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Surveying Scotland: Hyatt Regency London The Churchill Impressions

I know people don't care too much about hotel reviews but I still find them useful, so here are some quick impressions of the Hyatt Regency London: The Churchill (what a name). I used a Diamond Suite Upgrade and stayed as a Hyatt Diamond (thanks to the status match earlier this year). As I mentioned, we were upgraded past even the lowest level suite thanks to the great employee working the desk at the lounge. Here are my impressions. As we discussed on the last Saverocity Observation Deck podcast, I was deciding between confirmed suite in unfamiliar location (Hyde Park) and smaller room in a favorite location (Covent Garden). The Hyde Park location, while a 30 minute walk, is still fairly closely situated to the West End all things considered. [...]

Surveying Scotland: Introduction

Two kids creates more than twice the work. That holds true for regular life and travel. Nonetheless, we took it upon ourselves to travel to the United Kingdom to celebrate our son's first birthday. Just kidding, it's just when we were free. As always, we paid for the majority of our flight with points. We even booked our first transatlantic flights in coach for the first time in five years. Slumming it! Just kidding, I'm just practicing what I've been preaching in my family travel hacking guide. Read below for details of what we booked and the thought process behind it all. I wrote about booking our flights to the UK awhile back. Man, can't believe I booked this trip back in August 2015. Either way, Delta availability still remains [...]

Hyatt Regency Aruba Report Spa and Casino Impressions

Now that I'm a family man, we've been gravitating towards the Caribbean more and more. Shorter flights, nice beaches, and less hassle overall. Last year we visited Turks and Caicos, so we wanted to try a new island this year. We settled on Aruba partially because of our magically attained Hyatt Diamond status. I really wanted to see what a diamond suite upgrade could get us at the Hyatt Regency Aruba. We also spent two nights in a standard room using award nights from the Hyatt Card. Here are my impressions of the hotel. Standard Room While it was a bit tight for the four of us, we really enjoyed the standard room. Our view was whatever but what was really helpful was the ability to push the two beds [...]

Making sure the Hyatt Diamond deal doesn’t get the best of me

For about six hours, it was possible to match almost any hotel chain status to Hyatt Diamond. Ironically, the PR move was one of the many things that has ended up costing Hyatt some loyal customers (I first remember Dia writing she was done in December and Julian just wrote about it this week). I totally understand Diamond members who earned status via hard work being frustrated about that, but this post isn’t for you. This post is for all of us who glommed onto Hyatt Diamond the "easy way". I’ve been realizing that having Diamond status has been subtly and not so subtly affecting the way I plan my travel. That has got to stop, otherwise this win-win situation is going to turn into a win-lose situation, with me [...]

Portland the Third: Travel with Four

As I mentioned in my parking post (thanks for all the feedback calling me crazy after I said so myself, btw!), we were back in Portland, Maine, our favorite local vacation spot, to test out traveling with four. Things were definitely different with a 2.5 year and 2.5 month old, but the trip went well and we're ready for more. Here are some things I observed about traveling with four. Packing All credit goes to my wife for this one. I'm just recently back at work so I literally gave her a pile of my clothes and she did everything else. With two kids, it's double the diapers (potty training only half complete), wipes, eating stuff, clothes, baby carrier - all the stuff adds up. Jess, being a miracle worker, [...]

Home for the Holidays: Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui Regency Suite Review

Like in Taiwan, I booked a cash and points room at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui and confirmed a suite upgrade using my Diamond suite upgrades. As a Category 4 hotel, this cost 7500 points and $100 per night. Here are my impressions of the hotel. Lobby and Surrounding Area The Hyatt Regency TST is very well located in the same building as the K11 mall (where we went to eat a few times.)  As Trevor noted in his review, it's a little weird that you need to take two elevators up to your room but you kind of get used to it. In general the hotel is very centrally located - it's close to a lot of public transportation options including the MTR and Star Ferry.   The decor [...]

Home for the Holidays: A Tough Flight with a Toddler

Never take a 23 month year old as a lap infant. That's what we learned on our flight from Taipei to Hong Kong, quite possibly the worst flight we've ever taken with M! In the light of day, it wasn't that bad but at the time it was a lot of stress. First, a note. I've read on many baby-oriented travel websites some version of the argument: "You should always book your child a seat it's safer etc. etc. etc." Now I definitely agree that it is safer and it is always better to have an extra seat for your child. On the other hand, I am cheap, and I have a lot of...um...frugal friends who never bought a seat for their child until they had to, and all of them [...]