Hi Everybody! I am excited about the new year and the new possibilities for travel. I am going into this New Year with a very positive outlook, and have a new mind frame for travel. This year I am going to focus on J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton locations in the Western U.S. How about you? Any new travel resolutions for the New Year? I am looking forwards to hearing!
Highly recommend visiting Vancouver, B.C., and staying either at the Marriott of Renaissance (across the street), downtown Vancouver. Enjoy an early dinner at the Fish House in nearby Stanley Park, take the lift up to Grose Mountain at night to see the city lights, perhaps eat dinner on top of the mountain. Fred
Beautiful picture. I did take a catamaran to Victoria out of Seattle once, but have not made it to Vancouver yet. British Columbia is very beautiful, and in many ways during my short visit, unique!
How is the Renaissance up there? I may have to do some research. I do have some Alaskan airline miles sitting around which I have kept alive with small deposits.
I look forward to it. - Al
I've traveled to Vancouver, B.C., for many years - used to fly direct from Atlanta there, but I don't think Delta offers this anymore. I've not stayed at the Renaissance, which is across the street from the Marriott Hotel, but either place would be near Stanley Park, the Waterfront, and shopping areas. You just need to navigate the one-way streets in downtown Vancouver. Don't neglect crossing over the Burrard St. Bridge to Granville area, and if you want a real treat - stop in Daniel's Chocolates - best Belgian Chocolates in N.A. If you have time, drive through Stanley Park, cross over Lions Bridge to North/West Vancouver, and take the coastal road to Whistler (ski resort and site of former Olympics).
With our dollar being so weak, I have only one trip outside the US next year. I have many planned in the US including 2 to Alaska.
I have been to Vancouver more than once and enjoyed being there. One time, I flew to Vancouver, spent some time there and then took the ferry to Vancouver Island and spent time driving around it staying in several different cities including Victoria and Campbell River.
A quick trip to Abu Dhabi in February, but it looks like Germany, Austria, Czech, and Slovakia will constitute the Grand Dame of travel for us in 2013. A possible visit to the Big Island in late fall, if time off and funds can be kept in reserve (LOL!). Fall deals will be a factor as well. It really depends on where the kids end up when they finally return from Germany in September. Other than that, the usual annual fare: two visits to Boise, two visits to the Colorado River, a visit to Newport Coast,a couple of visits to Carlsbad by the Sea as well as the Inland Empire (all family related), and a couple of Central Coast (beam me up, Scotty!) getaways. We are also planning on enjoying ourselves at Dodger Stadium on opening day. Not a lot of Marriotts in the places we will be next year, so will see how MR elite status progresses. May have to put a bag over my head in 2014!
It's been quite a while since I visited Vancouver, but it was absolutely memorable. Beautiful city. Hanging flower baskets, beautiful parks and bridges, wonderful pubs and dining. The bird watching in Stanley Park is fantastic. Be sure to visit Capilano Suspension Bridge. A real ripper. If you can swing a few extra days, or perhaps on another visit, Victoria is also one of my favorite places to spend time. I think your girlfriend will love it. Hey, since you'll be on a roll, may as well enjoy the great city of Seattle. Beautiful scenery, wonderful urban night life, plus take a ferry to Friday Harbor and the San Juan Islands and do some whale watching. Awesome.
I hear ya Californian. I just noticed the other day when I made a donation to a charitable cause that it came up on my credit card receipt as a little more then I had expected becuase it was transferred from Canadian dollars. I never thought I would live to see the day when the Canadian Dollar beat the U.S. one. Wow.
This also applies to the Vancouver trip. I simply never thought it would cost me more to go there. I am still so mentally affixed to the Canada dollar equaling 75 U.S.cents like it was for decades. I have done the Victoria thing. Quite interesting. Did you tour the little Russian submarine that is there? I cannot believe Russian sailors were still in that tiny thing into the 1990's.
