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If you’re having trouble booking award stays at Starwood hotels with Marriott points, you’re not alone. Many of the best hotels have inventory controls and aren’t in Marriott’s booking system yet.
But soon, you’ll have 3 weeks to book rooms before prices increase in 2019.
This will create opportunities to book Starwood hotels at lower prices. Plus, you still get the 5th night free when using points!
I’ll explain what’s going on!
One Final Opportunity to Book Starwood Hotels With Marriott Points
The Marriott-Starwood merger has been full of last chances and headaches. It hasn’t always been smooth, and rollout has been slow.
On January 1, 2019, all Marriott and Starwood hotels will be on Marriott’s booking engine. And their award pricing will be complete – with many hotels already costing more points per night.
For example, Category 7 hotels now cost 60,000 Marriott points through the end of 2019. And next year, a few will move into a new Category 8 tier, like The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, and cost even more points.
Folks are having trouble booking Starwood hotels with Marriott points because Starwood is still using its own booking engine, complete with inventory management.
But on December 11, 2018, Starwood hotels will transition to Marriott’s way of booking, including less strict controls on award rooms.
Between that date and the end of the year, you’ll have a 3-week window to book Starwood hotels at current prices and potentially find more open award rooms.
This is great news if you want to book a points vacation at a Starwood hotel that’s hard to book right now.
Why We’re Getting This Chance
Currently, Starwood lets individual hotels have tighter control over inventory, including which rooms they release for points stays.
But Marriott will retain Starwood’s policy of no blackout dates. That means if a standard room is available to book with cash, you can book it with points.
There are a few hotels holding control over award space. But on December 11, 2019, Marriott’s booking engine will take over – and hopefully open more award rooms!
There are no guarantees. But if you’ve had your heart set on a luxurious or hard-to-book Starwood hotel, you’ll have 3 weeks to search and book at current rates. Because on January 1, 2019, new category pricing will go into effect.
And at that point, the merger will finally be complete. Which is good news, because it’s been quite the ride!
Are there any Starwood hotels you’ll try to book in December?
Hat Tip: View From the Wing