I wrote yesterday about my worst experiences in 2014, and so now I would like to balance those with the best.
Let me start with a bit of a cheat. Whilst the news of Hyatt’s ‘Free for all internet’ came in 2014 it won’t start until 2015. However, it’s such good news and probably a defining moment in the industry, that it deserves a mention.
Rapidly turning in to my favourite place to stay at Heathrow, the Hilton Terminal 5, whilst not at Terminal 5 (Add £9 for the madly expensive Hotel Hoppa bus). You can read my review here (Dec 15). The rates are usually reasonable and the staff make a real effort to be friendly and helpful.
My best upgrades of the year had to come from Hyatt – unsurprising I suppose based on my top tier status and great properties. To take each in turn:
- Grand Hyatt Bangkok – where I secured a villa on the grounds of the property with 4 rooms.
- Park Hyatt New York – a new hotel I managed to secure on points and which upgraded me to a great suite.
- Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires – a stay on Cash & Points yielded a super stay at a very smart property in Argentina.
The highlight experience of the year however, had to be the poppies at the Tower of London. An extraordinary memorial to the dead of the First World War it became the defining moment for the UK’s marking of the start of the ‘Great War’. Mentioned by The Queen in her Christmas speech it showed the power of public art to capture the imagination and move the soul.
I managed to earn Gold Guest List with British Airways entitling me to some extra benefits with that carrier. You can read about the associated benefits, including Diamond with Hilton HHonors in my post here.
I did have a couple of great BA flights, including my first First Class trip westbound where sleep was not my only priority. You can read the review here. I had another short flight that was superb – just Heathrow to Paris – but a great team member made it memorable. You can read about that trip from August here.
The best lounge I visited was the Centurion Lounge in Las Vegas. A great experience – just wish there were a few of these in Europe and the £450 fee for a Platinum Card was not so high.
I had a great visit to the Chihuly Gardens in Seattle. You can read about my visit here.
So in all it was a good travel year, some great experiences local and distant. And tomorrow I will look forward to what 2015 will bring.