Category Archives: Trip Reports

Get to the Oakland International Airport (OAK) Escape Lounge Like a Pro

Disclosure: I have TSA PreCheck, a Clipper Card, and travel with carry-on bags.  If you do not have TSA PreCheck, your security screening will take longer.  If you do not have a Clipper Card, you will need to buy a one-way BART ticket prior to riding BART.  If you need to check your bags, you will need to drop off your bags before going through security.  With that said, here is how to get to the Oakland International Airport Escape Lounge like a pro.

Good morning everyone.  Last week, I wrote Get to the SFO Centurion Lounge Like a Pro.  I wanted to show the East Bay some love too, so I will show you how to get to the Oakland International Airport Escape Lounge like a pro.  This lounge is part of the Escape Lounge collection and is accessible for free if you have an American Express Platinum Charge Card (you can bring in 2 guests for free).  The lounge is located in Terminal 1, between gates 8 and 8A.  The lounge opens at 5am and closes at 9pm, unless the airport is quiet and the lounge will close early.  I’ve been to the Escape Lounge a few times and I recommend reading Points with a Crew’s review of the Escape Lounge.

Image source: https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2016/11/11/norwegian-partners-escape-lounge-oakland-san-francisco/

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Get to the SFO Centurion Lounge Like a Pro

Disclosure: I have TSA PreCheck, a Clipper Card, and travel with carry-on bags.  If you do not have TSA PreCheck, your security screening will take longer.  If you do not have a Clipper Card, you will need to buy a one-way BART ticket prior to riding BART.  If you need to check your bags, you will need to drop off your bags before going through security.  With that said, here is how to get to the SFO Centurion Lounge like a pro.

Good morning everyone, happy Friday. I fly out of SFO often and try to swing by the SFO Centurion Lounge as often as I can – even if it is just for a few minutes to grab a bite to eat before heading to my gate.  I will show you how to get from San Francisco to the SFO Centurion Lounge like a pro.  Since I work in San Francisco, I usually take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to SFO.  I jump on the yellow line headed to SFO and I can get there in under 40 minutes (make sure you are on the train that says SFO / San Francisco Airport).

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BARTMapDay.svg

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Curtis DoubleTree Hotel in Downtown Denver: Themed Floors & Great Breakfast

Good afternoon everyone.  A few days ago, I shared my post: Westin Denver Airport: Gate to Hotel Room in 25 Minutes (or Less).  After spending 1 night at the Westin, we went to the Curtis DoubleTree hotel in Downtown Denver.  This hotel was called the Curtis before DoubleTree / Hilton acquired the property, but kept the original name.  The hotel is next to the Performing Arts Center, Opera House, and Concert Hall and 2 blocks from the 16th Street Mall.

The hotel costs 50,000 Hilton Points or $150-$250 / night.  I had 2 free weekend night certificates from when my 2 Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Credit Cards converted into 2 American Express Hilton Ascend Credit Cards, so I booked Thursday night on points, and Friday and Saturday night using the free weekend night certificates.  Since I have the American Express Hilton Aspire Credit Card, I am a Hilton Diamond Elite Member and got 2 free breakfast vouchers for every day during my stay.  There are several Hilton properties around Denver, but I liked this hotel because of the various themed rooms / floors in the hotel.  I like when a hotel has unique character, similar to my Amazing Stay at DoubleTree Arctic Club Hotel in Seattle (Historic Building Built in 1917).  I hope you like my review of the hotel and plan a visit to the Curtis DoubleTree hotel.

Image source: https://www.thecurtis.com/the-hotel/

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Westin Denver Airport: Gate to Hotel Room in 25 Minutes (or Less)

Good morning everyone, happy Friday.  Last week, my girlfriend and I had a late night flight into Denver International Airport (DEN).  Due to a slight delay, we landed after midnight.  If you’ve ever flown into DEN, you know the airport is in the middle of nowhere, with no hotels closeby.  That was true until recently when the Westin Denver Airport hotel opened.  Nightly rates were $300+, so I opted to use 12,000 SPG.  Thankfully, the hotel is attached to the main terminal, so I was able to get from the gate to our room in 25 minutes.

According to the DEN Airport website, the Westin Denver International Airport has 519 guest rooms, 35 suites, and was “designed to resemble a bird in flight—its curved roof mimicking the concave shape of Jeppesen Terminal’s white peaked roof.”  Underneath the hotel, is the RTD train that connects DEN airport to Denver’s Union Station.  The one-way trip takes 40 minutes, costs $9 per person and runs pretty frequently.  In this post, I will share how to get to the hotel from the various terminals and show photos of our room.  Enjoy!

Image source: https://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3685

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Hotel Review: Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos All-Inclusive Resort

I had intended to review another property in Cabo, but due to the problems, I left after one day and booked my remaining 5 days at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos.

This property was great and I really had no problems during my stay. The stay cost me 20,000 Hyatt points per night, so 100,000 points total for the stay. Since this property is an all-inclusive, they usually charge more for the room depending on the number of occupants; single occupancy is the cheapest. This makes sense as they are essentially paying for the food and drink of all occupants. I was surprised that the 20,000 points per night was the same for 1 or 2 occupants, but the cash price was not. For only 7.3 million Hyatt points, you could live here for a year, all-inclusive. Well, you would have to find someone to do your laundry as that’s not included, but everything else is!

Image source: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/mexico/hyatt-ziva-los-cabos/sjdif

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