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Review – Tuscany Suites and Casino in Las Vegas

 

The last time we were in Las Vegas was 2009. My family and my hubby’s cousin and family stayed in Excalibur Hotel which is situated near the famous MGM Hotel. And after 8 years, here we are again and this time with my dear Auntie.

My husband arranged for this short trip and he booked us in Tuscany Suites and Casino near The Strip. It is reminiscent from those beautiful villas in some Italian village with fine stucco finish. The Tuscany Suites and Casino is exactly that, a beautiful big villa with clusters of other sleeping quarters in a compound.

 

What I like:

The room we have booked is a Junior Suite. The room was very spacious with two full double beds. It is huge!

The big room has a sofa or seating quarters, and a kitchenette with a decent dining table and chairs.

(I took this photo standing from the edge of the bed and the room is really huge!)

 

The sofa doubled as a sleeping bed for my husband.

The welcome note on the TV screen. Not all hotels we have booked in the past, even the most new and modern had welcome notes as you enter.

The beds are super comfortable. I slept like a baby!

Our room has a nice view. I can see the winding alley that leads to other sleeping quarters, the main hotel building, and the pool area.

 

It is a quite hotel.

There are ice vending machines in our floor.

There is an in-house casino.

There is a restaurant, a coffee shop and even a souvenir shop inside the hotel.

There are ample parking spaces for visitors and they are free.

The location is great and there are plenty of souvenir shops nearby.  The Strip is also walking distance from the hotel if you feel like walking.

Free wifi, and fast connection too.

It is very near McCarran Airport.

The food in the Tuscany Gardens restaurant is really good!

The bathroom is clean. The bathroom is very spacious, and the toilet is enclosed.

 

The lobby area and the beautiful passage between sleeping blocks. 

 

What I don’t like:

 

The main hotel and different from the Casino entrance although they are connected. You have to park near the main entrance of the hotel so you don’t have to walk much  towards the concierge, especially if you have luggages. We didn’t realize there were 2 main entrances so we parked in the entrance which was the Casino entrance. We had to carry our luggages back to the car and drive of to the other parking area nearest to the main hotel’s lobby.

There are several building blocks for sleeping quarters. You have to walk outside to reach the main hotel. It’s not a long walk though and passing by the nice alley behind several sleeping quarters is really not that cumbersome. I just thought it would be nice to just have all the sleeping quarters in one area. But hey, this is just my opinion. The whole compound where the Tuscany Suites and Casino is really a quiet and relaxing one.

And before I forget, it didn’t appeal to me that they don’t have any microwave so we could heat our food.

 

Nearby attractions:

Howard Hughes Center
The Bellagio
LINQ Promenade
Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
The Monorail the plies around the Strip
Outlet malls nearby

 

My recommendation: 4 out of 5

I would have given this beautiful, clean, and homey hotel if it wasn’t for the main hotel’s entrance confusion, I would be happy to give this hotel my five star rating.

I highly recommend this property if you are heading to Las Vegas and you want a quiet place to relax, and still have a good time when you want to. The location is perfect for us. You can walk or take a drive to the Strip if you like because it is just around the corner from this hotel.

 

The Tuscany Suites and Casino is located at 255 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89169, United States of America.

If you’re looking for hotels in Las Vegas or in other parts of Nevada, you may find more hotels and fabulous deals too from:

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What To Look For In Your Next Hotel

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When you’re choosing a hotel to stay in during your next break, it can often be hard to know what you’re looking for. To start, the place you’re going is unknown to you, and you won’t be able to make a judgment about the area it’s in, making it hard to know if you’d want to be there. From there, you will encounter issue after issue, all caused by a lack of information about the place you want to visit. Of course, though, it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, you just need to find a better way to look for your hotels. To help you out, this post will be going through some of the most important considerations to make when choosing this part of your vacation.

 

  • Cleanliness

No one likes the idea of spending their holiday somewhere dirty or poorly kept. Instead, you want to be able to sleep easy knowing that you won’t have to do any work like this yourself. Modern hotels are often given a hygiene rating by the government of the area they are in. But, alongside this, you should also consider looking up some reviews to make sure other customers haven’t found the place to be dirty before.

 

  • Service

Once you know that a place will be clean, you can start to think about the people working there. In a lot of cases, the service you get during your break will have a huge impact on the amount you enjoy it. So, making sure that you get the right service is very important. To make this easier, hotels will usually have a star rating which indicates the quality of the experience you can expect.

 

  • Food And Drink

Along with the way that you’re treated, you will probably also be concerned about the food in the hotel you choose. Thankfully, this isn’t such a big issue for a lot of people. But, it could be worth making sure that there are other places to eat nearby. This will save you from having to eat food you don’t like if the hotel is unable to provide for you properly.

 

  • Features/Services

Some hotels have gyms, sports fields, and other active equipment. Others, though, will have cinemas, bars, and even nightclubs, all to keep their guests entertained. Of course, the different options your hotel has will make a huge difference to your stay. Examples like the Cambria Hotel & Suites Roanoke have a wide-range of options and will appeal to most people. Some places, though, won’t have such a great choice.

 

  • Entertainment

Finally, the last area to consider before you start to pack your bags is the entertainment you’ll be able to indulge in during your vacation. A lot of people find themselves bored during the evenings they spend a way, and this is a shame. Some hotels are famed for providing some of the best entertainment in the world, from live shows to things you can get involved with, there’s plenty on offer for those willing to look around.

 

Hopefully, this post will give you a good idea of the different options you have to consider when you’re looking for the best hotel for you. A lot of people don’t consider everything here and will make a choice based on ease. But, this will often result in a poorly chosen place and will make you and the other guests you’re with feel bad.

 

 

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Westin Tysons Corner in Virginia

It wasn’t a long stay but it was pleasant and worth it. That is how I will describe our stay in Westin Tysons Corner in Virginia last April 21 – 23, 2017.

I was initially adamant to book here because it is in Virginia and we are landing at Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. However, the hotels in the city center of D.C. are very expensive and budget is a primary concern. So I asked my hubby to check areas near the Dulles International Airport, and this hotel came up. I am glad we stayed here, and here are the reasons why:

What I like

The nice and friendly staff.
The free infused and super refreshing water. We arrived past 1:00 p.m. so it was a bit hot and had to lug luggages from the side parking lot all the way to the central receiving area of the hotel. The infused water with berries was a welcome treat!


Fast check-in and check-out service
Fast and strong wifi connection
Quiet hotel in good location, just near the 495 Interstate
Starbucks inside the hotel’s premise
The hotel is easy to find. It’s right beside the Stratford University.
There are plenty of shopping complex around the vicinity if you need some retail therapy.
Many restaurants around too.
Few minutes drive to Washington D.C. tourist area

 


Room is big enough for 3 adults
Hi-tech coffee maker with really nice Starbucks coffee granules for guests in the room
Huge closet and you can put your several big luggages inside
Very comfortable bed
Spacious bathroom


Vending machines for snacks and drinks
Free gym and pool usage and gym is open 24/7!
Pets are allowed but you have to check with the hotel prior to bringing your pet
There’s an ATM inside the hotel
Clean hotel

 

What I don’t like

The paid parking even for guests. It was a turn off. I was thinking they provide free parking for guests who are staying in the hotel for several nights.
Starbucks does not operate 24 hrs. It would have been nice if it did.
Wifi is only free in the public areas but our booking rate already included the payment for the wifi usage
Our room didn’t have a good view

 

Nearby attractions (reference: Booking.com)

Most popular landmarks
Tomb of the Unknowns – 12.7 km
US Marine Corps War Memorial – 12.8 km
Air Force Memorial – 13.6 km
The Pentagon – 14.5 km
Walter Reed Reed National Military Medical Center – 14.5 km
Phillips Collection – 14.6 km
White House – 15.5 km
US Holocaust Memorial Museum – 15.9 km
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – 15.9 km
Jefferson Memorial – 15.9 km

Closest airports
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport – 16.4 km
Washington Dulles International Airport – 20.6 km
Baltimore – Washington International Airport – 56 km

Closest landmarks
Tysons Corner Center – 1.5 km
The Galleria at Tysons Shopping Center – 2.1 km
West Falls Church-VT/UVA Metro Station – 2.3 km
McLean Shopping Center – 4.1 km
Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro Station – 5.8 km
Fairfax Circle Plaza Shopping Center – 6.8 km
Kimball Theatre – 7 km
Upton Hill Regional Park – 7.5 km
George Bush Center for Intelligence – 7.7 km
Oakton Shopping Center – 7.7 km

 

My recommendation:  5 out of 5

Despite of the few negative feedback I have about this hotel, all in all, it is still a very good one to stay at whether you are on a business or leisure trip. I like the fact that the hotel is clean and the room is spacious for 3 adults. The bed is so comfortable that you feel like sleeping in rather than going out. I like the location too because you can drive to the nearby Tysons Corner Center for food and retail or drive further to visit famous landmarks in the Washington D.C. metro area.

