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Hey Insiders,

 

There certainly has been a lot of chatter recently surrounding program changes.  We finally can share more information, and we’re so excited for you to be among the first to hear what we have planned! Here’s the news you’ve been so curious about:

 

Starting this August, SPG®, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® will become one program. Our names will stay the same until 2019, but we’ll consolidate everything else into one set of benefits to make things easier and provide more opportunities for you.  More details can now be found at members.marriott.com, however here are some highlights starting in August:

 

 

Earn and redeem across 6,500 hotels/29 brands — more hotels where you want to go.

  • Starting in August, you’ll earn 10 points per US$1 spent on eligible hotel charges (5 points per eligible US$1 at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites hotels. 2.5 points per eligible US$1 at Marriott Executive Apartments).  Elite members earn even more with their bonuses.
  • For SPG members, your Starpoints balance will be multiplied by 3 in a one-time conversion in August.
  • The new consolidated free night Award Chart offers 8 Categories with off-peak, standard and peak pricing.  Category 8, off-peak and peak won’t roll out until early 2019. Hotels slated for Category 8 will be in Category 7 until that point, offering a 25,000 points per night savings!
  • Over the next few days we will be sharing examples of where hotels will fall within the new free night Award Chart.  We’ll be sure to post again when this is live.  In the meantime, you’ll be pleased to know that our move to one Award Chart offers even more value for your points, with more hotels moving down in redemption rates than up.   
  • For free flights, you’ll be able to transfer points to more than 40 airlines, including new options. The new ratio will be 3 points for one mile. 
  • Plus, we’ll add 15,000 points for every 60,000 points you transfer to airline miles, providing you with a total of 25,000 miles in the airline program of your choice.

 

Enjoy consistent Elite benefits and status recognition at all hotels across 29 brands.

  • The new Elite structure offers 5 Elite tiers and benefits. 
  • Existing Elite members will continue to be Elite and will receive a new, but similar, tier level in August.  You could also receive a higher Elite tier — based on your combined Rewards and SPG nights stayed at any of our 29 brands going back to January 1, 2018.
  • The new Lifetime structure offers 3 tiers and benefits.
  • If you’ve previously achieved Lifetime Elite status in Rewards or SPG, you will continue to have Lifetime Elite status in the new program. In addition, when you combine Rewards and SPG accounts, we will combine your activity across both toward Lifetime Elite status in August.  And if you qualified for Elite status in both programs in the same year, it will count as 2 years toward Lifetime.

 

Simplify your experience — one account, profile, login, points balance and Elite-night balances.

  • So, if you have an SPG account and a Rewards account, you can combine them in August to consolidate your points, Elite nights and profile into one.  You’ll need to do this even if you’ve already linked accounts.

 

Seamlessly access everything through our websites and apps, and when you call Member Support. 

  • For the first time you’ll be able to see your full account details and search for and book hotels across all 6,500 hotels whether you are using the SPG app or marriott.com. 

 

Be sure to check out members.marriott.com to learn even more about what’s coming in August.  There’s a lot more information there, including FAQs. As we lead up to August, we’ll continue to update the site.  In the meantime, please feel free to comment here with questions and suggestions and we’ll do our best to answer all of them.

 

Best,

The Community Managers

 

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Hey Insiders!

 

Mother’s Day is coming up, which means it’s time to show the mothers in your life just how much you appreciate them. Here are five ways to use your points to say thanks:

 

Relaxation:

$100 Spa & Wellness Gift Card by Spa Week

 

Moms work hard. From raising kids to keeping up at work, it’s hard to imagine anyone needs a day at the spa more than a mother. So go ahead and give her a chance to relax and unwind with a $100 gift card by Spa Week.

 

Meal:

$60 Blue Apron Gift Card

Give mom a break from the grocery store with fresh ingredients and original recipes delivered to her door. She’ll get to choose from a variety of chef-designed, step-by-step recipes every week!

 

Travel:

Tumi Super Leger International 4 Wheeled Carry-On

 

This stylish suitcase is perfect for the mom on the go. The split-case carry-on features an innovative front lid, allowing mom to separate her items for easy access later — which she’ll appreciate during her next Marriott stay.

