Hotel Review: Kimpton Gray – Chicago, IL

It’s not often that you get to stay overnight in a life insurance building that opened back in 1894, but Kimpton isn’t your everyday hotel chain. Now part of the IHG family of brands, Kimpton has a flair for taking extraordinary spaces and turning them into phenomenal hotels. The Kimpton Gray in Chicago is a perfect example.

I’ve already written about how I used my IHG Select Credit Card free night certificate to pay for the room instead of paying the $400+ a night that rooms were going for at the time. The Gray fit our needs for a quick weekend in Chicago, it was located in the Loop and right off the CTA from O’Hare and the United Center. While rooms at this hotel can be expensive, they’re really nice.

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Hotel Review: W New Orleans – French Quarter – New Orleans, LA

When we started to plan our long overdue trip to New Orleans, we needed to find a place to stay. We’re not party animals, so staying on Bourbon St. wasn’t very appealing to us but we still wanted to stay in the French Quarter. Hotels in the area can be quite expensive, with the top properties like the Ritz Carlton, Royal Sonesta and Hotel Monteleone charging over $500 a night, so I figured this would be a great chance to book a hotel with points. Since we were staying for five nights, we’d get a free night on an award stay with Hilton or Marriott. We didn’t have enough Hilton points but we had plenty of Marriott points after the merger with SPG. It would also be our first chance to take advantage of Sharon’s newly acquired Platinum Marriott Rewards status.

We had a choice between several Marriott/SPG properties in New Orleans and finally decided on one which fulfilled our needs…

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WDW’s “Just Kidding!,” Video of “The Unbookable Room,” & More!

Happy Sunday, travel friends! Here are some articles we’ve read this week from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

Hotel Review: Hilton Garden Inn Reagan National Airport – Arlington, VA

I recently traveled to Washington D.C. and needed a place to stay close to Reagan National Airport. Looking at the map, there are plenty of hotels just outside the airport, in the Crystal City area of Arlington, VA. Since I needed a Hilton stay to keep my points alive, I found a good rate at a Hilton Garden Inn that was perfect for my needs. Turns out besides being a great hotel near my conference, this is a great place to stay if doing some sightseeing in Washington D.C. and the surrounding areas.


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Hotel Review: Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Sharon and I have visited Key West many times and we actually started planning this trip shortly after Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys last year. We wanted to visit more sooner than later to help support tourism since people will often avoid places after natural disasters. Even though we’ve found that when visiting Key West we’d rather spend time at an independent hotel than at at a chain property, I just couldn’t pass us a chance to stay at this hotel. This all worked out because before Citi discontinued their Hilton credit cards last year, we signed up for the Hilton Honors Reserve card. Instead of points, like most cards offer as a sign up bonus, this card was offering two weekend nights at any of the Hilton brand hotels. That’s including the Waldorf Astoria properties (well, except for several hotels that were excluded from the offer).

Since this would probably be my only chance to stay at this hotel, I went ahead and booked a Friday to Sunday stay at the Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. Continue reading “Hotel Review: Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort”