The 5 best hotels in Hawaii to book with Marriott points
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It’s been so long since many of us have made footprints outside the Continental U.S. The walls feel like they’re closing in.
If you’re strategizing to stretch your legs a little bit, Hawaii’s a good landing spot. Yeah, it’s pretty touristy; but there’s a good reason why. It’s a stunning collection of islands and one of the more accessible destinations as we exit the coronavirus lockdowns. While the rainy season is between November and March, you can count on plenty of sunshine and great temperatures year-round.
Let me guess: You clicked this post because you want a free hotel stay. Well, you’ve got plenty of options — particularly if you’re redeeming Marriott points. Marriott has 30+ hotels and resorts in Hawaii, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a hotel that’s perfect for you on any island. I’ll outline the best Marriott hotels in Hawaii. They’ve not only received great ratings on TripAdvisor, but they also offer fantastic value for your points.
I’ll also mention ways to use the best Marriott credit card and other tricks to discount your Polynesian getaway.
Best Marriott hotels in Hawaii to book with points
Marriott has plenty of hotels and resorts scattered all over the islands. Whether you’re looking for a hotel with great views, easy access to a beach, a central location, walking distance to a number or restaurants, or a more secluded hotel location, you’re sure to find one that fits your preferences.
We chose these hotels for three main characteristics:
- Great value when booked with Marriott points
- Great locations
- At least a four-star rating on TripAdvisor
Here are our top five hotel picks!
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is one of the best hotels in Maui. Staying here, you’ll be treated to amazing views of the island, top-notch customer service, a plethora of amenities, and luxurious rooms.
Note that this isn’t a stereotypical Hawaiian getaway: The entrance of this resort doesn’t lead you to a paradise of white sand and glass lagoons. Instead, it’s surrounded by thick forests, lush fields, and a golf course. The nearby beaches are more rugged and volcanic.
This hotel has been rated one of the best hotels by US News and World Report, though if that’s not enough to convince you, also look to the number of reviews on TripAdvisor. It’s got 4,200+ reviews and an exceptionally high rating. Guests constantly rave about the food, cleanliness of the nearby beaches, and proximity to a number of pools, restaurants, bars, and other lounges.
Price: The Marriott award chart sorts their hotels by “Category” and prices them according to which category they fall under. This is a Category 8 hotel, meaning you should expect to spend 85,000 Marriott points per night. Off-peak award nights cost 70,000 points, and peak dates cost 100,000 points. This hotel routinely sells for $1,000+ per night, meaning you can receive a Marriott points value of 1.17 cents per point. That’s a fair deal, considering we estimate Marriott points value to be 0.8 cents on average.
The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki
The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki is famous for its garish pink hue, contrasted with the shallow turquoise waters of Waikiki beach just a few steps away. It’s difficult to reserve a hotel closer to the beach than The Royal Hawaiian.
This five-star hotel first opened in 1927 — it’s one of the oldest in Hawaii (bested by its neighbor Marriott property, Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa, which opened in 1901!), and retains its historic look without appearing run-down. I used my free night certificate from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (worth up to 50,000 points) to reserve this hotel during off-peak dates in mid-May. The rooms are selling for $350 at this time, so it was a good use of my annual certificate.
Price: I’d like to point out that this hotel is often a pretty abysmal deal with miles and points. That said, it’s one of the bigger bucket list hotels in this post. It’s a Category 7 resort, so expect to pay 60,000 Marriott points per night. Off-peak dates cost 50,000 points, and peak dates cost 70,000 points. Prices here hover around $450, so you can bank on a value of 0.75 cents per Marriott point.
We estimate Marriott points value to be worth an average of 0.8 cents each. Unless you’re staying in late December-mid January, you’ll have a tough time getting an above-average value for your points. Still, it can make for a solid redemption.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection
The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a great hotel for couples and families who are looking for a more secluded location.
The hotel is located on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, and has a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor with 1,600+ reviews. Many guests who have stayed here before say that the nearby beach, Kauna’oa Bay, is one of the best on the island, especially during the summer months when the water will be nice and warm.
The hotel also has a number of amenities, such as a golf course, tennis courts, a spa, and pools.
Price: This is a Category 7 hotel, which costs 60,000 points per night. During off-peak dates you’ll spend 50,000 points, and during peak dates you’ll spend 70,000 points. It’s not abnormal to find a room costing $850+ after taxes. You should receive a value around 1.41 cents when booking an award night at this hotel. You can even use the annual free night you receive from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (worth up to 50,000 points) for a free night here — so long as there’s off-peak award availability.
The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
Kauai is widely considered to be the most beautiful of the Hawaiian islands. It’s less developed than the other main islands, and therefore more relaxed and less challenging to enjoy the unadulterated countryside. The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas lies at the very top of Kauai. Its unique location gives it a fantastic ocean view of both sunrise and sunset (isn’t that why we all go to Hawaii?).
Take a swim at the Queen’s Bath, a famous sinkhole just northwest of the resort. Or take a waterfall tour — there are plenty on the island.
Price: This is a Category 7 resort — you’ll pay 60,000 points per night. Off-peak dates will run you 50,000 points, and peak dates cost 70,000 points. Flexible rates can reach $500+ after taxes, so you can expect to receive a value of 0.83 cents per point.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach is more of an apartment complex than a hotel. You won’t find standard hotel rooms, but instead residential studios and suites with separate living spaces. Perhaps the best part of this hotel is that every single room has a stunning ocean view with a balcony. You’ll receive a kitchenette as well, meaning you can save big money if you choose to hop down to the supermarket and prepare your own meals.
The hotel is only half a mile from the world-famous Waikiki beach, which may just be the most action-packed strip in Hawaii. Tons of restaurants and bars, and lots of water sports. Try your hand at surfing! It’s hard to find a more placid and forgiving waves than at Waikiki.
Price: This is a Category 8 hotel, meaning you’ll pay 85,000 points per night. Off-peak dates cost 70,000 points, and peak dates cost 100,000 points. You’ve got no chance of finding a room here that costs under $600 after taxes, so you can expect to receive at least 0.7 cents per Marriott point at this hotel. That’s below average, but also worst-case scenario — you’ll most often get a value of 0.9+ cents per point.
How to earn Marriott points
If you want to earn Marriott points, earning a credit card welcome bonus is usually the quickest way to start building your account balance. Check out these cards which offer a welcome bonus and allow you to earn Marriott points for every dollar you spend:
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card – Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.. Offer ends 5/18/22.
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card – Earn three free nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card – Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership.
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card – For a Limited Time Only! Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
You can also transfer Chase and Amex points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. Occasionally Amex runs transfer bonuses to Marriott so it may be worth waiting for one of those deals to come around before transferring.
Finally, remember that when booking a stay at Marriott you’ll get your fifth night free whenever you’re using Marriott points.
If you’re looking to visit Hawaii, it’s hard to go wrong with staying at a Marriott hotel. And with 30+ hotels all over the islands, there’s a very good chance you can find one that fits your preferences.
Let us know your favorite Marriott hotel in Hawaii! and subscribe to our newsletter for more travel inspiration for redeeming your miles and points.
For rates and fees of the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business, click here
For rates and fees fo the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, click here
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