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- Vacation rentals continue to be a popular choice for socially distant travel.
- Marriott Bonvoy’s Homes & Villas has 24/7 support, professional cleaning, and top amenities.
- Marriott members earn and redeem points in 100 destinations; here are some of the best U.S. homes.
Marriott Bonvoy is renowned for its robust portfolio of hotels that includes breathtaking properties around the world from luxury brands such as St. Regis and The Ritz-Carlton, and trusted names like Renaissance, Westin, Sheraton, Courtyard, and many others.
However, you may be less familiar with their vacation home rental platform, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, which operates thousands of homes in over 100 destinations around the world.
I tried Homes & Villas by Marriott International for the first time during the pandemic and found it was not only as comfortable as a Marriott hotel, but offered exceptional value as well. Here’s everything you need to know before you book.
What is Homes & Villas by Marriott International?
Homes & Villas by Marriott started in 2018 as a pilot program in Europe under the brand name Tribute Portfolio Homes, intended to speak to the evolving needs of travelers that like to travel together and prefer to stay in a home with multiple bedrooms for more than three nights. Today, it operates in over 100 destinations worldwide. The portfolio focuses on premium and luxury tier homes that are generally owned by a frequent traveler, and primarily used as a vacation home.
Marriott’s home rentals blend the comfort of a traditional hotel stay with all the amenities of a private home, unlike other rental platforms such as Vrbo or Airbnb, which are traditionally someone’s personal home or guest house that is rented out from time to time.
All Marriott homes are professionally managed to ensure they meet Marriott’s standards of quality, design, and service. Expect design-forward and impeccable lodgings like waterfront bungalows, luxury villas, cozy cabins, and sleek penthouses. Homes are thoughtfully curated with amenities such as games, a wood-fire pizza oven, a private pool, or a children’s playroom and are well-suited for group gatherings.
Homes are vetted by Marriott’s property management partners, which work directly with homeowners to ensure the homes are up to Marriott’s standards of quality, design, and service. Some of these property management companies well-regarded brands like AvantStay, Turnkey Vacation Rentals, LaCure, London Residents Club, as well as existing hotel operators like Mainsail Lodging, CPG, and Reserva Conchal.
How do I book and use Marriott Bonvoy points?
Anyone can book a Homes Villas by Marriott International directly from their website, however, reservations can’t be made through Marriott.com, which is still primarily for hotel bookings.
Marriott Bonvoy members can earn and redeem points at all of the properties within Homes & Villas by Marriott International, which is a nice perk that most other home rental sites don’t offer. Bonvoy members earn five points for every qualifying $1 USD spent. You can filter listings by Bonvoy points, price, number of guests or bedrooms, and home features like a pool, building elevator, and pet policy.
Once you book a property, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Homes & Villas by Marriott International with the assigned property management company and contact information, payment details, and the cancellation policy. You’ll receive a separate email with home details and the property address.
How does check-in work?
Check-in is usually contactless and done through a lockbox code, which is provided in an email after you’ve booked your reservation. The email will also include a house manual to help navigate home amenities and features like lighting, washer and dryer, and Wi-Fi.
What comes with the house?
Every listing on Homes & Villas by Marriott International is guaranteed to include the following:
- 24/7 support and 24-hour check-in, either in-person or through a touch key-pad
- High-speed Wi-Fi
- Kitchen essentials (cookware, utensils, microwave)
- In-unit washer
- Premium linens and towels, all expertly laundered
- Bathroom amenities (toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, soap)
- Hair dryer
- Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors where fuel-burning appliances are present
- Professional cleaning pre- and post-stay
- Child-friendly items upon request, such as high chairs and travel cribs
Where is Homes & Villas by Marriott International available?
Homes & Villas by Marriott International currently has 2,000 highly-curated, luxury homes and villas and operates in over 100 destinations in the United States, Europe, Caribbean, Middle East, and Latin America.
Locations have been selected to represent areas where Marriott Hotels doesn’t have a major presence, such as small ski towns like Big Bear and Aspen, remote islands like Anguilla and Turks and Caicos, and European regions that aren’t heavily commercialized, like Lake Como or the Amalfi Coast.
Over one-third of the markets are new destinations to Marriott’s portfolio, so if a Marriott hotel is not present in the area, a private home rental under the Marriott brand may soon be available.
According to Marriott, the most popular homes in the US to book right now are located in the Hamptons, Florida, Carolina beaches, mountain escapes in Tennessee and North Carolina, and coastal hideaways in California.
What is the average cost of a private home rental?
The average cost for booking a vacation home on Homes & Villas by Marriott International depends on the location and specific property. However, all homes listed require a three-night minimum and the average length of stay is five nights for an average price of about $2,000 per reservation.
Because these homes tend to be large, upscale, and luxury-leaning, with multiple bedrooms, the price reflects that type of accommodation. Therefore, it might prove costly for couples or solo travelers.
Drawbacks of Homes & Villas by Marriott International compared to other vacation rental sites
There are many different home rental options available to travelers looking to book a vacation home Homes & Villas by Marriott International is backed by a well-known, global hotel brand, which is one of the main differentiating factors for travelers who might otherwise be hesitant to stay in a private home.
Unlike other vacation rental platforms such as Vrbo, HomeAway, and Airbnb, Homes & Villas by Marriott International does not allow guests to write or read past reviews and rate homes. The luxury lean of the collection also means that most homes are quite large therefore more expensive than other home rentals. Some budget picks exist, but they are fewer to come by.
Is it safe?
