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.

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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.

Photo Review of Radisson Country Inn & Suites TUC Tucson Arizona Airport

The Tucson airport country inn & suites is conveniently located about a half a mile north of the Tucson terminal. It’s walkable although shuttle service and nearby car service is readily available. This country inn & suites is relatively good although a bit dated. they are in the process of doing renovations during my stay in this hotel should improve from average to good in the near future.

I was really impressed that they start breakfast at 5am which is something all airport hotels should do more.

How To Easily Search Radisson Award Nights by Category

Many times to find an award night for hotel points or certificates you have to find the location then drill into the reservations and then find out the number of points required or the category level for free night certificates, etc.

Radisson makes this much easier than some hotel chains:

First, click on “Benefits & Rewards” along the top banner.  It might be helpful to be logged in as well. 

radisson beni

 

Then Click on “Redeem” on right middle of the page.

 

radisson redeem

Then click on “Award Night Stays” 

radisson award nights

Then it will open up a page that shows award category levels and how many points are needed for a standard or premium room. Basic award chart. But what makes this award chart extra nice is that if you click the hidden link at the top of each column it will open up the list of hotels by category worldwide. 

Radisson free nights

So, for example, click on “Category 1” and will give you a page that shows the hotels by region for that point and Cat level as shown here:

Radisson award by cat by region

There you go. Sure for points veterans, this is simple stuff and 101 level but as somewhat of a Radisson fan I really like this feature for booking hotel awards on my upcoming travels. I’m a very visual reference learner and enjoy this feature a lot as it’s so simple. 

IHG 2nd Quarter Accelerate Promo Now Live but….

holiday-inn-express-art

In case you’re not familiar IHG Hotels has for many years run a quarterly bonus point earning promo called Accelerate. It has been decent for many years however it is targeted and seems to track how often you stay at IHG. So in other words, if you don’t stay at IHG hotels (Holiday Inn’s, etc.) often then you tend to get really good offers. Like “Stay 1 Night and earn 4,000 bonus points” or whatever. If you stay at a lot of IHG hotels the offers tend to get harder to achieve but also may offer greater rewards. For example “Stay 26 nights this quarter and get 20,000 bonus points” or whatever.

IHG says:

Complete your customized offers now and get your points. With offers designed for the way you like to travel, Accelerate helps you experience more of life. Earn bonus points, get rewards, and make every stay count more.

How does it work?

1. Book and stay at any IHG® hotel around the world from now until August 31.
2. Earn bonus points to use for great rewards and moments that matter.

So we get to:

Have: Customized offers, great (See above)

Offers that are designed for “the way you like to travel”, Apparently not the way others like to travel for me to travel the way I do or something.

“Experience more of life”. Apparently by staying at IHG hotels “life” is more of an “Experience”

And we get to “make every stay count more”.

All sounds great unless you get a crappy offer like my wife did this year.

Here is her offer:

FireShot Capture 048 - IHG® Rewards Club - Earn the extra rewards you deserve - Register Now_ - www.ihg.com

OK let’s say you aren’t familiar with this promo and think this is a great offer. That would be good if you didn’t know that my wife usually has an Accelerate promo worth like 50,000 points but can be hard to reach. She stays about 100 nights a year in hotels so targeting 24 nights’ish in a quarter to get some bonus works for her and IHG. This promo is so low AND requires her to stay for leisure to obtain it. Since she is a business traveler she doesn’t usually stay over on Saturday night. She doesn’t usually book for points & cash and uses a business credit card. Kind of disappointed.

Before you accuse me of kicking the gift horse that IHG Accelerate usually provides I will point out the offer I got below. Why is mine better? Because IHG had done the same to me in early 2018 and I moved all my stays over to Marriott in early 2018 to try and reset the clock with IHG. Good plan right? Sure except I found out that I REALLY like Marriott. In the marketing world, I would consider that a failure. So by IHG having targeted promo’s that punish loyal customers (11,600 versus 60,100) it can backfire I think.

FireShot Capture 049 - IHG® Rewards Club - Earn the extra rewards you deserve - Register Now_ - www.ihg.com

I won’t bring up the registration process issues on this latest promo. Mine worked fine and my wife’s didn’t load until after May 1st. Not sure why. I assume IT issues and not that they more closely reviewed her’s for extra crappy-ness.

Anyway. I urge you to register if you even think you’ll stay at an IHG hotel soon.

How does it work?

1. Sign up for Accelerate.
2. Book and stay at any of your favorite IHG® hotels from May 1, 2019, and August 31, 2019.
3. Earn bonus points to use for great rewards.

You can sign up for the latest promotion by June 18, 2019, and each offer must be completed between 5/1/18 and May 1, 2019, and August 31, 2019.

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Photo Review of Marriott Town Place Suites McKinney Texas

Nothing too surprising to report at this typical Townplace Suites. I enjoy this Marriott brand as the hotels are laid out nice and fit my travel needs well. I wish they could redesign the weird closets at these hotels but I “get” the purpose for extended stay folks. This location has somewhat small TVs and lacks the Netflix internet TV option. Other than that the service was great and spotlessly clean. This hotel is well located for runners with good sidewalks and trails not far away. Also near shopping and restaurants. I’d stay here again for sure.