Best Marriotts in the US to spend your free nights


Marriott provides many opportunities to earn free category 1-5 nights.  Their credit cards each offer a free cat 1-5 night per year.  They frequently run “Megabonus” promotions in which two stays results in 1 free cat 1-5 night (make sure to register!).  And, the best value Marriott Travel Package results in a certificate for up to 7 nights in a category 1-5 hotel (see: 12 things you need to know about Marriott Travel Packages).

I previously posted the best places to use your 7 night travel package certificates: Top 5 Cat 5 Marriotts in the World (even if you read this before, check it out again since I’ve added a 6th property to the top 5 list).

The international top 5 (now 6) list is great, but what if you need to use up free night certificates closer to home?  Are there any category 5 Marriotts in the United States worth traveling to?  Personally, I don’t find any of them compelling enough to want to stay for 7 nights, but if you have one or more individual free nights from the Marriott credit cards or Megabonus promos, I found quite a few that could make for a nice weekend getaway.

I scoured through Marriott’s list of category 5 properties in the US (found here) to find the gems that were highly rated.  My goal was to find hotels that appear to well located for a weekend getaway.  My secondary goal was to find the properties that represented good value for your points or free night certificates, so I removed hotels that typically charge less than $150 per night.  Next, based on reviews, location, and appearance, I picked the ones I consider to be the best.  Note that I have yet to visit most of these, so this collection is based entirely on internet research…

Sorted by state, here we go…


Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel


Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center


Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River


Courtyard Hot Springs
This one gets excellent reviews and appears to be in a good location for exploring Hot Springs.


Residence Inn Long Beach Downtown There are slim pickings for desirable category 5 hotels in California. This one looks more appealing than most.


Residence Inn San Diego Oceanside. This one gets good reviews, but despite the name it is not near the ocean


AC Hotel Atlanta Downtown


Residence Inn West Palm Beach Downtown/CityPlace Area
This one doesn’t exactly offer a beach getaway, but if you want easy access to shopping and/or to Palm Beach, it might be right for you.


Residence Inn Idaho Falls


Ambassador Hotel Wichita, Autograph Collection


WATERMARK Baton Rouge, Autograph Collection


Fairfield Inn & Suites Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor


The Henry, Autograph Collection
The Dearborn Inn, A Marriott Hotel


AC Hotel Minneapolis Downtown
AC Hotel Bloomington Mall of America
Fairfield Inn & Suites Detroit Lakes

North Carolina

AC Hotel Chapel Hill Downtown This one isn’t open yet, but it looks like it will be a great place to stay when I visit my alma mater!
Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown
This one has all-suites and offers a rooftop bar in downtown Raleigh.  Yes please.


Residence Inn Austin-University Area
AC Hotel Dallas Downtown
JW Marriott Houston This is the only category 5 (or below) JW Marriott in the United States.


Courtyard Williamsburg Busch Gardens Area
Residence Inn Waynesboro
Residence Inn Richmond Downtown
Residence Inn Arlington Pentagon City
This could be a great home base for exploring the Washington DC area.


The Davenport Grand, Autograph Collection
Spokane Washington has three (three!) category 5 autograph collection hotels.  They all get great reviews.  I picked one somewhat randomly. You can find all three here.


AC Hotel Madison Downtown


Residence Inn Green Bay Downtown

Reader Input

If you have any experience with the category 5 hotels listed here or with any I missed, please comment below! Thank you!


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