Why Would A Hotel Offer A Benefit That Doesn’t Exist?

Back when Sharon and stayed at the Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, the hotel was nice enough to extend my Hilton Gold status to our reservation, even though the reservation was made under Sharon’s account.

Photo Apr 20, 10 04 27 PM

The hotel lobby and public areas were beautifully designed a style I’m going call “Old Money’s Concept Of A Tropical Resort” vibe. While I had to go through a bit of a back and forth, I finally received our letter with the Gold Benefits.

Casa Marina Gold Benefits

We didn’t plan on using most of these benefits, like the discount massages or watersports. I asked about upgrading our room ahead of time and I was told the hotel was almost fully booked. The only things we would use on the list were the two bottles of water (which they even replenished after the first night and never charged us for them) and the Complimentary Continental Breakfast for Two. We usually don’t eat breakfast at the hotel but “our” Starbucks was on the other side of the island so the idea of sitting outside and having a coffee, juice and a muffin didn’t sound that bad.

The Casa Marina’s breakfast restaurant is called Sun Sun and is located just behind the lobby.

IMG_5710 Continue reading “Why Would A Hotel Offer A Benefit That Doesn’t Exist?”

How To Go To New York City & Not Eat Like A Tourist

It’s been estimated that there are 24,000 restaurants in New York City, and that’s not including the other four boroughs – that’s just in Manhattan alone! A good bunch of them are privately-owned, non-chain establishments. So if there’s one thing that I just don’t understand, it’s when people come to New York City as tourists and eat the same food as they would at home.

“We couldn’t find anyplace good to eat so we went to the Olive Garden on 47th between 7th and Broadway. I love their salad and breadsticks!”

“We were thinking of going to TGI Friday’s but ate at the Applebee’s – it was right across the street from the theater.”

“We wanted to eat pizza while we were in NYC, so we went to Pizza Hut.”

Now, I can can see if people have kids in tow and the only thing they’ll eat are Chicken McNuggets. Or maybe they want to go to a touristy place if it’s a “name” that they may never get to go to anywhere else, like the Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood or Junior’s (even I sometimes eat at Junior’s LOL! Oh, their matzoh ball soup and cheesecake!). But did you know you can walk about 2 blocks away from Times Square and eat at the same places New Yorkers eat? And the food might not only taste better, but it may even be a little bit cheaper precisely because they’re not in the heart of Times Square (and paying Times Square rent) and they’re not catering to tourists?

In fact, there’s a whole block of restaurants just like that, and it’s a simple name to remember…

Continue reading “How To Go To New York City & Not Eat Like A Tourist”

Must-Buy Items To Bring Home From Certain Cities

When visiting a certain city, what’s the item you need to bring home? You know, that thing that’s only available there. You might even get excited about going somewhere because you know you’re going to be able to buy this specific item.

Over the years, we’ve developed a list of things we need to bring home if we’re going to be somewhere. Granted, I know that nowadays you can pretty much order anything from anywhere. Frankly, I don’t need these items that much to pay the shipping and handling costs; I can go without them. But if I’m visiting a place where I can just buy it, why should I pass up that chance?

Continue reading “Must-Buy Items To Bring Home From Certain Cities”

New York Pizza, Bagels and Corned Beef Sandwiches, Oh My!

When we travel to New York City, the foods we crave are pizza, bagels and deli sandwiches. Since we moved to Florida from the NY area, we have never found a local place that does any of them as well as they do in New York. Some people say it’s because of the water but places have even tried to import the water and it still doesn’t taste the same. An average slice of pizza in New York is going to be better than the best you can find anywhere else. You can argue this point with me, but you’d be wrong. 😉 Continue reading “New York Pizza, Bagels and Corned Beef Sandwiches, Oh My!”

What’s Your Favorite Breakfast/Brunch Spot in New York?

We’re looking for your suggestions. Unlike our usual trips to New York City, we’re going to have time on Saturday and Sunday morning to go out for breakfast or brunch. We have no idea where to start looking with so many choices in New York, so we’re asking our readers, “what’s your favorite place?” We’re not tied to our usual Manhattan/Times Square locale, so hit us with your favorites.

If you’re really looking to impress us with your suggestions, we prefer to order from a menu instead of a buffet and would like somewhere that wouldn’t require us to dress up too much.

Let it be known that breakfast one day might consist of a meal that looks like this (Edit from Sharon: Excuse me but, ummm, might? MIGHT?!?!?! What is this “might” you speak of? The correct word is “will.” As in, “We WILL have a NY bagel breakfast.” “Might,” he says. [snort] HA!).

New York Bagels Dr Brown Soda
Now that’s a breakfast @ Ess-a-bagel

Thanks for helping us plan our trips and for sharing your favorite places with us!!!!