Five Year Anniversary Trip to Greenville, SC: September 2020

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For our five year anniversary trip at the end of September 2020, we decided to take a drive to Greenville, SC. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic was raging, we decided that since we had not traveled in seven months that a quick one night trip would not be so bad. Because of the uncertainty of the time we live in, due to the pandemic, I waited until the night (Friday) before we wanted to arrive (Saturday) to make the reservations.

Hotel:

For the sake of familiarity, we decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency Greenville. It is a great location, very close to local shops, stores, restaurants, Bon Secours Wellness Arena and Reedy River Park. This was the third time that we had stayed at this property but the first time since getting the World of Hyatt credit card from Chase in July 2020. This card grants Discoverist status in the World of Hyatt program to the primary cardholder. (Take a look here to see how I use this card and others in my wallet)

The clean seal on the outside of the hotel room door.

I made the reservation on Friday evening for us to stay one night on the very next day. I feel like this kind of close in booking was possible due to COVID. Pre-pandemic this property would have probably been booked that close to arrival. At the time of booking, the cash rate was $170/night (taxes included). This property is a Category 2, which means it typically takes 8,000 points for an award night but with WOH Free Nights on Sale, they are giving 25% of points back on award stays to credit cardholders. Thus I got this award night for 6,000 points. Therefore my redemption value was about 2.8 cents per point, making it a great redemption. Generally speaking anything over 2.0 cents per point for WOH is a good redemption. Another part of the Free Nights on Sale promo is free parking on award nights so that saved us about $10. 

Upon booking the reservation on Friday night, I requested early check-in and late check-out. Check-in is normally at 4pm but we arrived at 1:30pm and were able to go ahead and check-in. The front desk attendant also confirmed that we would get 2pm check-out the next day. The front desk hostess also informed us that because I am a Discoverist member of the WOH program (Thanks WOH card!) that we got a preferred room of the type of room I booked. So it was a little bigger than the previous rooms we had stayed in at this property. I did happen to notice that mask protocols were being followed by staff and guests. There were also hand sanitizer stations around the lobby. 

But once we got to the room, the bottles of water that the hostess said would be in the room, as a perk of Discoverist status, were not there. And even though the door had the sticker showing it had been cleaned and the TV remote was in a plastic baggy there was a long dark hair on the counter under the TV, right by the remote.

After finding the hair on the counter, we went down to the front desk and requested our water bottles, which they promptly gave to us without question. We also mentioned the hair and showed them a picture. The host offered to switch our rooms but we said no since we had already somewhat unpacked and were only there for one night. They also gave us a $50 credit to be used in the hotel gift shop, The Roost (hotel restaurant) and Starbucks (also part of the hotel). We mainly used this credit at Starbucks for coffees, bottle of water and a scone. We each also got an alcoholic beverage from The Roost. All in all, the experience at the hotel was great and once again we enjoyed our experience and look forward to returning.

Sightseeing/Entertainment:

Since this trip was very last minute, we did not have time to make any plans for attractions. However, we were okay with that, as we tend to stumble across the most interesting things while traveling when we can just walk around instead of having a booked schedule.

Therefore, we started to walk down S. Main St. in downtown Greenville and there are all varieties of local shops and stores. We stopped in a few of them to browse and bought a couple things also. But it was mainly just nice to walk around looking to see what this new place had to offer (we had not walked down S. Main St. on our previous two stays). 

As we continued down S. Main St. for about 15 minutes, we came to The Falls at Reedy River Park. This park was beautiful. It had a suspension bridge that went over the river and falls. Marshall and I ended up sitting on a bench near a calmer part of the river and just people watched for a while before we walked back toward the hotel. 

Later that night, after dinner we were searching for a gay bar to go to but could not find any. When searching we found a place called DT’s Tavern which was about a block away from the hotel. We got there early at about 9pm so it was not too crowded and fortunately for us the majority of the customers were gay, so we were very comfortable. I am glad that we found DT’s Tavern because I definitely look forward to going back. After about an hour we headed back to the hotel. 

On Sunday morning before check out, we walked around downtown and S. Main St. area again. After we checked out at about 1:30pm, we stopped by Haywood Mall which is only about 10 mins from the hotel. We did not buy anything but it gave us something to do before we went home. It also gave us a chance to browse some stores that we do not have closer to home.

Restaurants/Food:

Again since this was a last minute trip, we did not have any idea of where we were going to eat. On Saturday while walking around S. Main St. we stumbled upon a restaurant called Sassafras. We sat at the bar since we did not have a reservation and there was limited seating due to the pandemic. Our waiter’s name was Oscar and he was great! We started with a couple mixed drinks along with the Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna appetizer, which was very good. 

For our entree, we each got the Seafood Trio (catfish, scallops and shrimp) which could be blackened or grilled. It is served with sides of parmesan risotto and sautéed asparagus. We both ordered blackened and I requested no catfish. When the entrees came out, Marshall’s was great but somehow mine ended up fried instead of blackened. The staff fixed it and remade my plate while letting us take the fried entree to go.

We had an amazing creme brûlée to end a great meal. We look forward to returning to this restaurant soon. We had great food and service. Their prices are reasonable for what is served. 

For brunch on Sunday morning we walked about twenty minutes down S. Main St., past The Falls at Reedy River Park, to Eggs Up Grill. We have eaten here a few times since we have one close to our house. However, the environment at this particular location seemed a little more industrial and older. Marshall ordered one his favorites, Eggs Benedict and he was not disappointed. I had the Classic which is eggs, toast, bacon and home fries. We do enjoy eating at Eggs Up Grill

Expenses/Savings:

Expenses:

Bar Tab: $80.00

Hyatt Regency Greenville: $2.11

Restaurants: $216.00

The Spice and Tea Exchange: $15.90

Total Expenses: $314.01

Savings and Points Value:

Free Parking: $10.00

Award Night Room: $170.00

Refunded 2,000 points: $50.00

Hotel Credit: $50.00

607.6 points earned with WOH card: $15.19

Total savings and points value: $295.19

Conclusion of our Five Year Anniversary Trip:

Once again we had a great time in Greenville, SC though this time it was much too short. But we figured best to keep it short because since it was our first trip in the seven months since the pandemic started, I was a little scared as to how seriously people would be adhering to the recommended safety protocols. I am happy to report that the majority of people that we encountered were following set guidelines to protect themselves and others. We look forward to a time in the near future when we can return safely to Greenville, hopefully for more than just one night next time.

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