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Share your Insider tips about travel to Manchester by commenting on this post and you could earn points.


We might not have a beach in Manchester, England but that does not mean we don’t know how to make the most of the sun. Here are our Lead Navigator’s top recommendations for experiencing some of the best sunny activities that Manchester has to offer:

Hit a Beer Garden: For the eighth rainiest place in the UK, we don't have to have a lot of places to drink outdoors. Castlefield's vast waterside terraces make it one of the most popular spots in the city especially in warmer weather. Spinningfields and Canal Street also have many outside spaces to eat and drink al fresco. You really must go to Sinclair’s Oyster Bar in Exchange Square - their beer garden is a sun trap.

Go for a picnic: Manchester's Heaton Park is famously the biggest municipal park in Europe, so there’s no shortage of space to spread out your picnic blanket there. Or for a picnic with a difference, the recently-reopened Whitworth gallery has a stash of hampers you can borrow - but you’ll have to bring your own sandwiches, as theirs are full of art materials and ideas instead -- and a picnic blanket, of course.


Everything in one place: Spinningfields is located between Deansgate and the River Irwell and has everything from cocktail bars, law courts, high end boutiques, banks and so much more. The Lawn Club, which has recently opened after a revamp, has its own private lawn which hosts exclusive events from barbeques and live arts through to garden games and al fresco dinner parties. Visit the Spinningfields Markets every third weekend of the month from 11am – 5pm. The Markets showcases award-winning local food, drink, art and craft producers and artisans as well as live music, performances, cookery demonstrations and activities for children. It also offers vintage and objet d'art – think grandma’s attic. With vintage clothing and accessories, furniture and finer collectibles, kitchenware, decorative items, and unusual and quirky pieces, the market is a retro and kitsch haven right in the heart of Spinningfields.


"Manchester has everything except a beach" (Ian Brown of the Stone Roses). Come and visit soon!


Jeremy U.

Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel


Be sure to check out our latest installment of The Insiders Dish, featuring a member cookbook!


We turned the tables on YOU this time around. Check out the member cookbook to see what's cooking at your fellow Insiders' homes.


Turning the tables on YOU


Got any recipes to share? Post away within The Insiders Dish. Be sure to include pictures, too!

Please do us a favor and cast your vote for your favorite U.S. city to visit!


Poll: What is your favorite U.S. city to visit?

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On a clear and sunny Savannah day a decade ago, the Mansion on Forsyth Park opened for business ushering in a hospitality renaissance that continues to help the Hostess City take her place as a top U.S. travel destination. The original historic Mansion on Forsyth Park was carefully restored with a complementary section for the hotel, gallery, spa, pool, grand ballroom, a Bösendorfer Lounge and more. Visitors to Savannah can now enjoy a luxury boutique hotel, restaurant, gallery and world-class spa in one convenient location.


Guests at the Mansion on Forsyth Park arrive on a driveway paved with oyster shells and lined with authentic street lamps brought all the way from London. Upon a warm welcome through the glass front doors, one is immersed in Southern elegance and charm in an artistic haven adorned with Versace furniture, one-of-a-kind artwork, sculptures and other treasures. From the rich, polished décor to a captivating art collection of more than 400 original pieces, assembled specifically for the hotel, the Mansion on Forsyth Park marries haute style with old world elegance. The hotel is also home to one of Savannah’s favorite attractions – the 700 Kitchen Cooking School where guests learn to craft their own cuisine with a James Beard featured chef. Guests also can dine on delicious gourmet cuisine at 700 Drayton, indulge in a spa treatment at the Poseidon Spa and purchase local and international works of art at our Grand Bohemian Gallery. End the day by sipping a craft cocktail at the stylish Casimir’s Lounge where guests can relax on the second floor veranda overlooking the moss laden great oaks of Forsyth Park. We hope you will visit us soon at the Mansion on Forsyth Park.


Michele M.

Mansion on Forsyth Park, Autograph Collection


New team member!

Posted by communitymanager Jul 20, 2015



We have a new team member joining us this week! I'm excited to introduce carat. You'll start to see Cara's name pop up in the community as she begins moderating this week and will be someone you can go to for help. The rest of the team, joshm KatieC lindseyh are all still here to take your questions as well. You can learn a little more about Cara below:


carat.pngI absolutely love to travel, I wish I had more time to do so, but who doesn't.  I have been a loyal Marriott patron for longer than I can remember and have had the wonderful opportunity to stay in Marriott's around the world.  My father is a Platinum Elite Lifetime Member, so I am very familiar with the process and how wonderful it can be. 


