Marriott STARS and Luminous Programs: Detailed Guide 2023

Marriott STARS and Luminous Programs: Detailed Guide 2023

Marriott offers special luxury travel programmes to a select few travel agencies and advisors called Marriott Stars and Luminous Programs. They are generally unknown, but you, my friend, are about to have the shroud of secrecy removed. Get ready to benefit from additional features and amenities even if you choose not to join loyalty programmes.

The Maldives has hotels participating in the Marriott Stars and Luminous programmes, and Virtuoso travel agents can assist you in making reservations there.

Are you visiting a luxury resort in the Maldives? Use a Virtuoso Travel Agent to access special VIP benefits and amenities. They are luxury travellers like you, but their travel experiences are loaded with special benefits and exclusive perks while racking up travel points. Wonder how they manage it? Here’s the secret: they use elite travel agencies (and you can too)!

Ready for a new lens on luxury?

Most people are unaware they exist and can’t secure the extra benefits and amenities on their own, so accessing these programs and levelling up from elite to STARS or Luminous depends largely on who you know. 

Lucky for clients looking to book with Marriott hotels & resorts, Virtuoso Travel Advisors have developed inside connections in the luxury travel sector and can extend an invitation to these programmes.

Due to my consistent positive experiences with Classic Travel in New York, I exclusively use them. In contrast to other travel agencies, they enable me to make online reservations without calling or emailing. If the itinerary is complicated, I know I have those options available.

What is Marriott STARS?

The new Marriott STARS programme replaces the previous Ritz Carlton STARS and Starwood Luxury Privileges programmes.

A $100 property credit per stay, priority for free room upgrades, one free night (depending on the hotel), daily complimentary breakfast for two guests, a customised welcome amenity and letter, hotel credits/points, early check-in, late check-out, and complimentary wireless internet access are just a few of the high-profile amenities and experiences that Marriott STARS members have access to.

You will receive the same bill for your stay if you book your Marriott stay through a non-Marriott STARS vendor like Expedia or Priceline, but you won’t receive any STARS perks. Why pay the same price for fewer benefits?

Which Hotels Are In Marriott STARS?

The eligible hotels are what distinguish the STARS programme from the Luminous programme, and it’s the eligible hotels. Your skilled travel agent will collaborate with you to identify the luxury travel programme that best suits your needs and will pair you with the best options.

Benefits from Marriott STARS can be used at a wide range of luxurious participating hotels worldwide. The following luxury hotels are currently eligible:

  • The Ritz-Carlton (15+ countries, 111 properties worldwide)
  • The Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • BVLGARI (6 countries, 11 properties worldwide)
  • EDITION (5 continents, 11 properties worldwide)
  • St. Regis Properties (6 continental regions, 60 properties worldwide)
  • The Luxury Collection (10 countries, 8,284 properties worldwide)

Read Also: 10 Best Marriott Hotels in San Francisco, USA 2023

What is Marriott Luminous?

Like Marriott STARS, Marriott Luminous grants adventure-seeking travellers access to the luxury legacy of participating hotels imbued with style, tradition, and culture-rich environments.

The Luminous program provides more than just one more luxurious hotel stay.

With flexible check-in/check-out times, complimentary breakfast for two, a customised amenity and welcome letter, resort credits, and complimentary wifi, it offers the chance to experience the thoughtful architecture influenced by centuries of a culture’s artistic revelations in the most luxurious upgraded living spaces.

Which Hotels Are In Marriott Luminous?

Remember that the STARS and Luminous programs are unique due to the participating hotels. The experience of each perk will be greatly influenced by the location and hotel of your ideal luxury destination, even though the perks and benefits are very similar in the category.

You can be sure that you’re aligned with the best program, benefits, and experiences for your ideal luxury travel objectives by working with an experienced travel advisor.

Benefits from Marriott Luminous are available at various luxury hotels participating worldwide. At this time, eligible hotels include:

  • Westin (20+ countries, 226 properties worldwide)
  • Marriott (130+ countries, 7,000+ properties worldwide)
  • W Hotels (24+ countries, 52 properties worldwide)
  • JW Marriott (30+ countries, 100+ properties worldwide)
  • Autograph Collection Hotels (31+ countries, 140+ properties worldwide)
  • Le Meridien (30+ countries, 105+ properties worldwide)
  • Renaissance Hotels (36+ countries, 160+ properties worldwide)
  • Tribute Portfolio (16+ countries, 65+ properties worldwide)
Image Source: Suites And Lobbies

Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status vs. Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous

Comparing the Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status to the Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous program reveals structural differences.

