Aaaah the joys of travelling, I do miss it and yearn for it soooo much! There is nothing quite the butterflies that start leaping in your stomach as you head off on a new adventure, camera in hand and of course 'over loaded' bags in tow.

I remember the first time I ever saw a Marriott Hotel , it was in the US Virgin Islands, St Thomas to be specific. At the time I was working onboard a cruise ship and where we docked for the day had a birds eye view of the most breathtaking tiered hotel (this was some 17 years ago, and yes ... in those days international travel for South Africans was only really starting in earnest).

Marriott's Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resorts are positioned in the most magnificent spot on St Thomas.
Here are 5 reason's I would love to go back and visit again:
1. position , position, position!

2. St Thomas has a unique cultural group know as the Patois they are possibly the friendliest nation ever and could talk for days with pride about their unique island heritage (I would take far more photo's). The Patois also have their own unique dialect know as Patta. (oh how I love listening to foreign accents, I find them intriguing!)

3. Magen's Bay - I remember drinking more Pina Colada's in these swishing waters than should be legal. It was a favourite beach on my day off, a huge plus is the beach has a bar complete with a local runner bringing you drinks to order, at the wave of a hand ....sigh! Such bliss!
4. Coki Point beach - Now if you have never seen an Iguana, this place is a must and they are so tame you have to be careful not to trip over them. This is also the best spot for snorkelling on the island and is adjacent to the Aquarium with an underwater post box ... such fun!
5. To taste more of the local Patois fare , I fell in love with Plantains in the Caribbean, they look like banana's but are not sweet and are often served as a side dish. I was too scared to try Conch fritters (pronounced: Conk) in those days, and I regret it now.
All I can say is now that I am older there is so much more I would've done ... never be afraid of the explorer inside of you!

ARE YOU UP FOR A QUICK TRIP?
Here is some travel newness that may interest you!

South African Airways’ (SAA) long-established airline loyalty programme, SAA Voyager, has been given a boost through its recently announced partnership with Marriott Rewards, the world’s leading hotel loyalty programme.

Members of Marriott Rewards will now be able to choose to earn Voyager Miles for stays at more than 4,000 Marriott hotels across 17 distinctive global brands within the Marriott International group.

“Since this includes stays at Protea Hotels in South Africa or in the seven other African countries where we have hotels, it’s a significant benefit for South African travellers,” explains Mark Satterfield, Chief Operating Officer for Marriott International, Middle East & Africa and Marriott International’s Business Leader for Protea Hotels.

“Many South Africans who travel regularly, especially business travellers, have long been members of SAA Voyager so those who are also members of Marriott Rewards will now be able to maximise their Voyager earnings for doing something they do anyhow – stay in a hotel when they are away from home,” he continues.

So, for existing SAA Voyager members it makes great sense to join the Marriott Rewards programme if they would like to boost their Voyager Miles earnings through hotel stays.

Marriott Rewards members can also choose to redeem their Marriott Rewards points for SAA Voyager Miles, allowing them to use the points earned for hotel stays to select SAA flights when they travel. “This creates greater versatility for our members regarding how they use their points,” Satterfield explains.

BONUS!!
When members of the Marriott Rewards programme stay at a Protea Hotel, they will be able to earn one SAA Voyager Mile per US$1 spent at the hotel. In addition to earning points for their stays, Marriott Rewards members enjoy extra benefits, such as free Wi-Fi and mobile check-in through the Marriott Mobile app, as well as special deals only available when booking direct on a Marriott channel.

So do you see St. Thomas in your future?