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Stay at England’s Portsmouth Marriott Hotel and explore the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard which has these amazing sights to offer families and maritime enthusiasts alike:

 

  • The exciting new £27 million Mary Rose Museum opened its doors to visitors last year, and provides one of the most significant insights into Tudor life while creating the new centrepiece to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.  The Tudor ship that captured the world's imagination when she was raised from the seabed in 1982 is the only sixteenth century warship on display anywhere in the world, and the brand new Museum built around her reunites her with many of her 19,000 artefacts and crew.
  • HMS Victory is the Royal Navy's most famous warship. Best known for her role in the Battle of Trafalgar, the Victory currently has a dual role as the Flagship of the First Sea Lord and as a living museum to the Georgian Navy.
  • HMS Warrior, launched in 1860, was the pride of Queen Victoria's fleet. Powered by steam and sail, she was Britain's first iron-hulled, armored warship and the largest, fastest and most powerful ship of her day.
  • The National Museum Royal Navy Portsmouth is one of the country’s leading maritime museums. Discover how the Royal Navy helped shape the modern world through stories of courage and determination in our three exhibition galleries. See treasures from the last 350 years like the Life Mask taken from Nelson’s face in 1800, the first Victoria Cross ever awarded in 1856, or a World War II Enigma Machine which helped win the Battle of the Atlantic.

 

Stay with us between the 28th and 30th November and visit the Victorian Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. This firm family favorite set in the atmospheric dockyard surroundings returns again for 2014, and is the perfect way to start your festive season celebrations and preparations. You'll be magically transported into a bygone Victorian era of snowy streets - Cheapside and Richside - with seasonal carols and a host of colorful Victorian characters including chimney sweeps, suffragettes, wenches and gentry. The young (and young at heart!) will also delight in seeing the traditional Father Christmas (dressed in green) in a live stage show. Not to be missed is Fagin's Tavern in the spectacular Spiegeltent located next to the world famous HMS Victory. In here you will find a real ale bar plus entertainment.

 

The popular Christmas market offers a truly unique Christmas shopping experience, whether you are looking for that perfect Christmas present or maybe a treat for yourself the market areas will feature many new stalls to browse. Offering a wide array of unusual Christmas gifts not to be found on the high street plus food and drink, clothing, jewelry, arts and crafts and home ware... there really is something for everybody. To book your ticket at Early Bird prices visit christmasfestival.co.uk.

 

We hope you will come and enjoy a nautical day out in Portsmouth for all the family!

 

Katie D.

Portsmouth Marriott Hotel

communitymanager

#SayHiToWiFi

Posted by communitymanager Oct 30, 2014

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Hey Insiders,

 

I have some news to share! I wanted you to be the first to know about an exciting new Marriott Rewards member benefit. Beginning January 15, 2015, members who book directly on Marriott.com or any of our other direct reservation channels will receive free in-room Wi-Fi! Direct reservation channels include: Marriott.com, Mobile, Voice or On-property.


Bragging Rights

We’d like to spread the word as quickly as possible, so I ask you to share, tweet and post away using the hashtag #SayHiToWiFi. Of course all you Gold and Platinum Elites (I know there are a lot of you out there!) will continue to enjoy your free enhanced Wi-Fi where available.


We’re excited to share this new program benefit with you!

 

MarriottRewards.com/FreeInternet

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Hey Insiders,

 

Residence Inn and Penguins of Madagascar have partnered to bring you the:

 

PENGUINS

PICTURE MISSION

October 27 – December 7, 2014

Click here to enter >>

Create your own photo by mimicking the pose of the Penguins. Each week (for six weeks) the Penguins’ pose will change, allowing you to pose (and enter) multiple times. Submit your photo each week for your chance to win some awesome prizes!


What you can Win:

  • Trip for 4 to see Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation at Busch Gardens® Tampa
  • Plane tickets for 4 and a 3-night stay at Residence Inn Tampa Downtown
  • Plus 50 Runner-up prizes to be won weekly throughout the Sweepstakes!

 

What a fun sweepstakes – this is a perfect opportunity to include the kids or grandkids and take some memorable photos! Any big Penguins fans out there?

 

No purchase necessary. Ends 12/7/14. Rules: http://bit.ly/1wuIxyogi

exterior.jpgWhether you are a culture vulture, music fanatic, ravenous foodie or retail queen, Liverpool will not disappoint. We have the highest concentration of museums and galleries outside of London. Here are my top 5 recommendations for the UK’s friendly city of Liverpool:

 

Museum of Liverpool: The Museum of Liverpool is the world’s first national museum devoted to the history of a regional city and the largest newly-built national museum in Britain in more than a century.