The latter gives customers access to member-only benefits and amenities they would otherwise miss out on when booking through non-travel advisor-based platforms.

On the other hand, the Bonvoy Elite Status is a 5-tiered status structure based on the number of qualifying nights spent at participating hotels within a calendar year, the proportion of bonus points earned per stay, and additional bonuses and amenities based on the status level a traveller identifies with.

Status Levels of Mariott Bonvoy Elite:

  • Silver Elite Status
  • Gold Elite Status
  • Platinum Elite Status
  • Titanium Elite Status
  • Ambassador Elite Status

Read Also: Marriott Suite Night Awards: Complete Guide 2022

How to book in Marriott STARS and Luminous Programs?

Book your Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous stays by contacting your luxury travel agent or advisor.  Without the connections a travel advisor or agent can provide, you won’t be able to book these stays, so be sure to find an agency that has been in the luxury travel business for a long time.

I use Classic Travel because of its breadth of knowledge and its user-friendly online portal. I simply get in touch through the portal and schedule a personal consultation for lengthy stays or intricate itineraries.

Booking Pro Tips

Minimum Stay Requirements

There is no minimum stay requirement for Marriott STARS or Marriott Luminous reservations, so you can enjoy all the perks without unnecessarily prolonging your stay.

Qualifying Rates

The best available, most flexible, or standard rates offered on Marriott Hotel’s website are generally eligible for Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous benefits. 

Marriott STARS or Marriott Luminous benefits do not apply to members-only rates, advance purchase/non-refundable rates, point bookings, corporate rates, or other promotional rates.

Existing Reservations

Unfortunately, a knowledgeable luxury travel agent or advisor can only apply the Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous benefits to a reservation during the booking process; they cannot be applied to already-made reservations.

Wait, I have a solution for you to get the full Benefits Of Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous:

If you’ve already booked your reservation and are looking to re-book the same reservation with the added benefits of these programs, cancel your reservation and re-book with your travel agent or advisor.

How do you find a Marriott STARS & Luminous advisor?

The Marriott STARS & Luminous programmes are available to many travel consultants. In the comments section below, advisors are welcome to leave their contact information. You can also use Google to look up an advisor.

A couple of things to note:

1. It often depends on the size of the bookings, how busy the travel advisors are overall, how individualised they want to be with service, etc. Travel advisors receive a commission from hotels, so some charge booking fees while others don’t.

2. Given that the Luminous programme typically involves less expensive hotels and is less consistent in participation and benefits, I am aware that many travel advisors are willing to assist with STARS bookings but not Luminous bookings.

Read Also: Marriott Bonvoy Moments Ultimate Guide 2022

Marriott STARS and Luminous Programs: Detailed Guide 2023
Marriott STARS and Luminous Programs: Detailed Guide 2023

How do Marriott’s programs compare to Virtuoso?

Some people may think, “Well, hold on a second, most Ritz-Carltons also belong to Virtuoso, and benefits are similar, so what’s the difference?” The reality is that there are frequently only minor distinctions between the programs.

There are a few important distinctions:

1. When compared to Virtuoso, Marriott STARS offers a $100 hotel credit that can be used for almost any eligible incidentals. In contrast, Virtuoso credits are frequently restricted to either the spa or the food and beverage, and not both.

2. More hotels are available to you through Marriott’s STARS & Luminous programmes than Virtuoso.

3. Although it may not always be the case, hotels should prioritise upgrades for their proprietary programs.

4. Most travel advisors who have access to STARS & Luminous also have access to Virtuoso (and vice versa), so they can advise you as to which program it makes more sense to book through.

The Decisions is Yours

You will have access to incredible amenities, benefits, points, and perks with any of the Marriott STARS, Marriott Luminous, or Marriott Bonvoy benefits that you and your travel agent or advisor choose to use to reserve your next stay in a luxury hotel.

Are luminous stars rare?

The volume of space included within a distance of 5000 light-years, however, is enormous; so even though highly luminous stars are intrinsically rare, many of them are readily visible to our unaided eye.

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Marriott STARS and Luminous Programs: Detailed Guide 2023

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