I wish you many fun and safe journeys through the new year coming up. I am looking forward to hearing what you have to say after going on them into the next year.
Happy holidays my friend! - Al
I'm looking to maybe take the missus to New Orleans in the Spring and burn off my Megabonus Cat 1-4 certs before they expire in June (anyone stayed at the Residence Inn in the Warehouse District?). Given that work-related travel this year ended up at 43 weeks (25 of 26 in the 2nd half alone)—and 2013 looks to be just as busy—I'm not putting much hope in it happening, though.
43 weeks in insanity type material. I have done a lot of travel in the not so distant past, but 100 nights a year was my max. Is most of your travel usually at one location (like a residence ) or spread out? I was fortunate (well it depends on how you look at it) in that I was able to go to approx. 30 different cities when I was doing the 100 nights a year. That certainly kept things spiced up. Anyway. I have never been to New Orleans. I set up the mrs. and her girlfriend for a week once, but not me persoanlly YET. Gonna make it. Have you been before? I am not familiar with the location in Warehouse district. But I do think the name sounds intriguing! LOL! . I hope that turns out nice.
My "territory" is North America. Not sure how many cities, but I know there were over 160 flights to them this year. No pattern, just whenever, wherever I get booked. Makes for some less-than-sensible travel cycles, like NYC-Seattle-Atlanta in successive weeks; I don't have the ability to sequence locations for convenience. Seasons are also fun. I'll generally be in places like GA and FL in the summer, AK and ND in the winter. Go figure.
Been to NOLA at least a dozen times over the years, going back to 1975. Only place in the US I have never, EVER eaten at anything resembling a corporate chain. Foodie heaven, plus an amazing amount of culture, history, and things to see & do in the region.
Happy holidays Big Al
My initial travel plans follows an Insiders crafted strategy. I start off visiting tef's and pluto's Newport Beach Villas, then off to your new hot spot the Aruba Renaissance, a trip to Insider favorite for first time London visitors, London County Hall and then in July I'm off to what I think will be a great summer vacation (in spite of currency exchange weakness) the Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf Residence Inn in Ontario Canada. I'll give you the lowdown upon my return, but it looks like a great lake relaxation spot for me. I'll keep an eye out for moose (is the plural mice?). I toss in some family trips and some sports activities and then come up for air around Labor Day, which hopefully by Memorial Day, I've booked some great 'once in the Marriott matrix' deals for the 4th quarter.
My other 2013 travel resolution is to continue to seek out the best prices/deals on marriott.com, a worthy goal given the formidable opponent. I will forego the potential savings of e-bates, Mr. Rebates, hotel.com, priceline, expedia etc for the hopefully reduced cognitive dissonance of dealing with 'family' - although it's becoming harder and harder (as shown by the Marriott profile on CNBC) to rely upon the mothership website for a 'fair' shake as Marriott becomes more and more clever - bordering on 'tricky' as they seek to optimize revpar (we're seeing shorter park and fly offers, tighter meal offers, like breakfasts included day two and three, and understandably, more aggressive pricing in general as Marriott continues its current uptick mojo). I will continue to battle my nemesis, the AAA rate higher than the standard rate and the hated arch-enemy the Marriott Rewards Offer higher than the standard rate (so much for the benefit of being an elite - caveat emptor, these rascals are showing up more and more frequently, I can't allow myself to confuse Offer with Deal).
Along those lines - everyone check out today's Wall Street Journal article - "Websites Vary Prices, Deals Based on Users' Information" this is the wave of the future, already here, and you can bet your weekend breakfast and bogos that Marriott will be in the forefront of the trend.
Put your game faces on Marriott, it's going to be a blast.
Totally agree its a lovely property.
Stayed there when I returned from an Alaskan cruise, and decided I like Vancouver better than either Seattle or San Francisco.
Have always planned to return and spend more time there.
Maybe I should make that my New Year's Resolution.