Riding to World’s largest Rodeo 

February 27, 2012 Categories: Holiday Inn

I was driving to Austin and saw Trail Riders with covered wagons heading towards the Rodeo last week, heading towards the Rodeo. The trail riders all converge at Memorial Park and then Parade through downtown Houston . Horse riders, wagons and several marching bands. The Army Marines band was the most Awesome!

American football defensive player Watts was riding a horse in the Rodeo Parade. Andre Johnson and JJ Watt of the Houston Texans DE #99. Houston Texans NFL home is the Reliant Stadium but once a year the Stadium is the location for the Houston Rodeo. Andre and Watts decked out in Cowboy attire for the Rodeo Parade


Follow the Hickory BBQ smoke to The Houston Livestock Show & The World's largest livestock show and the world's largest indoor rodeo & hosts superstar entertainers to raise money for charity.

The World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest attendance record has been broken, with more than 255,000 in attendance this weekend!

If you want to walk over to the Rodeo, stay at the The Holiday Inn Astrodome at Reliant Park. It is conveniently located off Loop 610, with backgate access to Reliant Park and the new Reliant Stadium. In addition, the hotel is minutes from Six Flags/Astroworld, the Museum District, Texas Medical Center, and Downtown. Catch the "Metro Light Rail" located a mile from the hotel for easy access to Downtown as well as entertainment areas.

The show goes on and I’m getting tickets for  Kid Rock in concert on Feb. 29th . He is helping to support for the troops on Rodeo Armed Forces Appreciation Day.

Lady Antebellum performs on Thurs March 1st and you can see other stars like ZZTop, Reba, Mieanda Lambert John Legend, The Band Perry, Train Brad Paisley Eli Young Band Enrique Iglesias

See Y'all there!  Yee… Haw!

measure the effectiveness of ads 

February 10, 2012 Categories: hotel brands

None of the Super Ball ads were any good this year. There seems to be a disconnect between Madison Av. NYC and Main StreetUSA. Some of those young ad executives have some weird ideas that don’t make us want to buy the Brands they are supposedly flogging. Or do they just want a big personal budget to showcase their resume? We know that there has been a disconnect between Hollywood and regular people, for some time now. I wonder if there are too many young and inconsiderate kids working at ad agencies? 2 decades ago Kids watched “Little house on the Prairie” on TV; … but Generation y and Gen X watched aggressive programs on TV and it shows now.

Each Super Bowl 3 second ad cost $3.5 million. Is it worth it? Some are boycotting Pebble Beach, a Golf Tournament owned by Clint Eastwood due to his half time Chrysler and Obama commercial campaign ad disguised as an ad. What annoys many is that; Chrysler (now owned by Fiat) ,would not exist without taxpayer money.

If you measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns by advertising agencies you may come to the conclusion that they are a dying breed because software tools and ads on Facebook and Linked in cost a fraction of the Madison Ave. marketing and PR firm costs.


FastCompany magazine reported that “Advertising is on the cusp of its first creative revolution since the 1960s. but the ad industry might get left behind” advertising agencies have an agenda distinct from that of their clients. Although publicly they represented the clients' interests, many Madison Avenue executives milk their clients for money. Linkedin stock has rallied most since November on higher than expected ad revenue.

Publicis Groupe SA, was one of the first companies to tap a method, offered by Master Cards spending behavior, research as part of its successful pitch to win the ad-buying business for NBCUniversal’s theme-park business, according to the WSJ.

I don’t understand why the US postal service wants to increase stamp prices but they waste a lot of money on advertising on NBC Television. An ad is not going to make me write more letters ??? and they have to sell a hell of a lot extra stamps if they want to make up the millions they spend on commercials. I saw one ad that did not even point out any fancy service that the public is not aware of, it was simply asking people to mail more. The USP needs to be privatized to become more efficient!

Hilton Hotels have distanced themselves from Paris Hilton Advertisement Controversies, rightly so!