 

Luxury:

$100 Bloomingdale's Gift Card

 

Kickstart mom’s next shopping spree with this Bloomingdale’s gift card. She’ll get to pick out the latest looks and trendiest fashions in order to stay in style.

 

Time

$100 Darden Restaurants®, Inc. Gift Card

 

Treat mom to a night out with a meal at Darden’s vast portfolio of restaurants. Pick from favorites like Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and more. She’ll love the time with you — and the food too.

 

So there you have it, Insiders. Now’s the time to use your points to lock in the perfect Mother’s Day gift. What are your Mother’s Day plans?

 

 

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Make a night of it with MegaBonus®. Now for a limited time, you can earn bonus points.

Register now to get 750 bonus points per night, starting with your third night, 36,000 bonus points max.

 

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Get ready to see the world in a whole new light. Don’t forget to register by June 30, 2018.

Qualifying nights must be at any of our participating hotels and resorts worldwide between April 16 and July 20, 2018. Book direct to earn your bonus points and to get our lowest rates.

 

Happy travels!

 

Register now >

Say hello to your new Featured Insider: arizonatag

 

 

 

Insider since: November 3, 2015

Marriott Rewards status: Lifetime Platinum (2018 Platinum Premier)

 

About Me: Hello Insiders! 2018 is looking awesome and Spring is upon us! Triple digits are coming soon. Yeah! I love Arizona and the warm weather, hence my @arizonatag username. As a service disabled vet, the warm dry climate of Arizona makes it a lot easier to move my old tired body parts. So, a little about me. Two days after turning 17, I joined the United States Air Force to see and explore the world. And wow, what a ride that was for nearly 24 years. I retired from Active Duty in 2002, but not before getting to explore Alaska, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Haiti, Canada and Europe; which included being stationed in Germany twice. My other European adventure stops included France, Belgium, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, and Denmark. All total, 17.5 years of my service were overseas. I was in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down; worked personal security for the Astronauts of two Space Shuttle landings at Edwards Air Force Base; and oversaw shift security of repatriated Hostages released by Iran during the Reagan Years while undergoing treatment at the Wiesbaden Medical Center in Germany. After retiring from the Air Force, I started my own business writing proposal for federal government contracts. I saw no sense in giving up everything I learned while in the military, so I parlayed it into proposals. I’ve been doing that ever since and really enjoy all the new locations and friends I get to meet in some very distant locations on the planet, like Muscat or Abu Dhabi. This keeps me on the road about 170 – 220 days a year, but a bout with cancer in 2016 slowed me down briefly. That is all in the past now. So, life is good and 2018 is looking great.

 

My Interests: When I’m not on the road working, I love to decompress at home in Arizona (in the greater Phoenix area) or on Maui. When I get the To Do List done, I love to play golf. But my Handicap is currently in the dumps because I don’t get enough links time. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with Grandkids and family located in California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas.

 

Favorite Destinations: My favorite place on the planet is floating in the water while snorkeling the Hawaiian Islands, most often Maui. Swimming with sea turtles and the multitudes of vibrantly colored and oddly shaped fish is so refreshing and relaxing. My wife and I are Starwood Timeshare owners in Kauai (Starwood changed the name of its timeshare business to Vistana a couple years ago). Anyway, we love to share our timeshare with our family which most often means trading laidback Kauai for adventurous Kaanapali as SPG Vistana has three gorgeous resorts on the Maui coast that are in our portfolio of properties.

 

Favorite Marriott Properties: I have several favorite properties. First and foremost, I love the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott in Maui for obvious reasons. I also love to stay at The Ritz on Maui, the New York Marriott Marquis in Time Square, and the JW Marriott Essex House adjacent to Central Park in New York. They are some very exciting properties. I also enjoy staying at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas whenever I drive up to take in a good show. When I’m in San Diego and the Padres are playing at Petco Stadium, I like spending the night at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter and watch the game from the Altitude Sky Lounge overlooking the ballpark. It is amazing and fun with great music and drinks.

