For our stay in Hong Kong I booked a last minute 5-night award to the JW Marriott HK only a week before we arrived. Under the old category definitions, the JW was a category 7 hotel, meaning it cost 35,000 Marriott reward points a night. Thankfully, Marriott Rewards gives you the 5th night free on award bookings, so our stay cost 140,000 Marriott Reward points.
Since Mrs. Selfish and I both applied for the Chase Marriott Rewards card, we both had a free night and 70,000 Marriott Reward points to burn! Marriott is also nice because multiple family members can apply points toward one award, allowing me to Mrs. Selfish’s points if I fell short. This was especially useful, because for our time in China I was planning on getting platinum status.
Unlike other hotel chains, Marriott allows just about anyone to try their “Taste of Platinum” challenge. By completing 9 paid stays in 3 months, plus the month you request the challenge, you’ll earn Marriott’s platinum status for the next calendar year. Although it’s an amazing shortcut, the biggest benefit is the “taste” itself – for the duration of those ~3 months you’ll actually get platinum status, which gets you free internet, breakfast, a welcome gift, your choice of amenities, and an upgrade to a better room. We pulled a similar trick in Spain with Mrs. Selfish, but the AC Hotels didn’t really recognize platinum status quite the way Marriott-branded hotels in Asia do.
In Asia, they do one better, since there’s a great chance you’ll be upgraded to a suite.