Best new to category 5 Marriott hotels

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Beginning March 6 2018, many Marriott properties are changing categories (see: Huge Devaluation – Marriott Announces 2018 Category Changes). As a result, some of the best category 5 hotels will soon become category 6. When that happens, those hotels will no longer be bookable with free night certificates earned from the Marriott Rewards Premier or Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit cards. The story is the same for free category 1-5 nights earned from Marriott’s frequent Megabonus promotions. Luckily, it’s not (yet) too late: Book these category 5 Marriott hotels before March 6 2018.

On the other hand, on March 6 2018, 45 Marriott hotels will drop from category 6 to 5. At that point these hotels will suddenly become available for booking with free night certificates. The question is: are any of these worth visiting?

To answer that question, I used TripAdvisor to look up every hotel that will drop from category 6 to category 5. I recorded the TripAdvisor score and the best per-night rate that TripAdvisor could find for an arbitrary weekend (July 20-22). The idea is that the best new-to-category-5 hotels for using free night certificates will have high TripAdvisor scores, and high room rates so that we’ll feel like we’re getting good value from our free nights.

With that criteria in mind, below are the best category 6 hotels that will soon be category 5…

Worldwide

Here are the top not-in-the-US category 6 hotels that will soon be category 5.  Personally I’m most intrigued with Hotel Nassau Breda, Autograph Collection in the Netherlands (you can read about it here)…

South Korea: Courtyard Seoul Namdaemun

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $136

Netherlands: Hotel Nassau Breda, Autograph Collection

This hotel looks so cool.
  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $146

Netherlands: The Hague Marriott Hotel

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $111

China: JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $185

Brazil: Residence Inn Rio de Janeiro Barra da Tijuca

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $102 (this one probably shouldn’t have made the list due to its low price, but then there’s that view…)

United States

Here are the top US category 6 hotels that will soon be category 5.  A number of US properties offer good value for free nights (e.g. high ratings and high prices), but few look exciting.  The most enticing of these, to me, are the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel and the Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel…

Residence Inn Kingston NY

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $339

Fairfield Inn Portland Maine Mall

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $249

SpringHill Suites New York LaGuardia Airport

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $239

Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $189

North Charleston Marriott

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $188

TownePlace Suites Nashville Airport

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $179

Residence Inn Lake Charles

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $163

Courtyard Sarasota University Park/Lakewood Ranch Area

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $152

SpringHill Suites Lake Charles Louisiana

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $152

Fairfield Inn & Suites Louisville East

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $141

Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel

  • Trip Advisor Score: 4.5
  • Avg Price July 20-22 2018: $119

All the Data

For the do-it-yourselfers, here’s the data I collected on all 45 hotels:

Country Hotel w/ Link TripAdvisor Score Price July 20-22
US Residence Inn Kingston 4.5 $339
US Fairfield Inn Portland Maine Mall 4.5 $249
US SpringHill Suites New York LaGuardia Airport 4.5 $239
US Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel 4.5 $189
US North Charleston Marriott 4.5 $188
US TownePlace Suites Nashville Airport 4.5 $179
US Residence Inn Lake Charles 4.5 $163
US Courtyard Sarasota University Park/Lakewood Ranch Area 4.5 $152
US SpringHill Suites Lake Charles 4.5 $152
US TownePlace Suites Lake Charles 4.5 $152
US Fairfield Inn & Suites Louisville East 4.5 $141
US Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel 4.5 $119
US Residence Inn Bozeman 4.0 $309
US Fairfield Inn & Suites New Buffalo 4.0 $254
US Fairfield Inn & Suites Brunswick Freeport 4.0 $242
US Courtyard Anaheim Resort/Convention Center 4.0 $239
US Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown 4.0 $239
US Residence Inn Denver Downtown 4.0 $229
US Residence Inn Temecula Murrieta 4.0 $229
US Fairfield Inn & Suites Anchorage Midtown 4.0 $224
US Residence Inn New Bedford Dartmouth 4.0 $224
US Renaissance Meadowlands Hotel 4.0 $204
US Courtyard Pittsburgh Shadyside 4.0 $199 (Aug 3-5)
US Seattle Marriott Bellevue 4.0 $188
US Long Island Marriott 4.0 $186
US Fairfield Inn New York Long Island City/Manhattan View 4.0 $183
US Fairfield Inn & Suites Nashville at Opryland 4.0 $179
US Irvine Marriott 4.0 $179
US TownePlace Suites Anaheim Maingate Near Angel Stadium 4.0 $179
US Residence Inn Miami Aventura Mall 4.0 $169
US Courtyard Miami at Dolphin Mall 4.0 $152
US Courtyard Naples 4.0 $103
US Fairfield Inn & Suites Austin South 4.0 $93
US Norfolk Waterside Marriott 3.5 $196
US Renaissance Philadelphia Airport Hotel 3.5 $135
US Knoxville Marriott 3.5 $118
US Phoenix Marriott Mesa 3.5 $74
Spain Courtyard Madrid Princesa 3.5 $103
South Korea Courtyard Seoul Namdaemun 4.5 $136
Netherlands Hotel Nassau Breda, Autograph Collection 4.5 $146
Netherlands The Hague Marriott Hotel 4.5 $111
Germany Bonn Marriott World Conference Hotel 4.0 $99
China JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square 4.5 $185
Brazil Residence Inn Rio de Janeiro Barra da Tijuca 4.5 $102
Brazil Courtyard Rio de Janeiro Barra da Tijuca 4.5 $83

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