Marriott has released lists outlining its top 10 most popular hotels for award redemptions around the world. Those lists are all interesting because there are hotels on there that I didn’t expect. However, for this post, I’ll be focusing on the most popular Hawaii Marriotts for award redemptions.
Marriott has published six rankings lists based on its 2019 Marriott Bonvoy data:
- Top 20 Redeemed Hotels Around the World
- Top 10 Redeemed Hotels Around the:
Of the 37(!!) hotels Marriott has in Hawaii, exactly three of them make an appearance on both the global and US lists. Those hotels include the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach, the Waikiki Beach Marriott, and the Wailea Beach Resort. All properties I’ve been to – and two of them I’ve been to within the past two months. The Ritz-Carlton rounds out the bottom of Hawaii’s rankings, coming in at 14 on the global list and 10 on the US list. That means the Waikiki Beach Marriott beats out its luxe sister property, coming in in 12th and 9th place, respectively. Of course, this means that the winning Hawaii hotel is the Wailea Beach Resort, which comes in as rank 2 on both of the lists.
The only Hawaii property that doesn’t raise any questions for me is the Wailea Beach Resort. I was not a fan of the property when I stayed there in its Wailea Beach Marriott days, but I can understand the appeal. I can also kind of understand the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach, especially as a category 7 property as it was in 2019. After all, the Ritz is a very nice property with spacious and quiet rooms. But, the view from the Ritz is, well, ok. And to get to the nearest beach is at least 10 to 15 minutes away.
Perhaps even more puzzling is the Waikiki Beach Marriott. Sure, it’s a fine property that I enjoy staying at, but at 50,000 points per night? I think I’d rather redeem at The Laylow. Sure, The Laylow has no ocean views, but the Waikiki Beach Marriott’s base and city view rooms don’t have good views either. You’ll need to pay extra or cross your fingers for an upgrade on those.
Why Not The Others?
What interests me is that none of the above properties match the wants I hear most about coming to Hawaii – great ocean views and direct beach access. Especially since Marriott has two properties with direct beach access in Waikiki – the Westin Moana Surfrider (7) and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (7). I know the base rooms in these hotels are pretty terrible, but they’re some of the very few Waikiki properties, regardless of brand, with direct beach access in Waikiki. Plus, if you can get into an ocean view room, they have some of the best ocean views around! The same can be said of the Sheraton Waikiki, though it has no beach access.
Hell, I’m surprised other properties such as the Westin Hapuna Beach (6), the Ko Olina Beach Club (6), the Kauai Marriott (6), the Sheraton Maui (7), or the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (7) didn’t appear on this list. I loved the Westin Hapuna and used to love the Sheraton Maui in my younger days. Heck, I was supposed to stay there this year, but… The Ko Olina Beach Club should be more popular too, given its idyllic location and views – granted it’s far from downtown Honolulu.
Most Popular Hawaii Marriotts for Award Redemptions, Final Thoughts
I’m interested to know, what do you look for in a hotel when visiting Hawaii? Where do you typically stay when here and where do you aspire to stay? If you’re looking to visit Hawaii on a budget and want to stick with Marriott, I can’t recommend the Courtyard King Kamehameha in Kona enough. It’s a no-frills property with decent rooms and a wonderful little cove. And, at Category 5, is a good deal (for now) to boot. Be sure to check cash rates, though, as they can be reasonable too. I’d also suggest checking out the Sheraton Coconut Beach on Kauai, as it too is a Category 5 property. I was supposed to go there this year, but, again…