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.

Why Chase Hyatt is the Best Status Matching Card – Part 1

If you’ve seen any of my previous posts, you know of my preference for Starwood’s loyalty programs and hotels. However, that does not preclude me, and it should not preclude you from pursuing other options that may not only complement but also accentuate your travelling experience. Several other cards, such as this Chase one, also are important to obtain and keep for various reasons.   WHAT IS THE CHASE HYATT CARD? This is not going to be a generic review of the Chase Hyatt Credit Card, as there must be dozens or hundreds of reviews of this card and...

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So Many Ways to Earn Starwood Starpoints

In this article, I will discuss many different ways to generate Starpoints, the currency of Starwood’s loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), – other than the standard 2x to 4x points per dollar on paid stays. My passion for loyalty programs started with Starwood and I spend the most amount of time in Starwood hotels.   What’s the (Star)point? Why go through all this trouble? Starpoints are some of the most valuable loyalty points available, due to both their versatility – being able to spend on hotels, flights, experiences, etc. – and the Starwood SPG redemption levels, where you...

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Why Starwood loyalty program SPG is the best

Readers of this blog know my affinity for hotels, which would not be possible without robust rewards programs. My passion for Starwood and their loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest, comes from a careful analysis and understanding of the various hotel rewards programs, and the advantages built into the program. With the billions of dollars changing hands and the recent Marriott acquisition of Starwood, I am sure many Starwood members, like myself, are concerned with the future of the program.   What is a typical hotel loyalty program, and why is Starwood the best? There are several main categories of...

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Award Hotel Review: Westin Philadelphia – The Presidential Suite

It’s been a personally strenuous last few weeks and months, but it’s time to get back to regular postings! To brighten our collective spirits, let me share my time at the Westin Philadelphia, which may just be the best hotel stay and experience that I have ever had. To provide the appropriate context, I had stayed at the Westin Phila at the beginning of July, right before both the Fourth of July AND the Democratic National Convention later that week. I was in town with friends for a wedding, and got upgraded to a standard suite, and had complementary...

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Crossover Rewards with Delta: Benefits of SPG Platinum

Starwood and Delta are strong partners, and high status members of each benefit from each other’s services. Per Starwood’s site: Earn Starpoints® and get extra benefits when you fly with Delta; earn miles and enjoy added hotel benefits when you stay with SPG. Having just hit SPG Platinum with the current stay, I was eager to take full advantage of benefits. Thus, I focused on my Delta flight that same afternoon. In this post, I focus on the hotel side and will address the benefits from a Starwood program member standpoint. Of course, as a Delta Medallion member, you also earn benefits...

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The Art of the Ask (How to Say Thank You)

This post is part 3 of 3 of a segment regarding recompense in a travel situation and making a powerful and ultimately successful Ask, and what actions are required by the guest (as simple as a thank you).   Realize that appreciation and a thank you go a long way towards free things. When you make an Ask, know why it can work and the options you have at your disposal, as well as the steps necessary to improve the likelihood of success.   Why can hotels give away perks to guests? Understanding the profitability structure of the hotel is insightful. A study of...

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The Art of the Ask (and What to Get For Free)

This post is part 2 of 3 of a segment regarding recompense in a travel situation and making a powerful and ultimately successful Ask, with the reasons and benefits.   Everybody appreciates free benefits and perks. If you’re celebrating something special, or have some pressing circumstances, you can and should reach for perks from hotels and airlines. My previous article (How to Get Freebies Without Being a Jerk) touched upon how to ask for benefits or compensation when something doesn’t go quite right. But what if everything goes smoothly? How can you improve your experience then? It’s simple. Just convey to the...

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The Art of the Ask (Get Freebies Without Being a Jerk)

This post is part 1 of 3 of a segment regarding recompense and freebies in a travel situation, how to leverage yourself in a travel setting, and making a powerful and ultimately successful Ask.   What is the premise of the Ask? Hospitality, by definition, refers to the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests. Perhaps you’re like me, where you approach travel with a certain minimum level or standard of service and quality. However, not every stay, flight, or trip will meet or fulfill expectations. Some may fall short, and some may blow away your expectations (see...

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The Complete List and Map of Every Starwood Hotel (and How to Use it Efficiently)

Premise Sometimes you don’t know exactly where you’re going, or where you need to find a hotel. Perhaps you’re driving from one side of the country to another, or driving through several states and only have a rough idea, with a wide range of hotel possibilities all over the map. What to do? If you’re like me, with SPG points to spare, you can search their Global Starwood Preferred Guest Hotel Map to find destinations along your route! Likewise, you can search the North American Map by filtering specifically for North America, or clicking here. It is a complete...

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Hotel Review: The Lexington NYC, Marriott Autograph Collection

In town, for another hotel-filled weekend. The Lexington NYC, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, a luxury upscale brand, is located at 511 Lexington Ave, and not to be confused with the New York Marriott East Side, located at 525 Lexington Ave. If you’re taking a car, note for yourself and the driver that the entrance is in fact on 48th St, and not on Lexington Ave. I’m not too familiar with Marriotts, staying primarily in Starwood hotels on my way to Platinum, but this was a change of pace in the big city. ProTip: Main entrance is not on Lexington...

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