Off the Charts Luxury Update (85K mistake rate to be honored)

UPDATE 8/24/18: Marriott has confirmed to View from the Wing that the standard rate for “off the charts” properties should be 60,000 points per night for standard rooms (e.g. garden villas) and that the proper rate for St. Regis Maldives overwater villas is 170,000 points per night.  In other words, Marriott has confirmed that the 85K rate was a mistake rate, but fortunately they have pledged to honor it.  Supposedly Marriott has fixed this error and has made 60K rates available.  That said, I don’t believe that booking standard awards is working yet for these properties, so maybe the 85K glitch is still working?  I’m not sure.

Status of “Off the Charts” Awards

  • Standard rooms (e.g. garden villas)
    • Award rate: 60K per night
    • Available to book online? Not yet
    • Available to book via phone? Not yet
  • Enhanced rooms (e.g. overwater villas)
    • Award rate: Varies. Overwater villa at St. Regis Maldives = 170K per night
    • Available to book online? Not yet
    • Available to book via phone? Maybe. A number of people have reported success booking at the mistake 85K rate.

Original post follows:

With the Marriott / SPG program merger, we expected that the SPG “off the chart” properties would cost just 60,000 rewards points per night until Marriott adds category 8 pricing in early 2019.  Unfortunately, technical issues have plagued the merger all week and so-far it is not possible to book most of these properties at the 60K per night rate.  That’s the bad news.

When searching for award nights in the Maldives, this shows up, but when clicking through, the award option isn’t available.

The good news is that a number of people have found success calling to book for 85K points per night.  Even better, they have been able to book overwater villas at places like the St. Regis Maldives for 85K points per night.

This may be a glitch.  85K points is exactly the standard price that these properties are expected to cost as standard once category 8 is introduced in 2019.  That’s unlikely to be a coincidence.  The way I expect things to work once the glitch is fixed, is that only garden villas will be bookable at the 60K per night rate.  If true, then they will charge either points or cash to upgrade to an overwater villa.  And, I’ll bet you anything that the upgrade charge will be far more than 25,000 points per night.

If you have your eyes on one of these off-the-chart properties, and you have dates in mind, and you have enough points in your account to pay 85K points per night, I’d recommend calling now to book.  If I’m wrong and the price should really be 60K points per night, you’ll be able to call up later to request the extra 25K points per night back.  But if I’m right, you will have won big time.

Unfortunately for me, I depleted most of my points by buying travel packages so I can’t take advantage of this unless/until I have success signing up for the new SPG Luxury card expected to debut 8/23 (tomorrow).  And, due to new rules coming out on 8/26, I’ll have to sign up between 8/23 and 8/25 (see: Up to 450K on the table and a short window of opportunity with Marriott & SPG).

Click the map below to explore the off-the-charts properties via Google Maps:

 

Last updated on September 3rd, 2018

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Jig
Guest
Jig

Strange to see you make a math boo boo, but its 25K extra per night, not 15K

Frugalman
Guest
Frugalman

Greg, do you expect a ritz Carlton FN sign-up certificate (60k/night) would be allowed to book these 85k/night with point upgrade. After all, these credit card FN certificates, unlike 7-night ones, are supposed to be point based without category limit. (Even if there is, ritz carlton ones should reach Car 7, the highest one currently). Thanks.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Does it need to show points availability to book via the phone?

Dan
Guest
Dan

To be honest, I was always shocked that you (along with most bloggers) really pushed those travel packages. Marriott had always claimed there was going to be a great opportunity for those uber-elite SPG properties. I saved up my points for 12 nights overwater in the St. Regis Maldives.

Looking back, do you think you were making the right decision (travel packages vs saving for uber elite properties) with the information you had at the time? How about with the information you have now, would you have done anything differently?

Thanks for helping us get through this bumpy merger weekend!

Blue
Guest
Blue

I think people were assuming the Points Advance feature would be available.

Frugalman
Guest
Frugalman

For travel package, the airline miles are always the major motivation. Even as of today, I still have no regret. Actually, I purchased some SPG points with cash to redeem more travel packages. Will I buy point now to book those aspirational hotels? No way. Obviously, everyone value the same thing differently. Don’t judge others behavior using your logic.

