Tag Archives: Hilton


My Favorite Hilton Lounge in the World is…

Do you have a favorite hotel lounge? I don’t mean one that’s good, but rather one that takes good and turns it into GREAT. Seems to me, many lounges are fine, or even good, but in each hotel chain there are usually a few standouts.  I previously mentioned my 13 criteria for the perfect hotel lounge.

I’ve already talked about my favorite Sheraton lounge and Hyatt lounge, so what’s my favorite Hilton lounge?  There are a few Hilton lounges that I like, but the Hilton in Budapest is great and my favorite pick from the Hilton’s I’ve stayed at.  In general, I had a fantastic experience at this hotel and highly recommend it. (Lounge images courtesy of the Hilton Budapest staff)

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My Upcoming Long Presidents Day Weekend in Cabo San Lucas (+ your Restaurant & Activity Recommendations)

Good morning everyone, I am heading down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico tomorrow for a long Presidents Day Weekend.  A few months ago, I wrote Redeem Virgin Atlantic Miles for Virgin America Award Flights (Complete Route Network from SFO).  In that post, I showed how it was possible (at the time) to redeem Virgin Atlantic miles for travel on Virgin America (this partnership is no longer possible since Alaska Airlines is acquiring Virgin America).  Long story short, I redeemed 25,000 Virgin Atlantic miles for a round trip Virgin America flight from SFO to SJD (Cabo).  This will be my second trip to Cabo and I wrote about my first trip in these posts:

During my first visit, I stayed at the beautiful Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort and loved the property.  Here is a view from my room that overlooked the pool and beach.

Hilton Cabo View2

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Tahoe Winter Weekend: Snowboarding @ Mt. Rose, Hampton Inn Truckee, Snowshoeing & Snowmobiling

Good morning everyone, happy Thursday.  Last weekend, my brother and I went on a road trip from San Francisco to Tahoe (in the Sierra Nevada Mountains).  Along the way, we stopped in Roseville (just outside Sacramento) and visited Topgolf (read: My First Time to Topgolf: Family-Friendly Driving Range with a Sports Bar).

After leaving Roseville and our cheap 10,000 Marriott point Fairfield Inn Roseville, our first stop was Mt. Rose, a snow-covered mountain about 15 minutes outside of Reno, Nevada.  We were planning on staying at a hotel in Reno, but changed our plans at the last minute, but we had already committed to Mt. Rose lift passes.  The mountain is not as popular or crowded as Squaw Valley or Northstar, which was nice.  Lift passes are $105/day, which might be more/less than the other mountains, I’m not sure.  Here are some pics from around the base of the mountain near the ticket window and atop the slopes.  #snowboarderforlife

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My Outrageous 2017 Travel Predictions + Reader Ideas Needed

Good morning everyone, I’m sorry for the delay, but I have been diligently thinking about my 2017 travel predictions.  I am going to channel my inner Nostradamus to come up with some outrageous travel predictions for 2017.  Doctor of Credit has a good resource for all other 2017 travel predictions.

Disclaimer: I have made some travel predictions in previous years and I am more often wrong than right, but that losing streak has not dampered my prediction spirit.  To see how bad I am at making predictions, please read A Look Back at my 2016 Predictions (Airlines, Hotels, Credit Cards & MS).  I consider myself an optimistic pessimist (I prepare for the worst, but hope for the best), so these travel predictions will sound depressing.


  • Southwest seems bent on making the Companion Pass very difficult to get unless you fly Southwest every week.  I believe credit card signup bonuses will no longer count toward the Companion Pass and Southwest might kill the whole concept of the Companion Pass entirely or switch to a certificate program similar to the Alaska Airlines companion fare or Virgin America companion ticket.
  • Other airline credit cards will adopt the Alaska Airlines companion fare (you pay full price and your companion pays up to $120) or the Virgin America companion ticket (you pay full price and your companion pays full price minus $150).

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Suggestions for My Upcoming Solo Trip to Spain

Good morning everyone.  Happy New Year’s Day!  I just got back from 10 glorious days in my south Florida hometown and now I’m having a difficult time re-adjusting to the chilly Charlotte weather.  In a little over 1 week, I’m heading to Barcelona, Spain for a week and I was hoping to get some suggestions from you beautiful people on what I should do while I’m there.  It will be my first visit to Spain and my first solo trip internationally.

Air:  A few months ago, I snagged a roundtrip ticket on TAP Portugal for $300 via Priceline.  Spain has always been high on my wish list and I figured $300 was probably as good as it gets for roundtrip fare.  I’ll be on a redeye from JFK to Lisbon, Portugal and then a 2 hour 45 minute layover around lunchtime before continuing on to Barcelona just in time for dinner.  I’m assuming 2 hours and 45 minutes isn’t enough time to leave the Lisbon airport even if it’s just for lunch…right?  I used Citi Thank You points to get my flight from Charlotte to JFK.

Hotel:  I’m staying at the Alexandra Barcelona by DoubleTree for the first 2 nights and then was thinking I could take a train or get a cheap flight on Vueling to Nice, France for a side trip.  The last 2/3 nights I’m staying at the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona.  I still have Hilton Diamond status so I’m hoping I can get decent room upgrades on my stay. Continue reading