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Do you know the difference between Marriott hotel brands?

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Do you know the difference between Marriott hotel brands?

Joseph HostetlerDo you know the difference between Marriott hotel brands?Million Mile Secrets Team

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If you don’t know all 32 of the Marriott brands, you could be missing out on redeeming and earning Marriott points at some great spots. That’s because several brands, like Protea or Autograph Collection, don’t come with the Marriott name.

Marriott points value depends on when and where you stay, but if you travel during the peak seasons, it’s not difficult to receive a value of 1.5 cents or more per point. During my most recent Marriott award nights, I received a value of 2.3 cents per point.

Here’s a quick summary of Marriott brands.

You can redeem Marriott points for great stays at Marriott hotel brands like Ritz-Carlton. (Photo by 4kclips/Shutterstock)

Marriott hotel brands

Marriott hotel chains are sorted by brand, each having distinct characteristics that are used to market the hotel to a certain type of traveler. You can book free nights at the vast majority of Marriott hotels with Marriott points; take a look at our guide on how to earn Marriott points for more details.

The quickest and easiest way to amass a fat stack of Marriott points is by opening a Marriott credit card and meeting the minimum spending requirements to earn its bonus. They offer some of the best hotel credit cards:

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the following cards to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio:

And if you have Amex Membership Rewards points, they also transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Marriott:

CardWelcome bonus & minimum spending requirements
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
Earn up to 75,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points: 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases made on the card within the first 3 months of account opening.
Terms Apply.
American Express®️ Green CardReceive up to $100 in statement credits toward any eligible purchase from Away made within the first three months of Card Membership. Offer ends January 15, 2020. Plus, earn 30,000 Amex Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in your first three months of account opening. Terms apply.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressNo welcome bonus
The Platinum Card® from American Express
60,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. Terms Apply.
American Express® Gold Card35,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Terms Apply.
American Express® Business Gold CardEarn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express15,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. Terms Apply.
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
15,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. Terms Apply.
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express10,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. Terms Apply.
The information for the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card and Amex EveryDay Credit Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Here are the 32 current Marriott brands:

Note: A few of these hotels do not participate in award nights.

You can use Marriott points in a myriad of different ways, including transferring them to 40+ airlines, but the best way to use Marriott points is almost always for free hotel nights. Let’s take a look at each Marriott hotel chain.

AC Hotels

Marriott says AC Hotels are primarily for business travelers. The brand began in Europe and while it has now spread to other continents it prides itself on keeping a European vibe. You can find handfuls of four-star AC hotels in Europe in Marriott’s Category 1 (which can cost as little as 4,000 points per night!). If you’re looking for a cheap vacation on points, this is the brand for you.

Aloft Hotels

Aloft Hotels have an open concept and modern vibe. These hotels are new and emphasize their up-to-date technology.

I personally dislike Aloft. They’re garish and millennial, and the bathrooms tend to simulate a megaphone — less than ideal if you’re not traveling alone.

Autograph Collection

Autograph Collection Hotels are between upper-upscale and luxury. Because of this, they’re a bit of a sweet spot within the Marriott hotel portfolio.

Autograph Collection is comprised of independent hotels that Marriott has chosen for their uniqueness, like original architecture or particularly fun location. They’re a rare breed that spans between Category 2 (budget hotels) and Category 8 (the best of the best).

Bulgari Hotels

Bulgari Hotels is the newest addition to the Marriott family, and it’s a stunner. With only six hotels currently operating worldwide, this is a five-star only brand. Marriott will open three more Bulgari hotels by 2022, so they’ll be a rarity for the foreseeable future. It’s not bother, as the brand doesn’t participate in Marriott award nights at this time.

Courtyard

Courtyard by Marriott is by far the largest Marriott hotel brand with more than 1,000 hotels worldwide. It’s geared toward business travelers, but it’s great for families, too, with an in-house bistro, a fitness room and a pool. They’re often conveniently located off major highways, they’re perfect if you’re a road warrior.

Delta

Delta Hotels are located primarily in Canada. It’s an upscale brand that targets business travelers with attributes like large work spaces and business facilities. I feel obliged to say that the only Delta hotel with which I’ve been privileged to stay was far from upscale. It felt like a re-purposed and slightly improved La Quinta. Some of my friends have stayed at properties in Canada and their experience sounds much better.

Design Hotels

Design Hotels offer one-of-a-kind settings in environments ranging from rural to urban. They’ve got a slew of bucket list hotels in far-flung destinations that you simply won’t find other hotel brands, such as ION Adventure Hotel, Nesjavellir, a Member of Design Hotels in Iceland.