The price is also perfect because this is a high quality property from the Marriott Group of properties.

Address:
The Westin Tysons Corner
7801 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner, VA 22043, USA

If you want to book to this hotel or find similar hotels nearby, find your hotel here:



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Review – Dumont Affinia NYC Hotel in Manhattan

Manhattan, my favorite city in the planet. And with that comes the number of times I book my and family’s stay in hotels in the city that never sleeps. And most of the times, my selection narrows down to areas that are walking distance to Times Square or at least near that area.

I have never booked our stay in Dumont Affinia NYC Hotel before. It was actually my husband who found the hotel in one of the famous travel sites. We booked the Junior Suite which is perfect for a small family. We were 3 so the whole room was really big for us.

What I like:

The hotel’s location is perfect. This is the first time we booked along 34th Street at Lexington (Kips Bay). It is walking distance to the Chrysler Building and a kilometer away from Times Square. It also near shops and major department stores.Other famous landmarks are within walking distance like the Grand Central Station, Madison Square Garden, Rockefeller, and many more.

Check in was fast and so is the checking out. It didn’t take us more than 5 minutes to complete the check in process.

Our room rate include $10 voucher per day per room which is consumable. We could pick up drinks and snacks in their small food kiosk near the concierge that will sum up to $10, any in excess is just billed to our room. How convenient when we get very hungry at night!

The room is huge! Like really huge! Of all the hotels I have been to, this is probably the 2nd or 3rd hotel my family and I have booked in that is really huge. It could pass for a small condominium unit. I kept telling my husband that I could actually live in that hotel and own that room, perhaps just put a partition to make it look like a 1-bedroom unit in a posh condominium.

It has a kitchen complete with gas range and oven, a toaster, a big refrigerator, a kitchen sink and full provisions of cutleries from pots, pans, forks and spoons, plates, saucers, cups, glasses, goblets, knives, bread knife, and even a sponge and dishwashing liquid detergent. I can see that this particular is perfect for business travelers who need to stay in the city for a long period of time as it has complete amenities of an acceptable residential unit.

The bed is huge with plenty of pillows to spare. I slept like a baby that I didn’t even want to go out anymore.

The room is bright with enough natural light seeping in the wide, glass windows.

There’s a big study area that can double as a dining counter as well if you have guests.

The price was right for this type of property. We paid approx. $240 without the daily city tax and another hotel facilities fee that we need to pay per day of stay. The latter 2 were not included in the rate.

The hot water was readily available. It quickly turned hot when you open the faucet in the hot mode.

There’s a pressing board so we managed to freshen up our clothes without having to go to the laundry.

Pets are allowed! Not that I have one at the moment but that is very well appreciated because I love pets and I appreciate properties that give importance to the other members of the family.

Free wifi and the connection was superb!

The sofa was big enough to accommodate another guest and double as another sleeping bed.

The staff are all friendly and helpful.

The  view from our room is ok. We can see a bit of Chrysler Building and the cityscape nearby.

There are plenty of groceries, delis, Duane Read pharmacy nearby.

 

What I don’t like:

The extra hotel facilities fees were $25 per day and I felt that was exorbitant. What facilities did we have to pay for exactly that wasn’t covered by the nightly hotel rate? I wonder.

The air condition unit was broken. It was in heater mode even if we were have set it for cool. I had to call for the technician. It was fixed the same day though. But our first night was a little uncomfortable because we didn’t know the a/c was not working properly until the next day.

 

Facilities:

  • iPod dock
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Non-smoking throughout
  • Wake-up service
  • Heating
  • Gift shop
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Ironing Facilities
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Iron
  • Room service
  • Business centre
  • Meeting/banquet facilities
  • Concierge service
  • Luggage storage
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Fitness centre
  • Kitchenette
  • Seating Area
  • Desk
  • Toiletries

 

Nearby attractions:

  • Empire State Building
  • Grand Central Station
  • United Nations Headquarters
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Times Square
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Penn Station
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Central Park
  • Union Square
  • Fifth Avenue
  • Macy’s

 

My recommendation:  5 out of 5

I feel this hotel is perfect for business travelers and families as they have big suites perfect for such guests. The location is perfect and I can’t complain about it. I only wish the price is not so hefty, not to mention the additional facility fees which I seriously don’t understand. However, those are minor hiccups in our entire stay because I liked the property so much. It’s not so new but it is clean, the bed is comfortable, the whole Junior Suite is huge and view from our room is okay too. I do recommend this hotel.

