It seems you get the best value for your points in NY:
This is a nice post comparing a few loyalty programmes.
Thanks for sharing, always good to see outside sources.
Best value for points is similar to best price for a car, so many variables, there is no real absolute, especially like the snapshot exercise in the article. Yes, the Essex House at specific dates represents one of the biggest cents value per point, but with so many nice alternatives at much lower prices (one of my best stays was two blocks away on the 64th floor of the 65 floor, tallest hotel in America, Residence Inn) to me the best value for points is often in European cities like London or Paris where there are virtually no modestly priced options, so, to each their own as for best point redemption.
I've also used 15k points for the occasionally overpriced, but must use hotel near an airport or midweek location (or an 11 month in advance football weekend booking ), focusing more on terrific value, rather than holding out for optimal value (that may not be where I want to be).
Again, thanks for posting, the more info = the more ideas = the more tactics we can consider when battling The Man.
A couple weeks back I transferred 105000 reward points to SPG to redeem the for 1 night in late June at the Gritti Palace in Venice, Italy. 105000 for 1 night sounds like a ripoff, right? Especially since there's another very nice property nearby, not in the most idea location, but for only 40000 points per night. But then consider the EUR1300 nightly room rate at the Gritti. Also consider that it's ranked by USNews and World Report as Marriwood International's #2 best property after the Ritz-Carlton Montreal. I could/would never pay EUR1300 a night for a room, so burning points is the only way I can experience a property like the Gritti. Looking at it that way, 105000 points seems justifiable to me- that's what points are for.
So you follow Raffles too, eh, fistuk
New York City is certainly a great place to redeem, but so is London and Paris. I’ve redeeemed in all 3 cities and although all the central hotels are top category, the value is high because prices can be so huge.
But Marriott does have another value maximisers, and that’s the “road less travelled”
Rates frequently run over $250/nt in city centre Chinese Marriotts, many of which are category 3 and 4. Stateside theres a lot of Cat 1 and 2 properties running $100+ per night again representing very tidy value.
To me the points redemption game has two sides of the spectrum, low categories and high categories. My redemption strategy completely takes out the 4 to 7 properties as in my opinion seldom provide good value. i will give two examples.
JW Marriott DC when it was going for 600$ a night cash rate. Perfect location for a first time in the city to do all the touristy stuff.
I also really enjoy the Philadelphia Marriott downtown, I think its worth the 35K a night just to be able to walk across the street to Reading Terminal Market and stuff myself on Cheesesteak and deserts.
JW DC is excellent. On points however, I may be in the minority but I prefer the Wardman Park Marriott. No, not walkable to attractions like the JW, but I love the neighborhood and can easily find street parking. Also, it's right at a Metro stop and a short walk from the National Zoo.
And next time you're in Philly you've gotta venture a bit further from downtown to get a worthwhile cheesesteak!
4 Bedroom at RC Vail resort is an excellent points redemption for Valentines/Presidents week holiday.
Our best use of points in 20+ years of being Marriott Rewards Members was last year. We were able to book a basic room for two nights at the Renaissance Barcelona for 80,000 points total(40,000 per night), when the nightly rate was 800 Euros for the first night and 1000 Euros the second! So, 80,000 points instead of 1800 Euros!
It was during World Congress, and most hotels were sold out or crazy expensive, so I was shocked when the points showed up as an available option. It happened about six weeks before arrival, and I had been looking for over a month, with nothing available, until my lucky day. :-) It was a nonrefundable reservation, which I have never seen on points awards, but we snatched those nights up as quickly as possible. I don't think we will ever get that great of a deal again! The hotel ended up being sold out while we were there.
Strangely enough, we were able to book 2 rooms for the four nights before the reward stay at a fantastic, low rate, too. So we had six fun nights in beautiful Barcelona! Wouldn't have done it if we couldn't have gotten those award nights.
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