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March 2, 2016

Keraton at The Plaza, Jakarta – Hotel Review – Jakarta, Indonesia

Our impression of the Keraton started long before we stepped foot in the hotel. Admittedly a bit wary about spending the next few days in Jakarta (thanks to our friendly hotel owner in Bali!), I was a bit on edge as we arrived at the airport — where we were the only tourists around. My thoughts of dread quickly turned around, though, when we were met with a hotel representative at baggage claim with our name and the Keraton logo on an iPad. He grabbed our luggage and escorted us out of the airport.

Fleet of Mercedes

We came upon a huge fleet of Mercedes Kompressors and we jumped in one with chilled towels (with [...]

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February 19, 2016

Your SPG Starpoints Just Got More Valuable at 114 Properties Starting March 1, 2016

….but they also got less valuable at 168 properties. Starwood just released a list of properties that will be changing categories for award redemption purposes. The changes go into effect on March 1, 2016, meaning that you have about 10 days to either book at the current rate or 10 days to wait until booking at the new rate.

Here’s a map of all of the properties that are changing in value:

For those based in North America, the most interesting ones might be the properties in the US, Mexico and Canada that are decreasing in value:

COUNTRYSTATECITYPROPERTY2015 CATEGORY2016 CATEGORYChange MexicoCoahuilaSaltilloFour Points by Sheraton [...]
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February 13, 2016

Aloft Bangkok Hotel Review

We were head-over-heels excited to be able to squeeze in a quick stopover in Bangkok on our travels from Myanmar to Vietnam. It was our second visit to the city and we couldn’t wait to go back to our favorite spots and uncover more treasures in the bustling capital city.

Bangkok was our first foray into Asian culture back in 2011 and we’ve found ourselves daydreaming about the city ever since we left. The food, the people, the glistening gold temples — everything about this place we loved and we were thrilled to return.

View from our room on the 26th floor

We hurriedly booked our nights at [...]

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May 28, 2015

Sheraton Nashville Downtown Review – Nashville, TN

On a recent trip to Nashville, we booked a night at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown. The location was fantastic for walking around and exploring and its proximity to Broadway – the place to be at nighttime – was one of its selling points. Although we were only there for a night, we had no complaints about our stay and thoroughly enjoyed our time at the hotel.

The hotel recently went through a $25 million renovation, completed in April 2014. Along with updates to the guest rooms, the lobby looks brand new and the wine bar was looking pretty fancy, too. The lobby was large and open, very spacious with many sitting areas. The bones of the hotel looked to be an Embassy [...]

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January 6, 2015

Starwood Winter 2015 Promotion “SPG Double Play”: 2x Starpoints

Don’t miss out on Starwood’s Winter 2015 promo, “SPG Double Play”:

The Deal

From January 5 – April 15, 2015, you’ll earn:

2x Starpoints on all stays of 2+ nights (for a total of 4x points/$ spent for normal member, 5x points/$ spent for SPG Gold and Platinum, and 6x points/$ spent for SPG Platinum-75) 1,000 bonus Starpoints for every five nights, up to 4,000 Starpoints total (essentially 200 bonus Starpoints per stay)

How to Get It

Register here: SPG Promos: “SPG Double Play” by March 31, 2015. Book your SPG stays, remembering only stays of 2 or more nights will get you the 2x Starpoints [...]
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December 5, 2014

W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak – Bali, Indonesia – Hotel Review Part 1

Stop One on our honeymoon was Bali, Indonesia and stop one of our Bali trip was a few days’ stay at the W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak. Prior to our arrival, we had flown from Charleston – NYC, NYC – Frankfurt, Germany, Frankfurt-Bangkok, then finally Bangkok-Denpasar, Bali — arriving in Bali two days after departure. Tired doesn’t even begin to describe us.

But, upon arrival at the W, our excitement quickly took over and we couldn’t wait to explore the grounds and get to our private pool villa (say what?!) ASAP. I have always loved the fun, quirky atmosphere at W Hotels, but this W blew the others away by a long shot. Everything was done [...]

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October 29, 2014

W Santiago Hotel Review – Santiago, Chile

Once we arrived in Santiago, we took a cab from the airport straight to our hotel — the W Santiago in the Las Condes area. Like all W hotels, the best word to describe the hotel was “glamorous.” Like, it seems like Kim K is going to be staying in the suite next door to yours. All W’s, although decorated differently with their own motif, all share the same party atmosphere and glam decor. The W even has a signature scent… to go along with their signature house music. When you’re at the W, you know you’re not going to sleep before 4am.


We arrived at the hotel after one 10-hour, nearly sleepless flight [...]

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September 24, 2014

Blitz Deal: Starwood Fall 2014 Promo: Up to 3x Starpoints Through Dec 15

Don’t miss out on Starwood’s Fall 2014 promo, “More For You”:

The Deal

From September 15 – December 15, 2014 you’ll earn:

2x Starpoints on all stays of 2+ nights (for a total of 4x points/$ spent) 3x Starpoints on all stays that include a Friday or Saturday night (total of 6x points/$ spent)

How to Get It

Register here: SPG Promos: “More For You” by October 31. Book your SPG stays, remembering that Friday or Saturday nights will get you 3x Starpoints. Bonus points will post to your account within 2-4 weeks. Analysis

Here’s what you stand to gain on a typical $250 stay:

The [...]

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September 5, 2014

Starwood September 2014 Promo “Tap Into Luxury” Win up to 250k Starpoints

Starwood is running a mini-promo during September 2014. Since this is more of an instant win game, no hotel stays are necessary; you just need to log in to website every day for a chance to win.

The Deal

Until September 30, 2014, you can enter 2x per day to win one of the following instant prizes:

One of 195 Free Night Awards: Valid at at a Category 1-5 Starwood property One of 390 Starpoints Awards: Either 500 Starpoints, 1,000 Starpoints, or 5,000 Starpoint One of 156 iTunes gift cards: Value of $50 One of 975 Ticketmaster Cash Code certificates: $50 value

Additionally, every time you play, you are given 1 entry to the grand prize:

1 Grand Prize winner [...]
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August 4, 2014

The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa Review – Palm Springs, California


I had a conference here and booked a 3 night stay about 4.5 months in advance. I was able to get a corporate rate of $125 per night.


I booked a 2 Queen room and, despite there being a large conference for the next few nights and the Coachella music festival starting on the weekend, rooms were still available for for the length of my stay. The agent said that they were able to give me an “upgrade” to a Deluxe golf course view room (Deluxe golf, non-smoking:  2 Queen Beds, 525 sq ft / 49 m²) but, after I asked, said that a suite upgrade wouldn’t be possible due to the high occupancy. I confirmed this on the Starwood app:  a [...]

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