Photo Review Marriott Waikiki Beach Hotel

We recently had a short two night stay in Waikiki. Thanks to the Marriott points temporary discount I was able to use two of my 35k free night certs that are usually useless on Oahu.

Due to my low Gold status I did end up in a nice beach view room. We really enjoyed the large balcony and view of the nearby hotels.

Pros of this hotel include location at Waikiki and near the Zoo. Friendly staff and recently renovated rooms.

Cons of this hotel include $50 resort fee per night, $45 per night parking fee and location on Waikiki which is Branson Missouri west with tourists and traffic. Noisy night and day and also tons of homeless citizens all over the beach. Also the band at the hotel next door plays late into the evening which you can hear in your room. Street racing on the street below with horns, people yelling all night etc.

Overall I would stay here again and enjoyed most of it. The check in using the Hawaii covid website is a real pain as the hotel won’t take a printed QR code, they make you log in and go through 2 factor authentication to show them it on your phone while a line forms at the check-in desk.

A photo review of Marriott Courtyard North Shore Oahu Hawaii

A quick review of our recent stay at the North Shore Marriott Courtyard Laie, Hawaii on Oahu.

Courtyard North Shore
Patio Area
Beach access 50 yards from Hotel on NE side of Oahu
Resort Pool, hot tub, surf board checkout, pickle ball, snorkle gear, volley ball area are all available at little to no cost. Cabana are very reasonable as well.
Beautiful and well kept property (lobby area with activities desk, hula and lei lessons)
A good fitness center and laundry is available
The Polynesian Cultural Center is across the parking lot with plenty of restaurants. BYU University is a few blocks away as well.
Loaner bikes are helpful as there is a nice bike path along this part of the highway
Very Clean well-appointed rooms. They do lack balconies but good views all around.
Good WiFi and internet TV with Showtime on Demand, YouTube and Netflix
Bathroom

Pros of this property: Located on the NE end of Oahu close to the North Shore big wave and surfing areas. Close to BYU University and the Morman run Polynesian Cultural Center which is a big tourist draw. Beautiful tropical area. Away from the busy Honolulu areas.

Cons of this property: Points cost is high for Marriott and only likely to get worse with the devaluation move to dynamic awards. Cast price is about average for Oahu. A long drive to Pearl Harbor sites. Laie Hawaii is a “dry” town so no alcohol sales in this area. Most restaurants are closed on Sundays with the exception of the hotel Bistro and McDonald’s nearby.

Photo Review of IHG Staybridge Albuquerque North

Recently had a chance to do an extended stay at the IHG Staybridge Suites Albuquerque North hotel. Some of the features such as full breakfast, evening reception, indoor pool and the fitness center remained closed due to the Covid19 scare. The laundry pet area and pantry was available. They also feature long term storage closets at this location as well.

The pantry was nearly empty but had a few items for purchase. The local staff as this hotel was the true bright spot. The rooms are super clean and had standard Staybridge set up with kitchen and sperated bed area. I’d say the only compliant I’d have was that many of the rooms have queen sized single beds which are a bit small in two player mode.

Hilton Garden Inn Cherry Creek Denver Colorado Photo Review

A quick overnight for business at the Hilton Garden Inn at Cherry Creek was a good experience.I usually stay at the Holiday Inn across the road but a client booked this hotel for me. While the Holiday Inn is nice and a bit cheaper I think I’d give the edge to this hotel. The best part about the Garden Inn is that it’s located in an upscale trendy shopping center so there are multiple restaurant basically on the ground floor.

Overall I enjoyed my time here. I like staying in this area because of the Cherry Creek bike trail which offers a great place to run or bike. There are public shared bikes along the trail as well.

Photo Review Holiday Inn Express Austin Airport Texas

Short one night stay at the HIX at Austin Airport. Hotel is a good location just a few minutes from the AUS terminal by car. The hotel features a nice outdoor pool, fitness center with decent equipment.

It also passes my test of offering the free breakfast at 6 am instead of the weird trend of 6:30 am that many hotels have moved to. It also has small guest laundry and the fitness center is open 24 hours. This hotel is located in a business park type area so not a tourist centric property but most of Austin is a car centered culture anyway. #traffic.

Separate bath and toilet area are a bit dated with dark lighting but spotless. Only complaint is the overdone water softener setting giving me that “swimming in the dead sea” spa experience.
I didn’t use the airport shuttle but they seem to have two drivers and vans on call at all times. Check with the hotel for details of course.
Overall a nice hotel with clean comfort and well located.

Photo Review of Holiday Inn Elgin Illinois

This quick photo review of the Holiday Inn hotel Elgin reflects the good clean rooms and a nice hotel.

Pros include updated clean rooms with good staff service. Great location just North of the Interstate.

Cons include lack of evening room service even from the Bennigans on the lobby. They do offer breakfast room service but lack of dinner is bad because there aren’t a lot of restaurants in the area.

Photo Review of Super 8 Elgin Illinois

This is a budget hotel that is well located in the NW Suburbs of Chicagoland. I’m not a big Wyndham fan but stayed here for work location purposes. It’s a clean hotel that is decent and being remodeled to boot. The staff is friendly but breakfast is underweleming. Toast, cold cereal and coffee are the highlights. No pool or fitness stuff to weigh down the cost but good safe location with comfortable rooms and beds.

Hotel Photo Review Holiday Inn Express West St. Louis Wentzille

This HIX hotel is a brand new hotel right on I-70 near Exit 208 in the far West Suburbs of St.Louis. It is a typical new design. I love new hotels as they are usually spotless and clean. This is no exception. Indoor pool is nice, sorry no photos as too many people swimming during my stay.

The real bright spot of this hotel is the great staff. Only downside is that breakfast doesn’t start until 6:30am which isn’t the end of the world unless you need to leave early.

Photo Review of Intercontinental Dan Tel Aviv Israel

We had a 2-night stay with 3 standard rooms at the Dan Tel Aviv Intercontinental hotel. This is one of my favorite hotels in Israel and we’ve always been treated decently. I run a very exclusive private tour business and stayed here with 5 clients on this tour of Israel. All of my clients loved this hotel.

As an IHG Spire and Ambassador, the service was good with no complaints about the rooms. I was a bit disappointed (but not shocked) that they do not offer free breakfast or lounge access at my elite status on award nights. We also had a bit of disappointment that the pool closed early prior to 8pm during our stay. They did give me several free gifts of wine, fruit, soaps, late checkout, free movie credit, and beverage credits but I would have exchanged all of that for lounge access. Again no complaints really though.

This hotel is located across the street from the beach and near the old Joppa port area. It’s also near one of our favorite restaurants, Bezzo’s Pizza and the local market area. I hope to stay here again on our next trip to the area.

Hotel Review of Holiday Inn Express Phoenix Airport University Drive PHX

Quick photo review of the Holiday Inn Express Airport. This was a quick overnight before an early morning flight. Overall this is a very nice HIX a couple miles from PHX and they do have shuttle service and free parking for guests.

I was disappointed to find that breakfast isn’t served until 6am which normally would be OK but airport hotels should know better. Many people staying at airport hotels have early departures of course.

There is a waffle house in the parking lot but no other restaurants within walking distance except the Hilton Garden Inn nearby.

Because of my Spire status I was upgraded to a Junior Suite which was very nice and roomy. Overall I slept well with good AC on a day with 113 degree temps. I didn’t try the pool but i enjoyed the stay here.