Travel

Residence Inn By the Marriott Buffalo – Hotel Review Sept 2019

We stayed at this cute hotel for our Labor Day weekend.

This hotel is located in Buffalo, New York, just about 2 hours away from Toronto. The drive was short and sweet and the border for the long weekend wasn’t bad at all. It was a breeze going through.

Upon entry into this hotel, I loved it instantly.

It was an open concept and had many areas to sit and relax and the atmosphere felt comfy from the start.

Check-in was a breeze as we checked in after 3 pm. So, no line-up.

Reception staff was friendly and fast to give our keys.

Parking was out front, which was very convenient.

Room

We were on the 6th floor facing the street. You can also see the outdoor space by the pool, below.

Our room had 2 queen beds, a full kitchen and a living room with a sofa.

The bathroom was gorgeous and clean.

This room accommodated all four of us.

Main Floor

I loved this space. So many spots to lounge, an area with a television and more comfy seatings. They also had a cute little wall unit as a library.

 

The gym and pool and outside patio, and washrooms are all located on the main floor.

They also have laundry facilities which were very tidy and clean.

Food

With our stay, came complimentary breakfast the next morning.

Breakfast was sufficient and the food to me was pretty good.

In their breakfast nook, you can find the usual; scrambled eggs, round sausages, cereal, oatmeal, fruit, pastries and you can also make your own waffles.

The coffee and tea bar was located by the tables outside the breakfast nook.

There was plenty of seats and it was comfortable.

My children woke up just in time for a 5-minute sprint for breakfast and when they got to the waffle stand, there was no more batter left. I went into the kitchen and even though it was 2 minutes before 10 am, I asked them for a refill, and they happily obliged. Yay!

At this hotel, there is a Starbucks and a bar called  The Roosevelt.

The Roosevelt served a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, cocktails, beer & wine. It was such a cute and inviting place to hang and grab a quick bite or snack and just chill.

Gym

My son used this facility and he was very excited to show me a basket full of earbuds if you forgot yours, how awesome is that!

Also, a water machine to fill your water bottle. (they thought of everything!)

Pool

The pool was lovely and had plenty of lounge chairs with towels for your use. I dipped my toe to test the water, and it was hell cold. So I decided not to be adventurous that day.

By the pool, you can find an outdoor space with an electric bonfire. It was so cozy and I enjoyed sitting there for a bit.

Staff

All staff we dealt with, were professional and aimed to make your stay a great one. They were courteous and always had a friendly smile.

Bonus

Beside the hotel, you can find Walgreens, to purchase that one thing you forgot at home. (like my daughter’s toothbrush)

Final Thoughts

I would certainly return to this hotel. It was very comfortable and so clean. Everything was pleasing to my eye and it wasn’t noisy. The hallway was brightly lit and I felt safe going to and fro to my room.

We enjoyed our stay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trumbull & Porter Detroit Hotel Review – July 2019

My husband and I traveled to Detroit for a quick weekend sprint earlier in July.

We stayed in this industrial looking boutique hotel and I fell in love because of its hotel structure, and how unique and different it was.

The outdoor space was the reason I booked with this hotel, and upon arrival, I was told that it was not available for guest use that night, unless you pay an entrance fee. A burlesque show was scheduled the night we arrived. I was so disappointed! Nevertheless, we sneaked in and stayed to see how it was. In my opinion, it was horrid and inappropriate for a hotel to be showcasing half-naked women as part of their entertainment, at their establishment, but that’s my opinion.

Room

Our room was very small but cute. Very tight bathroom area and no dressing drawers to put your clothes away. The floor was concrete with throw rugs beside the bed. The room had a cold feel to it, thank God they provided slippers and a thick bathrobe, for your use! The only thing that did bother us, was that we could hear people next to us. Their conversation and laughter could be heard very clearly so we turned up the tv volume.

Hotel

I found this hotel so adorable, I didn’t mind the tight spaces, but my husband did because he’s a big man.  This hotel is located in Corktown, the oldest neighborhood in Detroit. The hotel is decorated by local artists and had their work displayed throughout. They had cute chairs, tables, lamps, plants, signage and so on. I truly loved the cool and hip vibe. I did mention that their outdoor space is beautiful right?

They also have this adorable gym.

Food

The Red Dunn Kitchen is a restaurant in the hotel, where we dined for a late dinner after playing at the MGM Casino.  The cheese board was awesome, but the pasta came to me lukewarm, twice.  This place is super adorable though. Plenty of natural light and the decor is clean and pretty. There is a patio bar and also a coffee bar, which unfortunately didn’t have a chance to try out.

For drinks or snacks before dinner, you can check out Batch Brewery. Its only a 2 minute walk across the hotel. It’s comfy and the staff is really welcoming. They also have a patio. Enjoyed it here very much. A review will be coming up soon, for this cute gem of a spot!

There are many restaurants in the area, take a drive around first then you’ll get an idea whether you want to walk or drive to it.

Final Thoughts

I loved this hotel and was disappointed that we didn’t get a chance to enjoy the courtyard. This hotel is so damn cute, clean and fits me right. The staff was pleasant and the environment was cool and relaxed feeling. I would come back.

