95 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2016 1:43 PM by iahflyr RSS

17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?

brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Unless you're a prepper and have been hiding in your post-nuclear-apocalypse-shelter since the beginning of the year (or a newb, in which case, hi ) you will be aware of our TIPPLEimage.jpegmeetup which is happening at the end of next week - yes, that soon!


While for all y'all (ah'm STILL improoovin' ma Texan) it is simply our much anticipated and treasured TIPPLE image.jpegfor me this is part of a much bigger trip, in fact it's a 17 night mixed work and history visit incorporating a civil war roadtrip, joining bejacob on a County collecting journey and several legal research meetings. And I'm keeping all you lucky people involved with piccies, hotel reports, lounge reviews and flight critiques, all from the perspective of a Marriott Platinum (most of the time), an IHG Spire (secondary scheme) and a United Silver (courtesy of Marriott Plat).


So sit back, grab a TIPPLE image.jpegor two, relax in your comfiest chair, travel with me and comment.


So let's get started, shall we, boys and girls...


Oh, before we do, let me just take this opportunity to completely gratuitously say the word TIPPLEimage.jpegagain


TIPPLEimage.jpegTIPPLEimage.jpegTIPPLEimage.jpeg

(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
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA Courtyard By Marriott Courtyard Gettysburg
Woodstock, Virginia, USA
Richmond, Virginia, USA Marriott Hotels & Resorts Richmond Marriott
Hamilton, NJ - New RI
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA Renaissance Hotels Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel
Houston, Texas, USA Courtyard By Marriott Courtyard Houston Brookhollow
Houston, Texas, USA JW Marriott JW Marriott Houston Downtown
Corpus Christi, Texas, USA SpringHill Suites By Marriott SpringHill Suites Corpus Christi
Harlingen, Texas, USA Residence Inn By Marriott Residence Inn Harlingen
San Antonio, Texas, USA Marriott Hotels & Resorts Marriott Plaza San Antonio
  • Re: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    This is how it rolls, in a few words ('cos lots more will follow later)


    Arrive Wednesday September 7th and depart Saturday September 24th


    Three flights, four legs, all with United Airlines


    07 September 09:25 UA80 MAN-EWR...Land 12:25

    14 September 15:29 UA687 EWR-IAH....Land 18:09

    24 September 13:20 UA589 IAH-IAD......Land 17:30

    ..... ....connect 18:40 UA100 IAD-MAN....Land 06:35


    17 nights at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - 7 Marriott & 2 IHG


    07 September - Harrisburg Crowne Plaza (IHG) - $115

    08 September - Gettysburg Courtyard - $90

    09 September - Woodstock Holiday Inn Express (IHG) - $115

    10 September - Richmond Marriott - $150

    11 September - Richmond Marriott - $140

    12 September - Hamilton Residence Inn - Cat2 10,000 points

    13 September - Newark Airport Renaissance - Cat5 Certificate

    14 September - Houston BrookHollow Courtyard - Cat1 7,500 points

    15 September - Houston Downtown JW - $120

    16 September - Houston Downtown JW - $120

    17 September - Houston Downtown JW - $120

    18 September - Corpus Christi Springhill Suites - $115

    19 September - Harlingen Residence Inn - Cat2 10,000 points

    20 September - San Antonio Marriott - bejacobs paying for this one...

    21 September - Houston ICON Autograph - $190

    22 September - Houston North Marriott - $60

    23 September - Houston North Marriott - $60


    Yes, for those who tested themselves on Re: Pay or Redeem? this schedule will be vaguely familiar-ish...


    The whole trip breaks down into:


    1 Autograph for 1 night

    2 Courtyards for 1 night each

    1 Crowne Plaza (IHG) for 1 night

    1 Holiday Inn Express (IHG) for 1 night

    1 JW Marriott for 3 nights

    3 Marriott Full Service for 5 nights (one 1-night & two 2-nights)

    1 Renaissance for 1 night

    2 Residence Inns for 1 night each

    1 Springhill Suites for 1 night



    So, madness, or just someone who enjoys a busy schedule (and checking in and out of hotels)..?

    (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Crazy? Perhaps, but who am I to judge? I have my own madness. I call it county collecting.

     

    I know you're just along for the ride, but here's a list of the towns and cites (county seats) we'll be visiting in south Texas after we leave Houston.

