Courtyard by Marriott is opening its 1,000th hotel this month in Walla Walla, Washington on March 31, 2015. There will be an estimated Marriott Rewards 50 million points giveaway on March 31 to celebrate the Courtyard brand milestone.

50,000,000 points would buy about 1,500 to 2,000 nights in the upper category hotels. You could even pack in a few million airline miles with Marriott’s Travel Packages for 7-night stays and 120,000 miles or even 132,000 miles with United MileagePlus.

Don’t get too excited though about a lifetime of free points travel.

On March 31, the opening day of the 1,000th Courtyard by Marriott, all guests worldwide staying at a Courtyard who are Marriott Rewards members will receive 1,000 bonus points. This is estimated to be 50 million points.

What confuses me though is Courtyard had almost 25,000 rooms worldwide on December 31, 2014. Assume every Courtyard room worldwide is occupied on March 31 by a Marriott Rewards member and all rooms earned 1,000 points. This is only 25 million points.

How did they come up with 50 million points?

Source: incentivetravel.com

Courtyard DTW

One of Marriott International’s major acquisitions was the purchase of Africa’s largest hotel chain, Protea with more than 100 hotels. The first 26 South Africa hotels joined Marriott Rewards February 23, 2015.  Another 83 hotels will join Marriott Rewards later in 2015 after system upgrades.

The initial 26 hotels to join Marriott Rewards are in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. More than 80 other hotels are located across South Africa and other African countries.

Marriott Rewards-Protea

Participating hotels joining Marriott Rewards February 23, 2015

Cape Town

Category 5 at 25,000 points per night:

African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel

Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town

African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa

Category 4 at 25,000 points per night:

Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge Waterfront

Protea Hotel North Wharf Waterfront

Protea Hotel President

Protea Hotel Sea Point

Protea Hotel Victoria Junction Waterfront

Protea Hotel Cape Castle Waterfront

Category 3 at 15,000 points per night::

Protea Hotel Tygervalley

Protea Hotel Durbanville

Protea Hotel Mowbray

Johannesburg

Category 5 at 25,000 points per night::

African Pride Melrose Arch

Category 4 at 20,000 points per night::

Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch

African Pride Irene Country Lodge

Category 3 at 15,000 points per night::

Protea Hotel Wanderers

Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton

Protea Hotel Parktonian All-Suite

Protea Hotel Midrand

Protea Hotel O.R. Tambo Airport

Protea Hotel Samrand

Protea Hotel Transit O.R. Tambo Airport

Protea Hotel Roodepoort

Durban

Category 3 at 15,000 points per night::

Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge

Protea Hotel Umhlanga

Protea Hotel Edward

Marriott Rewards redemptions are not available for booking until February 23, 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions

Protea Hotels in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban will participate in Marriott Rewards® starting February 23, 2015 after some necessary system upgrades. The remaining locations across Africa within the Protea Hotels portfolio will join Marriott Rewards in late 2015 after the same necessary system upgrades. Until then, Rewards members are unable to earn Elite benefits, Elite nights, points or airline miles for stays made prior to these dates.

When is Protea Hotels joining Marriott Rewards?

Protea Hotels will participate in Marriott Rewards at 26 select locations in South Africa starting February 23, 2015 after some necessary system upgrades. Members will enjoy Elite benefits and earn Elite nights and points or airline miles for stays arriving on or after this date.

Why is Marriott Rewards only available at select locations within Protea Hotels?

We are excited to launch Marriott Rewards at 26 locations across South Africa starting February 23, 2015 after some necessary system upgrades at these locations. These upgrades will help provide the excellent program and service delivery our members expect from a Marriott Rewards participating brand. The remaining locations within the Protea Hotels portfolio will join Marriott Rewards in late 2015 after the same necessary system upgrades.

When will I be able to earn and redeem Marriott Rewards points at the Protea Hotels remaining locations?

After some necessary system upgrades across the remaining locations, they are targeted to also participate in Marriott Rewards in late 2015 (exact date TBD).

