Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Design Hotels is one of the most niche brands in Marriott’s portfolio.
Started in 1993, this Berlin-based company was acquired under a majority 72% ownership by Starwood Hotels Group. And when Marriott merged with Starwood, it absorbed Design Hotels by extension. Since then, Marriott has increased its ownership to nearly 100%.
Today, Design Hotels has a footprint of over 300 properties on 6 continents and 35 countries, with a special emphasis on boutique European properties. Over one-third of these properties participate in Marriott Bonvoy.
In this guide, we’ll show you the ins and outs of Design Hotels, including what to expect if you make a booking. We’ll then show you our absolute favorite Design Hotels to book with points!
Essentially, Design Hotels is unique because it doesn’t actually operate or manage any of its portfolio hotels — instead, it acts behind the scenes as a partner to help hotels streamline and optimize marketing, sales, distribution, and other key components of a hotel.
Independent hotels are hand-picked by Design Hotels to join its umbrella and enjoy a wide range of services to bring additional growth to the property. In return, Design Hotels charges its hotel owners a membership fee and offers them a menu of services on an à la carte basis.
The ideal Design Hotels guest is interested in an aesthetic experience (ideally through thought-provoking architecture), local culture, and creative takes on luxury without falling into a “cookie-cutter” mold that many hotel brands are guilty of offering.
Design Hotels that participate in Marriott Bonvoy (100+ properties) offer Marriott Bonvoy Elite members the following perks:
The following elite benefits do not apply to Design Hotels:
Marriott Bonvoy is the name of Marriott’s loyalty program and currently, the best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from credit cards is through its co-branded offerings from Chase and American Express.
A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Casual travelers who like to frequent properties that are part of the Marriott Bonvoy collection of brands may want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.
The Marriott Bold card rewards cardholders for Marriott stays and gives them a boost towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual free night award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.
If you’re a frequent traveler and a Marriott loyalist, there’s a lot to love about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The card comes packed with several great benefits like a free hotel night once a year, automatic Silver Elite status (with a fast-track to Gold Elite status), and multiple options for redeeming points.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.
A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.
So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, but Design Hotels offers some incredible sweet spots to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points at!
Most of these hotels command a hefty premium for stays booked with cash, but luckily, these properties have reasonable rates when booking with points, which is why we love these redemptions.
Let’s get into our comprehensive list of the best redemptions at Design Hotels with Marriott Bonvoy points.
Santa Monica Proper Hotel is a one-of-a-kind, 5-star hotel in one of America’s most expensive beachside areas: Santa Monica!
The standard room reward is a Deluxe King room or Deluxe Double Queen room, measuring at least 375 square feet large. The rooms feature warm décor and a generous sitting area with a couch, an armchair, a table, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Additionally, there’s a coffeemaker, tea facilities, Bluetooth speakers, a mini-fridge, and a flat-screen TV.
In the spacious marble bathroom, you’ll find a walk-in shower, a single vanity, bathrobes, slippers, and deluxe Aēsop amenities.
There’s a restaurant serving cultural-crossover cuisine with sustainably produced ingredients from Mexico and the L.A. farmers markets and a rooftop poolside restaurant and bar serving Mediterranean cuisine.
The gym is open 24/7, there’s a rooftop heated pool, complimentary electric bicycle rentals, plus an Ayurvedic spa.
Santa Monica Proper Hotel charges 50,000 points+ per night.
Your points will go a long way here because cash rates average around $650 per night. Alternatively, low season rates are around $550 per night, while rooms go for $800 per night during prime weekends.
Hot Tip: Santa Monica is close to some of Southern California’s best beaches. You can also check out our guide to the best things to do in Los Angeles, from kid-friendly activities to museums to Hollywood experiences.
One of the most aesthetic hotels in the entire portfolio, Nobis Hotel Copenhagen is housed in a landmark, grand building with just 75 rooms. It was formerly the building that housed the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music!
