My wife and I are going to Phoenix Nov 6-12th for the NASCAR race weekend. We try to visit a new-to-us track every year, and we're actually doing 2 this year - Charlotte & Phoenix. These trips are/were to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary (Charlotte in May) and 30th anniversary of our 1st date (Phoenix).
Usually we take our RV to the track and camp at the track, but I just can't get the time off to drive it from CT to Phoenix and back - so instead we're using SkyMiles, Bonvoy Points and National Car Free days for this trip -- not too shabby :-)
I've booked a few different hotels using Points Advance, and have slowly been cancelling those that we decided not to stay at - Westin Downtown Phoenix was the 1st to go.
The hotels we still have booked are:
- Renaissance Phoenix Downtown
- Renaissance Glendale
- Residence Inn Glendale
- Residence Inn Goodyear
I've already applied 125,000 points to the Renaissance Downtown along with SNA's for the stay - there are a couple of different suites there that are really nice. I'm Titanium today, and will be over 100 nights by November (but likely under the Ambassador spend).
The Glendale and Goodyear Residence Inn's are also 125,000 points, while the Renaissance Glendale is 175,000 points. The points differential is ok, as I have points in the bank to cover it - but:
- I've been leaning towards the Renaissance Downtown. It has good reviews, has had a recent interior refresh, the lounge and restaurant have good reviews, and it's walking distance to many downtown restaurants. A downside is a $33/day valet parking charge, but hey it's a downtown hotel.
- The Renaissance Glendale looks like it could use an interior refresh. It too has decent reviews, seems to have average lounge and restaurant reviews, although being in Glendale, it too is close to many restaurants. The valet fee here is $20/day
- Residence Inn Glendale - we love staying at the RI when we travel. We really like the apartment feel, the space and the full kitchen, although we never cooked anything on our stay in Charlotte - eating out every night. This RI (versus Goodyear) has a fresher interior and has some really nice looking common areas. The downside is the very basic breakfast offerings, no lounge and no restaurant. Like the Renaissance Glendale it's close to many restaurants and also has free parking - that alone has the value of a dinner+ out versus either of the Renaissance's
- Residence Inn Goodyear - I only booked this for its closer proximity to the racetrack. The property looks pretty old and doesn't have much nearby. This reservation is likely going to get canned this weekend.
Here's where my dilemma lies ... We haven't been to PHX before and not on a race weekend that is certainly going to elevate traffic and travel time to and from the track. The Glendale hotels are 15 miles from the track, with travel down RT 101 and then a short run on I10 before our exit with preferred parking at exit 131/S. Avondale Ave. The Renaissance Downtown is 20 miles from the track, but has a much longer route along I10, although Google Maps only shows a difference of about 15 minutes if staying downtown.
So I have a couple of questions for the Insiders:
- Should I can the reservation at the Renaissance downtown because it's really going to add *that* much more travel time? Yes I understand that there will likely be more traffic over the longer route before exit 131, but does anyone have experience traveling these roads during a NASCAR race weekend
- Has anyone stayed at the Renaissance downtown? Is the hotel really that nice (I know small pool) or do I just have starry eyes from the photos and reviews? I have had great stays at the Renaissance Newport Beach and am taking some of my positive experience there with the downtown choice.
- Has anyone stayed at the Renaissance Glendale, and if so, how was your experience. Do you feel that staying here is worth the 50,000 points over the downtown hotel or Residence Inn Glendale?
- While I generally would not use my SNA's at a Residence Inn, this one has a nice looking/larger Presidential Suite that could?? be worth using them, maybe ...
- How about SNA's at the Renaissance Glendale, anyone have experience with suites there?
Feedback that my wife has gotten from the Rowdy Busch NASCAR Facebook group says to stay in Glendale because it's closer, and to definitely skip the Residence Inn in Goodyear. I agree with the Goodyear location, even just by looking at the photos on the Marriott site - this hotel really looks like it needs an update, plus there's really nothing in close proximity for food. Pretty sure I am going to drop this reservation this week/weekend.
There is a new Residence Inn that is opening in Avondale, only 6 miles from the track, but they are not taking reservations yet and are advertising an opening date in October. This would be a super close option that would likely sway us - if I can get a points reservation in time.
My wife is swaying towards Glendale, and of course Happy Wife, Happy Life ... but do any Insiders have an opinion?
Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
btw .. Kevin Harvick #4TheChampionship - we have a good rivalry in the house :-)