When and how will members be notified when the remaining hotels will participate in Marriott Rewards in late 2015?

At this time, an official date has not been determined. Marriott Rewards members will be notified when an official date is chosen for late 2015 through our Marriott Rewards communication channels, including: Insiders, email notification andMarriottRewards.com.

Will retroactive night credits and points be credited to my account if I stay at a Protea Hotels location that is not yet participating in Marriott Rewards?

No. Members who make stays before February 23, 2015, when the first 26 locations start participating in Marriott Rewards, will not earn points, miles or nights retroactively. Additionally, members who make stays before the end of 2015 (exact date TBD), when the remaining locations start participating in Marriott Rewards, will not earn points, miles or nights retroactively.

Will I be able to book a room using points for a free stay at Protea Hotels prior to February 23, 2015?

No. Until the 26 Protea Hotels locations officially participate in Marriott Rewards on February 23, 2015, members will be unable to secure a reservation using points through any Marriott booking channel, including Marriott.com, global reservations or our Marriott app.

If I made a reservation prior to February 23, 2015 for an arrival date after February 23, 2015 at one of the 26 Protea Hotels locations participating starting February 23, 2015, will I receive Elite night credit and points for that stay when I checkout?

Yes. If you made a reservation prior to February 23, 2015 for an arrival date after February 23, 2015, you will receive Elite credit and points upon checkout as long as your reservation contains your Marriott Rewards account number.

As an Elite member, will I receive any of my Elite benefits from the program during my stays prior to Protea Hotels joining the program?

No. Until a Protea Hotels location officially joins Marriott Rewards either on February 23, 2015 or in late 2015, members will not receive the Elite level benefits they normally receive at participating brands.

When Protea Hotels fully participates in Marriott Rewards, how many points will I earn for my stay?

For participating Protea Hotels locations, members will earn 10 points per US dollar on room rate only.

When participating Protea Hotels locations become part of Marriott Rewards, will members of The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® also earn points, miles, Elite nights and enjoy Elite benefits at that time?

Yes. As the exclusive luxury partner with Marriott Rewards, members of The Ritz-Carlton Rewards will also be able to earn and redeem points and receive the appropriate Elite benefits when participating Protea Hotels locations join Marriott Rewards on February 23, 2015 or in late 2015 (exact date TBD).

What is African Pride Hotels and will they participate in Marriott Rewards?

Protea Hotels includes the brand extensions Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! and African Pride Hotels, and all will participate in Marriott Rewards either starting on February 23, 2015 or in late 2015 (exact date TBD).

As a miles-earning member, will I be able to earn miles with all current airline partners when participating locations join Marriott Rewards on February 23, 2015?

At this time, we anticipate a vast majority, if not all, of Marriott Rewards’ airline partners will allow for mileage earning at participating Protea Hotels locations when they join Marriott Rewards on February 23, 2015.

