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Having traveled 170+ days/yr every year for the past several years (except for 2020), I’ve frequently utilized rewards programs from major hotel chains that offer US and International stays. Such as Marriott, taking advantage of their Marriot Bonvoy membership program and staying at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and resorts.

Who wouldn’t want to earn something extra for their stay? 

*** THIS BLOG IS NOT SPONSORED OR PROMO ***

Marriott Bonvoy Membership

With a Marriott Bonvoy membership, each night translates into points. The more hotel stays you rack up, the more you build your status which translates into even more points which translates into more free stays and nice perks that can take a trip from “good” to “amazing”! 

Turns out, being loyal has its benefits. 😉

Looking back, whenever I’ve recalled a really amazing trip, a lot of it had to do with the hotel. 

But, sometimes, having a Marriott membership doesn’t do all that much if you’ve chosen a hotel that doesn’t honor your favorite perks (as I’ve experienced).

In this blog series, I’m going to give Marriott the full Real Girl Review and share some of my favorite things about the hotel chain. Including a few of the most recent trips I’ve taken, hotels I’ve stayed at, and the great membership perks I’ve gotten to enjoy at each Marriott property.

Remember though, this is Real Girl Review, we keep it real. So, you’re going to get it all… the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I’ll list my favorite hotel stays as well as my not-so-favorite hotel stays, separating them by whether they were a “Boom” or a “Bust”.

Just a heads up, this isn’t only a post about Marriott’s Bonvoy Membership program. 

While there are many perks to having a Marriott Bonvoy membership and I’ll include the link so you can sign up if you wish, I’m not going to try to persuade you or tell you all the reasons why you should. 

I’m mostly sharing some of my most memorable Marriott hotel and resort experiences with you and what I enjoyed on each trip. 

And so that you don’t make the same boo-boo’s that I made, I might also sneak in a few tips I’ve learned along the way that might help you if you decide to book a Marriott stay.  😉

Pinterest Marketing Image - A Real Gir's Guide to Marriott Bonvoy Membership

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Before we dive into any stories or reviews, I thought you should know… As of this posting, the following blog posts are not sponsored. Any products or services reviewed were paid for out of my own pocket unless otherwise noted.

Real Girl Review Side Note:

I’m a Marriott Bonvoy member and love it! You can check out all the benefits here and sign up here to start earning points with your next stay.

In full disclosure, I’m currently at Titanium level. However, during my travels, my partner was an Ambassador level so a lot of the perks we received were because he traveled about 100 days more a year than I do and he is strictly Marriott. Whereas I also utilize 2 other hotel rewards programs which I’ll write about in another blog.

How My Love Affair with Marriott began

A pair of female legs stretched out over a towel and lounger with an infinity pool and ocean view
Poolside at Marriott resort in Maui

When I first started my travel adventures, I didn’t know much about memberships or rewards but figured, what the hey, may as well sign up, I’m traveling anyway. 

Over the years, I’ve stayed at over 100 different properties and can honestly say that I’m going to be a member for life. 

As amazing as it is to go on a trip and explore, sometimes having so many options can make the planning stages overstimulating though.

How to Find the Best Hotels and Resorts with Marriott Rewards?

Hotel room bed with artwork hanging above it and right next door a full view of the shower and bathroom separated by glass shower doors
Hotel EMC2, Autograph Collection, Marriott Hotel in Chicago

How Do You Find “The One”?

So, you’re about to go on a trip, yayyy!

There’s so much planning involved… booo! 

I don’t know about you, but for me, planning every detail of a trip from the destination and activities to the flight and hotel can be so overwhelming that it kills the hype a bit. 

Trying to find the right hotel is like trying to find the right man or woman….

If it’s more than a one night thing, it should be stylish, fun, and full of character yet, feel comfortable, convenient, reliable, and available whenever you need them.  

You want to be relaxed but taken care of. Who doesn’t want to be? 

Yet, the reality is, trying to figure out which hotel is the right fit for you can easily take hours of research and be the most headache inducing experience of all time, even if you know the hotel chain you’re staying with.

