Photo review Wyndham Microtel San Antonio airport

Recently visited the Microtel San Antonio San Pedro near the airport. Decent hotel, good location just off the highway and friendly staff. No fitness room but nice pool, free breakfast and clean up to date rooms.

Advertisements

Photo review Microtel Buda Texas -Cabela’s

The Microtel at Buda (South Austin) is located in the Cabela’s parking lot. It’s a great location just off I-35 and much. Better than expected. No fitness center but pool is nice, service is good and spotlessly clean on my visit. Free breakfast was also decent.

Microtel Round Rock Texas

Quick photo review of Microtel Round Rock (Austin area) Texas. Much better property than expected. Clean, well appointed, great fitness center and pool. Super friendly staff. This is one of the better Wyndham properties and at a good value.

My state of mind on hotels today

So I was reading the Travel with Grant blog today and he states how he is in a funk over hotel programs. I agree and attempted to give my 5 cents. Why because it’s free. Not I’m not a troll on Boardingarea. Well maybe I’m sort of a big fan that is opinionated.

So I share some thoughts on most hotel programs below. Keep in mind that I travel 100 to 125 nights a year on business plus vacations and cruises so yes my dogs hate me. My wife travels 75 to 100 nights as well. She is a real IHG Spire loyalist as am I and am a Spire Ambassador (sounds impressive) but I also branch out with Hilton and Marriott a lot. We both hold Silver status with Marriott and I have Diamond with Hilton as well as Gold with Radisson.

Radisson used to be better but 40k a year is worth keeping the card for an odd night or so plus Gold status. I love Radisson Blu hotels and have stayed at a lot of them all over the world.

Hyatt, I love love them but…not enough properties. So I don’t want to waste my stays there.

Marriott, I want to love them, they have properties everywhere, but it’s too hard to earn top tier status. But…once you do you can earn United Silver. But…the free night certs are limited and expire too quickly. I’ve got about a dozen stays in with them this year so far but as a Silver i wonder why I’m not at other chains where my status is higher.

SPG, you should have already moved your points over to Virgin to Alaska when you had the chance. They also have too many places where the hotel selection it too eclectic and it’s not my thing. Points super valuable but a bit hard to rack up quickly in my world.

IHG, I love IHG. They have properties everywhere, well they are weak in Hawaii (come on IHG). As an IHG credit card holder you get a real free night cert that you can use for a year. In addition they have good promos. I also like buying up in points or cash to Intercontinental status for the free night rebates or status share and free weekend BOGO cert although it’s not always the best deal. The IHG card also gives you Platinum status which is a nicer level than some others.

Choice Hotels. They have been going down hill for years. The Cambria properties offer some hope and I really like them but they don’t have Cambria hotels in most areas. In general they are a fancy Wyndham motel or an Ex-IHG,Marriott,Hilton property. The card is OK I guess but I’m not a fan in general.

Wyndham…..They have lied to me many times on promotions and have for years. They have a few good properties but unless you work on a transient labor crew and are forced to “do time” in Super 8’s  or HOJO’s then they are not a good place to be, trust me.

Best Western. They are like an honest Wyndham with slightly better rooms or maybe equal with Choice. The future is bright for them as they seem to be putting in a real effort to improve the hotels but unless you do business travel in a region where they are all over it’s not my first, second or third choice and I’m Diamond with them (don’t ask).

Hilton. You’ll notice they are lumped at the bottom. If it wasn’t for nicer hotels they would be even with Choice or Best Western. They have devalued SO much I’m not sure where the bottom is. I want to love Hilton but they don’t love me back. The Hampton’s are a weak HIX and they devalue faster than I can earn points and I’m a Hilton Diamond. Sure they offer free breakfast and free wifi but isn’t that like free HBO and air conditioned rooms? They also did away with the double dip in another devaluation. 2017 may have seen some of my last stays with Hilton as I watch my Hilton points currency burning in front me faster than I use it. It’s like the Wiemar Republic of the hotel points world. Maybe I’ll start referring to their points as HHonormarks or RReichmarks.

So bottom line is use the cards from the random hotel chains for the perks and odd location awards but Marriott or IHG should be your future until they follow Hilton to the Neverland Ranch. The dynamics change for certain types of travelers I know and I don’t think everyone will agree with me. Just my personal opinion based on my experience and how I’ve been treated by these programs over the years. Plus I’m biased. Now IHG go build some Hawaii properties so I can go there on vacation already 🙂

My advices is to put most of your day to day spend on a good card like Chase Sapphire Reserve and forget doing much spending on hotel cards unless you need the hit to earn a promo, etc. Churn these cards to get points unless your a business traveler and if you are pick the best one that works for you everywhere you go or want awards.

Notice I have no affiliate links in my post so I’m trying to be as honest as I can about my feelings on these properties but keep in mind that I’m a bit biased to IHG in general. 20171218_1448131057734389.jpg

Is it Tripe or Tryp? Marketing Fail

I often see marketing errors. Maybe it’s just me or maybe I have a warped sense of humor but I say to my wife all the time “why didn’t they just ask me?” I could have set them straight before they launched a new product, marketing campaign or brand. This one comes under that topic.

I was browsing through my company travel discount Lifemart site. It’s fun because usually the deals aren’t that great but I’ll save that topic for another day.  I saw an add for a new brand of hotel by Wyndham called TRYP. The first thing, like the very first thing, that entered my mind was the street side signs for Tripe. So how is that bad. Well if you’re not familiar with Tripe it’s not fish or some random sandwich it’s usually beef and is usually made from the muscle wall (the interior mucosal lining is removed) of the first three chambers of a cow’s stomach. It’s fairly gross unless you are one of the few that think it’s great (I guess). Click on the photo below to go find “awesome” recipe ideas.

4590326814_1b4d1b2b04

So Wyndham likely has focus group research and whatever but I call this one a fail. If I was the CEO and someone brought this idea and name to me I would fire them on the spot.

FireShot Capture 1 - TRYP by Wyndham Hotels - https___www.tryphotels.com_en_

In Wyndham’s defense it does look like a nice chain of hotels and way above the Knights Inn’s and Travel Lodge locations they have in many places. I just think that, well…they should have asked me…..OH you mean it’s like “TRIP” not “TRIPE” I get it now.  You too can “Own the City”

Oh and Wyndham if you really want to turn around your company just come ask me about such ideas. I’d be glad to give you my opinion such stuff…really.