*****

Hotels Joining Marriott Rewards Late 2015

  1. Arabella Hotel & Spa
  2. Protea Hotel Stellenbosch
  3. Protea Hotel Dorpshuis & Spa
  4. Protea Hotel Cumberland
  5. Protea Hotel Franschhoek
  6. Protea Hotel Saldanha Bay
  7. African Pride Pumba Private Game Reserve
  8. African Pride Hacklewood Hill Country House
  9. African Pride The Sands at St. Francis
  10. Protea Hotel King George
  11. Protea Hotel Mossel Bay
  12. Protea Hotel Knysna Quays
  13. Protea Hotel Outeniqua
  14. Protea Hotel Riempie Estate
  15. Protea Hotel Marine
  16. Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! – Menlyn
  17. Protea Hotel Bloemfontein
  18. Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Central
  19. Protea Hotel Willow Lake
  20. Protea Hotel Kimberley
  21. Protea Hotel Hazyview
  22. Protea Hotel Kruger Gate
  23. Protea Hotel Nelspruit
  24. Protea Hotel The Winkler
  25. Protea Hotel Karridene Beach
  26. Protea Hotel Imperial
  27. Protea Hotel Hilton
  28. African Pride Mount Grace Country House & Spa
  29. Protea Hotel Capital
  30. Protea Hotel Oasis
  31. Protea Hotel Upington
  32. Protea Zebula Lodge
  33. Protea Hotel Montrose
  34. African Pride Audacia Manor Boutique Hotel
  35. Protea Hotel Highveld
  36. Protea Hotel Witbank
  37. Protea Hotel Klerksdorp
  38. Protea Hotel Mahikeng
  39. Protea Hotel Ranch Resort & Lion Park
  40. Protea Hotel Landmark
  41. Protea Hotel The Richards
  42. Protea Hluhluwe & Safaris
  43. Protea Hotel Richards Bay
  44. Protea Hotel Umfolozi River
  45. Protea Hotel Waterfront Richards Bay
  46. The Bayshore Inn
  47. Protea Hotel Empangeni
  48. Protea Hotel Clarens
  49. Protea Hotel Pelican Bay
  50. Guesthouse Indongo
  51. Protea Hotel Walvis Bay
  52. Protea Hotel Long Beach
  53. Protea Hotel Burning Shore
  54. Protea Hotel Thuringerhof
  55. Protea Hotel Furstenhof
  56. Protea Hotel Ondangwa
  57. Protea Hotel Sea-View Zum Sperrgebiet
  58. Protea Hotel Zambezi River Lodge
  59. Protea Hotel Victoria Island
  60. Protea Hotel Leadway Ikeja
  61. Protea Hotel Ikeja
  62. Protea Hotels Select Ikeja
  63. Protea Hotel Ikoyi Westwood
  64. Protea Hotel Kuramo Waters
  65. Protea Hotel Select Emotan Benin City
  66. Protea Hotel Ekpan Warri
  67. Protea Hotel Abuja
  68. Protea Hotel Asokoro
  69. Protea Hotel Apo Apartments
  70. Protea Hotel Ryalls
  71. Protea Hotel Lusaka
  72. Protea Hotel Lusaka Tower
  73. Protea Hotel Cairo Road
  74. Protea Hotel Livingstone
  75. Protea Hotel Safari Lodge
  76. Protea Hotel Chipata
  77. Protea Hotel Chingola
  78. Protea Hotel Entebbe
  79. Protea Hotel Amani Beach
  80. Protea Hotel Mbweni Ruins
  81. Protea Hotel Kampala
  82. Protea Hotel Courtyard Dar es Salaam
  83. Protea Hotel Oyster Bay Dar es Salaam

Marriott Rewards members will have many choices for hotels in Africa once the entire Protea brand is integrated with Marriott. For now, South Africa has 26 more hotels where Marriott Rewards members can earn and burn points. The earning is good at the normal 10 points per dollar. The burning looks good to with the highest category hotel at category 5.

This post contains a table of 128 international hotels with Marriott Rewards category increase on March 19, 2015. There are about 1,050 hotels increasing in category, so almost 90% of all hotels going up in reward category are in the USA.

I jotted down US cities with numerous hotels increasing reward category as I pulled international hotels from the pages of Marriott Reward Category changes. Most of the 900+ hotels increasing category in two weeks are located around one of these US cities.

  • Atlanta
  • Austin, TX, GA
  • Asheville, NC
  • Baltimore/BWI Airport, MD
  • Boston, MA
  • Charleston SC
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cleveland, OH
  • College Station, TX
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Dayton, OH
  • Denver/Boulder, Co
  • Des Moines/Ames, Iowa
  • Detroit/DTW, MI
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Fort Myers/Naples FL
  • Hartford, CT
  • Hilton Head Island, SC
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Jacksonville/St. Augustine, FL
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles County
  • Louisville, KY
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Memphis, TN
  • Miami, FL
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York City, NY
  • Newark Airport EWR and northern New Jersey
  • Orange County, California
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Portland, ME
  • Portland, OR
  • Providence/Newport, RI
  • Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, NC
  • Riverside County, California
  • Sacramento, CA
  • St. Louis, MO
  • San Antonio, TX
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Santa Rosa, CA
  • Savannah ,GA
  • Seattle, WA
  • South Bend, Indiana
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Ventura, California
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Washington DC
  • West Palm Beach, FL

Marriott International Hotels outside USA going up in reward category on March 19, 2015

Marriott 2015 up international hotels

An article in Bloomberg news states Marriott plans to double its number of rooms in Europe by 2020. Moxy for budget travelers and Courtyard for business travelers are the plans for gaining on Marriott’s 1% market share of hotel guests for Europe.