Audi gets you on the slopes to Ski via Foursquare 

January 18, 2012 Categories: hotel brands

ski with Audi

This winter Audi and U.S. Ski Team are making it easier to find out more about ski resorts in America. PRNewswire reports that the Car Brand is teaming up with FourSquare and the Ski Team in a new campaign with celebrity Skiers like Vonn and Andrew Weibrecht with tips from their Olympic experience. You can see where they are and hang out with them for après ski!


I love the fun badges I’ve been collecting on Foursquare and can’t wait to get the new Audi badge. Fans of the luxury car that follow Audi on Foursquare and check-in to ski resorts this winter will unlock the exclusive 'Audi Winter Ride' badge, which gives them 20% off all items in the Audi collection. 4 sq teamed up with the US Ski Team to leave insider tips at resorts around the country to give you the scoop on where to find the best skiing, Audi

Starwood Hotels had a deal with Foursquare to earn extra hotel points.

Breckenridge is a good place for Kids! The Breckenridge Recreation Center offers two climbing walls, an indoor pool and slide, basketball, racquetball and tennis courts and more. All services are available with the purchase of a one-day pass or punch card. (Kids 10 and younger need to be accompanied by an adult.)

Kids of any age can enjoy ice-skating at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena located on Boreas Pass Road. The ice arena offers an indoor and outdoor ice rink which are open for public skating seven days a week. Skate rental and instruction are available on-site.

Fachada del hotel de villas de Breckenridge

Colorado's renowned Breckenridge ski resort is the proud home to Marriott's Mountain Valley Lodge. Surrounded by endless activity, this mountain retreat is bustling with recreation, shopping, dining and entertainment. You can do everything from trails by foot, snowshoe, snowmobile to dogsled. They have Great Low Rates for Marriott Reward Members in Lake Tahoe, CA or Breckenridge, CO, enjoy 20% off leisure rates at three beautiful resorts in the mountains. Valid through: March 22, 2012 Use Promotional Code: M11 South Lake Tahoe If you have a big family the place for you is Grand Residences by Marriott, Lake Tahoe - , 1 & 2 bedrooms studios

Three Downtown Denver Hotels have rates From $79 a Night where you can go for an evening in Downtown Denver at the TownePlace Suites Downtown, Residence Inn Denver City Center or Courtyard Downtown.

La renombrada área de esquí Breckenridge de Colorado alberga con orgullo al Marriott's Mountain Valley Lodge. Este refugio de montaña, rodeado de innumerables actividades. Las villas y suites Studio del hotel de lujo de Breckenridge ofrecen cocina completa y amplia sala de estar y comedor con tarifas desde $295

Some hotel loyalty points expire 

December 17, 2011

The year is ending and its time to make sure I qualify for Elite status with some of  the hotel loyalty programs I stay at. Marriott points can be lost if you don’t have any activity for a year and LaQuiita points even have expiry dates. I was disappointed that my La Quinta Return  Points vanished,  losing out on  a few free nights.
Luckily, Priority Club points never expire and there are no blackout dates for using awards at Holiday Inn’s.
La Quinta stopped sending me their newsletter when my points expired. I think that that is not smart of them to assume that I had died because I had not stayed at one of their hotels for a few months.  La Quinta Inns and Suites are a large midscale brand with over 800 hotels in the United States, Canada and Mexico. La Quinta Inns operates its own independent hotel loyalty program and they are offering double points at a few hotels and triple points at their newest properties through January 8, 2012. This works out to about 20 points or 30 points per dollar. You can get a free reward night starting at 6,000 points.for their Tier 1. The highest Tier is 6 and you need  24,000 points to stay at one of those hotels.

La Quinta are not 5 star hotels  but you can  redeem points for free nights at select world-class luxury hotel and resort destinations like the The Inverness Hotel Denver, Colorado:
25,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12 at the Inverness
35,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12 click here to see more hotel destinations

I’m off to ski in Colorado

Únase a La Quinta Returns® y canjee puntos por noches gratis en lujosos hoteles y centros vacacionales seleccionados, de primera categoría, cada uno con elegantes alojamientos en encantadores escenarios naturales.

