Hotels

Here’s how you can book 4 of the most Iconic hotels in Italy for 10s of 1000s of points less.

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Bongiorno Marriott!

In case you missed the news, Marriott released an itemized list of how current hotels will be recategorized under the new program. The reason the news is getting so much hub-bub is that there is a window of opportunity from August 1st to December 31st upon which you can book rates for the whole of 2019 at substantially lower rates than you can book NOW, or starting on January 1st. The reason? Marriott’s implementing an 8th category on January 1st, as well as variable date pricing ( standard, off-peak, and peak), but neither of those elements will be in effect from August 1st until December 31st. What does this mean? It means, hotels that could cost you 90 points on July 31st or 100k points a night to book on January 1st could be booked for 60k from August 1st until December 31st.

I know. I’m like…

4 Iconic Italian hotels. Literally 10s of 1000s of points cheaper in Venice, Rome, and Florence. Don’t forget: Marriott offers a 5th night free when using points!

  • Gritti Palace
  • Hotel Danieli
  • St. Regis Rome
  • St. Regis Florence

While we didn’t put together an extensive list of Marriott’s footprint in Italy, we picked the top 4 hotels to book between August and December. Mainly they are in the biggest tourist hubs, offer the biggest discount compared to booking now/January, and offer access to aspirational hotels filled with Italian history and luxury. I highly encourage you to play around with the award chart as there are tons of hotels to choose, and some are even better deals booking now vs post August. ( Boscolo Rome, Rome Grand Flora, Boscolo Venezia, Boscolo Milano, Westin Excelsior Rome, etc)

If you’d like to see how I planned a trip to Italy in 2016 – go here

Back to Marriott. Here’s how it will look: Go here to play around with the chart

When you are playing around with the chart via the link above, if a hotel is saying that it will reprice at 85k points, or category 8, this is true. Starting January 1st. But, the chart takes effect on August 1st, and any of those hotels will be shoved into Category 7, which prices at 60k.

So from August 1st, until December 31st, you will be able to book those hotels at reduced rates.

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Other bloggers have noted hotels like St Regis Maldives, Al Maha, St Regis Bora Bora, Bali as being incredible deals. THEY ARE!

However…while the they are deliciously Vision Board worthy…the vast majority of people just won’t go there. However…a lot of people will visit Italy, are planning to go to Italy, made plans to go to Italy, think they should be living in Italy, love Italian food, have heard of Italy, if you’re still reading this section I commend you 😉 Let’s continue on.

A bucket list destination with UBER HISTORIC and FAMED hotels is… Italy. So let’s take a look at a few spots that could save you a ton.

We took a trip there in 2016, and are headed back at the end of this year. PERFECT. I mean…we loved seeing the Coliseum, Pantheon, Trevi, Statue of David, stuffing our face with pasta and wine, and so will you! In addition to this, Italy is super accessible to those living in the States, Europe, Middle East, and is chalked full of tourist sites, and yummy food. Getting more value out of your hard earned points is just icing on the cake. Or biscotti in your espresso. Gelato in your cone. Ok…I’m clearly too caffeinated.

 

VENICE. You can stay at the famed Gritti Palace or Hotel Danieli before rates skyrocket.

Both of these hotels currently require 30k SPG points, or 90k Marriott Rewards. But, from August 1 to December 31st you can book them for 60k a night. An outstanding deal. Book in January, rates will range between 85k and 100k!

The Gritti Palace – 5 stars. Grand Canal. SUPER FAMOUS. 

As you can see: Marriott will make this a category 8 hotel in 2019.

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Gritti Palace – Courtesy of Marriott SPG

I picked a couple random days in June of 2019: rates were over 1000 Euro a night!

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The Hotel Danieli : Another UBER FAMOUS ICONIC hotel.

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Hotel Danieli – courtesy of Marriott SPG

A couple of random dates in June of 2019 yielded rates over 500 Euros

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Let’s go to ROME! The St. Regis to be exact!

The St.Regis will go from being 60k to 85k a night. Meaning, you can book it now, or before and pay greatly reduced rate compared to 2019

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St Regis Rome – Courtesy of Marriott SPG

A quick look and rates are over 800 Euro

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Florence. Firenze! Michelangelo!

Bongiorno David!

 

The St Regis Florence is in a prime location, city center and full of history.

As you can see it is taking a major price cut between August and December. What once cost 90k Marriott Rewards and will cost 85k come January will be yours for 60k Aug-Dec!

