The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa Review Part 2

This is Part 2 of this series and you can find Part 1 in the link below:

The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa Review Part 1

The Westin Lake Las Vegas is situated in Henderson, NV which is located 30 minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip. Ideally, if you want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip, I would highly recommend this hotel. This resort has no casino, but it boasts many pools with its own outdoor sandy beach! If you want the casino atmosphere, there is a nearby hotel which offers all of your gaming needs in Lake Las Vegas.

During the stay, I had the chance of trying out the hotel’s dinner buffet which was located in a ballroom setting. The dinner buffet costed $35, which I room charged. Since this was a catering environment, the $35 was an all-in price that included tax and gratuity which I considered a huge bargain. The New Year’s Eve dinner consisted of an extensive buffet serving prime rib, turkey, scalloped potatoes, herb stuffing, truffle mac & cheese, goat cheese ravioli, mahi mahi, shrimp cocktail, ceviche, and many more unmentioned seafood/meat dishes that I couldn’t try. There was also an extensive dessert selection featuring a made to order creme brûlée station.

For breakfast, the New Year’s Day Brunch costed $20 which included a wide variety of breakfast items such as eggs, potatoes, sausage, ham, bacon, and most surprisingly of all, a made to order omelet station. At the omelet station, you can also order made to order eggs (any style). They also have brunch items such as steak, chicken, fish, crab legs, and shrimp cocktail. For $20, this was a bargain feast.

There of us dined, so that made it a $60 bill minus our two $15 credits (Platinum breakfast voucher), which made it a steal at $30 for three people! During checkout, the resort fee was waived due to it being included in my rate. Only the incidentals for the dinner buffet and breakfast charge was on my folio, which I gladly settled. Overall, this hotel has a great Platinum recognition with a beautiful breathtaking resort grounds to enjoy as well. I will leave you with pictures of the resort itself as the pictures speak for itself.

 IMG_0755 IMG_0761 IMG_0762 IMG_0763 IMG_0764 IMG_0765 IMG_0766 IMG_0767 IMG_0768 IMG_0769 IMG_0770 IMG_0771

The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa Review Part 1

I’ve always wanted to book a reservation at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa ever since it entered the Starwood portfolio. I know it’s a long distance away from the strip, but quite frankly, I was tired of always staying on the strip. I used 10,500 American Airlines miles on http://www.useaamiles.com because the hotel was not showing availability on New Year’s Eve. I received the full Platinum SPG benefits even though I booked through a third-party (I will show you how to do this in a later post)

View from my room

                                              View from my room

During check-in, the front desk agent acknowledged me as a Platinum member and asked which kind of amenity I would like. I opted for the breakfast voucher, which can be used as a $15 credit per person (max 2 people). I asked if there was a possibility of a suite upgrade (knowing there wasn’t, but doesn’t hurt to ask), but she said that the hotel was completely sold out for New Years Eve. I asked for a late-checkout and it was granted with no questions asked. There is a resort fee, but it is waived on my third party rate. The resort fee includes gym access, pool access, newspaper, internet, pool toy rentals/equipment, and in-room bottles of water.

Standard room with a pool view

              Standard room with a pool view

In a sense, I think I was upgraded because of the pool view and the views were magnificent! There is also a small balcony with sliding glass doors where you can grab some fresh air and people watch.

Two double beds

                                  Two double beds

Leather chair with ottoman

                     Leather chair with ottoman

View of the Shower

                             View of the Shower

View of the bathroom

                       View of the bathroom

The room was quite quaint and cozy enough for two people with magnificent views of the property. The Westin heavenly shower had a rainfall shower-head which is the best in the industry and the Westin heavenly bed was even better. I will leave you with two pictures taken from my balcony pool view and Part 2 will be a review of dinner and breakfast at the Westin Lake Las Vegas with additional pictures of the beautiful resort grounds. Stay tuned..

Beautiful pool view

                               Beautiful pool view

Beautiful view of the resort grounds

             Beautiful view of the resort grounds

 

 

Las Vegas: THEhotel American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts Review Part 2

This is Part 2 of the Las Vegas: THEhotel American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts Review. Part 1 can be found in the link below:

Las Vegas: THEhotel American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts Review Part 1

The hotel amenity for THEhotel is a $100 spa credit that can be used for any spa services at THEhotel’s Bathhouse. I didn’t see a spa service menu in the suite, but after a quick phone call, I was quickly connected to the spa concierge. I let my friend use the $100 spa credit and I booked a $90 20-minute massage for him. There were facials, manicures, and pedicures available, but due to it being on New Years Weekend, everything was completely booked. We had a choice of either a male attendant at 10:30am or a female attendant at 11:00am, so we chose the latter. My friend ended up charging the $90 to the room and left a $20 tip. The $90 was taken off the bill immediately and $20 was left on the remaining folio balance. Sorry no pictures as my friend did not take any pictures of THEhotel’s Bathhouse.

