Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Hotels and Places to Stay > Marriott | Marriott Bonvoy
Reload this Page >

Top 10 & Bottom 10 Category 8 Hotels

Top 10 & Bottom 10 Category 8 Hotels

Reply

Old Aug 30, 18, 12:14 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the air
Programs: BA Gold, Marriott Amb, Hilton Diamond, AMEX Plat
Posts: 5,596
Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
For example IMO St. Regis Princeville is much more desirable than Maldives (though one could definitely argue about the quality of the rooms etc.)
I have to admit to being baffled with this one. I am pretty sure that if you asked 100 people where they would pick out of a trip to the Maldives or one to Hawaii (who had heard of both) at least 90-95 would pick the Maldives. It is probably the most desirable well known destination in the world as far as resorts go (places like Mustique, etc. being known by a much smaller group of people). If you asked people about the St Regis Princeville vs. the Maldives Princeville, I don't think anyone out of 100 would suggest that Princeville is the "more desirable" option - a concrete USSR type housing block vs. a private over water villa?
EuropeanPete is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 30, 18, 12:59 pm
  #17  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto vicinity
Programs: UA 1K, AC MM E50, AA EXP, SPG P100, Marriott Plat, Fairmont Plat
Posts: 11,481
Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
Why? Because we now can use MR points for St Regis properties at soon-to-be inflated rates?

Perhaps that is true on the micro level (access to award nights at luxury resorts) but overall I think SPG members get a huge win as the ROI for spend is much higher now. I was never happy receiving 3/$1 spend when I stayed at SPG properties (vs. 12-15 points for MR) as the award values were not 4-5x cheaper.
Actually, if you knew how to play the game, SPG could be very lucrative with BRGs, welcome bonus, MAGC points (and another 500 pt bonus when CS lines were busy which stopped working a few yrs ago) plus I’ve always found SPG properties to be incredibly generous when it came to compensation. When I first started staying at Starwood, I remember staying at a Westin in Chicago and mentioning to FD at check out that the blow dryer didn’t work in my room. I wasn’t complaining, just letting them know it should be replaced. FDA apologized profusely and deposited 7000 SPG pts in my account! I had no status (except maybe Gold). It wasn’t unusual for me to get 3000-4000 pts/stay mostly from the add ons, not the 3 pts/$.

Before I switched to SPG, I had over 300 LT nights at Marriott so was well aware of both programs. (FT is what prompted me to check out SPG.) I found Starwood to be more lucrative and the whole upgrade experience was just outstanding. In the ensuing 10 years, I did over 750 nights with SPG while my Marriott LT total went up by about 40 nights.
margarita girl is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 30, 18, 1:02 pm
  #18  
Marriott 25+ BadgeAman Contributor Badge 2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Southern California, USA
Programs: Marriott Plat Premier Ambassador, UA Plat/LT Gold, AA Gold
Posts: 7,220
Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
I have to admit to being baffled with this one. I am pretty sure that if you asked 100 people where they would pick out of a trip to the Maldives or one to Hawaii (who had heard of both) at least 90-95 would pick the Maldives. It is probably the most desirable well known destination in the world as far as resorts go (places like Mustique, etc. being known by a much smaller group of people). If you asked people about the St Regis Princeville vs. the Maldives Princeville, I don't think anyone out of 100 would suggest that Princeville is the "more desirable" option - a concrete USSR type housing block vs. a private over water villa?
I agree wholeheartedly that the quality of luxury properties (especially the StR Maldives for purposes of this discussion) in the Maldives easily surpass that of the StR Princeville. Yet I love the StR Princeville, too.

I am not sure I’d say the Maldives is a superior destination in and of itself (or themselves, since we usually are referring to tiny atolls, islets, and very small islands) compared with Princeville and Kauai—for me. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not built to relax on a beach and just hang entirely at a resort. There are exceptions, but not many. Kauai offers a wealth of activities, and the StR Princeville view is by far the best in all of Hawaii—and likely superior to any of those serene (but often so similar) ocean views in the Maldives that you also can find in many locations around the world. An ocean view might be stellar for many and even most, but we live with an ocean view from our house (as do many who live along the East and West and Gulf coasts). It sometimes takes more for us.

Most will agree with you that the Maldives is a better destination, of course. But not everyone. And for Americans who don’t relish traveling so far to sit on yet another islet or island with a lovely beach and warm water, I’m not sure it’s as superior to everyone as Europeans or others may assume. We do have the Caribbean, we do have Hawaii, we do have Costa Rica, we do have Honduras, we used to have Nicaragua, we still have Panama, etc. Heck, even Fiji and French Polynesia are below half the distance and time to reach the Maldives.

Some are gobsmacked by overwater villas. Having enjoyed an overwater villa at the StR Bora Bora, I can say that I’m not dying to repeat the experience. I don’t find it as incredible as others. I don’t find the general lack of privacy so exciting or appealing for most OWV. I find a beach villa view to be just as appealing, and sometimes more beautiful.

