The Resort Traveler

A teen traveler fresh out of high school who loves to create vacation masterpieces without breaking the bank. He loves flying and relaxing at hotels, and you can explore Tyler's world here.

Property Tour: Andaz West Hollywood

Background: I recently scheduled a property tour of the Andaz West Hollywood as I had a group project in my class about Los Angeles to focus on an area, (I was given West Hollywood), and make a ten minute video. Perfectly enough, the Andaz is a West Hollywood (WeHo) icon, as it has hosted many famous musicians such as Led Zeppelin, The Who and the Rolling Stones. The hotel was even known as the “Riot Hyatt” in the 1960’s and 70’s because the hotel would be trashed due to parties thrown by the rock bands who stayed here. The...

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Hotel Review: Sheraton Pleasanton

Background: My friend Josh headed up to Berkeley and Silicon Valley for President’s Day weekend and asked me to find him a place to stay under $120 a night. I was surprised to find out that the long weekend was actually quite pricey, even though I knew the Bay Area normally has higher than average room rates. So, the Sheraton was the best priced 3.5 star pick at $110, so my friend decided to choose this hotel in Pleasanton. SHORT REVIEW WITH SCORES (OUT OF 5, 5 BEING THE BEST): Josh’s Overall Score: 4 5: Excellent, Highly Recommend 4: Very...

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Restaurant Week Review: Red O by Rick Bayless

The Newport Beach Restaurant Week was last week, and I decided to try the Red O, at Newport Beach Fashion Island. The Red O is a Mexican style restaurant by celebrity chef Rick Bayless. Bayless is known for his PBS show, Mexico: One Plate at a Time. There are three Red O locations, all in California. One in Newport Beach, one in Santa Monica and one on Melrose in LA. Restaurant Week Menu: For restaurant week, the Red O offered a $20 three course menu for lunch. Appetizer, main dish and dessert. It’s a pretty good deal compared to their...

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Is Maui’s Most Famous Restaurant Really That Great?

What is Maui’s Most Famous Restaurant? Well, it may be a shock to some people that Maui’s “most famous” restaurant is not near any major resort. It’s actually located in Paia, a small cozy beach town. With countless praise on magazines, and with a 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor with 9,000+ reviews, many would consider Mama’s Fish House Maui’s “most famous” restaurant. I booked a reservation for dinner, and it was my turn to see how good Mama’s really was. Exterior Lobby The Dinner Review: Starters: For my drink, I tried this Raspberry Hibiscus Mix (no alcohol of course! Teenager problems...

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Review: IAD-LAX on A NEW Boeing 737 in Econ Plus

BACKGROUND: I booked a United non-stop from Washington-Dulles to Los Angeles for my way back home from my trip to attend the BAcon conference last month. I wanted an evening flight so that after the conference ended at noon, I could explore D.C. for a bit before heading home. United had a perfect flight that left at 8 PM and arrived at LAX at before 11 PM. Perfect, as I did have school the next day. 🙂 AT THE AIRPORT: Wow have times changed! I remember flying to Dulles in 2008, and there was no AeroTrain connecting all the...

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Review: LAX-BWI on an Old United 737 in Econ Plus

BACKGROUND: For my trip to Washington D.C. to attend the BAcon conference last month, I had to find a flight to the D.C. area so I booked a United non-stop from Los Angeles to Baltimore as it was the cheapest. And, United Mileage Plus gave me a Economy Plus Subscription trial until the end of the year so that sealed the deal. AT THE AIRPORT: The whole United check-in area is under renovation at LAX which is a bit of a mess, but thankfully the TSA lines were not too bad. I love United’s terminal 7 at LAX because...

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Hotel Review: The Nicest Library At The Renaissance Washington D.C.

Background: To attend the BAcon Conference, a BoardingArea conference to help polish up my blogger skills, I found a great rate at the Renaissance Washington D.C., right across the street from where the convention was held at the Marriott Marquis. I snagged a Priceline Express Deal for $76 a night for the weekend. Short Review With Scores (Out of 5, 5 being the best): My Overall Score: 4 5: Excellent, Highly Recommend 4: Very Good, Solid Choice to Consider 3: OK, Check other options before booking 2: Below Par, Try to Avoid 1: Terrible, Run far away Rooms: 4/5 Service:...

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Buyer Beware: Texas de Brazil “Gift Cards”

Texas de Brazil is a churrascaria (Brazillian steakhouse) restaurant chain with over 40 locations, most of them being in the United States, with a couple locations around the globe. I recently dined here and bought some discounted gift cards, but was hit was a surprise as I tried to pay for the bill. Sam’s Club and Costco occasionally offer gift card deals for many restaurants, and Texas de Brazil is one of them. On the surface, it looks great! A $100 gift card for only $79.99 (sometimes even $69.99). BUT BUYER BEWARE: Unlike many of the other gift cards...

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College Dorm That Is A Three Star Hotel

Dorms. When most people think about dorms, they picture small cramped quarters, communal bathrooms and a dingy atmosphere. This is why I was pleasantly surprised when I did a dorm tour at UCLA. A little bit of background, UCLA has four different types of dorms- Classics (small, communal bathrooms, no AC), Deluxe (bigger, AC, communal bathrooms), Plazas (AC, private/shared between 2 room bathrooms) and Suites (large, living room, 2 bedroom with one bath, no AC) The dorm that I got assigned after months of waiting was a Plaza Double – Private Bath, which is arguably the nicest dorm offered here at...

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Flight Review: Is Virgin America still as hip as before?

Background: For my trip to Hawaii, I had to find a flight home as I booked a one way on Hawaiian there. Virgin America has the cheapest flight back from Maui to LA, so I snagged a $219 one-way home. A major plus is that I have Virgin America Silver Status (due to status match), so I got preferred seating (front of the main cabin) and one free checked bag. At the Airport: Check-In was really quick, as there was no line for the First/Main Cabin Select/Elevate Silver/Gold Line. TSA at Maui Airport was actually quite crowded on a Saturday...

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