SPG Amex Holiday Challenge in San Diego

When the good people from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Card from American Express (SPG Amex) give you a holiday challenge for the 5th year running, you’re obliged to take it! I was challenged to book a holiday stay anywhere there was a Starwood hotel in the country using points to help illustrate how there are no blackout dates-even during the busy holiday season. I took the SPG Amex holiday challenge in San Diego, California!
SPG Amex Holiday Challenge in San Diego, San Diego, SPG Amex, SPG, Amex
I often don’t write about domestic cities on my site and I really should more often because there are so many good places. San Diego has long been a favorite of mine and I’ve been going there since 2001! With great food, golf and perfect weather it’s really the best place in America to live year round in my opinion. My best friend also recently moved there and his son is my Godson; who’s birthday was this past weekend. So my SPG Amex holiday challenge in San Diego was a no brainer!
SPG Amex Holiday Challenge in San Diego, San Diego, SPG Amex, SPG, Amex, Sunset cliffs, ocean beach
I stayed at the US Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego for 3 nights. The hotel cost 12,000 Starpoints per night for a total of 36,000. The US Grant is a Luxury Collection property that was recently renovated in an excellent part of San Diego because you can walk anywhere from the hotel. It’s actually in a building on the national register of historic buildings. So it was pretty nice!
SPG Amex Holiday Challenge in San Diego, San Diego, SPG Amex, SPG, Amex, US Grant Hotel, Luxury Collection
The rooms were super comfortable with modern amenities, great shower and lots of plugs-my favorite! The hotel itself was very luxurious and was hosting some big events like weddings and big holiday parties when I was there. The staff was super helpful in recommending places to eat as well.
SPG Amex Holiday Challenge in San Diego, San Diego, SPG Amex, SPG, Amex, US Grant Hotel, bed
As a lifetime Starwood Platinum member, and a card member since 1999 who has 3 SPG Amex cards for personal and business use, I am a huge fan of the card. I love the no foreign transaction fees when I travel, the great sign up bonuses and the partnerships with brands I use everyday like Uber. I’ve amassed a ton of Starpoints using the SPG Amex card over the years.
SPG Amex Holiday Challenge in San Diego, San Diego, SPG Amex, SPG, Amex, Mission Beach
San Diego is one of those cities, like many in California, where there isn’t one specific thing you’re supposed to see or do. There are beaches of course; which are lovely. But the main deal with San Diego is just the vibe. It’s a beautiful laid-back place where you could stay entertained for weeks. In fact, I could easily, and have considered, living in San Diego.
SPG Amex Holiday Challenge in San Diego, San Diego, SPG Amex, SPG, Amex, sunset cliffs, ocean beach
From La Jolla to Pacific Beach to Point Loma and the Gaslamp, San Diego has it all. The US Grant is walking distance to the Gaslamp District where there are dozens of restaurants and bars. San Diego has become a bit of a culinary favorite in recent years and I could literally eat sushi and Mexican food every day.
SPG Amex Holiday Challenge in San Diego, San Diego, SPG Amex, SPG, Amex, plane view
But perhaps my favorite thing to eat in San Diego is breakfast. There is a small restaurant called Werewolf that is the top rated breakfast place on Yelp in San Diego and was only a 10-minute walk from the US Grant Hotel. So I tried it out. The Chilaquiles with steak was the single best breakfast I’ve ever tasted in my life. Thank me later.
SPG Amex Holiday Challenge in San Diego, San Diego, SPG Amex, SPG, Amex, Werewolf
So my SPG Amex holiday challenge was a great success as it has been for many years now! Of course, this year is slightly different because of the Starwood-Marriott merger where you can earn 2 Starpoints for every eligible dollar spent using your SPG Amex directly at hotels participating in Marriott Rewards globally. Members of Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and SPG can link their accounts at members.marriott.com and certainly should!
SPG Amex Holiday Challenge in San Diego, San Diego, SPG Amex, SPG, Amex, US Grant, elevator lobby
Disclaimer: I am an SPG Amex star and an Amex Ambassador. I receive financial compensation for this partnership of over 5 years. I am also a lifetime platinum SPG member on my own and have 3 credit cards on my own. I do three work trips a year with SPG Amex with flights paid for. I used points to book the hotel that were provided to me by SPG Amex. I believe SPG to be the best loyalty program in travel and the SPG Amex card to be the best credit card in the world. Separately, I have also advised Marriott on the SPG loyalty program integration for the merger.

Comments

  1. You really should promote more of your domestic trips, Lee. Over the past couple of years, I have been travelling mainly to the Midwest States for both business and personal reasons and absolutely love it. Until these trips, I really couldn’t understand why most Americans wouldn’t want to travel abroad. But now I get it. Your country has everything you need and more for travel. Use this platform to promote your beautiful country of yours from time to time!

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