Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hotel Review: Hotel Monaco Philadelphia

Let me first start off by saying that I'm a huge fan of Kimpton Hotels and their portfolio of properties never fails to impress me.  During my stays, I've come to expect 2 things from Kimpton: 1. Top-notch personalized customer service and 2. stunning rooms with interesting decor.
The Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia was no exception.

Cost: Rates this summer can be found for as low as $162/night but generally are in the $200 range.

Location: For a casual visitor to Philadelphia you really cant get a much better location.  The hotel is literally across the street from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  In fact, while touring Independence Hall, I could see the hotel out the window of the room where the declaration of independence was signed.

Room: I was booked into a standard king but as an Inner Circle member I was upgraded to a Spa King.  At check in they gave me the option of an Independence hall view room or a Spa room; being a sucker for awesome bathrooms this was an easy choice.  The most interesting thing about the room was the wall paper.  I think in any other environment the wallpaper would have clashed but in this room it felt right at home.  The bed was super comfy and provided an excellent nights sleep.  The highlight of the room was a large soaking tub which I utilized several times throughout my stay.

Facilities: I didn't have a chance to check out the gym, but I did have brunch in the restaurant, Red Owl Tavern.  The food was of the typical american gastro-pub variety and nothing that I had especially stood out.  I opted for a burger which was good but not memorable.  The decor of the restaurant was rustic and very appealing so if staying here again I would probably grab a drink at the bar but eat elsewhere.

The rooftop lounge Stratus was super cool.  One side had a gas fire that extended the entire length of the bar.  There was also some indoor seating for rainy or cold days.

Extras: As an inner circle member i ended up with the above mentioned room upgrade.  In addition my welcome amenity was AMAZING.  I had emailed the front desk prior to arrival saying that I enjoyed beer and cheese.  I ended up with a couple bottles of hard to get brews from Russian River as well as a chunk of aged gouda from a local gourmet food store.  Another amenity that many if not all Kimptons offer is free bike rentals.  This was very handy for getting around town.

Summary:  With its trendy rooftop lounge and amazing customer service (not to mention eye-catching rooms) I think this hotel will see me coming back whenever I am in Philly.  The standard rates are on-par with other luxury hotels around the city but the charm, location and service here makes it the easy winner.

Unique decor



Amazing tub and shower



Exterior and entrance to Red Owl Tavern


Inside the main entrance


Red Owl Tavern



Stratus rooftop lounge

Evening Turndown service, complete with a candy cane heart

Our inner circle welcome amenity

Free bikes to ride around town

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Amazing Deal Alert: WOWair Boston/Baltimore to london/Copenhagen for 99$

WOWair is a low cost European airline based in Iceland.  Working on a similar model as Ryanair, Spirit, etc, this airline keeps prices low by charging you for extras.  They have recently added flights to and from Boston and BWI.  Flights to London and Copenhagen are as low as 99$ each way inclusive of all taxes.  Flights to Reykjavik are 129$ each way.  Flights can be directly on their website; wowair.us




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Amazing deal alert: Philadelphia to Bali for $538

Great prices on flights from the Philadelphia area (including Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Allentown, possibly others) for $538 round trip including all taxes.  You can search for flights on Google Flights and Book on Priceline.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Review: Hyatt Place Portland old port

My girlfriend and I took a short trip to new england over the fourth of july.  This is one of the newer Hyatt properties and I was excited to check it out

Location: The hotel is ideally located right on fore street in the heart of Old Port.  One block from the harbor and within a 5 minute walk of tons of shops, bars and restaurants.  For the younger crowd, this location is ideal.  The area does have a tendency to get a little loud at night but I never had any trouble sleeping.




Facilities:  The lobby is very ary and modern with a gas fireplace and sitting area.  There is also a fairly hip looking bar.  Breakfast was included daily and was the standard hyatt place menu.  This included bacon and egg sandwiches with gouda cheese, an open faced egg sandwich and either french toast or waffles.  Additionally, pastries, fruit, yogurt and oatmeal were offered.  Several varieties of juice, coffee and tea were also on hand.  Breakfast ended at 9am which i felt was a bit early.  There is a small pool and fitness facility.  The pool was way too small to swim laps in and is in a very plain white walled room.





