The Ritz-Carlton Reserve joins Marriott Bonvoy
It’s exciting – Ritz Carlton Reserve is joining Marriott Bonvoy, meaning members will be able to earn and redeem points, as well as enjoy elite benefits, for stays at these properties.
What is the Ritz-Carlton Reserve?
For those unfamiliar, Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a collection of a handful of spectacular resorts. What is the difference between Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties and standard Ritz-Carlton resorts?
Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties range from 50 to 115 rooms, so they are truly intimate properties with personalized service. Meanwhile, some of the Ritz-Carlton resorts are essentially luxury factories, many with more than 300 rooms. So the properties are in completely different leagues and will offer a very different experience than what you’ll find at your average Ritz-Carlton.
Currently, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve has five locations:
- Dorado Beach is a 115-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve property located in Dorado, Puerto Rico.
- Higashiyama is a 50-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve property located in Niseko, Japan.
- Mandapa is a 60-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in Bali, Indonesia
- Phulay Bay is a 54-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in Krabi, Thailand
- Zadun is a 115-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in Los Cabos, Mexico
I’ve reviewed Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve (in Puerto Rico) and Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve (in Los Cabos), so check out those reviews. Both hotels were amazing.
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve joins Marriott Bonvoy
While Ritz-Carlton Reserve is owned by Marriott, the brand has not participated in Marriott Bonvoy at all so far. That is, you could not earn or redeem points, or enjoy elite benefits, for stays at Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties. It’s finally changing, and I consider it exciting.
As of today (April 14, 2022), Ritz-Carlton Reserve is owned by Marriott Bonvoy. Let’s go over the details of what you can expect.
Earn points at Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties
Marriott Bonvoy members will earn points at Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties at the same rate they would at other Marriott properties:
- Earn 10x points per dollar spent at Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties
- Receive 10-75% elite point bonuses, depending on your status
- If you pay with a Marriott co-branded credit card, you’ll earn bonus points for your Marriott spending
Members will also earn an Elite night for each night spent, and those nights will also count towards lifetime status.
Redeem points at Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties
It is now also possible to redeem points for stays at Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties. Marriott Bonvoy recently eliminated rewards tables, though we’re told to expect Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties to cost between 80,000 and 240,000 points per night at launch. For context, I have historically priced Bonvoy points at around 0.7 cents each.
Marriott Bonvoy’s fifth night free also applies to Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties. Cash + Points reservations will also be possible, although I find these are generally not very good value.
Elite Benefits at Ritz-Carlton Reserve Properties
Marriott Bonvoy members can enjoy select elite benefits at Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties. Below is a chart showing what members can expect.
Some specific points to note:
- Unsurprisingly, elite members don’t get free breakfast, just like they do with Ritz-Carlton properties.
- There’s not even a room upgrade benefit for elite members
- It’s unique that Ambassador members receive a $150 resort credit at Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties, as this is the first time we’ve seen a benefit like this.
What is the value of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve by joining Marriott Bonvoy?
Seeing Ritz-Carlton Reserve join Marriott Bonvoy is generally exciting. I guess there are many ways to look at it.
On the redemption side, I don’t think the value here will be that huge:
- I expect reward prices to closely reflect the rates paid, and there probably won’t be too much outsized value to be had.
- At the same time, if you have a lot of points, this is your opportunity to redeem points at Marriott Bonvoy’s most luxurious properties.
- The fact that there is no breakfast or room upgrade will take away some value for elite members
Personally, I think it’s more exciting on the point-earning side:
- You’ll get the best value when you book through the Marriott STARS program, offering perks like free breakfast, $100 credit, room upgrade, and more.
- I consider the Marriott Bonvoy points you can earn here as the equivalent of a discount in terms of the cost of a stay; for example, as a Bonvoy Titanium member paying with a co-branded credit card, I would now earn 23 times the Bonvoy points per dollar spent, which is significant
- Then there’s the general value of being able to earn elite nights, spend on Ambassador, etc., for Ritz-Carlton Reserve stays.
At the end of the line
Marriott Bonvoy has added Ritz-Carlton Reserve as a participating brand, which is exciting. This is undoubtedly Marriott Bonvoy’s most luxurious brand, and these properties are amazing.
Just keep in mind that redemption rates at these properties will be high (reflecting the cost of staying in cash) and elite perks will be limited (there are no upgrades or breakfast free). I think the best value here is for those who were going to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties anyway, because now you can be rewarded significantly for those stays.
What do you think of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve joining Marriott Bonvoy?