Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: YVE Hotel MIA

Do you ever feel nervous after you've booked a big city hotel? From the moment I made my reservation at the YVE Hotel Miami, I knew I made the right decision.

Talk about location! The YVE Hotel Miami is in the heart of downtown Miami, and within easy walking distance of Bayside Marketplace, the Adrienne Arsht Center (saw the amazingly talented Chris Cornell perform) and American Airlines Arena (missed the Heat for Chris Cornell, sorry!).

The stylish, modern lobby is a great predecessor for the bright, contemporary rooms. Although the bathroom was a little cozy, our Savvy Double room (#1508) offered beautiful views of Biscayne Bay and the cruise ships at PortMiami. Our room was clean, the beds were extremely comfortable; amenities included a flat-screen TV, a desk and available room service.

The friendly staff at the on-site Biscayne Tavern restaurant/bar did a good job of helping me identify gluten-free items on the menu as I’m Celiac. Even better yet, the Biscayne Tavern offers 50% off drinks and appetizers from 4-6pm, 7 days a week, and 20% off during regular hours for hotel guests.

Additional amenities at the YVE Hotel Miami include a fitness room, meeting space, and concierge service including BigBusTours and cruise terminal/airport transfers. Note: a daily amenity fee includes Wi-Fi; one drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) per person/per day in the lobby; 2 bottles of water; morning coffee and newspaper; US/Caribbean local/long distance telephone calls.

Overall, staying at the YVE Hotel Miami was excellent value for the money! Again, you just can’t beat the price and the epic downtown Miami location. I would highly recommend the YVE Hotel Miami to anyone visiting the area for business or for pleasure ;)

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

Review: Hampton Inn Spokane

Call me crazy, but I’ve always loved a good hotel. I recently had the chance to check out the updated Hampton Inn Spokane when I traveled out of Spokane International Airport on vacation to the sunny Caribbean.

My friend and I arrived at the Hampton Inn Spokane later than expected, finally having ‘completed’ our last-minute pre-trip shopping, or so I momentarily thought. We were exhausted, and as we checked in, I realized I neglected to buy locks for my suitcase. As the hotel sundry shop didn’t have any, the ever-so-accommodating front desk staff offered to send their shuttle drive over to Walmart for me. To keep things easy, they even charged the locks to my room bill - very impressive customer service, thank you!

The relaxed rooms and suites at the Hampton Inn Spokane are spacious and comfortable. Each features the “Clean and fresh Hampton bed®” - love sticky on the headboard that reads: Note to Guest - Pillow cases, sheets and bed topper are ALL clean & fresh! What a great, welcoming touch.

We had an early flight, so we grabbed a bagged breakfast from the front desk on the way to the airport the next morning (which unfortunately didn’t work well for me as I’m Celiac) but it did do the trick for my friend.

Upon our return, there were approximately 8 of us on the shuttle and since it was creeping past 01:00am as our flight was late, I was dreading having to line up with everyone to get our room key, etc., but the front desk clerk was completely prepared - all we needed to do was sign our registration and were given the keys immediately. The whole process for all of us took less than a minute. Again, very impressive.

Let’s take a look at the Hampton Inn Spokane hotel basics:

Hampton Inn Spokane rooms & suites:
  • spacious rooms
  • free Wi-Fi
  • flat-screen TVs
  • desks
  • minifridges
  • microwaves
  • coffeemakers
  • suites add separate living areas; most have whirlpool tubs

Hampton Inn Spokane amenities:
  • 24-hour airport shuttle, business center, fitness room, indoor pool & hot tub
  • complimentary hot breakfast buffet from 06:00-10:00am (waffles, toast, omelettes, yogurt, fruit, coffee, bakery items, cold & hot cereal) - although if you’re Celiac like I am, the choices were less abundant
    • with bagged lunches (including bottled water) for those with earlier flights
  • complimentary coffee and cookies in the lobby
  • a sundry shop
  • a coin-operated laundry
  • meeting space
  • a late 12:00pm check-out time
  • non-smoking; no pets allowed (except service animals)
  • Park and Fly options
  • HILTON HHONORS points, plus use the app to check-in and choose your specific room
Overall, I was very impressed by the pro-active customer service, rooms and amenities at the Hampton Inn Spokane - I truly did feel valued as a guest. I’d cheerfully recommend the Hampton Inn Spokane to anyone and look forward to staying again on my next trip.

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Pralines New Orleans Style!

Ahhh, New Orleans. Conjures up visions of lazy humid days, music, history, Mardi Gras and of course, pralines! Love those things ;)

Once you've had your fill of the scrumptious beignets at Cafe du Monde, moving on to pralines is the next logical step. Aunt Sally's Original Creole Pralines are seriously the best! Watch them being made, try a sample, browse the gift shop and then stock up on these delicious treats!

Aunt Sally's has been operating in the same French Quarter location since 1935 so you know they've got to be good. And what if you can't make it to New Orleans anytime soon? Aunt Sally's ships worldwide.

For more information, visit Aunt Sally's Original Creole Pralines. You'll be glad you did ;) And be sure to check out: The Best Balcony Bars in New Orleans and Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Coconut Cream Pie!

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Oh, to be in Paris!

This Father's Day, Sunday, June 21st, 2015, is the renowned Grand Siecle Day at Vaux-le-Vicomte chateau in Maincy, just outside of Paris, France.

The grand, 17th-century costumed event will feature carriage promenades, falconry and sophisticated picnics, along with entertainment including elegant minuet performances. 

Families with children are welcome to attend and enjoy the games, costumes and events throughout this special day. And if you don't have a costume, no worries, you can rent one on-site.

For more information, visit Vaux-le-Vicomte.

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected