7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2013 12:57 AM by anadyr RSS

Hotel philosophy

profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

"Man is born free, but everywhere in chains." -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 18th C. Enlightenment philosopher.

 

Maybe he knew something we didn't since hotel chains had yet to be born.  Perhaps we should look beyond the chains, at least where it is in our best interest to do so.

ProfChiara

 

PS -- I can't help adding to this because as I typed a tag it offered me a first choice as I started typing Category that started with Catastrophic.  Unfortunately when I went back I couldn't replicate it.

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Paris, France Marriott Hotels & Resorts Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel
  • Re: Hotel philosophy
    GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    ProfC,

     

    Agree that hotel chains may not be the way to go.

     

    Prior to Marriott expanding as they have, I used independents when not at Marriott.

     

    I never particularly liked Hilton ever.  Sheraton was okay for a while then became unpredictable.  Hyatt wanted me to pay to be in their loyalty program. Occassionally used Embassy Suites on government rates as it was encouraged since breakfast was included, so they could reduce our per diem.

     

    Some of my most interesting hotel stays have been in independent hotels where we really got to know the local culture much more. The Asian properties below are the reason why American hotel chains can not lower their standards in Asia or they will lose their clientele as these properties are wonderful, and very reasonable.

    • Chiang Mai, Thailand - Dusit Thani which means heavenly tower is actually a Thai hotel chain recommended by one of my friends with Thai relatives.  It was a very charming hotel with great Thai breakfast.  Property I stayed in now costs ~$60/nite and is quite luxurious.

           http://www.dusit.com/dusit-princess/princess-chiang-mai.html

    • Hua Hin, Thailand - where the Thai Royal Family vacations - and you will be treated like visiting royalty.

            http://www.dusit.com/dusit-thani/dusit-thani-huahin.html

    • Rasa Sayang, Penang, Malaysia - discovered this property on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.  It use to be independent but is now owned by the Shangri-la hotel chain which has very nice properties (stayed in one in Kuala Lumpur when the Hyatt decided not to honor my points reservation.  Cost me much less for a far nicer room than Hyatt had).

            http://www.shangri-la.com/penang/rasasayangresort/?mkwid=s7Eos6eT1&pcrid=27438519451&WT.srch=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_term=rasa+sayang+penang&utm_campaign=North+America+-+Brand

            http://www.shangri-la.com/kualalumpur/shangrila/

    • Khota Bharu, Malaysia - Pendana Resort which costs ~$180 Ringgit or ~$60 USD for a very nice private ocean side cottage, that Queen Elizabeth has stayed in.  When we were there in the Feb, it was practically empty, just one other German couple staying there, and they came every year at the same time.

            http://www.perdanaresort.com.my/index.html

    • Singapore - Raffles Hotel - Home of the Singapore Sling!  When we first stayed there, rooms were less than $100, but after the rennovations, they are now more like less than $1K per night $800-900).  So, I stay across the straits in Jahore Bharu for a fraction of this cost.  Most of the hotels will pick you up at the Singapore Airport.

           http://www.raffles.com/singapore/

    • Jahore Bharu, Malaysia - just across the straits from Singapore - KSL Resort which is attached to a local shopping mall.  Rates are about $80-90

            http://kslresorts.com.my/

    • Kusadusi, Turkey - Caravansarii - stayed at a 300 year old caravansarii where all the caravnas use to stop.  Tallest steps I have ever seen so they could ride their horses and camels up the steps.  They have fairly regular shows for the cruise ships that docked.  We just sat upstairs in  the lobby area outside our room, playing backgammon, and watched the show from there.

           http://www.kusadasihotelcaravanserail.com/galeri.html

    • Pamukkale, Turkey - many hotels built along the ridge overlooking the hotsprings.  One even has created a pool over the ruins

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamukkale

            http://wikitravel.org/en/Pamukkale

    • Barcelona, Spain - Hotel Colon - excellent views of the Gothic Cathedral, Medieval Gates to Barri Gothic, and Sardana Dancers on Sat night and Sun noon from the balcony rooms facing the Cathedral.

     

    Finding interesting independents just takes a little extra work to check out the options but is much easier now that most have web pages.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Hotel philosophy
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Gem Princess,

      My comment was a little bit inspired (teaching prep) but then felt heartfelt.  I realized that at least with hotels, I had put myself in chains.  I was staying at at least some places I didn't particularly care for (especially when I was still staying in the US) just to get Marriott points.  And now that some of the best hotels in Europe are above my pay grade at Cat 9 for rewards (let alone price x currency), I'm throwing off my chains.  I probably won't do this, but I EVEN looked at hotels in Athens for next month even though I have a booking at the Ledra, one of my favorite Marriotts.  If I get demoted in status, I would still often stay at Ghent, Brussels, and Athens, but since points seem so unimportant now, maybe I should be closer to the Acropolis, esp if I also get breakfast, wifi, etc.?  The Athens Ledra has treated me wonderfully from start to finish in my five stays, so I would feel bad.  But I am going to look.

       

      I think all of us need to do a cost/benefit analysis with regard to our stays from now on.

      ProfChiara

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Hotel philosophy
        GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi ProfC,

         

        I have fallen into this travel rut which I think started when my work travel ramped up, and it was just hard to keep up with the reservations.  The loyalty programs were just starting up, and the vendors that had great programs, and took good care of me became my go to travel plan.  I also trusted these vendors to take care of me as a cusotmer, and focused my travel, and the team's travel through these vendors.

         

        With this sudden devaluation of points, services and ultimately the customer, I am starting to remember more creative travel days, where I spent more time researching a destination, and logistical options, instead of just searching the Marriott directory.

         

        Perhaps I have become lazy and uncreative.

         

        Just checked my lifteime point balance and discovered that its $2.6M.

         

        Had I been a bit more creative, I could own several properties.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Hotel philosophy
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Rosseau later said "I was born almost dying, they had little hope of saving me."  Alas he was not really a cheery fellow, but a brilliant one.  Have you been to his tomb in the Pantheon? 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Hotel philosophy
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Indeed I have, since it is also home to the Bibliothèque Sainte-Genéviève.  Rousseau did have the good sense to make some good acquaintances before Paris, live in beautiful Annécy with his 'mentress' for a bit, then go, bedraggled (which made quite the impression) to the famous salons of pre-Revolutionary Paris.  But he ultimately was a Geneva sort of guy.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Hotel philosophy
        Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        And from a watchmaking family (Not the Wildorfs--they branched out to Rolex)

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Hotel philosophy
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Wow,

     

    You all three are "Inspiring"!

     

    You make me think of this guy, so thanks for the information and great memories!

    IMG_1626.jpg

    Great place to enjoy, about half-way from the Marriott C-E and The Renaissance AdT!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    Location Brand Hotel
    Paris, France Marriott Hotels & Resorts Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel

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