My recent holiday to Hanoi was the perfect opportunity to use my Marriott Free Night Certificate, which I receive annually as a Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card holder. Since these annual free night certificates can only be used at category 1 to 5 hotels, I always try to find the most expensive hotel within those categories at which to use the certificate (last year I used it at the category 5 Renaissance Seoul Hotel, which goes for about $260 per night including tax). The JW Marriott Hanoi is a category 4 hotel and considerably less expensive, at about $180 per night, but I found several good reasons to use my free night certificate for my stay there.
First, it is a JW Marriott property – the top tier property for Marriott – and it is ranked on TripAdvisor as the #1 full service hotel in Hanoi. I can attest that the service quality is excellent, definitely deserving of the JW designation.
Second, it is a very new hotel. This is important because many buildings in Hanoi are weathered and older hotels are no exception. Being a new hotel, you can be somewhat certain that the room’s walls, windows, and bathroom are fresh. The styling and build quality of the JW Marriott Hanoi definitely did not disappoint! Additionally, Marriott properties themselves can have varying degrees of freshness. Certainly the Renaissance in Seoul that I stayed in last year was in need of a makeover, with the building exterior and the rooms looking quite aged.
Finally, since I am a Marriott Gold Elite level member staying at a Marriott property seemed like the most logical option. Surely there are many good cheap options in Hanoi, but I wouldn’t receive executive club lounge access and the possibility of a room upgrade at other hotel properties. So the JW Marriott Hanoi ended up looking like a great option to use my free night certificate.
To my delight, upon check-in I received a complimentary upgrade to a top floor Executive Club Suite! This room was HUGE. It had a large living room with L-shaped sofa and attached powder room, a business nook, an enormous bedroom with walk-in closet, and a bathroom with 2 sinks and separate bathtub and shower. In total I counted 4 flatscreen TVs, including one in the master bathroom. The decision to use the free night certificate immediately became even more genius!
If you are looking for an excellent hotel rewards credit card, the Marriott Rewards Premier card offered by Chase is one of the best in terms of Visa Signature benefits, sign up bonus – currently 50,000 rewards points, annual free night certificate, chip technology and no foreign transaction fees (both of which are absolutely critical for international travel). Oh, and did I mention the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card is made from matte black metal! It grabs some well-deserved attention in the U.S. and abroad.