The Traveling Steve's

Marriott Platinum Challenge Continues: on to Daytona Beach Shores!

After arriving home from our last trip to Virginia, we have now completed 8 days out of 15 (to be completed in 90 days) for our Marriott Hotel Platinum Challenge status match. While I have lifetime Hilton, and Globalist at Hyatt, it sounded like a good excuse to make status for next year at Marriott, while having some fun mini trips in the process.

After a few short days at home catching up on a dentist appointment, sorting thru mostly tons of junk mail (can’t wait until this November election is over and quit getting so many political ads!), and more serious – the refrigerator died on us, we would head out to Daytona Beach Shores for 3 more nights of Marriott stays. It would have been four nights, but we had to replace the refrigerator ASAP. As I blogged about in the last post, when we got back from Virginia the fridge was no longer working and had to be replaced.

I would love to once again give a shout out to Appliance Direct of Orlando (Altamonte Springs location) for their courteous, quick and professional service. You really know how to treat your customers right!

Since DOS and I are both retired it is nice going places mid-week, such as Daytona Shores from Tuesday to Friday, instead of the more crowded weekends which we had to do before when I was working.

We stayed at the Residence Inn Oceanfront at Daytona Beach Shores, which is only a couple hotels away from the Hyatt Place we normally stay at when we go to the beach there.

Daytona Beach Shores is just south of Daytona Beach, and is a much quieter area than Daytona Beach proper, and while there are several hotels (both chain hotels and Mom and Pop’s), Daytona Beach Shores has a more residential feel to it with more condos than hotels.

We had a one bedroom suite at the oceanfront Residence Inn, and while our room was technically “ocean view'”, it was angled perfectly for widespread views of the ocean as well as the intra-coastal waterway on the other side of the inlet. This hotel being a Marriott, was of course COVID-clean, and the staff was very friendly. This three night stay would also give us a total of 11 nights on our 3 month quest (need a total of 15) for our Marriott Platinum challenge, so we are well on the way, as we have two more months to complete this.

The beach at Daytona Shores was very uncrowded during our off-season, mid-week stay, and while they do allow vehicles on the beach, unlike Daytona Beach proper, they were few and far between, with just a few parked in the designated zones.

We had a simple but fun stay-cation here, nice in the fact it’s only an hour from home, and we don’t have to fly to get there. The weather and ocean breeze were delightful and our daily walks on the beach were wonderful.

Likewise, evenings were quiet and delightful weather-wise. While we got the morning oceanfront sunrises from our balcony, in the evenings we got the sunsets facing the intercostal waterways on the other side of the hotel. The picturesque colored sky framed our photos taken by our iPhones as something of a postcard showing off the Daytona Beach shores area.

The color from the evening skies continued over to our ocean view, as the moon was rising in the distance.

The panoramic photo below provides a unique perspective from the beach on one side to the nearby intercostal waterway on the other.

For dinners the first two nights we went to a couple restaurants across the street from the hotel; Red Lobster, and Portifino’s Italian respectively. We have been to both restaurants before, and were quite full when we were done eating at both, although DOS and I didn’t like the fact the servers didn’t wear masks at the family-owned Portifino’s, in these COVID times. Red Lobster being a chain restaurant adhered to their corporate protocols requiring masks, although small family-owned restaurants such as Portifino’s didn’t seem to follow the policies of others.

I told DOS I hoped the picture of beer would kill any COVID virus that might be in the air! (Or at least the Vitamin D supplements we take daily that the ‘experts’ claim is helpful in fighting COVID.)

The last night we went to Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, which is located in the Hilton Hotel at Daytona Beach, a three or four mile drive away from ours at Daytona Beach Shores. Hyde Park was in a word “OUTSTANDING”! It is a high-end steakhouse type restaurant located oceanfront with indoor and outdoor seating. It’s directly next to the Hilton convention center, so right now I’m sure it’s taking quite a hit from the lack of conventions going on thanks to COVID.

DOS and I had a pre-dinner drink at the outdoor oceanfront seating, and got some good pictures of the beautiful sun setting in the distance.

Although we could have eaten outside, as it got darker it was getting a bit breezy, so we moved indoors for our meal. , We still had a view of the water, and the tables were very well socially distanced from each other.

The dinner and service at Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse were excellent, and we had a leisurely dinner, not rushed in between courses per our request. The dining room at Hyde Park has a masculine and classy elegant feel to it, without being pretentious and reminded me a bit of the Capital Grille Steakhouse we go to in Orlando occasionally . Here are some photos of our meal at Hyde Park Daytona Beach.

After dinner we headed out the door, and immediately realized we were ‘back’ in Daytona Beach.

Not a bag thing mind you as it was not very busy, but the lights, hotels, attractions etc reminded us we weren’t in the quiet and classy Hyde Park restaurant any longer! Similar to being on a cruise in specialty dining, or in a First Class Lounge in an international airport, just walking out the door and into the “real world” of other people and more hectic environment, always takes a few moments to adjust to from the quiet and classy experience you just had. And that’s a great compliment to Hyde Park Restaurant for letting us have a “night out”!

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped for a short while at the Rooftop Bar, which is located in the Streamline Hotel there in Daytona Beach. We’ve been there a couple times before, and enjoy walking around the colorful lobby of this boutique hotel, which touts itself as the “birthplace of Nascar”.

Even the elevator to the rooftop bar offers a hodgepodge of historic photos about Nascar and the Daytona area there. Once on the rooftop you have good views of the beach (in the daytime), while at night you can see the streets and attractions below.

As it was a slow October Thursday night, we just stayed for a while before heading back to the hotel in Daytona Beach Shores. In the morning (Friday) we checked out and headed back to Orlando. It was a fun ‘staycation’ at the beach, and we are now 11 stays (out of 15 in 3 months) for our Marriott Platinum Challenge! Good night from Daytona Beach!

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