Starwood Preferred Guest Posts

Review: Suite at The ITC Grand Chola, Chennai India


On my business trip to India, we spent a few days in the south of the country, in Chennai.  There are some excellent hotels here, and while there we stayed at the ITC Grand Chola, which is affiliated with Starwood Preferred Guest.  Like my stay at the Westin Gurgaon, I successfully ...
2 Comments

Review: Executive Suite at the Westin Gurgaon, India

The Westin in Gurgaon, India is a fresh, modern hotel relatively close to Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi, and to the office where I would be working for a few days.  It also came highly recommended from a colleague, and it is pretty well reviewed online.  It was a very nice hotel, and ...
2 Comments

Utilizing New Balance Workout Gear Rental at Westin Hotels

Working out, and for me especially running is a necessary part of my travel experience for both the physical and mental benefits.  Despite being a regular gym-goer, and a frequent traveler, I sometimes realize I didn't pack properly.  On a recent trip, I discovered I forgot my workout ...
3 Comments

The Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt

I've stayed in Frankfurt many times on layovers.  This time, thanks at least in part due to having more time with a late afternoon arrival, I decided to leave the airport area to stay in the city.  I decided on the Le Meridien Parkhotel.  It would be the 3rd Le Meridien hotel of this ...
1 Comment

A tour of Hyatt Hotels

After many years of wallowing around in the mire of other programs, I have become a fully-fledged Hyatt enthusiast.  I tried SPG, Hilton, IHG and even Club Carlson.  They all have their place and time.  I don't always have a choice of where I stay, but when a Hyatt is available, I am ...

Exclusive: SPG Opens an Opulent New Milanese Property

***It's time you UPGRD your inbox.  If you haven't yet subscribed to the UPGRD Newsletter you could be missing out on giveaways, events, and more.  Click here to subscribe and enter a comment below with what you like most about the new Milan Excelsior Gallia property or SPG for a chance to ...
1 Comment

The Le Meridien Angkor, my home base in Siem Reap

Cambodia has been a place I've long wanted to visit, so it was exciting to finally be here!  Since my plans had changed somewhat, and was traveling alone, I opted to be a little more frugal and stay at the Le Meridien.  Its a plenty nice hotel, but I couldn't really justify the splurge on ...

My time in Kuala Lumpur and at the Le Meridien

I really enjoy Southeast Asia, and Kuala Lumpur is a favorite destination there.  I was excited to have a little more time to explore and eat in this fun city.  And gawk at the Petronas Towers...

Moon over the Petronas Towers
My time in Kuala Lumpur (KL) was just a bonus ...
6 Comments

Review: Le Meridien Ile Des Pins


Prior to this trip, this was probably in the top three of SPG resorts I wanted to visit. I stumbled upon it a few years ago while just browsing the SPG website, and my first reaction was, “Where the heck is New Caledonia?” Reaction two: “Wait a minute… a tropical ...
1 Comment

Credit Card Application - UPDATE

A couple of days ago I applied for a few cards and shared which they would be.  I mentioned that becuase of being out of the country off and on over a recent four-year span, my credit history looks like swiss cheese with holes all over the place.  I wasn't terribly confident in how many of ...
5 Comments

It's Credit Card Application Day - Which Ones and Why I Value Them

I am not quite like other bloggers in that I have only as of late really started to apply for reward earning credit cards with any consistency, though I have carried a few accumulated over time.  My situation was unique, as my wife and I were in and out of the country for four years (mostly ...

The Le Meridien Vienna - Star to Spain

This trip was primarily intended to go Spain, but I was happy to explore some new places even for a short stay.  We ended up book ending this trip with some short overnights in some major capitals, Zurich, Madrid and now Vienna.

The sitting room in our Executive Suite at Le Meridien ...

Skip the hotel reception desk - Aloft Hotels offer Smart Check-In

Starwood Preferred Guest continues to be innovative in their promotions and programs.  Recently, they offered a special program to allow guests to bypass the check in desk, by providing a reusable RFID card that could be used as a guest key at certain properties.  

My Smart ...
1 Comment

AVE high speed train for a day in Madrid - Star to Spain

Most of my trip reports are about airplane and hotel experiences, but for some variety, here is a quick review of the AVE high speed train that we took from Seville to Madrid.  Plus, a little bit from our brief time in Madrid.

AVE train at Seville Santa Justa ...
1 Comment

The Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville- Star to Spain

After our time in Málaga and Granada, our last stop on our trip in Andalusia was in Seville.  Here we let a hotel promotion help guide our destination planning to some extent.  I had some free SPG nights to use, so we tried to maximize this redemption. ...

Presidential Suite at the Sheraton San Diego Marina - Free Upgrade!

Everyone likes surprises.  On a recent trip to San Diego, when I walked up to my hotel room after checking in, I was certainly surprised to see this:
An upgrade to the Presidential Suite, for free!
I have been quite fortunate with free upgrades in my Starwood stays through the years, ...
1 Comment

2013: Year in Review

2013 has been an exciting year for me, and I am fortunate that I once again had the chance to travel quite a bit! I graduated from college in May, and immediately went to work at trying to maintain my status while also working full-time.
90% of my travel in 2013 was for leisure, while the ...
4 Comments

2013 in review- a lot of Regionals, but some First too

It is nearly 2014, which means it is time to reflect on the past year, and look ahead to the what the new year may bring.  It also means the counters reset for elite status qualification (argh!)
Here is my flight map from 2013.  
Obviously much of my flying was domestic for ...
2 Comments

Starwood Suite Night Awards expiry extended 4 more months

2013 has been the year of devaluations in loyalty programs.  I was pleased to learn of a positive change for once.  
 

Marvellous Suite at the W Hong Kong
 
Suite Night Awards from Starwood Preferred Guest that were scheduled to expire at the end of 2013 ...

Review: Sheraton on the Park Sydney (Executive Suite)

I’ve had the pleasure of doing business in Sydney a couple times this year, and for my most recent stay, I decided to give the Sheraton on the Park a try. Last time I was in town, I stayed at the Marriott on the Harbor. I selected the Marriott for my first stay based on its proximity to the ...
1 Comment