     

    Sept 18

    Angleton

    Bay City

    Port Lavaca

    Rockport

    Corpus Christi

     

    Sept 19

    Alice

    San Diego

    Hebbronville

    Laredo

    Zapata

    Rio Grande City

    Edinburg

    Brownsville

     

    Sept 20

    Raymondville

    Falfurrias

    Sarita

    Kingsville

    Sinton

    Beeville

    Karnes City

    Floresville

    San Antonio

     

    Sept 21

    Seguin

    Gonzales

    Columbus

    and then back to Houston

     

    Busy, though not overly so. We should even have some time for a little sightseeing along the way.

    (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
      brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Nice detail there,bejacob,couldn't resist looking at map and following the course of our drive, Southards to Corpus Christi, then inland and Southwest to the border before heading East to Brownsville. Thereafter northerly, skirting Corpus Christi before heading northwest to San Antonio and then broadly following the I10 back to Houston. Really looking forward to the trip...

      (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    muppetwrangler Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    17 hotels would be madness...13...not so much! 

    (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    So the question, brightlybob is...what is the luggage toting strategy for such a trip? If it was me, I'd have a roller bag carry on and a backpack.  I'd hit up the coin operated laundry at a few of the hotels on the route.  Please share your plan!

    (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
      brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Well I've got to take my court garb so I cant avoid hold luggage. So as I'm onto that Im bringing my entire Hawaiian shirt collection.

       

      I don't really unpack when I'm away, instead I take a coathanger with me and then hang up my shirt for the next day in the bathroom overnight. After my morning shower the shirt looks fine, no ironing necessary! So all in all, no laundry for me

      (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    You're either mad or you have a lot more energy than I do!

     

    I couldn't make that trip at my current stage of life, if you paid me a large sum of money! 

    (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    And so it begins...

     


    With a 2 hour flight delay - Thanks United


    But checking in they did give priority security, which was slower than the regular line

     

    Rather than sit with the masses on mesh metal seats I opted for lounge access - £22

     

    Seats are comfy, but it's small

     

    And packed

     

    And the Internet doesn't work

     

    So I'm using 3G but deep in the airport the signal's weak & glacially slow


    Should be in the air right now but instead I've 2 more hours to wait

     

    Yeah, I know, how many first world problems can I find to whinge about

    (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Two hours is nothing really, just wait you have more UA flights coming!!!!

      (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
        clebert Platinum 21 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        IAHFLYR, you can't really say you've had the complete UA experience without being stranded overnight somewhere, right?  My arch nemesis UA airports are DEN, ORD, and SFO.

        (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
          iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          clebert, well I can say I have not had the full UA experience then.  The only time (knock on wood) that we got stranded overnight was leaving RSW years ago on Continental due to the right engine refusing to accept fuel when they went to start it.  After three attempts it's mandatory or at least was then to return to the gate and have it checked by maintenance. Since there was no maintenance onsite at that time we all got to spend the night and mid-morning the next day we were off to IAH.

           

          Sure hope brightlybob doesn't get to enjoy that at IAD on his 42 minute connection!

          (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    seatexan Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    This thread is awesome!!!!

     

    Sorry about the delay!  Of course, by now you are high in the sky and headed this way! 

     

    You and bejacob are going to have so much fun!  Even in Zapata...maybe they will be filming boarder wars!!!

     

    I'm jealous of the Texas/Mexico boarder trip for sure.  Really!  It's an adventure!  Keep count how many times you are pulled over!  Let's make bets! 

    (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    United Flight 80 MAN-EWR September 7th.

     

    Well as I posted yesterday I suffered my 2 hour delay but we did fnally alight our 757 flight. For those that are interested, Group 1 (top elites) boarding consisted of about 5 or 6 individuals and Group 2 (gold and silver flyers) were another 5 or 6, so there was maybe around 10-12 UA frequent flyers that flight. As I say, my silver courtesy of Marriott Plat would have swung me an E+, had my son not been on a separate itinerary. As for the flight itself, apart from near constant turbulence it was an unremarkable flight. Plenty of legroom in standard economy and reclining seat meant a comfy flight, but as I remarked I'm used to RyanScare and SqueezyJet, so my expectations are low. Food was standard airline fare, though the Chicken curry had an unexpected bite. It was by no means a hot curry but I rather expected it to play to Anerican tastes and be more like a Korma (or as I call it, dessert!). US border was pretty quick and very friendly, bags were slightly delayed but Silver status meant they did come out priority and that enabled us to get to the hire car line quickly. By the time we grabbed our keys that line was snaking back a good distance. Wheels down to steering wheel was about an hour. Nice going

     

    Then the drive from EWR to Harrisburg, by the time I pulled up at the Crowne Plaza it was past 7pm (US time) and as I'd been up from 1am(US time) I really felt that. This was the IHG Harrisburg Crowne Plaza at $115 inc breakfast ($130 inc taxes). This stay is a testament to the need for 2 programs as Marriott has no city centre property in Harrisburg, but my secondary IHG did. And it provided a nice start on my 7-nights-for-50,000-bonus-points IHG promo. The hotel provided a good sized room for a city centre property but in need of a refurb.


    image.jpeg


    Still the very comfy bed and powerful shower made for a good nights sleep and with the jet-lag we had a 6am breakfast and a walk around the city as it awoke. Not for nothing did Theodore Roosevelt remark that the Harrisburg State Capitol was the most beautiful he had seen!


    image.jpeg


    After that a nice walk over to the Natonal Civil War museum made us the first in of the day and we had the place to ourselves till about 11am. There is so much there, with artefacts, recreated scenes and video montages following the fortunes of ordinary citizens as the tensions build and the conflict develops. There was never any crowding and we left at 3pm, much more knowledgable than when we entered.

    (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
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    • Re: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      brightlybob.

       

      Good to have you safe and sound here in the U.S.  We can talk about the constant turbulence you experienced as there is a pretty well known theory about that and that Chicken Curry.  If it is the same Chicken Curry we had to/from Mexico last month they should CAN the person who puts that on the menu, it was not worthy of even sticking a fork into it let alone eat 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.)

      • Re: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
        brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        It's good to be here. I'm now just relaxing at the very nice Courtyard in Gettysburg, my Cat5 that cost $100 and on my test turned out to be the no-brainer pay option. Clean as you like, big room, great pub next door, 10 mins from Gettysburg... Who could ask for more?

         

        As for that UA Chicken Curry, well, within the margins accepting that it's mile high mass catering in a plastic bag, it was edible and had some zing... So not so bad. The thing about economy is that all airlines are 30"-32" pitch and there's not much you can do with that. Premium Economy, Business and First is different, there's huge differences in space, food, facilities and privacy levels that make price comparison near impossible and almost irrelevant. But UA economy with an industry average 31" seat pitch, decent seatback entertainment, regular free beer runs for the first half of the flight - none during second half but that didn't bother me as I had a car to pick up and 3 hours of wrong-side-of-the-road-driving to bend my brain around - and near-edible food (excepting that awful couscous) was fine, nothing special, but fine all the same. I would definitely fly transatlantic United again. No problems! Mind you I wouldn't pay a premium for it against Delta, BA or Air Transat. Air Canada economy is well below them. Virgin Atlantic economy is I reckon, just ahead.

         

        Whenever I'm flying transatlantic economy again I reckon Virgin will be 1st as I collect it's miles anyway and it's marginally the better economy product. UA is second, it's economy product is as good as the rest, there's silver bennies (thanks to Marriott Plat) and it's miles are easy to spend via Marriott. The rest come third and the deeply unimpressive Air Canada strikes last.

        (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
      ozmodiar Gold
      Currently Being Moderated

      Glad you made it to the National Civil War Museum - it is relatively new and not well attended unfortunately, but does an excellent job tackling the overall war and scope.

       

      As for the need of a downtown Marriott property, Harrisburg probably isn't a major overnight destination unless the state legislature is in session I suspect, and given the extensive number of hotels near the PA Turnpike exits and the fact it is a pretty easy city to drive around, I can see why a Marriott hasn't moved in downtown.  Having said that, I was fairly surprised when I was there a year or so ago how active the downtown was near the river in the evening, and would certainly stay there myself if they ever opened one in the area near the capitol complex/Amtrak station/hospital.

