Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kimpton Hotels Now Offering PUBLIC Bikes

Earlier this year I was introduced to Kimpton hotels via a status match into their Inner Circle program.  I have since become a huge fan of the brand and the little touches that they add to make your stay exceptional.  You can check out my review of the Donovan House Hotel in DC for examples of how they went above and beyond.  During my Stay in washington, Kimpton offered a free bike pass for Capital Bikeshare, D.C.'s short term bike rental system.  They also gave us helmets to use which were very much appriciated as navigating a city for the first time on 2 wheels can be treacherous.  Biking is such a great way to get around, and Kimpton made it even better by including everything you need for a day of pedaling.  I was very excited to learn that Kimpton is going to make their bike program even better.  They will now have a fleet of cool retro-looking bikes available at every one of their hotels for guests to use.
More information can be found on Kimpton's site.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Photo of the Week: Riga, Latvia

Given that my last photo of the week post was in Estonia, I figured that I would keep with the Baltic theme and work my way south.  Since I missed posting last week I will include not 2 but 3 pictues from Riga, the capital of Latvia.  Riga was a very interesting city and was an interesting blend of eastern and western european archeticutre and culture.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Turkish Airlines Free Istanbul Tour

Turkish Airlines offers free tours of Istanbul for passengers connecting through Istanbul en route to other destinations.  You must have at least a 6 hour layover.  The tour is completely free including transportation, food, museum entry fees.  This seems like a great way to see a great city.  Turkish Airways has been offering some pretty attractive deals from the US in an attempt to further expand their market share. 

Details can be found here:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rooms in Vegas for 1$

The Excalibur hotel currently has a promotion for rooms as low as 21$ a night and include a 20$ dining credit.  Availability is pretty good and you can search by month here.  Remember that Hyatt has partnered up with MGM so this is a super cheap way to rack up Hyatt nights towards elite status.  There is a resort fee in addition to this price but word on the street is that if you complain about the slow wifi they will waive it.

Free Elite Status at Langham Hotels

Langham Hotels is offering mid-tier Voyager elite status for a limited time.  With this status you get late check out, a welcome amenity, room upgrades and more.  Here is a chart showing the benefits of Voyager status.

Plus you also get this awesome welcome package

Link: Here
Use invitation code: 453826123 

Langham is a smaller hotel chain which is more on the upscale end of the spectrum.  They currently have hotels in Boston and L.A. and are opening ones in Chicago and NYC this year.  They have a strong presence in China.  
While you may never stay at one of these hotels, having status with a hotel chain is important because you may be able to leverage it into status with other chains.  Best Western for example will match just about any other hotel chain:  Several other hotel chains will also do status matches.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

90% off Jet Blue Flights

Save 90% on Jet Blue flights from NYC when the weather hits 90 degrees. Link Here

New York has hit 90° at 12:15PM EDT! Beat the heat and grab a seat at 90% off!*
Use promo code HOTSEATS while very limited supplies last for 90% off the base fare of a roundtrip, nonstop JetBlue flight from NY’s JFK, LGA or EWR airports on the specified dates.
  • Travel dates:
    Must depart: July 17 or July 18, 2013
    Must return: July 22 or July 23, 2013
  • Must depart from and return to JFK, LGA or EWR airports. Must depart from and return to same airport.
  • Roundtrip purchase required. New bookings only. 
  • Only a very limited amount of promo codes are available, so grab ‘em while it’s hot! Once they’re gone, well, they’re gone. Discount is not held until your purchase is finalized.
  • Promo codes are case sensitive and can only be redeemed online while very limited supplies last at
  • Search flights with specific travel dates listed above (JFK, LGA, or EWR departures only).
  • Both outbound and return dates must fall within indicated travel period in order for the discount to apply.
  • Enter code in promo code field exactly as it appears (case sensitive).
  • You must select flights in order for discount to appear. Once selected you will see the discount amount displayed in the itinerary subtotal on the flights page.
  • Only one code per reservation.

Hotel Review: Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel and Convention Center

There are 2 Sheraton Hotels in Buenos Aires. the other being the Sheraton Libertador.  Both hotels are fairly close to one another.  I opted for this location based on overall reviews and based on my intended itinerary.  One of my days was spent taking a ferry across the Rio de la Plata to visit Uruguay and this location was fairly convenient to the ferry terminal.  As for exploring B.A. itself, i was able to walk everywhere I wanted to go.  It is in a nice, safe and business oriented neighborhood.  There were no issues with outside noise coming into the room.

