A resort with an awesome water park, tons of children’s activities, massive aquarium, beautiful beach, on-site restaurants, and the ability to earn and use points for the stay, what could be better? This mythical paradise is no longer mythical as the massive Atlantis resort in the Bahamas is becoming a part of the Marriott Autograph family as of this fall. This means you will be able to earn and redeem points to stay at the sometimes pricey resort. It also means that those with elite status may get a little something extra…though I do mean a “little” something extra as Marriott elite status doesn’t really go very far at resort properties.
Still, this is a pretty big development in the points world as Atlantis is such a hot destination for family travelers. We had a wonderful visit there earlier this year, but being the points junkies that we are, we stayed on points at the adjacent Comfort Suites Paradise Island that provides complimentary access to Atlantis. The Atlantis water park and facilities were really very, very fun for families. I absolutely plan to return for a future visit when our daughter is old enough/brave enough/tall enough to do the “big” slides!
The Marriott Category level for Atlantis has not yet been announced, but you can bet it will be in a high category for sure. Some other Autograph Collection hotels are the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, the Algonquin Hotel Times Square, the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, and the Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina in the British Virgin Islands. Those properties range from 30,000 – 45,000 points per night. The current top tier of Marriott Rewards is Category 9 at 45,000 points per night. I’m not sure how they will categorize the Atlantis rooms as different towers have dramatically different room qualities and types, so it would not surprise me to see various categories and rates and/or required upgrade certificates for the different towers. Regardless of how they do it exactly, I’m pretty sure you will find Atlantis at the upper end of the award chart.
One of the more interesting things to come out of the clip of Marriott CEO, Arne Sorenson, talking about this development was when he said that Marriott is looking at places that “people aspire to redeem their points at”. That is exactly what loyalty programs should be in my mind, and the only catch is keeping the aspirational destinations at reasonable point levels that people can actually hit.
I’ll update when I find out how many points will be required per night (or follow this Flyertalk thread), but at the very least we know that by some point this fall you should be able to earn points there. That alone is pretty cool since I can guarantee from personal experience you will spend a pretty penny while visiting Atlantis on food – even if your stay is “free” on points!
This is a great family friendly addition to the Marriott family and brings another points opportunity to the Bahamas. While we are on the topic, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in the Bahamas with Camp Hyatt, five pools, and a “beach sanctuary” is scheduled to open in late 2014. The more points options the better!
Will this impact your future visits to Atlantis?!