That is a really "Tough call"! But I would have to say the C-E in Paris!
Taking two of my brothers and their wives for there first trip to Paris was extraordinary. One of my brothers is also a Platinum and travels every week as well and had booked his rooms at Rive Gauche. I new for there first trip they needed to experience C-E, as I only was going to join them for two nights and fly back to the states. The problem was, I could not get them into the C-E on points until one week before our stay. Marriott was great to me and allowed me to change their reservation from RG to CE at the last minute, it was a great move.
We had a great stay and it was so uplifting to share a special week-end with loved ones. We all bought passes on the Metro at CDG and did everything on the inexpensive passes. All went well and they left for Rome as I headed back to the US. Here are a few of my special photo's:
My Sister-in Law enjoys a standard room as we get the news that Paul Newman had just passed away!
We loved setting at the C-E sidewalk cafe that Marriott has for it's guests. A real joy!
A terrific question and nearly impossible all at the same time! I would have to say exploring Iwakuni Castle, the Kintai Bridge and Miya Jima Island while living in Japan and staying in the Hiroshima area for a month. So, so much fun exploring by bicycle. I remember feeling like a little kid on the bicycle while riding it through a concrete river bed. My young mind was a sponge, and the Japanese culture and architecture was both fascinating and exquisite and their gardens and parks, beautiful. I wish I had photos to post, but they're buried somewhere as it was a long time ago. There were beautiful pagodas, castles, bridges, parks and gardens, lakes with swans, wonderful dining and extremely cool Asian bars, I mean REALLY COOL bars as well as coffee houses believe it or not, and on Miya Jima, there were deer that were friendly, and even monkeys. I remember one narrow river that rushed down a small hillside and was loaded with boulders, amidst jungle type foliage that created a canopy, and sliding down the river on my butt over the boulders, just like a water slide, and fully clothed to boot. Oh to be young again (and in love! ).
Since you posed the question, we expect to hear about your most memorable trip! And we know how much you have traveled, so good luck with that!
Actually I posted it cause I was trying to decide in my mind, which of my trips was my favorite, and also cause I am looking for good ideas which I usually find listening to other people's experiences. I will post once I decide on which one. I even enjoy itineraries that are frequented by frequent travlers cause I love listening to the stories, and also frequent traveler know how to travel right.
Take your time...
I love how Jerrycoin travels, with hiring a private car to/from airport/hotel and that his main reason for travel is for the dining! I could totally get in to that! And Tef likes to travel to take in various sporting events. Pretty cool also. And then there's UK Chrisf who's probably been to more U.S. destinations than most U.S. travelers. I love it. It sounds like you deserve plenty of travel acclaim as well. I think you must surely hold some kind of record for most cruises(!) and can offer plenty of travel advice of your own as a frequent traveler. Would enjoy reading some posts about your travels when you have the time.
Sometimes when I can not make up my mind, I do a melange, e.g. pick a couple of different ones for different reasons. My family and friends are always asking me which I like best, and I have a hard time picking, as it depends on what you want at the time. Have traveled in 70+ countries [lived in 3], 40+ US states [lived in 10], over half of the Canadian provices, and many of the UK counties.
Guess if anyone of them really was the clear winner, I'd be more rooted in one.
You are too kind in your comments. I really think the wonder of this site it the fact you can learn and share so much! When I can take a private car that is waiting at the airport, directly to the hotel, and put the charge (The same price as a taxi), on my Marriott charge, then I want to share that info. with others. After your exciting trip to Europe with your loved ones, a little "Break" from high prices and crowds is always welcomed.
One of our favorite places in the U.S. is Washington D.C. We try to visit every couple of years at least. When we go, we always try to see new sights as well as some of our favorites. We pick our hotels based on rates available during the visit. I really want to visit during the spring when the chery blossoms are blooming.
My husband and I have not traveled in Europe extensively; however, Holland is our favorite destination because we enjoy the bicycle riding possibilities. We've been twice and have done bike and boat trips as well as touring on our own. We spent a week in Amsterdam and stayed at the Renaissance. It gets our vote as having the best concierge lounge we have ever experienced. The staff there is also superb.
Our bucket list includes trips to Italy, Key West, the eastern provinces of Canada, the northeastern U. S. during the fall, the Rose Bowl parade, and return trips to Hawaii, Alaska, and Holland.
We have stayed at the following properties during our visits. We never rent a car when we visit so we need a Metro station within walking distance. That is the first factor we use when deciding on a location. The next factor is price. We like to stay at full service properties during the week and Residence Inns on the week-end. We would return to any of these hotels, but I don't really have a favorite. At the Fairview Park Marriott, the shuttle takes you to Metro, but it doesn't run late so we had to take a taxi occasionally. All the others are close to a Metro station. I don't recall having a problem at any of them.
Residence Inn Rosslyn
Residence Inn Vermont Avenue
Courtyard Dunn Loring Fairfax
Marriott at Metro Center
The Mayflower Renaissance
Crystal City Marriott at Reagan Nat'l Airport
Fairview Park Marriott
There have been several positive comments about the Key Bridge Marriott on this site. I always consider it when we visit D.C.
