After four years I guess I will start calling it a tradition, celebrating my wife’s Bday at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge (Phoenix). Using 40,000 points I booked 1 night for Dec 16/17. Since I was planning to upgrade to the Griffin Club, we arrived at noon on Saturday using the Gold/Plat check-in desk. As we were chatting with the agent I made sure to mention that we were celebrating my wife’s Bday, again. I requested the Griffin Club upgrade and was asked to confirm the $75/person/24 hours pricing. As the agent was getting ready to issue the room keys she stopped and said, “You know, I am going to go ahead and comp the Griffin Club.” (Big smiles all around!) I grabbed a Wall Street Journal as we headed for the elevators. After we dropped our bags in the room we went down the hall to the GC for our lunch, get reacquainted with Pat and Alison (The afternoon hosts) and read the WSJ. During check-in I had failed to ask for late check-out on Sunday, so I asked Pat to extend our stay until 2 PM Sunday and she got us a 3 PM checkout.
After lunch we had a nap, walked around the property again and looked at the Christmas decorations (rather subdued compared to previous years). At 4 PM the GC hosted bar opened so we went up and each grabbed a double shot of Buffalo Trace Bourbon (neat) and went down to sit by one of the patio fire pits. Since it was a little chilly (for Phoenix) we requested one of the servers to have the fire pit ignited. The duty manager came out to light the fire and we started chatting with him. During our discussion it came out that we were celebrating my wife’s Bday so after he had left, he came back with 2 glasses of Champaign.
Shortly after 5 PM we went back to the GC and the afternoon hors d’oeurves were out. This day the chef was making tasty chicken Quesada’s to go with the extensive selection of cold items. While we were eating, sipping our bourbon and reading our Kindles a woman asked if she could sit on the couch next to us and we spent the next 3 hours chatting with her. She explained that she was a member of the Country Club and had stopped by the GC that afternoon for a snack. (The JW Desert Ridge has a “Country Club” on property that includes golf/tennis/spa and a specific number of days/month at the Griffin Club.) While we were talking with our new friend one of the evening hosts brought out a small Bday cake and a full unopened bottle of Champaign. (We are now ready for New Year’s eve.) In case were not full enough, the desert bar opened at 8 PM. We topped off the night with Disaranno Amaretto on the rocks.
The next morning we enjoyed the hot and cold breakfast buffet but did not take advantage of the omelet bar. We also had Pat redo our room keys to make sure we were not locked out of our room at noon. After breakfast we drove to the Scottsdale campus of the Hillsong Church and then spent the morning reading on our Kindles. At noon we returned to the GC for another lunch and to tell Pat and Alison goodbye until next year. A very relaxing and enjoyable Bday celebration.
When we checked out at 2 PM I asked for a receipt and was pleased to see that there were no charges: no parking, no taxes and no resort fee. A good use of 40,000 MR points.
No body at the pool.
View from our room.