It can drive even the most calm, enthusiastic, and organized person up the wall. 

It All Starts with the Hotel

Geeves smiling and posing in beautiful hotel lobby with marble floors

A hotel is so important that is has the ability to make or break a vacation. 

If you make the wrong choice, that’s what you end up with for the whole trip. And maybe you won’t have another trip for a very long time.

Talk about pressure! Who would’ve thought going on vacation would create so much freaking stress, am I right?!

Or maybe you’re just super chill and have your #@$% together. Good for you babe.

No matter which traveler you are, don’t worry, Geeves has got you covered. 😉

Later in this blog series, I’ll share my favorite and not so favorite Marriott hotel experiences and trips. 

Read all about my Marriott Stay at Westin Grand in Berlin, Germany

A Hotel and Resort for Every Travel Style and Budget 

Grand lagoon of the Atlantis and its hotels and resorts towers
The Atlantis in the Bahamas

The amazing thing about Marriott is that their properties aren’t one size fits all. Sometimes you travel with family and want something more relaxed, kid-friendly, and comfortable. 

Other times, you’re on a romantic getaway and want something a bit more refined and luxurious. 

Marriott currently has over 7,000 properties across 30 hotel brands worldwide which are categorized by several different levels. I like to think of them as hotel personalities! 

There are hotels and resorts for pretty much every style and budget which is perfect for the modern traveler:

Luxury

Bespoke and superb amenities and services. Discover popular luxury hotels in destinations around the globe that offer unparalleled service and amenities

Premium

Sophisticated and thoughtful amenities and services

Select

Smart and easy amenities and services

Longer Stays

Amenities and services that mirror the comforts of home

Collections

Uniquely designed, each offering distinctive to luxurious experiences

Real Girl Review Explains: What Do the Categories Mean Next to Each Hotel in This Blog?

How can you tell which hotel you have enough points for? Or, how to filter upscale hotels from budget-friendly ones? 

Hotel categories!

Marriott has 8 categories in total. 

Each category indicates the hotel’s brand, location, pricing (including off-peak, standard, and peak), as well as how many points are needed for free nights. (During peak season, more points are needed obvi)

Later, when I share my hotel experiences, you’ll see I’ve put a category next to each hotel. That way, you know what type of hotel it is.

*** Note: Marriott has recently changed the Category value for a lot of hotels, some of which are in this blog. I put the new Category in “( )”. 


Wanna learn how to leverage Marriott Points and Miles with Marriott Partners?


What are Marriott’s Hotel Categories?

Categories 1-4 : These Marriott hotels are more budget-friendly and known for “comfort”.

Categories 5-8: These Marriott hotels are more “luxurious” stays and offer even more amenities. 

As a rule of thumb, the higher the category, the higher the quality but also, the higher the hotel price and resort fees too.

Whether you want to use points for a free stay or use cash + points, you can find more redemption info by viewing the Marriott hotel category and redemption chart here.

Marriott hotel categories and point redemption are further explained here.

illustration of traveling geeves

Stay tuned for my next blog coming up here I share the skinny on my recent stays……….. TRUST ME you won’t want to miss this. 

Are you part of the Marriott Bonvoy membership? Do you have a favorite hotel rewards program?

I love hearing from my readers! If you enjoyed my post, leave a comment below!

You can also follow me on Instagram or Twitter.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:

How to Leverage Marriott Points and Miles with Marriott Partners

Marriott Hotel Reviews: Some Island Favorites and a Little Cajun In-Between

Best and Worst Marriott Hotels I’ve Stayed In, Boom or Bust


Fact Check:

Real Girl Review strongly values truth and strives for accuracy. If you read something that doesn’t sound right, feel free to contact me and I will investigate the facts and make changes as I deem necessary. Posts are updated regularly.

Always keep it real…

1 Comment

  1. Looks like some great perks. I never stay in chains, and I definitely don’t travel enough like you, so sadly I’ve never reaped benefits like this.

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