Ion Adventure Hotel is located in Icelandic wilderness, 45 minutes outside Reykjavik. (Photo courtesy of Marriott)

EDITION

EDITION currently has only 10 hotels worldwide, including drop-dead gorgeous properties in London, Miami Beach, New York and Sanya, China. Edition is one of the seven five-star Marriott brands. The target audience of these hotels are honeymooners, anniversaries, rich people, and anyone flush with Marriott points.

Element

Element is a less fancy version of Westin hotels (we’ll get to those a little later). It’s an extended-stay brand emphasizing sustainability and wellness. It even has its own bike-sharing program so you can hit the trails and see the sights. If you’re hunkered down in a hotel for a week or two, Element is a cost-effective and healthy choice.

Fairfield Inn & Suites

Fairfield Inn & Suites is a mid-level hotel brand that’s great for folks in transit who just need a rest. They have free hot breakfast, a 24-hour market and a fitness center. There’s zero fancy about this hotel, but it certainly has a consistent product, no matter which faraway city you’re checking in.

Four Points

Four Points delivers a relaxed vibe for those looking to unwind and enjoy good company with simple, convenient amenities. To be honest, they’re a complete grab bag. I’ve stayed at both lackluster and stunning hotels within the same category. I liken them to AC Hotels, which have fantastic properties abroad, and undesirable hotels domestically.

Great city view from the rooftop bar at the Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/Million Mile Secrets)

Gaylord Hotels

Ever wanted to vacation inside a snow globe?

Gaylord Hotels are huge upscale resorts with gorgeous atriums, and great restaurants and shops. You never need to leave their hotel complexes. They are perfect for conferences because of their size — some Gaylord hotels have nearly 3,000 rooms, and up to 600,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. They’ve practically got an in-house ecosystem within their gigantic glass dome.

Homes & Villas by Marriott International

Homes & Villas by Marriott International is a new collection of private locations offered through a home-sharing program. You can rent a castle in Ireland or a cabin in Colorado — the kind of locations you normally can’t get with other Marriott brands. You can redeem points for this brand, but the prices are entirely rogue. You won’t find hotel categories here, and some properties are well over 200,000 points per night.

That’s not to say there aren’t great deals — especially on the East Coast.

JW Marriott

JW Marriott is a luxury brand with hotels on five continents. It’s a great choice for those who don’t want to spend the points (or money) for an ultra-luxurious Ritz-Carlton but still want a fancy stay in an amazing location. MMS managing editor Brendan recently stayed at the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, which is on its own island in the middle of the Venetian Lagoon. You enter the resort lobby by boat, similar to a 007 super villain’s secret lair.

Le MERIDIEN

The roots of Le MERIDIEN come from the 1960s — the brand maintains this design throughout its 100+ locations around the globe. It offers indulgent travel with international flair.

Marriott Executive Apartments

Marriott Executive Apartments are for extended stays, such as business travel that will last weeks or months. You don’t, however, have to book a full month to stay here. The apartment complexes have laundry facilities, weekly housekeeping and a gym. Unfortunately, they exist only outside of the U.S., so domestic travelers can only dream.

Marriott Hotels & Resorts

Marriott is the most well-known of the company’s brands but it doesn’t have a very unique identity. Marriott says these hotels are for “business and leisure upper-upscale travelers.” That’s a lot of fluff — these hotels are for everyone.

Marriott Vacation Club

The Marriott Vacation Club brand consists of timeshare hotels in places like the Caribbean, Hawaii, Orlando and Thailand. In many Marriott Vacation Club rooms, you’ll get facilities like a full kitchen, plates and flatware and multiple bedrooms — but you may have to endure a timeshare sales pitch (they’re not always bad, according to Meghan).

Moxy Hotels

Moxy Hotels are geared toward a younger crowd. They are social and vibrant, with the goal of giving visitors new and fun experiences and spurring them to do things they normally wouldn’t do at home.

Protea Hotels

Protea Hotels are Marriott’s African hotel brand. They are generally mid-range hotels, but some are extremely nice and all are unique. Here’s my post about how to get a great deal at Protea hotels in South Africa.

Renaissance Hotels

Renaissance Hotels are Marriott’s upper-scale boutique hotels. They’re tailored to their locations and try to help travelers discover and appreciate their surroundings.

