#HotelIndigo #Boutique #ATLantahotels with stylish decor

When going to Atlanta, the biggest question can be where to stay. The last time we went to ATL, we stayed at Hotel Indigo.
Hotel Indigo Atlanta Midtown
683 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, Georgia 30308 United States

I used Hotwire (as usual) and chose a 3.5 star in Midtown Atlanta. The resulting accommodation was Hotel Indigo. This is a boutique style hotel. It is across the street from the Fox Theatre.

Location: Plus for location! Hotel Indigo is in the heart of Midtown and across the street from Fox Theatre. There were restaurants that were within walking distance but I did not check to see how far you had to walk to the shopping area.

Room décor: This is an older building so the rooms are small and the bathrooms even smaller. The room was a little cramped with the queen sized bed, desk, and dresser. The bathroom was about 5’x5’. I stretched my arms wide and could touch both walls. I am only 5 feet tall (hence my estimate). And no, I do not have abnormally long arms. If you sit on the toilet and have long legs, they might touch the sink. There is no bathtub, only a shower. Despite the size of the room, I love all its character. Our room was situated on the front side so our window overlooked Peachtree Str. The hotel was renovated in 2012 and you can tell by the sleek, colorful design. The floors are wood laminate and there is a 32-inch flat screen TV. We were comfortable in the bed, but there was little room for anything else.

Parking: In a parking garage with no valet. Parking was $25 per night. I thought that was pricey considering there was NO VALET! The garage was shared with the neighboring hotel. We could not find the elevator but I am assuming they had one…

Amenties: Free wi-fi is always a plus. The connection was good in the room. The speed was fast enough to watch NetFlix, check email and Facebook. However, there are not a lot of outlets in the room (my one pet peeve). Between my cell phone, kindle, ipad, hubby’s cell, and laptop, we need a lot of outlets to charge everything. I probably need to pack a power strip.

Pool: I do not know if they have one. I did not see one. I was not looking either. This is not really the place to go if you have children because there is not a lot of space.

Overall, I like Hotel Indigo for their stylish, modern décor and comfy beds. I could have used a couple more inches in the bathroom but it was okay. And I always seem to need more power outlets. Other than those two things, I suggest making your next stay at Hotel Indigo Atlanta.


Why Riu Palace Las Americas hotel in Cancun should be your next resort stay

If you are going to Cancun Mexico, you need to do yourself a favor and check out Hotel Riu Palace Las Americas. There are several different Riu locations in Cancun, but I think that Las Americas location is the best.

This is a 5-star hotel all inclusive resort. When we arrived, we received a fruity drink to welcome us. Then we went to our oceanfront room, which was fabulous. We quickly changed clothes and went to relax out by the beach.
The scenery and layout of the hotel was so beautiful. Some days I would get up early (and I am not usually an early riser) just to sit by the pool and enjoy the solitude.

When hubby and I wanted to do a little souvenir shopping, there were several shopping areas within walking distance from the hotel. There was a money exchange station and ATM across the street. We also like to go to Wal-mart in different countries which was a 15-minute taxi ride. It was a plus for us that the resort was centrally located.

Here are some of the amenities that I used quite frequently
Beachfront hotel – My tip: Request an oceanfront view room. It is so relaxing to go to sleep listening to the waves
Swimming pools with swim up bar, poolside bar, pool games (i.e. pool volleyball, pool basketball) – one pool has a chill vibe and the other pool has a party vibe. Of course the party vibe pool has the bar and games.
Jacuzzi, Sauna – My tip: You have to go through the Spa to take advantage of this. It is worth it especially after working out in the gym.
Renova Spa – Wonderful services! My tip: Negotiate a deal when you schedule your massage to receive a discount on whatever services you want.
24-hour room service – My tip: Waiting time is usually about 20-30 minutes. Even if you call 3:00 in the morning! Great service for me because when I am hungry in the middle of the night, I want to eat before I go to sleep. The food was good too! Sometimes the room service food can be sketchy. Not here. Some of the best nachos I had were through room service.
In room bar (with Rum, Tequila, Vodka on tap, beer and bottled water in fridge) – I might not drink all the time, but it is nice to know that it is available. My tip: Take a water with you every time you leave the room to make sure you stay hydrated. Request juice from housekeeping to mix with your liquor.