I for one am not sure it’s worth the distance for us to experience just another amazing Maldives resort with good to poor snorkeling and iffy diving nearby, along with very pricey accommodation, food, and overpriced activities like we found in Bora Bora...when I could experience nicer beaches and certainly better diving closer to home—or at least not that far away. The diving for us in Bora Bora actually was just not that impressive for people like us who are very experienced divers. In fact, the only experience in the Maldives that actually makes me think it’s a potentially worthwhile trip for us from the USA is the Four Seasons Explorer live-aboard, which would allow me the luxury of a luxury FS experience while enjoying the potentially superior diving from a live aboard. I actually could care less about the resorts and care more about whether the diving will make it worthwhile to go so far. The StR private Azimut is another that interests us, but the FS Explorer is probably cheaper.

Belize likely has better diving. SE Asia around Indonesia likely has better diving. Sharm El Sheikh and the Red Sea likely still have better diving. They’re closer.

Absolutes are a dangerous thing, my friend. It isn’t so hard for me to imagine that the Maldives aren’t for everyone.
Boraxo and mecabq like this.
bhrubin is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 30, 18, 4:17 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the air
Programs: BA Gold, Marriott Amb, Hilton Diamond, AMEX Plat
Posts: 5,596
“Better” is an entirely different question, as you point out. I repeated the language of the person I was replying to, which is “desirable”.
EuropeanPete is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 30, 18, 4:23 pm
  #20  
Aman Contributor BadgeMarriott 25+ Badge 2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Southern California, USA
Programs: Marriott Plat Premier Ambassador, UA Plat/LT Gold, AA Gold
Posts: 7,220
Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
“Better” is an entirely different question, as you point out. I repeated the language of the person I was replying to, which is “desirable”.
Sorry, my friend. I think of “better” and “more desirable” in this context as pretty much the same thing. In any case, I just wanted to point out that the Maldives aren’t the be-all, end-all for everyone—as most might otherwise presume.
Boraxo likes this.
bhrubin is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 30, 18, 10:31 pm
  #21  
Marriott 25+ BadgeHilton 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Homeless
Programs: M&M SEN; AC SE100k; Qatar Plat; HH Dia; SPG AMB100; Hyatt Globalist; Fairmont Plat
Posts: 1,663
Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
overall I think SPG members get a huge win as the ROI for spend is much higher now
I think it was a win in the short term, yes. Starting when Starwood points and Marriott points could move freely between accounts, I have used my points almost exclusively at Marriott properties rather than Starwood properties up until August 18th because that is where I got the best value for the points. But as @margarita girl stated, we often got lots of opportunities to earn points on the Starwood side. So most of my paid stays were with Starwood, and most of my points redemptions were with Marriott. However this was only a temporary issue. Going forward I do not consider myself a "winner" anymore. My Starwood points earning has gone down due to the decrease in welcome points, MAGC, Amex, BRG, etc. The Marriott properties that used to offer the juiciest points redemptions have gone up (at least those in my most frequent destinations). So the situation is more muted going forward in my opinion, but I accept that I have benefited in the last 1-2 years.

Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
I will always prefer a St Regis to a RC--largely due to the butler services and the added guaranteed elite benefits. Still, i love having the option of these RC properties (and few Edition properties). I will be staying in San Francisco in Nov, and the StR was about $800/night vs the RC being "only" $450/night with a AAA rate. I gladly took the RC in that instance
I fully agree with this statement. Of course everyone loves free breakfast at SPG properties. If a SPG hotel is 10% more expensive than the Marriott counterpart, I will gladly stay at SPG and enjoy benefits because it will more than cover the 10% difference, assuming they are otherwise equal properties in terms of quality. However there are some locations / dates combinations where for some reason the Marriott property is much cheaper, cash or points, than SPG just like in the SF example above. So while I value free breakfast, I won't pay several hundred dollars more per night for those benefits, and I will be happy to try the Marriott property without elite benefits. In many cities I think sometimes mixing things up is interesting rather than repeatedly go to the same property, even if I am satisfied. That's just my personal preference though and I can understand those who stay loyal to one specific property all the time.
escape4 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 31, 18, 12:18 am
  #22  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA Plat & 1MM, Marriott LT Gold, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Explorist & IHG Plat
Posts: 11,565
Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Sorry, my friend. I think of “better” and “more desirable” in this context as pretty much the same thing. In any case, I just wanted to point out that the Maldives aren’t the be-all, end-all for everyone—as most might otherwise presume.
Bingo. From my view the Maldives are a blogger bragfest but of little interest to most Americans in top 10% with limited vacation. We'd rather fly 5-10 hours, park our families at a luxury resort, enjoy a variety of restaurant and recreation options, and little hassle. Plus no moral dilemma caused by spending tourist $$ in a country ruled by a fundamentalist regime (and populace) that outlaws behavior between consenting adults (gay-friendly Hawaii is at the opposite end of the spectrum). Why would I fly my family at great expense literally halfway around the world when I can get an outstanding beach experience at maybe 100s of resorts in North/Central America that are within a 6 hour flying radius, and 100s more in Europe within a 12 hour TATL radius? (For Europeans it's the same math but opposite circles). Sorry but there is nothing special about an overwater "bungalow" except being able to post facebook photos of your nicely-appointed hut before your friends do and satisfaction in knowing that you visited before the place is wiped out by rising oceans. There are literally 500 places I'd rather visit first. So the fact that my Marriott fka SPG points attain highest value on Maldives rack rates does not make it a Top 10 property for me.
Boraxo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 31, 18, 6:25 am
  #23  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto vicinity
Programs: UA 1K, AC MM E50, AA EXP, SPG P100, Marriott Plat, Fairmont Plat
Posts: 11,481
Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
Plus no moral dilemma caused by spending tourist $$ in a country ruled by a fundamentalist regime (and populace) that outlaws behavior between consenting adults (gay-friendly Hawaii is at the opposite end of the spectrum).
While this is a discussion that should probably be saved for Omni territory, I can totally relate. I have my own ethical dilemma about spending my tourist dollars in a country whose President describes the leaders of Russia, North Korea and the Philippines as "good guys" while shunning and insulting long term allies and imposing tariffs to initiate worldwide economic chaos.
bhrubin likes this.
margarita girl is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 31, 18, 9:13 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the air
Programs: BA Gold, Marriott Amb, Hilton Diamond, AMEX Plat
Posts: 5,596
Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
Bingo. From my view the Maldives are a blogger bragfest but of little interest to most Americans in top 10% with limited vacation. We'd rather fly 5-10 hours, park our families at a luxury resort, enjoy a variety of restaurant and recreation options, and little hassle.
I do now see where you're coming from. I don't mean to be a pedant, but firstly the vast majority of people aren't American and secondly I think there's some combination of desirable and practical here - perhaps a language thing, I was thinking of desirable in its traditional, literal sense which perhaps ironically is almost always impractical We are not meant to possess in life what is truly desirable!

I also agree with bhrubin, the Maldives are not the absolute pinnacle of global beauty that many people think (I would suggest the Tobago Cays are perhaps the world's most beautiful water setting), but it would be an understatement to say that between the two of us we have seen and informed ourselves on this topic more than most travel agencies in their entirely.
bhrubin likes this.
EuropeanPete is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 1, 18, 7:44 pm
  #25  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA Plat & 1MM, Marriott LT Gold, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Explorist & IHG Plat
Posts: 11,565
Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
I do now see where you're coming from. I don't mean to be a pedant, but firstly the vast majority of people aren't American and secondly I think there's some combination of desirable and practical here - perhaps a language thing, I was thinking of desirable in its traditional, literal sense which perhaps ironically is almost always impractical We are not meant to possess in life what is truly desirable!
On my job we continuously strive to avoid being US-centric as we have a global workforce. One of the great benefits of FT is the global presence of contributors which has provided me with valuable insights no matter where I travel. So yes, I get that Maldives may be more attractive to people who don't have to travel as far to get there or to those seeking a unique experience. But I still think the place is overhyped by points bloggers (ditto for some of the first class cabins).

Contrast to the St. Regis Bangkok. I don't know anyone who doesn't want to visit Thailand at some point and the St. R is one of the finest that you can buy with points. I was treated better there than any other place in Bangkok. But of course it's not a Cat 7-8 based on rates. So in my book it's a Top 10 city hotel but not a top 10 value. Contrast to Princeville, where the service & rooms are nowhere near as nice as Bangkok, but the location is spectacular and so it's a Cat 8 based on rates. I'd say it's a top 10 for value at 60k points in peak season. For me Maldives falls in neither category, nor is it even desirable.
Boraxo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 1, 18, 9:35 pm
  #26  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Programs: MR/SPG LT PLT, AA LT PLT, HH GLD, UA SLV, Avis PreferredPlus
Posts: 24,179
I see this as a list of the 10 most and 10 least expensive properties on their cheapest date of the year (presumably, but who knows), according to some rates Trapadvisor pulled from who knows where.

That's about it. They are "Top" and "Bottom" if your only sole criterion is list price per point spent.

Maybe it's just me, but I choose locations and properties trying to maximize many other things before this. If that was my goal, I'd blow points every Christmas week skiing at a RC and bask in the glory of my "value ratio".

(fwiw, the very first date I check for StR Maldives was nearly $400 cheaper than what's listed, so I find the data suspect)
EuropeanPete likes this.

Last edited by CPRich; Sep 1, 18 at 9:44 pm
CPRich is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 7, 18, 10:32 am
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott LT Titanium, Avis Chairman
Posts: 1,280
You're right that price isn't a perfect substitute for desirability. But it's the closest I know of that is universally understood, neutral and *somewhat* agreed upon.

As for where Tripadvisor gets their data, not sure -- as I'm sure you're aware, they're an aggregator of hotel booking sites, so they have a good view of the data. Their ability to pull it all together and display it should be (one would think) a competency of theirs.
ramalama8 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread