Hawaii resident, Jennifer Brill and her husband, recently had the trip of a lifetime on the mainland. An HGV-only tour to the American Canyonlands was an extra-special week filled with natural beauty, new friendships, and sharing travel stories with other Owners.
The Vacationeer: We can’t wait to hear about your Canyonlands experience, but first, can you share when you became an Owner with HGV?
Jennifer: We became Owners in 2007, where we initially purchased at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We love taking ‘staycations’ close to home on long weekends, so we knew this purchase would never go unused. Then two years ago we upgraded our ownership and bought on the Big Island at Kings’ Land by Hilton Grand Vacation Club.
The Vacationeer: What made you decide to join HGV?
Jennifer: A friend (and co-worker) has been a member for a long time. He had extra points at the end of the year, so he invited my husband and I to stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village over New Year’s Eve. We loved our experience so much that we joined that same day!
The Vacationeer: Where have you traveled with HGV?
Jennifer: Since our two favorite properties are Kings’ Land and Hilton Hawaiian Village, we’ve enjoyed so many trips close to home. Our granddaughters are eight and five years old and live in Chicago, so we love spending time with them out by the pool, enjoying a shave ice or two. We cherish being able to run out to Whole Foods and cook right in our condo.
Our first trip with HGV outside of Hawaii was actually our very recent Owners trip to Canyonlands.
The Vacationeer: Speaking of that, how did you hear about the Owner’s trip to Canyonlands?
Jennifer: My husband and I read the HGV newsletter cover to cover as soon as we get it. We were having breakfast one morning reading it and we saw the announcement for the Tauck land tour to the Canyonlands in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. This trip sounded perfect for us, and we knew we had to make it happen!
The Vacationeer: Was it easy to transfer your points?
Jennifer: It was so easy! I called an HGV agent and she helped me transfer the amount of points over to Tauck. The agent mentioned that this trip was really popular, so we felt so lucky that we were able to get a spot.
The Vacationeer: Can you share some of the highlights from your Canyonlands experience?
Jennifer: Towards the end of most trips my husband and I take, we tend to plan our next trip before we even arrive back home. We are in the moment of our vacation high, and we’ve always found this window the best time to ensure we always have a vacation on our calendar. So when we were reaching the end of this vacation in Canyonlands, we knew without a single doubt, that we had to book another HGV Owner’s vacation!
This trip to Canyonlands was so convenient since we could grab a direct flight from Honolulu to Phoenix. We were greeted at the airport by a driver and driven to the Four Seasons in Scottsdale. This property is absolutely breathtaking!
The entire trip was filled with perfect weather, and a backdrop of bright blue sky against the burnt orange canyons and greenery. We hiked, we ate, we drank! Zion National Park was probably my favorite destination on the trip. We stayed at a lodge within the canyons, and had a beautiful cabin, complete with front porch rocking chairs.
The Vacationeer: What are a few of the stand out memories from this trip?
Jennifer: Definitely our Tauk tour guide! He made everyone feel so at home, and created such a strong bond within our group. Our tour guide and bus driver made the perfect team. The bus was always immaculate, and there was always a cold water bottle on our seat.
The private plane ride over the Grand Canyon was my favorite activity – such a surreal experience! All of the accommodations were excellent. From the Four Seasons Scottsdale to the Four Seasons Las Vegas, with cabins and lodges in between, it was perfect. Our farewell reception in Las Vegas was so heartfelt, and we didn’t want to leave our new friends. There were 38 HGV Owners on this trip, and we became so connected to one another.
The Vacationeer: So you made great connections with other Owners on the trip?
Jennifer: During the first night of the trip there was a welcome reception and we were able to meet and talk with all of the Owners. We dined together, enjoyed conversations on the tour bus, and even rode a private plane over the Grand Canyon together. This was by far the best group tour we’ve ever been on. Everyone got along so well, and everything about this trip was so easy. We definitely came to the conclusion that all of the Owners on this trip have an incredible passion for travel and we all work our points to the max, never letting a single point go to waste!
There was so much camaraderie on this trip and we all became a really tight group. We actually became great friends with a couple who are Owners at the Grand Islander property in Hawaii!
The Vacationeer: What advice would you give other Owners interested in booking this kind of trip?
Jennifer: The booking process was so easy! I definitely recommend reading the Club newsletter and to become familiar with the Club website. During the booking process, and while on this vacation, our communication was top-notch! We always knew when our driver would pick us up, when and where to meet the bus.
The Vacationeer: Was there anything you experienced on this trip that you didn’t expect?
Jennifer: The communication from Tauck was so detailed in their responses. We always knew where to go and what to expect. We were also so impressed with the incredible service Tauck tours provides. My brother took a Tauck tour before us and he said you will wonder how you traveled with anyone else before!
The Vacationeer: Where are you traveling to next?
Jennifer: This past spring we traveled to Norway to see the Northern Lights, and we just returned from Canyonlands. So, we decided to stay local this summer to enjoy lots of pool time with our grandkids when they visit. We are also looking into booking an Owner’s cruise, and of course, we can’t wait to take another Tauck tour again. We are looking forward to our next newsletter so we can read it cover to cover to get the next travel idea!