Marriott expects to grow from 74,000 rooms in 2015 to over 150,000 rooms in 2020. Granted the statement is qualified with “will have signed or opened 150,000 rooms in the region by 2020”. Signed deals can still mean another three to five years before a hotel is actually open for guests.

Marriott County Hall London

Marriott County Hall London offers great views of Big Ben and Westminster Parliament Building

 

Marriott European 5-Year Plan: Get the Moxy Out

There is currently only one Moxy brand hotel open with Moxy Terminal 2, Milan Malpensa Airport in Italy. The hotel drops to a Marriott Rewards category 1 hotel at 7,500 points per reward night on March 19, 2015 from its current Marriott Rewards category 2 reward night tier at 10,000 points per night.

That is the kind of budget hotel move I like to see when looking to redeem hotel points.

Although, the hotel rate on a Sunday or a Tuesday night in late March 2015 is only 47 EUR for an advance purchase rate; less than $53 per night. I would probably pay the low room rate and save my 7,500 points for a better Marriott Rewards redemption value. A flexible rate for day before arrival cancellation with no penalty is 59 EUR ($66.00 USD).

Breakfast included rate at Moxy is 68 EUR ($76.07 USD).

Moxy fills a budget niche hotel market segment in Marriott for Europe in a way that Fairfield Inn would not resonate internationally as a cool American brand for hotel stays.

Courtyard by Marriott is simply a basic, good quality hotel at a price point for the business or leisure traveler without the expense account to always stay at the upper upscale Marriott and Renaissance brands.

Courtyard currently has 46 hotels in Europe compared to 93 Marriott Hotels & Resorts, 37 Renaissance full-service brand hotels. Marriott shows 311 hotels currently in Europe.

Marriott hotel brands in Europe

European Countries with Marriott brand hotels

Spain has the highest number of Marriott brand properties due to the acquisition of Spain-based AC Hotels by Marriott a few years ago. Spain is Marriott country.

United Kingdom has 50 Marriott full-service hotels and only 2 Courtyard hotels. Seems like Marriott may want to grow Courtyard in the UK.

Overall, there are many countries in Europe with a minimal Marriott presence or none at all. Norway, Finland and Baltic Countries have no Marriott footprint. Marriott can expand to Greece, Croatia and Slovenia. Many European countries with only a handful of Marriott brand hotels indicates doubling the size of Marriott in Europe over the next five years will likely still leave places uncovered by Marriott.

Aside from major cities, much of Europe remains outside of Marriott’s reach and may still be Marriott brand free in 2020.

When I look at the 35-page Marriott PDF listing over 1,400 hotels in a list with no geographic descriptors, my thought bluntly is

“What a bunch of assholes at Marriott to post a list of 1,400+ hotels, in no geographic or other kind of order except up or down, as the primary source for hotel reward category changes impacting Marriott Rewards members worldwide on March 19, 2015 .”

There are something like 375 hotels going down in category. Most are in the USA. I looked over the list and focus on around 50 international hotels going down on March 19, 2015.

Marriott 2015 down selection

Ritz Carlton Wolfsburg drops to RZ1 at 30,000 points per night for this hotel near Volkswagen world HQ. Germany also has two Courtyard hotels in Bremen and Cologne dropping category.

One of the biggest surprises to me is seeing the highly touted MOXY at MXP Milan Malpensa International Airport Terminal 2  in Italy is dropping to category 1. Years of media hype on Marriott’s millennial hotel brand and the first hotel to open in the brand is kicking the category gutter at 7,500 points per night.