Razor, we plan on going to DC on points next summer, after my daughter graduates from high school. Right now, we are leaning towards the JW, but can you recommend another Metro-close property for our family of 4? (wife, son age 19, and daughter age 17). I've stayed at the Mayflower, Washington, and Key Bridge Marriotts for business in the past. Thanks in advance!
Key Bridge Marriott is still my favorite. I always ask for a high floor facing south along the Potomac. The view more than makes up for the lack of hotel decor. I just pull the drapes back so I can admire the view by day and by night. I can walk over Key Bridge to Georgetown, to all my favorite restaurants, many of which have been there since college days. And if I am feeling really ambitious I can continue walking on down M to PA ave. Or if I don't want to walk, I can take the train from Rosslyn which is either a short walk, or the hotel will drop you there. Even when I don't get the room I like, I still get a nice view of Georgetown across the river. I love going to the restaurant up top, even if just a drink. When I lived in DC we would go over there for brunch, or for drinks and dancing [not sure its all still there though]. It's a rather basic hotel with a great location. My only disappointment is they did away with the chicken hash breakfast with hollandaise sauce as it was not a standard Marriott option. Use to love this with a pot of Earl Grey tea, when I was upgraded to a corner room that had glass on two sides. also the concierge use to have some weekend hours, though not open all weekend. Not certain if this is still trued.
Not a tough call for me at all, just the current situation is so tough I can't go back (yet). EGYPT. I have never been anywhere like Egypt before. My trips are based on history, so I go to the places I study and teach. I love France and Italy, but I've been so many times (sorry, don't attack me) that it doesn't really feel like a trip. My bucket list a year and a half ago, when I went outside my comfort zone, was the most enlightening experience of my life. (Turkey (since x 2), Greece (since x 3), Israel, West Bank, and Egypt!!! While I stayed in Cairo, I spent more than a day in the Valley of the Kings and Queens, Hatshepsut's tomb, the Colossi, the temples of Karnak and Luxor, in Luxor. I have truly never been more mesmerized in my life by what I saw, the people I met, and how dearly I want to go back. That's why I'm on twitter, the only place to get the latest stuff (although American media are starting to cover it again with the military's 'soft' coup. Soft indeed...
PS -- I will go back as soon as is feasible, and this time I want a Nile cruise from Luxor to Abu Simbel.
I actually have two great memories in my travel logs that still stick with me.
First....about a year after we were married, my wife and I took BOTH sets of parents to France and Monaco. We (I) rented a mini van and drove from Paris to Monaco (down thru Lyon, Grenoble and over the Alps into Monaco) then back thru Nice, Marseilles and up through wine country back into Paris. It was the first trip EVER out of the USA on pleasure for the folks (although both Dads were in WW II). They actually all had to get Passports to do the trip!
What an experience! I was literally a baggage handler for two weeks. Of course, they were AGHAST at how Europeans drove and many times I heard my mother in law say we were going over the cliff when going thru the Alps (the roads are so small, barely enough room for two cars two pass each other). But, now that three of the four have left us, it is a trip we are so happy we did. An absolutely great trip and they had so much fun. They never stopped talking and telling folks about it!
Second, I was fortunate to be one of the first to visit Prague after the Velvet Revolution! We met with the Finance Ministry as part of a group from a college in Boston. It was stunning (and a bit un-nerving) to be standing under statues of old Russian leaders in a place where we would have probably been shot or jailed if we were there a year earlier. It was so exciting to see how they were making the transition from Russian rule (dictatorship) to a free market. Just fascinating as we literally answered questions regarding things they knew nothing about in trying to deal with a free market!
I've been back to France many times but have yet to make the trip back to Prague. Would like to and will. There was no Marriott there when we went!
That is a touching story! I too have made the drive from Monaco to Paris and it is a little "Hair raising" until Grenoble. (I could/would not be able to do that today, as I have the same problem, you late Mother had, it was caused on another trip going from Lake Como to Munich). Likewise, was also able to take the drive from Monaco, Nice, Montpelier, Loire Valley to Paris. That was also a wonderful experience and I loved Sancerre, France.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful story! What fond memories of loved ones! You probably could have made a TV show out of that experience.
Never been to Prague, but really enjoyed reading about your experience there as well!
We also went to Pilsen as part of that trip. What many don't know is that the people from the city built underground tunnels to hide from the Germans as they were making their march through the country. We got to go down in the tunnels and see what they had down there! The local brewery (Pilsen Brewery, I'm sure you've heard of Pilsner Urquell) stored their beer down there because they never knew how much to make (that free market transition again...they used to get a call about how much beer to make every day and now they had to guess!). Those tunnels were amazing! And to top it off, I was telling the story one day back home and an older gentleman said 'you're talking about Pilsen!' and was there with the American troops who liberated the city! The story he was able to tell that filled in 'the rest of the story'! What a small world it is!!