Room: We had a standard king room booked with points and were upgraded to what the website calls "King bed Speciality (with sofa bed)"  These rooms are located at the front corner of the hotel and there is one of this room type per floor.  The rooms have amazing floor to ceiling windows in a very intriguing zig zag pattern.  We were originally placed on the 3rd floor which only had views of the surrounding buildings but called down to the front desk to ask for a higher floor and were moved to the 5th floor.  What a difference that made.  Being two floors higher meant that we could see all the way to the harbor.  There was also a sofa bed, mini fridge and bar area.











Price: This is a category 2 hotel which translates into 8,000 points

Overall I thought that the hotel was excellent and was a great value as a category 2 hyatt.  I did however have 2 issues with the room.  The first was the mini fridge was not working and all of our food spoiled.  It was initially unplugged but I was unable to get it to work even after plugging it in.  The second issue was the water pressure/hot water in the shower.  It literally took 10 minutes each morning for the water to heat up.  On top of that the water pressure was very low.  Aside from these 2 areas, i would highly recommend the hotel to anyone with some extra hyatt points and interested in visiting portland.

1,000 Hyatt bonus points for using their mobile app

Hyatt is currently offering 1,000 bonus points per stay simply by booking with their mobile app.


Terms and Conditions

To earn 1,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points under this offer, you must book a new stay on an Eligible Rate through the Hyatt App or the Hyatt Mobile Site. Both reservation and stay must be made and completed from October 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014 at any Hyatt hotel, excluding M life resorts. Eligible Rate is defined in the Hyatt Gold Passport terms and conditions. All hotel reservations are subject to availability and must be made in advance. 

Hyatt Gold Passport membership at time of stay is required and members must provide their membership number and be a registered guest of the room. Membership is free and enrollment is available at goldpassport.com or at a participating hotel. Only one 1,000 point bonus may be earned per member, per stay, regardless of how many rooms are booked. This offer is subject to the complete terms and conditions of Hyatt Gold Passport. Please allow 2-3 weeks after stay is completed for points to be credited to account.

Promotional blackout periods may apply due to seasonal periods or special events, and normal arrival/departure restrictions apply. Hyatt reserves the right to alter or withdraw this promotion with a suitable substitute offer of equal value (if legally required) at any time due to actual circumstances. We endeavor to use our best efforts to provide advanced notice on the website. Please see the website for updates. ©2014 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Amazing Deal Alert: Washington to Cuzco for $400






Great deal from Washington, DC to Cuzco Peru for 400$ round trip with all taxes included.  For those of you who may not know, Cuzco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire and is the closest airport to Machu Picchu.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Amazing Deal Alert: Newark to Grand Cayman for $226

This is a great price for winter travel to the Caribbean.

Newark (EWR) to Grand Cayman (GCM): $226 r/t, American Airlines, sample dates 2/21 to 3/7

Additionally the deal that I mentioned earlier to St. Lucia is still going on with round trip flights from $207 with sample dates from 1/19 to 1/29 on American Airlines

Friday, July 11, 2014

Amazing Deal Alert: Newark to St. Lucia for $209

Flights on American from Newark (EWR) to Vieux Fort, St. Lucia (UVF) are available for 209$ round trip for dates during the winter.  Use Kayak or ITA to search for dates.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Save up to 30% at Hyatt this summer

Hyatt is currently running a promotion where you can save up to 30% off stays now through September 4th.  The amount you save is based on the number of nights and the specific hotel.

Further details can be found here

ENJOY 20% OFF 2 NIGHT STAYS OR 25% AND 30% OFF 3 NIGHT STAYS
Reserve and stay by: September 4, 2014

From the magical beaches of Maui to the bustling metropolis of Santiago find breathtaking settings, impeccable service and exceptional savings this season at participating locations.

Search Offer Code SSALEA to enjoy 20% off stays of 2 nights or more and enjoy 25% and 30% off stays of 3 nights or more at the following Hyatt hotel locations:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Amazing deal alert: Multiple Cities to Cuzco, Peru for $415

There are currently some very good deals on flights from several US cities (Including Washington, L.A., Miami, Orlando, NYC, Boston, and Chicago) to Cuzco, Peru (CUZ) for around $400 round trip.  For those of you who may not know, Cuzco is the closest airport to Machu Picchu and is a pretty amazing and historical city in its own right.  The city of Cuzco was the capital of the Incan Empire and has a a historical mix of pre-Colombian and Spanish colonial sites.  Flights are search able and bookable on Kayak.com

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Amazing Deal Alert: NYC to Iguaçu Falls, Brazil: $430 Round trip

There is an incredible deal available now on flights from New York (JFK) to Iguaçu Falls, Brazil (IGU) for $430 round trip with many dates available Oct through Early spring.  Keep in mind that winter in the US is summer in South America.  Search for dates and book via Kayak.  Please don't call the airline regarding this deal.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Best international uses of Chase Hyatt Visa free night certificates

One of the benefits of the Chase Hyatt Visa card is an annual free night at any hyatt hotel category 1-4.  Since the annual fee on this card is 75$, if you value a free night at greater than 75$ it would be worth while to continue to carry this card.  Keep in mind that these free nights expire after one year.  As I mentioned in my prior post on the best domestic redemption options there are several great hotels which you can easily get upwards of 300$ in value from your 75$ annual fee investment.

Obviously, price per night is not the only factor in deciding where to redeem your free night.  The best option for you could easily be a $100/night property in an area where you were already planning on paying out of pocket for a room.  Below is a list of my top international category 4 properties.

The full list of category 4 hotels can be found here.

Best International Free Night Options:


1. Park Hyatt Toronto: Category 4.  While this hotel is in need of an upgrade, it does carry the Park Hyatt label - and that means understated luxury and top notch customer service.  This is number one on my list of international properties because it is so accessible.  Toronto is an easy drive from my home town.  Peak season rates here go for upwards of $300/night



2. Hyatt Regency Paris Etole: Category 4.  Anyone who has been to paris (especially during peak season) knows that accommodations can easily make a huge dent in your travel budget.  While this hotel is a little outside of the main tourist areas it is still fairly easily accessible.  Rates run around $300/night



3. Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort, Costa Rica: Category 4.  This hotel is a new addition to the category 4 lineup meaning you can now use your free night certificate here.  From what I have seen of this hotel online it looks amazing and I am very close to booking a trip to Costa Rica just to check it out.  It is fairly close to Liberia Airport but far from San Jose.  Daily rates are close to $400/night for most dates.



4. Park Hyatt, Seoul: Category 4.  This one has been near the top of my dream hotel list thanks in part to the amazing bathrooms and stunning design.  If I ever make it to Seoul, this is where I am staying.  The advance purchase rate here is about $360/night

5. Hyatt on the Bund, Shanghai China: Category 4.  This hotel is endowed with great location and great views over the Shanghai skyline.  Average rates here are in the $250/night range.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Best domestic uses of Chase Hyatt Visa free night certificates

One of the many perks of the Chase Hyatt Visa card (aside from 2 free nights at any Hyatt in the world just for signing up) is a free night certificate at a Hyatt category 1-4 property.  Because you only get this free night after renewing your card for a 75$ annual fee, its really only worth it if you plan on getting more than 75$ of value out of it.  I have made 2 top 5 lists.  One for the best domestic options and one for International properties, you can see my international top 5 in an upcoming post.
A full list of hyatt category 4 properties can be found here.

Best Domestic Free Night Options:


1. Hyatt Escala Lodge, Park City Utah: Category 4.  Slope side accommodations at a world class ski resort.  Peak season prices can go for as much as $500/night


2. Hyatt Regency San Francisco or Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf: Category 4.  Summer rates in San Francisco are always steep.  Both of these properties are centrally located and peak season rates can go for as much as $500/night.