Russia ruble woes sees 8 hotels in Russia drop category. Moscow hotels were the world’s most expensive a few years ago. Rates have dropped and hotel reward category drops make Moscow and St. Petersburg far more affordable if closer proximity to Putin does not put you off.

Canada oil profits are down along with the Loonie. The dramatic drop of the Canadian Dollar relative the US Dollar in 2014 is still impacting the currency with news stories today on whther the CAD will drop below the 80 cents level against the USD.

2015 is a good year for lower cost Canada travel. I am planning to take advantage of the low value Canadian Dollar next month in Vancouver with my free Alaska Airlines ticket earned in January from the Ski The West promotion.

Mulu Marriott Resort at Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo, opens this month and the hotel has already dropped from a category 3 to category 2 Marriott Rewards hotel at 10,000 points per night. Borneo is one of the best deals globally for low category name brand hotels with all modern conveniences in the tropical rain forest.

Tegucigalpa Marriott Hotel Honduras is another upper upscale hotel dropping to only 10,000 points per night.

Marriott Rewards members weekly discount rates for Thursday to Sunday nights is posted for March 5-8, 2015. Thursday requires a Friday night stay. Sunday requires a Saturday night stay. Friday or Saturday can be one night stays.

Two ways to book:
Reserve below — make sure MEB is in the corporate/promotional box. Reserve by phone — call 1–800–752–7571 or a worldwide reservation center.

Marriott eBreaks 3-2-15

California

Florida

Georgia

Illinois

Indiana

Kentucky

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Mississippi

Missouri

New York

North Carolina

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Virginia

Outside of U.S.

Canada

Ecuador

Mexico

Marriott Concierge is busy on social media this week. First there was the announcement that 1 in 3 Marriott Hotels worldwide is changing category on March 19, 2015 with 75% of those hotels going up in reward category.

Yesterday a new policy was announced that Marriott Rewards points expire after two years of inactivity effective February 1, 2016.

Starting February 1, 2016, members who do not have a qualifying activity in the prior 24 months will forfeit all accumulated points. If you have not engaged in a qualifying activity since January 31, 2014 you have until January 31, 2016 to do so before the policy is enforced.

We make it pretty easy to maintain active status in the Marriott Rewards program. Qualifying activities include:

• Make a paid (or redemption) stay at any of our 3,800+ participating hotels worldwide
• Redeem points
• Make a purchase through a Marriott Rewards credit card
• Earn points with one of our program partners
• Purchase points
• Hold a qualifying meeting or event through the Rewarding Events℠ program

The following activities do not count toward maintaining an active status in the Marriott Rewards program:

• Gifting or transferring points; however, converting Points to Miles or Miles to Points does count toward maintaining an active status
• Receiving points as a gift or transfer
• Earning points through social media programs, such as #MRPoints

For full details and updated terms, please visit: http://www.MarriottRewards.com/PointsPolicy

Over the years I have shared a story about how Marriott Rewards points I earned in 2000 from transfers of LatinPass miles to Marriott Rewards for a hotel reward stay left me with about 15,000 points in my account for years. I redeemed those points around ten years later when I traveled to Albany, New York. Marriott Rewards had a competitive advantage over other hotel programs with non-expiring points.

IHG Rewards Club is another hotel loyalty program with a policy of points never expire.

There are reasons for loyalty members who have been active in a hotel loyalty program to stop activity for a period of time. One of the easiest and least expensive ways to maintain Marriott Rewards account activity is to buy 1,000 Marriott Rewards points for $12.50. That is a small price to pay to prevent thousands of points from expiring.

The new policy begins February 1, 2016. Any activity between now and January 31, 2016 will extend your points life for another two years from that date.

Source: FlyerTalk.com – Marriott Rewards® points will now expire

Related Post: Loyalty Traveler – Marriott Rewards March 19, 2015 hotel category changes are bad news (Feb 26, 2015)

Marriott Rewards March 19, 2015 hotel category changes affect a large number of properties, something like 1,400 hotels or 1 in 3 hotels worldwide.