Hop on board the overhead railway, get up close to the stage where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met, immerse yourself in the city’s rich sporting and creative history, and experience for yourself what it means to be Liverpudlian. Don’t miss the 360º immersive films about Liverpool and Everton FC and The Beatles!

 

Knowsley Safari Park: Knowsley Safari Park opened in 1971 and continues to be one of the biggest, best and most exciting days out in the UK. Our five mile safari drive and vast walk-around area are home to over 700 exotic animals, from lions and tigers, to elephants, meerkats and, of course, those cheeky baboons. Visitors to Knowsley don’t just get an amazing, close-up look at our animals; there is so much more to experience!

 

Beatles Story: The Beatles Story is a unique, award-winning visitor attraction that will take you on an unforgettable, atmospheric journey through the lives and times of The Beatles. See how four young lads from Liverpool were propelled to the dizzy heights of fame and fortune, conquering Britain, America and the world to become the greatest band of all time. To reflect the incredible lives of the Fab Four, The Beatles Story tripled in size in 2008, offering even more fun, excitement and interactive features.


Mersey Ferries: San Francisco has its cable cars, New York has its yellow cabs… and Liverpool has its world famous Mersey Ferries. An experience you’ll love starts with a River Explorer Cruise. A River Explorer Cruise is a must do experience and the only way to see and enjoy Merseyside and Liverpool’s iconic waterfront and UNESCO world heritage site. Departing hourly, the 50 minute experience sails between Pier Head, Liverpool and the Wirral peninsula and a journey can be selected to suit each and every day out.


Liverpool ONE: Liverpool ONE offers a multitude of high profile stores with more than 160 famous high street shops, ultra-hip fashion brands, cool independent boutiques, cafés and restaurants in the heart of the city. Once you have explored Liverpool ONE, why not take time out to visit the Leisure Terrace overlooking Chavasse Park. The restaurants and cafés up there will offer the perfect counterpoint to a hard day’s shopping.

 

Come and visit soon!

Lisa G.

Liverpool Marriott Hotel City Centre

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Hey Insiders,


Natasha Ghatak has gone full circle with the National Academy Foundation (NAF) — from student to sponsor. What’s more, she has a thriving career as an assistant controller at Marriott. Her inspiring story is the second in our holiday series about great causes you can support by donating points.


Natasha’s story: As a high school student in Gaithersburg, MD, Natasha had no career plans. She joined NAF’s local Academy of Finance program to be with friends who, like her, were interested in finance. Her first academy course was the turning point — she loved gaining knowledge she could apply in the real world.


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How NAF made a difference: After introducing Natasha to the financial profession, NAF helped her turn her interest into a career. Natasha took a community college business course and interned in the accounting department at Comcast Cable. Seeing finance executives in action, she thought, “This could be me in 10 years.”


Following graduation from the Gaithersburg High School Academy of Finance in Gaithersburg, MD, Natasha attended the University of Maryland in College Park. After she graduated in 2006 with a degree in Finance and Economics, she visited her former academy teacher. Knowing Natasha wanted to give back to the program, her teacher suggested that she serve as a volunteer for NAF.


Today, Natasha is chairperson of the Montgomery County Academies of Finance (AOF) Advisory Board. Moreover, she has donated a month’s pay to fund a scholarship for an AOF student, naming it the M. J. Ghatak scholarship in honor of her parents.


Want to make a difference this holiday season? Donate Marriott Rewards points to help a student like Natasha »


About NAF: The National Academy Foundation fosters partnerships between business and education to help students with limited opportunities prepare for college and careers. For over 30 years, NAF has refined a proven model blending industry-focused curricula, work-based learning experiences and business expertise in Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences. 


Marriott employees volunteer in classrooms, act as mentors, offer paid internships and serve on NAF advisory boards. Our long-standing partnership has helped many students launch hospitality careers.

 

Here are some exciting facts about the NAF:

  • NAF serves over 70,000 students in 565 academies
  • 96% of seniors graduated in 2013
  • 92% of graduates who provided post-grad intentions plan to go to college

 

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Hey Insiders,

 

We know that no one has better travel tips than you. We’d like your input on some of your go-to trip planning tools when it comes to the holidays. After all, the season is just around the corner – better get planning now!

 

Below are a few questions we have about how you plan for travel around the holidays. Please answer as many of the questions as you’d like. Your response may be used in our marketing efforts later this year. If selected, we’ll award you 10,000 rewards points as an added bonus!

