Do you know the difference between Marriott hotel brands?
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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.
The value of your 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 summary of Marriott brands and a quick look at the easiest ways to rack up Marriott points.
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:
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card – No annual fee
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
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:
|Card||Welcome bonus & minimum spending requirements|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.|
|American Express®️ Green Card||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 Express||Earn up to $300 when you make eligible purchases with Dell Technologies, DocuSign and FedEx within the first three months of Card Membership (up to $100 per merchant, in the form of statement credits). This offer will run through November 4, 2020|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||60,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Terms Apply.|
|American Express® Gold Card||35,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening. Terms Apply.|
|American Express® Business Gold Card||Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first three months of Card Membership. 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 three months of opening your account. Terms Apply.|
|Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express||10,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Terms Apply.|
Here are the 32 current Marriott brands:
- AC Hotels
- Aloft Hotels
- Autograph Collection Hotels
- Bulgari Hotels
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Design Hotels
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- Four Points
- Gaylord Hotels
- Homes & Villas by Marriott International
- JW Marriott
- Le MERIDIEN
- Marriott Executive Apartments
- Marriott Hotels
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Moxy Hotels
- Protea Hotels
- Renaissance Hotels
- Residence Inn
- Ritz-Carlton Reserve
- Springhill Suites by Marriott
- St. Regis
- The Luxury Collection
- TownePlace Suites
- Tribute Portfolio
- W Hotels
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, organized based upon the hotel type.
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 no bother, as the brand doesn’t participate in Marriott award nights at this time.
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.
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.
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 hotels are focused on immersive nature experiences. You cannot book Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotels with Marriott points.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
Tribute Portfolio is a collection of formerly independent hotels, and the properties are still rooted in their communities. There are 46 hotels worldwide.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
Long-term stay brands
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 to stretch your points to stay longer, consider the affordable Fairfield Inn & Suites with free hot breakfast or TownePlace Suites. If you want a romantic getaway, consider five-star brands like Ritz-Carlton or JW Marriott.
Do you have a favorite Marriott brand? Let us know in the comments below!
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