This week, Marriott announced that Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest are merging into one program beginning August 2018. With that change comes a new award chart and the possibility of some great deals.
What We Know
At this point, there are still a number of things we don’t know about the new program. However, one thing we do know for sure is what the new award chart will look like.
Marriott will be transferring SPG points into the new program at a 1:3 ratio (1 SPG starpoint = 3 Marriott points). Currently, the highest category on the SPG Free Night chart is a category 7. At most, those properties will cost 35,000 points per night or 105,000 Marriott points.
The Ritz-Carlton award chart goes up to a reward tier 5 which can be booked for 70,000 reward points.
Starting in August, the new reward chart will take effect and category 7 will be the highest until 2019. Booking a category 7 property between August 2018 and January 2019, will cost 60,000 points.
What We Don’t Know Yet
As I’ve already mentioned, there are a number of things we still don’t know about the new rewards program. When you look at the information above, it seems to indicate that there might be a booking sweet spot for the highest category SPG and Ritz properties.
With the new program, there is a possibility that you could save up to 10,000 points on top tier Ritz properties and up to 45,000 on top category SPG properties.
We don’t know which properties will end up in the different categories. It’s also unclear exactly how the merge will happen. I would spend some time looking over the current Ritz-Carlton and SPG category lists to see if there are any properties you might be interested in booking.
Properties to Watch
Here is just a sample of great properties to keep an eye on:
- St. Regis Princeville (see photo above)
- St. Regis New York
- St. Regis Deer Valley
- Santa Marina, A Luxury Collection Resort, Mykonos
- Hotel de Berri, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris
- G-Rough, Rome, a Member of Design Hotels
- W Bali – Seminyak
- The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
- The Miami Beach EDITION
- The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
- The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
- The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong
- The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
Are there any properties on this list that you’ve been dreaming of visiting? Where would you go with your saved points? Share in the comments!
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I’ve got a stay booked for 5 days at the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto – I’m hoping this sweet spot materializes and I can save 40,000 points!
This would be an amazing deal at the St. Regis New York. The property was absolutely amazing and I would stay there again in a heartbeat.
I hope it works and you’ll be able to save some points!
I’m curious, what made you love the St. Regis New York? We’ve never stayed there and I always love to hear about hotels people love!
There were a few key things for me that really made the stay at the St. Regis New York excellent.
The ambience of the hotel is incredible and the entire place feels extremely well-maintained and clean. It far exceeded anything I’d experienced before when staying away from home.
The bed was the only one I’ve ever slept on that is more comfortable than the one I have at home. I had the best night’s sleep during our 3 night stay that I’ve had in years.
The butler service for arrival and morning coffee was awesome – it seems like a small thing, but being able to roll out of bed, pick up a phone and have someone appear in five minutes with coffee while you’re hanging out in your robe is awesome.
The breakfast (which our rate included) was consistently excellent.
Communication before our stay was great! I was treating my wife to a surprise trip to NYC for Valentine’s Day and the concierge wrote to me about a week before arrival asking if they could do anything for us and suggested chocolate covered strawberries in the room our first night as a complimentary snack. I replied it would be amazing and asked if they could be dark chocolate which was confirmed within an hour. They also handwrote a note (their suggestion) from me to my wife to be placed with the strawberries.
Those are the highlights, but the experience was pretty great across the board.
The room we stayed in was spacious and nicely decorated. It had a very classic feel but wasn’t stodgy like we felt the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco was.
There is a Destination Fee now (pseudo-resort fee) but it worked out well for us because we were going to go to the MOMA anyways and had planned to take afternoon tea and have a few drinks on-property every day we were there. We more than realized benefits from the cost.
People magically appeared to cater to us every time we needed something. The service was insane. There is a bowl of chocolates in your room on arrival that is replenished constantly. I wrote a small note for housekeeping asking if we could have all the milk chocolate replaced with dark chocolate and they provided us with a tremendous amount of dark chocolate the rest of our stay.
Hotels are already so expensive in midtown that I didn’t mind paying the difference for a luxury property like the St. Regis. For comparison, we stayed at the Park Hyatt on our last night (because I arranged for a massage at their spa and wanted to see what the PH NYC was like) and was unimpressed (by the cleanliness of our room, in particular) in comparison.
That sounds like a fantastic stay! I can see why you would recommend it!
We were lucky enough to have a similar experience at the Ritz in Orlando. I thought I knew luxury until that stay.
Some of the higher end
Properties I can recommend:
1.St Regis, San Francisco with former California Speaker of the House, Willie Brown, holding court at the bar at Happy Hour. Not stodgy, unlike the “grand dames” on Nob Hill. Located in a much more vibrant south of market neighborhood very close to the convention center and right next-door to the Museum of modern Art. Excellent shopping nearby. We went down the street to the W to have dinner there which was very nice. They are about 500 feet from each other. The standard rooms are ENormous compared to what you typically find In SF.
2. St Regis Punta Cana, approximately 1 hours drive north of Purrto Vallarta. Very nice spa. Our butler unpacked and packed us as typical. Breakfast was served on our private very spacious patio which was included with the SPG gold status. Butlers seem to anticipate your needs and materialize seemingly from the seabreeze. at a moments notice. We didn’t rent a car, and I reLuzed I brought no tennis shoes to work out. The closest decent athletic shoe store about 45 mins. Our butler insisted on shopping for my shoes on his day off, texted me photos for my approval, and the Manager refused to let me pay for the shoes as he stated he wanted to start a small collection of athletic shoes guests could borrow as apparently some hotels offer this. Not commenting on the wisdom of that policy but on the gesture.
3. Ritz Carlton Vienna. If there’s a place other than London where hotels really need to be on their game, it’s Vienna. Excellent Club Lounge; very nice spa with music pumped underwater into the pool! Perfect location; modern interior design in a historical building. Concierge obtained last minute a primo seat to the ballet at the Opera House where i sat next to a Russian oligarch “in for the weekend.” Very charming. Room super spacious; upgraded with the card and had a decent balcony ( l like rooms with private outdoor areas).
I’m planning (WAY ahead) for a trip to Greece, and would love to stay at the Santa Marina … but they seem to have ZERO availability through October 2019 :-O Can that be possible?