Advertiser Disclosure – Katie’s Travel Tricks is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
What are the top Marriott family hotels? What about the best Marriott family resorts? Keep reading to see some top picks and my map that shows you Marriott family hotels by categories like occupancy, great location, and which ones have water parks.
Note: Starting in March 2022, pricing became dynamic, meaning it has more variability. Marriott says that most properties will stay within current category pricing in 2022. In 2023, it may become more tied to cash prices at hotels.
While this is certainly bad news for anyone who likes to use points at luxury properties, it might not be bad news for families. When IHG switched to dynamic pricing, I sometimes started seeing Holiday Inns at lower prices that ever before.
Marriott has now allows people to “top off” free night certificates with up to 15,000 points. This is a welcome change! If you have a free night certificate worth 50,000 points, you could use up to 15,000 points from your account if you find a redemption that is just out of reach.
How to earn Marriott points for stays at Marriott Family Hotels and Resorts
Marriott Bonvoy is the rewards program for Marriott hotels. Brands include everything from basic brands like Springhill Suites and Residence Inn to St. Regis and Ritz Carlton. Marriott hotels are placed into categories which affects how many points per night they cost, in addition to peak and off-peak pricing. Hotels currently range in price from 5,000-100,000 points per night.
Marriott credit cards are issued by both Chase and American Express. Thinking of applying for one of these cards? I always appreciate when people use my affiliate links as it helps me to earn an income and keep creating more content!
You can also transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards to your Marriott account. I generally don’t recommend doing this as there are other higher value ways to redeem those points, but it can make sense if you need a few more points to book a certain hotel.
- $95 annual fee
- Earn 3 free nights (each valued up to 50,000 point) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening
- 1 Free Night Award annually after your Card account anniversary (up to 35k)
- Earns 6 points per $1 at Bonvoy (Starwood / Marriott) properties and 2 points per $1 on everything else.
- After holding this card for 1 year, you can upgrade to the Ritz Carlton card, which is one option for families to get airport lounge access.
Perks when booking Marriott Family Hotels and Resorts on points
5th Night Free
One of the great perks of booking Marriott award nights is that the 5th night on award bookings is free! It is not technically the 5th night that is free, but if you book 5 nights, your cost will be 4/5 of the total price (they average out the cost per night and deduct 1/5).
Marriott also allows you to reserve free nights that you don’t have the points for yet with Points Advance. After reserving you have 60 days to get the points in your account and finalize your booking.
- Your Arrival Date must be 30 or more Days from the Booking Date.
- You have up to 60 days from the time of booking or 14 days prior to arrival (whichever comes first) to earn enough Points to cover your existing Points Advance reservations.
- Reservations made using Points Advance will be held for up to 60 days and will only be confirmed once the required Points are earned or purchased.?
- If you do not earn or purchase enough Points to cover the reservation within 60 days, or by 14 days prior to arrival (whichever comes first), the reservation will be cancelled.
What’s a good credit card offer?
Offers change frequently with the Marriott cards. A standard offer is generally about 100,000 points. Sometimes offers come with free night certificates instead of points, or a combination. The highest I’ve seen with certificates was Fall 2020 when 5 free night certificates (up to 50k each) was offered.
The current offers on the Marriott Boundless card from Chase of 5 free night certificates is great!
The downside of free night certificates vs. points is that they expire 12 months after you receive them. Sometimes I have luck getting Marriott to extend certificates by calling in and asking, but there is no guarantee.
Which card should I get to earn points for Marriott Family Hotels and Resorts?
There are 4 current Marriott cards you can get but somewhat complicated rules on eligibility. Read the terms carefully before applying to make sure you are eligible. Frequent Miler has some helpful charts here you can read as well.
Generally speaking, you can choose to either get a Chase Marriott card OR an American Express Marriott card.
Families who are hoping to get lounge access should consider the Chase Boundless card. After holding this card for 1 year, you can upgrade to the Ritz Carlton card, which is one option for families to get airport lounge access. It allows all immediate family members to enter Priority Pass lounges (other cards usually max out at 2 guests). The Ritz card is not available for new sign ups, you can only get it by upgrading a Chase Marriott card. Once you upgrade to the Ritz card and wait 24 months since receiving your Boundless bonus, you would also become eligible for the American Express Business card.