 

Dream Destination: My bucket list includes the breathtaking Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay staying in one of those thatched roof villas perched over the South Pacific Ocean. It doesn’t get much better than that. One of these days… Luxury Resort and Hotel in Nadi, Fiji | Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay

 

 

Hey Arizonatag, Thank you for all of your travel posts, interesting polls and helpful tagging.  We know the members appreciate your contributions to Insiders as much as we do!

-The Community Managers

 

 

 

 

 

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OUTCOMES

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Now that winter is on its way out, what better time to book a cruise to a tropical destination and get some of that Vitamin D back?

 

Don’t miss your chance to earn double points on every dollar spent when you book a cruise before March 31. Even better? If you’re a Marriott Rewards Credit Card member, you’ll earn triple points on every eligible dollar spent. How’s that for starting your vacation off right?

 

Book your cruise to the tropical Mediterranean, cultural Caribbean or all the way to beautiful Alaska.

 

Have a Marriott Rewards Credit Card? Book now for 3X points.

 

Not a Marriott Rewards Credit Card member? Book now for 2X points

Insiders, are you ready to double up on rewards when you fly?

 

 

Marriott Rewards® Premier Cardmembers can earn double points on airline tickets purchased directly from United® with the Double Stay Double Go promotion. Make your vacation twice as rewarding with 4 points per $1 spent on your United flights between March 15 and April 15. Go ahead and sign up now to double the fun.

 

LEARN MORE and SIGN UP >>

 

 

 

 

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Hey Insiders!

 

Spring break is almost here. Soon, you’ll be enjoying the sun on your skin and the sand between your toes. Here are five steps you can take to perfect your journey to paradise — all while using your points:

 

1. Pack well

High Sierra Braidwood 20" Hardside Spinner

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Arrive in style at your destination with this hardside carry-on from High Sierra. Durable impact-resistant corner protectors allow you to be confident your items will stay safe even during turbulent times.

 

2. Have no worries

Nest Secure Alarm System

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Spring break is a worry-free zone — honor it by installing a Nest Secure Alarm System. You can head far away knowing that your home is safe. The easy-to-use app will keep you updated on everything that’s going on back home.

 

3. World Class Accommodations

Texsport Sport/Beach Shelter

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Stay cool and comfortable at the beach with this portable shelter. The UPF 50+ material keeps you protected while you lounge in the sand.

 

4. Stay charged

MyCharge AmpMax Rechargeable 6700mAh Power Bank

 

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It’s tough to find an outlet when you’re lounging on the beach all day. Don’t worry, we've got you covered here. This MyCharge AmpMax portable charger will keep all of your devices juiced up so you can blast tunes or read an e-book from sun-up to sun-down.

 

5. Don’t forget the memories

GoPro Hero5 Black

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This spring break is going to be epic. Prove it, with the GoPro Hero5 Black. Capture all your amazing adventures with stunning 4K video and crisp 12-megapixel photos. Then you can edit your videos and post right from the GoPro app. Warning: your friends will be jealous.

 

So go ahead and use your points to guarantee that Spring Break 2018 is the best one yet. Plus, let us know which step is most important to you.

Share your Insider travel adventures to Zurich by commenting on this post and you could earn points*.

 

Here are our recommendations for the top 10 reasons to visit Zurich, as well as inside tips for enjoying the city on a budget.

 

