2021 Year In Review

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2021 Year In Travel Review

25 unique hotels, 32 hotel stays, 103 nights with 74 paid and 29 points stays. Plus 3 stays for 20 days outside the Marriott network.
 
This year was definitively our best travel year ever, with stays all across the US along with stays on both coasts of Canada. Thanks to all the work travel I do, and my loyalty to the Bonvoy, Delta Skymiles and National Car Rental programs, MaureenTravels and I spent 30 nights using 962,500 points on FANTASTIC stays across the country – in addition to travel up and down the east coast in our 32′ RV.
 
We love all, well most things motorsports and this year we were fortunate enough to attend 27 races at 9 race tracks across the country – our most extensive race season to date! We went to 5 “new to us” racetracks this year – another record for us.
 
– Daytona Road Course, Daytona FL (new to us)
– Homestead-Miami, Miami FL (new to us)
– Darlington Raceway, Darlington SC (new to us)
– Circuit of the Americas, Austin TX (new to us)
– Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford CT
– Pocono Raceway, Long Pond PA
– New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon NH
– Charlotte Roval Race, Charlotte NC (new to us)
– Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville VA
 
Where did I/We stay this year?
 
– Vancouver Airport Marriott
– Delta Hotels Kamloops
– Vancouver Airport Marriott
– Ambassador Hotel Kansas City
– Courtyard Greensboro Airport
– Lax Marriott
– Anaheim Marriott
– Renaissance Long Beach CA
– Vespera Resport Pismo Beach CA
– The St Regis San Francisco CA
– Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte NC
– Westin Kansas City at Crown Center KS
– Kansas City Airport Marriott
– Westin Kansas City at Crown Center
– Miami Airport Marriott
– Miami Airport Marriott
– The Otis Hotel, Austin TX
– Residence Inn Austin
– Miami Airport Marriott
— Trump Hotel, Las Vegas
– Delta Hotels Detroit Metro Airport
– Four Points Sheraton, Saginaw MI
– Delta Hotels St Johns Canada
— Comfort Inn, Grand Falls, Newfoundland CA
— Mount Peyton Resort & Conference Center, Newfoundland CA
– Delta Hotels St Johns Canada
– Residence Inn Stamford CT
– The Celeste Hotel, Orlando
– Royal Palms, South Beach FL
– Courtyard Marriott Coconut Grove FL
– Bohemain Hotel, Celebration FL
– The Daytona Hotel, Daytona FL
– Royal Palms, South Beach
– LAX Marriott
– Anaheim Marriott

Here’s how my brand stays this year broke out:
Marriott – 10
Autograph Collection – 6
Delta Hotels – 4
Tribute Portfolio – 3
Courtyard – 2
Westin – 2
Residence Inn – 2
St Regis – 1
Renaissance – 1
Four Points – 1
 
I/We had some really fantastic stays this year – especially in the month of October when my wife and I spent 27 days in Marriott hotels both celebrating my 55th trip around the sun and mixing in about 2 weeks of work. Our stay at The St. Regis San Francisco was our most luxurious stay ever – along with being our most expensive points stay ever, but it WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT!
 
We returned to some of our favorite places to stay – the Royal Palms, South Beach and the Bohemian Hotel, Celebration. I found a new favorite in The Ambassador Hotel, Kansas City along with 2 excellent Canadian hotels in the Delta St. Johns and the Delta, Kamloops BC. 
 
We wish we spent more than 1 night at the Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach – it’s a really nice hotel in a fanstastic beach front location. I spent a LOT of nights at the Miami Airport Marriott, that as a business traveler – is on a great campus that is shared with a couple other Marriott properties.
 
We also had a few stays at newer Residence Inn’s and were really pleased with the updated rooms. I rarely stay at Residence Inn properties due to the 5 points per dollar rewards, but we find them to be a great value for points stays.
 
As a Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador member, I DID find that #AmbassadorStatusMatters. Looking back at all my/our stays this year, I/we were upgraded *every* stay, yes every stay. Was every upgrade to a suite? NO Was every stay an upgrade from the room we booked, ABSOLUTELY. Were our stays at “luxury” hotels better and more “meaningful”, for sure – but remember those hotels have more to work with to make your upgrades and stays better.
What were our 5 favorite stays this year?
 
– The Daytona, Daytona Florida: We are huge motorsports fans and this hotel hits all the details big and small for a motorsports fan. We booked a last minute 5 night points stay and were upgraded to a top floor, balcony room overlooking Daytona International Speedway. There is NO better hotel in the Daytona area to stay – especially if you are going to a race weekend.
 
– Royal Palms, South Beach: This is one of our favorite places to stay. We’ve been there 5 or 6 times in the last 2 years – including a stay in March 2020 when we drove from CT with our Labrador because I had a project to work on and did not want to fly. This hotel is in a great location, excellent staff, great elite member recognition, a delicious buffet, direct beach access and just that South Beach “something”
 
– The Otis, Austin TX: We spent 1 night here following the race weekend at Circuit of the Americas, celebrating our 27th anniversary. Using a 40K certificate, we were upgraded to a fantastic 2 room, GIANT bathroom suite. This hotel is very unique, with a great vibe. We loved the record player in the room along with the ability to “check out” a selection of vinyl records from the lobby.
 
– Grand Bohemian Charlotte, NC: This 5 night stay was the 1st on our 27 night, 55th birthday extravagana – and it did not dissapoint. Another points stay where we were upgraded to an amazing multi room suite.
 
– The St Regis, San Francisco: This stay for us, just WOW. A 3 night points stay, with an ugprade to a 17th floor Metropolitan Suite overlooking the SF Museum of Modern Art. The stay exceeded all of our expectations and the in room breakfast, just fantastic.
 
– Delta Hotel, Kamloops: A special mention for me. My wife did not join me on this work trip, but this hotel stay was excellent. A review of my 12 night stay is forthcoming.
This year of travel is going to be hard to beat. I traveled to some fantastic places – including the most easterly part of North America, Cape Spear – and my wife and I traversed the country on free travel using Delta Skymiles, Marriott Bonvoy Points and National Rental Car Free Day.
 
I am certainly fortunate that I have a job that earns me these excellent status’ but moreso, I have a fantastic wife that puts up with all my work travel – which is why I live by the motto of “Earn ’em and Burn ’em” — spending all OUR points on travel with her.
 
I hope that your year of travel was as good as our was, and we look forward to what 2022 and the future brings us.
 
Happy New Year!

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