The hotel was very well maintained and the lobby was nicely appointed with marble floors and a generally upscale vibe.  The Sheraton shares a lobby with the Park Tower, another SPG property.  Given its city center location, where space is generally limited, i was pleased to find a large swimming pool and tennis courts.

The room was well appointed and was more elegantly appointed than most Sheratons stateside. The room was average sized.  The bathroom came complete with a bidet.  As an SPG Gold member we were upgraded to a room which included free breakfast and afternoon hors d'oeuvres   I would estimate the value of breakfast to be about 25$ per person and the afternoon snacks at about 10$ person.

Cost: SPG category 4 (10,000 points) or around $175 a night

Overall Impression:
Nice, well appointed hotel close to all the action in Buenos Aires.  I was upgraded as an SPG gold member.  This upgrade included breakfast and afternoon hors d'oeuvres in the Park Tower next door.  I think if i were to do this trip again and use points, I would opt for the Park Tower next door which is 12,000 points.  From walking through the Park tower lobby and our breakfast experience there, I think it would be more than worth the extra 2000 points a night.

Buenos Aires is an amazing city, stay tuned for my full trip report.

Hotel Exterior


Our Room


View from our room

Swimming Pool and Tennis Courts.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Regus Business World: First Impressions

I ended up with a free Regus BuisnessWorld gold membership via my Virgin Atlantic silver status.  See my post on how to do this.  As I type this I'm sitting in the Regus location on the 43rd floor of One Oxford Center in Pittsburgh, PA.  I had a couple hours today before I head out of town so I figured I'd check it out.  The facility itself is pretty nice, but nothing too spectacular.  It reminds me of your standard office; and that makes sense as regus acts primarily as a short term office rental center.

Gold membership gets you access to the lounge area.  In this location the lounge is nothing more than a standard work place lunch room.  There are some vending machines, a fridge, sink and free coffee and tea.  There are a couple chairs with small desks on the arms.  The wifi seems to be very fast and reliable.  The highlight of this particular location is the view.  I'm a big fan of seeing cities from different vantage points and being 43 floors off the ground gives you some amazing vistas.  All in all, it is a very nice alternative to a coffee shop if you have a couple hours to kill.

Free Accor Le Club Platinum Status

For a limited time you can apply for free platinum status at accor hotels.  These offers come and go from time to time and are often only available for a few days.  You could potentially use this status to match into other hotel elite programs.  For more information on status matches, check out my post here

Link to application is here.

 The benefits of this program includes the following:
Double your points on each stay
Dedicated customer service team
In Sofitel*, Pullman and MGallery hotels:
- Complimentary drink and welcome gift
- Upgrade **
- Late check-out up to 16:00**
- Guaranteed room availability
   (when you book at least three days prior to arrival)
In Sofitel Thalassa Sea and Spa hotels:
- One Thalassa Sea and Spa Institute beauty product
  and treatment
In Adagio hotels:
- Welcome gift for stays of 10 nights or more
- Late check-out

Free Club Carlson Gold Status

Delta silver and higher members can apply for free club carlson gold status via this link:

This may or may not even work if you don't have status with delta

Monday, July 8, 2013

Facebook and Youtube

I am currently in the process of modernizing and embracing technology; as such I now have Facebook and youtube accounts for passport physician.  The Facebook page will include short day to day updates and other goodies while the youtube channel will be some of my travel videos.  Check them both out, and if you like the site why not like it on Facebook?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Photo of the Week: Old Town Wall, Tallinn Estonia

Estonia may be off the beaten path for casual American tourists but this small country shouldn't be overlooked when planning a vacation to Europe.  While there are lots of European tourists in Tallinn (thanks to low cost flights) it still seems somewhat unexplored.  The old town rivals any I have seen in Europe on aesthetics alone.  The people are friendly and costs are reasonable (compared to the Scandinavian countries).  It is a short ferry ride from Helsinki, so if you ever find your self in Finland why not hop over for a day trip.
P.S: I've been very busy at work lately and hence the shortage of posts.  I have some good stuff in the works though so stay tuned.