Category Archives: Hotel Reviews

Radisson Blu Warwick- What Happens To Stays Booked w/ Club Carlson Points?

Radisson Blu Warwick

In early March I reported that the Radisson Blu Warwick in Philadelphia, PA would be leaving Club Carlson.

Philly is probably my favorite destination to visit if we want to drive somewhere for the weekend. The city has a lot to offer in terms of excellent museums, great food options and is also a fun place to visit with kids.

When it was announced that the Club Carlson 2nd night free benefit was ending last year, I made sure to book a couple of stays at the Radisson Blu Warwick. (One of which we’ve already completed.) Continue reading Radisson Blu Warwick- What Happens To Stays Booked w/ Club Carlson Points?

Radisson Blu Warwick Philadelphia LEAVING Club Carlson

Radisson Blu Warwick Philadelphia
image: Radisson Blu

Kim, Lucas and I have enjoyed staying at Radisson Blu properties around the world. When it comes to finding locations in the US, its slim pickings.

With only four Radisson Blu’s in the United States, those picking are about to get 25% slimmer.

I just found out that Radisson Blu Warwick Philadelphia will be leaving the Club Carlson family of hotels and it’s happening very soon. Continue reading Radisson Blu Warwick Philadelphia LEAVING Club Carlson

Hotel Review: Radisson Blu Doha

Radisson Blu Doha

During our trip to the Mid- East Gulf States many of our hotel stays were booked using Club Carlson Gold Points prior to the loss of the 2nd night free benefit.

Since we had a few flights leaving late at night, this allowed us to book a 2nd night rather than leaving our things in a luggage room. After a day out and about traveling, we could go to the room, shower and relax before heading off to the airport. This was definitely a nice luxury!

While spending 24 Hours in Doha, we stayed at the Radisson Blu. Continue reading Hotel Review: Radisson Blu Doha

Hotel Review: Omni Berkshire Place- NYC

Omni Berkshire Place Hotel

While many people love staying in New York City, Manhattan to be specific, I can’t say that I’ve ever had much of a need to do so.

Considering I live in Brooklyn which is around an hour to Manhattan on the train from where I live, why would there be a need to spend a night in NYC? (When I go into the city, I usually drive downtown and then hop on the train a few stops…)

In late 2014, we used an IHG Free Night on a stay at the Intercontinenal Times Square. This was totally unnecessary but a fun way to use an expiring night. We got to play tourist for part of the day,  and didn’t have to worry about hurrying home after dinner etc…

Earlier in June, we once again stayed in NYC, this time at the lux Omni Berskshire Place. Continue reading Hotel Review: Omni Berkshire Place- NYC

Odds Are You’ll Love IHG’s EVEN Hotels

image: EVEN Hotels

While looking over my offer for the IHG Into the Nights promotion I had a pretty intriguing offer that I had a hard time passing up.

For staying a night at an EVEN hotel (there are only two locations), I could earn 36,000 bonus IHG points. This was one of my four current Into the Nights offers. If I complete three of them, I will earn an additional 19,000 points or 2 Free Nights.

Another offer was simple- Take A Survey for 100 points and the third option I hope to get credited for tied into my stay at EVEN. For 2,000 points I needed to book a Bonus Points Package with Breakfast.

This led me to a stay at the EVEN Hotels Norwalk in Connecticut. Continue reading Odds Are You’ll Love IHG’s EVEN Hotels

Le Meridien Refunds 7,000 SPG Points For Troubles

spgBack in April, we went on our spring break trip to Milan & Malta.

We had a very nice time during the trip but did have some issues with our hotel in Malta- the Le Meridien St Julians, Malta.

We booked the Le Meridien St Julians using points. A room goes for a reasonable 7,000 SPG points per night and  we spent 6 nights at the property. Thanks to the stay 5, pay 4 offer our stay came to a total of 35,000 SPG points!

During our trip  we loved the views from our balcony and enjoyed having access to the lounge. However, the stay was not without issue. Continue reading Le Meridien Refunds 7,000 SPG Points For Troubles

Hotel Review: Le Meridien St Julians, Malta

Le Meridien St Julians Hotel & Spa, Malta

For our most recent trip, we decided to cash in some SPG points for a stay at the 5 star Le Meridien St Julians Hotel & Spa in Malta.

While I highly value my SPG points, I think we made a good decision in using them for this redemption. Hotels on Malta tend to be pretty expensive so using some points seemed to be a good decision.

We spent 6 nights at the Le Meridien but only had to pay for 5. A room goes for 7,000 SPG points per night but thanks to the stay 5, pay 4 offer, our total came to 35,000 points. If we decided to pay for our stay with cash, the cost would’ve been $921.75.

(Due to the 5th night free offer, I wondered if it would’ve been better to stay elsewhere for our 6th night. Check out my post about this here.)

The Le Meridien St Julians is located about 15-20 minutes from the airport by taxi and costs 20€. You could take the public bus but that requires a transfer and could take a minimum of one hour. Getting around the island is relatively easy but you pretty much always need to head into Valletta, 25-30 minutes away to catch the other buses.

Continue reading Hotel Review: Le Meridien St Julians, Malta

Hotel Review: Radisson O’Hare- Chicago

Radisson stock photo

On our brief visit to Chicago, my brother and I decided to stay at the Radisson O’Hare.
I rarely stay at airport hotels but decided to do so for a couple of reasons.

