The Hotelion

With efficient traveling, hotel & deal analysis, and economic perspectives, Daniel makes your travel money go farther.

Thoughtful Gift Ideas, Delivered Internationally?

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Roses Only, a flowers and romantics delivery service based in Singapore. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Roses Only, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.   Introduction Ever since I got a lady of my own, I did my research into flower delivery shops, studying quality comparisons, pricing, product selection, and reviews. Although,I did have a successful delivery by Farmgirl Flowers, in the-state-that-shall-not-be-named, and recently heard from a Singapore based company called Roses Only. Additionally, I also thought about other gift ideas, perhaps items from other countries...

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Best Hotel Stay Ever – Just $9, at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & 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 & Check-in Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness + Spa Miscellaneous   Highlights: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa After a wonderful day at Graton Resort & Casino picking up playing money with our best slot friends, we headed over to Sonoma to enjoy a wonderful, truly wonderful stay at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Frankly, this may have been the best hotel stay I’ve ever had, in terms of enjoyment,...

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Marriott Cancels Its 24-Hour Cancellation Policy: Thoughts?

Premise This article on CNN came out a couple weeks ago, but I struggled with if it was a massive, oh-my-god the sky is falling problem, or something closer to a “meh” issue. Marriott announced on June 15th, 2017, that the cancellation policy has changed across the board – from what was usually a 24 hour period, to at least 48 hours.   Cancellation Policy Details Guests will now be required to cancel their room reservation by midnight 48 hours prior to arrival in order to avoid a fee The Marriott statement above represents a fundamental change in policy,...

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$2,500 Bi-Level Suite Review: The Westin Long Beach

My standard hotel reviews 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 Miscellaneous   Highlights: The Westin Long Beach Beautiful hotel, and amazing bi-level suite for me! I’ve never stayed in a two-story hotel room before. Their flexibility was greatly appreciated – early check-in, and I’m sure they would have given late checkout had I needed it. Shout out to those at the front desk – allowed me to pay 1,000 SPG to upgrade a friend...

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Uber Tipping (Finally) Available In-App for Drivers in Select Cities + Bonus Rebate!

Premise Uber, reeling from a plethora of PR nightmares and bad decisions, struck a positive tone today via an email to Uber members. Titled “An easy way to say thanks” Uber announced it will finally match Lyft in the tips department. While Lyft crested $250 Million in tips recently, Uber’s larger brand presence will help it catch up. Read on for more details, and a Uber rebate bonus!   Uber Tipping Details Per the email, after a trip Uber customers can leave a tip for the driver or food delivery order (via UberEats) – and Uber does not charge its...

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Robots & AI – 7 Ways Machines will Revolutionize Travel

Premise This article from Tech magazine CIO, titled “7 ways AI will revolutionize business travel”, provides some cursory overview about how automation and computerized technology will aid in the business aspect of travel. As you may well know, the rapidly shifting economic landscape is increasingly becoming mechanized, to minimize or even eliminate human aspect and human error. Perhaps it can avoid fiascos (United PR) or help improve overall experience. Artificial Intelligence is the future, and I cannot wait to welcome our mechanized overlords.   AI, Robot Below are the potential impacts that AI could drive in travel, specifically business...

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Airline Upgrades: Free, Cheap, or Paid? How do you get them?

Premise I’ve been wrestling with this conundrum ever since I saw empty, upgraded / First Class seats on a previous Virgin America flight. This post will attempt to lay out the business strategies of both parties involved in the upgrade process: airlines and consumers. Does it make financial sense to upgrade for free, or at a discounted rate? Perhaps not at all? I have seen some instances, even within carriers, that gate agents bump up people to nicer seats free of charge, or offer upgrades at a fixed price. I have also seen agents leave those seats bare when...

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Board with a Selfie? No More Passports? Learn more!

Premise Biometrics have come a long way, to make the airline process both more complex (looking at you TSA) and easier. Now, there’s a new step: Jetblue will be the first airline connecting with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and their facial recognition to board passengers at gates. Read on for more!   What are the changes? No more paper or electronic boarding pass! Simply take a photo with the camera (actual camera, not a selfie), where CBP will match your photo to their database. This “selfie boarding” system verifies flight details and will notify travelers when cleared....

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New Sprint & American Airlines Offer – 25,000 AAdvantage Miles® & $400 Bonus!

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by CJ Affiliate’s VIP Content Service. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Sprint, all content and opinions expressed here are my own. Premise Sprint, second in a nationwide network performance report, has a new promotion. This offer is available for new Sprint customers, or those who switch to Sprint by the deadline. You could earn up to 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles, which would be good for a round-trip domestic ticket! More details, terms, and information below!   Up To 25,000 AAdvantage® Miles Per the Sprint website, you can earn up to...

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Points, Points, Points: How Much Are They Worth?

Premise I consistently get asked about point valuations from friends and colleagues, on how much they are worth, and if a sale or a redemption is a good value. Additionally, sometimes people ask to purchase my points, and so I’m thinking about the perennial question about value. For this article, the terms points and miles are interchangeable – due to all the transfer options, and the fact that miles are simply airline points. I am inspired by a friend offering me what I considered below market rate for points. How much are points worth?   IT DEPENDS The answer...

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