Marriott’s new loyalty program is launching today, so it has been quite an exciting day.
First it was bad news about Marriott’s Platinum upgrade policy. Then it was good news. Then it was bad news about how Marriott Travel Packages are mapping over.
One other point of concern has been regarding whether hotels at all Marriott brands will have “standard” rooms going forward. Historically some of Starwood’s best hotels didn’t have “standard” rooms, and therefore even a base room at these hotels cost twice as many points as what it otherwise would (and sometimes even more).
We had first learned that Marriott was planning on offering standard rooms at all hotels, which is great for those looking to redeem points.
Then many of us were once again alarmed when we saw Marriott’s leaked terms & conditions, which said the following:
Free Night Awards at the following locations require a higher amount of Points either because the Participating Property does not have standard rooms or the standard rooms it offers have a mandatory full board requirement in peak seasons: Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand; The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand; Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas, Steamboat Springs, Colorado; The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica; The St. Regis Bora Bora and the Le Méridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora, French Polynesia; Mystique, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini, Santorini, Greece; The St. Regis Bali Resort, Nusa Dua, Indonesia; Hotel Cala di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Costa Smeralda, Italy; W Maldives, North Ari Atoll, Maldives; W Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Thailand; Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, U.A.E.; St. Regis Residence Club, Aspen, Aspen, CO; and Phoenician Residences, a Luxury Collection Residence Club, Scottsdale, AZ.
Even Marriott’s brand new award chart says the following at the bottom:
“Free Night Awards at some locations require higher points redemption amounts either because the hotel does not have standard rooms or the standard rooms it offers have mandatory full board requirements.”
So, what’s the deal? Is Marriott backtracking? Apparently not.
Marriott has confirmed to me today that all properties that are excluded by the terms & conditions above will be bookable with points at the standard rates. They’re working on updating the terms & conditions (this could take several days, or even a couple of weeks), but these hotels should be bookable shortly with points at the standard rates.
You’ll be able to redeem just 60,000 points per night at Al Maha Dubai
So that’s great news…