Marriott Lost The Iconic Four Points Niagara Falls, New York

The Four Points Niagara Falls, New York is becoming a Best Western Premier though it won’t actually use the Best Western name. It will basically just be sold through the Best Western platform, which the hotel’s owner sees as advantageous because of the focus of Best Western on leisure travelers… and, unstated, because of lower fees.

The property is slated to leave Marriott after today though Marriott appears to still be selling rooms on its website (Update: It’s the Four Points on the Canadian side that’s still available through Marriott). It should tell you something though about the Four Points brand that the property is being required to invest in upgrades to meet Best Western requirements.

Four Points, New York owners have already done a soft interior project over the last year and a half spending, they say, a million dollars (less than $7500 per room) for “wall coverings and carpeting in all the guest rooms.” That’s not enough though because they will now have to replace all the televisions in the rooms and make changes “throughout the interior and exterior, to comply with Best Western standards.”

Four Points Niagara Falls, New York

Just over two years ago it was a mere category 2 in the Starwood Preferred Guest program, so while generally not as nice as the Sheraton On The Falls it was a steal on peak nights when rates would run $350 or more. It was much less of a deal under Marriott where it quickly became 35,000 points per night.

The hotel’s owner also has the nearby Holiday Inn and DoubleTree as well as the Days Inn and Sterling Inn on the Canadian side of the Falls and is developing a Holiday Inn Express across from the DoubleTree and a 41 unit project to rent out on Airbnb.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I think this article is funny but misreads the situation slightly.

    1) Is “iconic” supposed to be sarcastic? At first I thought it definitely was but then at the end you go on to state that it used to be an incredible use of SPG points for people. So maybe it was iconic in terms of cent per point? I’ve been reading your blog for nearly a decade and don’t recall it being mentioned before. Then again, you rarely flag incredible hotel redemption opportunities in the style of a Frequent Miler or even a OMAAT-type blog.

    2) I don’t read them as investing to adhere to “higher” Best Western standards. First of all, the investment seems inordinately small, if you read between the lines. I am guessing this is just to match color schemes, etc. I’d be shocked to hear that something with much less demonstrable uniformity and a lower fee structure (BW) has higher standards than 4P. In fact, my lived experience (half a dozen BWs in 2019 and half a dozen 4P hotels) dictates the exact opposite.

    3) I think a lot of this is Marriott over-saturating these markets. It must have been fun to be the second SPG property in a region. To be the 7th or 12th Marriott probably makes the high Marriott fees less justifiable relative to the first Best Western. There are Best Western “people” out there, misguided as they are. (Every time I invest in their program I find myself disappointed.)

  2. This hotel, as well as the Sheraton are both quite dumpy and overpriced for what they are in NF.

  3. Under the SPG program, this was a good cheap redemption for good location in Niagara Falls (which I guess everyone should visit once in their lives). Once Marriott raised the redemption cost, the property became irrelevant. It’s departure from the Marriott program is meaningless to almost everyone.

  4. I think the term iconic tends to be overused. If everything is iconic do icons actually exist.

  5. Is there any possible way for you to please make it so that your entire articles open in feedly, instead of having to click multiple times to get to the website to read? Other blogs I follow all are able to do this, I was wondering if you can please try to do this as well as it makes it a lot more readable.

  6. The Sheraton is a dump. They also charge an absurd RESORT FEE even though it is not a resort. Frankly, I’m surprised this hotel hasn’t been de-flagged or re-flagged. The reality is there are too many Marriott hotels in Niagara Falls for a destination that is AT MOST leisure travelers spending 1 night. This is especially true on the New York side, as Niagara Falls, Ontario, gets a fair number of Canadian conventions but the U.S. side, which actually has better views of the falls, is a complete dump. There is one good restaurant in the entire downtown!

    I wonder if this is actually a case similar to that in Thailand, where owners feel like there probably is being neglected by Marriott’s marketing. Don’t forget … in Niagara Falls, there are:

    3 Marriotts; two in Ontario and one in N.Y.
    2 Sheratons; one in Ontario and one in N.Y.
    2 Courtyards; one in Ontario and one in N.Y.
    1 Fairfield
    1 Four Points left; Ontario (was two with this one in N.Y.)

    There are also another half-dozen Marriott properties of different brands 15 minutes away in Buffalo. In short, WAY TOO MANY PROPERTIES.

  7. Don’t forget the ex-Four Points in Niagara Falls was an oddity in Four Points in that it had a full-service restaurant and ballrooms. I believe it was originally built and opened under a different brand. It could also be a case of Marriott wanting them to eliminate the restaurant and ballrooms to streamline Four Points within North America. I don’t think Marriott is a big fan of the handful of Four Points, Courtyard and even Fairfield properties that exceed brand standards by having real restaurants, etc.

    I also think it’s fair to say that Best Western’s Premier hotels are more full-service properties and quasi-boutiquey, hence how this hotel can operate without the actual Best Western name. I think Premier is BW’s second-highest brand.

    I’ve always been surprised that Best Western doesn’t get more attention because (a) they deflagged hundreds of properties several years ago that failed to modernize and (b) there are actually some very nice Best Western hotels in Europe that Marriott would love to have flagged as Tribute Portfolio or Autograph Collection properties.

  8. @ FNT Delta Diamond

    Agreed. I’ve done both. The US side is definitely better than hauling over to Canada. That park they have is very well laid out and there’s plenty of parking if just going for a few hours. And what more does one need?

  9. I can’t imagine why someone would stay at this hotel when the Marriott Fallsview, on the Canadian side is a better choice. There are more restaurants, a casino, oh and did I mention the absolutely best view of the falls from your room!

  10. @John Galt As sketchy and downtrodden as American Niagara Falls is, the Canadian Niagara Falls is a huge tourist crap — like just absurd. The hideous city planning has ruined the view and cityscape. It’s a textbook example of city planning and zoning gone wrong.

  11. This is an excessively liberal use of the word “iconic.”

    The Canadian side has a much better view despite that it is an awful tourist trap.

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