How are you using your Cat 1-4/5 certs?

    Hide Wikipost
Old Dec 30, 17, 9:58 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Jaenks
Wiki Link
Post great vacation hotels worth saving certificates for. Include the State/Country and category and reason.

Canada

Residence Inn Montreal Westmount Category 4
Located right outside the busy downtown but a quick walk or train ride away. Right near shopping center.

Malaysia:

JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur Category 4
Great value for a JW, in the heart of the city and excellent service


Phu Quoc, Vietnam:


JW Phu Quoc - Cat 5 - beautiful beachfront resort with rates from $350-$650 ++/night

Bangkok, Thailand:

Three of the full service Marriott properties are Cat 5. All three have central locations and reputation for good elite recognition:

Renaissance Ratchaprasong
Marriott Suk 57
Marriott Marquis


USA
Florida:

Courtyard Fort Lauderdale East Category 5
One of the closest hotels to the beach that is available for cert use and has a free shuttle to take you to the beach

Curacao, Netherlands Antilles:
Renaissance, DT Willemstad. Category 5.
On an ocean harbor, not a swimmable beach, but in the center of the action for nightlife, also for NYE, Mardi Gras, etc. festivities.

Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles:
Courtyard, Category 4!
Brand-new hotel. 5--10 minute walk inland from the ocean beach. It's the only major chain hotel on that island, so all other hotels are available only by paying real money.

Quito, Ecuador
JW Marriott, Category 5

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Renaissance São Paulo, Cat.5 Very good location,excellent quality of service,pre-confirmed suite upgrades,executive lounge F&B.
Print Wikipost

Old May 30, 13, 6:43 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA Plat & 1MM, Marriott LT Gold, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Explorist & IHG Plat Amb
Posts: 12,161
How are you using your Cat 1-4/5 certs?

I am a bit depressed about getting only $62/nt value for 2 nights at a Cat 2 Courtyard. But at this point I don't have any alternative bookings where I could use the certs before they expire (and even if I did most of the aspirational properties I'd like to visit are well above Cat 5 now).

How do you plan to use your certs and how much are you saving?

Mod: feel free to append to an existing thread if I missed a "best properties to use Cat 1-4 certs"
Boraxo is offline  
Old May 30, 13, 8:05 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Platinum (former PP), Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Gold, UA Silver, AS Member, Hertz 5*
Posts: 3,874
I got a reservation at the Redmond Town Center Marriott (was category 4 before the devaluation) for 3 nights in mid-August. Parking is going to be $48+ tax for 3 nights, but this hotel has a BAR of $259+ tax/night on the weekdays. This hotel has a great lounge, and it is right by the Town Center in Redmond, so one can walk around to some stores and restaurants.

I also reserved 3 nights next April at the Philadelphia West Marriott in Conshohocken, PA. This property also went to a category 5 recently, but I locked in my reservation before the category change. Room rates are also around $259+tax for BAR on weekday nights. Parking here is $20/night. That will hurt a bit, but Luigi is an amazing concierge at this property.

I plan on getting another 3 more category 4 certificates to cover that reservation, either for the summer promo or next winter/spring MegaBonus when I know I won't be able to hit the nights needed for the points promo due to a long award stay in HK with Hilton and Marriott.
VA1379 is offline  
Old May 30, 13, 8:59 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: S Cal
Programs: AA Lifetime Plat, United Silver, Marriott Plat, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 1,114
My wife and I have had Chase Marriott for a number of years. I've always been able to use the certificate, but the value I get varies greatly. It has definitely gotten harder over the past year or two because so many properties have gone up in category.

My favorite redemption was a 2 night stay at the Renaissance Tel Aviv (then a category 5, but I think it is higher now). We used the cert from my card for the first night and my wife's certificate for the second. Since I had Gold status that year, the hotel upgraded us to the 16th floor, our room had a great view, we were granted lounge access and also breakfast. We really enjoyed our stay there. If I remember correctly, the room cost was $250+ per night.

More recently, the addition of the AC Hotel chain in Europe has helped. We used the certificate at the AC Cordoba in Spain, and the AC Pisa in Italy. It was the e-certificate that introduced me to the AC Hotel chain and I've grown to like it. I've been to several others as well on paid stays. Though not luxurious, I find the AC Hotels to be clean and quite comfortable for the traveler. But these are less costly stays.

I've also used my certificate at airport hotels. Sometimes we just need a one-night hotel stay in an airport hotel or a city near an airport before traveling on.