 

What is your go-to ‘recipe’ for booking holiday travel while maximizing your points (i.e. air travel, car rental, hotel stays, merchandise for gifts)? How far in advance do you book? Do you use the Travel Services/ Travel Assistance to get airport lounge passes, etc.?
What are your favorite trip planning tools for holiday travel (Insiders, TripAdvisor, etc.)?
Does the way you use MR points during the holiday season differ than the rest of the year? Do you use MR points for more merchandise for gifts as opposed to hotel stays? Or both? Do you ever gift points?
Tell us about the best holiday travel deal you’ve scored through points.
What are your tips for taking the best holiday photos? (i.e. Tips on taking the best family photo, new apps you’re using, etc.)
Tell us your secrets to surviving holiday air travel delays (everything from how you kill time at the airport to scouting the best food to making the most of a layover).

 

We’ll be collecting your feedback starting now through Friday, October 24th. I’m looking forward to reading your best holiday travel hacks!

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Yorkshire has an abundance of magical Christmas spirit waiting to be discovered. So this coming festive season get wrapped up warm and come sample some of the great Yorkshire Christmas hospitality. Here are our top 5 picks for an amazing and memorable visit to Yorkshire this Christmas, all within a one hour drive of our location at Hollins Hall, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club:

  1. Christkindlmarkt, Leeds. One of the most established German Christmas Markets in the UK, with traditional wooden stalls, festive greenery, Christmas carousel rides and twinkling colorful lights all creating a unique continental style festive atmosphere in the heart of Leeds city center.
  2. Skipton Yuletide Festival & Christmas Market, 7th & 14th December 2014. The gateway town to the Yorkshire Dales, here in Skipton you will find more than 150 decorated holiday stalls, jam packed with all kinds of interesting, desirable and original gifts offered by traders in seasonal attire  -- together with locally produced food, hot roasted chestnuts, and Mulled Wine.
  3. Grassington Dickensian Christmas Festival, 29th November, 6th and 13th December 2014. For three Saturdays, Grassington travels back in time for the annual Dickensian festival. Step back in time to an era when Dickens was alive. You’ll find street entertainment, buskers, shoe-shine boys, chestnut sellers, Santa's grotto, pickpockets, living statues, traditional Christmas outdoor market, indoor craft fair, plus lots more.
  4. Harrogate Christmas Market, 27th – 30th November 2014. This four-day holiday market will be filled with high quality Yorkshire and Harrogate products selling everything from Yorkshire cheeses and chutneys to handmade gifts and Christmas decorations.
  5. Join the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Santa specials at Oxenhope, Haworth or Keighley Stations for a ten-mile return journey on our steam train, lasting around an hour. Experience nostalgia and the magic of Christmas in our specially decorated coaches, with seasonal music to get you in the mood. Santa and his pixies visit each child during the journey and deliver presents, while the grown-ups are served a mince pie and seasonal drink – it’s the perfect way for you and your family to start the Christmas season!

 

Beverley O.

Hollins Hall, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club

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Hey Insiders,


If you’ve been considering buying the Marriott Bed, now is a great time to do so!

 

From now through November 7th, when you purchase a bed on ShopMarriott, we'll be donating a bed to someone in need of a place to sleep. ShopMarriott has partnered with Good360 to distribute these beds to charities that address problems related to housing and homelessness all around the country.

 

Browse ShopMarriott Now >>

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Hey Insiders,

 

Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas is now an Autograph Collection Hotel. I know many of you have been anxious to hear when Atlantis will be available to book on Marriott.com. I’m happy to tell you the wait is over and you’re the first to hear about it! Beginning tomorrow, Thursday, October 16, 2014, you will be able to book and earn points through Marriott.com for Atlantis. If you plan on using points to book your stay, call 877-829-2429 for a redemption stay. Experience aquatic adventures, award-winning dining, casino gaming and much more!

 

Limited Time Special Offer: Rates from $99 + Kids Eat Free

 

For a limited time, stay in Atlantis’ Beach Tower starting from only $99 per night when you book by November 18, 2014 and stay by December 17, 2014. Oh, and Kids eat breakfast and dinner free! Plan your legendary vacation today.

 

Questions? Check out the FAQ doc >>

 

Who will be booking a Bahamas vacation tomorrow?

