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Have you ever been completely caught off guard by a really big surprise? We recently spoke with Mary Jo about her surprise when she walked through the lobby of The Residences by Hilton Club in New York City.

The Vacationeer: What is your history with Hilton Grand Vacations?

Mary Jo: My journey with HGV began in Las Vegas as a new Owner of Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club. What I soon discovered is that I’m less of a beach/sit by the pool person, and more of a city person. I usually travel to New York City three to four times per year. I visited West 57th Street by Hilton Club, and it was a great fit for me. More recently when The Residences by Hilton Club opened, I made the decision to switch my ownership to that property during an update. So I still own in Las Vegas and now I also own at the newest New York City property. I still love traveling to Las Vegas, but I can also use my points to transfer to Hilton Honors points to stay at Hilton properties. My other home away from home lately has been Europe, so I love that I can use my points to travel there. In fact, I’m leaving for France next week!

The Vacationeer: Why did you become a Member?

Mary Jo: Travel is truly my number one passion and it’s so comforting to have a pre-paid vacation. I am still working full-time, but the days I’m not working, I am on a plane going somewhere! HGV has really let me discover the world!

The Vacationeer: We hear you were the very first guest through the door at The Residences by Hilton Club. Tell us your story!

Mary Jo: It’s a funny story! Normally, when I travel, I dress on the professional side. But this time, I went to the gym and then hopped on a red eye to NYC in my gym clothes. I arrived at The Residences at 7 a.m., so I was literally the very first guest to walk through the doors. So there I stood in the gorgeous lobby, being welcomed with photographs, flowers, and champagne, wearing gym clothes and red eyes! It was certainly an experience I will never forget!

Owner Mary J. and Team Members of the Residences, welcoming her as the first guest.

Photo courtesy of Mary Jo

Everyone was so friendly and I got to meet a lot of people during my stay. The rooms are absolutely beautiful with incredible views. I am so happy to be a part of this stunning new property in Manhattan, and it already feels like coming home.

The Vacationeer: What are some great attractions and restaurants nearby The Residences?

Mary Jo: When I’m in New York, I love going out to the restaurants in Chelsea, but there are also so many places to eat near the property. Delmonico’s is so close, and if you are in a large group (or you are really hungry), definitely go! I also go to the theater each time I visit the city, and I love the proximity from The Residences.

A view of the New York City skyline

Photo courtesy of Mary Jo

The Vacationeer: What are the things you love most about The Residences so far?

Mary Jo: I love that this property feels like a hotel. The lobby is very social and welcoming, and the rooms are modern with amazing views of the city skyline. I really appreciate having the hotel amenities, like a front desk staff and housekeeping, and having the comforts of home, such as the beautiful kitchen and laundry.

The Vacationeer: Do you have any memories with our Team Members to share?  

Mary Jo: No matter which property I am visiting, I know I can ask a Hilton Grand Vacations Team Member a question and I will always get a genuine response. I love how accommodating the HGV staff is and I love that they know the best places to visit and where to eat when you are on vacation.

The Vacationeer: Besides Las Vegas and NYC, where else have you traveled with HGV?

Mary Jo: I really appreciate the benefit to convert your points to stay at other Hilton properties. I’ve done this quite a bit to travel through Europe and stay with Hilton. More recently, I’ve utilized the Last Call program with RCI. Since I am a flexible traveler, this was one of the attractive selling points for me when I first became an Owner. I booked a trip to Whitefish, Montana to ski and I paid less than $300 for the entire week at RCI! RCI’s Last Call Vacations are such an amazing value. The accommodations have all been top notch, and the price can’t be beat!

I really want to start planning a trip with my son to the Hilton Vilamoura Vacations Club in Portugal. Of course, I would also love to go to the Hawaii properties. One day!

The Vacationeer: Where are you off to next?

Mary Jo: I am leaving for France and the French Channel Islands this week! Auvior!

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