My bucket list for traveling continues to grow.  Stateside, I'd love to spend some time in our National Parks, I love being in the mountains and all that comes with it.  Abroad, I dream of the chance to travel Italy by rail and by sea.  I travel frequently to Austin, TX.  It's one of my favorite cities and the more time I spend there, the more I fall in love with it. 


I have a great love for being creative and try to bring that aspect to all parts of my life, whether it be a DIY project or spending time my nephew.  I'm all about making messes and trying new things.  I'm finding my path, simply by walking it. 


Please join me in welcoming carat to Insiders!

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Share your Insider tips about travel to Texas by commenting on this post and you could earn points.


No other town in Texas lays claim to a budding heritage quite like Tyler’s. Tucked serenely in East Texas, Tyler is home to some of the state’s most bountiful rose gardens. October in Tyler brings Rose Season, and with it come 32,000 blooming bushes at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden. All month long Tyler celebrates budding beds of roses with horticulture workshops, garden tours, and other festivities culminating in the pinnacle Rose Season event: the Texas Rose Festival October 15 – 18, 2015. The theme for this year’s Texas Rose Festival is Royalty of the Under Water Realm.


Since its beginning in 1933, the Texas Rose Festival has represented the spirit that brings Tyler together as a community. Rich in heritage and tradition, the Festival offers enchanting events residents and visitors alike can enjoy, all amidst the backdrop of brilliant roses. Perhaps one of the most popular events is the Texas Rose Festival parade, which kicks off at 9am Saturday, October 17. Following the parade is another favorite: the Queen’s Tea. The Tea is 1-3pm located in the Queen’s Court at the Rose Garden. The event is free and open to the public, giving visitors the opportunity to see the Rose Queen and her court up close in their lavish gowns. Several other events throughout the four days make this Festival one of the best in Texas.


Can’t make it to the Texas Rose Festival? Tyler has events happening all month long to celebrate Rose Season. Enjoy live entertainment, garden workshops, family-friendly events, and more! More than any other, this time of year in Tyler begs you to take some time to stop and smell the roses. For a full list of Rose Season events go to www.visittyler.com/calendar. We hope you will stay with us here at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Tyler on your visit.


Holli C.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Tyler

Thank you for all your submissions to the Insiders Post & Pack Giveaway! We had an overwhelming response, as well as some fantastic and unique ideas of what to pack in our day pack.


As a reminder, the grand prize of the Post & Pack Giveaway is the Alps Mountaineering Valdez Day Pack or its value in Marriott Rewards points (25,000 points), the choice is up to the winner.


Announcing the Post & Pack Winner:



bbqing said they would pack their passport, credit card and Kindle for long flights or train rides. Please join me in congratulating bbqing!

Thanks for your participation, Insiders!

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Ever been to Charlotte, N.C.? Share your inside tips by commenting on this post and you could earn points! ...


Home of the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Hornets, the “Queen City” of Charlotte, North Carolina is one of the most growing and vibrant cities in the south east U.S. Charlotte has also quickly become a go-to spot for weekends and getaways for all age groups. When you arrive in Charlotte, NC you will quickly notice one unique thing about our city, which is the great pride around our local sports teams. After all, we have some of the best sporting events of the year from the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, and the NASCAR races. We hope you will enjoy one of these amazing events when you visit. We are also home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which is within walking distance from the Fairfield Inn and Suites Charlotte Uptown.


If sports are not really your cup of tea, Charlotte has plenty of alternative options including a variety of entertainment at local theatres such as The Visulite or Ovens Auditorium -- here you will find hit Broadway productions and performances from top artists. If you are looking for shopping, Charlotte has a lot of options: the Metropolitan is a popular outdoor/open air shopping plaza near uptown, or you can enjoy the many boutique options right in the uptown area.


ENTRY 3.jpgEver go to a new city and not know where to eat? We want to solve that one for you too! The Queen City boasts great food options for everyone. Food enthusiasts love the upscale tastes of Dressler’s contemporary steakhouse, Infused – a fun yet upscale neighborhood bar (which has great cocktail specials), Dilworth Neighborhood Grille, and of course QTavern, featuring locally sourced craft tap and fine food. And that’s just the short list - our front desk staff always has other great options to suggest.