      (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
        brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        It would be true to say that Harrisburg is no centre of the world place, but it does manage to keep a Hilton (which has undergone a recent refresh) and Crowne Plaza (which is right now underaking a much needed refurb) in guests. Even if it can't support another FS, I'm surprised a CY/FFI/SHS hasn't found the downtown maths workable.

         

        As I say, this stay exposes the value of having a back-up scheme.

        (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    8th September... So after finishing at the civil war museum and walking back to the Crowne Plaza we drove our way to Gettysburg to the Courtyard there. It's a recent build and was very impressive, wide corridors, outside seating, big room with large bathroom. All scrupulously clean for $90, $100 with taxes.

     

    image.jpg

    The hotel is right next to an Appalachian brewhouse with great food and beer, I opted for the meatloaf, Texas toast, mash, onion scratchings and beer gravy, all washed down with a nice wheatbeer

     

    image.jpeg

    We woke up this morning after a great nights sleep and did something really unusual, PAID for a Marriott breakfast. Let me tell you, that hurts... But my, made to order it was hot and tasty and with the coffees and orange juice, not too bad at $25. All done we checked out and made our way to the Gettysburg battlefield, just a 10 minute nip down the freeway.

     

    And it was there that I think I had the best experience of a guided tour ever. Although the Segway tour was suggested to us, son wasn't interested (weird things these teenagers) so I instead opted for a 1-to-1 guide, Britt, who drove us around different points of the battlefield, and he was really knowledgeable, explaining carefully each theatre of the battle and pointing out all the salient areas, it was two and a half hours and $65 very well spent. After that we then saw the film, cyclorama and the museum. After 5 very busy hours we were both fully historied out and took the drive to our next hotel...

    (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
    Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA Courtyard By Marriott Courtyard Gettysburg
    • Re: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
      ozmodiar Gold
      Currently Being Moderated

      What other Civil War sites are you headed to? Antietam, Harpers Ferry, Manassas, Fredericksburg and Richmond?

      (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
        brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        We are heading to Appomatox tomorrow and then 2 days in Richmond visiting the White House there and the Tredegar ironworks as he needs to consider both the political and economic drivers. Been a great tour so far!

        (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
          ozmodiar Gold
          Currently Being Moderated

          Tredegar Ironworks also has a nice museum section, pretty interesting. Hope you enjoy it! Appomatax Courthouse is interesting just due to how non-descript it seems given what transpired.

           

          There is another NPS site in Richmond, pretty close to the Marriott, the Maggie L Walker Historic Site. Provides an interesting story of the post-CW life and opportunities for African Americans in the South to build communities - she was an entrepreneur and community leader, and did well, but had some tragedy also. I recommend it if you have the time.

          (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    9th September


    This night at the Woodstock HIX is the outcome of IHGs accelerate promo, offering 50,000 points for 7 nights of stays. Although I already have a couple of nights booked for work, I might struggle so decided to substitute my planned Fairfield Inn night at the same cost for this one. Though not as nice as the Courtyard the previous night and offering only the fast food icons of Taco Bell, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC as walkable food choices it was at least an economic choice for an early night for the next days hefty mileage. The room was well kept and a good size


    image.jpeg


    The hotel was clean and as usual the HIX breakfast served a good early morning fill-up.


    Anyhow, following my free breakfast it was time to head off on a 2 hour drive to Appomattox to visit the Courthouse and museum there. It's a really great outdoor museum as most of the village has been restored to its 1865 glory for you to walk around and explore so you can really get a sense of life at that time and follow in the footsteps (literally) of those that attended that momentous - but surprisingly modest - meeting 150 years ago.

     

    After a few hours of films, museum and tours it was time to make the 2 hour drive to Richmond checking into the Richmond Marriott from where I'm typing this...