  1. Water, water everywhere: a dip in Lake Zurich or the River Limmat belongs just as much to Zurich as a ride in a pedal boat or a mild evening in one of the lakeside Badi-Bars such as Pumpstation, which is situated directly along the Zurich Lake promenade.
  2. The towers of the Grossmünster Church characterize Zurich's skyline. Incidentally, you can climb to the top of the Karlsturm, where you are rewarded with a spectacular panorama.
  3. No visit to Zurich is complete without sampling the traditional local specialty, Zürich Geschnetzeltes with rösti potatoes. It tastes best in one of the guild houses or in the Kronenhalle.
  4. Zurich's picturesque Old Town tells the city's 3,500-year-old history on the Lindenhof, at Schipfe and in the Niederdörfli quarter.
  5. Zurich is home to over 1,200 fountains; the water flowing out of the pipes is of drinking quality and can be consumed without problem.
  6. The historical Polybahn funicular takes you from Central up to the Polyterrasse in 100 seconds. From here, you can enjoy superb views of the city.
  7. The world's most luxurious shopping mile is in Zurich: the exclusive Bahnhofstrasse is lined with countless boutiques, department stores and design stores.
  8. The Uetliberg can easily be reached from Zurich with the Uetliberg railway in just 20 minutes. At 2,850 feet above sea level, this mountain towers over the rooftops of Zürich, giving an impressive panoramic view of the city, the lake and the Alps. If you are feeling energetic, you can walk up to the top in around 1½ hours.
  9. Light and airy Luxemburgerli macaroons from Sprüngli or exquisite Swiss chocolate from Lindt, Läderach or Vollenweider: you just HAVE to sample these mouthwatering treats.
  10. Whether the National Museum, Kunsthaus Zürich, Cabaret Voltaire or Zurich Opera House, the City on the Limmat offers first-class cultural events.

 

Traveling on a budget? Many of the best things to do in Zurich are completely free. Numerous Zurich museums have free admission, such as the Money Museum, Zoological Museum and the Langenberg Wildlife Park. Sporty visitors can explore the city free of charge and from a completely different perspective with a rental bicycle from "Züri rollt". A number of beautiful parks and gardens are open to the public, while some riverside bathing areas entice with the opportunity for a refreshing dip - not to mention free admission, such as the River Pool Werd Island at Zurich Höngg. If you're travelling to Zurich during the winter season, you can warm up in the Botanical Garden by enjoying a tropical surrounding then quench your thirst with a drink from one of the city's 1,200 fountains.

 

Another great way to save money in Zurich is by purchasing a ZürichCARD. This Card is the ideal ticket for culture lovers and urban explorers who would like to transform their short stay into a journey of discovery convenient by public transportation at a minimum of cost. The ZürichCARD offers further discounts on ship cruises, several museums as well as discounts on a variety of cultural and leisure activities.

 

Caroline L.

Zurich Marriott Hotel

*No pur nec. 18+ Ends 3/9/18 Rules: http://bit.ly/2viBwr8

 

 

 

 

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Insiders, are you ready to be a VIP at college basketball’s biggest weekends?

 

Use your points to get exclusive access to the 2018 Men’s and Women’s NCAA Final Four. Enjoy game tickets, pre-game parties, a tour of the venue and more. Top it all off with a complimentary hotel stay, so you can kick back and relax each night. It’s time to take your shot!

 

NCAA Men's Final Four Tickets, VIP Access to Parties and Events, Stadium Tour and 4-Night Stay

San Antonio, Texas

Mar 30 - April 3, 2018

Head to the Lone Star State to see college basketball’s best battle it out at the Men’s Final Four. Sit in lower level seats, be a VIP at Final Four events, take a tour of the Alamodome and stay at The St. Anthony.

 

NCAA Women’s' Final Four Tickets, VIP Access to Parties and Events, Arena Tour and 3-Night Stay

Columbus, Ohio

Mar 30 - April 2, 2018

Get as close to the action as possible with courtside seats at the Women’s Final Four. When your feet aren’t on the floor, get VIP access to parties, tour Nationwide Arena and rest up at Marriott Columbus University.

 

What experiences get you the most excited?

 

Learn more about these unforgettable basketball experiences and bid points now.

 

 

 

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Hey Insiders! Check out these great exclusive offers:

 

Las Vegas suites: Get 6,000 points every night

  • From February 16 - May 11, 2018, earn 6,000 Marriott Rewards bonus points per night, 7 days a week.
      Plus, your stay includes:
    • Accommodations in a suite with a view of the Las Vegas Strip
    • Complimentary hot breakfast buffet daily
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Access to our rooftop pool
    • 24-hour fitness room

 

Spring into savings: Get 20% off villas worldwide

  • From April 8 - June 14, 2018, receive 20% off leisure rates when staying any night Sunday through Thursday at our many participating resorts in the continental United States, Europe, and Asia. Enjoy this special discount 7 days a week at our resorts in Hawaii and the Caribbean.
  • This spring, treat yourself to a relaxing getaway in a spacious villa or guest room with all the comforts of home. Alluring resort amenities complete the experience and provide you with an amazing vacation. Book today.
  • There is a limited number of rooms available for this promotion. Please see below for additional terms and conditions.

