My Virgin Experience- SFO To Dallas Love Field

IMG_1627I’ve flown Virgin America a handful of times from the Bay Area, but all of my flights have been to Las Vegas or San Diego and only in Coach. I was needing to head to Dallas and found a First Class fare $50 cheaper then any other airlines coach ticket, even Southwest!! Well what’s a person to do, fly in the back of the bus for more moolah or fly up front for less. Let’s think about it for maybe two seconds. I immediately bought my ticket to Dallas Love Field on Virgin America from SFO and away I went.





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Review: Westin Hotel Long Beach

I recently stayed at the Westin Long Beach for a couple days while in LA on business. I’ve stayed here once before, but I didn’t review the hotel since I was only there one night. This time I thought it was worth it for me to review it since I actually got to spend more time here than I expected. More on that later. The hotel is situated almost across the street from the Long Beach Performing Arts Center and a very short walk to the water too. It’s on the main drag in LBC too so there’s plenty to do and eat around here.

I checked in around 6 PM and the lobby was very quiet it was just the two check in agents, a couple bellman and one other guest also checking in. I love being a Starwood Platinum because most of the time I get an upgrade to a non-standard room. A couple times I’ve even been given a presidential suite or some other pretty cool rooms. In this case I didn’t get the presidential suite but I did get a corner room on the 5th floor. The last time I was here I got a two room suite, and it was nice, but this one was nice too. The check in desk called it a junior suite. It was very spacious and had plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the room.


Lobby Area

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Review: Conrad Koh Samui Amazing Hotel, Less Than Amazing Service

Conrad Koh Samui Amazing Hotel, Less Then Amazing Service


Cashing in my last 300,000 United miles

American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco

Flying First Class on Lufthansa Seattle-Frankfurt

Rubber Ducks, Cured Meats and VOSS – Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

Flying First Class on Thai Airways also on the a380

Thai Airways Domestic Business Class -Bangkok to Koh Samui

Conrad Koh Samui Amazing Hotel, Less Then Amazing Service

The Cutest Airport in the world – Koh Samui

Asiana Regional Business Class- Bangkok to Seoul

Asiana a380 Seoul to Los Angeles

Visiting Thailand and the island of Koh Samui



As part of our around the world trip we decided to go to Thailand and the island of Koh Samui. Since I’m a sucker for Conrad Hotels, we chose to stay at their property. Over the years we’ve been spoiled at other Conrads in Bali, Maldives, Singapore and Hong Kong to name a few. Basically over the years, I’ve gone to their website looked at the hotels in their portfolio and tailored my vacations around them. That’s how much I love this chain. Granted because it’s a Hilton Hotel Group I like to stay at them because I can earn points, use points and get my Diamond benefits like free breakfast, Wi-Fi, upgrades and lounge access. In many cases, the properties are pretty expensive and without my points we’d just not be able to afford to stay at them.

After a very very long trip to get here (if you’re curious about how we got here check out the rest of the trip report) we finally arrived. The view from the check in reception lobby was just as spectacular as advertised. Conrad is located on the Southwest side of the island about 45 minutes from the airport along the coast. Because it’s situated on a very large hillside or mountain if you have to hike it, you have incredible views and virtually unobstructed views. The check in desk is situated at the top of the hill, and surveys all of the resort. Which gives you a glimpse of what the incredibly beautiful hotel has to offer.


The incredible view from the check in area

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Categories: Around the world, Hilton Hotels, Hotels, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Review: Aloft Portland


Cookie Cookie Cookie

I like the Aloft brand. It’s straightforward, they have two room types, a cool social space aka a bar, and overall you know what you’re going to get. It’s just that simple. At this particular check in the receptionist mentioned that this was my 10th Aloft stay this year, which proves I like Alofts since I only have 22 stays at Starwood properties, I really must like them. Continue reading

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Review: Conrad Chicago


Hotel entrance and walkway to Nordstroms

I like Conrad Hotels, check that I love Conrad Hotels. Ever since our first stay at the Conrad Bali in 2007 I have been hooked on this chain. Of the 24 current locations of this boutique hotel chain operated by Hilton I’ve since stayed in eight of them, and overall I have loved all of them.