Conveniently located just a 6-minute walk from Tivoli Gardens and an 8-minute walk from Copenhagen Central Station, this all-king bed hotel consists of cozy rooms measuring at least 215 square feet in size each.
Every room has a 4-poster king bed as its centerpiece, though there’s also a small sitting area with an armchair and a desk. The room also has a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi.
The glorious marble bathroom gleams with grandeur and has a walk-in shower, a single vanity, luxury toiletries, bathrobes, slippers, and a hairdryer.
There’s 1 full-service restaurant here focused on French-Nordic modern fusion experiences.
You’ll also find a 24/7 gym, a sauna, a hammam, and a small meeting room.
As you can expect, Marriott regards this property highly so it costs at least 50,000 points per night for an award redemption.
Cash rates range between $450 to $650 per night, with the average being around $550 per night.
5-star hotels in Cannes cost a pretty penny, especially during the prime film festival season. The Five Seas Hotel Cannes is no exception — the one-of-a-kind property takes you on a visual journey throughout your stay, whether it’s through its public spaces or art.
With a convenient location behind the famous Promenade de la Croisette, you’ll be able to easily access everything the city has to offer.
Each room is at least 323 square feet large and features either a double bed or 2 twin beds. You’ll also find a minibar, a desk, a sitting area with an armchair and a table, as well as free Wi-Fi.
The bathroom contains a shower-tub combo with a rain showerhead, single vanity, bathrobes, slippers, and a hairdryer.
You’ll find that the main attraction is the rooftop terrace restaurant overlooking Le Suquet quarter that services French and international dishes — though there’s also room service available.
There’s a 24/7 fitness center, plus a rooftop, outdoor heated infinity pool open 24/7. Alternatively, rejuvenate with a spa treatment!
This hotel charges 50,000+ points per night for award redemptions.
During the low season, room rates are around $275 per night, but during the high season, this explodes to $850 per night. On average, room rates are usually around $600 per night.
101 Hotel, Reykjavik, a Member of Design Hotels, is Iceland’s first boutique hotel, established in 2003. It’s a short 6-minute walk from the harborfront and an 11-minute walk from Hallgrímskirkja.
This striking hotel has rooms with either 1 king or 1 queen bed and each measures at least 280 square feet large. Each room is furnished with a proper desk and workspace, a flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi.
The bathroom contains a shower-tub combination, bathrobes, slippers, and a hairdryer.
You’ll find an upscale restaurant and bar, as well as a gym, a spa, a hot tub, and a steam room.
101 Hotel, Reykjavik, a Member of Design Hotels can be booked starting at about 50,000 points per night.
If you decide to book a stay with cash, expect to part ways with around $400 to $525 per night. The average room rate is usually around $475 per night.
One of France’s historic hotels in Saint Rémy de Provence, Hotel de Tourrel boasts a superb 17th-century mansion location next to Musée des Alpilles and around a mile from the Glanum archaeological site.
With just 7 suites in the entire hotel, this property enables you to experience true boutique luxury.
Enjoy 1 king or 2 twin beds, at least 323 square feet of real estate, town views, a sitting area with 2 armchairs and coffee table, a desk, free Wi-Fi, and a flat-screen TV. There’s also a minibar area with coffee and tea facilities.
The marble bathroom has a single vanity, a walk-in shower, bathrobes, slippers, a wall-mounted make-up mirror, heated floors, and a hairdryer.
As far as dining options go, the main restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin Star in 2019 for its French and Mediterranean cuisine — there’s a more casual rooftop terrace restaurant available, too.
On the premises, you’ll find a rooftop pool for maximum relaxation.
Hôtel de Tourrel offers free nights starting around 50,000 points per night.
While the average room rate is around $430 per night, room rates can drop as low as $325 per night or be as high as $500 per night.
Hospes Maricel & Spa, Palma de Mallorca, a Member of Design Hotels is a renaissance-style resort with striking architecture featuring archways and columns.
