such as Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club and Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East will now be category 6, down from category 7.
There’s good news for golfers and gamblers with hotels such as Dalmahoy, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Edinburgh, Scotland; Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Florida; JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa; Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino and Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino all going down a category from 6 to 5.
Bottom line: Overall, Marriott Rewards members are happy with the changes and appreciated the heads up they received that the changes were coming. Our resident hotel expert, Ric Garrido, mentioned in a FlyerTalk thread, “Seeing more high category hotels moving down rather than up in 2010 is a sigh of relief.” He continued, “I predicted in October 2008 Marriott would move categories up in a massive devaluation to better align with Hilton. Marriott proved me wrong and instead Hilton HHonors went with the systemwide points devaluation by shifting most properties to higher points reward categories in 2010.”