Medical and hospitality experts generally consider private home rentals to be a safe bet (safer than hotels, in fact) because there is generally less direct person-to-person contact.
Additionally, each property listing shares details of cleaning protocols, and additional updates regarding the Homes and Villas by Marriott International COVID-19 policies have been shared on the website, which include increased sanitization between reservations using hospital-grade solutions.
Marriott also created a Marriott Cleanliness Council to redefine cleaning standards across Marriott hotels and homes. However, since each home is managed by a separate property management company, there is no real way to ensure consistency.
What are the cancellation policies?
Homes & Villas by Marriott announced updated cancellation policies to offer additional flexibility in response to COVID-19.
For most new reservations, guests may change or cancel at no charge within a specified period. Some high-demand homes, however, do not have a cancellation period. Guests must contact the property management company listed on their confirmation email to initiate the cancellation.
Policies are determined by individual properties and management companies.
My experience with Homes & Villas by Marriott International
As someone who normally prefers a hotel over a home rental for the convenience of on-site customer support, amenities, and higher cleaning standards, I really enjoyed my stay with Homes & Villas by Marriott International and would definitely book another home in the future.
My friends and I shared a Los Angeles home I found on the Homes & Villas by Marriott website that was a 3,615 square foot, 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom property near Point Dume in Malibu. The reservation was comped for review, however, the rate for our weekend dates was $930 per night. While expensive, when split between multiple people, it offered strong value.
The home looked just like it did in the photos and any issue or question I had was immediately resolved, and management was quick to respond.
While Homes & Villas by Marriott International does require a minimum stay and rates are on the higher end compared to other rental sites like Airbnb, I still prefer Homes & Villas by Marriott because I can earn Marriott Bonvoy points, which is a huge benefit.
I also like that I didn’t have to coordinate a meet-up with the host to check in as a lockbox code was provided. While some travelers like a personal interaction provided by an Airbnb host, I prefer a more discreet experience where I don’t see the owner’s personal belongings in sight and still feel like I’m staying at a hotel.
I found check-in to be super easy and convenient. When I couldn’t access the Wi-Fi network, management was quick to reply and replace it with a new password. I also recommend checking with the property manager for certain kitchen utensils you might anticipate needing. For example, tea bags were available in the home I stayed in, but there was no kettle to boil hot water. I contacted management and they delivered one the next morning. Listings only mention kitchen essentials, which can be subjective, so it’s best to confirm with the property manager if you have specific requests.
These are some of the best Homes & Villas by Marriott International in the U.S.
A newly remodeled home with vaulted ceilings, brand new appliances, and a chic living area, this laidback, snug home is part of the Sea Pines Resort, which grants guests access to the beach and the Sea Pines Beach Club. The resort also has three golf courses less than 5 miles away. Though, there’s plenty within the confines of the home itself such as a lovely pool, hot tub, and secluded backyard with outdoor dining, a hammock, and chaise lounges.
Hamptons home with a private pool
This tranquil oasis in Montauk is the quintessential beach house in the Hamptons with ocean views from every room and a stunning pool area. The two-story, Nantucket-style home boasts high ceilings and tons of windows for natural sunlight flanked by a 2,200 square-foot deck. Dip in the pool, make a meal in the chef’s kitchen, or simply read a book on the hammock at this rustic, casual home that offers a ton of privacy.
A massive log cabin-style lodge in Gatlinburg
This magnificent three-story estate is comprised of over 6,000 square feet with seven bedrooms (six master suites), two full kitchens, five balconies, three decks, a pool table, and three fireplaces. High wood-beamed soaring ceilings and plush furnishings can comfortably fit up to 25 guests.
Tucked into the mountainside, it’s like staying in a dreamy log cabin, if your idea of a cabin includes top-tier luxury. The home is certainly sprawling but the lush grounds are spread across a generous 1.61 acres and include a pond, gazebo, and fire pit with views of Mount Le Conte.
Florida beach home with a private pool
This cozy home is surrounded by nature and features a private pool, outdoor kitchen, and fireplace, and is within walking distance to white-sand beaches.
With four bedrooms, the home can sleep 12 guests, and also provides access to the nearby WaterColor Beach Club, which includes a family swimming pool, kids’ pool, sun deck, and open-air bar.
Large beach home in San Diego
While expensive, this stunning waterfront home includes standout features such as retractable windows for indoor-outdoor living and alfresco dining.
The beach and boardwalk are both a short walk, and the home provides beach goodies such as boogie boards and a kayak in addition to indoor games and activities like a foosball and ping-pong table, outdoor bar, barbecue grill, and fire pit.
Beach home fit for groups in Malibu
This is the five-bedroom home I booked, which was a quaint hideaway with ample room for a large group or family. The home was made for entertaining with an open-kitchen design, and plenty of outdoor seating areas to enjoy the lush surroundings.
I was drawn to this particular house because of the location, outdoor terrace, and fire pit that overlooked the Pacific Ocean. I also appreciated the open kitchen since I knew we would spend a lot of time cooking.
Quirky home in California wine country
The best part of this home might just be the massive backyard filled with games like a sand volleyball court, shuffleboard, bocce ball, and a swim-up bar. Though, the views of the nearby vineyards are pretty spectacular, too. Be sure to try some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon that Paso Robles is known for.
Dubbed “The Mermaid,” inside, this quirky home includes five bedrooms under high ceilings, a full bar area, statement lighting fixtures, arcade games, and a centerpiece fish tank designed by the team behind the HGTV show, “Tanked.”