Hotels

Can Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio homes compete with other homesharing platforms?

Marriott has jumped on board the homesharing platform train with Tribute Portfolio homes. At the moment, it's only available in London.

Marriott has quietly introduced the Tribute Portfolio homes brand in late April 2018 and it is now a small player in the big homesharing market.

What are Tribute Portfolio homes?

Many leisure travelers these days are opting to stay at homeshares instead of hotels as they provide more bang for your buck especially for holiday makers who are staying in a city for longer and require the amenities which a home has. Personally, I’ll pick a homeshare over a hotel especially if I’m staying in a city for an extended period.

The Tribute Portfolio homes is a homesharing platform that is run directly by Marriott. At the present, only London in the United Kingdom is participating in this new program.There’s a good amount of properties which are currently participating in this program and they can be found all over London.

Source: Tribute Portfolio homes

What do you get with Tribute Portfolio homes?

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You will still effectively be putting up in a homesharing property so there will not be the added luxuries of a hotel. What you do get is the option to customize your stay and opt-in for options such as daily housekeeping for instance which of course comes with an additional charge. In addition, homes booked under the Tribute Portfolio homes platform are eligible to earn Marriott and Starwood points(and from 1 August 2018, earn points under the combined program). You are also able to use your Marriott Rewards points to book these homes as well should you wish (but don’t).

The user interface of Tribute Portfolio homes is very similar to those of other homesharing platforms. Unlike platforms such as AirBnb which allows you to filter if the house has a hairdryer, you only have the option of selecting the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you want in a house that you are looking for since all houses are fully equipped. So you can set filters for a home with 2 bedrooms, 8 beds and 4 bathrooms should you wish.

Interface of Tribute Portfolio homes (Source: Tribute Portfolio Homes)

As I browsed the site, most homes are above the price point of US$315 which is a bit high in my opinion as I’ve gotten a house in London for about S$250 before. What intrigued me the most, was the valuation of a Rewards Point that Marriott was giving as shown in the amount of points needed per night.

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Doing a random search for a 4 night stay in a property located in Central London, I was quoted to pay either US$2,413 in cash or a whopping 603,250 Marriott Rewards points. The amount of Marriott Rewards points needed for each property varies with the revenue rate. After checking the rates at various properties, I have calculated that the valuation that Marriott has given its Rewards Points for use at a Tribute Portfolio home is only worth US 0.4 cents per point. Unfortunately, you’re not able to utilize Starpoints to book Tribute Portfolio homes and only can do so by converting them to Marriott Rewards points.

Marriott Rewards redemption rate for Tribute Portfolio homes (Source: Tribute Portfolio homes)

Over on the earning side, you will earn 5 Marriott Rewards Points/2 Starpoints per US$1 spent at Tribute Portfolio home bookings and you have the option to select which points currency you wish to earn, that is before 1 August 2018 comes about.

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Comparing this property to another property of similar size and location over on AirBnB, I am able to get price quotes of around S$300 a night as compared to US$575 a night.

Way lower costs over on AirBnB (Source: AirBnB)

Concluding Thoughts

Personally, home prices are just too high for a holiday rental in my opinion and although you might argue they are vetted by Marriott and hence, have a certain level of quality to them, I still think the prices they are asking for are far too high. While I appreciate that there are now more options for us consumers in the homesharing market with the introduction of Tribute Portfolio homes, personally I won’t be looking at this when I’m sourcing around for accommodation options. The prices are just too steep and you won’t be earning a ton of Rewards Points as well.

Let’s hope they continue expanding to other markets and offer better points earn rates come 1 August 2018.

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