Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Continental OnePass iDine

News Flash! PROGRAM ENDING: - Unfortunately the Continental Airlines OnePass Dining program, operated by Rewards Network, will end on October 31, 2008. This was a great way to accumulate miles with the airline.
Will be missed !


When brand uniformity offers a comprehensive approach to travel at all their properties it makes it so much easier to travel. Knowing what to expect reduces logistical preparation on my part because I don’t have the time to research each hotel individually. Business travel should be convenient since, time is of essence. Knowing the hotel brand and category helps and an elite Check-in-Desk speeds things up. Gotta streamline where ever you can to keep ahead of the ratrace.

Staying on the Club Floor and having evening Hors D'oeuvres plus Continental Breakfast in the Club, Regency or concierge Lounge is the best time saver. SPG, Marriott Platinum or Hyatt diamond membership has this advantage.

I like the Marriott brand because it ensures efficient travel. I can feel confident that the Marriott hotels will have a coffee maker, iron, internet, a bath tub, hairdryer, a full length mirror and a familiar floor plan that means that I can find the bathroom in the dark.

I have to digress here by lamenting that I wish more hotel designers would have the consideration to put in a night light in the bathroom. Unfortunately I have only come across 2 hotels that offer this convenient feature.

  1. The J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ

  2. The Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays, in South Africa

This is much appreciated when I wake up in the dark, jetlagged and disoriented in the middle of the night and take a few seconds to remember where I am in this world.
Can’t do without amenities that are featured characteristics of upscale hotels are Robes, mini-bar, high speed internet and lighted make-up mirrors.

Sites to help with planning: CitySearch;; idine; Expedia; Hotwire;; TripAdvisor; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. ; Out and Out Traveler; Marriott Hotels & Resorts; Renaissance Hotels & Resorts; Marriott Conference Centers; Crowne Plaza and InterContinental Hotels; Hyatt

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mexican village church

Driving in Mexico is not so easy because our GPS sent us up some mountainous dirt roads but it is much more pleasant to drive in the country side than in the chaos of Mexico City. We were on the road from Taxco to The Marriott Ixtapan de la Sal Hotel & Spa, and came across a typical Mexican church. The name of the chapel was, St. Judas and I felt drawn to visit it.
I went into the beautiful church and sat on a back pew to say a little prayer (to show my respect for the institution). It was a wonderfully peaceful feeling to soak up the serenity offered in this somber cocoon.
There is so much evil in the big city where even the police cannot be trusted, but here in the country-side, with the goats and donkeys outside, I could feel the goodness and peace.
A tiny old lady was sitting embroidering in the corner. The two of us were alone in this aged, high building. Her grey hair was braided (platted) in the traditional Indian style, a ray of the bright sunlight had made its way into the dark church to illuminate her. I walked over to her and gave her 50 pesos and complimented her on her beautiful church. She smiled and got up to put the donation into the hole of a padlocked box, with reverence. I was warmed at this proof that the “gente humilde” (humble people),... folk are inherently good. What a pity that the politicians in Mexico are not as honest.

Welcome to my travel blog

This is a blog with information on elite benefits for travelers holding elite status. Those of us that like to have an organized, constant but sophisticated hospitality experience will find interesting anecdotes.