3. Hyatt Regency Pier 66, Fort Lauderdale: Category 4.  This waterside hotel is nicely located for snowbirds looking for a quick getaway from the harsh northeast winter.  There is also a very nice pool here.  Peak season rooms go for around $300/night.


4. Hyatt at Olive 8, Seattle Washington: Category 4. This sleek modern hotel located in downtown Seattle near the theatre district has rooms that sell for around $350/night during the summer.



5. Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, Santa Anna Pueblo, New Mexico: Category 4.  Part ranch, part golf resort, part spa this hotel is listed on Conde Nast's Readers' Choice Award list.  Peak season rates are around $200


Please check back for my list of top international redemption options.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

IHG PointBreaks List Announced

IHG Point breaks are one of the best travel values out there.  Every few months, IHG announces a list of hotels around the world that are available for only 5,000 points per night.  This is a significant discount over regular rates which normally run from 10,000 to 50,000 points per night.  There are only a limited number of rooms available at this rate so its best to book soon.  I have included a list of hotels in the US below, but there are also some great international properties.  The full list of hotels can be found here.  These hotels are valid for bookings through July 31st.

United States


ALABAMA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CLANTON
HOLIDAY INN BIRMINGHAM - HOOVER
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MOBILE/SARALAND

ARKANSAS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES HARRISON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SEARCY

ARIZONA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS PINETOP

CALIFORNIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CORNING
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GOLD MINERS INN
- GRASS VALLEY

STAYBRIDGE SUITES PALMDALE
CROWNE PLAZA SILICON VALLEY N - UNION CITY

COLORADO
STAYBRIDGE SUITES DENVER TECH CENTER
CANDLEWOOD SUITES GRAND JUNCTION NW

DELAWARE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES WILMINGTON-NEWARK

FLORIDA
HOLIDAY INN JACKSONVILLE E 295 BAYMEADOWS
HOLIDAY INN SARASOTA-LAKEWOOD RANCH

GEORGIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ATLANTA NW
- POWDER SPRINGS

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ROME

IOWA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS PELLA
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES DES MOINES-NORTHWEST

IDAHO
CANDLEWOOD SUITES BOISE - TOWNE SQUARE

ILLINOIS
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES BOLINGBROOK
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HIGHLAND
CANDLEWOOD SUITES BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES JACKSONVILLE
HOTEL INDIGO CHICAGO-VERNON HILLS

INDIANA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ELKHART-SOUTH
CANDLEWOOD SUITES INDIANAPOLIS - SOUTH
CANDLEWOOD SUITES MERRILLVILLE

KANSAS
CANDLEWOOD SUITES KANSAS CITY

KENTUCKY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CARROLLTON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SHELBYVILLE

LOUISIANA
HOLIDAY INN HOUMA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS LEESVILLE-FT. POLK

MASSACHUSETTS
HOLIDAY INN BERKSHIRES
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SWANSEA

MARYLAND
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SALISBURY - DELMAR
HOLIDAY INN SOLOMONS-CONF CENTER & MARINA

MAINE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES FREEPORT - BRUNSWICK AREA

MICHIGAN
HOLIDAY INN BIG RAPIDS

MINNESOTA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES EAGAN ARPT SOUTH - MALL AREA

MISSOURI
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS FULTON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES HANNIBAL

MISSISSIPPI
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CLEVELAND
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES PHILADELPHIA-CHOCTAW

MONTANA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES GREAT FALLS

NORTH CAROLINA
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES RALEIGH-CARY (I-40 @WALNUT ST)
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES FAYETTEVILLE NW-SPRING LAKE

NEBRASKA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES BELLEVUE (OMAHA AREA)
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES NORFOLK

NEW HAMPSHIRE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS DURHAM - UNH








NEW JERSEY
CANDLEWOOD SUITES BORDENTOWN-TRENTON
HOLIDAY INN EAST WINDSOR
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MOUNT ARLINGTON
- ROCKAWAY AREA

