How & Why To Book With Marriott STARS

by | Jul 17, 2023

You’re probably already familiar with Marriott Bonvoy and elite status benefits. But have you heard about Marriott STARS? Marriott STARS is a preferred partner benefits program for travel agents and advisors who book stays at select Marriott luxury brands. This program is designed for clients of travel agents and advisors and let you access benefits similar to elites without the qualifying requirements.

To be eligible, the stay needs to be booked through specific travel agents who are approved for the program. Marriott STARS is a premium benefits program getting guests who booked special benefits during their stay at specific luxury brands that are part of Marriott’s luxury portfolio.

In the following sections, we will explore the benefits of Marriott STARS, the brands that participate in the program, how to book a Marriott STARS experience, and finally, we will evaluate whether Marriott STARS is worth it for you.

What is Marriott STARS?

Marriott STARS is a unique program that stands out in the realm of hotel loyalty offerings. Unlike traditional loyalty programs that focus on earning points for stays, Marriott STARS is all about enhancing the guest experience. This means that when you book your stay through a Marriott STARS travel advisor, you get to enjoy the exclusive benefits of the program.

The program is a reimagined version of the past Ritz Carlton STARS program and the Starwood Luxury Privileges program, combining the best of both worlds.

Marriott runs a similar program for other premium brands that do not participate in STARS called Marriott Luminous.

The Benefits of Marriott STARS

The Marriott STARS program offers a host of benefits that can significantly enhance your travel experience. These include daily breakfast, hotel credits, and priority room upgrades, even at Ritz Carlton properties.

Booking through Marriott STARS will entitle you to perks during your stay that can elevate your travel experience. These perks include:

  • $100 USD or USD equivalent property credit per stay
  • Priority for complimentary room upgrade (based on availability upon arrival)
  • Daily complimentary full or continental breakfast for up to two people per room
  • Complimentary WIFI
  • Personalized welcome amenity & letter
  • Early check-in/late checkout, based on availability

As a Marriott STARS client, you can enjoy these perks at several Marriott luxury brands, making each stay a truly memorable experience. There is no minimum stay length.

One of the standout benefits of Marriott STARS is the daily breakfast. This can be better than just a basic free hotel breakfast or even the benefit included in Marriott’s elite breakfast benefit. Marriott STARS bookings can include a restaurant breakfast with everything from fresh pastries and juice, to high-quality coffee, and full hot breakfast options.

Another significant benefit is the credits. This can be used for a variety of services and amenities at the hotel, such as dining, spa services, or even room upgrades giving you the flexibility to customize your stay and enjoy the amenities that matter most to you.

Get breakfast and a property credit at The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo by booking with Marriott STARS
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

Participating Brands in Marriott STARS

Marriott STARS is not available at all Marriott properties. It’s exclusive to the highest-end brands within the Marriott portfolio.

The following brands participate in Marriott STARS.

  • Bulgari Hotels & Resorts
  • EDITION Hotels
  • The Luxury Collection
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • St. Regis

Each of these brands offers a unique experience, and with Marriott STARS, you can enjoy the best they have to offer.

If you’re planning a stay with Marriott that isn’t at one of these brands, keep in mind that other premium Marriott properties in other brands may participate in Marriott Luminous which offers similar guest benefits.

How to Book With Marriott STARS

Booking Marriott STARS is not as straightforward as booking a regular room. Since the program is designed for travel agents and advisors, you’ll need to book through a Marriott STARS travel advisor to enjoy the benefits.

To be eligible for Marriott STARS, travel agents and advisors must be enrolled in the Marriott Bonvoy program and have a minimum of 10 qualifying stays or 20,000 qualifying points in the previous year.

These advisors have access to exclusive rates and can provide personalized service to ensure your stay is as enjoyable as possible.

It’s worth noting that some travel agents and advisors will charge a booking fee but others don’t. They earn a commission from hotels for bookings so usually if the booking is big enough, advisors are willing to handle it without a charge.

When you book through a Marriott STARS travel advisor, it’s a complete travel experience. The advisor will work with you to understand your travel needs and preferences, and then use their expertise and connections to create a personalized itinerary. This can include everything from room selection to working with the concierge to book dining reservations, arrange local experiences or activities, and more.

Booking through a Marriott STARS travel advisor also gives you access to exclusive rates and offers. These can include special promotional rates, package deals, and even complimentary nights. This means that you can enjoy the benefits of Marriott STARS while also saving on your travel expenses.

You can read the full terms of Marriott STARS (from 2021) here.

Benefits of Marriott STARS vs. Bonvoy Status

If you have Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, you might be wondering whether booking with Marriott STARS can benefit you. After all, between breakfast, room upgrades, and late checkout, they have some common benefits.

