evening view from our patio at the Marriott Morning Star in St. Thomas
Just hearing the word "hotel" makes me begin to salivate. I consider almost any hotel a luxury because a) you get as many clean fresh towels as you'd like, and b) you don't have to make the bed yourself!
But I admit, I have grown accustomed to nice, very nice, hotels as my husband began working at the Marriott headquarters a few years ago. Marriott offers a generous discount to its employees and I graciously take advantage of their generosity as often as I possibly can.
Recently, we were guests at the Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star in St. Thomas. The best part for me was being just 12 feet or so from the private beach. The hotel offers many other ammenities with a good selection of swimming pools and restaurants; an Activity Center for booking tours, sailboats, snorkel equipment and the like; and a panoramic view that earned it Carribean Travel and Life magazine's "Best Resort Hotel" and "Best Resort with a View."
One of the most, if not THE most, luxurious hotels that I stayed in is the Paris Marriott Hotel Champs Elysees. If unlimited clean towels make be happy, just imagine how giddy I was to have a doorman, fresh flowers, a marble bathroom with a huge tub and lighted makeup mirrors, turn-down service with chocolates on the pillow, housekeeping twice daily, and a concierge who would answer the phone "Yes, Mrs. Such and Such, how may I help you?" when I would phone with a question. I was with my mother-in-law on that trip to Paris and when relatives would ask about our trip upon our return, all we could talk about was the hotel and the macaroons at Laderee's across the street. As plush as this hotel is, truthfully, I prefer to stay in an apartment when visiting Paris. But that's another story.
Closer to home, another hotel that I stayed in with my mother-in-law is the JW Marriott Hotel Pennsylvania Avenue. We attended the Cherry Blossom Festival and frankly didn't want to deal with the transportation issue....besides, we deserved a brief return to "the good life"...especially when we could get it at Best Western prices. We joked about the bathroom not quite living up to our newly acquired standards but the location sure was great! It is just a couple blocks from practically everything...the White House, the Tidal Basin (where all the cherry trees are), the Mall (where all the museums are), and it is right across the street from the historic and pretigious Willard Hotel.
I am looking forward to a long weekend at Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona toward the end of summer. I am going to finally use my frequent flyer miles and treat myself to a Photo and Spa retreat (because as you can see, I never treat myself...haha).
Have Work (and a hotel discount)...Will Travel!