Hilton President Hotel Kansas City Diamond Review

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The Hilton President Kansas City is a classic hotel that was built in 1926 during a boom in Kansas City downtown roaring 20’s construction. It was a popular hotel in Kansas City during the Kansas City Mob days, Blues icons played at the famous Drum Room lounge while celebrities watched. As downtown KC struggled through the 1970’s so did the hotel. It finally closed in 1980 and sat vacant until a local business investor group spent over $45 million to restore it and open it as the current Hilton President in 2005. It saw success as downtown KC has gone through a revival. It now sits between the theaters, convention center, Sprint center and KC Power and Light entertainment district. After being open since 2005 it was due for a refresh so they recently spent millions more to update the rooms, add more marble, etc. A lot of historic hotels are cool but this one doesn’t suffer from being outdated. The rooms are fresh and updated. IMG_20170615_165015574IMG_20170615_170317552

The Drum Room Lounge is mostly original. The restaurant is good and a great place for a pre-concert or pre-theater dinner. IMG_20170615_165332449

As a Hilton Diamond I was upgraded on arrival to a corner room overlooking the Power and Light District. The hotel was fairly slow which I’m sure helped. IMG_20170615_165322865_HDRIMG_20170615_165607061IMG_20170615_165613142IMG_20170616_072052271

The only negative thing I can say about this hotel is the motion sensing Verdant thermostat. There is a hack to override it but it’s not an easy hack. The hotel is guilty of not having this set properly for the overnight hours. This is something can be set by the main system. It did go off in the middle of the night and made the room too warm on a hot Summer evening. IMG_20170615_165337663

View of Power and Light District and Sprint Center.IMG_20170615_220143177IMG_20170615_165345906

View to the South of the Kauffman CenterIMG_20170615_215635004IMG_20170615_215541046

Overall it was a nice stay. As a Hilton Diamond they do offer free breakfast in the restaurant. There is also a Starbucks coffee stand in the lobby. Great service from the front desk, restaurant and valet parking staff. I will return here even as a local the next time I need to stay downtown. This AAA four diamond hotel is well worth the visit.

Hampton Inn Garden City Kansas Review

This location is a typical Hilton Hampton Inn property. Nothing really special but a nice up to date location. I would rate it as the second best hotel in this area. There is a newer Marriott Townplace hotel nearby that I think is slightly better. 

 

This Hilton Diamond sign was the only welcome I got as a Diamond Hilton guest. I’ll see if the Diamond welcome points ever post. This is sad as this stay is one of a few I am testing with Hilton properties this year to see if it’s worth keeping any loyalty with this chain. 

Summary:

Good clean room. Well located with IHOP, Target, Burger King and taco Bell within a few hundred feet of hotel. 

Staff is efficient and nice but lack any elite recognition in my experience here. I don’t expect much but at least saying thanks for being Diamond would be enough.

 I also wasn’t very impressed with the evening reception food. Not sure what I expected but it just seemed a bit weak and forced. I’d rather they just skip it and have cookies in the lobby I think. 

I sound critical but don’t mean to. This was a service and property test for me. I travel to this rural area for business a few times per year. I haven’t been that excited with the nearby Holiday Inn Express which is dated. I really like the Townplace hotel but I have little status (Silver) with Marriott. So this was just a property test.

Features of hotel I like include the indoor pool and breakfast that starts at 6am. 

Features I don’t like are the thin walks, poor desk chairs that aren’t very ergonomic, doors that seem to slam more than other hotels and the tiny TVs. 

Feature I hate the most…Fitness room isn’t open 24 hours. This is a deal breaker for me. I doubt I’ll come back over this. I know this seems minor but as a runner visiting in the winter I was very disappointed. 

Staybridge West Valley City (SLC)

A quick 2 night stay at the Staybridge West Valley City location in Salt Lake City Metro area. I might stay here again on business, haven’t made up my mind but I am very picky. I’m still searching for just the right hotel in the SLC area.

Pros:

  • Attached to the Holiday Inn Express that features an indoor water park.
  • Great fitness room.
  • Typical Staybridge evening reception and free breakfast.
  • New feeling hotel although I suspect this property is older than it looks.
  • Very clean and comfortable.
  • Great service.
  • Not far from the airport.