Here's a little hint if there is someone from Marriott reading this thread. Marriott should appreciate that these certificates help cement guest loyalty to the chain. Also, I might not have stayed at an AC Hotel (and grown to like that chain) without the certificate. Since there has been hotel category inflation, I would love it if the free night certificate were changed so that it would be good at a category 1-6. Allowing me to use the cert at a category 6 would make it much more valuable. But because of category inflation, getting value from the certificate is getting harder, and it does make me wonder if it is worthwhile to keep this credit card or perhaps cancel it at some point.
GetawaysRus is offline  
Old May 30, 13, 9:07 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SVX
Programs: HHonors Gold, Aeroflot Bonus, local tram pass
Posts: 131
St Petersburg, Russia

Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
How do you plan to use your certs and how much are you saving?[/I]
I have three certs, and me and Mrs Georgebaz are staying in a CY in St Petersburg in high season - late June, when a standard room there is nearly 1,000 EUR/night. So I like to say to myself that I'm saving close to 3,000 EUR.
georgebaz is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 3:54 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: EUG
Programs: AS MVP, AA MM, HH Diamond, MR Gold
Posts: 5,177
I'm using mine at the Courtyard Downtown Portland, Oregon, which would be around $200 for my dates. Happy with that.
Eujeanie is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 4:31 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: DCA, EGE, IAD
Programs: MR LTT, BA Gold, AA LTP, UA Silver
Posts: 5,944
I'm using this year's Visa Cat 5 cert at Barcelona Renaissance in September, Cat 5 when booked, now cat 7. I don't know how much I am saving as I have not monitored rates at this hotel. The rate right now is about $300 USD, but that is probably not indicative of the best rate for this hotel. It doesn't really matter as this is the only hotel below Cat 6 that I will stay in this year so it was an easy decision as this is the only hotel I could use the cert.

Next year's Visa Cat 5 cert I'll be using at a Marriott on my return trip from Colorado next April at one of 2 Cat 5/6 hotels for which I made reservations prior to May 16. I'll swap out the cert for the points when I receive it next March. Rates for these hotels are $169 and $170, but undoubtedly will go lower before next April. The lowest one I'll pay cash for and the most expensive I'll use the certificate. Return on points, even now, is under 1¢/pt; a burn rate that is personally unacceptable for me.
aaupgrade is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 7:09 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier, SPG Plat, Delta Skymiles Silver Medallion
Posts: 102
Using mine tomorrow at Springhill Suites in Asheville, NC.

Two years ago was able to use mine for a free night at the previously cat 5 Marriott Casa Magna Cancun in conjunction with the AI reward for a weeklong stay totaling 215k points and one cert. I thought that was a good deal.
kbh1234 is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 9:07 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: IAH
Programs: UA,AA,WN, Marriott & Hilton Gold
Posts: 169
I've found the cat 1-4 certs useful on overnight layovers. Had an overnight in SFO, Used at the Fairfield Inn Airport which was $189 a night. Have another overnight layover coming up this summer in IAH, the airport Marriott is usually >$250 a night on weekdays, used a cert (though the IAH Marriott just became a cat 5 in the change...).
soccerref750 is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 9:16 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Programs: MR Plat, HH Gold
Posts: 21
Courtyard Stockholm Kungsholmen in September
adviso is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 9:43 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New England
Programs: UA 1P, Hyatt Diamond, HH Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,317
Used one cat 4 cert in a Spring Hill Suite near Portland, ME. The rate is over $250 per night.
mediator is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 10:07 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: PWM, BOS
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott Plat, Accor Plat+++
Posts: 850
Probably at the SHS on Route 1 in Boston for a weekend near the city. Not deriving much additional value from the free night since the rate is is usually $100 - $120 plus losing the points on that rate. Probably dumping the card once either the PC Chase or Sapphire gets a chip. Only reason I'm keeping it at the moment...the free night at PC for $49 is so much better.

Cheers.
PWMFlyer19 is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 10:42 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New England
Programs: UA 1P, Hyatt Diamond, HH Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,317
Originally Posted by PWMFlyer19 View Post
Probably at the SHS on Route 1 in Boston for a weekend near the city. Not deriving much additional value from the free night since the rate is is usually $100 - $120 plus losing the points on that rate. Probably dumping the card once either the PC Chase or Sapphire gets a chip. Only reason I'm keeping it at the moment...the free night at PC for $49 is so much better.

Cheers.
If you just want the chip, why not get the Hyatt card? Hyatt Cat 4 cert is way more valuable than Marriott cat 5 cert.
mediator is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 11:28 am
  #13  
Community Director
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 29,722
Airport Marriott, Hong Kong - was a level 5 - not sure if it has increased. We've used certs there twice now. Both times we've been upgraded to a suite. It's a solid hotel with good service and an outstanding view over the water. I think we've saved $150-200; really not sure.

Courtyard Marriott, Hong Kong - was a level 4, now a level 5. This is a great place for us to stay when we've got 12-18 hours between flights. It's easy and cheap access by bus from the airport. It's on the fringe of Hong Kong Island, but close enough in for us to get a meal or reflexology. Rates are typically around $150.

Renaissance Bangkok - was a level 4, now a level 5 - have it booked for an upcoming stay. Rate is roughly $120.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 12:46 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 551
Union Station Nashville and Courtyard Brookline; booked before transition from 5-6 and requested that my Cat 1-4 offers be upgraded to 5's. Hong Kong and Stockholm were also options for me, so good to know that other users like those hotels.
joetro is offline  
Old May 31, 13, 1:28 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dana Point, CA
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Titanium
Posts: 284
Santa Maria, CA FI. Relatively new property with good access to Santa Barbara wine country.
michelin is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: