Friday, October 28, 2011

Historic Places for a Spooktacular visit

Texas is perceived as a State with modern buildings but surprisingly, there are many haunted places that draw travelers for Halloween. The Menger Hotel, San Antonio is one of the best known and old hotels in the state of Texas. It’s located adjacent to the Alamo. The hotel opened in 1859, just 23 years after the bloody battle at the Alamo and the famous cry of the Alamo has been heard, - “Don’t forget the Alamo” The brave settlers were brutally killed by the attacking Mexican forces. The Alamo is an impressive building still standing in the center of the city. You can earn Stash Points to redeem them for free nights.
When you step into the Victorian lobby of the Menger Hotel, you feel as if you have been transported to a time of frontier history and expect Davy Crockett to walk by.
The beach Hotel Galvez & Spa, a Wyndham Grand Hotel, invites guests to embark on enthralling ghost hunts during the month of October. The hotel has had Royalty,Presidents and famous guests like Howard Hughes, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. I love to visit this hotel in both summer and winter because the pool is heated and long walks along the beach are invigorating, though I cant help thinking about the 8,000 people that died at the waterfront following the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. This “haunted” Texas hotel apparently has a lady spirit roaming the large luxury hallways of the 5th floor of the hotel. You can request the haunted room, it’s room 505, where she committed suicide. Even though I don’t believe in ghosts, I made sure that I was not allocated that room! You can never be too safe.
Another hotel from that era is The Luxury Collection hotel in San luxery collectionDiego is the The U.S. Grant. President Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s son named this hotel after his adventurous father. I love the hotel but I don’t like that this hotel does not conform to the brand in that it does not have many bath tubs and they don’t participate in the new Elite SPG Triple Up promotion, to earn triple Starpoints on stays including a Thursday or Sunday night till December 18, 2011.
Got Kids? You can have a Ghoulish Time When You Stay at Fairfield Inn and Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Marriott Village, and attend Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The Lake Buena Vista hotel is a good place to stay because they have a shuttle so you don’t have to rent a car or park far from Disney’s Magic Kingdom. There are many events for kids big and small from 7 p.m. through midnight, including:
  • Mickey's "Boo-to-You" Halloween Parade at 8:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular at 9:30 p.m.
  • Trick-or-treating throughout Magic Kingdom at numerous treat locations is safer that going to strangers homes.
  • Characters dressed up in costumes for Halloween
  • Access to Magic Kingdom® attractions and events
The Fairfield is situated by top attractions, this Lake Buena Vista, Orlando hotel is near Disney World® Resort, Universal Studios, SeaWorld® and Orlando Premium Outlets offering designer shopping. Start your day with a complimentary continental breakfast, then purchase your attraction tickets in the lobby or call 1-407-939-1289 to order tickets. I have also enjoyed staying at the Courtyard hotel, next door to the Fairfield in the Marriott Village but Courtyard's don’t have the free breakfast and are slightly more expensive than the Fairfield.
marriott rewardsORLANDO, Fla. has many great hotels, My favorite luxury hotel is the JW Marriott because it has a wonderful Spa. Visit SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular and enjoy special events for little ones, including: Guests also can create Halloween and sea-themed arts and crafts at any of the fun workshops and spooky stations.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Free stays count toward elite qualification at Sheratons

In this economy, it is not easy to qualify for elite status at hotels considering that Marriott Hotels require 75 nights a year to remain Platinum Elite, whereas Starwood require 50 nights to attain Platinum. Many travelers wanting elite status, have to choose one loyalty program. I’m choosing to remain loyal to Starwood because they have been good to me with upgrades to suites. This new initiative by SPG will make it easy to qualify for Elite status.
Starwood (HOT) announces Q3 earnings on the 27th of October and I think that they will beat expectations despite the bad economy because loyalty is the name of the hotel game.
As a Platinum Elite member, you get room upgrades upon check-in at Marriott Brands but suites are excluded. MR-Logo_WTagUpgrades are not available at Marriott Vacation Club, and upgrades from studio to one- or two-bedrooms are not guaranteed at Residence Inn® and TownePlace Suites®.
You get Hyatt elite Diamond status after 25 eligible stays or 50 nights. It does get you a free suite upgrade at the time of reservation four times annually on paid room nights.
Amazing news! Starwood brands are taking the lead again! Award stays now count toward elite status. All of your SPG Award stays and eligible nights will earn credit toward elite status qualification.
when you redeem Starpoints  for Free Night Awards and Cash & Points Awards, those stays will help you earn Gold or Platinum elite status each year. Plus, stays using Free Night Awards earned during promotions count as well.
Any other type of SPG Award or Voucher stays, such as Air Canada's Aeroplan awards, etc., will not count toward elite status. If I redeem Starpoints for five free nights, the Fifth Night Free benefit also counts towards my elite status qualification That’s a deal upon a deal ! The only time that you don’t get elite nights are when you give your points to someone else. If you decide to gift an SPG Award stay or night to someone else , the receiver will be given the stay credit toward elite status qualification.
ihg brands
The highest Elite level at ichHotels Holiday Inn’s Priority Club is reached if you stay 50 or more nights or earn 60,000 points per calendar year: This gets you complimentary room upgrades (subject to availability) at all the Intercontinental brands. IHG was voted ‘Best Elite-Level Program’ at the 20th Annual Freddie Awards.