The 300-acre Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio has been in business for over a quarter century. But the land that it sits on, which is now home to 500 guest rooms, a full-service spa (when it’s not closed (more on that in a minute)), 27 holes of golf, and a five-acre water park, has a history that goes back much further than that.
A brief history of the Hyatt Hill Country
One of the things about the Fort Myers area that makes it hard to figure out where to stay is the fact that it is very spread out. It makes it hard to find a hotel that is in the ideal location. Stay downtown and you’re quite a ways from the beach (especially if you run into traffic). Stay on the beach and you’re far away from everything else (though I guess being “stuck” on the beach ain’t too bad of a place to be stuck).
But if you look hard enough you’ll find a few places that are the perfect happy medium. Not too far from the beach and not too far from everything else. And the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower Shops is one of those places.
The trick to finding a decent place to stay in Chicago is figuring out what you’ll be doing while in the city. If you’re headed to a Bears game, for example, a stay at one of the many options along South Michigan Avenue - like The Congress Plaza, or the Hilton Chicago - is probably your best option.
On the other hand, if you’ll be spending your time mostly north of the river, traversing the Magnificent Mile, you’d be better off staying at a place like the InterContinental, Chicago Marriott Downtown, the Westin Chicago River North, or Hyatt Place Chicago/River North.
And it was the latter, the Hyatt Place Chicago/River North, that was my home base for a night during a recent trip to Chicago. Crystal and I stayed there for just one night for free by using my annual rewards night that I get for having the Hyatt Credit Card.
From the outside, all of the casinos along the Vegas Strip are impressive looking. They’re big. They’re unique. They’re expensive. And they all seem to be popular. But, as I found out during a recent stay, looks can be deceiving.
During that trip I stayed at Paris Las Vegas. I’ve been to Sin City several times in my life and have stayed at Mandalay Bay, New York-New York, Flamingo (more than once), and Bellagio. And one of the hotel/casinos that I had always wanted to stay at, but hadn’t yet until now, was the Paris.
After an early morning flight to Denver International, breakfast with a longtime friend, and a slow drive to the Beaver Creek area of Colorado, we finally made it to our final destination: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.
During my recent trip to Austin, TX, I stayed at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin. The room was free, thanks to my IHG credit card. Along with my bonus for meeting the minimum spend after getting the card, I earned enough points to stay there for two nights.
Rooms can easily reach $240 a night. As for points, a Traditional King costs 50,000 points a night. Not the best value, but not horrible either. You can also combine cash and points, which will typically give the points a slightly better value. Another perk to my IHG card: complimentary upgrades. I was booked in a Traditional King, but when I checked in, they had a King Deluxe room available. So, Crystal and I stayed in that one.
Every now and then a weekend getaway is nice to recharge the batteries. Well, I recently did just that. Crystal and I made the trek over to Fort Worth and stayed at the Blackstone Hotel (aka: Courtyard Marriott). I picked this hotel because of its location. It is smack dab in the middle of downtown. It's a block or two from Sundance Square. It's also within walking distance to dozens of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The Blackstone's location is prime.
But how did the rest of it stack up?
For this year's (or should I say "for last year's"? Whatever. You get the point), New Year's Eve celebration we stayed at the InterContinental Dallas (which is actually in Addison, a suburb just North of Dallas). While there we went to the Emerald City Band NYE party, which was a blast. Good times had by all.
Bit off more than they could chew?
That was my first impression when I pulled up to the hotel at about 9:00pm. The parking lot was absolutely packed. I figured my best shot at getting the party started quickly was to valet. I pulled up to the front and asked how much it was. The guy never answered. That's because valet was full. He told me there was a parking garage around the back that usually costs $10 but tonight was "complimentary," a nice gesture. When all was said and done, by the time I found a spot it was about 9:20. I walked in and had to walk past what looked like at least two or three separate parties already in full swing. None of which was the party Crystal and I were going to. Did they bite off more than they could chew? No. It was very crowded...but the staff handled it well.
The devil is in the details