We had breakfast in the morning and there was a New Years Eve special brunch menu at The Cafe. The cool thing about booking through the American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts program is that the breakfast credit is very generous and can offset a huge amount on your room rate. In this case, we had $80 worth of breakfast credits to use ($40 per person, max 2 adults). We had three adults dining, which is no problem since everything is charged to the room and taken care of automatically.

The Cafe's New Year's Eve specials

            The Cafe’s New Year’s Eve specials

Breakfast/Brunch Menu

                       Breakfast/Brunch Menu

steak frites,  prime flat iron, marrow butter, truffle fries

   prime flat iron steak, marrow butter, truffle fries

Prime Beef Filet Benedict

                      Prime Beef Filet Benedict

Blue Crab Benedict with Hash Browns

            Blue Crab Benedict with Hash Browns

Again, the breakfast credit is very generous as it is really hard to use $80 worth of breakfast credit for even three people including orange juices. I’ve stayed at this property many times using the Fine Hotel & Resorts program and in previous years, they only offered a physical $20 voucher per person, totaling $40. I’m really impressed that it has changed to $40 per person ($80 total). If you are itching to stay at this property, I would do so soon because it will be changing its name to theDelano hotel and it might be leaving the American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts program.

I’ve seen this hotel go as low as $75 during Thanksgiving week of last year, but this property is usually in the low $100’s most weekdays except Thursday, Fridays, and Saturday nights. The hotel rate will hover above $200 during special events like Labor Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and New Years.

Next, I will be reviewing the Westin Lake Las Vegas as a Starwood Preferred Platinum guest, so stay tuned!

Las Vegas: THEhotel American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts Review Part 1

THEhotel is situated behind Mandalay Bay and is considered an all suites hotel. Normally, the rates for a standard suite is around $109, but because I stayed during New Years Eve weekend, I paid $209 which was still reasonable. I booked through the American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts program which gives me early noon check-in, complimentary room upgrade (if available), hotel amenity ($100 spa credit), $80 worth of breakfast credit ($40/per person), and guaranteed 4pm late checkout.

I arrived at the hotel around 4pm and the hotel was relatively empty at the check-in counter. I inquired about the complimentary suite upgrade and the clerk informed me that the hotel was sold out for the night.

Standard Suite at THEhotel

                     Standard Suite at THEhotel

View of the couch and decor

                   View of the couch and decor

View of the living room

                          View of the living room

Wetbar in the living room

                        Wetbar in the living room

Guest bathroom in the living room

              Guest bathroom in the living room

Two Double Beds

                     Two Double Queen Beds

View of the bedroom

                        View of the bedroom

Granite countertop w/ a his and hers sink

       Granite countertop w/ a his and hers sink

Shower and Tub

                               Shower and Tub

I must have stayed at THEhotel at least five times on an Fine Hotel & Resorts rate and not once have I ever been upgraded from a standard suite. The standard suite is pretty large in itself and you can definitely party it up in Vegas and entertain guests comfortably in the living room. There are two restrooms in the suite with one being in the foyer and the other in the bedroom. In addition, there is a wet-bar just in case you need to clean up after the party. Rumor has it THEhotel will be re-branded as the Delano Las Vegas in the future. I’m not sure if the Delano Las Vegas will be part of the American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts program when the changeover happens.

This review is a two part series in which I will review the spa and breakfast at THEhotel. Stay tuned…

American Airlines Tells Citi AAdvantage Cardholders To Keep The Extra Miles During A Technical Glitch

I wake up this morning to an email subject “FYI: Bonus Miles In Your Account” from American Airlines.

The e-mail reads as follows:

Dear Jamison,

Have you noticed a few extra American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles in your AAdvantage account? As you might have guessed, we had a technical glitch.

A benefit of your eligible Citi/AAdvantage card is that you will earn 10% of the total AAdvantage miles you redeem. Last summer, we posted 1,800 more bonus miles to your AAdvantage account than the eligible 10,000 miles one can earn as part of this benefit.

While we have fixed the glitch, we think these extra bonus miles might come in handy someday, so we’ve decided to leave them with you! As always, for your latest mileage account balance, we encourage you to visit your AAdvantage account online at AA.com today.

We appreciate your continued support, and look forward to seeing you in the new year!

American Airlines Technical Glitch E-mail to Citi AA Cardholders

                                     American Airlines Technical Glitch E-mail to Citi AA Cardholders

I didn’t even realize that I had an extra 1,800 bonus AAdvantage miles in my account since it was buried under numerous AAdvantage activities on my mileage summary. I decided to look back and concluded that they posted the 10,000 mileage once, then 900 miles in July, and then once more another 900 miles in my August statement.

