Surprise: Some NYC hotels will only cost 35K Marriott points (free cert eligible)

Marriott has announced a partial list of hotels as a preview for the new award chart pricing coming on August 1st. Some hotels will be going up, though as expected the preview list includes a number of expensive Starwood properties that are dropping in price significantly. However, the big surprise for me was to see that there will be several Manhattan hotels that will be bookable with the annual free night certificate from the current SPG cardsWhile you won’t be able to stay at a luxury property with your free night certificate, the option to choose one of a couple of decent NYC locations certainly changes the short-term value proposition of the SPG cards for me.

Some good decreases in the preview

Marriott claims that more hotels will go down in price than up, and while that may be true, we expected the decrease in all of the top-tier properties (since the new chart will top out at 60K Marriott points, lower than Ritz Tier 5 and SPG Category 7 currently charge) to lead to a number of increases in the middle tiers. While I hesitate to judge a restaurant by its appetizer, the preview includes some decent values. See the full preview here.

For example, the image above shows four New York City properties (Courtyard New York Manhattan / Central Park, Element New York Times Square West, Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Midtown West, and Residence Inn New York Manhattan / Central Park) will cost 35,000 points in the new program (note that the Courtyard and Rennaisance are actually in the same building). While those changes are very small in terms of decreases, the value here comes in the fact that one of the benefits of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards starting in August and on the new Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus (which should be available on May 3rd) will be an annual free night at a hotel costing up to 35,000 points per night (See more of the new details here). Existing cardholders should receive that certificate on first renewal after August 1st. As my renewal date is in August, I’ll surely be holding onto my Starwood card at least until then as I’m always happy to pick up a free night in New York. I was particularly happy to see the Residence Inn on the list as I’d read a post fom Points with a Crew a while back on 5 reasons why Ian would pick that hotel for his next NYC trip and I’ve been curious about it ever since. I was further surprised to see that even a couple of Paris properties will remain in the 35K category.

Champagne bar at Le Dokhan’s in Paris, which would be bookable with the SPG free night certificate that is coming in August.

Of course, those with large SPG / Marriott balances will be most excited to see properties at the high end, like the St. Regis New York and The Chatwal New York dropping from a current equivalent of 90K Marriott points per night to just 60K when the new chart hits on August 1st. Keep in mind that in 2019, a new Category 8 will debut, and properties like those are already noted to be moving up in price (though even the peak pricing introduced in 2019 will be lower than the current standard 35K SPG Cat 7 peak pricing). However, if you make your booking between August 1st and the end of this year, it would be honored at this year’s pricing (even if your stay is next year after the new category comes into play). As a reminder, here are the cateogires for the new chart:

Book this one right now

One hotel that stands out as being massively devalued is the Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa. While I don’t know much about this property, the preview clearly shows it will move up in price by 24,000 Marriott points, from a current 12K Starpoints (equivalent of 36K Marriott) to 60,000 Marriott Rewards points – an increase of about 67%. If you had this property in mind, book it now.

Bottom line

Again, I’m very hesitant to judge by a preview of what is likely to be the greatest hits, but I’m noetheless surprised to see properties in expensive markets like New York and Paris decrease (apart from those at the top end, which have nowhere to go but down on the new chart). I was very confident that I would cancel my SPG cards rather than renew, but the preview might change my feelings on that. I look forward to seeing the rest of the list, which Bob Behrens indicated to use should be out in the next few weeks.

H/T: View from the Wing

Last updated on June 18th, 2018

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Ivan
Guest
Ivan

I prefer the Residence Inn Midtown East to the Central Park… bigger rooms.It’s my go to… The Central Park is a nice location, but very very compact. It’s a positive sign that the residence inn/courtyard properties in NYC will not go up in terms of points per night

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

My wife and I just finished a stay at the Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel and it was awesome. I’m so happy to see that it will be free certificate eligible at 35,000 points. I would 100% pay to stay there again and you’ll get good value from those points at that property and using the free night there would be excellent.

Ivan
Guest
Ivan

Which room type did you have?

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

We stayed in the Artist Studio, which I know isn’t a standard room, but we would definitely stay there again regardless of room type given the location and service we received.

Frank
Guest
Frank

The Westin GC is a fantastic property

Kenny
Guest
Kenny

Do we know yet whether the certificate is good for hotels that normally cost 35k, or only for nights that are 35 K or under (excluding these and many other hotels on peak nights)?

H K
Guest
H K

Thanks for the headsup! Do you know if we can start making these bookings using existing certificates for after August?

ShareTheLove
Guest
ShareTheLove

Dont walk but run from the Westin Grand Cayman. Its a subpar Westin property with an awful cancellation policy and a ridiculous $65/n Resort Charge

Frank
Guest
Frank

Subpar? Its a newly remodeled facility on one of the best beaches in the world. The resort fee is steep and I cant comment on the cancellation policy but the grounds, staff, & service were outstanding both times we’ve gone.

wise2u
Guest
wise2u

RC or Marriott in grand cayman are better properties

wise2u
Guest
wise2u

I fail to see the upside, other than the 6 month window that you speculate will be bargained priced. That only works for lower cat properties. The cat 8 or 9 I plan on staying at are no longer bargains after aug 1. A cat 9 Marriott property is now 45K a night, so Aug 1 they change it to a cat 7 and it costs 60k a night…no bargain at all…after Jan 1 it will likely be raised back to top category at 70k-100k….with the low season at the property I like in Hawaii probably VERY limited, it will be 85-100k a night, or double what it is now……so much for high end property bargains with a travel package or points

Ash
Guest
Ash

So, when the hotels become available in August – will you only be able to book them till the end of the year with points, or will you be able to make reservations for next spring/summer at the lower award category?

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[…] York City hotels will cost only 35,000 points and will be eligible for new free night certificates (found here).  On the other hand, he also pointed out one particular hotel that should be booked before August […]