Tag Archives: hotel

Review: Hilton Reykjavik Nordica

There are not many points hotels in Reykjavik. You have two Club Carlson options and two Hilton options. Hilton offers the older, cheaper Nordica and the newer, more expensive, and more centrally located Canopy. Since we were low on points after our December Spain trip, I was able to make the Nordica work for $71 and 16,000 points a night.

Pros: Nice hotel; affordable price; large, upgraded room; club lounge access; pretty views.


The Nordica lounge


View from the lounge

Cons: A 30-minute walk from the center of town; lounge is on the small size.

Hotel map

All in all, we were happy with our choice. The walk into town forced us to do quite a bit of walking and see more of the city. Our first day in Reykjavik, we walked more than seven miles! While the lounge was on the small side, it was still lovely to have access to free food and drinks (mmmm, diet coke), and the views were nothing to sneeze at. Finally, the free parking was useful once we rented our car. If you’re planning a trip to Reykjavik on points, the Hilton Nordica is a great way to keep costs down.

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Review: Westin Kierland Resort, Scottsdale, AZ

When the plane touched down in Phoenix last week, the pilot announced that it was a balmy 106 degrees outside and I gasped. The couple sitting next to me chuckled and said, “Oh that’s nothing.”

The advantage of going to Phoenix in the heat of summer is that hotels are reduced cheap. I mean fancy shmancy hotels that normally go for $300 – $400 a night are dirt cheap. So I took advantage of this fun fact.

I booked two nights in the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale which is a category 5 SPG hotel located on a sprawling property with a golf course, pool, lazy river and spa center.

Although I didn’t take advantage of most of the resort’s amenities (I don’t golf, did not have time for the lazy river or yoga classes) I thought the hotel was great, and all for $129 a night (though the second night was free thanks to a free night promotion I had saved).

The room was nice sized – but nothing special, but very elegantly outfitted with small southwestern touches, and this lovely view of the golf course at sunrise.

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Thanks The Boyfriend’s platinum status we got free internet and access to the club lounge, which offered free breakfast and free snacks throughout the day. I wouldn’t call it a lavish spread, but there was a refrigerator stacked with free water bottles and diet coke, and that is really the most important thing. A girl’s gotta have her priorities.

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The lobby area


Snacks in the club lounge


The club lounge


The room

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The grounds



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The hotel from a distance

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When I booked the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand with my Priority Club points, I scoured FlyerTalk and other travel blogs for reviews. Many were uncomplimentary, focusing on the small room size and the lack of benefits for platinum Priority Club members. Despite these reviews, I booked the hotel because of its central location and the thousands of Priority Club points I’ve accumulated.

So far, my experience has been great.

We arrived at the Intercontinental at 10 in the morning. The woman at check-in was friendly and allowed us to check in early which was incredibly appreciated since it was 4 a.m. New York time and we were falling on our faces. When I asked if I got anything for being a platinum member, she told me she upgraded the room from a classic to a superior room and gave me free internet. This is a huge deal since Internet at the Intercontinental costs 24 euros per day.

I’m somewhat skeptical of “complimentary upgrades” because a hotel will often give you an extra lamp and call it an upgrade. I prepared myself for closet-size proportions, but when I walked into the room, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it’s small by American standards. But by European standards, it’s quite nice, beautifully furnished and designed, with a decent sized bathroom (complete with complimentary robes and slippers).  Hotel staff also came by later with complimentary bottles of water and a case of pastry-like items.

So far, I’m loving our hotel. Some pictures:

Intercontinental Le Grand

Entrance to the Intercontinental Le Grand

Lobby with elevators

Elevator area

Restaurant/lounge area

Restaurant/lounge area

Lounger roof

Roof of restaurant/lounge area

The room

The superior room



Not sure why they have a separate room for the toilet, but I'm not complaining

Not sure why they have a separate room for the toilet, but I’m not complaining

View from the room

View from the room

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