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Which brands from Mariott are ultra luxury?

Which brands from Mariott are ultra luxury?

Old Nov 12, 18, 11:38 am
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Which brands from Mariott are ultra luxury?

Hello,

My family is a huge fan of luxury hotels and they like to stay in brands such as Four Seasons, Six Senses, Anantara, One&Only, ...
All the brands usually don't have loyalty programs or if they have they are quite limited with non resort accommodation. So I want that they will switch over to Marriott/Starwood/Ritz brands. Right now we are staying in the Ritz Carlton property and they like it very much. I would like just to check which brands are on this kind of level general. Here is the list of brands that I think could be on this level, please add and remove them to the list because you have more experience.

List
Ritz Carlton
St. Regis
J.W Mariott
Luxury Collection

Last edited by DC10; Nov 12, 18 at 12:31 pm
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Old Nov 12, 18, 12:23 pm
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Definitely Ritz and St. Regis.

Luxury Collection can really be variable. They're all nice, but maybe not at the level you're talking about.

I've only stayed at one JW (in L.A.), and that one in particular is not a 5-star property. I can't speak for the rest of the brand.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 12:53 pm
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Agreed.

Definitely St Regis and Ritz Carlton.

The Ritz Carlton Reserve properties and Bulgari also qualify as high end luxury, but they do not participate in the Marriott Loyalty Program.

Many but not all Luxury Collection hotels will also be comparable; I’d take a hint from the higher category list, but the Hotel Imperial Vienna is only a category 6 and yet is one of our all time favorites. Certainly, examples like the Gritti Palace Venice, Hotel Imperial Vienna, Prince de Galles Paris, Al Maha Dubai, Mystique Santorini, Suiran Kyoto, the Chatwal NYC, Hotel Alfonso XIII Seville, Vdema Santorini, etc easily will be comparable to properties in the other luxury brands you mentioned. The Peru Luxury Collection hotels will compare favorably with Belmond, as well.

For perspective, we also stay often at Aman, Peninsula, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Oberoi, Taj, Belmond, and comparable hotels.

JW hotels are most often affordable luxury with much higher room counts. I generally find even W and Edition hotels are more luxurious than almost any but the newest JWs. If service is your priority, however, I’d avoid large room count hotels of any supppsed luxury brand.

EDIT: there also are a few Design Hotels that qualify as luxury comparable to the brands mentioned. Just know that they have limited participation and benefits with the Marriott Loyalty Program.

Last edited by bhrubin; Nov 12, 18 at 1:04 pm
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Old Nov 12, 18, 1:01 pm
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There are a few Design Hotels that would be luxury too, but this brand's participation is limited and you'll only see standard rates on the website. However, IME the properties are thrilled to be part of SPG and eager to go above and beyond. I don't know how they feel about Starriott.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by DC10 View Post
List
Ritz Carlton
St. Regis
J.W Mariott
Luxury Collection
In general, luxury is not in mega-chain Marriott's dna. But there are some real gems to be found. Ritz-Carlton seems to strive for more staid traditional luxury while St. Regis can at times be a little more contemporary in the way they provide luxury. I would hardy ever consider JW a luxury brand, just a glorified Marriott. Some of the former SPG Luxury Collections are indeed luxury, but I'd say they are also often historical properties which can lead to challenges in terms of renovated accommodations, but overall I really like most of the Luxury Collection properties that I've stayed. I do think Edition is striving for a modern luxury as are some W resorts.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by itsaboutthejourney View Post
In general, luxury is not in mega-chain Marriott's dna. But there are some real gems to be found. Ritz-Carlton seems to strive for more staid traditional luxury while St. Regis can at times be a little more contemporary in the way they provide luxury. I would hardy ever consider JW a luxury brand, just a glorified Marriott. Some of the former SPG Luxury Collections are indeed luxury, but I'd say they are also often historical properties which can lead to challenges in terms of renovated accommodations, but overall I really like most of the Luxury Collection properties that I've stayed. I do think Edition is striving for a modern luxury as are some W resorts.
Well put, I agree. Although I'd say one can really determine (unfortunately) only at the property level, not the brand. I've stayed at the Ritz in St. Louis a couple times and I wouldn't put that in the luxury category. I've not had that experience at St. Regis, but have only stayed at a couple.

Then there are the exceptions in places like Southeast Asia where even many of the non-luxury brands offer more in terms of a luxury experience than in the US.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Well put, I agree. Although I'd say one can really determine (unfortunately) only at the property level, not the brand. I've stayed at the Ritz in St. Louis a couple times and I wouldn't put that in the luxury category. I've not had that experience at St. Regis, but have only stayed at a couple.
I could not agree more. I remember an absolutely dreadful stay at the R-C in NOLA many, many years ago, which nearly put me off the brand permanently.
I’ve been pleased with my recent stays at Hotel Arts in Barcelona and at the R-C in Toronto, but even so there is no way that service there compares with service at an Aman.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 4:38 pm
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I have never stayed at a JW and have limited experience at Ritz hotels (Hotel Arts & Laguna Niguel) but I love the St Regis brand and consider it to be a true Luxury experience. I’m also a huge fan of the Luxury Collection- to add to BHR’s list — Schloss Fuschl, Grande Bretagne & President Wilson provide genuine Luxury. (And I’ve heard very good things about Maria Cristina- will know in March). A few standout hotels in other Starriott brands met my standard of Luxury (I’ve never stayed at an Aman but have stayed at many Luxury brands and boutiques - Belmond, Four Seasons, Post Ranch Inn etc). The W Verbier delivered a Luxury hard and soft product and so did Domes of Elounda Haute Living (Autograph)

Marriott didn’t have an extensive selection of Luxury hotels but they do now. I thought it was significant that in Condé Nast Traveler’s recent “Best Hotels in the World” list 5 of 50 were Marriotts including Mystique and Suiran (2 of our personal all time favorites)
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Old Nov 12, 18, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by rfrost View Post
I could not agree more. I remember an absolutely dreadful stay at the R-C in NOLA many, many years ago, which nearly put me off the brand permanently.
I’ve been pleased with my recent stays at Hotel Arts in Barcelona and at the R-C in Toronto, but even so there is no way that service there compares with service at an Aman.