 

If you’re looking for hotels in Manhattan or in other parts of New York, you may find more hotels from:


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Book The Best Vacation Of Your Life With These Tips



Do you want to have the best vacation of your life? If the answer is yes, then you will find all the information you need for how to plan it on this guide. You can take this vacation whenever you like. But as soon as you read the plan, we think you’re going to want to book it as soon as possible. So let’s get started.

Far In Advance Or Last Minute

We think the best way to get a dream vacation is to ensure that it doesn’t cost a fortune, and there are two ways to do this. You can either book far enough in advance that prices are slashed. Or, you can book at the last minute. You can even head to the airport and jump on a flight when a cancellation is called. But, you won’t be able to decide where you are going if you travel in this manner. Aside from this, you can also look online on sites that offer great deals such as the appropriately named, Hot UK Deals. Or, consider booking everything as a package. This usually takes a couple of thousand off the price.

Avoid: Booking secret holidays is not a smart money-saving move. In effect, you are booking and paying for somewhere before you’ve seen it. You could end up in a complete dump.

More Than A Hotel

What do we mean by more than a hotel? It’s quite simple really. We suggest somewhere that is more than what you are used to. For instance, the Pilar hotel boutique is more than just a place to stay. It’s a personalised experience with services that are sure to make your stay feel like a lavish luxury. You’ll have all the personalised care you could ever ask for and you’ll be surrounded by nature. But you will also be only a drive away from a beautiful urban paradise. It’s the best of both worlds.

Or, you could consider renting an apartment rather than a hotel. This is a way to feel like you are living in a country, rather than just passing through. You’ll be able to cook your own food and enjoy the delicious culinary dishes your chosen destination has to offer.

Tick Off Your Bucket List

If you want the best holiday, you should certainly consider making it a once in a lifetime experience. You can do this by travelling somewhere you have always wanted to go, seeing a site, or challenging your courage. For instance, if you are off to a tropical destination you might want to consider diving with sharks. This is definitely on a few people’s bucket list. Or, you might want to go and explore the Christmas Islands. Who knows where your dreams could take you once you set them free.

Make It About You

The key message to take on board is to be selfish for once in your life. Make this holiday all about you. You choose where you want to go and what you want to do. If you do that, you’re sure to have the vacation of your life. You might even make some new friends along the way. 

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Review – Ras Al Khaimah Hotel

We drove to Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) last 18-19 January, 2013 for a quick and short weekend getaway. Ras Al Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates. It is a sleepy town compared to the bustling cosmopolitan city of Dubai. However, it has that certain quiet charm that lures city-dwellers  for a quick escape to the fast-paced life in Dubai.

Ras Al Kkaimah Hotel is in the Beachfront, RAK (P.O. Box 37755, RAK, UAE). I am not sure when the hotel was constructed but looking at the old fixtures in the room and lobby gave me the notion that it might be an old hotel.

It is not a big property though. It has 92 rooms, 2 serviceable elevators, an accessible ramp for the handicap, a restaurant in the lobby and near the pool area, a fitness centre with sauna, a big swimming pool and wading pool for the kids, a bar and some mini-offices in the lobby.

It is in a quiet area, I think the nearby community is a residential area but it also few minutes drive to the RAK Mall and the Al Manar Shopping Mall in the city proper.

The price:
We booked 1 night for a triple bedroom (3 adults) for AED 249.00 (approx US$68) inclusive of the 10% service charge.

The amenities/services:

  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi in the lobby
  • Pool
  • Gym/Sauna
  • Restaurants and bars
  • 24-hr front desk/Concierge
  • Ramp for handicap access
  • Elevators
  • Safety deposit box in each room
  • Air conditioning
  • Hair dryer
  • Toiletries
  • Laundry/dry cleaning service

Some of our photos:

 photo IMG_1633_zps0c0dd28a.jpg
View from our room to the right. You can see the mountains’ vista.
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Driveway leading to the front door of the hotel. See the mountains behind me? Beautiful on a clear day!

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Pool view from our room

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Toilet amenities
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Old light controls

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Empty mini-bar. It’s just a small ref but hotel’s policy says we cannot bring food/bev from outside.
I wonder why they have this in the first place.

What I like:
Situated in a quiet place, just in front of the main road. If you’re billeted in the higher floors then you’ll have a good look of the nearby beach and on the right side is the mountains (if your room happens to be pool-view).

There’s a free wi-fi connection in the lobby. The caveat on this one is that, we have to go down and sit in the lobby to connect. Otherwise, I have no complaints since the connection is actually good.