  1. The early start of the O’Hare 5K runway run
  2. The Radisson 1 for 1 promotion

With the Radisson promotion my brother and I each earned one free night for booking a night. To make this offer work for both of us, we each booked one night of the stay.
(Check out my Chicago trip planning post HERE)

My first impression of the Radisson O’Hare (from the exterior) was that it looked old, shabby and dated.  It actually reminded me of the Alamo just not as cool. However looks are not so important as long as the room is decent. Overall we were happy with our stay due to it suiting our needs for the visit. We didn’t use the common spaces in the hotel but there was a sitting area and small bar.

The Alamo
(Image from Google search)

Continue reading Hotel Review: Radisson O’Hare- Chicago

Hotel Review: Intercontinental Singapore

For our first night’s stay in Singapore Kim and I wanted to stay somewhere nice but didn’t really want to pay the price. I started looking into our options with various hotel programs.
Singapore is a pricey city for hotel stays and our best choice ended up being the Intercontinental Singapore.
To get a free night at the Intercontinental Singapore I used my annual free night certificate from the Chase Priority Club Visa card. The certificate is earned yearly and all you have to do is pay the $49 annual fee. Keeping this card is no-brainer to me. For $49 we got a room in a great hotel that would’ve cost us a minimum of $250 for the night.
The Intercontinental Singapore is in a great location. It’s under 20 minutes from the airport (in a taxi) and there is lots of shopping and restaurant options nearby. The Bugis Junction shopping complex is right down the street and Arab Street is under a 10 minute walk from the hotel.
When we arrived at the hotel our room was not available but the friendly staff at the check-in desk offered us another room to use while we waited. This was a really nice offer as we arrived around 9:00am, a bit earlier than the usual check-in time. We accepted and got to rest for a couple of hours which was really needed! (With stops, we had been traveling for over 25 hours.)
The first room was nice but pretty standard. I was too tired and did not take any pictures.
We went out for a couple of hours to get some lunch and walk around Arab Street. By the time we got back, our room was ready. The staff moved our luggage upstairs to our new room (they asked us in advance) which was very helpful.

View from the doorway

This room was a big upgrade over our first room. I think we got an upgrade due to our Platinum Elite Status which comes along with the Chase Priority Club card.

Our room was very large and had lots of areas to it. When you immediately walk in the bathroom is on the left with closets to the right. When you get into the main area of the room, it has two parts to it.
A table that seats four- used as a dining area (It is barely visible- at the bottom left of the picture above) and a living room/ sitting area with a love seat, recliner and chair around a table. You can sit here and watch TV or just relax over here.
The large flat-screen TV swivels so it can be watched from the couches or in bed.

Living Room/ Sitting Area
Directly across from the sitting area is the bedroom. There wasn’t a door to separate the area but there is a small area to walk through to get to it. Along the way is a work area with a table, chair, alarm clock. I didn’t use the work area due to being too exhausted and not having free wifi in the room.
When I called the front desk to ask about getting free wifi, I was offered a code to use it in public areas on the first and second floor. I was given the code due to being a Platinum Priority Club member. This was a decent offer but it was annoying not having wifi in the room.
Bedroom and Work Area

The bed was comfortable and had a bunch of different pillows on it. I honestly don’t think it would’ve mattered if it wasn’t comfortable. I was really tired from the flights and could’ve probably slept on the floor and been satisfied! On the side of the bed there was a suit stand. I rarely wear a suit and never travel with one but the stand came in handy to hang my clothes on.

The Bathroom

The bathroom was huge and had a bathtub and stall shower. I rarely see bathrooms set up this way but it was nice having the stall shower. It was clean, had good water pressure and lots of nice, big towels.

Asides from the room, the hotel has a beautiful common area on the first floor. The only problem is that most of it is used by the restaurant and cafe so if you don’t want to have a drink or eat you can’t really sit there. The prices are also a bit ridiculous for what you get. (ex. I think a coffee to go was around $2 but $9-$10 if you sat down.)
The staff at the hotel were extremely friendly and helpful. They tried to help with anything we needed. The concierge was really great with directions and information about Singapore. The bellhops were more than happy to help us bring our bags up and down from our room and there was always a couple of staff members outside waiting to hail a cab for the guests.

If you’re looking to spend around $250 for a hotel in Singapore I would definitely recommend the Intercontinental. For my travel style (and budget) this is way too pricey but I’ll gladly take a room here using points or as my annual free night offer if I am ever back in Singapore again.

Our Awesome Experience with Airbnb

Hotels in Singapore can be quite pricey. From what we could tell most moderately priced hotels ($80-$100 range) had horrible reviews and seemed downright dirty.

For our first night’s stay in Singapore I decided to use my free night from the Chase Priority Club credit card that I earned after my first anniversary. For a $49 annual fee I think I got a very solid value. We booked the Intercontinental Singapore  which would’ve cost us around $250 US had we just payed for our stay. The hotel was very nice and is in a great area.
We procrastinated on booking a hotel for the last night of our trip which was back in Singapore. Since we were arriving from Kuala Lumpur around 9:00pm we’d basically be just showing up and passing out. I couldn’t justify using the Priority Club cash and points option to stay at the Intercontinental which would’ve been 15,000 points + $70. We weren’t going to get much use of the room-  so I really needed to find a place to stay in the $80-$100 range.
Kim and I searched many different internet sites for a room and nothing was catching our eye. We had a couple of local, budget hotels on our list for consideration if we couldn’t find a better option.
This is when I started thinking of other ideas. I had heard about Airbnb a while back but never seriously considered using the site. From what I understood, most rooms were in people’s apartments or homes. It didn’t sound like the ideal situation while traveling with an infant.