 

Hey Insiders! Voting is now open for the 2018 Freddie Awards. Marriott Rewards is up for six awards at the Freddie Awards, including Program of the Year - and it's all thanks to you. You travel, earn, redeem and enjoy benefits worldwide to make Marriott Rewards stand apart from the rest.

 

Here are the categories in which you can vote for Marriott Rewards:

 

  1. Program of the year
  2. Best Elite Program
  3. Best Redemption Category
  4. Best Promotion
  5. Best Loyalty Credit Card
  6. Best Customer Service

 

Thanks for all your loyalty - and your vote. Voting is open until March 31, 2018.

 

Vote Now >>

 

 

 

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Ciao, Insiders! It's time to immerse yourself in Italian cuisine and culture.

 

Indulge your inner epicurean at the inaugural Venice Food & Wine Festival hosted at the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa. Use points to join celebrated chefs and wine experts for three days of cooking demos, interactive classes and tastings as you explore the very best of Veneto culinary tradition. You'll also enjoy a three-night stay at JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, meaning you can rest comfortable after a full day. Bon Appétito!

 

2018 Venice Food & Wine Festival

Immerse yourself in the very best of Veneto culinary tradition as you dine with celebrity chefs such as Giancarlo Perbellini and Scott Conant, sip wine with Food & Wine Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle and take a cooking class with Fabio Trabbochi.

 

What dish are you looking forward to savoring?

 

Learn more about this culinary experience and bid points now.

 

 

 

 

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Hey Insiders! You're the first to see the list of hotels that are moving to new categories. This sneak peek is also your chance to look at any hotels you'd like to book now (think Montreal, Phuket or Charleston) before the changes take effect on March 6, 2018.

 

See the full list of hotel category changes here. If you book by March 6th, you can redeem for your stay under the 2017 rates - even if you stay after that date.

 

Here's a quick overview of the changes:

  • 74% of all hotels remain unchanged.
  • 56% of all hotels will remain in Categories 1-4
  • 72% of all hotels will remain in Categories 1-5
  • 26% of all hotels are changing categories - 5% are decreasing by one category and 21% are increasing by one category.

 

As a reminder, you can transfer points and book stays at SPG hotels (after you've linked your accounts). Check out the SPG category changes here.   

 

Book now at current redemption rates!

 

FAQs

Will my existing redemption reservation be impacted?

All redemption reservations booked on or before March 5, 2018, will be honored at the point price booked. If you have not ordered your certificate before March 6, 2018, call Guest Services to request the lower-priced certificate before your stay. Any changes made to existing reservations after March 6 will be subject to the new category level.

 

How far in advance can I make a redemption stay?

You may book redemption reservations up to 50 weeks in advance of your stay, even before having the required points in your account. For example, on March 1, 2018, you may book your redemption stay as far out as February 15, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

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Share your Insider travel adventures to Dubai by commenting on this post and you could earn points*.

 

The design sector in the United Arab Emirates is in expansion mode, and in the center of it all is the Dubai Design District. Opened in 2015 and still rapidly developing, it is a dedicated hub for the design community including startups, entrepreneurs and established international design, luxury and fashion brands. The Dubai Design District, also known as D3, is located adjacent to Dubai’s Business Bay, close by Downtown Dubai with the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall.