It’s a 1-minute walk from Caló d’es Macs Beach and 3 miles from Palma de Mallorca-Barcelona ferry terminal.
All rooms have either a king bed or 2 twin beds, and the standard room reward (Natura Dreamer Room) even has a private pool! It measures 409 square feet large, has a separate sitting area with 2 armchairs and a table, and a flat-screen TV.
Its bathroom contains a shower, bathrobes, slippers, luxury toiletries, and a hairdryer.
For dining, there’s a chic restaurant and bar with an outdoor terrace boasting sea views.
Other amenities include an indoor and outdoor pool (both heated), a solarium, and a full spa with exquisite treatment services.
This incredible resort will have you relaxing in classic Spanish luxury starting at around 50,000 points per night.
If you happen to be paying for a stay here, your slice of Mallorcan paradise can be had for as little as $175 per night during the low season; realistically, expect to pay around $450 on average, but the high season swell may cause room rates to shoot all the way up to $850 per night!
One of Palm Springs’s finest bungalow-style resorts, Avalon Hotel & Bungalows Palm Springs is a fabulous way to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points.
The Spanish, mission-style property is situated in landscaped gardens in the San Jacinto Mountains foothills just an 11-minute walk from Palm Springs Art Museum and 7 miles from Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
Each standard room is at least 250 square feet large and equipped with either 1 king bed or 2 queen beds. Within each room, you’ll find plush Italian linens, an outdoor patio, a flat-screen TV, Bluetooth speakers, minibars, free Wi-Fi, and a shower-tub combination.
There’s 1 full-service restaurant offering a variety of Californian dishes with a focus on clean eating and wellness. Check out the 24/7 gym, spa, free yoga classes, 3 outdoor pools, and sundecks with cabanas. Meeting space is available, too.
If you’re ready for a Californian desert vacation, you can book rooms here starting around 50,000 points per night.
If you’re paying cash, you can expect to spend around $425 per night on average, though rates can fluctuate between $250 per night and $950 per night.
Mira Moon Hong Kong, a Member of Design Hotels should not be confused with The Mira Hong Kong, which is known to be the inferior choice overall.
With either 1 queen bed or 1 king bed, you’ll have no problem getting comfortable in this boutique hotel. Each room is tech-savvy and has at least 226 square feet of space. You’ll find Nespresso coffee and Chinese tea facilities, free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, and complimentary use of a 4G smartphone during your stay.
The marble bathroom has a toilet room, a single vanity, a walk-in rain shower, and much more.
Here, there’s a tapas/cocktail bar, an intimate terrace restaurant, and a Champagne lounge, as well as a 24/7 gym to stay active.
A hidden gem, this 5-star hotel starts at just 30,000 points per night.
Mira Moon Hong Kong is a 5-star property bookable with cash for $210 to $650 per night, with average room rates of around $300 per night.
Hot Tip: Take a look at the most attractive frequent flyer programs to fly to Hong Kong with points and miles.
Giardano Lago, Minusio-Locarno, a Member of Design Hotels is an elite lakeside hotel offering sublime accommodations in Switzerland.
Situated alongside the pristine shores of Lake Maggiore, this 5-star hotel is a 6-minute walk from the nearest bus stop and less than 3 miles from Visconteo Castle.
Each equipped with 1 king or 2 twin beds, the standard rooms are each at least 140 square feet large. These cozy rooms each have a flat-screen TV, a small corner desk, a petite balcony, and a bathroom with a shower-tub combination.
Here, there’s 1 full-service restaurant offering al fresco dining with lake views, as well as a rooftop terrace.
You’ll also have direct lake access, complimentary bicycle rentals, and more.
A legendary Design Hotels property, Giardino Lago costs as little as 30,000 points per night.
You’re paying a premium for the property’s location, facilities, and amenities. This 5-star luxury retreat charges anywhere from $375 per night during the low season to $500 per night during the high season — on average, expect to spend around $450 per night.
