Everything you need to know about Marriott STARS & Marriott Luminous: Outstanding Benefits & Discounts
May 7, 2024

In This Article

You might not have heard of Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous before, but you’ve probably heard of the hotel chain Marriott, which is the world’s largest hotel chain with over 8,000 hotels globally and a very popular loyalty program in Marriott Bonvoy. Within the world of Marriott, we’ll find some of the world’s best hotel brands, including the classic Ritz-Carlton, trendy EDITION , and always reliable JW Marriott.

Through our membership in Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous, we can offer you exclusive benefits on your next stay. By booking through these programs, you get benefits that are better than having top status in Marriott’s loyalty program. You’ll enjoy VIP benefits worth several hundred dollars, such as complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, welcome gifts, and hotel credits. Additionally, you’ll get access to unique discounts, such as the the third/fourth/fifth night free offers at select hotels. And if you bychance already have status with Marriott, you’ll get an even better overall experience.

In this guide, we’ll delve into both of these programs, what benefits are included, and how to get the most out of the programs.

What is Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous and what benefits are included?

Marriott offers two programs to luxury travel advisors, the first is called Marriott STARS and the second is called Marriott Luminous. Both programs are similar, but there are some differences both in the brands participating in each program and the benefits offered. Both programs offer exclusive benefits that can enhance and enrich your next stay.

Marriott STARS/Luminous Benefits

The general benefits are listed below, but hotels may choose to offer additional benefits, such as guaranteed room upgrades or half-board.

  • Daily full breakfast for two people
  • Room upgrade, subject to availability
  • $100 USD hotel credit
    • Applies to all STARS hotels, but Luminous hotels may choose to opt out of this benefit
  • Early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability
  • Welcome amenity
  • VIP status throughout the stay
  • Discounted offers, such as third/fourth/fifth night free

It is worth noting that Marriott STARS/Marriott Luminous prices usually correspond to the most flexible prices offered by the hotel – in other words, they are usually very flexible and have the most generous cancellation policies offered by the hotel. The majority of hotels offer free cancellation until just a day or two before the check-in date.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, a good agent should also work directly with the hotel to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment during your stay. Our team at Lyxresan Travels has spent many years in the industry and know many of the management teams at Marriott hotels, and we work directly with senior personnel at the hotel to ensure that they go the extra mile for you.

Marriott STARS

Marriott STARS is the program offered for Marriott’s absolute most high-end and luxurious brands. The STARS program applies to all hotels within the following brands:

  • The Luxury Collection
  • Ritz-Carlton
  • Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • St. Regis

Marriott Luminous

Marriott Luminous covers the majority of Marriott’s premium brands, and here the hotels themselves can choose whether they want to participate in Marriott Luminous, which a large proportion of hotels do. In other words, unlike STARS hotels, not all hotels within the respective brands below participate in Marriott Luminous.

Below brands can choose to offer benefits via Marriott Luminous:

  • Autograph Collection
  • JW Marriott
  • Le Meridien
  • Marriott
  • Renaissance
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • W Hotels
  • Westin

Is it more expensive to book via Marriott STARS/Luminous?

The prices of the programs usually correspond to the hotel’s ‘Best Available Rate‘, which is the most flexible price the hotel offers with the most generous cancellation policy. In practice, this means that the hotel can offer lower prices with a stricter cancellation policy – for example, a non-refundable booking, or prices that offer worse or no benefits at all.

That being said, it’s worth noting that Marriott STARS/Luminous often runs promotions on select hotels where you have the opportunity for both discounts on the nightly rate, such as a 20% discount, but also promotions where you get the third, fourth, or fifth night free in addition to the benefits, which usually makes it the lowest price the hotel offers. In cases where Marriott STARS/Luminous prices are slightly higher than the hotel’s lowest price, it can still be worth booking those prices as the benefits such as breakfast, credit, and upgrade often exceed the value of the price difference.

