Staying at Dollywood’s Dream More Resort makes visiting the theme parks easier and more fun. You get a few perks such as a trolley that takes you to and from the parks and free fast passes to Dollywood (for a detailed review of Dollywood and Splash Country, click here). The resort is only one year old and is absolutely gorgeous. It is nested in the Tennessee mountains and is decorated in a serene color palette with hints of Dolly Parton throughout. The outdoor area with a pool, fire pits, and lots of seating is a great place to spend some time and there’s also a gym and arcade. The Dream More Resort is a wonderful place to stay but it is expensive and the nickel and diming was frustrating and the customer service throughout the resort was abysmal. Also worth noting it that there was a complete lack of diversity at the resort or as my teenage nieces put it, “We are the only brown ones here and people keep staring at us.” Despite these annoyances, staying at Dollywood was a nice experience.
Beau Rivage Resort and Casino
Beau Rivage is located in Biloxi, MS and is so attractive it puts some of the casinos on the Las Vegas strip to shame. Even though it opened in 2006, it appears brand new and the casino floor is reminiscent of the lovely Bellagio is Las Vegas.
Hilton Fort Worth
Hilton Forth Worth, formerly the Hotel Texas, is where President Kennedy spent the last night of his life. The next morning he gave a speech in the parking lot followed by another speech in the Crystal Ballroom before making the short flight to Dallas where he would be assassinated.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Toronto Airport Corporate Centre
We had a very strange front desk experience. When we arrived, the man at the front desk would not acknowledge me whatsoever even though the reservation was in my name and I had prepaid online with my credit card. He wouldn’t even look at me. It wasn’t until my husband was standing at my side that the front desk man began the check in process. When he would speak, he would only speak and look directly at my husband. Even when I’d ask questions, he would not look at me or respond to me but would direct his words to my husband only. It’s as though I were invisible. This can easily be described as the most sexist experience of my life.
I know for certain that my hair wasn’t sticking up in some absurd manner nor was there anything hanging out of my nose because I checked my appearance in the car before we walked into the lobby so this could not be the cause. This experience made me feel very uncomfortable. I sent an email to the company to complain about this and received a call from the manager offering to email me a complimentary stay. Several months later, I still have not received that email.
When we got to our room, the keys didn’t work so we needed to return to the front desk to have the issue fixed. Fortunately, the rest of our stay was pleasant. Our room was clean and new and we had a peaceful view of a golf course. We had a separate living and sleeping area, which made it seem we were in an apartment and not a tiny hotel room.
The Mirage Hotel and Casino
We have stayed at the Mirage numerous times as it is our preferred hotel in Las Vegas. The location just can’t be beat. It is in the very center of the Strip which makes getting around easy. Check in is always quick and simple and even though the casino is older, they do an excellent job of keeping it clean and smelling decent by filtering the air so the cigarette smell isn’t overwhelming.
The very comfortable hotel rooms have recently been redone in a modern and colorful style. We have stayed on several different floors in a basic guest room. These basic rooms do not have a strip view (this costs extra) and have plenty of space for two people. We have always found the bed to be comfortable and like the overhead reading lights. The closet is spacious and includes a safe. Although the bathroom is small, it has high end touches and the lighted, magnifying mirror is a nice touch which I like using as a night light. There’s a standard shower and only one sink in the bathroom.
Vdara is a non-gaming, non-smoking hotel and resort. As an Mlife member, I got a good deal on the room so I decided to check it out. I arrived early in the morning and was able to check in with no problem well before “check in time.”
Drury Inn & Suites – Orlando
We have stayed at other hotels in Orlando during our yearly visit to the parks, but I think the Drury Inn is such an amazing value that it doesn’t make sense to stay anywhere else.
The hotel is right off the highway which is great but also makes exiting the hotel difficult because of all the traffic. There are several fast food restaurants nearby and a Whole Foods across the street. Universal is just down the street.
The hotel is brand new and as you might expect, everything appears fresh and new. Check in was so quick and our room on the fifth floor was clean and spacious. We loved the floor to ceiling window that looked out onto the highway in front of the hotel. Our room was very quiet. We never heard anything from the highway or from other rooms.
Omni Tucson National Resort
Having been built in the 60’s, the resort is old but you wouldn’t know it to look at the place. The property is well cared for and appears new. The hotel lobby is an impressive sight and the check in process is top notch. You can help yourself to complimentary fruit and beverages while you sit in a cushy chair and are checked in by employees who excel in customer service.
Even though the staff explains how to find your room, it is still easy to get lost as there aren’t many signs to direct you and there are so many different paths and stairways inside the lobby. Once outside, there are even more pathways. After asking a staff member for help, we found the area our room was located in. Adjacent to the pool and with a fabulous view of the golf course are the premier mountain vista rooms.
The Mirage Private Oasis Pool and Cabanas
The Private Oasis Pool is hidden and tucked away to the side of the main pool creating a peaceful and relaxing respite from the crowded scene of the main pool. Usually, there are never more than 25 people present. The large, heated pool is never crowded and anytime you feel like taking a refreshing dip, you’ll pretty much have the pool all to yourself. Everyone must be over 21 which helps foster a very quiet and calm atmosphere.
Holiday Inn Philadelphia Stadium
We stayed here for 2 nights because it is the closest hotel to Citizens Bank Park and is just a 5 minute walk to the stadium. (You can read a review about the stadium here.) The price was outrageous because it was game day but you have to remember you are paying a premium for convenience.
On game day the hotel charges non-guests $20 to park in the hotel parking lot but when you check in and pay for parking, you’ll receive a parking permit that you must leave in your car. Make sure to get one. The front desk person didn’t give us our permit when we checked in and it caused problems when we tried to get into the parking lot on game day. Even though the lot was virtually empty because it was 4 hours prior to the start of the game, the hotel had closed off the parking lot and had an attendant out front who didn’t believe us when we tried to explain we were hotel guests. She refused to let us on the property for quite a while.