A Year with Marriott Gold: Destination Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa

IMG_0905Well this was my next stay with my Marriott Gold Status and I am at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa.  I had a chance to travel here over the summer.  At first glance in the Lobby it is a spectacular view.  The design is great and you do get the wow factor when you walk in.  Unfortunately that is where the wow ends.

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Unfortunately being gold here did not matter no room upgrade and there was no thank you for being gold.  The front desk was nice enough and even stated we were in a nice room.  The room was just ok and overlooking what appeared to be air conditioners.  Not a nice view at all pretty ugly really.  I mean you can see the stadium and maybe that is the draw.  Not impressed.  Arizona sky was pretty though.

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Room with a view?  You decide

The hotel is in a great area by the stadium and there is plenty to do as there are lots of shops and such adjacent to the hotel a short walk away.

As we walked through the hotel itself there was very few employees that even bothered to smile and say hello.   This is huge in feeling welcome in any place and such a simple gesture that was completely lacking at this property.

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Lovely water feature upon entrance

When you stay at Marriott you expect certain things or at least I do.  I do expect a nice welcome when I arrive.  I would like prefer even if there is not an upgrade to be greeted with thanks for being a gold member.  I would also appreciate as you walk throughout the hotel for the staff to be pleasant and smile.   I could not really find it in this hotel.

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My first Renaissance brand experience was not looking too good.

We proceeded up to the room and in was simply and nicely decorated.  Yet a little worn everywhere.  Carpets appeared to have seen better days.  My guess is it just might be a party hotel for guest going to the games and so the rooms are a little worse for wear.

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oh hum

We spent one of our days at the pool which is nice and they have nice little cabana’s that you have to pay for to use.  They have a bar outside also that you can procure beverages.  We opted for a couple of beers.  The bartender at the time was engrossed in conversation with another guest.  Yet, a simple I will be right with you would have worked here.  Instead we waited as he continued his conversation without acknowledging us or even a smile.  I am beginning to wonder where the guest services standards are.

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beer was good

Not to be disappointed by the consistency of mediocrity in service our room was never made up the following day.  The housekeeper came close to 5 pm and at that point really what is the point?

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Courtyard area

So did I fine anything good about the hotel.  YES!!!  The young woman attending to the concierge lounge was very warm, welcoming and engaging.  Unfortunately I lost my original draft of this post and cannot remember her name.   She was the one shining light in an otherwise very disappointing Gold visit.  Her set up was nice, clean, and she attended to everything wonderfully.  The concierge lounge is one perk for Gold members but usually open only during the week.  It can be hit or miss on breakfast at varying hotels if they do not have this little benefit.

As my year progresses I am not really sure if the value of staying consistently at one hotel is worth it.  We were able to access the lounge on one day which was good, we received high speed internet which is a sore spot of contention for most Marriott’s and guest, we had a mediocre room, it seems I may just have to do a dollar cost average on what we actually receive.

So I continue on my journey with Gold.   Also, I will usually give a property another chance if needed.   So at summer rates I might try this property again.  At high season definitely not.

I did find another Marriott property a mile away that I absolutely loved.  It was the Springhill Suites  right up the road and still in the same great location.  Now this was a small property and it is not considered a luxury brand but the service was great, the property in great condition and my stay enjoyable.

If you need to book any Marriott property even this one if you choose as it is right next to the stadium.  Has a great location and possibly I was just there on an off day.

Please use booking sight at TravelwithT.mtravel.com.  I would be very thankful and it is how I make my living.

 

 

A Year with Marriott Gold: Destination Long Beach Marriott

IMG_1271A exquisitely beautiful hotel adjacent to the airport with an outdoor area that is beautifully tranquil. This little gem is placed conveniently adjacent to the airport but is nothing like a typical airport hotel yet not like the JW in Houston either.

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We were greeted with a warm smile at the front desk and throughout the hotel.  We were given a room on one of the higher floors as this was a simple upgrade.  We were only going to be here overnight so it was fine.  We were leaving out of the Los Angeles Port to catch our Princess Cruise.   This was in Long Beach and not too far from the port.  We chose it because of it’s rates and it’s location really.

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The Lobby is stylishly designed with hues of blue, beige, and reminds me of sea foam I guess.   A really wonderful choice being we were headed out on a ocean cruise.

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We had a chance to enjoy the pool area in the evening as friends came to visit us while we where there.

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I have to say it is rather surprising that you do not really notice the large air craft sometimes just right over you head.  We had a nice conversation on one of the patio’s out doors and hardly noticed the aircraft flying above.

