The Hotelion

I specialize in efficient traveling, economic perspectives, and hotel and casino reviews. My goal is to make your travel money go further.

OFFICIAL: Introducing Marriott BONVOY – NEW loyalty program combining Marriott, SPG, & Ritz-Carlton!

Premise Got this email today, and it’s been making the rounds. As of February 13th, less than one month from today, Marriott Bonvoy will be the new, combined name for the loyalty programs. Marriott Rewards, SPG, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards, will become one.   Details Not much in the email. Other bloggers have posted about new tier changes to Marriott, but little to no details on their added benefits. Just a lot of general platitudes.   What to do NOW Per the email, it recommends downloading the Marriott app, as the SPG one will be discontinued. If you haven’t downloaded...

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Hotel Review: The Cromwell Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas ($1800+ Profit!)

My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Lobby Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness Miscellaneous   HIGHLIGHTS: The Cromwell Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Wow, where to begin. I was so, so excited to score a two night comp here, combo-ed with my Total Rewards Diamond status to automatically comp resort fees, because I had never seen availability in comps here before. But it was such a letdown. From the smallness of the casino and room, to other affiliated room issues, it...

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Food + Hotel Review: Park MGM Las Vegas (comped + free food!)

My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Lobby Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness Miscellaneous   HIGHLIGHTS: Park MGM Las Vegas This stay had its ups and downs. On the plus side, we got all the resort fees waived and an extra $75 food credit on top of the $150 included in my package (Net ~$90 out of pocket for four nights, as two were comped!). Other highlights include discovery of 2(!) new Advantage Play Games, which I may or may not...

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Hotel Review: Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel

My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Lobby Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness Miscellaneous   HIGHLIGHTS: Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel This was an experience to forget, and I won’t be coming back. So many small issues, especially for a Renaissance-class hotel, which I consider part of the medium to higher end Marriott property. Positive highlights include the lobby scent, and that’s about it. Plenty of room issues, disappointing food options in lounge, sad breakfast, and fitness room lacking in weights and...

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Hotel Review: Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas (Comped, of course)

My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Lobby Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness Miscellaneous   Highlights: Planet Hollywood Las Vegas This was a decent experience, and actually two separations – originally I had booked five nights here, fully comped, but found availability at Cromwell Las Vegas. So I did one night here, two nights Cromwell, and then another two nights here. We had some room issues on the second stay, and of course the internet limitations, but overall adequate. Because...

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Hotel Review: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Yes, Again!)

My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Lobby Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness Miscellaneous   Highlights: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas This is one of my favorite resorts in Las Vegas, and I’m so thrilled to be back here for Christmas 2018. It was just two nights of my huge 11-night trip, but it was my favorite part. I recorded a podcast for Pizza In Motion from my studio suite, and had great fortune gambling on the property. I enjoyed the...

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Hotel Review: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge

My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Lobby Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness Miscellaneous   Highlights: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge This large Marriott sits just outside Manhattan, a quick jaunt over in Brooklyn. Next to the MTA and Brooklyn Heights, there are plenty to see and do around, with lots of shops, restaurants, bars, and the like. Highlights of my stay include an upgrade to an executive room (which actually wasn’t all that great) and excellent service....

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Ebates & Lyft: $1/Ride for ALL Users, and $20 Bonus for New Users!

Promotion Lyft and Ebates has a partnership where new Lyft users get $20 Cash Back, not credit, on their first ride, and ALL users (new and current) earn $1 Cash Back on every Lyft ride. Pair that with an epic and private new Ebates user bonus I wrote about before, where you sign up with my referral link and get a total of $40, $10 from Ebates and $30 from me. (you won’t find it anywhere else. Seriously, try searching for it online)   What is Ebates? Ebates is an affiliate shopping site that pays cash back to you for...

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Private Ebates Referral Promotion – Earn $40 for Signing Up!

Promotion Note – this promotion has now ended as of 12/7/18. This is the best referral bonus for new Ebates users that I’ve ever seen. Sign up with my referral link and get a total of $40, $10 from Ebates and $30 from me. Read below for more!   What is Ebates? Ebates is an affiliate shopping site that pays cash back to you for every purchase you make online. They can send you cash back directly to your Paypal, or mail you their trademarked Big Fat Check! When you shop online at specific retailers, those retailers pay Ebates...

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Hotel Review: Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa, Sausalito, California

My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Lobby Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness Miscellaneous   Highlights: Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa, Sausalito, California This cute, quaint boutique hotel nestled off the 101 freeway and some windy roads near the coast was an interesting experience. While the service was adequate at best, we forgot some things in the room, which the staff promptly either lost or took for themselves. Nothing expensive, just a computer charger and box of face masks (due...

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