The Conrad Chicago, was no exception. Sure it’s not an amazing resort hotel like the Conrad Maldives or Bali, but for a city hotel it was good. The hotel interior was beautiful. The lobby as you can see has tons of seating, with several small intimate areas which was great. The lobby also featured a separate indoor and outdoor bar called Terraces. Unfortunately the outdoor area was closed except for my first night. I figured I’d have plenty of time to check it out, but unfortunately due to the rain and crummy weather it was always closed. Next time I need to strike while the iron is hot. That being said the bar was pretty hip, had a nice drink menu and was a nice hangout. Continue reading

Categories: Hilton Hotels, Hotels, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Southwest: The Airline I LUV To Hate


The vaunted group A, what a lucky duck I was.

Southwest Airlines is a carrier I LUV to hate. They are the nation’s largest airline by passenger volume and have a huge route network throughout the United States and earlier this year Mexico and the Caribbean. They serve 96 cities in 41 states and have over 3,600 departures per day. Overall this is just incredible, but the Greyhound of the skies is just not my carrier of choice, but when push comes to shove I have to suck it up and get in line like all the other cattle.

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Categories: Airlines, Review, Southwest, Travel, Travel Blog | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Review: Sheraton Crescent Hotel Phoenix


Hotel main entrance

This week I visited scorching Phoenix Arizona again. This is my fourth trip here since May. On each trip I’ve stayed at a different Starwood property. This time it was the Sheraton Crescent Hotel.

Unfortunately, this was not the hotel I was thinking I was staying at. Apparently I neglected to map it out from my clients office and accidentally picked the one that was 17 miles not 3 from the office I was working in this week. I had the hotel names mixed up, and since I’d never stayed at either before I thought I was going to the “right” place until my GPS told me otherwise. Oops. Rookie mistake, you think after over 1000 nights in hotels in the past 12 years I’d know better. Continue reading

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Welcome Million Mile Secrets Readers

I recently was lucky enough to be featured on the awesome travel blog Million Mile Secrets in their weekly Interview series. If you haven’t read or seen Daraius’s blog you should check it out (and read my interview too). Since this is my first ever interview about my travel habits and blog, I thought it would be nice to welcome all my current and hopefully new readers to participate in a giveaway. Since I love Starbucks and can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t I thought a $25 gift card would be the thing to give away.

So if you’re interested in being included in my giveaway, please leave a comment on this post about your most memorable trip, vacation or travel experience and why and also include your name and I’ll pick the one I think sounds the most fun. I know it’s not very democratic or random, but hey it’s my blog so I can make my own rules. I’ll leave the contest open for one week starting today July 11th and ending at Noon Pacific Time on July 18th. Once I pick a winner I’ll message you back with the code to redeem the card.

For readers that are new to the site, I’ve listed a few of my favorite adventures that you might find fun to read about. They’ll hopefully give you an idea of what types of things I write about and what makes me tick as a traveler.


Flying Singapore Airlines First Class Food Porn

Malossol caviar

Malossol caviar at 35,000 feet with a glass of Dom Perignon and Russian Vodka of course.

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Categories: Contest, Interview, Review, Singapore Airlines, Starwood Hotels, Travel, Travel Blog | Tags: , , , , , | 27 Comments

Mileage award redemption on Etihad Airways: How I spent $4 and saved $17,000


What our ticket cost per seat if I used cold hard cash

No this is not some pyramid scheme or some crazy get rich quick promise, nor am I asking a Nigerian for help. But I am talking about something just as elusive, a premium award ticket on a world class airline. Booking a ticket on a carrier like the Big Three Middle Eastern carries, Lufthansa, Singapore or Cathay Pacific for example can be nearly impossible, or so it may feel. But with a few tricks of the trade you can really get a lot and feel like a millionaire every time you book an award ticket on a carrier like Etihad Airways. Continue reading

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Review: Sheraton Downtown Phoenix


The 30 story hotel

Last week I stayed at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix hotel. I got a steal of a deal at $59 plus tax per night. It was the cheapest mid-level hotel in town and was just close enough to where I had to work that I decided to stay there. In the summer most hotels in the metroplex drop their rates, but this one was at least $30 less than the competition. Forget that the competition I was looking at, although decent hotels, were of the Four Points, Hampton Inn or Aloft variety. Definitely not bad hotels, in fact in most cases pretty good, but none were a full service hotel like this. So how could I not stay there? As an added bonus, it was four blocks from a really really great pizza place and three blocks from Chase Field, home of The Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. Continue reading

Categories: Hotels, Lounges, Review, Starwood Hotels, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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