Tag Archive | hotel

Try It Tuesday – #Travel Tuesday #orlandoFL #hotelpicks

This is another Travel Edition of TRY IT TUESDAY !

Caribe Royale Orlando
8101 World Center Drive, Orlando FL 32821
http://www.cariberoyale.com/

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On our last trip to Disney World, we decided to stay at Caribe Royale. This is an all-suite hotel in Orlando, FL. I chose this location because it was close to Disney, had a free shuttle, and was centrally located to restaurants. Plus, it had free parking. #winning

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We were in room 1840 which was facing the parking lot. Our view was mostly the tops of palm trees, which was fine with me. The suite was set up so when you walked in, you entered the sitting area, then the bathroom, and then bedroom. There are doors that close off each area from the rest. I liked that because it made the room seem like a mini apartment. The refrigerator and microwave were in the sitting area.

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While we had our things spread out over the whole suite, but mostly stayed in the bedroom area. It was easier that way. The bed was so comfortable and had lots of pillows.

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Side note: I got all these pictures from their website and the hotel looks exactly the same in person. That says a lot to me.

We did not use any of the amenities because the main focus of our trip was going to Disney. From what I could tell, there was a nice, large pool where guest were enjoying themselves. There were several restaurants and sitting areas that were occupied every time I passed by them.

Getting our tickets for the shuttle was easy. You have to reserve your shuttle by going to the Concierge desk at least 1 hour before the time you want to depart. The shuttle to go to Disney is free (technically it was included in the paid hotel fee). The reservation is only for the trip to Disney.

You can take any return shuttle. We reserved the 9:30am shuttle and arrived at Disney’s Transportation and Ticketing center. From there we took the monorail to Epcot and were walking through the entrance gate at 9:50. Very easy!

At the end of the day, we went to Disney Springs and decided not to return to the Disney’s Transportation and Ticketing center to catch the shuttle back to the hotel. We got a LYFT ride and it cost less than $10.

You can obtain shuttles to go to other Orlando attractions, but there is an additional fee. Honestly, taking an Uber/Lyft would probably be cheaper depending on the size of your group because the shuttle fee is PER PERSON.

TOW Final Word: Great hotel and loved the location. If you want to go to Disney, but not stay on property, this is the spot for you.

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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

Iberostar Rivera Maya, Mexico

Last October, the hubby and I went to all-inclusive Iberostar Hotels & Resorts (hotel Tucán) in Riviera Maya. We flew into Cancun and took a shuttle ride for about an 30-45minutes to get to the resort. I have been to resorts before in Cancun, but it was my first time at this location.

Accommodations & Staff
I like how the resort embraced the natural environment instead of totally clearing the land, cutting down the trees and displacing the native wildlife. The resort looks like is situated in a jungle, full of lush plants and exotic animals (including howler monkeys) scampering all over the place. There were also water areas with turtles, ducks, swans, and iguanas.

The resort rooms were very spacious and comfortable. The bed was firm, but fine for me because I don’t like my bed to be too soft. In the bathroom, there was a large bottle of water use when brushing our teeth. It is understandable that in Mexico, you do not drink the tap water. The mini bar in the room was fully stocked every day, just the way I like it. I did not have to ask for anything because it seemed that they provided it before I had a chance to realize I needed it.

All of the staff, from the front desk personnel to the bartenders and maids were very friendly. They were helpful as well. I loved their willing attitude to help make my stay pleasant.

Activities
I was going to make the best of my visit and do as many activities as I could. I took a tennis lesson, did archery, did air rifle shooting, went to the spa, played pool, danced at the techno club and danced to salsa music band. I had to chase down the tennis pro for the tennis lesson. When I got to the tennis courts per the time on the activities schedule, he was not there. But when he finally showed up 5 minutes later, I was almost about to leave. I participated in the archery and air rifle shooting tournaments. I did not win in either activity. My aim is so bad.

When I went to the spa, that was the most relaxing part of my trip. I lounged in the Jacuzzi, sat in the sauna, took and shower and then got a full body massage. I was feeling stress free. It was worth every penny (spa treatments were extra cost).

The onsite night life was okay. I was surprised that there were not more people out at night. Maybe people went to clubs in town, but I did not want to chance that. Being in a different country in a touristy location puts a target on you increasing your chances of being robbed by some nefarious individual. I rather remain in the comforts of the closed gates of the resort.

When I danced at the techno club, there were not that many people there. At times, it was just my friends and me on the dance floor. Considering we were the only ones dancing, you would think that the DJ would have played the music WE wanted to hear. At one point, we were locking in a battle of wills. We refused to dance until he played what we wanted. We won, of course. In contrast, the salsa music band played all the music we wanted and we graced the dance floor with our presence.

The only things that I wanted to do but did not get a chance: a non-motorized water activity and karaoke. I did not realize that non-motorized water activity counter closed at 3pm since their hours were not posted anywhere that I could tell. The last day, I got there 2:30 and they guy told me that I could kayak but I had to be back by 3 since was the time they closed. I told him never mind. I did not want to try to rush and do it just to be able to say that I did it. I missed karaoke also because I did not they were only to going to offer that activity one night a week. I think they should have offered it more than once a week.

Food & Beverages
All inclusive resort means all drinks are included all the time. Great for me! Yes, the margaritas, pina coladas, daiquiris, and tequila shots were free flowing. But bottle water was just as necessary. Before venturing out to shop, I made sure I had one or two bottles of water from the front desk to carry with me. That saved me from having to buy water while I was out. Plus it was so hot, we needed plenty of fluids. No one wants to go on vacation and pass out from dehydration.