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES VINELAND MILLVILLE

NEW MEXICO
STAYBRIDGE SUITES ALBUQUERQUE NORTH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CLOVIS

NEVADA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS FALLON
STAYBRIDGE SUITES RENO

NEW YORK
CANDLEWOOD SUITES BUFFALO AMHERST
HOLIDAY INN AUBURN-FINGER LAKES REGION
CANDLEWOOD SUITES WATERTOWN-FORT DRUM
HOLIDAY INN JOHNSTOWN-GLOVERSVILLE
HOLIDAY INN UTICA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS ROCHESTER - GREECE

OHIO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CELINA
HOLIDAY INN CLEVELAND-AIRPORT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS COLUMBUS - DUBLIN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS MIDDLETOWN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES NAPOLEON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CLEVELAND
- STREETSBORO

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES WAUSEON

OKLAHOMA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES OKMULGEE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES VINITA

OREGON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MEDFORD
- CENTRAL POINT

HOLIDAY INN PORTLAND-GRESHAM
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ONTARIO

PENNSYLVANIA
HOLIDAY INN ALLENTOWN CENTER CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CHAMBERSBURG
HOLIDAY INN JOHNSTOWN-DOWNTOWN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS MT PLEASANT- SCOTTDALE
HOLIDAY INN WARREN (KINZUA DAM-ALLEGHENY)

RHODE ISLAND
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SMITHFIELD
- PROVIDENCE


SOUTH CAROLINA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CAMDEN-I20 (HWY 521)
CANDLEWOOD SUITES COLUMBIA-FT. JACKSON

SOUTH DAKOTA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ABERDEEN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES STURGIS

TENNESSEE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HURRICANE MILLS (WAVERLY)
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MEMPHIS SOUTHWIND
STAYBRIDGE SUITES KNOXVILLE OAK RIDGE

TEXAS
HOLIDAY INN AMARILLO WEST MEDICAL CENTER
STAYBRIDGE SUITES BROWNSVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ENNIS
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES HEARNE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES HOUSTON NW
BELTWAY 8-WEST ROAD

CROWNE PLAZA SAN ANTONIO AIRPORT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES AUSTIN SW
- SUNSET VALLEY

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES VIDOR SOUTH

UTAH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HEBER CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES TOOELE

VIRGINIA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES CHESAPEAKE - VIRGINIA BEACH
CROWNE PLAZA HAMPTON-MARINA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES QUANTICO-STAFFORD
HOLIDAY INN PATRIOT-WILLIAMSBURG

WASHINGTON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CHENEY
HOLIDAY INN YAKIMA

WISCONSIN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ANTIGO
STAYBRIDGE SUITES MILWAUKEE AIRPORT SOUTH
CANDLEWOOD SUITES MADISON - FITCHBURG
CROWNE PLAZA MILWAUKEE AIRPORT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES STEVENS POINT

WEST VIRGINIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS NEWELL-CHESTER WV
HOLIDAY INN WEIRTON

WYOMING
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES TORRINGTON

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Amazing Deal Alert: USA to Eastern Europe from 391$

American Airlines currently has some great fares to certain cities in eastern Europe including Sofia Bulgaria from $395 and Budapest from $405.  Prices are available from several different US cities and are these prices are available now through at least next march.  This is likely a pricing error, so please don't call the airline if you have questions.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Amazing Deal Alert: New York to Asia via Europe for $130

There are some amazing one way prices from New York (and LAX) to various cities in Asia with stopovers in Europe.  Please note that these are one way prices and you would have to find your own way back from Asia (using frequent flyer miles, etc).  Some sample itineraries are shown below.  You can book via Priceline.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Amazing deal alert: Washington DC to Beijing $650

Delta currently has some great deals on flights to Beijing from Washington DC (DCA) with round trips as low as $650.  You can search for your dates on kayak.com or ITA, then book directly on delta.



