Well, I finally made it on my fourth try. Our 50th anniversary, to California, was postponed 3 times by my lymphoma but we finally made it and it was wonderful. The hotels all acknowledged our special celebrations with upgrades, regardless of whether we stayed for cash or points. (One gorgeous room and two suites.) Interestingly, the worst room we had was in the a hotel where we did not stay on points.
We arrived in San Francisco and spent the night at the SF airport Marriott. It is an excellent hotel and we were upgraded to a beautiful room with a fine view. We had our first experience with an M Club, there, and liked it.
Our first stop was the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay. Wow! Spectacular setting for a fabulous hotel. The staff was as good as any I have encountered, anywhere! We were greeted warmly with an expression of congratulations for our double celebration. We were given what several employees describe as their favorite room. It was a large corner room on the top floor, with two separate (both spectacular) views. One view was over the 18th hole of their Ocean golf course. It is considered one of the most scenic holes, anywhere. The other view was an ocean view at a time of unusually heavy surf.
In our room we found a nice bottle of wine and a wonderful tray of Chocolate covered strawberries along with a nice note about our celebrations.
The food at the hotel was excellent. The Club lounge make the typical CL look like a Motel 6. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner there and have a full bar included in the price. The only downside to it was the cost, which was very high ($250 on weekdays and $300 on weekends) . We did spring for it two of the five days that we were there.
One day we had a complaint that was so minor that I don’t even remember what it was. I remember only that it was immediately corrected. That night we found another bottle of wine in our room.
On the days when we did not spring for the Lounge the dining options were limited. Breakfast was a fortune but we walked over to the golf course and ate a nice breakfast at the club house for less than $15 per person on the three days that we did not have the Club Lounge. Dinner is served in two dining rooms. On is very expensive and the other is more so. Food and atmosphere were amazing but overpriced. We brought the wine that we had been given to the dining room and both bottles were served to us without any corkage fee.
Our next stop was the Monterey Marriott. We were greeted warmly and told that we’d been upgraded to a suite. One evening we found a nice bottle of champagne in our room with a tray of cheese and fruit. The staff, there, was excellent.
Unfortunately, the room was not well designed and the lighting was inadequate. The TV was positioned beside the bed so you couldn’t watch TV in bed without turning your head sideways. This was not comfortable. The bathroom sink had minimal water pressure and was almost impossible to regulate. The shower head had inadequate water pressure. The hotel was unable to correct these problems. Towels were flimsy and not what I expect from Marriott. (We were given 5,000 points as an apology.)
We ordered dinner from room service one night and the burger was cold while the turkey sandwich was of poor quality. At breakfast, the omelet station was excellent but the fruit was consistently of poor quality.
Our final stop was the San Francisco JW Marriott. That is an excellent hotel. We had a gorgeous suite (staying on points) with a fine view. We were treated very well and really enjoyed our stay. Service at the hotel was outstanding and the location was great.