Using Marriott Points During Peak Season? Tips and Tricks?

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by jpripcord, Jun 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jpripcord

    jpripcord Silver Member

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    So I'm planning a trip with the girlfriend to southeast asia over Christmas/New Years time.

    I figured it would be good to start making my preparations now, because we are hoping to book most of the trip (airfare and hotels) using reward points and i've never done so before (I tend to hoard points, and never use them).

    So I'm looking for a nice beach property to stay for 5 days (figuring I would get the 4 + 1 free) towards the end of our trip. I was thinking Ko Samui or Phuket, but when I do a search on Marriott's website, the "good hotels" are nowhere to be found.

    Is this typical (rewards are very hard to get during peak season) and I am being naive thinking I could book a prime property. Am I better off buying the $1000 gift card(s) and using those if there is regular availability, but no reward rooms?

    It is more than 6 months before our trip. Does inventory open up as we get closer if rooms are not fully booked, or does supply only shrink?

    Am I better off just making a few reservations using points now, and then canceling the reservations if I find a better property?

    Any other tips or tricks would be very much appreciated. (As well as any feedback on the Ko Samui or Phuket properties)

    Thanks guys.

    - JP
     
  2. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Hi jpripcord, and welcome to MilePoint.

    Quick question: Do you have elite status with Marriott?

    By the way, Ko Samui is currently showing award availability in late December and early Jan (I tried 28 Dec - 3 Jan as a test). Check here.
     
  3. jpripcord

    jpripcord Silver Member

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    Yes, currently I'm gold with 74 nights stayed, so I'll be plat by the end of June. Does that help in any way?
     
  4. sophiegirl
    Original Member

    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    jpripcord, I am probably not telling you anything you don't know...but- points are a diminishing commodity. They lose value over time, due to program changes, devaluations, etc. (saving points to achieve a total for a specific reward is not the same thing). I am sure you work hard to earn them, get the most value out of them and USE THEM.
    (soapbox now put away)

    In answer to your question- To my knowledge, having status does not open up award availability. It does reduce the # of points needed to get the certs you are referring to, which I use all the time.

    if you are planning to do the air/hotel package, the award availability is critical. If you are doing hotel room only, the certs could make sense. I like them because:
    1) an award room is just that - the room. The $$$ certs can be applied to the total stay- meals, drinks, spa, etc.
    2) you earn points on the stay, as well as nights credit. You do not on an award booking.
    3) you get (20) $50 certs. If you did not use them all, you have them for a future stay at wherever.

    Additionally, although definitely a YMMV - I have always felt - during peak season - I get a better room/upgrade on a paid reservation VS an award. Which is understandable, but still....

    Have a great trip!
     
  5. jpripcord

    jpripcord Silver Member

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    My gf and I both signed up for the BA 100k mile card, so we're hoping to fly there for free, meaning I'm not looking at the air/hotel package

    I've been playing around with the rewards search, and it just seems inconsistent to me. If i do a search from 12/28/2011 - 1/1/2012, the only Cat 5 I can choose from is the Renaissance Koh Samui. However, if I do a search from 12/28/2011 - 1/2/2012, I get the Koh Samui Renaissance as well as the JW Marriott in Khao Lak. Why would they want me to have the JW in Khao Lak for 5 nights (5th night free) over that period, but it's not available for 4 nights? Doesn't make any sense to me.

    Any "tips and tricks" like (try searching for an extra day, because somehow they may let you book 5 nights for free instead of 4 nights) would be appreciated
     

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