Hotel Lone, Rovinj, a Member of Design Hotels is one of Croatia‘s premier properties. Just a 7-minute walk from Mulini Beach and less than 5 miles from Monkodonja’s fort, this hotel has a lot going for it.
Each room boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony, plus flat-screen TVs, a minibar, 1 queen bed, 355 square feet of space, and a separate sitting area.
All the bathrooms consist of a shower-tub combination, a lighted makeup mirror, bathrobes, slippers, a hairdryer, and luxury bath and body products.
There are 3 restaurants: 1 Mediterranean, 1 international, and 1 Japanese. 24/7 room service is also available.
This luxurious property features an indoor heated pool, an outdoor pool, beach access with loaner beach umbrellas and chairs, complimentary bicycle rentals, a spa, and even a kids’ pool!
This seductive property can be booked starting around 30,000 points per night.
On average, room rates sit around $250 per night, though you can find low-season rates of $150 per night or high season rates of $500 per night.
Myconian Kyma, a fantastic 5-star Design Hotels property on the timeless island of Mykonos, represents a fantastic way to redeem points for a vacation to Greece.
The rooms in this luxurious and secluded retreat measure 280 square feet large at a minimum and are furnished with 1 king bed or 2 twin beds. Boasting sea views, a separate sitting area, a desk, and a bathroom with a shower-tub combination, these rooms will help you recharge in posh luxury.
The main restaurant, NOA, offers Greek and international delicacies served on a terrace that overlooks the sea. The hotel offers a rooftop pool with cabanas, as well as a spa with plunge pools, steam rooms, and more.
Myconian Kyma is a posh hotel that can be booked starting around 30,000 points per night. If paying with cash, you’ll see prices of as little as $175 per night, as high as $450 per night, or around $300 per night on average.
Our next redemption is a swanky 4-star hotel in the heart of Mexico City’s trendiest neighborhood, Condesa.
Known as CONDESA df, this hotel is nestled on a tree-lined street just 1 mile from Chapultepec Castle and less than 2 miles from the Chapultepec park. This unique property emphasizes playful and authentic experiences, as well as an eclectic aesthetic.
Each standard room reward room has 1 queen bed, 226 square feet of space, a balcony, a sitting area, and a bathroom with a shower-tub combination. Plus, there’s a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi.
Offered for enjoyment is a Mexican and French fusion restaurant housed in the property’s patio, plus a rooftop sushi bar, a fitness center, and more.
CONDESA df can be booked for as few as 30,000 points per night. Paid room rates hover around $300 to $800 per night, but the average is usually around $450 per night.
Eremito, which is probably the most unique property in this guide, is situated in the secluded Umbrian woods of Terni, Italy. This wellness retreat was formerly a monastery that was reinvented into an uber-popular eco-resort!
The old luxury property is hidden in 7,413 acres of Umbrian nature reserves. Each of the rooms is simple — 97 square feet, 1 wrought-iron French bed, a shower, and a bathroom.
In true traditional fashion, Eremito serves Mediterranean vegetarian cuisine — dinner is eaten in silence, a nod to monasticism’s rituals. There’s also a bar, a spa, an indoor pool, a steam room, and a gym.
If you were ever looking for a unique, luxe stay here, you’ll redeem at least 20,000 points per night. Paid room rates typically don’t fluctuate much, sitting squarely at $400 per night.
One of the most prestigious lakeside vacation spots in the world is Lake Como. C-Hotel & Spa allows you to savor a minimalist luxury refuge in a boutique setting without shelling out tons of points or cash.
A family-run resort, you’ll find a total of 18 suites, all soundproofed and climate-controlled. All rooms contain a king bed, have a minimum of 323 square feet of space, and come with amenities like a desk, free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
All bathrooms have a sleek vanity, a walk-in shower, designer bath amenities, and more.
There’s an Italian breakfast eatery and a chic traditional Italian dinner restaurant serving up fresh, local cuisine and wine pairings by oenologist Marco Colzani.