If you are seeking time outdoors under the Carolina sun, we suggest you take a walk, bike, or run on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway or at Elizabeth & Thompson Park, which is located just a couple of blocks from the Fairfield Inn and Suites Charlotte Uptown. Whatever you are hoping to experience in Charlotte, it is most likely just around the corner. We hope to have you come and visit us very soon!


Jason H. & Audrey F.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Charlotte Uptown

Account security is more important than ever. In the coming weeks, we’ll be adding enhanced security features to further protect your account.


What can you expect to see? Soon, if you make updates to your profile or redeem points for certain transactions, you’ll be prompted to enter a temporary code which you will be able to receive through email, SMS or phone. You’ll also be able to register your device during this process to speed up future account profile changes and redemptions. We’re just making sure it’s really you ordering that gift card or making a profile change.

Taking this one extra step makes your account even more secure, and will help prevent unauthorized access.

What can you do now? To prepare for these updates, we ask that you take a moment and sign in to your account and update your profile with your preferred mailing address, phone number and email.

Thanks Insiders!


I'd like to highlight an article found on Marriott Traveler Chicago, featuring one of our very own Insiders, stelzer001!


Check out stelzer001's great tips for Chicago, including best places to grab a bite and the best tips for getting around the city. Thanks stelzer001 for your insight into the Windy City and congratulations on being featured!

View from the Inside: Q&A with Marriott Rewards Insider >>

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Have you traveled to St. Augustine, Florida? Share your insider tips by commenting on this post and you could earn points! ...


As a historic landmark centered in the nation’s oldest city, Casa Monica Hotel is St. Augustine’s only AAA Four-Diamond hotel and is a constant favorite among locals, visitors and celebrities. Fully restored in 1999, the rich history of this iconic landmark shines through with impressive fortress-like architecture as it majestically overlooks the downtown district and Matanzas Bay. Culture, worldly flavor and art combine at the hotel, inspiring unforgettable beauty and alluring discerning travelers, such as celebrities, artists, musicians and political figures – similar to the guest list more than a century ago. Upon arrival, guests are awe-inspired by the luxurious grand lobby adorned with Moroccan frescos, fountains, tapestries and magnificent chandeliers, all contributing to the hotel’s mystique. The timeless guestrooms and suites transport visitors back to an era of old world charm among Spanish-style romanticism, with custom designed interiors, including classical furnishings with gold accents and plush red velvet tufted headboards.


Casa Monica Hotel has a storied history. Franklin W. Smith built and opened the hotel on January 1, 1888 with only three guests. After struggling for a few months, Henry Flagler purchased the hotel for $325,000. He then re-named it Hotel Cordova, and business boomed. The hotel closed its doors in 1932, later to be purchased in 1962 for $250,000 and served as the County Courthouse for another 30 years. In 1997, hotelier Richard C. Kessler, chairman and CEO of The Kessler Collection, acquired the extraordinary property. Following two years and $10 million worth of restoration, Casa Monica Hotel debuted once again as a luxurious St. Augustine hotel in the same splendor guests would have experienced during the height of the Gilded Age nearly 125 years ago.


Today, the hotel features unparalleled experiences such as the new Costa Brava at 95 Cordova restaurant. Guests take a culinary journey along the Spanish Mediterranean enjoying a sumptuous meze-style menu featuring fresh and flavorful coastal cuisine, perfect to share with friends and family. The Grand Bohemian Gallery features local, regional and internationally recognized artists. Exhibitions and artist receptions showcase works of art designed to inspire the collector and celebrate creativity. In addition to the restaurant and gallery, the hotel boasts a recently opened Poseidon Spa where customized therapies from the earth and sea inspire the senses, relax the body, and renew the spirit, allowing for a personal journey of tranquility and timelessness. Come and experience this iconic landmark.


Michele M.

Casa Monica Hotel

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Have you been to Edinburgh? Share your stories or comment on this post and you could earn points! ...

It’s that time of year once again when everyone here in Edinburgh, and indeed all over world, eagerly waits to join in the celebrations of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is one of the most successful and popular performance and music festivals in Europe. The festival itself was humbly established by eight local theatre groups who turned up uninvited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival, which today has become the largest arts festival in the world.

