In this guide, we identify all Marriott properties in Australia and the Pacific Islands and analyse when it makes sense to use your Marriott Bonvoy points and when to use cold hard cash.
Previously, we have had the chance to visit a number of properties in Australia that were part of the now-defunct Starwood program. Our reviews of these hotels are linked in this guide.
One of the easiest ways to get your hands on Marriott points is through the American Express Explorer card, which offers the highest effective earn rate of any personal credit card in Australia.
After 15 April 2019 when American Express changes earn and transfer rates, you will effectively earn 1.33 Marriott points per $1 AUD spent. Its’ sign-up bonus will give you three (nearly four) free nights at a Category 3 hotel, two free nights at a Category 4 hotel and one night at a Category 5 place.
If you have not read up on the new Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, check out our introductory guide:
Locations and redemption rates – Australia and New Zealand
Within Australia, there are currently 21 properties around the country which can be booked with Marriott Points, mostly centered within the eastern states. There is also just one property in New Zealand.
All hotels are Category 5 or lower, meaning you will need up to 35,000 points per night for a standard Category 5 redemption. Off-peak and peak pricing will be introduced later this year, which may affect the points required.
Here is the full list of Marriott properties in Australia updated with the 2019 category changes, sorted by location for default and with links to Point Hacks reviews:
|Property||Location||Category||Points per night
|Average nightly charge*||Average value:
cents per point
|Four Points by Sheraton||Brisbane||3||17,500||$244||1.39|
|Sheraton Grand Mirage||Gold Coast||5||35,000||$618||1.77|
|Four Points by Sheraton||Melbourne
|Four Points by Sheraton||Perth||3||17,500||$263||1.50|
|Sheraton Mirage||Port Douglas||5||35,000||$306||0.87|
|Marriott Resort & Spa||Surfer’s Paradise||5||35,000||$581||1.66|
|Pier One Autograph Collection||Sydney Harbour||5||35,000||$391||1.12|
|Courtyard by Marriott||Sydney – North Ryde||4||25,000||$288||1.15|
|Old Clare Hotel Chippendale||Sydney||5||35,000||$287||0.82|
|Marriott Sydney Harbour||Sydney – Circular Quay||5||35,000||$288||0.82|
|Sheraton Grand||Sydney – Hyde Park||5||35,000||$288||0.82|
|Four Points by Sheraton||Sydney – Central Park||4||25,000||$245||0.98|
|Four Points by Sheraton||Auckland||4||25,000||$169||0.68|
* Based on one night stay on Tuesday 7 January 2020 in the lowest-available room
As expected, ‘resort’ style properties such as the Sheraton Grand Mirage Gold Coast tend to offer the most value per points, since cash prices for rooms tend to run very high.
Inversely, The Westin Perth had the lowest value redemption for our search at just $231 for a night, but with redemptions still charged at the Category 5 price of 35,000 points.
Not included on the table but opening within the next year are:
- Aloft Adelaide (2019)
- Sheraton Adelaide (2019)
- Element Melbourne Richmond (June 2019)
- The Tasman, Hobart (December 2019)
- W Melbourne (2020)
We will update the table with their categories and redemption rates once they become known.
The Westin Sydney Hotel (Category 5, 35,000 points) will leave the Marriott group and rebrand as the Fullerton from 19 October 2019, meaning Marriott points cannot be used there anymore.
The Westin Melbourne WestinWORKOUT Room
The Old Clare Hotel Sydney The Connell Room
The Sheraton Melbourne King Executive Terrace Suite
Locations and redemption rates – Pacific Islands
There are twelve properties through the Pacific Islands that can be booked with Marriott points, mainly centred around Fiji, New Caledonia, French Polynesia (Tahiti) and Palau.
These resorts tend to cost more than properties back in Australia as they are in more exclusive settings, starting from Category 3 properties in Samoa for 17,500 points per night, right up to the most expensive Category 7 hotels from 60,000 points per night.
Here is the current list of properties in the Pacific Islands, updated to the 2019 Bonvoy category changes:
|Property||Location||Category||Points per night
|Average nightly charge (AUD)*||Average value: cents per point|
|Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island||Fiji||5||35,000||$358||1.02|
|Marriott Resort, Momi Bay||Fiji||5||35,000||$435||1.24|
|Sheraton Denarau Villas||Fiji||7||60,000||$478||0.80|
|Sheraton Fiji Resort||Fiji||5||35,000||$326||0.93|
|The Westin Denarau Island||Fiji||5||35,000||$232||0.66|
|Le Meridien Bora Bora||French Polynesia||7||60,000||$915||1.53|
|St Regis Bora Bora||French Polynesia||7||60,000 + $995 AUD**||$3603||4.35|
|Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Spa & Gold Resort||New Caledonia||5||35,000||$241||0.69|
|Le Meridien lle des Pins||New Caledonia||7||60,000||$597||1.00|
|Le Meridien Noumea Resort||New Caledonia||5||35,000||$286||0.82|
|Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Hotel||Samoa||3||17,500||$320||1.83|
|Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort||Samoa||3||17,500||$249||1.42|
* Based on one night stay on Tuesday 7 January 2020 in the lowest-category room, converted to AUD
** Based on a Redemption + Upgrade package for an Overwater Deluxe Otemanu (St Regis Bora Bora)
It is no surprise that the St Regis Bora Bora comes out on top, delivering more than 4.3 cents per points in value.
St Regis Bora Bora
However, do note that the base 60,000 points redemption per night may come with a compulsory $995 (74,000 XPF) ‘upgrade fee’ per night for the Overwater Deluxe Otemanu, which retails at more than $3600 per night.
The cost also does not include extras such as boat island transfers.
Comparison with rack rates
Previously, a good threshold with SPG Starpoints was 3.0 cents per points in value. With one Starpoint equivalent to three Marriott Bonvoy points, we would now expect to see 1.0 cents per point in value as a minimum.
As you will see in the tables above, it is generally the higher Category 5 – Category 7 that reach this threshold, while for Category 3 and 4 hotels, it may be better to pay in cash and save your points for another big trip.
Finally, the Fifth Night Free benefit remains with Marriott Bonvoy. All you have to do is book a redemption for five nights, and you will only be charged for four. This will further increase the value of your points redemption by 25% if you can score it.
The Marriott Bonvoy program continues to offer decent value redemptions compared to the SPG Starwood days, which is great news for points collectors.
Properties in Category 5 and higher still remain the sweet spots in general, but be sure to check the hotel’s website rates for any special offers before redeeming.
To work out the value (cents per point), simply divide the room rate by the points needed and multiply by 100 to get the final answer in cents.
How these rates are affected by peak and off-peak pricing will remain to be seen when that is introduced later this year, but we will update the guides accordingly when we know more.
Supplementary images courtesy of St.Regis Bora Bora / Marriott Bonvoy