It actually isn’t too far fetched to say that there are even few Amans today that compare with the service of Aman of yesteryear. Not all Amans are to the same service standard. One needs only to visit Aman Tokyo or Aman Summer Palace or Aman Sveti Stefan to know that. Few Amans hold to the same service standard as those in Indonesia/SE Asia (and Amanzoe from recent reports).

That being said, there still are few hotels that routinely can compare with Aman levels of service. That’s true of any luxury brand. Even Peninsula has some weak links.

For us, however, Hotel Imperial Vienna, Gritti Palace Venice, St Regis San Francisco, St Regis New York, St Regis Florence, and Suiran Kyoto achieved comparable Aman levels of service. That’s pretty high praise.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 5:12 pm
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It also depends on the place and the type of room. Here in Costa Rica JW Marriot Guanacaste and El Mangroove Autopgraph Collection by Marriott (both beach hotels) are on par with the Four Seasons Papagayo in terms of service and comfort in the regular rooms, the same applies for restaurants and bar services/products. But Four Seasons is considerably more expensive, and the suites are waaay fancier.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 6:31 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Even Peninsula has some weak links.
Beijing, e.g. - at least on the service front.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 11:51 pm
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A simple answer to your question non of the Marriott brands are Ultra Luxury and on a brand for brand basis compete with the sort of thing you are maybe looking for. That said within the brands (mainly St.R, RC, LC and odd JW) there are certainly some properties that are on a par with what you mention and in some cases exceed them! Equally there are plenty of properties that fall well below what you would expect with all those brands!
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Old Nov 13, 18, 2:04 am
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I would like to add that this can get subjective really fast when looking at Mariott as a whole. I know a few W and JW properties in Asia that are comparable if not better than some RC, St.R hotels in the US in terms of luxury. I use the term luxury here as others in this thread have previously, i.e comparable to the general level of service/facilities offered in a Cat 2 RC property in the US
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Old Nov 13, 18, 4:10 am
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I had the pleasure of trying out two Ritz Carltons in the last couple months. My first two Ritz Carltons ever. And I am left a tad 'confused', if not flat out disappointed at the brand. Sure, I have only had two stays, but I would argue you can observe a lot in two stays, especially if you are an keen observer of hotels like me.
I always held Ritz Carlton and its brand name on par with the likes of St Regis and Park Hyatt - i.e. top luxury hotels within a chain brand that is, in a way, a trophy brand of the chain altogether. Whilst I see that the RC hotels are definitely upscale, the two RCs came across to me like glorified Sheratons with no distinctive character or 'color'.

There are distinctive features that define the top hotels within their respective chains. I'll take St Regis as an example as it is the one luxury brand I now well. This brand with its butler service and evening champagne sabering, association with Bentley and the Red Snapper etc. If I were to wake up unknowingly in a St. Regis hotel lobby one day, I would be able to make a reasonable guess that it would be a St Regis simply by observing. There are distinctive styles and features that define the St Regis brand and there is a thread of consistency across its global footprint.

Not so with RC. The two hotels were widely different. The check-in area was the stand-up counter type and was clogged in both hotels (more so in Dubai). Rooms were great, but did not exude the bespoke luxury as you would at Park Hyatt or Waldorf. Phone operators were standard if not a bit terse. As a platinum welcome amenity I was offered a choice between a bottle of sparkling water, or a "fruit shake". A fruit basket and a half bottle of Shiraz in Singapore. Turn-down service had to be requested in Dubai to be done. I can go on.

Don't get me wrong - I am not saying that the hotels were bad pre se, but as the 'trophy' brand of the Marriott family I expected more character - something distinctive that can capture the brand. I did not get it. They felt like two good hotels unrelated to one another with efficient service and friendly staff. For those who have stayed in RCs over the years - particularly those who prefer it to other luxury hotel names - what is it about the brand you find about RCs that you like? How does a RC differ from, say, Raffles or Park Hyatt or St Regis?
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Old Nov 13, 18, 4:18 am
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My perception of Ritz Carlton’s is the same after having stayed at perhaps 6-7 over the years. You can tell they are aiming at “luxury” because of the plushness of the furniture and the way everyone calls you “Sir”, but most of the hotels seem highly generic and lacking the vibe that every other luxury hotel chain I know has.

I perhaps associate luxury hotels with distinctiveness in some way: a novel or distinctive design in Park Hyatt’s, notable furnishings, significant art, a notable restaurant, a unique bar, service in Amans, etc. More than any other chain i’ve come across the RC’s do indeed come across as a kind of “luxury Sheraton”.

They’re not always the cheapest in their perspective local markets, but as a customer I’ve found the overal hotel experience is usually the least differentiated vs. picking the nearest Westin or Grand Hyatt.
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