Thursday, March 15, 2007

Our whirlwind trip to So Cal

Monday through Weds this week, I needed to go to Southern California to visit some potential venues for our next Getaway at Bo's Cafe for work. It's my job to research and gather info so our team can decide on the best location at the best price for our exclusive fund-raising and marriage retreats for 25-30 influential couples from around the U.S. and Canada. Our guests are folks that generally have the means to stay wherever in the world they want (literally) so we need a place that's luxurious, yet somewhat reasonable in price. Impossible, you say? Well, we'll see...

I didn't want to go by myself, so Amy graciously came along to take pictures of the places while I walked and talked with the sales reps. It was a huge help for me to not have to keep track of taking photos so I could concentrate on questions and just observing the place. Don't I look like I'm concentrating on something important here?

To save money we drove to So Cal instead of flying...about 5 hours or so each way. Amy slept in the back seat for part of the way over and used her backpack as a pillow (above). She also decided that part of her photo assignment was to see how many pics she could take of herself in the mirrors that we passed during the tours. I didn't count them, but I'm sure there's at least a dozen or more.

All 7 of the resorts we visited (basically in 2 days) had either 4 or 5-diamond AAA ratings, except one that was 3 diamond. The one that was 5 diamond, was clearly superior to the others, so I hope we're able to work a good deal to be able to go there. The other properties were all very nice, and places that Terry and I wouldn't hesitate to stay, (if the room rate wasn't too high). But since we're expecting guests with somewhat higher standards, we'll try to go with the highest quality that we can afford. As a non-profit, it's a delicate balance between spending money for higher quality and not appearing that we're being frivolous...it's my job to try to find that balance.

These are the resorts we visited, in order of my current preference, based on factors like, overall beauty and cleanliness onsite, location, proximity to fun activities, amenities, guest rooms, meeting rooms, food, etc.:

Four Seasons Aviara - Carlsbad
Loew's Coronado Bay Resort
Hilton San Diego
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
Paradise Point Resort & Spa
Rancho Bernardo Inn

I could go into detail about each one, but I'll let you look at their websites if you're interested. If you want more info on any of them, I'll be happy to answer any questions or give my personal comments.

For now, I'll share just a couple of tidbits that were fun about the visits. The outside photos here are of the Four Seasons Aviara which was head and shoulders above the rest. A beautiful resort inside and out.

Click on the photo of the table full of water and treats to see that the Hilton San Diego set it up just to welcome Amy and me. WOW!!! At this same table, we were also introduced to the General Manager of the resort, the award winning Head Chef, Hermann Schaefer, the Hotel Manager and some other man that I don't remember his title. Talk about intimidating, but certainly made us feel important & special!

These shoes were worn by our sales rep at the Paradise Point resort. She was a sweet young lady and did some creative things for us as well.

By the end of each day we were pretty tired from all the driving and walking so we just relaxed in the room. On Weds night we were trying to get home to see the Suns play the Mavs for a critical basketball game. We listened to the first half on the radio coming home and I got to see the 2nd half and the TWO overtimes on TV at home.

I had a fun time and was so glad that Amy came with me. It wouldn't have been nearly as much fun by myself.

2 comments:

Nancy said...

WOW, you have a great job and thanks for sharing the beautiful resorts! This really sounds like a dream job and what a blessing! I love dreaming about places like this. Have a great weekend!

andrew said...

my wife looks cute asleep in the back of your car.
oh, and go suns!