Leo
Guest
Leo

well said

Dan
Guest
Dan

I think it was pretty clear that there was no judgement here. Both options were clearly great value, and as you stated, we all value things differently as well as accrue hotel points and airline miles at different ratios. I’m just curious how he feels he did after having a few days to reflect and see how things played out.

edward
Guest
edward

i tried to book, but spg agent said can only book 6 months out? is this true or i need to call again with another agent?

Michael
Guest
Michael

Not true (for StR Maldives at least) as I booked April next year. Try calling St Regis directly instead of SPG if that’s what you are trying to book.

This may be hotel dependent though.

Steve
Guest
Steve

My greatest concern is with the properties that read “sold out” for points but appear available for cash, no matter the date.

Jung
Guest
Jung

dont think its a glitch, the base room is indeed 60k , but upon booking the 85k, what you see on the confirmation shows the room rate says “upgraded award” to which I believe is where the extra 25k for the upgrade ontop the base award 60k .

Like wise on the W Maldives, with extra 10k for the overwater lagoon as upgraded award on room rate.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Extra 10k for OW Lagoon? I was charged 60k + 25k (85k a night total) for the OWLV. Do you have a confirmed booking in that room for just 70k a night?

wise2u
Guest
wise2u

I think, just like the vacation properties, some of the high end properties are not participating. I believe I read that st. regis, certain RC, and others will all require an extra nightly upgrade cert (or 2)…only standard garden rooms will be bookable for the stated amount of points…also there is fine print stating that some properties, including 2 in Hawaii I was looking at, don’t participate in the “no blackout policy”…so let the availability/standard room/exclusion games begin…if you manage to book before they get it together, more power to you, but if you wait a bunch of places will be unbookable.

James
Guest
James

Anyone know what’s going to happen to points reservations that did not have the points assigned to the reservation before hotels went up in points? I have a reservation that now shows 50k more points required. First agent I talked to said that I would have to pay the new point total, but that can’t be correct, right?

Mike
Guest
Mike

Seems to be case. This is ridiculous. I had the points in spg account and I did not move over. I thought when merger happens the points are converted and the will be assigned automatically. The rate difference for my property is 15k per night. So it cost me 60k for the stay :-(..

James
Guest
James

I was told by an elite rep that according to the faq that concerning existing reservations that no action is necessary and no changes will be made to our reservations. Of course that has not proved to be true. She said that she has made a notation somewhere that once I get the points they will issue an e-cert at the old rate. Not sure I believe her. She was the 3rd person that I talked to and she put me on hold for over 10 minutes while she figured out what to do. The first 2 said that was just how it was. I mean what a great way to treat their customers. So I guess with that logic if I book a cash reservation, but don’t pay immediately and later the hotel changes rates I guess I am responsible for the new rate. What a joke.

McGk
Guest
McGk

I just called in to book the St. Regis Bora Bora and the lowest-priced overwater bungalows are pricing out at 183,750 points/night – I checked three 5-night date windows in January-February and they all priced out the same. Anyone else having luck with the St. Regis Bora Bora at 85k/night?

Drew
Guest
Drew

Nope. And nothing at the 60k point level at all.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Hi,

Like everyone, I was greatly anticipating the Marriott/SPG merger. My fiancé and I wanted to go on our dream honeymoon to Bora Bora, in February 2019. After learning, months ago, that booking properties like the St. Regis Bora Bora and Le Meridien Bora Bora would each remain classified as Category 7 hotels for the remainder of 2018 (even if booking for a 2019 stay), I accumulated the 240,000 Marriott points I would need for our five-night stay (60,000 points per night, with the fifth night free).

When the programs merged, on Saturday, August 18th, I called to try to book a room at the St. Regis. As expected, all of the computers were down. Eventually, on Sunday, August 19th, I got through to a representative whose computer was working. Although his search for award availability was not functioning, he searched the cash availability for my dates and found, what he said, was the code for the standard, Category 7 award room, which he said was a Superior Overwater Bungalow. I made sure to confirm with him that Category 7 meant 60,000 points per night, to which he agreed. He told me that if I reserved that room, with cash, I’d be able to call back, when award booking was available, get a cash refund, and trade in my 240,000 points for the room for five nights. When he went to book the room with cash, he kept getting error messages, which he attributed to the problems with the system because of the merger, so he stayed on the phone with me while I tried it on my end, which was succesful.

