141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (11)

Which Disneyland Hotel Should You Stay?

Disneyland’s inherent problem in California is that they are landlocked and surrounded by area businesses right up against their front gates. However, for our family, that is one of the great appeals of visiting Disneyland and being able to walk across the street to get into a park.

So there are lots of hotel options to choose from when visiting Disneyland. Yes, one could stay in one of the official Disneyland hotels, but that comes at an expensive price.

On our family’s previous two trips, after price shopping area hotels and amenities, we landed our heads at the Howard Johnson Anaheim. Paired with a discount from Mousesavers, and timing the reservation at their lowest point, we saved a bunch of money on previous trips to Disneyland.

On this trip over Thanksgiving, things were different. We found ourselves going to Disneyland because I made a mistake keeping my United miles active, and justified to myself paying the reinstatement fee by redeeming miles for this trip. Higher airfares over Thanksgiving, paired with having just the right amount of miles for our family to fly domestically meant the trip came together.

We also have been sitting on a large pool of hotel points across various brands, and getting the hotel for free was factored into the decision making process. So we elected to try out the Hotel Indigo Anaheim, part of the IHG program.

Hotel Indigo Review

Upon checking into the Hotel Indigo, we found out Platinum membership in IHG come with the benefit of being upgraded to a Disney fireworks view room on the third floor.

The hotel in general was very contemporary and beautifully appointed. The staff were amazing, and our stay was great!

The room was appointed with modern furnishings and two queen size beds. The walls were appointed with sophisticated patterns of wallpaper. Lastly, the bathroom was gorgeous with vessle bowl sink, Aveda products, and tiles shower. The room was appointed with a flat screen television and Keurig coffee maker, replenished daily with new pods.

141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (1)

141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (2)

141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (3)

141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (4)

141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (5)

141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (6)

141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (7)

141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (8)

There was an outside swimming pool that looked great, especially with weather in the 80s during our visit; however, due to luggage and time constraints, we did not bother packing swimwear for this visit.

141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (9)

The hotel also featured nightly water fountain shows to lights and Christmas music out front.

141124 Hotel Indigo Anaheim (10)

Also, the only meal we ate at the hotel was on Thanksgiving night, following a long day in the park. The boys were tired and wanted to go back and play with their souvenirs and enjoy a meal at the Hotel Indigo.

We elected to have the corn and lobster chowder, paired with the traditional turkey dinner, and served with a slice of cheesecake, for the respectable price of only $18.99 per person. The food was excellent!

141127 Hotel Indigo Anaheim Thanksgiving (1)

141127 Hotel Indigo Anaheim Thanksgiving (2)

Therefore, our family loudly proclaims we would stay at the Hotel Indigo Anaheim anytime in the future. It was a great hotel, with comfortable beds and nice amenities. Even if we had paid for our stay with cash versus points, it would have provided a good value.

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Source: InACents

Redeem Bing Rewards for Frequent Flyer Miles

Bing, Microsoft’s powered search engine, offers guests the chance to earn free rewards for using their service. Guests earn rewards for using Bing to search for things on the internet. In addition, guests can earn bonus points for performing suggested activities like searching for specific items, completing short surveys, etc.

Bing Rewards Airline Miles

I have been a member of the Bing Rewards program for quite some time, but do not actually use it very often. Typically, my most interaction with the program is when they email me telling me about bonus point opportunities.

However, Bing is now making it a little more enticing for those of us who like to travel.

Users can now redeem your credits and get 100 points/miles for your favorite frequent flyer, hotel or retail loyalty program. Participating programs include American Airlines AAdvantage®, Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns®, Hawaiian Airlines® HawaiianMiles®, Icelandair Saga Club, IHG® Rewards Club, LifeMiles, My BestBuy™ Rewards, SVM FuelCircle, US Airways® Dividend Miles® and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Bing Rewards redeem at 400 points = 100 points/miles in your favorite program. However, Bing Rewards has several tiers of membership, depending on your interaction with the program.

Bing Rewards Chart

Above is a copy of the Bing Rewards Chart, showing our Silver status. Once you earn 200 credits in the program, you will be upgraded to Silver status. Earn 750 credits and become a loyal Bing searcher, and you will be upgraded to Gold status.

The benefit of Gold status is receiving a 10% discount when redeeming rewards. However, it appears Gold members can redeem 385 credits towards 100 points/miles in their favorite program, which is only a 3.75% discount. Still a discount, but not equal to what is advertised.