 

The creative community with retail outlets, offices, studios and showrooms attracts designers as well as visitors and tourists. Residents also enjoy the trendy and design-oriented eateries as well as the opportunity to attend the numerous art and design schools in the area. The companies at D3 range from the Dubai Institute of Design & Innovation, to Amato, one of the oldest UAE based designers, to NAKKASH Gallery, a haven for iconic and limited-edition pieces sourced from all corners of the world, to the first Harper’s Bazaar Café. An exciting year-round calendar of events and activities showcases and promotes the creative talents and businesses at D3. Art exhibitions, courses and pop-up fashion stores are just a few of the happenings in the district. The event highlight of the year is during Downtown Design in November, a fair that represents a carefully edited roster of established and emerging design brands across a range of products.

 

Just a 10-minute drive (or a boat ride on the Dubai Water Canal) away in neighboring Business Bay is the newly opened Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai where the hotel’s Navigators are ready with the latest tips and event suggestions for all things design, fashion and art. At the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, the striking guest rooms have a contemporary design with a modern Arabic twist, and offer sweeping views across the city skyline and the Dubai Water Canal. Embracing its location, all the hotel’s spaces are designed to highlight indigenous features of the locale, with color inspiration drawn from the regional resources of sand and oil, textures designed to emulate dunes whose ridges change with each gust of wind and features of local wildlife roaming throughout the property. A gold and black chandelier, representing the black oil and gold souks found in Dubai welcome every guest at the hotel’s entrance. “Cracks” next to floor numbers that represent the dry desert ground and quirky camel art in the deluxe rooms represent the lifestyle feel and vibrancy of the hotel. We hope you will visit us soon.

 

Sina L.

Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai

*No pur nec. 18+ Ends 2/9/18 Rules: http://bit.ly/2viBwr8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Say hello to your new Featured Insider: psudad!

 

 

Insider since: May 20, 2010

Marriott Rewards status: Lifetime Gold

 

About Me: 2017 was a good year for me in the Marriott family! I marked my 30 years in the Marriott Rewards Program (originally Marriott Marquis). I achieved Gold Elite for Life. And I even reached Trailblazer status on Insiders. And now, I get to kick off the 2018 travel season as your Featured Insider!

 

My Interests: I love to travel and a career in technology sales allowed me to see the majority of the US and some travel abroad. My travel – or keep moving – bug was probably born of the many moves I made throughout my childhood and then through my career. My Dad spent his career with IBM (I’ve Been Moved) and we moved quite a few times – first around the Northeast and then the Southeast. My career also had me on the move, relocating often. But, eventually I (now we), have settled down. Though I have been in my home for 30 years, it is the 26th place I have lived. Married an incredible woman, raised two great kids, who are now grown and gone. Ironically, their careers have taken them both to other parts of the country, and here we are in Pennsylvania. So now, instead of selling a house, buying a new one and making all new friends, we just travel as often as we can, meet wonderfully interesting people, see great sights and dig in to all that makes places great. My travel stretch goal is to visit all seven continents and all 50 states. Have 10 states to go and all the ‘A’ continents. Need to get busy.

 

Favorite Destinations: We tend to prefer the bigger cities when traveling. Some of our favorites are Paris and Rome, to where we keep returning. Just visited Prague and fell in love with that city - the same trip took us to Nuremberg, Regensburg, Vienna and Budapest.  Heading back to London soon. Our affection for large cities aside, our trips driving through Tuscany, England and Scotland, Ireland (Republic) and, most recently Southern France were life changing. I could move to Provence tomorrow – money, family and responsibilities notwithstanding!

 

Favorite Marriott Properties: A few of my favorite Marriott properties, so far, are – Marriott Grand Hotel Flora in Rome (breakfast on the rooftop cannot be beat), Ghent Marriott (fantastic location), Brussels Marriott (Great location and Herve, concierge extraordinaire), Renaissance Aix-en-Provence (great staff, outrageous breakfast buffet, and short walking access to a lovely town with a wonderful restaurant and market scene), and last but certainly not least, the Boscolo Budapest (stunning property, exceeded only by a 5-star staff). It has been a pleasure partnering with Marriott for the last 30 years of travels and I look forward to many more years of adventures and rewards.

 

 

Congratulations on reaching Lifetime Gold status and on thirty years with Marriott Rewards! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with fellow members. We love reading your travel adventures, psudad!

-The Community Managers

 

 

 

 

 

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