For instance, Marriott Bonvoy Gold members and above are entitled to priority room upgrades when available. Platinum elites and above can be upgraded to suites with the exception of the Ritz-Carlton, while Titanium elites and Ambassadors can get suite upgrades at the Ritz-Carlton as well.

Marriott STARS also includes room upgrades, allowing you to enjoy the best rooms available during your stay.

Late check-out is another common benefit. Both Marriott Bonvoy Elite members and Marriott Stars clients can enjoy the flexibility of late check-out, giving you extra time to relax and enjoy your room on the day of departure.

Get late checkout at Luxury Collection Hotels with Marriott STARS -- Santo Mauro, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Madrid
Get late checkout at Luxury Collection Hotels with Marriott STARS

While there are overlapping benefits, the two programs are distinct in their offerings. Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status is a traditional loyalty program, where you earn points for stays that can be redeemed for free nights, flights, and other rewards.

The program has different tiers each offering a different level of benefits. Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status benefits apply automatically across Marriott’s ecosystem when you book directly with Marriott.

Marriott STARS, on the other hand, is a premium benefits program for bookings made through certain travel agents and advisors. It only applies to specific brands. It doesn’t operate on a points system or require staying a certain number of nights a year.

RequirementsSign up10+ nights a year25+ nights a year50+ nights a year75+ nights a year100+ nights & $23,000 in spending a year
Free WiFi☑️☑️☑️☑️☑️☑️
Bonus Points10%25%50%75%75%
Late Checkout☑️2 pm (when available)4 pm (guaranteed)4 pm (guaranteed)4 pm (guaranteed)
Elite Reservation Line☑️☑️☑️☑️☑️
Welcome GiftPointsPoints, elite breakfast, or amenityPoints, elite breakfast, or amenityPoints, elite breakfast, or amenity
Enhanced Room Upgrade
(when available)
Excluding suitesUp to select suites (except at Ritz-Carlton)Up to select suites (including Ritz-Carlton)Up to select suites (including Ritz-Carlton)
Lounge Access☑️☑️☑️
Guaranteed Room Type☑️☑️☑️
Annual Choice Benefit☑️☑️☑️
Additional Annual Choice Benefit☑️☑️
48-Hour Guarantee☑️☑️
Ambassador Service☑️

This means that you’ll have a travel advisor or agent to provide personalized service which can enhance your trips and represents a different approach compared to self-service bookings.

What Rates Will You Get With Marriott STARS?

Marriott STARS rates are generally equivalent to the “standard rate” bookings made through Marriott’s official website. Points bookings, member-only rates, or advance purchase rates are not eligible for Marriott STARS perks.

Marriott STARS eligible rate standard rate - Marriott STARS

To make it straightforward, if you search for a hotel’s rates on the website just look for the standard rates. Sometimes, there will be discounted rates through Marriott STARS. But generally, you’ll pay the standard rate but with all of the Marriott STARS perks included so you have an upgraded stay.

Is Marriott STARS Worth It?

If you’re booking a cash rate at a Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, EDITION, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, or St. Regis, then booking through a Marriott STARS advisor probably represents the best value.

Between the $100 USD property credit and complimentary breakfast for two, as well as complimentary room upgrades and early check-in/late checkout, there’s plenty of value. Even if you hold Marriott Ambassador status, elite members don’t get any property credit.

Marriott STARS bookings also include complimentary breakfast which can be quite valuable. The Marriott elite breakfast benefit doesn’t apply at Marriott STARS participating brands with the exception of the Luxury Collection and the St. Regis.

Beyond tangible benefits, booking with Marriott STARS means that you’re booking with a travel agent or advisor. That means more personalized service that could improve your travel experience in only the way a travel advisor can.

Bulgari Hotel & Resort, Milano - a Marriott STARS participating property
Marriott STARS benefits apply at Bulgari Hotels & Resorts which does not participate in Marriott Bonvoy

Bottom Line

Marriott STARS is a unique benefits program designed for clients of travel agents and advisors, offering a range of perks at select Marriott luxury brands. Unlike traditional loyalty programs, Marriott STARS focuses on enhancing the guest experience, offering benefits such as daily breakfast, hotel credits, and priority room upgrades without earning elite status. Instead, to access these benefits, stays must be booked through specific travel agents approved for the program.

Several luxury brands within the Marriott portfolio participate in STARS including Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, EDITION Hotels, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and St. Regis. While there are overlapping benefits with Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Marriott STARS offers elevated service to clients of select travel advisors and does not require maintaining status, making it a premium benefits program that doesn’t operate on a points system or require a certain number of nights per year.

travelspill square dark - Marriott STARS
Travel Spill

The latest aviation and travel news brought to you by the Travel Spill content team. Powered in part by Content Geniuses.

The latest aviation and travel news brought to you by the Travel Spill content team. Powered in part by Content Geniuses.
All posts by Travel Spill


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *