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.

Hotel Review: Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

Highlights: Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino The Caesars host came through for me seeking a cheap Saturday night stay and gave me a great rate of $65 which was better than anything elsewhere. Unfortunately, there were some small issues with my room, but I got to sample the food court as well as Hell’s Kitchen which had decent food. I found – at checkout – that diamond members get free valet parking but only at the Augusta entrance. Annoying that I had to self-park – Mlife’s comp Valet is so much more valuable. However, I am so...

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$1,000+ Resort Review: Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, Tuscon

Highlights: Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, Tuscon For the most part, the Miraval Arizona Resort was a great trip. Decompressing, relaxing time, complimented by good service, food, and hotel activities. Highlights include the two dinner packages, and an amazing deal – two nights in all-inclusive Miraval for just 65,000 Hyatt points! Retail rates were ~$1100-$1300 per night, so this is an amazing deal. Compare that to the flagship Park Hyatt NYC at 30,000 points for a very nice hotel but no additional benefits! Unfortunately, our departure was marred by some significant issues but they were resolved.   My standard...

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OTA Review: Air India Express Airlines, Cleartrip

Sponsored – this review is sponsored by Air India Express Airlines. All opinions below are my own. Introduction I’m reviewing a UAE / India based online travel agency, Cleartrip, while sampling fares within and outside of India. Specifically, I’m looking at the Air India Express online booking, site, and overall customer experience. How does it compare with US OTAs like Expedia, Kayak, and others? Is it easy to use? Customer-friendly? Let’s find out.   Air India Express On Cleartrip, Air India Express (AIE) has both popular domestic and international flights, with prices and available days of weeks listed, making...

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Hotel Review: Delano Las Vegas

HIGHLIGHTS: Delano Las Vegas Another check off the Vegas Strip! Previously THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, Delano is an all-suite, non-smoking, non-gaming property affixed to Mandalay Bay. Highlights include the large, 725 square foot Delano King Suite (even though I got no upgrades). However, with the combination of poor bed, food, and service experience, I most likely won’t be back. It was a good deal – $90 for a Sunday night, including Breakfast for two @ Delia’s Kitchen and $100 F&B credit, but the restrictions and quality issues made for a poor overall experience.   My standard hotel reviews include...

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Hotel Review: Hotel del Coronado, San Diego – Curio Collection by Hilton

Highlights: Hotel del Coronado – Curio Collection by Hilton I used my Free nights from my Hilton Aspire card trying to maximize the value and pair it with a Southwest companion pass for a quick weekend getaway. While the resort was nice, it was historical (read: old) and thus not my forte. Issues with the room and property being stuffy and overpriced made for a “meh” experience. It’s nice to look at, but with everything super expensive it’s a hard pass. The local area was quite nice – we did find some great eats outside the property that were...

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Hotel Review: Courtyard By Marriott San Diego Downtown

Highlights: Courtyard By Marriott San Diego Downtown This hotel was a last minute stay to use my Marriott free night certificate (under 25K points) and an interesting property. I really appreciated their service and flexibility, as well as the interesting story behind and architecture of the hotel. Downtown San Diego is a wonderful place to be and this property gets you right in the thick of it, easy walking to wonderful attractions nearby.   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...

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Hotel Review: Vdara Hotel & Spa, Las Vegas

HIGHLIGHTS: Vdara Hotel & Spa This was my first time at Vdara and, for the most part, I was pleased. Thanks to my partnership with MGM I was able to explore their brand new Club Lounge (full review here) and enjoy that amenity. Additionally, thanks to the $20 trick at check-in I was upgraded to a one bedroom penthouse suite on the 47th floor. Unfortunate that I had some major room issues with leaks and moldy smells – but they swapped my rooms, and service after the fact was great! They also waived both resort fees as well (due...

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Club Lounge Review: Vdara Hotel & Spa, Las Vegas

VDARA CLUB LOUNGE I was offered to check out Vdara’s newest luxury amenity, the Vdara Club Lounge, which opened earlier this year! It was an immaculate place, filled with plenty of comfortable seating, friendly staff, and complimentary food and drink. Breakfast consisted of a couple hot dishes, pastries, fruits, and your selection of several juices. They additionally have a great refrigerator filled with diet coke – my personal go to, and a whole bar of machines for fancy coffees and teas. Their menu changes daily, with rotations for breakfast, lunch, hors d’oeuvres, snacks, and desserts. Additionally, the food was...

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Restaurant Review: Best Friend by Roy Choi, Park MGM Las Vegas

Highlights: Best Friend by Roy Choi, Park MGM Las Vegas Best Friend by Roy Choi opened up end of 2018 and is a continuation of and inspired by Chef Choi’s Kogi trucks, which I enjoyed back in Los Angeles. Highlights here during my stay at Park MGM are definitely the food – large, fresh portions, amazingly addicting meats and kimchi fried rice. I would certainly come back here even on my own dime, and enjoy their food again! Great reminiscing about my former life as a student waiting to try the Kogi trucks that were all the rage back...

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Restaurant Review: Julian Serrano Tapas, ARIA Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

Highlights: Julian Serrano Tapas, ARIA Resort & Casino, Las Vegas Julian Serrano Tapas is a restaurant I have walked past countless times between my stays at Park MGM (both times), Cosmopolitan (and again), and of course, the Aria. This time, however, I was fortunate to receive an invitation to try it out! Highlights include of course the food – delicious, flavorful, and rich in background, as well as the great service and ambiance.   My standard restaurant reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Ambiance Atmosphere Menu...

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