#Bonvoyed Again: Residence Inn Miami Beach Surfside Stealth Category Increase

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Marriott makes sweeping changed of the award categories for their hotels once per year, this year it went into effect on 3/5.

But apparently that didn’t stop hotels from changing categories at other points during the year.

The Residence Inn Miami Beach Surfside flat out lied and #Bonvoyed me earlier this year when it came to my Marriott Titanium elite upgrade benefits.

I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise when they have memos like these saying that they won’t tolerate upgrades without approval.

When I stayed there in July they were a category 4 property, but as DDF member Agoldsc1 points out, they have gone up from a category 4 to a category 5 hotel.

A couple of months ago they were still a category 4, charging 25K points/night.

 

Some time afterward, they became a category 5:

 

Marriott has also added peak pricing, so a category 5 can cost 30K, 35K, or 40K points per night.

As credit card anniversary nights only work up to 35K points, that means you can’t use your certificates for 40K peak nights at this hotel:

 

Also, watch out for restrictive cancellation policies, requiring cancellation more than a month before the stay. While SPG allowed you to forfeit points for missing a cancellation deadline, Marriott actually charges you the full nightly paid rate:

 

Throw in resort fees (waived by Hyatt and Hilton on award nights, but not waived by Marriott) for a hotel that isn’t even on the beach and this place is a real winner!

Have you noticed category changes at other hotels after March 5th?

Bonvoy!

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39 Comments On "#Bonvoyed Again: Residence Inn Miami Beach Surfside Stealth Category Increase"

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El Capitan

Would it be fair to say at this point that the best way for someone who just started the CC and points game and doesn’t have SPG points from years back to book a bonvoy property would be through the chase travel portal considering all the game Marriott plays with their points?

usernamechuck

As covered elsewhere, the Courtyard / Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach… it changed categories from 4 to 5 in October, when it was rebranded. We had made one weeklong reservation using a travel package, but we had been planning to make another for family, and possibly change dates. I’m just glad we reserved before it jumped!

Ari

To be fair, spg also charged resort fees at lots of properties that had no pretense of being a ‘resort’. And Marriot does have the biggest footprint, so they can basically do whatever they want.

Morty

The hotel is “surfside” and yet you’re saying it’s not on the beach? How is that even possible??

A

I think I’m ready to cancel the bonvoy card altogether. Waste of a $95 fee at the moment unless you are getting use out of the reward night

a

on a rewards booking cant you just put a gift card to hold the room for incidentals and if you had to cancel they wouldn’t be able to charge you the nightly rate?

CtownBin

I would think they would try to place a hold on the gift card and wouldn’t accept it unless the hold went through. And you wouldn’t be able to liquidate the gc until the hold was released.

danstalmid

whatever happened to booking travel package category 9 before the merger were you able to swap and rebook for a 7 night travel package for maldive st regis did anyone have success all the bloggers were talking about it i wonder if it worked out for those that booked domes of elounda and then tried to swap for a maldive st regis

Ani Maamin

This hotel got very abused by points users since it opened.

Agoldsc1

What does it mean to get abused by points users? That many people redeemed their points there as intended, and the hotel was duly compensated for the stays by Marriott?

Sol

@dan i recently this week stayed at st regis bal harbour wow what a unpleasant stay it was also they wanted 225k points a night did you realize the beds there ! 10 yrs old have a massive dent in them they switched me 3 rooms all horrible mattresses not what id consider luxury

Dr Harvey Lang

I was there over the weekend and I thought their charges (in dollars) were very reasonable.
The hotel was quite nice. I believe each room is a suite. Probably 1/3 the prices of ocean feont

Danfan5773

just if someone didn’t realize Four points Miami beach on 43rd and Collins av just changed names to fur palms and is not with Marriott anymore.

and i also checked the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne for any date available for points and noting is available so what a difference if its cat 6 or 8 when they lock all award night availability.

Joe4007

I love how the end of that upgrade memo blends into the overall tune of it: “One Team. One Goal”

yyztlv

Many properties in NYC also had an “unannounced” cat change. sneaky!

Yoni

This happened four months ago. hate bonvoy

zow

We are scheduled to stay there next week, using a 7-day voucher. We plan to leave after 4 days. Are we going to have to pay for all 7 days of Resort Fees, or will they let us check out early and truncate the fee assessment?

how

how will they know. call on day 7 and check out

DSK

@Danfan5773–I have three nights on points at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne in April. Trick that worked for me is to search each night individually and make three separate reservations. Not sure why they would give me three consecutive one-night stays and block me from making a three-night stay on points, but there you go.

yuneeq

It’s possible they didn’t have the same room available for 3 consecutive nights.

CtownBin

This. Which means you might end up having to switch rooms each night.
Having said that, It might still be a decent strategy. After you book it there is a decent chance they may be able to accommodate you and you won’t have to switch rooms. But you do have to be willing to switch rooms in case it does come to that, If there is no way you’d be willing to go through that hassle then this strategy isn’t for you.

DSK

Have done this many times at different hotels. In each case, I call the hotel before check-in and advise them of my multiple reservations, and I also advise them at check-in. The only hassle I have ever had is each morning, I need to stop by the front desk to have my keys redone for the “next day reservation. I have never been asked or been required to change rooms. As always, YMMV. CtownBin is right in that theoretically, they can force you to change rooms–maybe I’ve been lucky but that has never been my experience.

shiframeir

This wasnt even so bad, check out how they #bonvoyed Beverly Hills. there used to be 3 Category 5 options in the jewish pico area (along with a bunch of higher class options), but at the end of the summer they magically switched the Residence Inn and new AC hotel to category six, i presume mainly because too many yidden were cashing in their Free Night Awards (which can’t book beyond Cat 5). so I’m stuck with a reservation at the new Avalon which looks great but wont guarantee me a double bed room (only 2 person king rooms are bookable for points) for us and the kids.

E&N

With Marriott, if you use 2 anniversary nights (Marriott Chase and Marriott AMEX) and points for 2 nights for a total of 4 consecutive nights, do you qualify for the 5th night free?

CtownBin

Would love to know the answer to this as well. Though in my case it’s 4 free night certificates. Though I can always keep 1 and use one night on points if that gets me free 5th night.

Want To Feel Gut

I did not get good feelings at Sheraton Atlantic City and Courtyard Atlantic City

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