Festive fares from $9* 

December 14, 2011

Spirit Airlines have festive fares starting at $9* each way, for flights to places like: Dallas, Boston, NYC, Chicago , Orlando and Nassau, Bahamas. See the full list here.

Your bags could cost more than that, because they charge for all bags. Carry-on, checked, overweight, oversized, and sporting equipment. You get one personal item free of charge per customer to carry on but the first Checked Bag (At Booking / before check-in) cost you $18 And it cost $23 at check in .

The $9 Fare Club offers members exclusive travel deals, not only in the US but all over the Americas. All the way from Lima, Peru in the South to Plattsburgh, NY in the North. Not a bad deal, eh?

Access to Member only fares sometimes as low as $9! And lower bag fees but An annual membership to the $9 Fare Club is $59.95

Los beneficios de FREE SPIRIT Avion, Spirit programa de viajero frecuente:

  • Acceso a ofertas y tarifas exclusivas para miembros.
  • Utilice las millas acumuladas para reservaciones de premio, dentro de los Estados Unidos y destinos internacionales.

Orlando FL Last-minute hotel deals 

November 16, 2011 Categories: hotel brands low airfare

Expedia has really good Last-Minute hotel deals in Orlando starting at $60 per night! I booked the Wyndham Orlando Resort hotel for $55 a night on the 2nd December. Was thinking of the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel for $70 but decided on the Wyndham because it is an amazing deal. The Best Western is probably worth the extra $15 because it is located in the Walt Disney World Resort. Within walking distance to Downtown Disney.

But remember that you have to book before the 26th Nov, even though you can travel any time till the offer expires on 11/26/11.   -The flight plus 2 nights accommodation, would cost $310 per person staying at the Wyndham

Hotel savings are based upon Expedia's everyday hotel rates, excluding taxes and other fees. Minimum stay may be required. Sample air/hotel packages above include 2 nights' accommodation plus round trip air for travel within the next two weeks. Sample air/hotel package prices are per person, based upon double occupancy, with departure from New York, NY (NYC); however, package prices vary by date, departure city, and availability

Orlando Deals: Hotels from $59, Vacations from $306

A Grand. historic, Beach Hotel and Spa 

September 09, 2011 Categories: hotel brands luxury

Wyndham Brand of Hotels have two luxury hotels in Galveston. The Tremont House, A Wyndham Grand Hotel and the Hotel Galvez. The Galvez is commemorating 100 years and I was fascinated to see all the wonderful old photos they have exhibited on the floor below the lobby. Men in their beige suits with bow-ties and straw Panama hats, look so dashing.

Wyndham Worldwide, headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., employs approximately 25,000 employees globally. They are going Green big time! Wyndham Worldwide Corporate headquarters is purchasing 100% of its electrical energy from wind power and received the ConEdison Pioneer Award. Alternative energy Companies often don’t work. I hope that they don’t end up broke like Solar firm Solyndra after receiving a $535 million loan from the federal government. Solyndra was President Obama’s favorite Stimulus company before filing for bankruptcy and being raided by the FBI.

Join their points program to get benefits of Wyndham ByRequest, such as high speed internet and a welcome snack, with the points and rewards offering of TripRewards under one great program - Wyndham Rewards. Now in addition to customizing your stays at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, you can earn points faster when you stay at more than 6,000 Wyndham Worldwide locations around the globe, including Wingate by Wyndham®, Ramada®, Days Inn® and Baymont Inn & Suites;to turn your stays into rewards such as free nights, gift cards, airline tickets and car rentals.