In the post war period of 1947, eight theatre groups performed uninvited at the introductory Edinburgh International Festival, taking advantage of the large crowds to showcase their own unique alternative style of theatre. A year later, Scottish playwright and journalist Robert Kemp complimented the unintentional performers by stating, “Round the fringe of official Festival drama, there seems to be more private enterprise than before…I am afraid some of us are not going to be at home during the evenings”. And just like that, he inspired the name of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Today, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Edinburgh International Festival are continuing to create a celebratory atmosphere in the city, taking place each year during the month of August. In 2014, there were 49,497 performances in 3,193 shows in 299 venues, making it one of the most successful years in the Festival’s history. Until this day, the policy of the Fringe Festival remains the same – the program of performances will include anyone who has a story to tell and a venue willing to host them.

Visitors of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015 will have the opportunity to experience theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, cabaret, circus, musicals, children's shows, music, opera, spoken word, events and exhibitions. This year the Edinburgh Fringe Festival opens its doors from 07 until 31 August. Edinburgh City will host one more amazing year of the Festival with various venues in the city. Hopefully we will see you around the city enjoying the performances. And we will be delighted to welcome you at the Edinburgh Marriott Hotel for your accommodations.

Marios K.

Edinburgh Marriott Hotel


Insiders, you’re the first to hear about an exciting new Marriott Rewards partnership with NRG Home Solar.


Make the switch to power your home with clean energy from the sun, and earn up to 30,000 bonus points. You can earn 5,000 points just for having an NRG Home Solar specialist come to your home and show you what it’s all about. If you decide to install solar panels on your home, you’ll earn an additional 25,000 points.


Learn more about NRG Home Solar and Marriott Rewards >>


Currently, the offer is only available to Marriott Rewards members in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York who are also first-time NRG Home Solar customers.

A Finger-Food Fourth: Marriott recipes and entertaining ideas for your 4th of July celebration


It’s hard to believe the 4th of July is next week! So what could be more patriotic (and fun) than celebrating with friends and family with a summer meal together? And what could be a better time to try something new on Insiders…


Starting this month, we’ll be featuring menus with printable recipes from Marriott’s expansive recipe files from our hotel and corporate culinary teams, along with entertaining tips and ideas for accompaniments. You can find the recipes in this space on Insiders: The Insiders Dish.

This month, enjoy some of our favorite finger-foods, including Angus Beef Sliders with Mighty Mo Sauce, a recipe with a past.  Ask many Washingtonians about their favorite meal out as a child, and you’ll most likely hear, “A Mighty Mo from Hot Shoppes!” What began in 1923 as a tiny root beer stand in Northwest Washington, D.C. by J. Willard Marriott, Hot Shoppes grew into a popular family-style restaurant chain and winning a sentimental part of the history of our nation’s capital.

Let us know if you prepare any of these recipes and send us your pictures!


The Insiders Dish: A Finger-Food Fourth

Featuring a 4th of July menu



  • Angus Beef Sliders with Mighty Mo Sauce
  • Crab Cake Sliders
  • Lobster Roll Sliders

Can’t find slider rolls in your local grocery? No problem! Just cut hot dog rolls in thirds and you’re set.



  • Caprese Salad Skewers

Skewer a grape tomato, basil leaf and small mozzarella ball through a toothpick, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and you have a colorful finger-food salad.


  • Watermelon Stars

Cut slices of watermelon into stars using a cookie-cutter for a patriotic effect.

  • Chocolate Nut Cookies


  • Strawberry 100 Cocktail

Click here to view the recipes

Did you enjoy The Insiders Dish post? Are you interested in seeing other Marriott recipes, menus or foodie posts like this? Let us know by commenting below!


Starting on July 1, 2015 you’ll see an upgraded breakfast at all TownePlace Suites to include hot offerings and more variety. Your standard items will still be available, so whether it’s a coffee and a banana for your fast-paced day or a plate of hot waffles to sit down and savor, TownePlace Suites now has the options to start your mornings off just the way you like them.




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  • Fried eggs with cracked pepper
  • Pork sausage
  • Hot oatmeal and toppings
  • Baked goods
  • Waffles
  • Fresh fruit
  • Assorted yogurt
  • Sweet, savory and crunchy cereals
  • Assorted juices
  • Fresh-brewed coffee and more!

Does anyone have an upcoming reservation at a TownePlace Suites? Let us know your thoughts on the upgraded breakfast.

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