The 6 Best Marriott Category 5 Hotels

These properties are a great redemption value for free night certificates and points alike.
Anya KartashovaNov 22, 2021

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Nestled in the middle of the Marriott Bonvoy award chart, Category 5 properties offer some of the best value to travelers who redeem Marriott points for hotel stays — the redemption rates aren’t too high, and the value proposition can be pretty good.

You can book a room at a Category 5 Marriott property for:

  • 30,000 points during off-peak dates.

  • 35,000 points during standard dates.

  • 40,000 points if you travel on peak dates.

Additionally, you can redeem annual Marriott free night certificates that are awarded with certain co-branded Marriott credit cards for nights and are worth up to 35,000 Bonvoy points. This means that 35,000-point certificates work on off-peak and standard nights at Category 5 properties. (For what it’s worth, you could also spend your 50,000-point free night certificates at these properties, even on peak nights, but you’ll be leaving quite a few points on the table).

Here are some of the best Category 5 Marriott hotels we recommend considering for future trips. However, if you want to dive deeper, check out the most redeemed Category 5 hotels according to Marriott.

Awesome Marriott Category 5 hotels

1. Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa

It’s hard to believe that this recently opened property on Thilamaafushi Island in the Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldives is a Category 5 Marriott property. Booking an award night in the Maldives for 30,000 to 40,000 Bonvoy points per night is unheard of and sounds too good to be true, but it’s genuine.

Guests will find six restaurants, a fitness center and a spa on-site. Diving and snorkeling in the nearby reef will reveal the island’s oceanic neighbors, such as rays and turtles.

Keep in mind that a round-trip seaplane transfer to Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa costs $420 per adult passenger. So, even if you book with points, you will still have to pay for the shuttle service.

2. Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu

Located on the eastern side of the Greek island Corfu, the adults-only Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu has undergone a recent renovation.

With more than 100 bedrooms, suites and villas, this Marriott property has direct access to the Ionian Sea. The hotel’s five restaurants and bars offer Greek, Japanese and Western cuisine to guests.

3. JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

Located on Phu Quoc island in Vietnam, JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa was designed by architect Bill Bensley. He has designed several one-of-a-kind hotels across Asia.

The property’s concept takes its inspiration from a college campus — a rather luxurious, beachfront campus called Lamarck University. The multiple hotel wings are named after academic departments, and the staff runs workshops and classes, such as beer yoga or lantern making.

4. St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino

The St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino is a notable Category 5 property in the Caribbean. Upon landing at Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport, you’re just 5 miles away from a private beach in St. Kitts.

Five operating restaurants, a spa, a golf club, three pools and a fitness center are at your disposal at this Marriott hotel for a sunny Caribbean retreat.

5. Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas

If you’re not a beach person, and the mountains call your name, so does the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas in Colorado. This ski-in, ski-out Marriott property is at the foot of the Christie Peak Express of the Steamboat Ski Resort, allowing you to hit the slopes as soon as you’re awake. Then, enjoy some après-ski at the on-site spa.

You can partake in hiking, biking and golfing in the area in the summertime, which makes this resort an excellent option for a winter or a summer trip. Its year-round appeal makes it one of the best Marriott category 5 hotels in the U.S.

6. Marriott Cancun Resort

Marriott Cancun Resort, another great Caribbean option for beach lovers, is located 10 miles from the airport: Meaning you can be at the hotel sipping margaritas and tasting tacos shortly after landing. If the property’s 11 on-site restaurants aren’t enough to satisfy your appetite, the surrounding area of Zona Hotelera offers many more dining options.

The hotel’s location right at the shoreline of the Caribbean Sea makes it ideal for a beach getaway.

How to earn Marriott points quickly

The fastest way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points is by meeting specific spending requirements and earning a welcome bonus on a co-branded credit card. Marriott partners with American Express and Chase who issue co-branded cards, and you can select a product from mid-range to premium options.

For example, there is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The card's current welcome bonus includes three free nights (each night valued at up to 50,000 points), so you may be able to upgrade your vacation accommodations, too.

Another option is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Although these consumer cards earn points on everyday purchases, procuring the welcome offers is the best way to score a huge chunk of points upfront.

​​Other ways to earn Marriott points include:

  • Completing paid stays at Marriott properties.

  • Booking corporate meetings or events at Marriott properties.

  • Booking rental cars with Hertz.

  • Booking eligible cruises.

  • Dining at restaurants as part of the Eat Around Town program.

  • Ordering rides or meals with Uber and Uber Eats.

How to know if you’re getting a good deal on your Marriott points booking

NerdWallet values Marriott Bonvoy points at an average of 0.7 cent each. We calculated this value by comparing actual redemption options when paying with either cash or points.

You know you're getting a good deal when you divide the number of points needed to book by the cash price of the stay and the value is greater than our average (0.7 cent per point). If you do the math and the result is less than that, you might consider paying for your stay in cash and saving your points for a better redemption in the future.

Use the calculator below to determine the value of a particular number of Bonvoy points you have in your account.

If you want to stay at a Marriott Category 5 hotel ...

For those looking for a quality hotel without having to shell out a ton of points, Marriott Category 5 hotels are the best bet. Not only can you redeem Bonvoy points for award nights at these properties, but you can also use free night certificates that come with most co-branded Marriott credit cards.

The list of the best Marriott Category 5 properties above isn’t comprehensive by any means, but hopefully, it inspires you to redeem your Marriott rewards for a future trip.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

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