On Monday, August 20th, I called back to see if I could change the booking from cash to points, as I had discussed with the representative. I was told I could do that, but was then told I’d need triple the points of a regular Category 7 hotel because it was an “all-suites” resort. Obviously, that was not what I was told, and I did not have the points for that, so I was transferred to customer service. I explained the story to the customer service representative and he issued me a complaint number. He then said they would pull the recording of the call, and, if they found that I was promised what I claimed, they would make it right. He said I would hear back within 24 to 72 hours.

Today, Wednesday, August 22nd, I hadn’t yet heard back, so I called customer service. I was told that the complaint had been put in the wrong queue, but that it would be transferred to the correct queue and handled immediately. Again, I was assured that the wrong would be made right.

Tonight, I got a call from a representative from customer service. The representative told me that, though she understood my story, and though she felt bad about it, there was nothing she could do to fix the problem. In addition, she told me that, when they went back to listen to the recorded call, they found that the representative’s call recorder had been off when I called (which seems convenient, given the situation, and since I was told they record every call). She told me that, personally, she would have waited to book because there are usually issues with big mergers like this. When I told her I was given the wrong information and now had no place to stay because of her company, she reiterated that she felt badly, but offered me nothing.

Later tonight, I called back and spoke to a customer service supervisor. Again, after looking into it, the supervisor offered me his “condolences” and suggested I try to cancel my non-refundable plane tickets because there was nothing he would do to make it right. In addition, he told me that I should have called back, after booking the hotel while on the phone with the representative, to confirm the accuracy of the reservation.

I am desperate and do not know where to turn. I thought the hotel was paid for with points. I really need help getting to someone in Marriott/SPG who actually gives a damn and will make this right. I have the names and employee ID numbers of the representatives I have spoken to, as well as the complaint number and my reservation number. Can anyone help me?

Andrew

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I forwarded the problem to @SPGASSIST and rexe8ved the following “Hello Andrew. We’ve checked and asked for this to be reviewed for exception. Unfortunately, the decision was final and we unable to honor the additional Points. We understand that this may not be the answer that you’re looking for but should you have any inquiry for an upcoming stay, do let us know, we can work with the hotel to obtain the information you need.”

P-quick
Guest
P-quick

Didn’t a Marriott representative say very publicly that all properties would fall into one of the categories? I guess that only means they’ll be in a category but that doesn’t mean the required points for the category would apply. Of course, I didn’t expect them to be generous anyway but still a bummer for those people who accumulated points thinking they would be able to use them at these properties.

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

Seems crazy the delta between garden rooms and overwater when the cash rate is roughly $200/nt or 20% but points is 3x.

andrew
Guest
andrew

Just called SPG rep, asking to book 5 nights Feb next year at St Regis Maldives on points. Was told the following:

1. none of the 5 nights of my choices are bookable, they can only book 7 nights. They says it seems like a 7 nights stay is mandatory for points booking (which does not make any sense).

2. for 7 nights, the only availability is the over-water villa, which is only one cat higher than the basic standard room in that property (the garden villa). They quoted me crazy 1.13 million points for 7 nights. I asked what about 60k per night as promised by Marriott before the merger. was told that this (over water villa) is a suite 3 upgrade, which is the highest upgrade in SPG properties, and the 1.13 million points for 7 night is a correct quote.

I asked to be transferred to a supervisor and was told the same thing. She also mentioned that all the off the chart cat 7 properties still don’t have normal points booking availability loaded yet, asked me to wait a bit longer for them to be all properly loaded then I can try to book using points again…

Has anyone been successful booking St Regis Maldive at 60k points per night? or even 75K or 85K?

Jung
Guest
Jung

yes able to book both st regis maldives and w maldives this year and next for 85k on 8/20 seems now they’ve correct with hype up on points ow stays. given your situation , your best bet is to wait till they release the 60k standard suite on garden villas. i would call everyday just to check

Tyler K Johnson
Guest
Tyler K Johnson

You had a recent post about the “off the chart” properties not being included and you posted the T&C of Marriot stating those terms. This post seems to contradict this. I ask as I am trying to use the Ritz Carlton Certificates which transferred to 60,000 point certificates. I was hoping to use at the St. Regis Bali, curious on your thoughts if I will be able to use them there. I had called yesterday to book and they stated that it was 64,000 points per night. They tried to use the certificate then apply 4,00 additional points but it did not work.