    (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
    Woodstock, Virginia, USA
  • Re: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    10 & 11 September

     

    Here we spend 2 nights in Richmond looking at the political and economic drivers of the Confederacy visiting The Confederate White House and Tredegar Iron Works. The Downtown Marriott is in an excellent location just a 10-20 mins walk from both, and with an LNF rate keeping it at $150 on Saturday and $140 on Sunday ($330 inc taxes) it's affordable. And spoiled teenage student son really does enjoy his Marriotts!


    image.jpeg

     

    Having checked in we found our room on the 16th floor, one above the concierge lounge. It was large for what is obviously an older city centre property but in common with all Marriotts well kept meaning everything works as it should... Well everything except my bed which has a dreadful mattress bulging out to one side and sagging at the other, making an audible "sproing" sound as I get into or out of it. Likewise the mattress topper is a sad and thin affair. I still slept well but this was definitely NOT that wonderfully comfy Marriott bed I'm used to!


    image.jpeg


    The Exec lounge serves a very good breakfast and extends its breakfast hours at weekends for those that like to lie-in. Likewise its evening offerings are also very good. We ate one night in Millers, the streetfront Sportsbar which is clearly frequented by locals as well as guests.


    image.jpeg


    Food is definitely NOT premium priced here, but is very tasty, it was packed last night for the NFL games.The White House and attached Museum of the Confederacy was excellent, but whilst Tredegar was very atmospheric,neither museum there spent much time on its economic importance to the Confederacy. I guess the student will have to *study* that from home.


    Anyhow museums over its time to checkout and make the 5 hour run up to Hamilton for our final stop near a mall to let the teen shop for all those American goodies...

    (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
    Richmond, Virginia, USA Marriott Hotels & Resorts Richmond Marriott
  • Re: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Monday Sept 12th - After checkout we made our way back towards Newark. 5 hours and 300 miles of motoring put us within an hour of the airport and at our final joint stop, the Hamilton Residence Inn where I'm redeeming points. It opened in June and launched as a Cat2 and I reserved a suite for the 2 of us instead of paying the $170 (inc taxes) rate.


    Unfortunately the hotel only offers King+Sofabed studios for redemption so I'd have to ask for the Queen-Queen suite upgrade on arrival. This place is a great use of 10,000 points, in fact it turned out too great for Marriott and just a few weeks after opening it was uprated to a Cat3.


    On arrival I asked about a Queen/Queen upgrade which was granted without demur. Late checkout also given. The suite was lovely with plenty of room and the teen certainly appreciated camping out in the living space with the privacy to FaceTime his friends.


    image.jpeg


    The Monday Mix was very good with chicken fajitas, all the fixings and lemon cake as dessert. The beer and wine flowed freely. And breakfast was also very good with cereals, breads, waffle machine, sausages, eggs and bacon. This Residence Inn does the food well.


    image.jpeg


    We didn't end up checking out late anyway as son wanted to do a spot of shopping for American goodies, and that done we then drove the final 50 miles to Newark International where I helped check him in and drop off his bags for his return home, before making my way to the EWR Renaissance where I'll spend the night before moving onto Houston for my Research and TIPPLE trip...

    (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
    Hamilton, NJ - New RI
  • Re: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    It's been fun following along. Do you have a favorite Civil War site? The reports on the various hotels were quite thorough. Nice job.

    (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
      brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Gettysburg is an obvious one, we had a great tour, very thorough, but actually I preferred Appomatox which is presented as a restored village giving a view not only of the surrender but also village life at the time...

      (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    bpelican Platinum 57 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    YES!

    (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: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great report up and down the east coast and Civil War spots.  Remember the Alamo, oh wait that wasn't the Civil War!!!   Great to see you using a Tortilla as you'll have plenty to enjoy over the next week or so.

     

    Tell us what your favorite hotel was of the 13?

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    • Re: 17-night USA trip at 13 hotels in 10 towns over 9 brands - Am I mad?
      brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks for that IAHFLYR, though so far I've only done 5 hotels of the 13, my sixth is right now at the EWR Ren, which I'll add this evening. This is the middle of my 3 consecutive redemptions, the first was the Hamilton RI on Monday at 10k Cat2 when I reserved it in May, but now been increased to a 15k Cat3. Last night I checked into the Cat5 EWR Renaissance using my Cat5 megabonus cert and tonight I checkin to the Cat1 Courtyard Brookhollow for 7.5k points. Overall I've saved $500 for a cert and 17.5k points. Pretty dang good!

       

      My personal favourite so far was the Gettysburg CY, new and big room, lovely outside patio area for a cool 'un and a great pub next door. Breakfast was fresh, cooked to order and very tasty. $100 inc tax for the hotel plus $25 for the cooked to order brekky for 2, can't complain there! Mind you the $100 was an LNF (down from $170)

      (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.)