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St Regis Florence – courtesy of Marriott/SPG

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This bad boy is charging over 600 Euros next June.

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If you’re looking to add to your stash of Marriott Rewards I would consider the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card. 100k after $5k

  • 100k bonus points after $5k spend in 3 months
  • Cat 1-5 night annually after account anniversary ( Cat 5s are 35k a night)
  • 6 points per $ at Marriott and SPG hotels
  • 2 points per $ on all other purchases
  • Automatic Silver status
  • Spend $35k+ and get gold status
  • Starting in 2019 – get 15 elite night credits each year
  • Annual fee $95


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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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7 Comments

  • Sho'nuff June 30, 2018

    I’m looking at the new chart where you can search hotels and it’s showing some of these hotels that will be Cat 8 as currently 90,000 points a night (example of Mystique). It does say at the bottom that Cat 8 will be in Jan 2019 so for now it will be available at Cat 7 pricing. But since it says “Current Points Required” are we sure any of those can be had for 60,000? The ones you mentioned in Italy are showing as 90,000 as well. Also, there’s some like the Domes of Elounda which will be a Cat 8 in Jan but for now I guess it’s not even a Cat 7 since the Current redemption is 45,000 so is it 45,000 or 60,000. Sorry for all the questions but I’m trying to figure this one out as we’re going to Greece and I’ve been wanting to stay in Santorini but then then I’m seeing the hotels in Crete too and I’m going back and forth. Vedema/Mystique or Blue Palace/Domes?

    Finally, these just need to be booked by Dec 31 and can be used in 2019 correct?

  • Sho'nuff June 30, 2018

    I’m looking at this chart https://points-redemption.marriott.com/category-change and it’s showing some of these hotels that will be Cat 8 as currently 90,000 points a night (example of Mystique). It does say at the bottom that Cat 8 will be in Jan 2019 so for now it will be available at Cat 7 pricing. But since it says “Current Points Required” are we sure any of those can be had for 60,000? The ones you mentioned in Italy are showing as 90,000 as well. Also, there’s some like the Domes of Elounda which will be a Cat 8 in Jan but for now I guess it’s not even a Cat 7 since the Current redemption is 45,000 so is it 45,000 or 60,000. Sorry for all the questions but I’m trying to figure this one out as we’re going to Greece and I’ve been wanting to stay in Santorini but then then I’m seeing the hotels in Crete too and I’m going back and forth. Vedema/Mystique or Blue Palace/Domes?

    Finally, these just need to be booked by Dec 31 and can be used in 2019 correct?

    • Miles June 30, 2018

      Sho – If you book a hotel prior to Aug 1st, you’ll lock in whatever the current redemption level is. In your example: Prior to August 1st, Mystique will be 90k, between Aug1st and Dec31 it’ll be 60k, and then on Jan 1 it’ll be 85k. Some of the hotels currently pricing at 45k will bump up to 60k on Aug1st so it makes sense to book them prior to the increase.

      Note that Aug1 to Dec31 refer to booking period…so if you find dates sometime next year and book in that timeframe you’ll lock in lower rates.

      • Sho'nuff June 30, 2018

        Awesome, thanks!

        What about a Nights and Flights cert, do you think the Cat 7 cert will still be valid for a Cat 7 after Aug 1 if I book that package right now? We’re staying at the Westin Rusutsu next year so I can pick up 2 extra nights and a good bit of miles if I go that route.

  • VK June 29, 2018

    just did a search for free nights for st regis rome and florence. NONE available until end of the year. They have a message saying if lowest not available, call to book. LOL. what will happen to this come aug?

    All these hotels without any award nights – Marriott is smart. force ppl to buy starpoints at 35% discount. dont release (or release minimal) awards for expensive sought after hotels. Ppl are then stuck with expensive starpoints. Travel hackers will figure a way as starpoints are good, but average Joe will get screwed over.

    I am a bit concerned about the actual award nights availability.

    also looked at maldives:
    st regis maldives has limited participation at present. is that confirmed to change? cause there are no free nights online anyway – need to call I suppose?

    W maldives – doesn’t even have an option to select free nights in online search.

    whats going on? what have I missed? cause no travel blogger is worried about this/writing about it.

    • Miles June 29, 2018

      VK – maybe this was a part of your assumption, but you don’t have to stay between August and Dec, just book in that window. So you can stay anytime next year as long as you can book it and there is avail. All of the hotels I included in this Italy list were bookable with points next June…

      • VK June 29, 2018

        aah. good one. Thanks for that

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