Restaurants (that I visited – another post will be dedicated to the food of Riu Palace )
Sakura – Japanese food (open for dinner only)
Los Arcos – Italian food
El Romero – Grill and Steakhouse
Don Roberto – Breakfast buffet – made-to-order omelets, chorizo, breakfast potatoes, fruit, breads, etc
Poolside Lunch – mouthwatering grilled chicken and ribs

Every time I go to a resort, I want to go canoeing or kayaking. I did not get to go this time because the water was too rough.

There were shows performed nightly. For example, one night there was a Michael Jackson cover songs show. The shows were not too cheesy and were very entertaining.
This location did not have a nightclub but there was one next door at their sister facility.

Overall, this was one of the best resorts I have visited. The quality of the facility was top of the line. We knew how much we paid and felt that we got our money’s worth. They know how to take care of their visitors and create a comfortable, relaxing environment. All the employees had smiling faces and looked like they enjoyed their jobs. That says a lot about the work environment. I am anxiously awaiting the next time I can visit this or another Riu location.

Places like this make me wish I was a travel agent so that I would get a commission for encouraging travelers to book their next vacation here.
Riu Palace Las Americas hotel
Boulevard Kukulkan Km 8.5
Mza 50 Lote 4 – Zona Hotelera
Cancun 77500 – Quintana Roo – Mexico
Tel (52) 998 891 4300

Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel

On a visit to South Miami Beach, we stayed at Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel.

Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel
1817 James Ave, Miami Beach,FL,33139

I used Hotwire (as usual) and chose a 3.5 star in South Beach. The resulting accommodation was Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel. This is a boutique hotel that is decorated in art deco style. From their website, they have locations globally and their Miami location is the only one in the US. While I like Hilton and Marriott chain hotels, it is nice to stay at an upscale, boutique hotel for something different.

Location: Plus for location! It is walking distance from plenty of stores for shopping, the beautiful Miami beach, and a wide variety of restaurants.

Room décor: The rooms are small. The bathroom did not have a tub, only a shower. There was not much empty floor space with the king sized bed, pullout full size sofa bed, and dresser. There were 3 of us in the room which I think added to the tight space. Despite the size of the room, I did not feel cramped because everything was white. It seemed to create the illusion of open space. As long as we were lounging in our respective beds, we were comfortable.

Parking: In a parking garage with valet. Parking was $25 per night. The only downside is that the parking garage is a block and a half away from the hotel. And I think the garage is shared by many of the local hotels. This means it can be a lenghty wait when you try to retrieve your car.

Amenties: Free wi-fi is always a plus. The connection was good in the room. The speed was fast enough to check email and Facebook. However, there are not a lot of outlets in the room (my one pet peeve). As mentioned in other posts, we need a lot of outlets to charge everything. I probably need to pack a power strip. I thought it was a plus that they had a docking station for iPods. That freed up one outlet.

Pool: The pool was wonderful. It was decorated in blue tile (my favorite color). There were cabanas for people to lounge around the pool. The pictures on their website do not do it any justice. So relaxing!

Overall, I like Pestana South Beach Art Deco Hotel for their art deco style and comfy beds. It was also in a nice location. The staff was very attentive. The bar foods was yummy and their Happy Hour prices were even better.

Ramada Plaza New Yorker Hotel

Ramada Plaza New Yorker Hotel

481 8th Avenue, 34th St. & 8th Ave, New York City, NY 10001

I booked my trip on Hotwire (of all places) and said I was looking for a 4 star hotel with double beds. I used Hotwire because I did not want to spend $300+ on a room. Every other website seemed to want to make me pay through the nose for a long weekend (but I digress).

I chose the area I wanted (midtown Manhattan) and the price I wanted with the amenities I thought best – after paying my hotel was revealed: THE NEW YORKER HOTEL

Fancy fancy! With taxes, we paid $155 per night in NYC in December! I thought it was a great deal for the hotel and the location in comparison to the other options we had.

We arrived about 1 pm and I was prepared to have to wait until check-in at 3pm. Fortunately, our room was already available. Check-in was a breeze. We headed up the elevator to the 20th floor to our room. I like that they have elevators specifically for the 20-40 floors. For us, it was as if every elevator was express. Lobby to 20th with no stops in between.