Having the Citi AA AAdvantage credit card along with being an Executive Platinum elite is definitely a perk and it’s why I will be aiming for top tier on American Airlines for many years to come. On the other hand, United Airlines is known to pull back bonus miles it accidentally credits to a customer’s MileagePlus account so this is a great PR move by American. Kudos to American for being honest and upfront with their customers.

Have you received a similar e-mail? I received an 1,800 extra bonus miles. How many did you get?

How To Book and Add Your AAdvantage # to a British Airways Avios Award Ticket

Today, I received a ticket to attend the San Francisco 49ers football playoff game this weekend against the Green Bay Packers. The game is being played this coming Saturday so I went ahead and looked for the lowest priced airfares for a Saturday departure and coming back Sunday morning. The lowest prices on Orbitz was $389.69 for LAX-SFO. Since this is a short distance flight, I decided to see if there was economy availability on British Airways using 9,000 Avios points and $5 cash. Since LAX-SFO is such a short distance, it only requires 4,500 Avios points each way.

Orbitz LAX-SFO - $389.69

                         Orbitz LAX-SFO – $389.69

To my surprise, I found wide availability for my dates this coming weekend on British Airways.

Looking for availability

     Looking for availability

Wide availability for a Saturday Departure

            Wide availability for a Saturday departure

Found wide availability for Sunday departure

      Found wide availability for a Sunday departure

I was super excited to find out my Saturday morning departure and Sunday morning arrival in LAX was available.

Only 9,000 Avios points roundtrip from LAX-SFO

                                                     Only 9,000 Avios points + $5 taxes for a roundtrip from LAX-SFO

ERASE the pre-populated BA Executive Club Number

                                 ERASE the pre-populated BA Executive Club Number

This is the most important step when trying to add your American Airlines Frequent Flier number after your award has been ticketed. You MUST ERASE your BA Executive Club number or else it will be hard coded into the reservation and you will need to pick up the telephone to speak with American Airlines to change it.

Remember, your BA PNR is DIFFERENT from your AA PNR

                         Remember, your BA Booking Reference # is DIFFERENT from your AA Record Locator #

After you have successfully entered your credit card number and billing address, you will see your booking summary. Ignore the British Airways Reference number so it is of no use when dealing with American Airlines.

Go on AA.com and click on My Reservations

                                               Go on AA.com and click on My Reservations

After booking your British Airways Award ticket, it is issued almost immediately, so head on over to http://www.aa.com and click on My Reservations. You will need to continue without logging in.

You will need to enter everything in the fields EXCEPT your PNR

                                        You will need to enter everything in the fields EXCEPT your Record Locator

You will need to enter your First Name, Last Name, and Flight Number (gather from your booking summary). Enter the Airport and choose the departure date, then click Go.

avois9Click on Add/Edit Passenger Information

Enter your American Airlines AAdvantage Number

                                                 Enter your American Airlines AAdvantage Frequently Flier Number

After entering your AAdvantage number, you can hit submit. If you see your BA Executive number pre-populated, then you must not have followed my guide correctly. You will need to call American Airlines and have them erase the BA Executive number (it might take them a few tries on SABRE). If you are an elite, you will be able to choose preferred seating.

You can choose preferred seating if you are an Elite on American Airlines

                                 You can choose preferred seating if you are an Elite on American Airlines

I hope this guide will help you to successfully book your future British Airways Avios awards and take advantage of your American Airlines AAdvantage status. My next few guides will teach you some tips and tricks on how I book hotels and car rentals. I can’t wait to see my San Francisco 49ers win this Saturday!!









Las Vegas: Venetian Hotel American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts Review Part 3

This is a 3 part series which is a continuation from Las Vegas: Venetian Hotel American Fine Hotel & Resorts Review Part 1 & Las Vegas: Venetian Hotel American Fine Hotel & Resorts Review Part 2

The great thing about booking an American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts rate is that breakfast in the morning is taken care of as stated in the welcome letter.

Venetian Hotel – American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts Welcome Letter

In this case, breakfast for two is dined in the comfort of your own room. We ordered a pot of coffee, two orange juices, two iced waters, assorted pastries, and toast.

Venetian Hotel – Breakfast room service

Room service came within 30 minutes of ordering and the bill included taxes & gratuity, so you just need to sign your name but there is a tip line for additional gratuity if you wish. The iced waters were not brought, but we promptly shrugged it off since we were overloaded on liquids. The assorted pastries consisted of muffins and croissants. The pot of coffee came with milk and sugar in addition to a cup and saucer. The three slices of toast came in a basket with butter and assorted jams.

During checkout, I requested the $20 resort fee be waived since the internet was spotty and it was promptly removed. The $100 pre-fixe dinner charge was taken care of and all that was left on the remaining balance was the dinner tip. I stayed at THEhotel in Mandalay Bay the night after, so stay tuned for the full review. I will leave you with breathtaking pictures of the view from my Bella Suite at the Venetian.

Pool view from the Bella Suite

View of the Palazzo from my suite

Las Vegas Strip View from my suite