Will the New Owner of The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Make It More Difficult to Use Marriott Points for Free Nights?
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There’s a new owner of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Last week, the 5-star hotel was purchased by New York-based Blackstone Real Estate Partners for an undisclosed amount.
This hotel is currently a Category 7 Marriott, which means you can book a free night for 60,000 Marriott points. Remember, this will change sometime in 2019 when Marriott recategorizes top-tier hotels to Category 8 and increases award nights to 70,000 to 100,000 Marriott points.
But booking free stays requires available award nights. Earlier this year, Blackstone bought the Grand Wailea, which is part of the Hilton program. After the purchase, many Million Mile Secrets readers noted that available award nights evaporated. We are unclear how the purchase of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua will impact award nights in the future and are crossing our fingers they don’t disappear this time.
Blackstone, the new resort owner, manages ~$440 billion in assets around the world and this is a great addition to their portfolio.
This acquisition was the fourth big purchase for the Blackstone group in Hawaii. They also purchased the Grand Wailea resort in Maui for $1.1 billion, Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu for $332.5 million, and Kapolei Lofts on Oahu for $197 million.
It will be interesting to see what the next move is for Blackstone and if they will continue making large purchases in Hawaii. If we had to guess, this is only the beginning.
What do you think about this ownership change? Do you think award nights will be more difficult to book?
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