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 A lot of historic hotels are cool but this one doesn’t suffer from being outdated.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.

Trip review Houston / Kemah Texas

I had a recent quick trip to Houston for business. I stayed at the Kemah Texas Holiday Inn Express. Not a bad hotel located near the Ocean front boardwalk area in Kemah. This is on the South side of Houston.

The room was decent although I’m not sure it was much of an upgrade based on my IHG Spire and Ambassador status. The room was comfortable, clean and quiet.  The only negative was the HVAC system. It seemed to be set way too sensitive. It has the dumb Inncom electronic thermostat which can be set to VIP mode but it would switch between cold and hot. For example I came in the room and it was slightly too cold like at 68 degrees so I turned it up to say 69 and the AC would go off and then switch to heat to try and moderate 1 degree.

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The view from my room was nice. It was a bit cloudy and rainy but you could see the boardwalk area and ocean. img_20161106_150027654

The wild colored bathroom sink. Interesting. This room had a walk in good shower. Not sure if all the rooms have walk-in showers. img_20161106_145958886

Another view of the room. Microwave and mini frig. Desk was fairly good set up for work. img_20161106_145937762

A morning run view of the boardwalk amusement area. img_20161107_062803777Part of my morning run in the area. View of the rough sea on a cloudy morning. img_20161107_063438777

I flew into Houston Hobby on AA but had to get over to El Paso for other business so I elected to fly the United non-stop out of IAH. I was surprised that I didn’t have to pay a big surcharge to drop the rental car from National at a different airport so that was impressive.

The regional UA jets are lumped into one terminal cattle holding area where they call you down the hallway method to walk outside to board. I always love it for some odd reason. My wife things I’m an idiot for getting so excited about walking out on the tarmac. img_20161107_144617778Always a good photo-op situation. I love it. img_20161107_144643367

Review of the 2015 Kansas City RV show

2015 Mid America RV Show   GS Events

So my wife, my 19 year old son and I went to the 2015 KC RV show over the weekend. Not a bad show but I wasn’t overly impressed.

So here are the mistakes I made going to the show:

I left my Good Sam’s card at home by mistake. You’ll want to take this to any RV event. At this one I could have gotten $10 off the admission for our group. It was buy one get one free at $10 a person if you had your Good Sam’s card number. I tried to call them to get the number while waiting in line but was on hold for like 20 minutes. My Son and Wife had enough waiting at this point.

Don’t take your 7 foot tall Diesel pickup to the Bartle Hall / Barney Allis / Municipal Auditorium (Identity crisis) parking garage as it’s is less than 7 foot tall. We got lucky and parked in another garage but we would have waited in line at the garage to only have to get the line of cars to backup and let us back out, Yikes.

So mistakes over we paid $10 each to get in. Up the escalators to a giant room for of about 50 fifth wheel trailer toy hauler models. About 50 regular trailers and “5’ers” that aren’t toy haulers and I’m guessing 20 motor homes.

Lost in the middle was a vendor area that must have had about 30 to 40 vendors. I’d guess 15 are trying to sell me house roofs, house windows and other home improvement junk. Why? Not sure. A few booths had campgrounds and a few RV related items but I was rather disappointed in the vendor offering. A local Ford dealer and RV dealer Olathe Ford had some pickups on display as well. I guess I’m too poor to trade in my 2010 F350 on a new F250 or 350 as they are like $65,000 now.

We toured a bunch of trailers. We have a 2012 model 28 foot Forest River Cherokee that we bought for about $13,000 last year so it was interesting to see the new models of various brands. Latest trends seem to be the open rear porch on the toy hauler models. It also seems that the bunkhouse model trailers continue to get more popular all the time. My youngest son is 19 and 6’5”+ so the bunks don’t interest us much but they would be great for families with little kids. They tend to run a little less than the regular models from my experience.

I liked the 2015 Newmar Dutch Star motor home the best. It’s over $300k but it actually seemed nicer than the $600k for the Londonaire model we saw. I don’t know that I would buy a new one but I could see myself in a nice used Dutch Star at a campground far away. Dreams I guess. If they could just figure out how to get unlimited high speed internet for a normal price I could live on one and continue my current job I think.

We bought some soda and 3 pretzels for $22 and finished up the show. It was kind of crowded but not bad on a Sunday afternoon. I’m sure Saturday would have been crazy.

My opinion is that they should work harder to have more vendors selling more RV related items. I think an ATV or scooter dealer would have been popular to see.

The trailers on display should all have a small table near the entrance so you can set your drink or food down before you go into the rigs. Just me I guess.

I’ve never been to the big shows like the Tampa show but I thought it was fairly average. If you are in the market to buy a trailer for sure this would be a good place to go. A motor home it would be OK if you have driven them before I guess. Will I go back next year? Maybe but I won’t forget my Good Sam card next time 🙂

Here are a few photos from the show.

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