The room was cute but super small. If you have ever travelled to London, the room size was on par with what you find there for midgrade hotels. Since we did not go to NYC to stay in the room, I was fine with me. It was very difficult to get a good picture of the entire room. Plus the lighting was not conducive to taking pictures. So using the one good picture I was able to take of the one of the beds and your imagination, you can figure out what the room looked like. There were 2 double beds that completely filled most of the room (I stood in the bathroom to get the picture of the one bed). The bathroom was small as well (about as big as an office cubicle). There was a little glass shelf above the sink but below the mirror on which the lotion, soap, and shampoo was placed but there was not much room for anything else. The sink was a pedestal sink with Kohler fixtures. LOVE!

The television was a flat screen on the wall so that took up minimal space. There was a small desk in the room that we could have done without. We spent most of our time walking around it. If the closet had been bigger, we probably would have put the desk in there.

The only drawback to the hotel room was that there was not a lot of power outlets. Given the age of the hotel, I understand but it was still an inconvenience. We all had cell phones, laptops, iPads, and camera batteries that needed to be charged each night. I thought about buying one of those 99 cent power strips but decided against it since I did not want to burn down my room from a power surge. Electrical fire in a confined space on the 20th floor? Yea, I’ll pass. I ended up charging my phone in the bathroom while we used the rest of the outlets for laptops.

Overall, I was happy to be situated in the middle of everything. The A train was at the corner. Penn Station was across the street. Times Square was a few blocks away. There were plenty of restaurant options for every time of day. Duane Reed was across the street for those essential items that we forgot to bring. Even though the room was small, it was comfortable and fit what we needed for the long weekend. I would definitely stay at the Ramada Plaza New Yorker Hotel again.


Hilton Hawaiian Village

Hubby and I went to Hawaii and stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

We flew into the Honolulu airport and the hotel is in the heart of Waikiki. Getting there was easy since we had our GPS. The street names are Hawaiian and all seem super long where the consonants "K" "L" and vowels "I" and "U" are used in great frequency in various combinations. Needless to say, we depended on the GPS to tell us where and when to turn.

This hotel is on the beach and in walking distance from a really nice mall. A hotel’s proximity to a mall or shopping center is always a positive in my book.

First of all, staying anywhere in Hawaii is very expensive. Since that is the case, we thought it would be better to go with a recognized hotel chain that is known for quality and good service. That is what we received at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Everyone was smiling and welcoming as we arrived.

The complex is so big that there are several check-in desks. We went to the first check-in location we saw, but our room was located on the opposite side of the village. I think they need better signage because it was all a little confusing for me. They were doing some construction, so I think that some of the obstructed roads usually would have been open for passage. This created additional congestion, but everyone seemed really patient considering the slow traffic. I think the island air has a calming effect on people.

Calling this a "village" is an understatement. The resort is huge with plenty of pools, restaurants, and shops. You do not have to leave for anything, if you do not want to. Everything in the village is very "touristy" priced, so if you step outside the complex, you might get a better deal across the street. I know we ended up eating at the food court at the mall instead in the Village. We walked instead of driving there. For souvenirs though, if you go to one of the many ABC stores, you can find little knick knacks for all those family and friends back home without spending a fortune.

Knowing this trip was going to "break the bank", we opted for a resort facing room in an effort to economize. The views of the mountains to our right were breathtaking. We had a great view of the resort and could spend some time people watching as we relaxed on our balcony. And our room was on a high enough floor that if we squinted our eyes just right, we could see a little bit of ocean. Considering that we were in a veritable paradise, we could not complain that there was an unpleasant view. There is no such thing as "unpleasant view" in Waikiki, Hawaii.

Since our hotel was on the beach, midnight walks on beach were mandatory. Feeling the soft, cool island breeze on my face convinced me that the 12-hour plane flight to get there was worth every minute for that moment.

If you decide to rent a car for your trip (I advise it so you can see more of the island), valet parking is around $30 per day. Self-parking is only a few dollars cheaper, so it is worth it to valet park. Since Hawaii is a very popular vacation destination, be prepared to wait when you request your car from the valet. Use that time to take in the pretty views of the ocean and the greenery. Listening to the sounds of the ocean can be so relaxing.

Overall, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is a great resort for your trip to Waikiki Hawaii especially if it is your first trip. It is in a good location and the service level of the everyone working there is top notch. They show that they want to make sure you have a wonderful vacation. You will hear "Mahalo!" a lot. That means "thank you".