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The Best Marriott Category 5 Hotels For Your Free Night Certificate

by on Wed February 15, 2017 • 18 Comments


If you are a holder of the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card, you may already know that every year upon your renewal, you will receive a certificate that is valid for a free night at any Category 1-5 Marriott hotel.

While there are a bunch of hotels you can redeem this certificate at, some options are better than others.

Here we have compiled a list of 11 of the best from 655 Category 5 hotels across the world to redeem your Marriott Category 1-5 Free Night Certificate at and categorized the hotel by region. We have included hotels in the U.S., both in big cities and vacation destinations, Asia, Caribbean / Mexico / Central America, Europe, and South America.

Category 5 Marriott hotels regularly cost 25,000 points per night or 20,000 points per night with the PointSavers rate.

We have also listed approximate cash prices for the 11 hotels below.

United States

Big cities

JW Marriott Houston


The JW Marriott Houston is located across the street from the Houston Galleria, Texas’ largest shopping center, and you’ll be able to easily appreciate the city skyline from the rooftop pool. It is not unheard of for rates at this hotel to reach $400 per night.

Renaissance Austin Hotel


The Renaissance Austin isn’t a Marriott Category 5 hotel just yet, but it was recently announced that it will be in March! The hotel is four stars and receives great reviews from guests resulting in a 4.3/5 rating. The hotel is 10 miles from the University of Texas at Austin and 11 miles from the Zilker Botanical Gardens. This hotel commonly costs between $200 and $250 per night.


TownePlace Suites Boynton Beach


Boynton Beach probably isn’t the first area that comes to mind when you think of Southern Florida, but the TownePlace Suites Boynton Beach offers a great option for a low-key vacation. You can easily fly into Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm beach and be within a relatively short drive of the hotel. The drive to the beach is even shorter. Rates at this hotel are usually around $200 per night.

Residence Inn Huntington Beach Fountain Valley


If California is more your style, the Residence Inn Huntington Beach Fountain Valley is worth looking at. This hotel is located just over six miles from Huntington Beach Pier and less than 10 miles from Disney California Adventure making it a great location to both relax on the beach and take the kids somewhere fun! Since this is an extended stay property, you’ll be able to save on dining out by making meals in your own kitchen. Rates at this hotel are usually around $150 per night.


Renaissance Sanya Resort & Spa


The Renaissance Sanya Resort & Spa in Hainan, China is a wonderful place to spend a few days. The hotel is located right on Haitang Bay on the South China Sea. The hotel also features an on-site restaurant, spa, fitness center, and kid’s club. The largest duty free mall in the world is located a 15 minute drive away. The resort even has a bowling alley! Rates typically range from $250-$300 per night.

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa


If you’re looking for luxury, the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa is probably the best hotel you can redeem your Category 1-5 Marriott free night at. The hotel is located on Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island, off the southern coast. The hotel has three restaurants and bars and surely won’t disappoint. You’ll especially enjoy an escape from the craziness of Phu Quoc island as the JW has a private beachfront. Rates at this hotel are typically between $350 and $400 per night.

Caribbean/Mexico/Central America

Courtyard Bridgetown, Barbados


If you want to escape to the Caribbean, don’t look any further than the Courtyard Bridgetown, Barbados. This hotel is located just across the street from gorgeous beaches, and is only an 11-minute walk from historic Bridgetown, Barbados. It is a 14-minute walk to the Barbados Museum & Historical Society. Rates at this hotel are usually between $200 and $250 per night.

Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino


This hotel leaves Category 5 effective March 7, 2017.

The Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino is located on a rocky coastline and is only an eight minute walk from the ferry terminal and a 10 minute walk from historic Fort Amsterdam. The hotel has two restaurants and two bars on-site as well as an infinity pool, spa, gym, and casino. Rates at the hotel are usually around $200 per night.


Roomers Baden-Baden, Autograph Collection


Staying at the Roomers Baden-Baden, Autograph Collection in Germany is another great option if you are looking for a taste of luxury. A similar hotel had great success in Frankfurt, so the Gekko Group brought the concept to renowned spa destination Baden-Baden. It is the first luxury hotel in Baden-Baden and was designed by Piero Lissoni of Italy. Rates at the hotel hover around $250 per night.

AC Hotel Málaga Palacio


The AC Hotel Málaga Palacio in Spain overlooks the port of Málaga and is only a two minute walk from de la Encarnación de Málaga and a five minute walk from the Museo Picasso Málaga. This hotel isn’t quite as good of a redemption as many others on this list, at around $150 per night, but it is still a decent option if you are planning a trip to Spain.

South America

AC Hotel Rio de Janeiro Porto Maravilha


South America has very few Category 5 hotels that would make sense to use your free night certificate at. In fact, the AC Hotel Rio de Janeiro Porto Maravilha is the only decent option. This hotel overlooks Guanabara Bay and is four kilometers from Escadaria Selaron and 14 kilometers from Christ the Redeemer, two of Rio’s premier tourist attractions. This hotel usually costs just under $200 per night.

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18 thoughts on The Best Marriott Category 5 Hotels For Your Free Night Certificate

  1. Erica Vergara

    Every time I travel, the category 5 hotels are 30 miles away from where I am going, or nonexistent at all. Id rather pay double for an annual fee and get a better category reward for a hotel stay. I’m going to close the card because my annual fee keeps going to waste, 2nd year in a row . The category 5 hotels keep becoming more limited.

  2. Susanne

    This is not a benefit at all. The options are so limited that it makes it almost impossible to use the certificate. I have voiced my concern many times with no response. More options are needed!!!

  3. JP

    With the new category change by Marriott, the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort is no longer a 5. Will you consider to post a new updated list of the best Cat 5 Marriott? I have a 7-day reward certificate to use by Feb 2019. Thanks in advance.

  4. Lou

    Do you have a list of all of Marriotts category 5 hotels. Even they can’t provide me that. I don’t know where I want to go and this would be most helpful, particularly USA locations.

    1. Ben

      No, it’s not William.

      JW Marriott Houston is a category 5. The JW Marriott downtown Houston is a category 7.

      The more you know.

      Travel Agent

  5. Chuck

    I see a bunch of posts about upgrading the 7-day package, but nothing about upgrading a free night certificate. Is it possible?

    1. jeff

      I currently have a Cat 1-5 7 night certificate I purchased as part of a package to earn SW Companion Pass earlier this year. I called Marriott yesterday and inquired about paying the extra 60,000 points to upgrade to a Cat 7 and was denied. Platinum Service Desk, Reservations and Customer Service was unable to help me. When I purchased this back in Feb, I was told by an agent that I could upgrade by paying the difference in points. This is very disappointing because I have purchased flights already to go to phuket and they do not have any Cat 5 properties there so I will have to either pay cash or use most of my 270k Hilton points. Any advise?

      1. wayne

        very unfortunate to hear, as I did this exact thing just a couple months before you. have you tried calling back to speak to a diff agent?

      2. Robert

        Where did you get that offer? I am nearing a.companion pass and would like to do what you did and buy the 7 night package as well


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