One of the great opportunities of the miles and points world has been that to do with the merger of Starwood and Marriott’s loyalty programs, which has been a mess in terms of integration but also been an opportunity. When announcing the merger of the loyalty programmes, the programme announced that a select bunch of their highest properties were going to be priced at 60,000 points a night before putting them in a higher category of their own.
As per the Marriott website,
Hotels slated to be in Category 8 will be placed temporarily in Category 7, until Category 8 is introduced. So if you are interested in a future Category 8 hotel, you have the opportunity to save 25,000 points per night by booking before 2019.
While I personally was pushing the envelope until the last moment, trying to figure out the best redemption for ourselves, given that I am a huge Maldives fan, but the St. Regis Maldives looks too much money out of pocket even with the room taken care of.
Al Maha has also been on the list as well, given it is a very special property with only 42 suites, each with a special view of the desert, and is all-inclusive.
Except for a minor problem that occurred last December, transitioning the hotel from the Starwood systems to the Marriott systems. Al Maha Dubai was an all-inclusive property, however, the hotel started to state a notice where point redemptions only got you the basic room, and activities and the meals had to be paid directly at the hotel.
This was nothing that was erroneous, but something that the hotel put in place it seems. All of a sudden, you were looking to pay about 800 US Dollars a night for something that was included till December 10, 2018.
All inclusive redemptions return at Al Maha Dubai
Fortunately, it seems that policy is gone now. View From The Wing stated yesterday that Marriott was going to insist that the property honour all the redemptions like they would do with paid bookings, and the policy for Al Maha would change. Today, reservations show the exact same message as it used to before December 11.
There we go then. Marriott Rewards has prevailed and this gorgeous property has become accessible for everyone all over again.
I’d love to hear what aspirational properties are our readers planning to redeem their Marriott Rewards points at?