The Hotelion

Hotel & Casino Specialist. I pride myself on economic perspective and efficient travelling, and most recently - restaurant reviews. My goal is to make your travel money go further and experiences more fulfilling.

Latest Cruise Updates – Disney Cruise Line Suspensions through Early December!

Premise Disney Cruise Line, one of the major cruise lines, announced the suspension of all departures through at least December 6, 2020. This does not bode well for the other cruise lines, who tend to follow suite. Once one starts to cancel, the others quickly follow, as not to be left behind. They are waiting on CDC guidance which they expect at the end of September, but Disney proactively cancelled through December 6, 2020. I had a fantastic experience on my first cruise last year, on the NCL Bliss to Alaska with several dear friends, and can’t wait to...

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Check out Bellevue, Washington, and find the perfect apartment with Zumper!

This post is sponsored by Zumper – an apartment / house rental search tool.  Premise As COVID continues to ravage the American economy and upend our already-hectic lifestyles, more and more tech workers are seeking to move out of the Bay Area and other tech hubs towards cheaper, easier living elsewhere, such as Salt Lake, Denver, and others. I’ll be focusing on Bellevue, WA, which is a large place in itself (130,000) and comparable to Seattle in price, with plenty to do. In my spare time, I like researching cities that are either places where I want to visit,...

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CNBC: Weekly mortgage refinances fall as interest rates suddenly turn higher

PREMISE I haven’t been traveling, but I have undergone a very strenuous property acquisition, and upgrading my living situation to a nice luxury-hotel-like experience has done wonders for my mental health. I found this article from CNBC about refinances falling and interest rates rising and found it quite interesting, having spoken with many friends and colleagues about mortgages and refinancing.   Details The article is a quick and easy read, with some key points below: Mortgage application volume down 3.3% WoW Refinance demand down 5% WoW, still up 38% YoY Mortgage applications for new home purchases up just 1%...

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Sponsored Review: PineTales Buckwheat Pillow – Great for Travel!

Sponsored – this review is sponsored by Pinetales via their marketing team.    PREMISE It’s been a long while since I’ve posted, since all travel has been shot! However, I got an inquiry to test out some cool Buckwheat pillows from Pinetales and have them on a local camping trip! It compares favorably to two pillows I currently own – memory foam and poly-fiber. It’s definitely firmer than both, but you can adjust and modulate a buckwheat pillow to your liking. They are also currently running a summer sale – 30% off everything, no promo code required. Read on for...

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How I’m saving $45+ a Month on Credit Card Annual Fees with American Express!

PREMISE During this difficult, unprecedented, uncertain, trying, insert-your-own-corporate-COVID19-word-here time, I’ve been hyperfocused on trimming my budgets, much of which were slashed to the bone. While we’ve been fortunate to remain gainfully employed, and actually better via my side-hustle income (improving my savings) and lowered expenses, I wanted to take this time to see where my money was going and how to save on expenses. One of my largest non-house costs is my American Express Hilton Aspire card, which costs me $450 a year, as well as my American Express Hilton Ascend (now Surpass) Card, which is $95 a year....

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Peek Behind the Curtain: Hotel & Restaurant Management via Culinary School + Let’s Chat about Travel!

Premise It’s been a difficult, unprecedented, uncertain, insert-your-own-corporate-COVID19 word here, time, and my travels have ground to a halt. However, I have still kept up with the news – guarded reopenings of the country, Depression-level unemployment – and thought more about the many people who are affected job-wise. The front line service-workers are the ones hit the hardest from such a pandemic. Wondering about their predicament and desire to increase job security and safety, I looked into the hospitality career track. During and after my time at business school, I also thought about getting my Master’s in Hotel Administration....

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Honeymoon Restaurant Review: Locavore & Locavore To-Go, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

HIGHLIGHTS: Restaurant Locavore & Locavore To-Go During my amazing stay in Ubud, Bali, we were fortunate enough to enjoy a top-tier restaurant in Locavore. The first day we had some amazing lunch at Locavore To-Go – their fast casual restaurant, where their burgers were pricey but fantastic. We also enjoyed a longer, multi-course dinner at Locavore the next day, which was a wonderful experience. It reminded me of my experiences in the States at places like Atelier Crenn and French Laundry – with many small dishes each with very select ingredients. My standard restaurant reviews include a breakdown by...

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Random Musings: Investment in Norwegian Cruise Line & Stockholder Benefit

Premise – Stockholder Benefit During this COVID-19 social distancing, I’ve had time to reflect on travel-related stories, and wanted to plan for a future trip. I had such a blast on Norwegian Cruise Line last year on the Norwegian Bliss that I thought hey, why not try to score another one later this year after all this crazy goes away? During my research last year I found that NCL has a Shareholder Benefit – much like all the other cruise lines, where owning shares of the parent company grants you onboard credit (OBC) for use on the ship! I...

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Hotel Review: Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee

HIGHLIGHTS: Loews Vanderbilt Hotel This was a wonderful experience, and definitely a great breath of fresh air after coming here from my previous hotel. It’s located a ways from downtown Nashville, but highlights include the spacious, quality room, pleasant lobby area, and the house car that will take you around (within a few miles)   My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Lobby Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness Miscellaneous   LOBBY & CHECK-IN Directly in the swivel door is the...

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Hotel Review: Residence Inn by Marriott Nashville at Opryland

HIGHLIGHTS: Residence Inn by Marriott Nashville at Opryland What a pleasant stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott Nashville at Opryland – with their wonderful shuttle, convenient restaurants and things to see nearby, and spacious rooms, it was a great experience. At just 50K points for two nights, it was also a good deal.   My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting. Highlights Lobby Room Hotel Space / Ambiance Food & Drink Fitness Miscellaneous   LOBBY & CHECK-IN This was a weird building, with an...

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