Residence Inn

If you’re looking for an affordable and upscale extended-stay hotel, try the Residence Inn brand. The properties are easy to find, with 700+ locations, and you’ll get a suite with separate living and sleeping areas in every one.

Ritz-Carlton

Ritz-Carlton is one of the best Marriott has to offer. The hotels and resorts have five-star service and five-star facilities. Ritz-Carlton hotels are only in the top cities and destinations around the world, and Marriott tends to isolate its infrequent customers and only recognize big Marriott spenders. For example, those with prestigious Marriott Platinum status aren’t eligible for a suite upgrade at check-in. You’ll need to achieve Marriott Titanium status for that privilege (75 nights in a calendar year!).

Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotels are focused on immersive nature experiences. You cannot book Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotels with Marriott points.

Sheraton

Sheraton is a premium Marriott hotel brand that offers a luxurious community vibe. Their sub-brand, Sheraton Grand, delivers an even more glamorous experience. They’re very similar to the proper Marriott brand.

Springhill Suites

Springhill Suites is the largest hotel brand where every room is a suite. I used 7,500 Marriott points for a night at a Category 1 Springhill Suites in Oklahoma and was amazed at the oversized room. Seriously, every room could accommodate a large family.

St. Regis

St. Regis is the cream of the crop. These hotels are each one of a kind. They are usually pricier than other Marriott brands, but they are more than worth it for travelers looking for the best of the best. The hotel suites always come with a butler who will unpack your clothes, bring you complimentary coffee, take care of all your meal reservations, and fulfill surprisingly high-maintenance requests.

My wife and I used Marriott points to stay at the St. Regis Maldives last month. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/Million Mile Secrets)

Our butler at the St. Regis Maldives truly did some amazing favors for us — so amazing that I don’t even want to talk about, because I feel he may be disciplined for it.

The Luxury Collection

The Luxury Collection is similar to Design Hotels. They are architecturally unique but offer super luxurious getaways. Many of Marriott’s most aspirational hotels are in the Luxury Collection brand, such as Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santorini.

TownePlace Suites

TownePlace Suites is another all-suite hotel brand, targeting travelers who plan to stay five or more nights. The brand is a notch below Fairfield Inn & Suites, but the hotels are great for families or business travelers on extended stays and looking for something affordable. They’ve got full-sized refrigerators stove, microwave, practically a full-size kitchen, which can save you a fortune on dining.

Tribute Portfolio

Tribute Portfolio is a collection of formerly independent hotels, and the properties are still rooted in their communities. There are 46 hotels worldwide.

W Hotels

W Hotels is yet another luxury brand, and it’s super swanky. If a neon liquor sign was a hotel brand, it would be the W. It was born in New York City and claims to bring that city’s energy worldwide. W is a very social hotel (which I normally detest), but they’re designed to be comfortable in every nook and cranny, so it’s tempting to just plop down anywhere. Perhaps my all-time favorite hotel stay was at the W Verbier in Switzerland.

Westin

Westin hotels are wellness-driven and for business travel or just for fun. Some locations have workout bikes or treadmills in the room, and the Westin Heavenly® beds are extremely popular. With more than 250 locations around the world, it’s easy to find one of these premium hotels in most major destinations.

Bottom line

With 32 Marriott hotel brands in over 6,900 locations, there is likely to be a hotel to fit your travel style almost anywhere.

If you want a romantic getaway, consider five-star brands like Ritz-Carlton or JW Marriott. If you want to stretch your points to stay longer, consider the affordable Fairfield Inn & Suites with free hot breakfast or TownePlace Suites.

Which Marriott brand is your favorite?

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Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

  • Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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patrick clifford

just wanted to comment about my recent stay at your town suites in st. charles, mo.

this is a terrible place and does not deserve the name Marriott. rooms were not maintained, alarms were missing or disconnected. now, a month later, a 20 dollar charge was added to my credit card, which was removed earlier. why do you still have my credit card information.

will not recommend nor
stay at another marriott

You can have a bad experience at any hotel, at any time, for many different reasons. If things were not your way or you had issues, you should contact Marriott customer service or the hotel direct to have them take care of it. Most of my stays, including town place are fine. In the off chance I have an issue, I let the front desk know immediately or contact customer service, and they will take care of it.

Agreed, it’s also my experience that the hotel will do everything they can to resolve whatever issue pops up with your stay.

They have a new Delta Hotel by O’Hare Airport near Chicago now

Chaz Churchwell

And they have one in Orlando

Thanks for the correction! I’ve updated the phrasing of the post.

Can you do one for Hilton as well?