Annapolis Waterfront Hotel (December 2020)

Booking

After confirming the property wasn’t included in Marriott Luminous, I booked online. Having stayed at this property before, I knew I was looking for a waterfront view room with a balcony, which I booked directly, despite a decent chance at an upgrade at checkin as a Bonvoy Platinum and having suite night awards available. The Christmas stay was all about the room and the view.

Property

The Annapolis Waterfront Hotel is literally on the water; there’s no beach, so the property abuts the bay. The waterfront balconies are actually over the water, which makes for a unique experience.

The property has been refreshed since I was last here, with hardwood floors in the rooms and like-new furnishings, which are typical for an Autograph Collection hotel.

Checkin

Checkin and valet were smooth. I confirmed a high floor, while agent confirmed COVID changes, such as no breakfast or room service on property.

Room

The waterfront rooms appear to be X19 through X22, with X being the floor. We were in 519, which is a king waterview with balcony, and a corner at that. You can upgrade to this room using SNAs, although it is most definitely not a suite.

Food and beverage

We spent $70 on food and beverage even with room service closed and the restaurant opening at 11 am, much of that on two very strong vodka sodas. I’m not complaining.

Service

A shout-out to the frontdesk for acknowledging the lack of breakfast with 750 points per stay. Legacy Marriott properties often seem to forget Platinums should receive breakfast at either the club lounge (which this property lacks) or the restaurant (closed for breakfast due to COVID). Marriott has dropped brand standards for now, so 1,500 points is better than nothing.

Rating (out of five)

Four stars. For the view, natch.

The Chaedrol Hotel Guide does not provide “balanced” reviews of stays, but rather our reviewers’ experiences at properties. Star ratings are based on price, so that a luxury or budget hotel may both receive either no or five stars, and factor in extenuating circumstances. Your actual experience may vary.

Westin Washington, D.C. City Center (December 2020)

Boarded up downtown Washington, DC, somewhat near Westin

Booking

Used marriott.com to prepay for a Traditional King as a Bonvoy Platinum. Upgraded one notch to a Cityview King, surprising (in a bad way) for a legacy SPG property. Unfortunately, the unpleasant surprises didn’t end there.

Property

Yes, this is where Marion Barry uttered his infamous catch phrase, and the lobby is a throwback to brutal, semiatrium-style luxury. We all looked better back in the day, so there’s that.

Checkin

Terse front desk associate started off by scolding me for not standing directly in front of the plastic shield. She then explained the “upgrade” and that the hotel had no food or beverages, aside from the bottles water she handed me. Delivery drivers could meet me in the lobby, she helpfully pointed out.

Room

A standard Westin room at the midway point in the refresh life cycle. One “Juliet” balcony and no other windows. Fifty days here would be a bleak path to Platinum.

Food and beverage

Nope.

Service

Nope.

Rating (out of five)

There is a lot of hotel competition in DC, except right now. I’m guessing the Westin brand (and approach to revenue management) keeps this stale rooming house afloat.

Two stars.

The Chaedrol Hotel Guide does not provide “balanced” reviews of stays, but rather our reviewers’ experiences at properties. Star ratings are based on price, so that a luxury or budget hotel may both receive either no or five stars, and factor in extenuating circumstances. Your actual experience may vary.

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Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina (December 2020)

Christmas decoration in Hyatt Regancy

Booking

I booked a Hyatt Prive rate through Live Luxe Travel Co. Prive is a Hyatt program booked through travel agents at its higher-end properties that provides benefits such as free breakfast, a room upgrade, and late checkout. I booked a standard king, and our upgrade to a Petite King suite confirmed shortly after booking. Also, in this time of COVID, Prive has been running a third-night free special, and the property was included, so off to shore for a three-day weekend.

Property

The hard product is strong for a Hyatt Regency and clearly early in the update cycle. It was also startingly vacant, with a number of outdoor pools and recreation activities, including golf. This being December and me being me, I stayed inside.

You are going to notice an absence of pictures in these narratives. For those, I encourage you to check out Yelp.

Checkin

Bored in the car on the way down, I toyed with the app (no, I wasn’t driving). I hit the checkin button and was offered an upgrade to a Chesapeake suite for $70 per night. Like a moron, I took it.

At checkin, my request for a waterview room was complicated by the suite upgrade. A golf pro was working frontdesk, and he exhibited the patience he surely gained there as he checked off each bay-facing suite. Essentially, a “living room” is connected to two “bedrooms” on either side, and two are sold as a suite.

He thought he found an open suite, but it was booked later in the stay. I took 700 square feet with a parking lot view.

Room

The room was large, with the bedroom noticeably nicer than the living area, which included a table, a bar, and a seating area with a television. There was also a full bath off the very large entry.

The room it was attached to was a Petite Suite in its own right, with a lot of space.

We had a lot of space.

As mentioned above, furnishings were in very good shape, better than I’ve seen in a while.

Food and beverage

We ate at the property the entire stay, and it was good, if not memorable. Think standard American fare, done better than average.

Service

The first full day of our stay was Friday, and we both had to work, so having the separation of the suite was convenient. At breakfast, however, I asked the frontdesk associate if we could move to any waterview room. She searched and located a Petite King suite, and we were allowed to finish working in the larger suite before moving to the Petite King. Very nice.

Service was excellent all-around at the level you would expect at a Regency resort. Staff clearly cared about guests’ stays, which is among the highest compliments I can give.

Rating (out of five)

Four stars.

A great trip is better than I expect, and this was one. A bow to the outstanding staff at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. The $250 in comped food and beverage didn’t hurt either.

The Chaedrol Hotel Guide does not provide “balanced” reviews of stays, but rather our reviewers’ experiences at properties. Star ratings are based on price, so that a luxury or budget hotel may both receive either no or five stars, and factor in extenuating circumstances. Your actual experience may vary.