UPDATE 3/18/2021: Increased sign-up offers of 125,000 pts + $200 dining credit on Bonvoy Brilliant and 100,000 pts + $150 statement credit on Bonvoy Business!
In January 2020, I used points to redeem for a night's stay at the Courtyard Marriott Taipei Downtown (台北國泰萬怡酒店) while on a road-trip with my parents. The central location, free parking, modern design (opened in 2018), sweeping city views along with a very reasonable award rate were some reasons why I chose this property.
Please note that this is NOT a professional nor a comprehensive review of the property. I just want to share my experience staying at the hotel and how you too can book it on points! I unfortunately did not take many photos outside my room, so will be incorporating some photos from the official Marriott site.
When I made this booking, the Courtyard Downtown was considered a Category 3 property, so I was able to redeem one night using 17,500 Marriott Bonvoy points I earned through the 100,000 signup bonus offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card. Considering cash rates were around $170 USD/night, the redemption clocked in at just under 1.00 cent per point (cpp) - not bad for a points currency usually valued at 0.08 cpp!
This was definitely not one of those aspirational stays that really stretch the mileage of your points but still a very solid redemption, all things considered (especially in Asia where even lower-category hotels are incredibly nice).
Property categories get reviewed every year, so it is not unusual for some properties to move up (or down). Unfortunately as of this writing, this property is now considered a Category 4 on the Marriott Redemption Chart, so the points needed have increased to the range of 18,000 - 30,000 points, depending on demand.
The property is centrally located in Taipei City and is in walking distance to 3 MRT lines.
This Marriott also offers complimentary underground parking, a huge benefit as parking is usually expensive and hard to find in the city.
In addition, there are no direct structures obstructing the view of most rooms, so you are likely to get a good view of the city!
Marriott allows all members to check-in early through the app and reach out to hotel staff for any needs or inquiries. Although my Marriott Bonvoy Business by American Express grants me Silver elite status, it's really not that useful in getting high value benefits like suite upgrades, free breakfast, and lounge access (you'll need at least Gold or Platinum to really feel the difference).
However, I still wanted to try my luck and was actually able to get a small upgrade to a high floor (16th Floor) Taipei 101-facing room (see screenshot below)! I wasn't expecting anything, so this was definitely a nice surprise and made my parents very happy! When we finally arrived, the hotel staff was also incredibly friendly and helped us get settled (customer service is amazing in Taiwan, especially at this hotel!). They also granted us a later check-out time.
More pictures below...
Some more from the official site...
The Courtyard Marriott Downtown has many amenities, including fitness center, restaurants, business facilities, and a rooftop lounge. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I was only able to check out the gym.
You can even see planes making their landing approach at Songshan Airport nearby!
And here are some additional photos of the amenities from the official Marriott website...
As previously mentioned, we were given a room on the 16th floor with a view of Taipei 101. Overall, a pretty standard room but one that is very modern, clean, and beautifully designed.
I especially loved the large floor-to-ceiling windows and the sofa next to it. I probably spent a good amount of time just staring out at the beautiful scenery.
And some photos from the official Marriott site...
In summary, I feel I got excellent value out of this redemption. We were impressed with everything, from the room to the hotel staff. Especially since this was just a quick stop on our overall journey and our schedule didn't leave much time to spend at the hotel anyways, we didn't need extra resort-like amenities that would usually come at higher cost in points. If I find myself on a quick stop in Taipei, I'll definitely consider staying here again!
We might not be anywhere close to being able to travel again yet, but this is a great time to start thinking about where you may want to visit post-pandemic. Furthermore, there are many great credit card bonuses now, so this may be a great opportunity to start earning some points! That way, when things open up again, you'll be ready with the points to travel the world for free!
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