Some of you may have signed up for Marriott’s MegaBonus last year, where you could earn a free night certificate in a category 1 to 5 Marriott hotel, anywhere in the world, after two paid stays. If you follow LiveFromALounge closely, bets are that you did. We did get the certificate and, to be quite honest, I’ve been plagued with indecisive thoughts on where to use it. Adding to my anxiety was the fact that my Marriott Free Night Category 1-5 certificate is set to expire at the beginning of May 2018.
Now, being a young professional couple, our holidays are slightly hard to plan in advance. Although we vacay the heck out of them, our holidays are mainly over long weekends and/or summer and winter months. Living in Dubai, we normally get to know of a long weekend the week before or the week of the holiday. So you see my problem.
Well, the first thing I did was to call Marriott Customer Care and extend the looming deadline to use the certificate. The representative mentioned that they allow one extension per certificate. I thought I also heard her mention that she would be extending mine until December 2018, but when I went to check it again, I noticed that the new deadline was 20 September 2018. No matter, I still managed to get some more time to think. However, following the recent SPG-Marriotts Rewards-Ritz-Carlton Rewards merger, I clarified with Customer Care that the certificate will still be applicable only for a category 1 – 5 Marriott hotels.
To tackle the issue of when and where to use the certificate, I thought perhaps we should use it on our anniversary, my birthday or even just for a quick getaway. Keeping all that in mind, I’m pretty sure that we’re going to use it for one of the weekends this year. I swear, it’s pure coincidence that my birthday lands on the weekend this year!
So, without further ado, here’s a curated list of the Marriott hotels in the Middle East and Asia that are worth using your free night certificate at. Note – I’ve kept my recommendations to Category 1 to 5 hotels, which are where you can redeem your certificate. Prices were taken for one night on 17 August 2018. Any plans for Independence Day weekend?
JW Marriott Hotel Cairo (Category 4 | 151 USD/night | 20,000 points/night)
The hotel is less than 10 minutes away from the airport and boasts a spa, golf course, and a waterpark. With 356 rooms and 84 suites, the hotel offers rooms with golf course view, beach view, poolside view or garden view. Perfect for a holiday with the family! You can treat yourself to a spa treatment while the kids splash around. The hotel also offers babysitting services.
Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino (Category 4 | 113 USD/night | 20,000 points/night)
The hotel is a 5-star historical palatial property of which the central wing was built in 1869 as the Gezirah Palace for the Khedive Isma’il Pasha and converted to a luxury hotel in 1894. Its lobby houses the world’s first clock with Arabic numerals. As one of the largest hotels in the Middle East, the hotel has 952 rooms and 112 suites with a casino that includes 15 gaming tables including American roulette, blackjack, oasis stud poker and Holdem poker.
Marriott Mena House, Cairo (Category 3 | 114 USD/night | 15,000 points/night)
Despite being a lower category than the other two in Cairo, this hotel offers a spectacular view of the Pyramids of Giza, just 700m away. With 326 rooms and 5 suites, you can choose between garden, pool or pyramid view.
Petra Marriott Hotel (Category 5 | 267 USD/night | 25,000 Points/night)
Overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage site, this hotel offers stunning views of the archaeological Petra valley. With 99 rooms and 1 suite, you can choose a Petra valley view.
Renaissance Polat Istanbul Hotel (Category 3 | 139 USD/night | 15,000 points/night)
This 393 room and 44 suite hotel overlooks the Marmara Sea and offers city views or sea view. With the old city close by, the best that Istanbul has to offer is at your fingertips.
Rayong Marriott Resort & Spa (Category 5 | 135 USD/night | 25,000 points/night)
This resort features an island view pool that I just can’t get over. You can also choose a mountain view or an ocean view from their 187 rooms and 18 suites. The beachfront hotel is around 205km south of Bangkok and a great retreat from city life.
JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa (Category 3 | 171 USD/night | 15,000 points/night)
This 5-star luxury resort is what the doctor ordered. If you’re not too keen on traveling far, this Marriott offering in Jaipur is perfect for you. If you’re not interested in doing the touristy things, just relax by their pool or indulge a little in their spa.
Jaisalmer Marriott Resort & Spa (Category 3 | 131 USD/night | 15,000 points/night)
Located 3km away from the railway station, this resort is a great option for a quick weekend getaway. Close to the city attractions, the hotel features a rooftop restaurant with a view of the Jaisalmer Fort.
Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa (Category 2 | 109 USD/night | 10,000 points/night)
This resort is set in the middle of a rainforest, on the outskirts of a UNESCO World Heritage site. I’ve been toying with the idea of a jungle/rainforest retreat and quite like the look of this hotel. You can take an evening boat ride from the hotel’s jetty or visit the nearby Wind Cave, Clear Water cave or Mulu National Park skywalk. With 92 rooms and 9 suites to choose from, I have a feeling that I’ll be quite confused whether to choose a rainforest room or a riverside room.
JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi (Category 4 | 103 USD/night | 20,000 points/night)
Whether your end destination is Hanoi or one of the Vietnamese beaches, you can benefit from a night at this 5-star hotel in Hanoi. You can choose a city view or a lake view from their 394 rooms and 55 suites.
All in all, there are some excellent unexpected gems in the Middle East and Asia for a holiday. Whether for a weekend getaway or part of a more extended vacation, this Marriott promotion is one of the good ones out there, and there’s no shortage of options to choose from!
If you’ve stayed at any of these hotels, would you stay there again? Did you sign up for the Free Night Certificate promotion? Have you used it already? Let us know in the comments!
Pictures Courtesy: Marriott Hotels