French Polynesia. We went to Tahiti/Moorea for our honeymoon, then returned 4 years ago for a 7-day cruise on the Paul Gauguin of Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Tahaa, and Bora Bora. This is truly paradise. The most memorable part was our shark and ray feeding + snorkeling excursion in Bora Bora's lagoon. One of my top three goose-bump inducing travel experiences ever. The Gauguin is all-inclusive, including drinks, and (at the time) shore excursions, including the ray & shark feedling. Definitely this is a cheap way to go in this high-cost vacation area.
That being said, can we please get a Marriott property here? Please???
Having grown-up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, I was never a user of public transportation. In 2009 my wife and I went to Boston for a week and decided to use only public transportation (T-rail). According to the maps, there was a rail stop right outside the front doors of the Marriott Custom House (Vacation Club) where we were staying. It looked pretty simple to this west coast boy. Our flight arrived on a Friday
evening, after dark, and with a short bus ride to the T-rail station we were off. Unfortunately, that night they were doing maintenance on our rail line and were we eventually thrown off the train (luckily we each only had one wheeled bag with a small carry on) and forced to wait in line for a bus. After boarding a bus, the next item was figuring out where to get off! Luckily the Custom House has a tall spire with a clock that we were able to see from the bus. After getting off the bus we only had to schlep our bags, over the cobblestones, a few blocks to the Custom House.
We both like to walk and spent the next 7 days either walking or taking the T-rail around Boston and had a great time doing it. At the time there was a farmers market right next to the Custom House on Saturday where we got some local fruits and vegetibles. From our location we were able to walk to the North End for all the great Italian restaurants. (Here I found out that not all restaurants take credit cards!) If you do not like the Vacation Clubs, there is the Boston Marriott Long Warf just a few blocks away from the Custom House.
What a great city to visit!
Great story! I can relate to the T as I grew up south of Boston and used to ride it in the suburbs to get to high school (a Catholic school in another town from where we lived) and rode from the 'burbs to college in Boston every day! It was an experience. Boston is a great 'walking' city and the North end with that Italian food.....magnifico!
I couldn't agree more about Boston! It's my favorite city in the US and I lived there for many years. I would NEVER have a car in Boston, though, so walking or the T are the ways to go. I remember vividly after work at Mass. General walking across the Charles to my night classes, seeing all the sailboats and the way the buildings sparkled. (Yep, I'm biased for Boston).
couldn't agree more. Boston is one of the great cities in the USA. The history is as good as it gets (much more than NYC), the food in the North End is fantastic, the architecture, the sailboats and rowers, etc. For me, Boston and San Francisco fart out-do New York and LA.
I agree about San Francisco. It's such a 'fun' city. Love riding the cable cars, down at the wharf, neat restaurants (anyone remember the 'Fog City Diner' down on the Embarcadero?...what a fun place...), Sausolito looking back over the Golden Gate Bridge...and then there's Alcatraz. Going in late August...can hardly wait!
After 48 or 49 states and a couple dozen countries, it's hard to say. I've found something memorable and worth revisiting every place I've been, no matter how miserable the experience was for whatever reason. To be perfectly honest, though, I'm more interested in going to places yet unseen of which there are far too many left to check off before I go to my greatly deserved eternal punishment.
There are lot's of great places and Marriott's with good memories for us, but the one that seems like home and will always be special is the Dubai JW Marriott. My wife and I were married in Abu Dhabi five years ago in Nov. We set this up as a destination wedding and based at the Dubai Marriott. Following the wedding we hosted a dinner in the Market Place Restaurant for about 35 friends. For those who haven't been to this hotel, the Market Place has cooking stations and a wide variety of food choices. It was a great place to host a dinner everyone got to eat what ever they liked. The F&B Director brought in the band from the German Restaurant and the entire group had a lot of fun. It also turned into a honeymoon trip for my son and his wife who had recently gotten married. The hotel staff went out of their way to make it a special event for them as well: (A wedding cake, rose petals on the bed, etc.).
We shipped the friends and family that came just for the wedding home the next day and spent the next week at the Dubai Air Show.
I have been staying at this hotel since 1995 with varying frequency and the staff always makes you feel like one of the family. I've outlasted many of the staff and GMs, but Marriott keeps filling the slots with outstanding people.
If you make the trip, you will definitely enjoy the hotel.
We have been on many memorable vacations to Europe and stayed in the following Marriott hotels, all of which we love!
3.The London Marriott, Grosvenor Square..
7.The Marriott County Hall, London
1.The Grand Flora in Rome on Via Veneto, The rooftop view is amazing!
9.The Marriott Cap d'Ail close to Monaco
2.Marriott Champs Elysses, Paris The best location in Paris!
4.The Marriott Cairo near the Egyptian Museum
8.The Marriott Ledra in Athens Beautiful views of Parthenon and city from the rooftop terrace
5.The Arts Hotel in Barcelona (Ritz Carleton)
6.The A. C. Palacio in Madrid Spain (autograph collection) next to Retiro Park, close to The Prado Museum
All of these were fabulous and it is hard to pick a favorite! I did number them for personal preference though!