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10 of the Best Category 5 Ritz-Carlton Hotels to Use Your Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card Free Night
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
Now that the Marriott, Starwood and Ritz-Carlton hotel brands are now united under the new Marriott Bonvoy™ rewards program, a new rewards chart will go into effect March 5, 2019. That new chart adds an eighth hotel reward category, which has caused Marriott to make adjustments with its 6,700 hotels.
One of the perks that comes with The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card is receiving a free night certificate every year after your account anniversary. That certificate is good for a one-night stay at hotels with a redemption level of up to 50,000 points, or Categories 1 through 5.
Under the new chart, nearly 400 of the chain’s 6,700 hotels have changed categories, with the vast majority going for higher points per night. For The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card cardholders, this means that the number of hotels where you could use your free night certificate has dropped. But there are great properties around the world where you can still book luxury brands, so we decided to take a look at what’s available for card members.
We chose some impressive Category 5 luxury hotels in the U.S., the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East. We also include the cash rate for a long weekend stay in late April (April 25-28) at these hotels for comparison. And we point out some solid Category 4 luxury hotels, at 25,000 points a night, for your consideration.
Category 5 hotels
Marriott Bonvoy has 1,135 Category 5 hotels worldwide. Below are 10 luxury options that offer great value for anniversary nights that typically go for only 35,000 points.
This Design Hotels™ branded property sits at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains on four acres in the heart of old downtown Palm Springs, Calif. It has 54 guest rooms and 13 secluded villas with gas-burning fireplaces, large parlors and full kitchens. The exterior architecture is Spanish with Hollywood Regency-inspired interiors. Enjoy the hotel’s terraces, lawns and patios, along with three pools with private cabanas, two Jacuzzis and a therapeutic spa. Dine at Chi Chi, which serves fresh Californian dishes with a focus on wellness and clean eating. While you’re in Palm Springs, visit popular attractions including the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the Moorten Botanical Gardens, Palm Canyon Drive and the Living Desert. A king room will run you $412 a night.
This oceanfront hotel is right in the middle of the action on Miami Beach’s Collins Avenue, within walking distance to Lummus Park and South Beach. All rooms feature luxurious bedding, flat-screen TVs and colorful décor. Dine on American cuisine at Fix, or enjoy a spectacular view and tropical-inspired cocktails at Blue Moon Lounge, the hotel’s rooftop bar. Take a dip in the outdoor spa pool or rent a bike to explore spots such as the Holocaust Memorial, the Art Deco District or the Wolfsonian Museum. A king room runs between $331 and $345 a night.
The Coral at Atlantis, Autograph Collection (The Bahamas)
Located near Marina Village on Paradise Island, the Bahamas, this hotel offers beautiful views from a private balcony. Get a treatment at the Mandara Spa at Atlantis, play a round at the Tom Weiskopf-designed Ocean Club Golf Course or take a dip in one of the property’s six pools, including the Mayan Temple, with its two popular high-speed slides. Dine at more than 20 restaurants, ranging from Fish by José Andrés to Murray’s Deli. Have a cocktail in one of its bars and lounges, including the Pirate Republic, considered one of the best microbreweries in the Caribbean. Local attractions include the Aquaventure on Paradise Island waterpark, Dolphin Cay, an open-air habitat, and Ardastra Gardens & Zoo. A double queen room can run you about $345 a night.
Located in Mexico City’s stylish Condesa neighborhood, the hotel’s 40 rooms and suites are housed in a 1928 building, featuring custom furniture designed by Parisian designer India Mahdavi. The Patio Restaurant specializes in Mexican and French fusion cuisine, while the fourth-floor Terazza Bar boasts views of Chapultepec Castle and Espana Park. Catch a show at the El Circulo Teatral, visit Chapultepec Castle or see the exhibits at the National Museum of Anthropology. A standard queen room with a courtyard view will run you about $390 a night.
Located in Lisbon, Portugal’s Belem neighborhood, this hotel overlooks the Tagus River. The property boasts the Michelin-starred restaurant Feitoria and Cafeteria Mensagem, which has a terrace lounge with views over the marina. It’s also home to the award-winning BSpa by Karin Herzog, with an indoor and outdoor pool, a sauna and a Turkish bath. Visit attractions such as the Belem Lighthouse, the Museu Colecao Berardo or the Torre de Belem. A king room with a river view goes for about $281 a night.
The landmark New York Palace, an Italian Renaissance-style structure built in 1894, is an architectural jewel in the center of Budapest, Hungary. It features 5-star accents such as Italian marble, Murano chandeliers and silk wallpaper. Enjoy the hotel’s spa and pool — plus, no stay is complete without a visit to the iconic New York Café, Budapest’s most beloved coffee house. Local attractions include the Chain Bridge, the Royal Palace and St. Stephen’s Basilica, and you can further explore the city by taking a boat ride on the Danube River. A classic guest room with a king, a queen or two single beds will run between about $203 and $211 a night.
This luxurious 5-star hotel has 252 guest rooms and suites with free Wi-Fi, three restaurants, a spa, fitness center and health club with a heated indoor lap pool. Rooms feature signature linens and featherbeds, a flat-screen LCD television, premium bath essentials, an in-room safe, twice-daily housekeeping and an evening turndown service. The Ancient City and Tiananmen Square are minutes away, while other local attractions include the Geological Museum of China, Beihai Park and the Temple of the White Dagoba. A premier guest room with a king or two double beds with a garden view costs between about $322 and $335 a night.
W Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Located in downtown Kuala Lumpur in the heart of the Golden Triangle, this hotel has 150 guest rooms that overlook the Petronas Twin Towers and city’s skyline. Rooms have free high-speed Wi-Fi, Bliss® bath, body and skin care amenities, the W Hotels bed with signature linens and plush pillows and an in-room Bluetooth soundbar for music. Then there’s the Away Spa, a fitness center and pool, two restaurants and two bars, one serving craft cocktails in a speakeasy setting and the other by the pool deck. Local attractions include Lake Garden Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves and Central Market, a Malaysian cultural landmark. King rooms range from $195 to $204 a night.
JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
This 5-star hotel, located right on Copacabana Beach, features elegant rooms and suites and upscale amenities. Rooms have a pillow top mattress and duvet, a marble bathroom with a shower/tub combination, free bottled water, a coffee maker, a 42-inch LCD television and an iPod dock. There’s a spa, a swimming pool and a fitness center that offers classes. Dine at two restaurants and enjoy drinks, international street food and spectacular views of the city at the Moonlounge Rooftop Bar. Visit some of the most iconic attractions in Rio de Janeiro, including Tijuca Forest, Sugarloaf Mountain and the Christ the Redeemer statue. A deluxe guest room with a king or two single beds and an ocean view will run you between $232 and $241 a night.
The Middle East
The hotel’s 205 guest rooms and suites have a private balcony with lounge chairs. Relax at the GOCO Spa Ajman, enjoy the sun at one of two pools or the hotel’s private beach. Grab a drink at the Bab Al Bahr Beach Bar & Grill, which boasts a gulf view, or dine at one the hotel’s of three restaurants. Get a group together and play on the Al Zorah Golf Club, or visit attractions including the Sharjah Aquarium, Dubai Creek or the Ajman City Centre for shopping. A superior room with two single beds costs $209 and $217 a night.
Category 4 Hotels
Even with the downgrade of many hotel rooms under the Marriott Bonvoy changes, there are still 1,625 hotels around the world. And it’s possible to snag a luxury hotel room for 25,000 points, enough for two nights with your Ritz-Carlton certificate. Below we share five options in the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Mexico.
JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel (Romania)
The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu (China)
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