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: Hilton Santa Cruz Hotel in Scotts Valley

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: Hilton Santa Cruz Hotel in Scotts Valley Securing a Spend a Night on Us certificate from my Hawaii stay in August (which I still have not finished) I set about finding a nice quiet weekend getaway to surprise Lady Hotelion. There weren’t a lot of options available in the nearby area – as the certificate requires a Hilton-brand hotel specifically, but Santa Cruz was both...

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Diversity & Inclusion In Airlines: Non-Binary Gender Options Added

Premise Airlines for America – a trade association of American, Southwest, United, and others – announced that new gender options will be added for passengers when booking flights. For those who are non-binary, they will be able to select other options than the current male or female. As a push for diversity and inclusion not just in the workforce but for customers, these airlines aim to make flying more comfortable.   Details This will be effective June 1 – so only a few short months from today. For now it’s still either “male” or “female” but soon there will...

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Does Anyone Associate Music with Travelling & Favorite Places?

Premise I am the type of person to listen to a song, or a small rotation of songs, on repeat for many many days. Perhaps, when I travel, I associate certain places with certain music, either intentionally or unintentionally. Then, when I listen to the same songs in the future, I am taken back to the memories and feelings of the particular associated cities or resorts. Or, I connect strongly with the experiences and people with whom I spent time during that phase of music.   Examples For example, I make it a habit to listen to David Guetta’s...

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PUBLIC OFFER: NEW Southwest Companion Pass & 30,000 Points Credit Card Offer!

TL:DR This deal came out January 10th, ending February 11th. Only good for a month! Sign up for a Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and get a Promotional companion pass and 30,000 points after $4,000 in spend!   Deal Details You can also stack with the Rapid Rewards points – earn 30,000 points after $4,000 spend! Use those new points with your companion pass for plenty of free flights. Check the Southwest / Chase site for details. Open (new) credit card Spend $4,000 (minimum spend) on purchases within 3 months Get Companion Pass immediately! You can designate someone...

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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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