Wednesday, 21 December 2011

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Best of 2011 - Best Hotel

I've always been one to follow the crowd. Easily swayed by peer pressure, always taking the road most traveled, and at least three or four years behind anyone who could even remotely be considered a trendsetter. Sure it's tough walking a path that's been worn down so well it's practically paved, but let me remind you that without followers, there would be no leaders, and who wants to live in a world with no leaders?

Thus, in an effort to make sure I adhere to the most tried and true traditions of the world, More Kids Than Suitcases will be launching our year end review posts starting today. Yes, we're going to look back at the best and worst of our year in travel. Not because we have to...not because you asked us to...but because it's what everybody else does.

Today's category - Best Hotel

The nominees are:

Hyatt Regency Orange County - Does volume count? If it does, we don't need to go any further, as we spent around 20 nights here this year. It's our home away from home, and it's kind of like coming back to visit Mom and Dad. There's always a great breakfast buffet, they're constantly checking to see if we need anything, and we get in trouble if we stay out late without calling. Add in the fact that Kenneth is the greatest shuttle driver in the history of shuttle drivers, and I get a happy feeling every time we're headed back here.

Fairmont Pacific Rim - We don't usually stay at hotels that have been open less than a year, it kind of goes against our whole "follower" lifestyle. We found ourselves here in July though, checking in to the hotel at the same time as the majority of the players in the Canadian Open golf tournament. There's nothing more depressing than being in a lobby full of golfers, and realizing that you're the most out of shape person in the room. Time to start hanging out wherever the dart players stay I guess.

Fairmont Scottsdale -  Yeah we went to Phoenix in August. Still want me to plan your vacation for you? At least we ended up in a beautiful resort with tons of pools to play in and plenty of wild jack rabbits to keep my daughters entertained. We got to stay in a fantastic casita that looked out over the TPC golf course. Great...more freakin' golfers. I gotta hit the gym.

Hyatt Grand Cypress - A four star hotel with two star service and a fee tacked on for just about everything, so I guess it depends on what you're focusing on. I didn't like this hotel at all, but my kids did, and through some strange quirk in the voting rules, I only get one vote! There should really be some kind of executive veto or something, although we all know that if there was one, Lori would get it.

Fairmont Whistler - I called it "dated and in need of updating". My wife called it "charming and quaint". Obviously I'm wrong (16 years married, and I'm planning on making it to 17) so the Fairmont Whistler makes the list. Their service was great (except for "forgetting" to upgrade our room) and the location would be perfect if I knew the first thing about skiing. They should really do something about all that rain though. Maybe a dome or something.

After a top secret ballot which consisted of people mumbling an answer to me so I'd leave them alone and let them sleep some more, here are the results:

Steve - Hyatt Orange County
Lori - Fairmont Scottsdale
Talon - Hyatt Grand Cypress
Neve - Fairmont Scottsdale
Leeds - Fairmont Scottsdale

And the winner is.....(not too dramatic when I've already posted the votes is it?)......

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess!

Lets call this one a victory for the girls, although in all fairness I could have easily voted for the Fairmont Scottsdale. I'm just too easily swayed by the free (for diamonds) breakfast at Hyatt OC. The Fairmont Scottsdale is a great property, but I suspect that the powerful combination of  free roaming bunnies and pre-teen girls may have been too much for the other hotels to overcome. Throw in the fact that my wife's favorite shopping destination (Ross) has three locations in the immediate vicinity, and I see us revisiting this property whenever we have the chance.

Congratulations to our favorite hotel for 2011 -      The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.