Hotel Reviews

Country Inn and Suites Mishawaka Presidential Suite Stay

We have been traveling to a few colleges for Daughter this fall. She participates in an over night stay and attends a class on campus.  Most of the time someone travels with me but this visit was a Sunday night so I was traveling by myself.  Since it was going to be a quiet night of cable tv and magazines I splurged on a whirlpool room for this stay for $20 more than a king room.

Upon arriving to the most empty hotel I was told by the front desk that I had been upgraded.  What is an upgrade on a whirlpool room?  The presidential suite.

Country Inn & Suites Mishawaka

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Me, myself and I enjoying a bathroom bigger than my bedroom at home.

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Holiday Inn Savannah Historic District

Since Daughter choose Savannah a city with several chain hotels my job was a little easier than in some towns.  Savannah’s historic area is compact at almost a mile wide along the river and two miles deep to  Forsyth Park.  Park the car in a city garage and walk everywhere.

I had several IHG (Holiday Inn) properties to pick from.  There is a Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, and the Holiday Inn.  I had a little over 20,000 IHG points in my account, most of those were left over from the mail in promotion I did in February.  Those points and $40 allowed me to book a Friday night at the Holiday Inn Savannah Historic District.  Had I paid cash the 2 double bed room books for $219.84 plus tax.

Holiday Inn Savannah Historic

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The lobby is located more towards the back of the building.  The valet and desk entrance are off West Bryan street and not Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

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Radisson Kalamazoo Anniversary Weekend

I have posted earlier about the “perks” of following your favorite hotels on social media.  It pays to be social with hotel rewards programs and hotels themselves.  I followed the Radisson Kalamazoo for a while, one day they had a contest to win a free hotel night.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained so I entered.  And to my surprise I won!

We picked a couple of open dates and made the call to the hotel to reserve our room.  They had openings for our first choice so we made plans to stay on a Saturday night in May.  A few hitches along the way made us arrive a couple of hours later than we had planned but nothing serious. We parked in the ramp across the street and waited in a short check-in line.  While checking us in the friendly attendant told us we had been upgraded to the business level on the 9th floor.  Wowza!  Happy Anniversary to us!

Radisson Kalamazoo

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Double Tree Holland Michigan

We ended up crashing at the Double Tree in Holland when snow forced us off the highway.  No one as going anywhere that night and many people were hitting hotels.  We quickly went online and booked a night at the Double Tree in Holland.  When we drove up a little later we were given our cookie at check-in and off to our room.

Being pretty full we were given a 4th floor room facing the highway.  No big deal, I did not hear highway noise at night and with the snow the road was pretty empty.

We had a standard two queen room.

Double Tree Holland Room

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Being more of a conference hotel they had a desk instead of a table in the room.

Double Tree Holland room

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They had a great pool area that we wished we had been able to use.  Not planning on a stay we did not have our suits with us.  There is a hot tub and ping pong in the area.

Double Tree Holland pool area

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Double Tree Holland pool

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Being Gold I had free breakfast in the am.  This was the highlight of our stay, sad but true.  The waitress was very friendly and efficient.  The french toast bake, bacon, fresh berries and potatoes were very good.

Double Tree Holland breakfast

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Why was breakfast the highlight?  Its the little things…

Double Tree Holland remote fail

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I severely dislike having the back of the tv remote dangling each time you pick it up.  And if you remove it the batteries fall out when you set if down. (Tried it and didn’t want to shlep out to the front desk for some tape in my pj’s.)  Housekeeping had to have touched the remote at some point right?

And then later when I was chilly I attempted to quickly run a bath to soak my cold feet.  The hot water pressure on the 4th floor was very low.  It took well over 20 minutes to get that tub 1/4 of the way full.  I gave up at that point and soaked my feet/ankles for a bit while reading on the edge of the tub.

Now these things really are not that big of a deal unless you are crabby from a snow storm.  Add in an idling snow plow driver at 4am right under your window and you can see how breakfast was the highlight of my stay.

Would we stay again?  I will say yes to any port in a storm, the Residence Inn was full so I ended up here.  IF we had our suits and planned to swim the night in the pool followed by a tasty breakfast again then yes.  Otherwise I think I will pass in the future.

More information here:

650 East 24th Street, Holland, Michigan, 49423

Regular rate is $119 a night or $113 with a AAA card.



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Residence Inn Holland Michigan

I have stayed at this location a few times for work.  We find Residence Inns to be very consistent and solid.  I was very surprised on my last stay to be upgraded to a room with a fireplace.

Residence Inn Holland studio w/ fireplace.

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The suites area very basic, kitchenette, tv, couch and a bed off to one side of the room.  The bathroom comes off next to the bed area.

Residence Inn Holland

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Residence Inn Holland

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They also offer a nice pool and hot tub area.  And a small gym.

Residence Inn Holland pool

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I always find the staff to be very friendly at this location.  They even had a nice gentleman helping us dig out our cars after a heavy snow last month.

More information here:

631 Southpointe Ridge Road  Holland  Michigan  49423  USA 

Rates are generally $99 for a basic studio room and up to $159 0r the two room suites.

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Residence Inn Grand Rapids Airport

We had a very late return flight and I hate to drive a couple of hours after landing in the dark.  Usually in those situations we figure the cost of a hotel room into the plane ticket expense.

