Hotels

Category Archives for Hotels.

Confession: I didn’t love the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome (A Review)

park hyatt paris vendome review

Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome Entrance

Yep. I stayed four nights here as part of my free Paris vacation valued at over $20,000. Both my partner and I opened a Chase Hyatt Visa credit card. Both came with two free nights at any Hyatt property in the world. Hyatt now has a handful of properties that are in a new category: aspirational Category 7. I was torn between redeeming the free nights at the Vendome or at one of the two Category 6 properties in Hawaii. It’s obvious which one I picked because I’m now reviewing the Vendome. I was underwhelmed by it. It was “meh.”

The reason I chose the Vendome was mostly because of the hype. In the points-and-miles blog stratosphere, people talk about the Vendome like it’s the holy grail of hotels.

Expectations. I tried not to have very many. I was hoping for a nice room as a Platinum member with Hyatt. Nearly the second I walked into the Vendome, I kinda had this sinking feeling that I’d wasted my precious four free nights.

Arrival and check-in

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Hotel Review: Dome Home B&B, Healy, Alaska

The Dome Home B&B in Healy, AK

The Dome Home B&B in Healy, AK

Denali National Park is a lot of things. It’s huge, beautiful, natural, wild, raw, breathtaking – and very far from most anything. There are no hotel chains here, so staying at the Dome Home Bed & Breakfast didn’t earn me any stay credits with any points program – but it did earn me some American miles. How? Sites like Pointshound and Rocketmiles are GREAT for earning points in far-flung places – sign up if you haven’t already. There are some gems on there for boutique hotel and B&B bookings like this one that will still earn you miles! I always checked Rocketmiles for every booking I make, just to see what’s available. And everyone should absolutely see Alaska someday, points or no. It is gorgeous!

I settled on the Dome Home after seeing that I could still earn miles for booking at that it was located near to Denali in Healy, Alaska – only a 30-minute drive from the northern entrance to the park. They also had a brewery I wanted to visit, and it was a 15-minute drive from a tourist oasis where there were restaurants, shops, grocery stores, and gas stations in case we needed anything “for the road.”

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Hotel Review: Grand Hyatt Manchester, San Diego

Grand Hyatt Manchester entrance

Grand Hyatt Manchester entrance

I was in San Diego for some business and spent a few nights at the Grand Hyatt Manchester, near downtown and the Gaslamp District. It was my first time at this Hyatt, and I was quite looking forward to it.

This review also feels kind of gratuitous (like the review of the Centurion Lounge @ DFW) because Lucky has also reviewed the same property. BUT – I have breakfast pictures! Take that!

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Hotel Review: New York-New York, Las Vegas

Outside New York-New York in Las Vegas

Outside New York-New York in Las Vegas

Weekend in Vegas

I took a cab here from LAS, which was super cheap – only about $15. I read a tip somewhere to the cab driver to “avoid the tunnel,” whatever that means, so I said that and about 10 minutes later arrived at my introduction to the most artificial place in the world:  Las Vegas.

I went to Las Vegas for the weekend to hang out with a friend from high school. It had been a couple of years, and a visit was overdue. Also, Ms. Britney Spears announced a residency at Planet Hollywood, so that was reason enough for us. Add to that Shania Twain at Caesar’s Palace, and you have a recipe for the gayest weekend ever.

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Las Vegas is great for Hyatt Gold Passport Members

Screenshot 2014-03-04 19.16.12

After the stay at New York-New York Hotel & Casino for two days, it was time to move across the walkway for a one-night stay at Excalibur. Both of these hotels are part of MLife, MGM’s loyalty program, and they’re literally connected by a long walkway. These hotels are located on the south side of The Strip, and very close to the airport. A taxi to/from was only $15 in each direction.

mlife
Why so focused on MLife? For Hyatt stay credits, of course. By switching hotels, I got three nights and two stays credited to my Gold Passport account, which is Hyatt’s loyalty program. A few months ago, Hyatt announced a partnership with MGM with reciprocal benefits between MLife and Gold Passport. I recently got the Chase Hyatt Visa, which comes with Platinum status just for having the card. And because of this partnership, I found myself as a mid-tier Gold with MLife, which gave me priority checkin/checkout, bonus points for staying in the rooms, and a bonus for gambling in the casinos.

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Hotel Review: Holiday Inn @ SCL

Approaching the hotel

Outside the hotel

After flying LGA-ORD on American and MEX-LIM-EZE-SCL on LAN, I pretty much felt like a pile of garbage. I had a day-long layover to look forward to at SCL and booked a room at the Holiday Inn by redeeming a free night from hotels.com, who has a buy 10, get one free program – effectively 10% off all bookings made through the website. Anyway, I cleared immigration, already had my Chilean reciprocity from another trip earlier in the year (which is now a moot point since it is now free to visit Chile!) and made it through customs in about thirty minutes. I was so exhausted, my eyes were just about crossing trying to read the signs.

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Hotel Review: Grand Hyatt Santiago

Atrium at Grant Hyatt Santiago
Atrium at Grant Hyatt Santiago

Holy *bleep*. And you guys know I don’t use profanity lightly (not).

This was a gorgeous property, and is only categorized as a Category 2.

Upon walking in, I immediately thought this property should be in a much higher category than it is. But after further reflection, it’s the location that brings it down so much.

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