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These design-focused boutique hotels are now part of Marriott Bonvoy

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 1/22/2022 Tanner Saunders
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Looking for a new hotel big on design? Get ready because Design Hotels just added eight new hotels to its lineup — and three of them let you earn and redeem Marriott Bonvoy points.

If you’re unfamiliar with Design Hotels, don’t fret: The brand often flies under the radar, with high-end options like St. Regis and The Ritz-Carlton regularly stealing the limelight. Design Hotels’ portfolio features a variety of independent, luxury boutique hotels across the globe, though most can be found in Europe. While the brand itself is a member of Marriott Bonvoy, not all of its hotels participate in the program.

Marriott Bonvoy members who stay at participating Design Hotel properties can earn “limited” Marriott Bonvoy benefits. Those benefits include:

  • 10 points per dollar spent on eligible hotel charges.
  • Points bonus for Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members.
  • On-property benefits, including complimentary in-room internet access and in-room bottled water.
  • Redemption of free night certificates without blackout dates.
  • Welcome gift of points for Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members.
  • Room upgrades for Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members (subject to availability).
  • Priority late checkout for Silver Elite members (based on availability).
  • 2 p.m. late checkout for Gold Elite members (based on availability).
  • 4 p.m. late checkout for Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members (based on availability).

Related: 7 ways to maximize Marriott Bonvoy award night redemptions

However, Marriott Bonvoy members staying at participating Design Hotels will not receive the following program benefits:

  • Guaranteed room availability 48 hours before arrival.
  • Lounge access.
  • Suite Night Awards.
  • Your24 benefits.
  • Member rates.
  • Mobile check-in/services.
  • Marriott’s Ultimate Reservation Guarantee.
  • Guaranteed room type.
  • Gift shop discount.

Travelers who are Marriott Bonvoy members can earn points and elite night credits when they book via an official Marriott reservation channel, such as the Marriott Bonvoy website or app. You’ll have more than 120 participating Design Hotels to choose from — including 12 in the U.S., one in Canada, 61 in Europe, one in the Middle East, four in Africa, eight in Asia, one in Australia and 13 in Central America and the Caribbean — though you may want to prioritize the brand’s three newest program-participating additions.

New Marriott Bonvoy Design Hotels

To join Design Hotels, independent hotels have to go through a selection process and meet the brand’s criteria, which include the following factors, as laid out on the Marriott website:

  • Concept: Each Design Hotels property has a strong, unique identity and a distinguishing factor — the irrefutable thing that makes it wholly original.
  • Architecture & Design: Member properties feature thought-provoking design and architecture, in both public and personal spaces.
  • Local Integration: Members are more than hotels, offering a destination for travelers and locals alike.
  • The People Behind: Each Design Hotels property reflects the vision of an independent hotelier, an “Original” with a passion for cultural authenticity that is enhanced by thought-provoking design and architecture.
  • CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility): Member properties are focused on social and environmental responsibility, giving back to their local communities while also taking steps to drive global change.
  • Brand: Each property has its own strong brand, combining the property and local area’s culture and heritage with the Original’s passion.

Once a hotel is selected as a Design Hotel, it can decide whether or not to participate in Marriott Bonvoy.

In January, three of the brand’s eight new properties decided to become part of Marriott Bonvoy.


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Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel

(Courtesy of Design Hotels) © The Points Guy (Courtesy of Design Hotels)

One of two new hotels in California to join the portfolio, the 147-room Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel is a place where there’s no limit to the number of textures, patterns, prints and bold colors that can be combined. Over the top in a design-forward way, the hotel, which was once a YMCA, is the type of place that makes you want to redo your home — if you ever leave your room and its Moroccan-inspired tile bathrooms.

If you crave a little more space and a few more amenities during your stay, opt for one of two unique suites: the Proper Basketball Court Suite, which features the former YMCA’s original basketball courts in its design, or the Proper Pool Suite, named for its location in the old YMCA’s indoor swimming pool.

How to book: Award nights for this Category 6 Marriott Bonvoy hotel can be redeemed for 40,000 to 60,000 points, depending on whether your chosen dates are during peak or off-peak times.

Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs

(Photo courtesy of Design Hotels) © The Points Guy (Photo courtesy of Design Hotels)

Dr. Wilkinson’s is Calistoga, California’s original wellness resort. People have flocked to the property to detox in its revitalizing mud baths since the 1950s. The property is one part hotel and one part spa, offering guests volcanic ash-infused mud baths, three geothermal pools, an outdoor spa garden with cabana treatment rooms and various spa services involving CBD, sound or aromatherapy in addition to standard resort amenities.

Some of the fun rooms you can book include family rooms with bunk beds, a room with a Peloton and even a handful of bungalows.

How to book: You can book this Category 6 Marriott Bonvoy property for between 40,000 and 60,000 points, depending on the dates selected.

The Bank Hotel Istanbul

(Photo courtesy of Design Hotels) © The Points Guy (Photo courtesy of Design Hotels)

As its name implies, The Bank Hotel Istanbul is exactly that: a hotel in a former bank in Istanbul’s Karaköy neighborhood, not far from the banks of the Bosporus.

One highlight of the hotel is its rooftop restaurant, which serves up international food and views of two of Istanbul’s most famous buildings: the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. The bank’s old vault is now a wine cellar that offers wine tastings. Since you’re in Turkey, be sure to check out the spa’s steam rooms, sauna and white-marble Turkish hammam.

How to book: A stay at this Category 4 Marriott Bonvoy hotel will cost you between 20,000 and 30,000 points, depending on when you stay.

Featured image courtesy of Design Hotels

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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