Other amazing retreat amenities include 3 thermal pools, a Turkish bath, a solarium, a shopping boutique, an art collection, and even a family-run confectionery!
You can book stays here starting at around 20,000 points per night.
On average, expect to pay around $265 per night with rate fluctuations between $225 per night during the low season and $475 per night during the high season.
AnaYela was transformed from a 300-year old palace in 2007; today, this incredible property has just 3 rooms and 2 suites, each offering at least 269 square feet of space.
In the standard rooms, there’s a king-sized bed, an outdoor terrace, a separate living/sitting area, free Wi-Fi, a round bathtub, a single vanity, and a private patio sitting area by the pool.
There’s a full-service restaurant that offers sit-down-style dining, as well as options poolside or at the lounging areas!
This traditional hotel has a rooftop terrace overlooking the historic quarter in Marrakesh, as well as a heated limestone pool and a lush indoor courtyard.
Standard room rewards are bookable starting at around 20,000 points per night. You can also book this hotel using cash for around $250 per night, but room rates are usually around $200 to $350 per night.
Hotel Pacai, a Member of Design Hotels, is a one-of-a-kind 5-star luxury hotel in the heart of Vilnius’s Old Town.
This former 17th-century mansion combines authentic experiences with striking architecture and modern amenities. It’s just a short, 9-minute walk from Gate of Dawn and half a mile from the Vilnius train station.
Regardless of which room you’re in, you’ll notice parquet floors, beamed ceilings, and modern décor. Offering either 1 queen bed or 2 twin beds, the standard rooms are around 237 square feet each. There’s a desk, a sitting area with a lounge chair, a flat-screen TV, Nespresso coffee- and tea-making facilities, and a beautiful bathroom with a shower-tub combination, a bidet, a single vanity, and marble tiling throughout.
The main international restaurant is as posh as can be, though reservations are required. There’s also a cocktail bar, a brasserie, as well as a gym.
You can book a pampering spa treatment using high-tech skincare and Lithuanian herbs.
If visiting Lithuania is of interest to you, you can redeem Marriott Bonvoy points at this property at a rate starting around 20,000 points per night.
As an alternative, you can also spend a nightly average rate of $230, a low season rate of $210 per night, or a high season rate of $250 per night here!
Design Hotels are some of the most wonderful boutique hotels that Marriott Bonvoy has to offer.
Sure, not all of the 300+ Design Hotels properties participate in Marriott Bonvoy (which means you can’t earn and redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for free stays there), but for the 100+ participating properties, it’s easy to get outsized value.
Just remember that you won’t be entitled to all Marriott Bonvoy Elite benefits, though you certainly do have access to most of them.
Also, take note that some Design Hotels properties are unique and quirky — so if you’re expecting a classic Four Seasons luxury experience, be sure to double-check that the hotel you’re booking offers the experience you want.
We are huge fans of the 4- and 5-star hotels in the Design Hotels portfolio, and hopefully, we inspired you with some ideas for your next big points hotel redemption!
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Design Hotels refers to a brand within Marriott International. These hotels are typically independent boutique hotels that leverage the Design Hotels brand partnerships for sales, PR, distribution, and marketing needs.
No. Only approximately ~100 Design Hotels are part of the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio out of a total of 300+ properties. Because only select properties participate in Marriott Bonvoy, you’ll want to check to see if you can earn and redeem Marriott Bonvoy points at the property you’re browsing.
A Design Hotels property is a hotel that evokes unique experiences through provocative architecture, local flair, and refreshing takes on luxury. All of these hotels seek to offer well-heeled travelers a quintessential boutique hotel experience.
Marriott acquired a majority stake in Design Hotels after it merged with Starwood Hotels Group in 2016.
There are currently approximately 101 Design Hotels that participate in Marriott Bonvoy (out of 300+). They are spread out across 6 continents and 35 countries, primarily in Europe.
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This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.