The rooms are nicely designed and we were presented with upgraded amenities.  The Thann soap smells wonderful.

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The halls throughout are brightly decorated and as you can see feature a cherry style wood grain finish.

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Every detail is beautiful from the exquisite flowers to the stylish and classic telephone.  I do love how Marriott takes care of all these design details to provide not only a comfortable stay but a feast for the eyes for those who care to look.

 

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We had a chance to venture off property during our evening and were treated with some of the best Mexican food at a tiny little place around the corner from the hotel within walking distance.  It’s in a little strip type mall and literally is really close.

We enjoyed a morning breakfast at no cost because we are Marriott Gold members.  It offered an array of items typical of your hotel breakfast.  It was set in there main dining area adjacent to the outdoor pool area.

For my Marriott Gold status this was a great little property.  A nice little upgrade, free breakfast, high speed internet, a concierge lounge it was the weekend so I did not use it, and nice and pleasant staff.

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This is a great little property for anyone visiting the area or flying in or our of Long Beach.  Not far from the Los Angeles Port in San Pedro and a great stop before your cruise.  It’s a little bit of tranquility before your next adventure.

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So if you would like to book this or anything else please use my booking site at TravelwithT.mtravel.net.   I would love to help you.

 

A Year with Marriott Gold: Destination Salt Lake City

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My year with gold continues with a stay in Salt Lake City at Fairfield Marriott.  We chose this hotel based on convience.  Location to airport, shuttle service and an opportunity for park and fly.  We are headed to Europe over Thanksgiving and needed a place to leave our vehicle.

I do have to say the smaller Marriott properties tend to be what appears a little more friendly.   This small hotel was no exception.   We enjoyed a pleasant check in although they missed the thank you for being gold.  The gentleman was friendly and the cookies were a nice touch after a long drive.

The hotel itself is nicely designed in standard Fairfield style.   Everything was up to date and the property was well maintained.  Our room was comfortable and nicely decorated.  The bed was standard for a Fairfield meaning comfortable.

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Morning was great and the front desk gentleman was friendly and I had and enjoyable conversation with him.  Unfortunately we did not have tme for breakfast but the dining area was nicely set with standard fare.  We had a pleasant ride to the airport with the shuttle and the driver was also very nice.

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We were at the airport when my husband realized he had left his phone in the shuttle.   We telephoned the hotel and they were kind enough to bring the phone back to the airport.   Thank you Marriott!!  Awesome service and we so appreciate it.

So although Fairfield does not offer a lot in the way of Gold they go along way in customer service.   I would love to stay again!   Oh wait I will on the way back.  So see you soon Salt Lake City Airport Fairfield Marriott.

As always if you would like to book this hotel please go to my booking site at travelwitht.mtravel.com  Which is how I earn a little money on my blog.

A Year with Marriott Gold destination: Renaissance Paris Verdome

DSC_0612Aaaah Paris I love you!   I could not have made a better choice than the Renaissance Paris Verdome.   A fairly small somewhat boutique property located close to the Seine River and many of the tourist destinations are only a short walk.

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Arch de Triump as you walk down the Champs de Elysee
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Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral

Upon entrance you are greeted by door man a welcome sight in various metropolitan cities.   As you walk through to the front desk you are greeted with classic and modern design of the Renaissance brand.   It’s colorful yet not overstated with a perfect blend of sleek and fashionable furnishings.

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Renaissance Paris Verdome

We were greeted by a lovely young woman who checked us in flawlessly.   She provided us a simple upgrade being Marriott Gold members and thanked us.  She also provided us with a map of the city, highlighting the popular destinations.  She was the consummate host and spoke eloquent English.

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Marriott’s Renaissance Paris Verdome Front welcome area

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The hotel itself only has six floors and we were placed on the 6th floor.    The room was classic European which means even with the upgrade it was small.  Yet, perfect and simplistic in design.

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Renaissance Paris Verdome

 

We had a courtyard style view meaning we were in the inner portion of the hotel with a view overlooking the center lobby area.  The windows opened which I am sure in summer is wonderful.  In winter though we did not need it.

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Marriott Renaissance Paris Verdome

We received our normal high speed or enhanced wifi with our Marriott Gold.

We also had turned down service in the evening and our lovely caretaker would do this for me.

