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Everything posted by Keithstg

  1. Wow - that's a lot of travel! I peaked at 210 nights in 2016, which I do not hope to repeat. Had several 100 night + years as well, but the initial invitation was based on revenue. I hear you re: Ambassador - I got use out of the Ambassador with two things - issues with billing, stays and point credit, and for family travel - primarily pre-booking connecting rooms/ suites. Of the two, I found delegating the follow-up items most useful. Since I switched to Four Seasons I have found that they have a similar program with enough nights/ revenue..
  2. The 3% covered/ created the Ambassador program back in the SPG days, which existed for at least three years prior to being published with stay criteria. There are a slew of 100-200 night customers, but the ones in NY, SF, LA, etc really drive revenue. A back of the envelope calc on my highest travel year in those days put me at around $90k in room revenue, pre taxes. I was in the second Ambassador invite wave when unpublished and continued until the merger. Are you still Lifetime Titanium, or back to lifetime platinum? I grandfathered into Lifetime Titanium but seems as though it's now just lifetime plat. Doesn't matter either way since I don't generally use Starriott anymore. That said, I'm in Portland Maine right now and the Press Hotel is lovely. Will stay at the Francis next time though.
  3. www.envoyerfinewines.com I wouldn't ship now, though. Best to wait for (much) cooler weather. That said, I'm sure the you can also treat yourself at Schneider's, Bassin's (MacArthur), or Weygandt in Cleveland Park.
  4. This whole “bonvoy member” thing is misplaced - joining a free program doesn’t get you much, and shouldn’t. IIRC, More than 50% of Marriott’s earnings are driven by the top 3% of customers - that’s who they cater to. SPG was marginally better, but regardless the deck is stacked toward those who spend many nights at affiliated properties.
  5. Doesn’t matter at all. Hotel chains don’t care about points - chains care about nights at their brand. If you travel frequently, stick to one hotel chain.
  6. Sorry, but I lol’ed - this is sad, and probably happens all the time. Bonvoy Gold can request late check out (best to do so at check in) and Bonvoy Platinums are guaranteed late check out. Otherwise you can be SOL depending on the property.
  7. Effective 9/14, point redemptions will now be grouped into three categories - low, mid, and high season. The devaluation continues. After close to 1000 nights in Starwood brands, it’s a bit surprising to me how little I miss them. Zero time to be Bonvoyed.
  8. I was at the bar again last night. Cacio e Pepe and sirloin were great and the ‘01 Marcarini Brunate was both fantastic and an incredible deal. Be back next week!
  9. Her opinion of Chez Panisse is spot on. Alice Waters was running a coffee house until Jeremiah Tower came to town. Of course, she plagiarized everything he did, but somehow that fact has been lost to time...
  10. Great meal at the bar last night. Enjoyed an '84 Laurel Glen cab with the meatballs, crab fettuccine, and an order of burrata. Was thinking of ordering a main but the half portion of pasta was pretty darn big! Was very pleased to see an almost completely full bar. May head in again tonight if the Nats are rained out! Sad we didn't get to the Grotto more often.
  11. Funny enough, I was at the Grill last Monday with a couple of clients. The room remains beautiful, and was about 3/4 full at 8 on a Monday (in August), which is a pretty solid turnout in my estimation. I didn't experience any of the service issues that Eric did above, thankfully, but do wonder if the waiter who said "Ya Good" came from Carbone, where things are a bit more shtick-y. Our group had crab gumbo to start (x3) - our waiter talked me into it, as I'd planned on the scallop and snail fricassee. My clients loved the gumbo - I thought the seasoning was too assertive (which I realize is the point of gumbo), and hence the ample blue crab was wasted on me. I re-upped from my prior meal with another pheasant claiborne - the presentation has changed - the dish is still made in a cast iron bowl with puff pastry surrounding it, but now a captain removes the lid and plates the dish, making it more composed, but I did lose out on the pieces of puff pastry. The dish remains fantastic though I preferred the more rustic set-up. My companions had a peppered filet and new york strip, along with some off-menu asparagus and spinach sides, whipped potatoes and fried tomatoes. Adding in a couple bottles of wine and after-dinner drinks (no dessert), our bill came to a shitload. That said, I enjoy the room, the food is well-executed and the location is convenient for my clients. Given Eric's mention of the Pool's manager and service I would be inclined to try that out next time, reviews be damned. I've been to the Grill once with friends and once with clients. I'll go back to the Grill, but likely with clients from here on out - always fun to try new places with the crew and the breadth of the menu and setting here are great for business.
  12. Well said. There is a free app called Splitwise that will easily split a check any number of ways. May prove useful in this instance.
  13. Oh my God - 30 separate checks and notoriously cheap coworkers!?!?!? Best of luck. Seriously, how about Masala Art? Mi Vida?
  14. Yep! Shriver was saying that she was glad that a woman was chosen to serve as chair umpire as a woman would better understand the emotions expressed on court. Huh?!?!
  15. That was a very nice and gracious interview. Really appreciated it. I did find Pam Shriver’s commentary on the chair umpire selection odd, though.
  16. I also had bet on Halep, but didn’t expect essentially a flawless performance. 3 unforced errors all match. 3! Amazing.
  17. Don't know about everyone else, but I still think about it every so often. Was an interesting spot, for sure. Was also thinking about Signatures the other day!
  18. As I was saying... https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/27147192/halep-halts-gauff-wimbledon-run-4th-round There are levels to this - but absolutely no shame in not being ready for the top level at 15! Coco performed so well and has a ton to be proud of.
  19. Me too. Being called a “pusher” was one of the highest insults you could face back in the day. Wonder if that’s still the case? A brilliant strategy would have been to either drop Hercog and draw her into net, where she was visibly uncomfortable, or loop forehand or backhands deep (not overhitting) and coming in behind a few of them. Instead they played like 3.0s do. I played my weekly doubles round robin this am. It’s a rotating group but this week included two D-1 singles players, two open level players (one 40 and one 50ish), two club pros, me and a buddy. The unanimous consensus was that the match was poorly played. the two d-1 guys were most generous in their commentary, but literally laughed when asked how they would have done against either player. Both did feel (as do I) that Gauff will be a star.
  20. 377 weeks at no 1 and 8 Wimbledon titles (7 singles, 1 doubles), for a start... The issue for me was that Hercog wasn’t getting backhands sliced deep into the corners - at least not consistently. The vast majority of ground strokes were bouncing within a foot of the service line. Gauff could have hit an approach, or rolled over a two handed backhand into the opposite corner, pushing Hercog back. She did neither, so instead we saw back and forth chips for 30 shots in a row. Again, the match was riveting, but if anyone came away thinking that was high level tennis they saw a vastly different match than I did.
  21. Both players had a lot to lose by definition - it’s a grand slam. The match was riveting, but poorly played. Simple chip forehand returns went unchallenged. Long backhand slice to backhand slice rallies where balls floated as if a 3.5 hit them (nothing wicked at all), and a general fear of taking an angle or coming to net, though that was Hercog. And then there were the slice forehands from both, which were the same quality you’d see in a good high school or college match. Not approach shots, mind you, but generic floating slices. Hercog has a good forehand and a serve, but that’s pretty much it. Gauff played very tight, which is to be expected. She has a bright future, but Halep would have dismantled both of them, and will dismantle Gauff on Monday if she plays like she did today.
  22. Enjoying the Gauff/ Hercog match for the competition, but honestly can’t remember a lesser quality of play in the third round of a grand slam. ETA: what an impressive young woman. Really appreciated her signing autographs, engaging with fans etc. after the match.
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