When you find a hotel rate, especially in the United States, you will rarely, if ever pay just that amount. Just like when you purchase an item in the U.S., unless it says that tax is included, chances are good that you’ll have to pay tax on top of the advertised price; that’s just how we charge for things in the U.S. The same goes for hotels. Unless an advertised price explicitly says that taxes & fees are included, you can bet that something(s) is/are going to be added on to make your final price. And in recent years, some hotels have added on something sneaky called a “resort fee,” too. Plus you often have to put down a deposit for incidentals. But let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start):
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”
Hi y’all! Here are some travel articles we’ve read this week that we thought you might find interesting!
- “It’s 5 O’Clock at a Margaritaville hotel somewhere” should be the new slogan for the hotels bearing the same name as the iconic Jimmy Buffett song. The brand is expanding rapidly from their original focus on beachfront resorts and is now opening locations in major cities. They’ve just announced a hotel in Times Square set to open in 2020.
- Nick from Frequent Miler walks us through a dilemma that all collectors of miles and points eventually has to deal with; should you use your rewards points or should you pay cash? The answer is different for everyone but it depends on what value you give to your points.
- Tourism to Las Vegas is going down and one expert is suggesting the dip is due to hotel fees and parking charges making trips there more expensive.
- Last week, Southwest announced the cities they’ll fly to in Hawaii. This week, they revealed the what airports they’ll fly to Hawaii from. Maybe next week we’ll find out the exact routes.
- Here’s how you can earn an easy 250 Starpoints on each Starwood stay just by using mobile check in with the SPG app.
- Ed from Pizza In Motion tells us which six airlines were added to the list of those that participate with TSA Precheck.
- Theme Park University has a good history of explaining new rides and attraction before they’re done and Hagrid’s Roller Coaster, currently under construction in Hogsmeade in the Wonderful World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure is no exception. Here’s what they write from what they know, what they can gather from the construction so far, and a smidge of whisperings from within the theme park industry.
- Lucky from One Mile at a Time writes about changes that reportedly are coming to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
- Stefan from Rapid Travel Chai shared the news that IHG has changed their minds (again) about the Anniversary Free Night from the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card. This time the change is for the better and IMHO it’s what they should have done in the first place.
- Walt Disney World has held Night of Joy, an annual Christian rock themed event, for over 30 years. Until now. This week they announced they are shelving the popular event.
- When booking a trip for his parents, James from One Mile at a Time learned the lesson that not everyone has the same preferences when they travel. What may seem like a perfectly normal plan to a miles and points junkie doesn’t appeal to the rest of the world. Heed his warning, as these words of wisdom are usually only learned from personal experience.
Don’t forget to join our Facebook Group, where we talk about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel-related articles you may not see otherwise, etc. We’d love to see you there!
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
Hey y’all! Here are the articles we’ve recently seen, written by other travel bloggers and article writers, that we learned from, made us think or maybe made us chuckle a little bit. We hope you enjoy them!
- Sharon and I both sing in choirs so seeing this video of the Kentucky All-State Choir sing the Star Spangled Banner on all 18 floors of the atrium hit a special spot. Imagine waking up in the morning and hearing this outside your hotel room.
- I’ve written about the difference between the seats on JetBlue’s A320 and A321 aircraft. It looks like the retrofit to install the new seats on all of JetBlue’s planes is underway.
- Hopefully I’ll live long enough to travel into space. Until then I’ll just have to settle for the video of Starman driving a Tesla Roadster away from Earth.
- While the TSA has extended the deadline requiring everyone to have Real ID compliant identification, Californians are FINALLY able to get a compliant drivers license.
- Using a combination of feigned ignorance and the $20 trick, Jon from No Mas Coach was able to get a junior suite in Caesars Palace. This would fall just outside my comfort range and I preferred just to ask for an upgrade when we stayed in Vegas.
- It’s now easier for American citizens to visit Brazil. You can now apply for a e-visa online for $40 instead of the previously costly $160 fee and time consuming process required.
- You’re seated on the aisle in a row of three seats with someone in the middle seat. The plane finishes loading and no one sits at the window. SCORE! But what if the person in the middle seat doesn’t move? Awkward!!!!
- Resort Fees (or Urban Destination Fees) are becoming more and more common. We’ve written about how to find out which hotels charge them (and the list keeps growing). I don’t know if Doctor of Credit’s solution of boycotting hotels that charge them will ever work but I do like the other suggestion that he has to help combat them.
- While I may have learned to love staying at timeshare resorts, I’m not ready to sit through a presentation like Stephen and Shae from Frequent Miler did. But at least they were ready!
- Orlando airport is looking at replacing TSA screeners with a private company. While the airport authority already does this at the “other” Orlando airport in Sanford, I’m not sure if I like the idea of even more confusion if the changes happen.
Like this post? We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
And all of a sudden, BOOM, it’s a new year! I know we’re all hoping 2018 will be better than 2017. Meanwhile, here is a quick recap of the posts we wrote this week:
This week Joe wrote about:
- Ten things in 2017 on which we can look back.
- Travel resolutions for 2018.
- How to get discounted Disney tickets from your employer.
- Where you can find genuinely good pizza at the Grand Canyon.
- Whether or not your credit card travel credits reset for the new year.
And Sharon wrote about:
- A humorous look at first class travel (for the rest of us).
- Understanding hotel taxes, resort fees & deposits for incidentals when you rent a hotel room in the United States.
- A visit to TWO wigwam motels.
- How the Bellagio fountains work.
- What you can do since Disney is no longer allowing “Do Not Disturb” signs at some of its resort hotels (a move that is expected to expand in the coming weeks).
Like this post? We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!