Example: Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest

Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection in Budapest is one of our favorite hotels in Europe and currently offers the fourth night free
Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection in Budapest is one of our favorite hotels in Europe and currently offers the fourth night free

We can look at a three-night stay in June 2024, where the STARS price comes to a total of 1321 EUR:

STARS-priset på Matild Palace

There is however a lower price that comes to a total of 1135 EUR for three nights. This price is however non-refundable and includes no benefits, not even breakfast:

Det billigate ordinarie priset på Matild Palace

This means that the STARS price for these dates is a total of 186 EUR more expensive than the hotel’s lowest price. However, there are some important differences between these two prices that make it worth booking the STARS price despite the slightly higher price.

The lower price is non-refundable and includes no benefits, not even breakfast. The Marriott STARS price, on the other hand, is fully flexible and allows free cancellation until the day before check-in. It also includes daily breakfast, $100 USD credit (about 93 EUR), room upgrade, welcome gift, early check-in and late check-out, and VIP status. Additionally, you get invaluable flexibility in being able to cancel at no cost if your plans change.

We mentioned this earlier, but many times hotels also offer additional discounts. At Matild Palace, they currently offer the fourth night free, which means that according to the above example, you could have gotten a 25% discount on the total price if you stayed one more night. The price per night then becomes 366 EUR per night, which means it becomes a lower price than the hotel’s non-refundable price without breakfast at 378 EUR per night – even though you get a bunch of valuable benefits.

Discounts: Third/fourth/fifth night free and more

One of our favorites in New York, The New York EDITION currently offers the fourth night free
One of our favorites in New York, The New York EDITION currently offers the fourth night free

In addition to the fantastic benefits that apply to all stays, regardless of length, Marriott often also offers promotional offers at selected hotels. Marriott offers two types of discounts:

  • Percentage discounts – for instance a discount of 20% for a stay exceeding 3 nights
  • Free night offers – for instance the third/fourth/fifth night free

Our experience shows that at least 40% of all participating hotels globally offer some form of Marriott STARS/Marriott Luminous discount.

Some examples of some of the over a hundred promotional prices that Marriott currently offers:

For hotels offering the third, fourth, or fifth night free, you can get up to 33% off when staying at Marriott hotels and also get fantastic benefits such as breakfast, credits, upgrades, and VIP treatment:

Third night free33% discount
Fourth night free25% discount
Fifth night free20% discount

To see which hotels offer discounts at your destination, contact us for free, and we’ll find the current discounts for you.

How Marriott STARS/Luminous is combined with your Marriott status

Welcome gift at The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Bangkok
Welcome gift at The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Bangkok

One of the best parts of STARS and Luminous is that these programs are operated by Marriott themselves and are offered through luxury travel advisors. This is an important detail because in normal circumstances, you cannot earn Marriott Bonvoy points or elite nights when booking other than directly through Marriott’s website. However, these two programs are exceptions to this rule, and booking through Marriott STARS/Luminous is just like booking through Marriott.

In other words, you get all the status benefits and earn points just like usual when booking through the programs. You also get fantastic benefits and discounts on top of that. Win-win, in other words.

The value of booking Marriott STARS/Luminous if you are Marriott Bonvoy Platinum and above

Many of our customers are Platinum and above at Marriott, and we ourselves have been Titanium Elite for many years. Our experience shows that you generally receive much better treatment from the hotels when booked through Marriott STARS/Luminous and also have status in the program. You generally get nicer upgrades, and the hotel does its best to go the extra mile for you. A good agent also coordinates directly with the hotel to ensure that you have the best possible stay when booking through STARS/Luminous.

With that said, there are some very concrete differences between the benefits of being Platinum and above and the Marriott STARS/Luminous benefits:

  • The $100 USD credit is unique to Marriott STARS/Luminous
  • Status members do not receive complimentary breakfast at EDITION or Ritz-Carlton, which they do via Marriott STARS
  • Many Marriott hotels that offer lounges usually do not allow breakfast in the restaurant, and the lounge breakfast generally tends to be of lower standard than the restaurant’s. With STARS/Luminous, you always get access to breakfast in the restaurant. Many Marriott hotels, for example, in the US and Mexico, offer a limited continental breakfast while you get a full breakfast when booking via Marriott STARS/Luminous
  • You receive a welcome gift
  • You get access to unique Marriott STARS/Luminous discounts and promotional offers such as third/fourth/fifth night free and percentage discounts, and in addition, you can get additional benefits at selected hotels
  • The hotels generally take much better care of customers who both book Marriott STARS/Luminous and who hold Platinum+ status.

