Tag Archives: Deals

Marriott Sky City Hong Kong- A Peak Season Delight

Marriott SkyCity Hong Kong
(www.marriott.com)

By Siddhi: 

Staying at airport hotels has never been a part of the way we like to travel. We love getting a place, no matter how small it is, in the heart of the city so that we can walk out the front doors in the morning and be swallowed by a new life and new culture. Much of the thrill of adventuring has been in trying to live in the epicenter of all action. But sometimes, booking a hotel during peak seasons on a budget proves to be a very trying task. Especially when you’re in one of the most popular cities in the world around Christmas and New Year’s time.

Last December, after spending winter break in Tokyo, we decided to stop in Hong Kong before coming home because it has mutually remained one of our favorite cities in the world regardless of how many new places we experience. Hotel prices in the soul of the city were ludicrous. So we decided to stay at the Marriott Sky City, located just a few minutes away from the airport.

Sitting right on the banks of the stunning South China Sea that is geographically the touching stone of so many oriental landmarks, Sky City feels like a luxury resort on every level. An indoor pool, full service spa, expansive golf course, and tremendous gym with specialized amenities (it was my favorite part of the hotel. I could work out at three in the morning and watch the planes land gracefully in the distance against the nighttime lights) are only a few among the many perks of paying less during peak season and staying near the airport. The buffet breakfast (additional cost) at the SkyCity Bistro was very comprehensive and ensured a filling, uplifting start to long days of fun and exploration in Hong Kong.

Another highlight was the complimentary shuttle service to the Tung Chung MTR subway station, which was how we connected to the rest of the city. It’s about a 35-40 minute ride to Tsim Sha Tsui, the hub of all culture and action in Kowloon (and to this day one of my favorite places on the planet). The commute isn’t ideal, but time flies watching locals and observing the beautiful seascapes through the train windows.

If you’re not visiting Hong Kong during the peak holiday season, then try to look for a hotel near Tsim Sha Tsui. Deals surface constantly. But if you are visiting at a time when hotel prices are through the roof, consider staying close to the airport at Marriott SkyCity. It was worth every penny.

My Gurus in Earning Miles and Points – Thank You For Enabling Us Everyday

By Lakshmi:

Our blog followers know by now that the way we fund our travels is mostly through accumulating miles and points by traveling and of course earning the same without flying via credit card purchases, promotions, etc.

For many years, we have done just fine with earning points and bonuses by flying with the same airline/staying with the same hotel chains, using credit cards/online portals for purchases, etc. and funded many trips to exotic locales around the world.  But these five “Gurus/Sites” have taken our awareness state to an “enlightened” level.

These experts are so passionate about traveling for free, that they leave no trick unturned to uncover ways to travel for little to no money.

So, without further elaboration, here are the five individuals/sites that I read each day to ensure that I am not missing out on any good deals out there.

www.frugaltravelguy.com:  Rick Ingersoll aka the frugaltravel guy features all the latest news on the way to earn points and miles.  As a former banker, Rick has loads of advice on credit card churning, optimizing returns on credit cards, stories on how people including him and his family have traveled for free and of course tips on making the most out of each opportunity.

www.millionmilesecrets.com: Daraius and his wife Emily have accumulated and redeemed millions of miles and his stories always make me feel a little bit stupider for not taking advantage of opportunities that could be staring at me in the face.  I mean that as a sincere compliment.

www.boardingarea.com:  This website is a compilation of frequent travelers who not only bring us deals, but also blog about their airline/hotel/car rental experiences.  Amusing reading and lots of tips.

– www.thepointsguy.com:  I read this site with a mix of awe, envy and respect.  Can anyone take points earning to a state of art and science at the same time?  Sure, if you are thepointsguy.  The posts are so detailed and so well articulated, that it is almost a primer come guidebook for both the novice and experienced mile collector.

travelbypoints.com:  I just recently started reading this site and I have to say that this site comes closest to a management consulting firm in terms of detailing how you can travel for less.  The writer has a ton of personal stories that span the gamut from how he traveled to Machu Picchu for a fraction of what it would cost (his notes are on my to do list!) to how routine gift card purchases can add rewards to your kitty.

Thanks to each of these individuals/sites, we have been educated to be even savvier to enable us to continue to do what we love to do – travel!

JW Marriott Hotel, Cairo – A Deal Ropes Us In, The Value Leaves Us Content

By Lakshmi:

As soon as we knew that we could redeem frequent flier miles to fly to Cairo on Egypt Air, we started looking for hotels that would be safe and offer a great value for the money.  Since I have worked for Marriott, have such fond memories of my time there and know some awesome people working behind the brands, I always look to see what is available locally. In this particular instance the cost prohibitive rate of $450 a night for an executive junior suite with lounge access seemed like a pipe dream.  That was until I saw an email stating that the company was having a sale and one could stay in a suite in the Middle East/Africa for as low as $100 a night.

Scanning the Marriott website, we were able to find the same junior suite for under a hundred dollars.  With lounge access providing free breakfast, snacks and drinks, we decided to snag the deal.

First, for those desiring a downtown Cairo experience (which is usually our preference), the property is situated close to the airport.  And there is nothing that is within walking distance of the hotel.  However, if you want a refuge from the hustle and bustle of downtown Cairo, the property is a haven.

Our room was lovely and spacious (see picture above).  Our breakfast in the lounge was very good each morning.  Plus, once we were done with breakfast, we could take some water and fruit along for our day trips.  In the evenings, we could have a cup of coffee, snacks or drinks, making us feel like we had hit the jackpot in terms of value.  The value added services also included a free shuttle to downtown Cairo and to the nearby Star of Africa mall, a service we used multiple times.

Unlike other trips, we tapped into the concierge quite a bit to help us find locations and particularly to write down addresses in Arabic.  The service provided was responsive and efficient.

On a couple of instances, coming back dead tired from a day trip, we did eat our meals at the hotel and the food did not disappoint.

When a hotel can be an enabler, it leaves you feeling so much more satiated about your overall experience.  And for us, the JW Marriott in Cairo did exactly that.

To learn more about this hotel, click here:

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/caijw-jw-marriott-hotel-cairo/