Tag Archives: SPG


PSA: Don’t use a Third Party Card in the Hotel Key Card Wall Slot (or Decline Housekeeping)

Good morning everyone, greetings from the Alaska Airlines Lounge in SeaTac airport (no Centurion Studio on this trip). I had a great time meeting blog readers at the FTU Advanced Seattle travel conference and look forward to seeing you again soon at the upcoming FTU Advanced Minneapolis, Chicago Seminars, or a TWG meetup.

For the recent FTU Advanced Seattle, I stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton Seattle Airport South. The hotel has your typical key card wall slot to turn on the electricity and heat/AC for the room. Fun fact: pretty much any plastic card will work in the wall slot, including credit cards, debit cards, other hotel key cards, and my Priority Pass card. I read about this trick online a few years ago and heard a few stories that housekeeping will sometimes take the card from the wall slot after cleaning your room. That’s exactly what happened to me yesterday.

Four Points Key Card Wall Slot

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Travel with Grant will be at FTU Advanced Seattle this Weekend – Say Hello!

Good morning everyone, happy Friday.  I will be flying up to Seattle this weekend to attend FTU (Frequent Traveler University) Advanced, a travel conference where some of your favorite travel bloggers will be presenting.  If you see me at the event (I’m not hard to spot, just look for the gray Travel with Grant shirt), feel free to stop and chat with me.  I am not presenting and I’ve heard most of the presenters many times, so I am mainly there to talk to fellow travel bloggers, readers, and catch up with old friends.

FTU Advanced Seattle

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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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Aloft Bogota Colombia Airport Hotel Review (SPG Category 1 + Free Airport Shuttle)

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Good Wednesday morning everyone.  A few weeks ago, I returned from my short week-long trip to South America.  Before I left for my trip, I wrote Trip Planning and Award Booking for South America: Bogota, Buenos Aires & Iguazu Falls.  Shortly after returning from my trip, I wrote Grant is Back from South America: Upcoming Hotel Reviews & Trip Reports.  I am sorry for the delay, but I am finally starting my trip report.  Starting chronologically, I will start with my 2 night stay at the Aloft Bogota Airport Hotel (pictured below is an artist rendition, the actual hotel does not look as colorful in real life).

Image source: https://www.starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3600&language=en_US

Image source: https://www.starwoodhotels.com/alofthotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3600&language=en_US

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My Criteria for the Perfect Hotel Lounge and my #1 SPG Lounge

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. Before I tell you my favorite great one, it makes sense to define the qualities that make for greatness. See what you think of my 13 criteria. Here’s my list (in no special order):

1. REAL food. For me, snack foods don’t count. And include salad, please! Too many lounges put out bowls of what they call salads, but they are usually unidentifiable and filled with some kind of dressing. I’m talking about a simple green salad with some vegetables.

2. Fresh fruit. During the day, it’s great to be able to stop into the lounge and get a piece of fruit.

3. A concierge who is outside of the lounge. I’ve seen this set-up in a few places and it makes total sense. It keeps the lounges quieter and less congested. Continue reading