After three nights, you will enjoy ByRequest Level benefits:

  • - A welcome snack and drink (is nice)
  • - Your room the way you prefer it (but this is what you would expect at any hotel)
  • - Extras, like towels and pillows (you can always pick up the room phone to request extras –at any hotel)

They changed the name from TripRewards to Wyndham Rewards. As a member of Wyndham Rewards - the travel rewards program of Wyndham Worldwide, WYN you can earn points at 10 familiar hotel brands

The historic Hotel Galvez & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Hotel in Galveston, Texas, gives you that grand, Old world, slow pace feeling the moment you step into the lobby. You see the magnificent gold leaf topped columns, a mahogany ceiling and period stenciling. These details are part of what earned this property the name, "Queen of the Gulf." In fact, the hotel is across the road from the magnificent Gulf of Mexico warm water. The sea water is sometimes even warmer than bath water. They have a Hot tub and heated pool for the winter, with a swim-up bar serving the best frozen Margaritas. When you're ready for a meal, Bernardo's Restaurant is open most of the time and you can order food at the Bar when Bernardo's is closed for an hour at 3 p.m. It is a great event location for a large or small professional gathering or stylish wedding.

I really enjoyed the Spa at the Hotel Galvez, from the moment that they handed me a glass of Champagne. They go beyond the ordinary "pampering experience" to provide a complete offering of services.


Starwood-W hotel designs are tranquil on South Beach 

August 24, 2011 Categories: hotel brands luxury Starwood

I loved the arty touches at the recently opened W Hotel Austin. The Bedouin style blue and red pillows made lounging around fun and relaxing but I wonder how long the white faux leather tables and chairs will last.

Some of the W hotels designs are surprisingly discreditable when you look at the bright kindergarten like colors. The W Austin has applied the bold colors more tastefully than the W San Diego CA. Though it is more luxurious and more adult than the Aloft branded hotels that are like teen dream hang outs.

Though, In my opinion the W Hotel that I enjoy best, is the W South Beach Miami because the contemporary luxury, is most appreciated when I’m on vacation, as palm trees sway to a salsa beat, nosh at the chic cozy Mr. Chow and Soleá, mingleing across six cool bars, lingering in the W Living Room, being pampered at Bliss Spa.All that cool is enjoyable. The hotel lounge named “the Living Room” is the perfect tranquil color for the beach blue with white.www.spg.com

Starwood’s W Hotels has appointed Jenné Lombardo, entrepreneur and style maven, as its new Global Fashion Director. W Hotels is definitely a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 41 hotels and retreats, including 14 W-branded residences, in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world.

Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien said “Jenné Lombardo’s international outlook is what is needed. Prior to working with M.A.C. & Milk, Lombardo worked on Special Events at M.A.C., where she launched projects with celebrities and artists, including the Viva Glam campaign with Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, on a global level.

W South Beach Miami

W Hotels has been engaged with the world of fashion, from its Backstage VIP Lounge at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to its various collaborations with fashion fixtures, including Simon Doonan, Michael Kors, and Diane von Furstenberg. W has also redefined traditional hotel retailing with the creation of W Hotels The Store, trendsetting boutique stores that sell designer apparel such as the aforementioned Global Glam collection as well as jewelry, accessories, home and design items in W Hotels around the world, online, and through the W Hotels iPhone application. Beyond the brand initiatives, W Hotels around the globe have also been engaged in fashion over the past years, whether from the W Lounge at ELLE Fashion Week in Bangkok to the launch of the exclusive James Small-designed Insider belt for W London – Leicester Square.

W Hotels have been announced for Paris, Guangzhou, Singapore, Milan, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Athens – Astir Palace, Muscat, Mumbai, and Sante Fe, Mexico, while upcoming W Retreats include Verbier and Mexico’s Riveria Maya


Fashion is indeed an interesting part of W Hotels but most of the W Hotels that I have stayed at, would look nice with any furnishings because they are housed in modern, high ceiling buildings. Some of the W hotels make me think that they were designed by VERY young designers because they lack the harmony and luxury of beautiful pieces of solid furniture that you find at a Luxury Collection hotel or a Four Seasons.

