In general Marriott Bonvoy’s switch to dynamic pricing of free room nights has been a huge devaluation but here are still sometimes genuine opportunities with the currency. Right now overwater villas with a private pool at the St. Regis Maldives – an aspirational property if there ever was one – can be redeemed starting at just 88,000 points with wide open availability.
Actually finding room nights here is what’s great, since Marriott doesn’t require ‘all suite’ properties to release a minimum number of their rooms for redemption. And fifth night is free, making the cost start at just over 70,000 points per night for a five night stay. And if you’re going to come all this way, you’re not going to want to be here just for a night or two.
There’s even good availability during peak season for just a few more points (98,000 – 110,000 points per night for January – March 2024) however that will often book into a garden villa.
Like the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, all gloves are now off on St. Regis Maldives pricing, and the hotel often runs 150,000 points per night. That’s against an overwater villa that starts at $2450++, so you’re getting at least double what I normally expect for a Marriott point compared to room rate. And while Marriott lets hotels charge resort fees on redemption nights (Hilton and Hyatt do not), there is none at this hotel – just about $6 per night in taxes.
Here’s the nightly redemption cost calendar for September as an example:
In general you’re going to want to be in the Maldives November through March for the best (driest) weather. I’ve usually gone in February but I once went in May, which pushes into rainy season, and had an outstanding time – but there were some storms that would last for an hour or two and then the rest of the day would be great.
Bear in mind that the cost in the Maldives isn’t just the room – you’re going to pay for seaplane transfers and meals as well, though of course Platinum members and above receive free breakfast.
(HT: Thrifty Traveler)