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Yesterday, I published my review of Jaisalmer Marriott Resort & Spa, a Bonvoy Category 2 property that was one the the most luxurious experiences I have had. As someone that constantly scans for the ‘best value’ on all redemptions, I figured it would be a good exercise to find other gems in the Marriott Luxury Brands that were Bonvoy category 1 or 2. The quick answer to my exercise: Zero Luxury Brand property at Category 1, but I discovered 8 Marriott Luxury properties that are Bonvoy Category 2. Perhaps unsurprisingly, six were in Asia, and one each in Europe and South America.
Marriott Portfolio and the Luxury Brands
Before I dive into the details, a quick scan on the Marriott portfolio was in order. The Marriott Bonvoy portfolio consists of a whopping 30 brands, that are divided into four categories – Longer Stays (5), Select (8), Premium (11) and Luxury (6)
The Luxury Brands within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio include the following (in no particular order);
- The Ritz-Carlton
- The Luxury Collection
- St. Regis
- W Hotels
- JW Marriott
8 Marriott Luxury properties that are Bonvoy Category 2
The exercise was to identify which Luxury properties featured as Bonvoy Category 1 or 2 in the hotel directory of 7745 Marriott properties worldwide. The filter functionality on Marriott site is clunky, symptomatic of the Bonvoy brand, I suppose. After applying Category 1 and 2 as my filters, only two Luxury Brands (JW Marriott and The Luxury Collection) were featured. I selected both the brands in the filter and ran the search again, which provided me with the following results;
- Zero Luxury Brands were featured as Category 1 properties
- 8 Marriott Luxury properties popped up as Bonvoy Category 2
The standard rate for a Category-2 redemption is 12,500. Here is a quick look at the redemption chart, to further the sense of what an incredible deal these properties are;
- ITC Mughal, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Agra: This property is changing from Category 2 to Category 3, starting March 4, 2020.
- ITC Kakatiya, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hyderabad: This property is changing from Category 2 to Category 1, starting March 4, 2020 – WOW!
- ITC Sonar, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kolkata: This property is changing from Category 2 to Category 3, starting March 4, 2020.
- JW MARRIOTT HOTEL SURABAYA: This property is changing from Category 2 to Category 3, starting March 4, 2020.
- JW MARRIOTT HOTEL ZHENGZHOU: This property is changing from Category 2 to Category 3, starting March 4, 2020.
With the exception of the JW Caracas, the properties look stunning! Five of the eight properties listed are changing categories starting March 4, 2020, mostly for the worse. ITC Kakatiya in Hyderabad, India, is the only one going down from a Category 2 to Category 1 (standard redemption rate of 7,500 Bonvoy points), which will make it Marriott’s only Luxury Brand property that is a Bonvoy Category 1!!
If any of these interest you, my recommendation is to book them before (except ITC Kakatiya) March 4, 2020. Reminder that Marriott Bonvoy allows points advance booking (up to 5). If you are short on Bonvoy points, the current 50% bonus on purchased points is a great way to top-up your accounts.
Finally, I must plug the amazing Canadian Marriott Bonvoy Amex cards, that offer 50,000 Bonvoy points as welcome bonus (with $1,500 spend in first 3 months). 50,000 points would cover you for 4 nights (plus 5th night free when you redeem for 4 nights) at Category 2 properties and 6 nights at Category 1.
Title Image Source: Marriott