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Marriott’s turn down service

Breakfast is included here for Gold members and we were presented with choice to enjoy it in the hotel of if you choose not too the points are applied to your account.   The choice is standard European with cheeses, meats, yet also bacon, eggs and my favorite the basque inspired tomato dish which I loved but unfortunately I did not get a picture of it.

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Breakfast at the Marriott Paris Verdome
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Breakfast Buffet Marriott’s Renaissance Paris Verdome

Every small detail is taken care of if you happen to look around.  The small little extra’s are a nice touch and well received by this weary traveler.

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Nice little touch Candy Bar

 

All and all this was a fantastic stay and a great property that is located pretty close to the center of everything.  Yes you will pay more but you are in the heart of the city.   You never need to pay for transit because everything is in walking distance of the hotel.   For my Gold viewpoint upgrade, turn down, wifi, breakfast a pretty good option.  Especially this time being I used points for both my nights great little perk for the luxury minimalist.

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River Seine Paris France

As always let me know if I can assist you with booking.  Or if you are a do it yourself person please feel free to use my booking site.   TravelwithT.mtravel.com

The New RV Luxury Minimalist

Redwood-Desk

Ok so we have started this journey to simplify our lives.  I have to say we really have, we sold our house, we got rid of a lot of stuff, and we are down to what will fit in the 5th wheel.  Yet, I am sorry I admit it “I am Teresa, and I am a luxury minimalist.   I think I have coined the phrase myself.  So just what is that you ask?

Well, it’s a simplified version of the dream.  What does that mean it means I still enjoy a lot of little things I enjoyed before just on a different scale.  I have ditched pretty much everything that went with a 2500 sq ft home.  EXCEPT; my coffee, my wine, and my food not necessarily in that order.

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I mean really, I am in my 50’s and I like my little comforts.  I don’t want to live in a van or pop up.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  I mean if I was in my 20’s, 30’s, maybe early 40’s I might even enjoy it.  I even might enjoy a little back pack trip now and then.  A couple of days trekking around the Colorado mountains or for that matter Europe with a back pack and in a hotel.  I like my hotels and I love Marriott for my hotel choice.  Although I might be open to trying some others.  I will have to see after I finish the Year with Marriott Gold experience I am on.  I don’t want to stay in a hostel and being I still work full time I am ok with forking out the money for a little extra comfort.  Or better yet POINTS!  My favorite way of getting great rooms on vacation with little or no outlay of cash.

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So for the luxury minimalist I enjoy cooking and creating wonderful meals, I enjoy wine, and wineries, and then more wine.  I enjoy a nice bed, a nice hotel, and I enjoy a city visit as much as a country visit.  I am not the new extreme version of the Minimalist, no car, no television, and other things like that.  I am a minimalist in the aspect of things and where we live.  I really can’t purchase anything because we can’t fit too much in our 5th wheel.

Yes, I have moved into a 5th wheel and some may gasp at the thought.  Yet, the Redwood is not your classic small tin can.  I have wonderful rustic cherry wood cabinets, actually nicer than I had in my stick built home.  I have a wonderful air-conditioner which I had not owned in 12 years.  I have solid surface corian countertops, I have a lovely king size bed all in the space of 325 sq feet or so.  This is what I mean I am a luxury minimalist I have a small space but it is equipped with very nice amenities and comforts.

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My husband and I have managed to scale down tremendously but I still enjoy many things I did before and we have reduced our cost exponentially.  It takes a nice outlay of cash to keep up 3 acres, with a 2500 sq ft house and greenhouse.  Not to mention the time it needs for maintenance and upkeep.  So now my husband has way more time on his hands too.

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So in a sense we have upgraded and reduced our cost.  It’s a wonderful win win idea.   There are many who prefer to maybe buy a vacation home on the beach or in the mountains.   We decided why not buy our home and move it to where we choose?  Why not be able to have the beach one year, the mountains one year, and or the desert, and or city at another time?  Perfect for the wanna be vagabonds!

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Style, one thing I was worried about having to pair down my selection of wardrobe.  I was introduced to the concept of capsule wardrobes and project 333.  These are ideas that you can use a series of items in your wardrobe to make lots of different options.  I loved it and I am working on this right now.  I do not want to live in shorts and a tee shirt as I am the luxury minimalist.  I like to look nice and I like nice outfits.

This lifestyle goes hand in hand with my affordable travel.  In the aspect that scaling down allows us to be free and go where we want when we want.  It allows us the freedom to pack up and just move in a matter of hours.  We know longer have things tying us down are a place we are tied too.  We can stay at our current jobs or not.  Our choice.  That alone is a beautiful thing.