If you have a small business or side hustle – the advantage to the American Express business Marriott card is that it won’t show up on your credit report or count towards your 5/24 status. It also leaves you eligible to apply for the American Express Brilliant card if you want to earn more Marriott points.
The high annual fee ($450) Brilliant card only makes sense if you are already planning Marriott stays where you will be spending cash on food or rooms — it comes with a $300 annual Marriott credit.
Cards from American Express:
- $125 annual fee (Terms Apply | Rates and Fees)
- Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 1 Free Night Award annually after your Card account anniversary (up to 35k)
- Earns 6 points per $1 at Bonvoy (Starwood / Marriott) properties, 4 points per $1 at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. suppliers and on U.S. purchases for shipping, and 2 points per $1 on everything else.
- You also get complimentary premium Internet access at Marriott/SPG properties and unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi
- $450 annual fee (Terms Apply | Rates and Fees)
- Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and 1 Free Night Award after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
- $300 annual Marriott travel credit: Effective 9/22/22, the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit will no longer be available. It will be replaced with a NEW benefit of up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
- Priority Pass airport lounge access for cardholder + 2 guests (enrollment required)
- 1 Free Night Award annually after your Card account anniversary (up to 50k)
Cards from Chase
- No annual fee (Terms Apply)
- 15 Elite night credits each calendar year
Which Marriott hotels and resorts are best for my family? (Searchable Map)
Here’s some of the family friendly properties where these certificates would provide great family getaways. Of course, check all the details of your destination beforehand to see if any amenities are closed. And be mindful of travel restrictions in different areas.
Marriott has tons of properties so this map is not exhaustive. If you have a property you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments! I focused on properties that sleep 6+, have waterslides, or have a great location.
Click the [ ] to see it in full screen. Purple shows properties that sleep 6+, Blue shows properties with water parks and the red is properties that have great locations.
Highlight of Best Marriott Family Resorts and Hotels by State
The resort features five heated pools: Mesa Pool, Wildfire Pool, Lazy River Pool, Griffin Bay Pool, and the Revive Spa pool. There are also two Jacuzzis, the serpentine Waterslide and Kids Splash Pad. The Family Escape kids club offers drop off services (for a fee) as well as free family movie nights and crafts. There are also tennis courts on site and free bikes. Resort fee of $40/night
50,000-70,000 points per night. But rooms with 2 Queens actually also have a bunk bed and sleep 6. Includes entrance to on-site Surfside Waterpark as well. Parking is $29/night
Walking distance to Disney World. You also get access to Disney “Extra Magic Hours.” Six pools and on site! This hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to Disney World. $35 per night resort fee and $29 parking fee.
Hotel guests enjoy complimentary entrance to Tidal Cove Water Park on site, which includes FlowRider stationary surfing machines, a lazy river, and seven water slides. Resort fee of $40/day. Unfortunately, I could not find any rooms available to families of 4+, so this probably works best if you are a family of 3 or have Marriott elite status and could get a room upgrade.
Marriott’s Villas at Doral (near Miami)
2 bedroom villas sleep 8! Full kitchens. 30-40,000 points per night.
Located only 1 mile from Zion’s gate and a short distance from Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon North Rim, Lake Powell and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Enjoy the outdoor pool and hot tub with amazing canyon views, splash pad, balconies, patios and fireplaces. Rooms sleep 5. Free breakfast!
Vail is only 15 minutes away. Resort guests are given complimentary passes to the adjacent Avon Recreation Center, which includes an indoor pool, a water slide and modern fitness center. Two bedrooms villas here sleep 8 and include a full kitchen and living room with fireplace. Furnished balconies and patios include gas grills . Other villa features also include washers and dryers and free Wi-Fi.
30,000-40,000 points per night. Resort fee of $23/night plus parking fee of $29/night. Includes indoor and outdoor waterslides and a lazy river in summer. Sleeps 4.
Resort fee of $35/night. 40-60,000 points per night. Sleeps 4.
Marriott’s OceanWatch Villas at Grande Dunes (Myrtle Beach)
Villa-like condos sleep 8 and have two bedrooms each with a fully equipped kitchen and balcony. Gaze out on views of the ocean or our resort’s beautiful gardens from your furnished balcony. Property includes pools, beach access, and an outdoor playground as well as a resort putting green, volleyball, shuffleboard and table tennis. Limited availability on points outside of winter. Check the map I created for other Marriott properties in this area, too.
What other Marriott Family hotels do you love? Let me know in the comments and I will add them to this list!