We always recommend that you compare Marriott STARS/Luminous prices with the lowest prices the hotel offers to find what suits you best.

Customer Example: Marriott STARS-stay at Ritz-Carlton Bali

Ritz-Carlton Bali offers the fourth night free via Marriott STARS
Ritz-Carlton Bali offers the fourth night free via Marriott STARS

One of the best promotional prices within Marriott STARS right now is the Ritz-Carlton Bali’s fourth night free offer. Ritz-Carlton Bali is undoubtedly one of Bali’s best hotels, and the smallest room here is a Junior Suite at 100m2/1050sqft. We have booked several customers on this promotional price.

One of our customers recently booked a stay in the hotel’s cheapest room, which is a Sawangan Junior Suite at 100m2/1050sqft, where the total price with the fourth night free amounted to 16,680,000 IDR (about $1040 USD). The price included daily breakfast, $100 credit to be used during the stay, early check-in and late check-out, welcome gift, and upgrade. We managed to confirm an upgrade for our customer into the next room category, a Junior Suite with pool access, a room that costs 30% more than the room the customer had booked.

For comparison, the hotel’s lowest price without breakfast or benefits was 21,819,000 IDR (about $1360 USD). In other words, the customer saved $320 USD by booking the STARS price and also received a range of VIP benefits in addition.

Frequently Asked Questions about Marriott STARS & Marriott Luminous

Can you earn points on Marriott STARS & Marriott Luminous bookings?

Of course! You earn points as usual and receive elite nights for your stays.

Is there a minimum stay requirement for Marriott STARS/Luminous benefits to apply?

No, the benefits apply from one night and up.

Can you use your Nightly Upgrade Awards when booking through Marriott STARS/Luminous?

Yes, you can. As soon as the booking is confirmed, you can apply these to the booking.

Does it cost anything to book Marriott STARS/Luminous prices through you?

No. We don’t charge any fees at all. We receive a commission directly from the hotels.

Can you apply STARS/Luminous benefits to an existing booking?

If you have an existing booking, we can always see if we can rebook it for you and add Marriott STARS/Luminous benefits. Send us an email, and we’ll look into it for you.

Do certain hotels offer benefits beyond those listed in the article?

Yes! Selected Marriott hotels can offer additional Marriott STARS/Luminous benefits, such as higher credits and discounts like third/fourth/fifth night free. Contact us and we can provide all the benefits and prices that apply on your destination.

What is the difference between this and Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts?

The two programs are similar, but the big difference is that Marriott STARS and Luminous offer considerably more hotels and often better discounts than Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. Finally, through Amex FHR, you do not get a luxury travel advisor who coordinates your stay with the hotel, which you do when booking through us.

Why does Marriott offer these programs?

The short answer is that Marriott wants to attract guests who travel in luxury and encourage them to book directly through Marriott’s own programs instead of booking through booking sites like Booking.com. Therefore, they have created a partnership with selected luxury travel advisors to offer benefits when booking through their own programs.


Marriott STARS and Marriott Luminous are two fantastic programs that allow you to get even more out of each stay at any of Marriott’s many brands. You get access to fantastic benefits such as free breakfast, upgrades, hotel credits, and more. You also get access to exclusive discounts of up to 33% at selected hotels. The program offers a lot of value even if you have high Marriott Bonvoy status since Marriott STARS/Luminous benefits are combined with your status benefits to give you the very best hotel stay. Click here to get a free Marriott STARS/Luminous quote from our team.

Let us help build your next trip

Give us a little bit of information – like budget, and type of trip, and let us come with a suggestion for your next memorable trip. Fill out as much or as little as you know and we’ll get back to you soon.