The beds are very comfortable and our room has a pool-view. So, we can see the beach from a distance and to our right are the mountains. The mountain-scape look so pretty with the contour of the peaks and dips in great detail because they seem so near.

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Very comfy beds

The room is just about right with enough walking spaces to go around without bumping on the chairs nor edges of the bed. It’s quite roomy.

The cabinet is spacious.

The bathroom is spacious.

They have free slippers and other basic amenities to go like toiletries, shoe wedge, laundry bags, a pen and stationery and too many soaps. I think we have  4 in the bathroom and I say, that’s too generous!

The staff are very friendly and accommodating. I should have taken their names to commend them for their excellent customer service support. And that includes their housekeeping staff and waiters and waitresses.

Our package came with free buffet breakfast. The breakfast was continental and I am amazed by the wide selection. Their selection is better than the one in Ibis Hotel in Deira, Dubai.

There’s an ample free parking for guests in front of the hotel and you get a good view of the neighborhood too.

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Ample free parking for guests

What I don’t like:
The lobby is a smoking-area. I find it disturbing to do my online business without someone’s cigar’s smoke wafting to my face.

The hotel’s strict “no outside food/beverages” policy. We are practical travelers and we cannot afford to blow our budget dining in the hotel’s in-house restaurants. And we all know that in-house bars and restaurants’ meals will cost a fortune. We had to drive to the nearby mall to eat.

The fixtures in our room are all antiquated except for the flat TV screen.

The toilet seat is broken and if you’re lucky, you’ll get your skin pinched by accident (I had the misfortune of getting my leg skin pinched when I sat on the broken toilet seat).

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The broken toilet seat that pinched my leg skin.

The tub did not have any rubber stopper if you want to soak. We requested as soon as we checked-in and got the stopper in the evening.

The bathroom sink and mirror are dirty. Dirty in a sense that even if they’ve been wiped clean, the sight of dirty grouts with mildew or stain is just unappealing. Well, I’m sure they’ve been wiped and sanitized but the overall cleanliness is just not at par with other 4-stars hotels.

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No, they’re not designs nor borders. The mirror is practically chipping from behind.

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The bathroom is actually clean and freshly scented but the grouts need to be steamed in the bathroom. All over!

The carpet looked like it was not washed for sometime but I can live with that. We used their free slippers anyway.

My recommendation:
For the non-fussy, practical, short-staying guests – This is a great hotel with value for your money. If you don’t mind staying in an old hotel with basic amenities and outdated fixtures then you can stay here.

For the meticulous and finicky ones – No. This hotel will not be ideal for your discerning tastes.

For family with older/smaller children – Yes. I do recommend the hotel as they have a big pool and a children’s pool too for the kids to enjoy. They have a big grassy area near the pool where the kids can play ball or run around to their liking.

And for the hotel management – I think it’s high time to do an overhaul or refurbishing.

(This is not a paid post for the above mentioned property. All opinions and photos are 100% mine and personal.)

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Weekend at Ibis Hotel in Deira

We love spending overnights in different hotels in UAE. We do not this every single week as this costly habit will definitely burn holes in our pockets. Our family makes it a point to spend a weekend in the nearby areas when time and budget permits at least once every 2 months. We take that opportunity to bond as a family and explore different places and hotels around the UAE.

I chose Ibis Hotel in Deira, Dubai this time. The last time we checked in a hotel was last quarter of 2011 in Hilton Ras Al Khaimah. I decided to book in Ibis because our company gets special rates and I will earn in my A/Club Loyalty Program which is under the Accor Hotels. Ibis Hotel is one of that famous chain.

Ibis Hotel is a 2-star property. However, I feel it can pass as 3-4 stars because it is clean, has modern amenities like other 3-4 stars hotel. It has a basement parking lot for free for guests and clients, restaurants, access for the handicap, free wi-fi at the lobby, internet access in the rooms, vending machines on every floor, ice machine in the 1st floor and is connected to the Novotel Hotel so guests can access the pool with a minimal fee.

I booked a standard room with a queen size bed. The room is actually spacious with very basic amenities and no mini-bar. The cabinet has no door which I find very chic for easy access and there is no safe box unlike other big hotels. The private bathroom has a shower and the body gel and liquid soap are attached to the wall. There were no other free toiletries. However, there is an installed hair-dryer which is okay.

I like this hotel because it is clean, smells good and is walking distance to the nearest metro station. It is situated right in front of Deira City Centre. So, business travellers in Dubai can enjoy this small but very chic hotel for a budget price. I give it my thumbs up!

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