 

*Update: the Atlantis website is now live: www.marriott.com/atlantis

ENTRY.jpgEnjoy a delectable cuisine from the era of the royals from the kitchen of our Indian specialty restaurant Nawab Saheb at the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Center Hotel. Nawab Saheb is an elegant, family style restaurant serving sumptuous Indian al a carte and set menus. It is known for its vast repertoire of signature kebabs and curries recreated by Head Chef Yunus Khan. The décor of the restaurant is classy, redish maroon in color, and has individual private dining areas. Nawab Saheb is a restaurant that recreates and revives the unique dishes once cooked in the royal home of India. Over the years the restaurant has hosted various food festivals such as the Hyderabadi festival showcasing the food once relished by the Nizams, the Lucknowi festival that gave our patrons a chance to enjoy the delicate and succulent Nawabi kebabs, to the fiery Chettinad cuisine prepared in the kitchens of kings that ruled southern India. Our guests can savor age old recipes/dishes like Gilawat, ulta tava (melt-in-your mouth lamb kebab), Nalli ka khasa (lamb stew slow cooked with a special blend of spices, saffron, mint & yoghurt), Ghost Biryani Oudhi (lamb & basmati rice cooked on charcoals) and Dal Nawabi (slow cooked lentils) that are sure to take you back in time. Nawab Saheb is a culinary treat famous for slow cooked preparations, tenderized meats and a balance of spices.

 

ENTRY Colaba Causeway.jpgAfter relishing the food fit for kings, we hope you will take time to explore the other hidden gems of our city. We recommend you make a visit to the ‘Culture Square of Mumbai’ – Colaba Causeway. The Colaba stretch is a hub to various cafes, art galleries, and street shopping of all kinds - antiques, books, jewelry – this place has it all. The architecture of the area is reminiscent of the old Bombay (now Mumbai), highlighted by buildings like the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Regal Cinema, Prince of Wales Museum (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum) and Cusrow Baug, a Parsi residential colony built in 1934 which houses over 500 families. Colaba Causeway is lively and buzzing with young college students, office goers and tourist alike. Just a walk down the pavement is an intriguing experience alluring all senses; aromas from the cafes, musical notes from the pubs, colorful patterns that adorn the street shops of clothes, bags and more. You are sure to find something you like at the Colaba Causeway.

 

Anthony A.

Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel

Hey Insiders,

 

I just created and made the first post for the Group titled Member Exclusive Offers.

 

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I created this Group so that we'll have a dedicated space within the community for these offers. I recommend joining/following the Group so that you are notified when new posts are made! Every other week I'll be posting a few Member Exclusive Offers that are soon to be published; meaning that you'll get to see them before anyone else.

 

I hope you like this plan and be sure to let us know if you take advantage of any of the offers!

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Hey Insiders,


We've got a new Sweepstakes opportunity for you from TownePlace Suites!


TownePlace Suites® is the place to be your suite self. Enter for your chance to win $500 by showing us how you relax at TownePlace Suites. Tell us (or show us!) about your “Suite Break” moment on the TownePlace Suites Facebook page. One contest winner will be selected in October and one in November.  You know TownePlace Suites is all about giving you space to work and time to play. Our  friendly staff is right there to help your stay match your personal style. Learn more >>


No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of 50 US States & DC & Canada (excl. QC), 18+ or age of majority. Sweepstakes ends 11/30/2014. Official Rules.


Good Luck!

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Hey Insiders,


Thinking about donating points for a great cause? Then I invite you to consider Youth Career Initiative (YCI), an employability program created by the hotel industry to help at-risk youth. You’ll see the story of Aparecida Hitomi, a young person who transformed her life with YCI’s help, below.

 

This post is the first of a series I’ll be sharing on the work of Marriott’s featured charity partners. YCI is the perfect organization to begin the series—Marriott International has championed, funded and run the program for nearly 20 years in nine countries around the world. A different organization or charity will be featured here on Insiders every other week as we approach the Holiday season.

 

Aparecida’s story: Aparecida Hitomi was a teenager in São Paulo, Brazil, whose mother had recently died and whose entire family was unemployed. Her family had journeyed to their ancestral country, Japan, hoping to secure a stable income, only to return to São Paulo with no prospects. She herself had applied for many jobs but was turned down due to lack of skills.


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How YCI helped Aparecida: Chosen out of 400 applicants, Aparecida was thrilled to go through the training program at the Renaissance São Paulo Hotel. “I worked on my attitude, my behavior, my interactions with co-workers, and I adapted to company rules … it all contributed to my professional development,” she says.

 

After Aparecida graduated, the hotel hired her as an apprentice. From there, she broadened her skills to other areas. Today she works as a hospital receptionist for the Association of Mutual Assistance Health Care (SBC), a program serving São Paulo’s large Japanese community. She says, “I learned that I like to take care of people, to be useful to mankind. I want to dedicate myself to contributing to society in some way.”