Husband had a Marriott night that was going to expire so he suggested we use it after our flight.  Great idea!

We booked a studio suite at the Residence Inn.  That allows daughter the couch to sleep on and we got our own bed around the corner.

Check in was very friendly and when asked provided a couple of pizza menus for the local area.  We had not passed much beyond fast food on our drive from the airport.  Pizza places usually have pasta for Daughter so everyone is happy.

The room was standard Residence Inn, like it that we always know what we are getting with them!

This room had a desk in the seating area and a table with two chairs.

Residence Inn Grand Rapids

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And the standard queen bed and bathroom to the side.

Residence Inn GR

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With the design of these rooms we fell less on top of each other than in some hotel rooms.  Usually we have all been together for a week and its nice to get a little space.

We arrived too late and tired to mess with the pool.  We looked at it in the morning and it was the standard hotel pool.

More information here:

4443 28th Street SE  Grand Rapids  Michigan  49512  USA 

Rates are usually $10 9 for the studio rooms and two rooms are $169.  We used a category 4 certificate for our stay.


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Sometimes the Hotel Package is a Good Deal

We just completed our trip to DC.  What a great time it was, we learned and laughed a lot! It was great to spend time with my sister and watching Daughter experience her first college visit.

Part of this trip was driving over to Detroit airport and spending the night prior to our 8am flight.  It either had to allow us to park at the hotel for a few days or be cheap enough to not make me cringe when I had to pay for parking elsewhere.

We ended up going with the Fairfield Inn and Suites package that included parking.  For $119 we were able to utilize up to 8 days parking at the next door Qwik Park.  Parking alone at Qwik Park would have been over $37. IF you did 8 days parking you would have had $72 in parking at Qwik Park included in the $119 rate.

Check in was a bit busy with one desk clerk but she quickly breezed through the line.  We were given a parking voucher and the option to drop our car that evening and book a shuttle for the morning.

We had a two bed queen room with a very large bathroom. The carpet and paint seemed to have been recently completed in our room.  And a plus with our late arrival the pool is open 24 hours.


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Sheraton Raleigh Hotel Downtown Conference

I stayed at the Sheraton Raleigh hotel downtown recently for a work conference.  The cab from the Raleigh airport was $35 coming to the hotel at night with little traffic. But almost $50 going back in the afternoon with heavy traffic. Usually we have this conference at the Hilton near the airport.  That location worked fine but it is nice to change things up once in a while!

I will admit I had read some reviews that had me nervous about guest room conditions.  I was very happy that my room was in great shape and only had an issue with the toilet that needs to be repaired.  (The chain kept falling off the handle in the tank to flush.  At home I would have fixed it, at the hotel I left a note for the cleaning staff as I was running late to my breakfast meeting. It was fixed but then came off again later in the night and I called the front desk.  They must have repaired it because I did not have the problem again on my stay.)

The king bed was so comfy and I loved having 4 very large pillows to myself.  The desk/ television area worked well for the little bit of computer work I had to do at night.  The bathroom had a nice large counter space to put all my stuff for the week.


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Super 8 South Padre Island

We spent two nights at the Super 8 on South Padre Island, Texas.  We found a ridiculously cheap AA rate of $54 a night and combined with American Airlines Rewards tickets we had a cheap trip to Texas!

The Super 8 is more of a place where people stay for a week or so.  The room came with a kitchenette and some families were grilling outside their rooms in the parking lot.  We walked across the parking lot to the Big Donkey for Mexican food for dinner.  (Food was great!)


Beach access is up a block from the hotel on Gulf Blvd.  Daughter is old enough to carry her own items and we would walk to the beach each day.  I am very happy to pay $100 less a day and walk the 5 minutes to the beach.

There is a pool and hot tub at the Super 8.  Kind of different, they are behind a large locked gate to the front of the hotel… This pic is from Super 8. It was always dark when we got to the pool after dinner and watching the sunset.  The pool was very crowded each night but they never seems to stop kids.


We would stay at the Super 8 again. It was very clean and it didn’t bother me to have people cooking in the parking lot. I had read up on the hotel before we visited and was not surprised to see it.  If that gets someone a vacation and they are doing it safely and away from my room I could careless!

Super 8 South Padre Island

4205 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX 78597 US

More information can be found here:


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Travelodge on South Padre

We had a change of plans for our last night in southern Texas.  We were supposed to stay at the Casa De Palmas in McAllen.  I had the stay booked on a certificate so the night would be free.  But it was hot, we missed the beach and Daughter really wanted to surf again.  Back to South Padre for us!!!!


We found a reasonable last minute night at the AAA rate at the Travelodge South Padre of $89.  The Travelodge is two stories and an easment property on the beach.  They have beach access through a little (and by little I mean VERY narrow) walkway.  IF you meet someone with a cooler you need to back up…


The hotel also has a decent sized pool and hot tub for families.  The pool was very busy during our stay so daughter did not swim very long.

The rooms had been updated even though the hotel appeared to be older.

trav 2

We enjoyed our stay here immensely.  The dedicated beach walkway across the parking lot made it easy to pop out to the beach at dusk.  In under 3 minutes you were on the sand.

We are making plans to return to this hotel next summer.  The location is perfect for our family and the price is fantastic for a “beach” hotel.  I can walk 3 minutes to save $100 a night!


Travelodge South Padre Island

6200 South Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597 US

More information can be found here :



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