I'll start by answering my own question.
By far, my favorite hotel is the Mauna Kea Beach Resort, and Autograph property on the Big Island of Hawaii. Just look at this beach.
Check out both my photo album (Mauna Kea Beach Hotel) and my review (Mauna Kea Beach Hotel - Autograph property par excellence) for additional details.
bejacob, I've never stayed in an Autograph Collection hotel, so I'll give you my wish list instead
Among others I think I need a lot more money and vacation time!!
For other Marriott Brands, my favorites thus far are:
The defunct JW Marriott Ihilani
Portland Marriott City Center
and the Seattle Marriott Waterfront
Mayflower is definitely cool. While I haven't stayed there, I was part of a great VIP tour about a year ago (Re: Insiders Get Together - Mayflower Hotel). Someday I'll stay there.
On my trip to DC the weekend after Thanksgiving, I'm trying the Ritz Carlton brand for the first time (Pentagon City). Should be fun.
Any DC area Insiders up for a meet and greet?
bejacob Please forgive adding "categorization" - allows me an easier response.
PLEASE NOTE MY CHOICES FOR FAVORITES ARE NOT BASED ON LEVEL OF LUXURY - RESPONSES ARE BASED ON CONSISTENCY OF STAFF, PROPERTY CONDITION AND MAINTENANCE AND MY COMFORT ABILITY
Major City Property:. JW MARRIOTT ESSEX HOUSE - NEW YORK CITY
Consistent acknowledgment of elite status with perks (upgrades and special treatment). Might be one of Marriott's finest properties.
Suburban Property: WARNER CENTER MARRIOTT - WOODLAND HILLS CALIFORNIA
This full service 400 room hotel located in a Los Angeles suburb has been our "home away from home" during remodeling of our house -we also utilize this property for out of town guests (sort of our extra bedroom when necessary) and business associates visiting our offices. This type of property is available in many major city suburbs throughout the country but this property (as the Essex above) has been for years consistent in trained staff, maintenance of rooms and property. The quality of guest treatment is second to none.
Resort Property: CORONADO ISLAND MARRIOTT RESORT AND SPA - CORONADO ISLAND, SAN DIEGO
A few years ago my choice would have been one of the Hawaiian properties - After my first stay on Coronado - occupying one of their bay side one bedroom villas.that a stay on Coronado afforded us many advantages: Firstly a property that encompasses every attribute that you would hope for at a Marriott. Where it's staff, condition, maintenance etc., this property exceeds your expectations.
The property is located 140 miles from my home - this translates into NO AIR TRAVEL! At the end of our stay we open the trunk throw in all the dirty clothes and drive home - if we are unlucky to be returning home on a Sunday with horrendous traffic - the 3-4 hour auto trip is time we would be spending at an airport prior to our flight home without the 5 hour flight. . Add to this San Diego - with probably the best climate in the country, great restaurants and activities you have here a real winner.
International Property: Too many to choose - I have stayed in 10-15 properties in Europe alone - all have been "top notch"
My all-time favorites, in no particular order:
RC Amelia Island
RC Naples (the beach one, not the golf one)
Marco Island Marriott
RC Ft. Lauderdale
MVCI Crystal Shores
MVCI St. Kitts Beach Club
MVCI Ko Olina
Renaissance at the Depot - Minneapolis
San Diego Marriot Marina
PS - My favorite non-Marriott Properties:
Windsor Court - New Orleans
Condado Vanderbilt - Puerto Rico
Fairmont Copley Place - Boston
Omni Parker House - Boston
Four Seasons - Westlake Village, CA
Palmer House - Chicago (Hilton)
Alex Johnson - Rapid City, SD (Hilton)
Grand Hyatt Seattle
Grand Hotel - Minneapolis
Marquette Hotel - Minneapolis (Hilton)
The St. Paul Hotel
Hey, bejacob, you might get a kick out of this post - What's Your Favorite Marriott Property and Why? | Marriott Rewards® Insiders - although, obviously, it's become dated and fallen off the radar screen....
These types of threads are always informative (and fun).... Another couple to consider include: Top 3 Concierge Lounges ? and Favorite Marriott Views???? | Marriott Rewards® Insiders