The only minor complaint that I have was with the buffet food. Some of the buffet food was not the quality I would have expected. Yes, there was plenty of food at the buffets, but some looked stale, reheated, or old. I think the challenge for a buffet restaurant is that they have to have enough food to satisfy the guests and at the same time, only put out what will be eaten during that time period. Since the resort is catering to people from all over the world, they are also trying to put out food that is familiar to their guests. I think they should have stuck to just cooking Mexican food since that is what they know best. The best food I had from the buffet were the typical native dishes.

Eating at the different "fancy restaurants" required a reservation. That took some planning on our part since the reservation needed to be done early. We at a Caribbean themed restaurant, Japanese steakhouse, and American steakhouse. The food quality was better than having buffet food all the time. In that aspect, it was worth the effort to make the reservation. I think the best meal I had was the pork chops at the American steakhouse (top right picture). They were perfectly seasoned and cooked well so that they were not dry.

Overall, I had a good time at the resort. The accommodations were great. There were plenty of activities to keep me occupied. The food at times left something to be desired, but it was filling and I did not get sick off of any of it. So that is a plus. I would go to another Iberostar location and I would recommend Iberostar (this resort in particular) to others.

I would like an ocean view room in Myrtle Beach please: Patricia Grand Resort

I went to Myrtle Beach and I did not want to stay near all the loud, young party goers because I wanted a nice peaceful time at the beach. So I was looking for a family friendly hotel/resort.

I ended up choosing Patricia Grand Resort because of the price. It was reasonable to me, especially since I was going in the middle of the summer.
We arrived about 2 and decided to ask if they had any rooms ready even though the website said that check in begins at 3pm. Check in was a breeze. I gave them my name and they had everything ready for me. At check in, they gave me a packet and savings card for discounts at local area restaurants. I also decided to valet park the car so I did not have to deal with the hassle of having to find parking.

Our room was on the 19th floor. The picture shows the view from our room. The room décor could be considered "no frills". It was a simple clean room with a bed, night tables, computer desk, television, and chair. On the balcony were two chairs and a little plastic table. I did not go to the beach to spend all my time in the hotel, so I did not need a lot of luxuries. All I was looking for in the room was for it to be clean and it was.

Booyah! Mission ACCOMPLISHED! As usual, there were not enough outlets, so the room looked like an obstacle course with my computer, cell phone, and kindle charging at the same time.
There was a coffee bar on the first floor and a restaurant on the second floor. There was also a drinks bar near the pool area. I ate in the restaurant one time for breakfast. It was decent, nothing spectacular, but definitely edible. I don’t know it if is possible to mess up bacon and eggs. Well, I take that back. It might be possible to mess it up, but they did not so I have no reason to complain. The coffee bar was your typical look alike Starbucks selling Starbucks coffee and some off-brand muffins.

During the day, I used one of the lounge chairs to sit out by the pool and soak up some sun. Then later I went out for a walk on the beach. When I was tired of that, I went inside and sat on the balcony of my room. Listening to the ocean has to be one of the most relaxing sounds.

In all, Patricia Grand Resort was a nice choice for my accommodations for my Myrtle Beach weekend. The service personnel were friendly and eager to make my stay a comfortable one. Everything met my expectation. If I go back to Myrtle Beach, this hotel/resort will be at the top of my list.

Miami Airport Hilton

I stayed at the Miami Hilton Airport location. As for the room, it met my standards for a Hilton location. Immaculate clean room, comfortable bed, and relaxing good pressure shower head. Internet was $13 a day. Valet parking was $20 a day.

I was in town for business. It was raining and I did not feel like leaving the hotel to eat.
First of all, food at the hotel was very, very expensive. I chose this hotel because the per night rate was lower than the Marriott. But I think I ended up spending more on food here than I would have at another location.

Maybe I am being cheap, but I thought the Room service surcharges were outrageous: $5 delivery fee and 22% service charge.

Dinner
None of the entrees appealed to me so I ordered a few things appetizers. I had wings, yucca fries, and key lime pie. The wings were average. I did not like the buffalo sauce that came with them and I was glad it was on the side. It tasted like half a bottle of Texas Pete mixed with a stick of butter. As a result it left a greasy film in my mouth- not an appetizing feeling. The yucca fries were not good to me. It was mashed yucca in the shape of cheese sticks and fried to a crisp. My problem with this was that the yucca was over fried. The fries were so saturated with grease, that it made my stomach upset.
The bright side to this meal was the key lime pie. It was a 1 part tart, 1 part creamy, and 2 parts sweet. A delectable combination.
As you can see in the picture, I ate all the wings, key lime pie, left the hot sauce, and most of the yucca. I am used to eating fried food, but when there is too much grease, it does not sit well in my stomach.

Breakfast
I had the buffet because I figured that would be the best bargain for the money. The buffet had a lot of tasty choices but no bacon >cue my
sad face and sad music<. What is a breakfast without bacon?!?! I decided on the breakfast potatoes with chorizo, made-on-demand omelet,

some fruit, cheese, and pastries. The fruit was big and pretty, but not very sweet. The omelet was as tasty as I imagined it would be when I
chose the ingredients. The breakfast potatoes with chorizo were okay but needed salt and ketchup.

Everything was okay, not spectacular.The quality of of the customer service was on par with what I would expect from a Hilton. If I had had another option for food, I would have taken it. But since I was at the hotel and it was a distance to downtown, I had to make do with what I had. And although I was disappointed with the food, I did not complain because I ate it (I was too hungry to complain and have to wait for another order).