The Hotelion

Hotel & Casino Specialist. I pride myself on economic perspective and efficient travelling, and most recently - restaurant reviews. My goal is to make your travel money go further and experiences more fulfilling.

Free Cruises to Teachers! – Social Media Contest By Norwegian Cruise Line

Premise Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is giving away free cruises to teachers! In this article by Travel and Leisure, it talks more details about the Giving Joy Campaign. What an amazing, uplifting gesture, designed to bring positive PR and social media engagement, so not entirely altruistic. But, it’s the thought that count, and their desire to recognize / reward powerful teachers in the United States and Canada should be applauded. Although, cruise lines make the majority of their money on onboard expenditures, so a “free” cruise will still cost. This is done in the spirit of Teacher Appreciation Week...

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How to Save Money On Every Single Uber / Lyft Ride!

Premise I’m starting a new series, to help people save money. I specialize in this, and I might as well speak about the less well-known ways of saving money on travel. If people read this and save some bucks, feel free to kick some my way. This post will focus on rideshare – Uber and Lyft specifically. These have been godsends and save me from riding in taxis. Most people know that Uber/Lyft send out promotions and discounts every so often, but I’ll write about benefits that anyone can take advantage of – first time users or repeat customers!...

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Is Free, High-Speed WiFi Coming To A Plane Near You?

Premise In the ever-changing, cutthroat airline world, Delta is striking a blow of modernization: out with the old (planes), in with the new (free wifi?!). This article by Barrons discusses an interview with Delta CEO Ed Bastian, where he shares his thoughts and goals, designed to win over customers and keep their loyalty . Delta is ranked as the best-managed airline – which is impressive in its own right, and perhaps it is looking to further distinguish itself from the pack. Plans and topics discussed include the below: Free, high-speed Wifi Capital investments in new planes and technology Other...

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Timeshare Resort, Eating, and Luau in Paradise: Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu

My expanded hotel review include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Lobby & Check-in Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness Luau(!) Timeshare(!) Miscellaneous     Highlights: Hilton Hawaiian Village This review of the Hilton Hawaiian Village is like seven months late. But, it was an epic experience on a timeshare presentation deal, especially in conjunction with my American Express Hilton Aspire card. Five nights, 10,000 Hilton HHonors points, and free luau dinner for two for $800. Resort fees included too. And, the $250 resort credit from...

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Real-World Economics: Tariffs, Minimum Wage Increases Hit Home

Premise This may be the most first world problem I can think of, and barely tangentially related to travel (tariffs!). But, I’m going to write about it anyway.  I frequent a very popular bubble tea / boba chain in the Bay Area called Teaspoon and even had them cater my wedding. Recently when I stopped in I noticed the price had jumped again (I notice these types of things) and wanted to know more about it. In this post I go into the price history of a standard one topping drink, and their arguments for raising the price. Why...

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The Most Expensive Meal I’ve Ever Had: French Laundry, Napa, California

Premise: The Most Expensive Meal I’ve Ever Had This is a very special edition of Restaurant Reviews – normally, I specialize in hotels (hence the moniker) but this was such a wonderful and pleasant experience I felt compelled to write about it. The French Laundry is a three-star Michelin restaurant located in Yountville, California, about 15 minutes north of Napa. It was also about 11 minutes / 7 miles north of our Napa hotel, the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa.   Highlights: The French Laundry, Yountville, Napa Valley, California Initiatlly,, I am not the type of person to enjoy...

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“Minimoon” Hotel & Spa Review: Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa

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: Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa This was a lovely, lovely getaway from the Bay Area after getting married! A short minimoon is just what we needed. This Marriott is a short jaunt from downtown Napa and a great staging ground for wine tasting and touring. Highlights include the wonderful spa – where our kind friends treated us to a massage, as well as my...

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Beautiful Resort Review: JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

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: JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa This business trip was at an excellent resort property. As my first JW Marriott experience, it was a good one, with great service all around, kart drivers, room service, front desk, etc. Food at breakfast at Rita’s was decently good, and I am sure there’s plenty to do here. One small hiccup regarding my reservation –...

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$49 Flights to Hawaii?? Southwest Announces Flights to Hawaii

PREMISE Southwest announced yesterday that Hawaii flights through October 1st, 2019 are available for booking! Only a year and a half after they announced their plans, but it’s finally here! Flights are now available to Oahu (HNL), Maui (OGG), and Hawaii (KOA), with Kauai coming soon (LIH Airport).   Details – California Southwest has activated eight airports in California to begin nonstop or connecting service to at least two of the above mentioned islands fro. Note that SFO – San Francisco International – is not on the list, most likely due to not having sufficient gates or cost. You can...

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Labor Vs. Management: Southwest Airlines Lawsuit Accuses Mechanics of Illegal Operations Slowdowns

Premise Southwest Airlines sued the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) of illegally disrupting operations to strengthen their bargaining position during contract negotiations, which have gone on since 2012. According to the article, both sides accuse the other of essentially not willing to make an agreement. Labor accuses management of not negotiating in good faith, and management accuses labor of intentionally harming Southwest’s capability to fly in order to improve their negotiation power.   Labor Position Accuses management of not negotiating in good faith Disputes the management argument that maintenance issues were driven by contract dispute Planes out of service...

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