4 Marriott Reviews for Travel With Marriott & Starwood Points

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Because of the interest in free stays thanks to the increased Marriott card offer and the new ability to convert Starwood points to Marriott, I asked the Million Mile Secrets team to let y’all know a few hotels they personally recommend based on their experiences.

4 Marriott Reviews For Travel With Marriott Starwood Points

A Hammock With a Relaxing Sea Breeze Awaits You at This Marriott on the Beach of San Juan, Puerto Rico

After the reviews I’ll remind you how to earn points for your award stays!

Courtyard Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Link:   Courtyard Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort

Year Stayed:   2015

4 Marriott Reviews For Travel With Marriott Starwood Points

The Oceanview Rooms at the Courtyard Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort Overlook Isla Verde Beach, a Top Beach in San Juan

Jasmin:   The Courtyard Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort is NOT your typical Courtyard Marriott cookie-cutter hotel geared to business travelers.  It’s a full-service resort on a beautiful beach, has a lovely (albeit rather small) pool with a swim-up bar, and plenty of lounge chairs and hammocks by the water.

Plus, there’s an on-site casino with slots and table games, a lobby lounge with live entertainment, and excellent dining, especially at Sirena Oceanfront Restaurant.

4 Marriott Reviews For Travel With Marriott Starwood Points

One of the Best Fish Dishes I’ve Ever Had – Incredibly Fresh Pan-Seared Grouper With Risotto – I Could Have Licked the Plate!

The Courtyard Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort is a Marriott category 7 hotel and costs 35,000 Marriott points per night.  Paid rates range from ~$132 during off-peak times to ~$216 in the high season (not including tax).  I booked through Hotwire during peak season (March) and got a rate of ~$137 per night plus tax, but didn’t earn points for the stay.

Tip:   Some folks might love the fact the hotel is located directly across the street from San Juan airport – you can be at the hotel in ~5 minutes!  Certain rooms overlook the runway, so if you’re concerned about noise, it’s best to ask for a room closest to the ocean.  But you’ll still hear the jets taking off and landing if you’re outdoors, even by the beach.

Residence Inn Miami Coconut Grove

Link:   Residence Inn Miami Coconut Grove

Year Stayed:   2016

4 Marriott Reviews For Travel With Marriott Starwood Points

One of the 2 Swimming Pools at the Residence Inn Miami Coconut Grove. Both Had Great Tanning Spots With Plenty of Towels

Andrew:   Before flying to Aruba, I chose to stay at this all-suite hotel because of its close proximity to the airport and Little Havana.  The hotel staff was beyond accommodating, upgrading me to a 2-bedroom suite when they noticed I was traveling with a toddler.  The complimentary full American breakfast was also a nice treat. 

I used my Chase Marriott anniversary free night certificate instead of paying the typical $175+ per night, which was an incredible value.  Anytime I can use my free night certificate on a room that sells for over $150, I consider that a big win because the annual fee on my Chase Marriott credit card is only $85.

4 Marriott Reviews For Travel With Marriott Starwood Points

There’s Free Parking. Ask for a Pass at the Front Desk

Tip:   Monday through Wednesday night the dining area has light snacks along with free beer and wine!

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Phoenix Midtown, Phoenix

Link:   Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Phoenix Midtown, Phoenix

Year Stayed:   2016

4 Marriott Reviews For Travel With Marriott Starwood Points

Phoenix’s Major League Baseball Stadium and the Children’s Museum Are Each Only a Few Miles From the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Phoenix Midtown

This hotel is located within minutes of Phoenix’s best attractions, including Talking Stick Resort ArenaThe Children’s Museum of PhoenixComerica Theater, and Chase Field.

At $101 for a 1-bedroom suite, this hotel offers fantastic value for downtown Phoenix!  Save your Marriott / Starwood points for a more high-value target.  And I wouldn’t use a free anniversary night here for the same reason, because for an annual fee of $85 you’re only getting a room ~$16 more in value.

The room was very spacious, but wasn’t much on the eyes.  They offered a free hot breakfast that was surprisingly good, though.

4 Marriott Reviews For Travel With Marriott Starwood Points

The Fitness Center Has Modern and Well-Maintained Equipment

Tip:   There’s a free local shuttle from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.  And it’ll drive you within a 3-mile radius of the hotel.

Hanover Marriott in Northern New Jersey

Link:   Hanover Marriott

Year Stayed:   2016

4 Marriott Reviews For Travel With Marriott Starwood Points

Million Mile Secrets Team Member Keith Stayed at the Hanover Marriott for His Wedding.  It’s ~45 Minute Drive From Midtown Manhattan

Keith:   The Hanover Marriott is located in northern New Jersey and is a ~45 minute drive from New York City.  If you’re a football fan, you could stay here in the summer months to see the New York Jets at their practice facility, which is ~15 minute drive from the hotel.

You can use 25,000 Marriott points for a free night or pay ~$150.

The hotel rooms and lobby are newly renovated.  And there’s a great outdoor seating area with a fire pit and fire place to sit around and talk with friends and family.

4 Marriott Reviews For Travel With Marriott Starwood Points

Staying in the Large Spacious Suite Can Make Your Stay More Enjoyable!

Tip:   Don’t forget anything in the car.  The hotel parking lot fills up quickly and it can take you quite a bit of time to get from your room to your vehicle if you’re on a top floor.

Bottom Line

With the Chase Marriott card, you’ll earn 80,000 Marriott points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.  And another 7,500 Marriott points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the same timeframe.

And with the Starwood personal and small business cards you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after meeting minimum spending requirements. And you can convert Starwood points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio.

So I asked the team for personal Marriott recommendations.  Andrew, Jasmin, and Keith, have stayed at Courtyard Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, Residence Inn Miami Coconut Grove, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Phoenix Midtown, Phoenix, and Hanover Marriott.

Which Marriott hotels would you recommend to fellow readers?

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2 responses to “4 Marriott Reviews for Travel With Marriott & Starwood Points

  1. Ah, this post didn’t turn out to be quite what I was hoping to see…. a run down of Marriott category FIVE properties, for which one might contemplate a week at. (as part of the Marriott nights & flights deals you wrote about back on Oct. 2nd) In concept, that sounded like a great deal…. transfer 270,000 Marriott points for 120,000 Southwest airlines miles (enough for the companion pass) PLUS the 7 consecutive nights at Category 5 or less Marriott….

    Alas, I’ve yet to come across ANY Marriott Category 5 property (or less) I’d want to spend a romantic week at with my better half…. None of the middlin’ places you mention above (jersey?) fit the bill, and the SJU airport location is a cat. 7. In my preliminary Marriott searches, any of the places I’d want to spend a week at have Marriott’s generally cat 7 or much, much higher.

    Be grateful if your team and your readers might yet revisit this subject, and come up with some suggestions…… or I’m left thinking this recent buzz about getting the two+ SPG cards plus a Marriott to get the SWA companion pass ….. isn’t worth the hassle and extra min spend requirements. (and as such, stick to the “old fashioned” route of getting the two swa cards, etc, etc. to get the SWA companion pass…. that is, if I really still want it again.)

  2. I have just completed our first year collecting points and will be headed to Waikiki for a free 6 nights stay this month. I loved your article about using the Amex SPG card to rack up 18.5 points per dollar spent at Marriot properties. Is the best, next, card the Amex SPG? I am thinking I should get Amex SPG (business version?)for hotel stays and pick up the Marriott premier up to 150000 point card with 5x spend for everything else. What would you do? I love your sight and appreciate that you post places to go that are not as high end. I would rather enjoy time with my husband and.or family without using all of my points in 2 nights.