Este destino: W Hotel South Beach Miami; Mientras las palmeras se balancean al ritmo de la salsa, disfruta de una comida en el moderno Hotel, socializa en los seis bares espléndidos, descansa en la sala de estar Living Room, mímate con el Spa Bliss®, diviértete en el sol. Vive la vida W, desde Nueva York hasta Londres,y Hollywood hasta South Beach

Several US airlines offer weekend specials 

August 16, 2011

Now is the perfect time to visit New York City, now that it’s cooler! Many places don’t have adequate air conditioning in NY . In the autumn there's always something happening. Whether you enjoy shopping and fine dining or Broadway shows and famous sites such as the Statue of Liberty, you'll never run out of things to see and do in the Big Apple

I’m booking a flight with Southwest Airlines to NYC.united

Southwest Airlines has travel deals starting at $59 one way but the lowest to New York would be:

  1. San Antonio, TX to New York (LaGuardia), NY Web Only fare of $449, earning 2,694 rapid Return pts (you would earn double points if you paid the higher Business Select fare)
  2. Houston to NYC would cost $261 but has a stop or a flight to Newark, NJ would be $387

United Airlines fare; -New York/Newark, NJ (EWR - Liberty) $307 OR 22,500 Miles+$36

United Airlines weekend special on Friday, from San Antonio TX would cost $307 Round trip. It would be $307 to New York/Newark, NJ (EWR - Liberty) OR you could pay with 22,500 Miles+$36 .

San Antonio, TX to New York (LaGuardia), NY Soutwest Web Only fare is $449 and You earn 2,694 rapid Return pts (you would earn double points if you paid the higher Business Select fare)

LUV fare -Houston to NYC would cost $261 but has a stop on a flight to Newark, NJ at $387.sw-airlines

A side trip from NY could be to sail on the Danube. Delta Sky Miles is running an offer for double miles if you Register & Book By September between JFK and Budapest (BUD) nonstop. Delta have flights from $339 each way from NYC to Europe.

Many airlines offer specials to Depart Friday and return on Monday or Tuesday. Check out American Airlines, United and  Delta.

On second thoughts, this offer I came across on United sounds more enticing than NYC:

The Continental.com this weekend from Houston to Phoenix, AZ (PHX) is $307 round-trip OR 22,500 Miles+$36 You can stay at a Hyatt for $59 a night if you book this $307 air on Continental.com and will get the Hotels Best Rate Guaranteed Guestroom at a Non Refundable rate of $59 a night at the Hyatt Place Phoenix North is a modern, pleasant hotel located approximately two blocks from Castles & Coasters and 10 miles from Phoenix Sky airport.

Double Points offer with Holiday Inns 

July 22, 2011 Categories: Crowne Plaza Holiday Inn hotel brands

Most people choose to use points at Holiday Inns than to be a miles collector, to get miles on your choice of a participating airline. You can use even use Priority points for hotels at IHG competitors.ihg brands

They have an offer running to earn Double Points starting on your 2nd qualifying stay. Or earn double miles after your 1st qualifying stay at select hotels. This runs through August 15, 2011. The choice is yours to earn Double Points or Double Miles on every qualifying stay. (You must be a miles collector with a preferred alliance in order to collect airline miles)

Stay at Staybridge Suites or Candlewood Suites and you’ll start earning double on your 1st qualifying stay, (the other brands require a second stay).

Register and earn bonus points or miles will be awarded on every qualifying stay, beginning with the second qualifying stay at participating InterContinental® , Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Express by Holiday Inn™, Holiday Inn Express® and Holiday Inn Club Vacations® hotels worldwide

Gane el doble de puntos o de millas con cada estancia puntuable, a partir de la segunda en Holiday Inn Hotels. Alójese en Staybridge Suites® o Candlewood Suites® y empezará a ganar el doble desde la primera estancia puntuable


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