There are 8.5 pages of hotels going down shown in the Marriott Rewards pdf. 43 hotels on each page. About 370 hotels dropping in category.

There are 25 pages of hotels going up in reward category. That is about 1,075 hotels. If Marriott follows the pattern of changes by Starwood, then most of the hotels rising should be in the USA with most hotels dropping in places like Europe, Canada and Asia where the US Dollar has gained significant value of about 20% on foreign currencies in 2014.

My look over the list does not reveal many hotels going down in Europe. I see hotel category drops for some hotels in Russia, Japan, China, India and Canada. Most of the hotels going down are located in the USA.

The problem is the tables of hotels are not organized geographically. I am not sure how Marriott came up with the list. Some hotels are ordered by state and some are ordered by city and some appear to have no ordering guideline at all.

Marriott 2015 category changes

This section from page 26 of 35 pages shows Virginia Beach hotels and then goes to California with Camarillo and Oxnard and Ventura. Ventura is the biggest place name for the area. Ventura should be listed before Virginia Beach if list is alphabetical by city. And then the list goes to Paris CDG and Boca Raton, Florida.

What is the guiding rule for the list order?

Bottom line is more than 25% of hotels worldwide are increasing in Marriott Rewards category in three weeks on March 19, 2015. Many of these changes will make category 4 and category 5 hotel certificates earned through MegaBonus and Marriott credit card anniversaries a far less useful reward night.

In fairness, Marriott Rewards offered a far higher proportion of hotels in low categories than competitor chains when comparing comparable market segment hotels in the same cities. Marriott has made a significant dent to eliminate that competitive advantage over the past three years as each year has seen a large shift upward from category 1-4 hotels into higher category reward nights.

Here are some old Loyalty Traveler articles to show the upward shift of Marriott Rewards hotels over the past five years.

Marriott vs. Hilton: Which chain has more favorable hotel category distribution for reward nights? (Nov 2, 2009)

Here is a table I created last year showing the distribution of Marriott brand hotels in each reward category from 2010 to 2014.

Loyalty Traveler – Need to burn Marriott MegaBonus category 5 free night in high category world (Oct 14, 2014)

Marriott Rewards 2010-2014 category changes

In 2010 there were about 3,365 hotels in Marriott Rewards with only 184 properties in categories 6-8.

In 2014 there were about 4,047 hotels in Marriott Rewards and more than 750 hotels in categories 6 to 9.

In a quick survey of the March 19 changes I counted over 200 hotels rising to category 7. There are currently 274 hotels worldwide in Marriott Rewards category 7. That changes to nearly 500 hotels in category 7 in three weeks. That is a 75% increase in the number of hotels in Marriott Rewards category 7.

Marriott category 7 274 hotels 2-26-15

Bottom line is these changes are very bad news for Marriott Rewards members. Marriott Rewards points have devalued significantly.

I’ll develop more comprehensive analyses of changes in the next couple of weeks. Marriott Rewards members should look to burn points before the changes on March 19, 2015.

Links:

Marriott Rewards Insiders: First look at 2015 hotel category changes – Book before March 19, 2015 using the current hotel categories

FlyerTalk: Marriott new category changes 2015

Today is the first day of 30 days of prize winners for the “Say Hi to Wi-Fi Sweepstakes by Marriott Rewards”.

There will be a daily winner for one year of free Wi-Fi. That did not sound like too great of a prize, especially since only last week I signed up for new Wi-Fi service at home.

Even better than free Wi-Fi for one year is the Marriott Rewards sweepstakes actual daily prize is a $975 in a check or wire transfer.

Marriott Rewards ‘Say Hi to Wi-Fi Sweepstakes’ open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. and D.C., Canada (excluding Quebec), UK, India, and UAE, who are at least 18 years old or the age of majority in their respective states/jurisdictions of permanent residence, whichever is greater, as of date of entry and who are Marriott Rewards members. Begins 12:00 AM ET 2/10/15; ends 11:59 PM ET 3/11/15.