This should come in handy, as I am looking for ways to extend some of our mile expirations.

If you have not signed up for a free Bing Rewards account, here is our referral link. Feel free to leave yours in the comments.

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Source: Bing Email

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

Tips for Having a Hotel Birthday Party

With the ringing in of February came the planning for our middle child’s three year old birthday party. I would be lying if I said I was not a little bit smitten that our families passion for travel meant he wanted to spend the night in a hotel and have a pool party. So my wife and I set out on a path to make such party a reality for a three years old’s wish.

I was quite happy that my wife took the lead on finding the perfect hotel to make the hotel pool party a reality. We had first heard about this phenomena from my sister, who upon traveling to Chicago for work, found out she was staying in a hotel that was popular for the newfound trend of hotel pool parties. Reserve a hotel room, invite your kids friends over, celebrate in the room with food and cake, and have a swim party.

So my wife wanted a suite type room to be able to invite the immediate family over. We elected to go with the Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls. We were also able to secure a suite for a modest 15,000 IHG reward points. A 1 bedroom suite with two queen beds went for $155.58 after taxes, making 15,000 points a reasonable redemption.

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

Upon checking into the hotel, the hotel staff had realized they placed us into a smoking room. So we asked if there were any upgrades available as part of our status with IHG, and the agent switched our room around for us in no time. What we did not realize was the agent unexpectedly upgrades us to a great, two-bedroom suite. Our room came complete with a bedroom with two queen size beds, it’s own desk and private bathroom. A second bedroom was on the opposite side of the suite, and came complete with a king size bed and it’s own private bathroom. Adjoining both bedrooms was the living room and kitchen suite, complete with a dishwasher, fridge, microwave, and toaster oven. The 2 bedroom suite typically goes for $190.15 after taxes, making the 15,000 points a tremendous value.

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

140222 Staybridge Suites Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls

Tips for Having a Hotel Birthday Party

1) Keep in mind you are having a birthday party in a communal place, and there are guests around you staying in the same hotel for various reasons. Therefore, a hotel is not a place to have a wild and crazy party, regardless of whether it is with family, lots of kids, or friends. Our family was very aware of that having a “party” at a hotel may have been against some unwritten rules, and we did not want to draw any unnecessary attention. Therefore, we had an early evening party, before any adjacent neighbors would be going to bed.

2) Bring your own party decorations. My wife had purchased all of the decorations, cups, plates, napkins, etc. ahead of time. We arrived early and before our guests to make sure we had time to hang the decorations.

3) When your wife puts you in charge of getting the pizza, make sure you get it right. We were fortunate that the Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls was adjacent to a local pizza establishment. I had no problem ordering the types of pizza that would accommodate the various palettes (cheese, vegetarian, meat lovers). However, one would think ordering 3 large pizzas to accommodate 12 people would be easy. However, when I picked up the pizzas, I realized larges were only 12″ pizzas and that 24 pieces was maybe not the best decision. Whoops. Make sure you plan accordingly ahead of time and bring enough food.

4) Traveling as a family of five, even for a single night stay at a hotel involves an entire van of stuff, and that does not include all the party supplies, presents, etc. Two cart loads into our room and managing three kids is already a lot to handle. So we had family provide their own beverages, making it one less thing for us to cart in. Fortunately, some members of our family now carry their own private, wine in a bag travel gear.

5) Following the party, make sure to clean up after yourselves. That includes if you go to the pool, make sure to clean up after your guests (dirty towels, empty cups, etc.). After opening up presents in you room, gather all of the wrapping paper and packaging. Garbage cans in hotel rooms are always small. So ensure that you bring your own garbage bags and discard of the trash in the dumpster on your own. Housekeeping already has enough on their plates cleaning countless number of rooms everyday. So help them out, and make sure there is minimal additional work required from other guest rooms.

The Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls also provided a nice breakfast spread in the morning, which was suitable to fulfill the various dining tastes of our family.

We were really impressed with the Staybridge Suites Akron-Stow-Cuyahoga Falls. The staff was all delightful! The hotel was immaculate, new, and well appointed. The suite was fantastic, and the pool was a hit with the boys (but so is any bathtub). The biggest thing I took away from staying at a Staybridge Suites was how great they are, and how we will definitely consider this brand in the future.

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Source: InACents