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Amazing Deal Alert: Boston to the Azores for $330

SATA airline currently has some amazing fares from Boston to the Azores Islands.  I found a fare for just under $330 round trip, all taxes included.  This could be a good chance to see this little visited part of Portugal. 
Flights can be booked directly on www.sata.pt/en

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cheap flights of the Day

I'm going to try to make this page a semi-regular feature.  Basically these are airfare deals that caught my attention and are flights I would take if I had unlimited vacation time.  Prices are samples only, you will need to check your specific dates.  All prices are round trip with all taxes included.

If you have any specific cities you would like me to be on the lookout for deals to/from, please let me know.

Boston (BOS) to Praia, Cape Verde Islands  (RAI): $693 TACV
Boston (BOS) to Beijing (PEK): $678 Multiple Airlines
Boston (BOS) to Anchorage (ANC): $374 Delta
New York (JFK) to Cotonoum, Benin (COO): $541 Arik Air
Washington, DC (DCA) to Charleston, SC (CHS): $128 Jet Blue/USair



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Great flight deals out of Toronto

Just came across several interesting flight deals out of Toronto Pearson airport.

Toronto (YYZ) to Shanghai (PVG):  $662 round trip on Delta
Toronto (YYZ) to Hong Kong (HKG): $699 on Delta
Toronto (YYZ) to Ponta Delgada (Açores) (PDL) $433 on SATA
Toronto (YYZ) to Madeira (FNC): $539 on SATA.  This route allows you the option of having an overnight layover in the Azores Islands, allowing you to visit 2 remote islands in one trip.



Marriott Plus Points: Earn 2,000 Marriott Points every 30 days

Marriott rewards has just launched a new social media initiative called "Plus Points".  Essentially it is a rewards system that offers bonus points for members performing various actions on different social media outlets.  Each action has a certain number of bonus points attached to it and your points are capped at 2,000 points every 30 days.  The easiest way to earn the points is by liking one of the participating properties on Facebook or following on Twitter.  Each like earns you 250 points.  Like 8 different properties and you have an easy 2,000 points.  You can repeat the process every 30 days.  As a reminder, free nights start at as few as 7,500 points per night for category 1 hotels.

To sign up for the program go here: www.marriottrewardspluspoints.com
More information about the program can be found here: www.marriottrewardspluspoints.com/faq 



You can earn points on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram.   Clearly the easiest way to rack up the points is by liking/following
 on Facebook or Twitter


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SPG Make a Green Choice: Earn points for cleaning your own room

SPG has a program in place where guests can opt to decline housekeeping services.  In return SPG will give you either 5$ credit or 500 SPG points per night. 



Details can be found here or here (There are different links for Westin and Sheraton)
Four Points properties also appear to participate in the program, however they only offer you a bonus of 250 points or 5$ dining credit.  Details can be found by searching for the name of the specific Four Points property and "make a green choice"

The less water, energy and other resources we use, the more there is to go around. Reward yourself with a $5 voucher at participating food and beverage outlets or 500 Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints® awarded at check out for each night you decline housekeeping services (except day of departure).
Conservation matters. Make A Green Choice

Thursday, May 1, 2014

SPG Preferred Plus Status free for AAA/CAA members

SPG Preferred Plus status is a seldom publicized status tier which essentially offers members some of the the benefits of gold status including space available upgrades to "enhanced rooms" and 4pm check out.  Unlike Gold status you do not get a welcome gift or a 50% point bonus.  The best part of this status is that it is free to all AAA members and to SPG American Express card holders.  There is very little information about this status level on SPG's website.    

If you are a AAA member you have to sign up for this benefit, and details can be found here.



Call 1-866-782-7737 to join Starwood Preferred Guest® or to upgrade your account today - simply mention enrollment code "AAA/CAA" to start enjoying the benefits now.

Free Kindle book: The world's best street food

The kindle version of the book The world's best street food, where to find it and how to make it is available for free on Amazon for a limited time.  Direct link here

Regular price is $19.99 and it's unclear how long this deal will last for.