 

About YCI: Created by the hotel industry, YCI is a training program using hotels as a unique learning platform. During each 24-week session, hotel managers provide life and career skills training to young people considered vulnerable.


Here's your chance to be part of the work. Donate Marriott Rewards points to help YCI students around the world >>


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ENTRY 2.jpgNew chef — discovery of indigenous cuisine. Anton Turchin, who has become the new chef of the Restaurant “Canvas” in the Renaissance St. Petersburg Baltic Hotel, is not a novice in cooking. Our master has enormous experience in various restaurants of the most outstanding hotels, and not just in Russia, where for 22 years he has implemented unique culinary ideas. Anton amazes with new ideas and unexpected impromptus every day, even after many years in the kitchen. He serves dishes that make an amazing first impression as well as an exclusive and unforgettable taste. He emphasizes that it’s important to cook with love and put sincere emotions into all dishes.

For many years the Renaissance St. Petersburg Baltic has provoked its guests to make their own discoveries every day and to be ready for surprises. In this way Anton Turchin also keeps astonishing guests with his creative view of the world even when starting with an ordinary set of products. Our new chef’s menu mixes clients’ favorite dishes with fabulous culinary delights inspired by the autumn mood. In his new autumn 2014 menu as well as in all his recipes, Anton tries to represent the national flavor of Russian cuisine - especially the St. Petersburg spirit. Apples, berries, and mushrooms become the basic ingredients of his autumn meals. This season, specialties of the house will be based on savory St. Petersburg vegetables such as tomatoes, pumpkins, cauliflower, aubergine and other vegetables of the region. Scrumptious sauces and berry decorations with cherries, plums, shadberry, cowberry and many other sorts of appetizing berries will plunge into the atmosphere of magnificent autumn miracles. Such indigenous dishes as pine cone jam will be unforgettable to our guests.

ENTRY.jpgAnton Turchin also amazes guests with unpredictable combinations and compositions uniting delicacy in clearance dishes with new trends in the restaurant business. Our new master cookery is a sphere of art, so it changes every day, and above all preserves the best traditions of bygone epochs. It’s easy for Anton to masterly combine his own secrets with long-lived Renaissance traditions. And so our restaurant “Canvas” is a unique example of a restaurant which offers the highest level of service in a respectable hotel, and yet reflects its independent way at the same time. A delicious meal in “Canvas” is really a piece of art for the soul and will help our guests enjoy the real taste of life. One visit to “Canvas” in St. Petersburg will intrigue you and encourage you to explore Russia more!

Sergey T.

Renaissance St. Petersburg Baltic

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Hi Insiders,

Before we give you the exclusive sneak peek at the final week of the Marriott Rewards FlashPerks offers, we just want to thank you for making FlashPerks such a huge success. Dozens of our associates and partners have worked hard to bring you 12 weeks of some of the best deals we’ve ever shared, and we all appreciate the enthusiasm and suggestions that you’ve shared with us.

 

We’d also like to thank our friends at Autograph Collection Hotels for helping us finish strong with a dozen unique hotel and merchandise offers that are exactly like nothing else. Here’s a taste of what you’ll see when the offers go live on www.marriottrewardsflashperks.com tomorrow, October 2, at 12PM Central Time.

 

  • A 30% discount to the Surf ‘n Turf at the Epicurean Package at Epicurean Tampa, Autograph Collection, which includes a one-night stay in a Classic King room, a gourmet picnic for two, rental of two bicycles and a two-hour cruise in a Tampa e-boat (available dates: September 19-21, October 9-12, 23-26, October 30-November 2, November 27-30)
  • Half off of the regular Marriott Rewards points redemption cost for the Algonquin Resort St Andrews by-the-Sea, Autograph Collection, with a 25% discount to spa services and complimentary room or suite upgrade, pending availability (available dates: October 23 - 26, November 10 - 15, December 10 – 13)
  • Half off of the regular Marriott Rewards points redemption cost for Union Station Hotel, Autograph Collection in Nashville, with a room upgrade (pending availability), a pair of tickets to the Frist Center for Visual Arts and complimentary welcome amenity (available dates: November 13 - 16, 20 - 23, 27 - 30; December 11 – 14)
  • Nearly half off the regular Marriott Rewards points redemption cost for a Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband (17,500 points, regularly 30,000 points)

 

Remember, these special offers will only be live for 24 hours, or until the inventory is depleted, and only available on the FlashPerks website. Quantities and stay dates are limited, and all of the terms and conditions for each offer can be found on the individual offer pages when they go live tomorrow on www.marriottrewardsflashperks.com.

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