Daily Prize (30): Free Wifi for one (1) year, awarded in the form of a check for $975USD.

I have my Marriott entry in for today.

Marriott Rewards Say Hi to Wi-Fi Sweepstakes

Marriott has been in the news for legal heat from consumers recently for blocking Wi-Fi access at its hotels in meeting rooms resulting in a big U.S. FCC $600,000 fine in 2014.

Loyalty Traveler – Marriott fined $600,000 by FCC for blocking personal Wi-Fi networks (Oct 3, 2014).

Marriott Rewards members receive free Wi-Fi at hotels worldwide

Marriott International – Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards members receive free in-room Wi-Fi beginning January 15, 2015. Must book room through Marriott channel. Benefit does not apply to meeting rooms. Gold and Platinum elite members receive free ‘enhanced’ Wi-Fi. 4,100 hotels worldwide.

Comments are off for this article

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Hawaii is an historic property celebrating 50 years in 2015.  Mauna Kea was the first resort built on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast by Laurance S. Rockefeller in 1965 with an architectural design planned to integrate the hotel into the natural environment. The hotel is now part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and enters Marriott Rewards as a category 7 hotel.

35,000 points per night or 140,000 points for 5 nights is a great redemption value considering the $400+ rates.

The hotel underwent a $150 million renovation and reopened in December 2008 just in time for the great recession. The property features a USGA standards golf course originally designed by Robert Trent Jones. There is also a tennis courts center.

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel at $15 million construction cost in 1965 was the most expensive hotel ever built at the time. The hotel operated without televisions from 1965 to 1995. History of Mauna Kea.

The modern hotel has 252 guest rooms and sits above the white sand of Kauna‘oa Beach. The hotel features Rockefeller’s 1,600 piece museum-quality Pacific and Asian art collection originally displayed when the hotel opened in 1965.

Mauna Kea Autograph Collection tumblr_nia6r3zSmj1scdio1o1_1280

Photo above is Marriott website photo for Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

Rate check for March 3-8, 2015 shows $425 as entry level rate or $482.02 per night after tax. There are no resort fees at the hotel. Cancellation requires 14 days advance notice for no penalty or else one night plus tax is charged.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Room Rate Analysis

Prince Winter Escape
4th Night Free & $300 Resort Credit
Travel 1/4/15 – 3/31/15

Enjoy luxurious Hawaiian nights with every 4th night FREE, Daily breakfast buffet for two, up to $1000 Resort Credit and no mandatory resort fees.
Reservations: 1-866-977-4589

  • 4th Night Free after three paid room nights
  • Starting rate of $579
  • $300 – $1000 Resort Credit
  • Daily Breakfast Buffet for Two
  • No mandatory resort fees
  • Prince Preferred Member Bonus: 2,500 HawaiianMiles with a completed stay of five nights. Learn More
  • Valid 1/4/15 – 3/31/15 inclusive

Terms
4th night free after 3 paid consecutive room nights. Rate based on availability, double occupancy. Promotion valid for select room categories. Rate does not include applicable taxes. Resort credit is one time per stay and may not be used towards room or tax. Not valid with any other special rates, promotions or offers. Some restrictions and blackout dates apply.

I checked this special package rate offer for March 3-7 on a 4-night stay. The nightly rate after tax is $656.68 with breakfast, $300 resort credit for the stay and 4th night free adjusted at hotel at check-out.

Additional Information
  • Includes breakfast buffet and a one time 300.00 resort credit
  • Plus every 4th night is free. Free nights will be adjusted at checkout.
  • Blackout dates may apply.
  • Available for booking dates 1/4/15 – 3/31/15

Other hotel package rates I saw include breakfast and rental car, if you want a car for the trip.

$1,970.04 for four nights with breakfast and $300 resort credit. The same room category without breakfast and no resort credit is $1,928.08. The package is a good rate deal for a 4-night stay. 14-day cancellation policy or else one night payment charged.

Personally, I think Marriott Rewards points are the way to go at 35,000 points per night or 140,000 points for a 5-night stay to save $500 per night. That is great redemption value.

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