 

 

 

 

 

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Riu Playa Blanca – Resort Review May 2019

Located in Playa Blanca, Panama
May 16th to May 23rd, 2019

Ambiance

Went here with my husband for a week of rest and relaxation. The ride to the resort from the airport was a mere 10-15min transport. Totally amazing, made it a great start!

Upon arrival, as soon as we stepped off the shuttle bus, we were greeted with an amazing and refreshing cold fruity beverage and a little snack served on trays. Ten points for that right off the bat!

The lobby was large and very modern and bright. Spacious and accommodated all patrons lining up for check-in. Staff was very welcoming and all smiles. The place looked spotless. The mood was awesome and positive.

Check-in was quick and front reception was very personable.

Room

Our room was beautiful, spacious and had a great view. It was clean and well maintained. The hotel is a U shaped complex and we were at the tip of that U. Though a long tiring walk from the elevators which was located obviously in the center of that U, the view made up for it. Day and night, I truly appreciated our view of the courtyard, the pools, the entertainment section, and the ocean.

Hotel

This was a beautiful hotel, everything modernly decorated and so spotlessly clean. Every day every minute the staff was polishing, mopping, washing, and straightening something. I swear that a baby can eat off their floors. The hotel is also quiet at night, no rowdy people making a scene, and in the mornings, it is also unbelievably quiet. Usually, at other resorts I’ve stayed at, you can hear the staff early in the morning with their carts, cleaning in the hallway.

Staff/Service

The staff were very accommodating here and also attentive. They aim to please every guest and I’m pretty sure they have made many happy. I called up for minor issues and within minutes there was a knock on my door ready to fulfill my needs.

Food

Well, this is where everything went wrong during our vacation. My husband and I both got sick. He, as soon as we got there for 2 days. Me, for four days, until we boarded back home and still another week after that.

Before I got sick I ate the fruit platter that was left on our bed as a welcome gesture. It was the best fruit I have ever tasted. The mangoes, pineapple, watermelon, melon, everything tasted wonderful. Until it hit me with diarrhea/vomiting. So I stopped eating almost everything and let my sickness mend.

After a few days of eating their food, I got sick again and that was the end of our vacation. I had three days of using the pool and enjoying their facilities until I was bedridden.

After my third day of being so sick, my husband had to call the nurse. I was given an intramuscular injection on my buttock and given antibiotics. We stayed in our room for the entire last week. I didn’t even have the energy to eat in the dining room.

We couldn’t eat the food and was so scared to get sick, so we had liquids and bread most of the time. It was so sad!

 

Pool/Beach

This was absolutely beautiful!

There are 4 pools

  • The pool with the swim-up bar. This was a noisy pool. Adult only.
  • The pool closest to the snack bar is where the animation team entertains you, and also has a volleyball net.
  • The kid’s pool, with a water slide
  • The quiet pool. Loved this one!

The beach was nice but I didn’t go into the water. The current is pretty strong and my husband went in, once. I see patrons lounging at the beach, instead of enjoying the water.

The pool and beach scene, in my opinion, was beautifully laid out and convenient. Everything was close by. The snack bar which turns out to be the specialty Steakhouse during dinner is just a few steps away.

Excursions

  1. Anton Valley – a little village about 30 minutes drive from the hotel. It’s in the crater in an extinct volcano, surrounded by mountains and forest. We went for an amazing walk into a waterfall called  “El Chorro Macho”. The suspension bridges were so amazing and we had a great time walking up into the forest.

Los Pozos Termales –  A place to relax and rejuvenate. I had the pleasure of trying a mineral mud facial and a soak in a mineral bath/pool. It was such a great and amazing experience for me. So tranquil and quiet, surrounded in plush greenery and mountains, my god what else can you ask for.

2. Panama Shopping –  We took a private taxi to Panama City and shopped at Albrook Mall. This a large mall, and enjoyed shopping here. Their food court has many wonderful options and their food was delicious.

Panama Canal – Our taxi drove us around the Canal, and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, it was raining and we didn’t feel like touring the area intimately.

3. Rented a car – We rented a car and visited the Panama Canal on our own, in better weather. The canal was massive and so impressive. We watched the cargo ships and were in awe of how humungous they were. It was such a sight and was happy that we finally got to see the famous Canal!

Unfortunately, after doing these excursions I got very sick. Thankful at least for having experienced this.

Final Thoughts

I have such mixed feelings about our vacation here at the Riu Playa Blanca Hotel. It was so beautiful and clean and alive and I really loved all the pools. Every morning, even when I was sick, all I needed was a quick glance at our view and always fell in love.

It saddens me, that we both got sick from the food and was completely starving to death and couldn’t wait to go back home. Even the water in our fridge tasted so weird and had a terrible stench to it.  I had to drink pop every day just to wash down my meds, and I’m a water lover.

All in all, you have to proceed with caution with this hotel, because of the food situation. We’ve talked to other guests and it was a hit or miss. Some didn’t have food issues, while others got very sick just like us.

Such a shame though, the hotel was absolutely beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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