Cons:

  • 6:30am breakfast. This is a big deal since I often have to leave early in the morning.
  • Fairly noisy hallways (it seems that the housekeeping staff is talking loud and working hard from 8am to 5pm). Kids running down the hall. I suspect due to the water park feature.
  • Not many restaurants or shopping close by. There is shopping and restaurant near here but you have to drive a bit.

Holiday Inn Express Park City Utah Review

I stayed at the Park City Holiday Inn Express the week before Thanksgiving. I happen to be there for one of the first snow falls of the year. Late ski season this year. I traveled there on business and I am not a skier so I can’t vouch for the winter sports. Not much going on for the slopes yet. 

The fitness center was small but decent. There are also fairly good areas to run around outside in good weather. Nice way to do some high altitude training.

This seems to be an older hotel but it was clean and no major issues.

My company makes me rent from National. The National franchise at SLC is part owned by a Chevy dealer from what they tell me at the check in counter. Yes check in counter as SLC has no elite drive and go lot. It’s really the biggest problem with this airport. I picked a Chevy Traverse AWD to avoid driving issues. As you can see there wasn’t that much snow however.

The fitness center, sauna and hot tub are located within the indoor pool area. Not bad but does make the fitness center a bit warm for running.

Front of hotel

Small dated but clean bathroom.

Indoor pool area

Before the snow. This is a view of the storm clouds moving in over the nearby Smith grocery store. There are many stores and restaurant within walking distance of the hotel (1 to 3 blocks away).

Front lobby

Room fridge, microwave, etc.

View from room.

My blurry photo of the front lobby. The serve breakfast here in typical HIX fashion. Nothing to write home about.

Overall the service and location of this hotel was very good. The rooms are average but not bad. Fairly quiet but close to the Interstate. I would stay here again on business. It’s fairly close to the many ski areas but yet close to fast food, etc. Might be a good budget choice if in the area for ski or pleasure.

IHG Intercontinental Dallas in Pics

So I had the chance to stay on business at the Intercontinental Dallas this week. As a Spire Ambassador I was able to get a club floor suite upgrade that was really nice. Overall I’d say that I like this hotel. The service was great. This hotel is a little older but well kept. The photos don’t do it justice really. The furniture is nicer in person that it shows in the photos. I’m not a fancy guy so my room service meal was simple. I’d say the only major draw back is that it’s located in such a busy location but that’s a double edged sword as there are a lot of restaurants and shopping in the area as well.

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Lounge floorimg_20170109_173735456

View from roomimg_20170109_172739093img_20170109_172731514

Downstairs powder room in suiteimg_20170109_172704036

Mini bar (too bad I’m not a Royal Ambassador)img_20170109_172710155

View from room.img_20170109_172731514

First floor of suite.img_20170109_172750314

Second floor of suiteimg_20170109_172857368img_20170109_172917667img_20170109_173111824

Second floor sitting area. It seems that this suite would easily sleep 6 with the large bed and 2 sofas. img_20170109_173123173

Upstairs main bathimg_20170109_173145821

Amabassador welcome gifts.img_20170109_173559727

Happy hour in the lounge.img_20170109_174111668

Room service back in the suite. img_20170109_182413545img_20170110_081747263_hdr

Holiday Inn Express MXP Italy

I stay in A LOT of Holiday Inn Express hotels. This stay was for two nights at the end of a trip to Austria, Germany and Northern Italy. It’s super close to the MXP airport but way out on the edge of Milan. The hotel was very average and kinda depressing I think as yoi may be able to see from the photos. 

While it served a purpose I was disappointed in some things that might seem picky. The ice machine was broken and the hotel bar had no ice. They only offer liquid soap, no bar soap, minor I know. The windows in the rooms are tiny so it made the room seem like a prison cell. The good part is they did offer a bar which was nice but very limited choices for dinner. Luckily there is a fantastic Italian restaurant nearby and only about two blocks away in this small town area. 

The next time I’m in the area I would tempted to try the nearby Crowned Plaza, that doesn’t look awesome, or the Sheraton that is in the airport. The MXP HIX is very average in my personal opinion.