Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a brand that is causing confusion among some consumers, especially those who are members of Marriott Bonvoy. What is Ritz-Carlton Reserve Properties? How does it differ from other Ritz-Carlton resorts? Are you attending the Marriott Bonvoy? In this post I wanted to answer some of those questions.
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve does not participate in the Marriott Bonvoy
Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotels do not participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program in any way. When staying at the Ritz-Carlton Reserve:
- You cannot earn Bonvoy Points
- You cannot redeem Bonvoy points
- You will not receive Elite Recognition if you have Bonvoy status
In effect, think of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve as barely part of Marriott, except that the brand is bookable through Marriott’s booking channels. Ritz-Carlton Reserve participates in Marriott STARS. So when you book through an eligible travel agent, you will receive perks such as free breakfast, $ 100 hotel credit and a room upgrade based on availability.
I share the Ritz-Carlton Reserve’s lack of participation in Bonvoy upfront because I don’t want people to salivate about these properties only to realize by the end of this post that these hotels are not part of the Bonvoy program.
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton reservation
What is Ritz-Carlton Reserve anyway?
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a small collection of intimate luxury resorts. This is how the Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand describes itself:
“Time stands still while the joy of discovery is anticipated, accepted and enjoyed. An exploration of an unusual place, the excitement of an unexpected adventure, a pleasure in unusual luxury. It’s the Ritz-Carlton Reservation – a rare place for those who appreciate an exotic sanctuary hidden in the most exquisite corners of the world.
Handpicked in remote locations for their lush, pristine landscapes. Deeply personal experiences guided by true human connection. An abundance of the world’s greatest luxury: time. These are trademarks of the Ritz-Carlton Reservation. “
Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton reservation
From my point of view, a few things stand out.
While I am unaware of the financial relationship between the Ritz-Carlton Reserve and Marriott, I generally assume that the Ritz-Carlton Reserve and Marriott relationship is more about marketing and sales than anything else. Given the lack of Bonvoy involvement, I would assume that Marriott would have fewer problems with these hotels, and it would be more about some large, small luxury hotels that have access to Marriott’s global reach (someone will correct me if I’m wrong the relationship here).
What is the difference between Ritz-Carlton Reserve Properties and Standard Ritz-Carlton Resorts?
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve accommodations range from 50 to 115 rooms, making them truly intimate accommodations with personalized service. Many of the Ritz-Carlton resorts are now luxury factories, many with more than 300 rooms. So the properties are in completely different leagues, and I suspect that branding exists to differentiate a Ritz-Carlton reservation from the Ritz-Carlton Aruba, for example.
Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton reservation
Ritz-Carlton Reserve locations
The Ritz-Carlton Reservation currently has five locations:
- Dorado Beach is a 115-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in Dorado, Puerto Rico
- Higashiyama is a 50-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in Niseko, Japan
- Mandapa is a 60 room Ritz-Carlton Reserve property located in Bali, Indonesia
- Phulay Bay is a 54-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in Krabi, Thailand
- The Zadun is a 115-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in Los Cabos, Mexico
I’m not sure if I would go so far as to name some of these “remote places,” but each one on its own.
Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton reservation
I know the Ritz-Carlton reservation creates some confusion among Bonvoy members – we see the hotels on marriott.com only to find that they are in no way participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
Properties are worth being aware of though – the Ritz-Carlton Reserve currently has a handful of properties, each with 50 to 115 rooms, in some fantastic locations. These hotels offer a much more personalized experience than your average Ritz-Carlton, but they are also reasonably priced.
If you have ever stayed on a Ritz-Carlton reservation how was your experience? And does anyone know how the financial relationship between Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Reserve compares to other brands?