...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Hyatt Update: Mr. and Mrs. Smith properties now available

I received great news today that Mr. and Mrs. Smith properties are now part of World of Hyatt!  This is a new partnership (that in some ways replaces the Small Luxury Hotels of the World partnership that just ended).  

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Hilton Summer Points Promo

Hilton has shared the Summer 2024 points promotion and I have to say it's a bit underwhelming:

Earn Double Points on stays completed between May 2nd and September 2nd, 2024.  Register first!  

Offer valid for stays completed May 2 - September 2, 2024 (“Promotion Period”) at any hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Hilton Honors™ members must first register at HiltonHonors.com/DoublePoints prior to completing a stay within the Promotion Period.

Registered Hilton Honors members checking in before May 2, 2024 will receive Bonus Points for their stay if the stay is completed on or after May 2, 2024 and prior to or on September 2, 2024.

Registered Hilton Honors members will earn Double Points per stay during the Promotion Period. “Double Points” means members will receive Bonus Points equal to the number of Base Points earned during a stay.

There is no limit to the total amount of Bonus Points that may be earned during the Promotion Period with this offer. However, there are restrictions on the number of Base Points that can be earned on a single stay at certain brands.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Trip Recap: Brussels and Maldives

We just recently returned from an amazing vacation trip to Brussels and the Maldives!  Overall we didn't experience any flight challenges and had a very positive experience flying United, TAP Portugal, and Qatar Airways.

As a reminder, this was our primary initial routing:


Very smooth flight with no issues - we stopped in at the United Lounge before departure and enjoyed some snacks.

IAD-BRU (which turned out to be IAD-LIS-BRU!):

We made it the gate after a brief lounge visit, and heard the agent asking for volunteers since the flight was oversold by 6.  This is the most I've ever heard for an international flight!  They were offering $1000 and rerouting either that night or the next day.  Initially this seemed too low so we didn't jump. However, after a second call I went to the desk and offered to help though noted the amount seemed too low.  The agent was able to increase the voucher amount and route us from Dulles to Lisbon and then on to Brussels that same evening.  Perfect!  We now had vouchers as well as a routing that wouldn't make us late for Sunday.  We went back to the Polaris lounge for a bit and then on to the later flight.  Arriving to Lisbon we went through security, passport check, and then visited the TAP lounge which was very crowded.  After a brief breakfast we walked to the gate and onward via a TAP Portugal flight (new airline!).  Arrival at Brussels was easy with a quick walk to the train which looped us downtown quickly.  

We had the evening in Brussels and once checked in to the Hilton Grand Place walked and had dinner at Mokafe.  I had visited this restaurant during my trip to ILA and it was great to stop again - the service and food were excellent.  We also walked to the main square and tried some waffle!


The next morning after breakfast we zipped back to Brussels Airport via train, checked in with Qatar Airways, then off to the lounge for lunch before departure.  We used miles to fly Business Class to Doha and it was a very smooth flight that had amazing food/drink choices.

Arriving at Doha we had quite a walk to get to our gate though did stop and see the Orchard.  Once onboard we found our seats and I tried to sleep. Unfortunately I had an issue occur with the individual sitting behind me who decided to kick my seat forward twice while I was sleeping since apparently there wasn't room to eat.  Even though I had a right to recline, the individual kept doing this and so I ended up with poor sleep for the entire segment.

At the Park Hyatt Maldives:

Our typical transfer process went quickly (lounge/flight/boat) and soon we were onsite and could relax!


Leaving is always the most difficult thing to do.  We ran to late brunch and then off on our standard boat ride followed by flight from Koodhoo to Male.  In Male we had a bit of a wait though soon we were off on a fairly full flight to Doha.  Arriving Doha we quickly went through security again and then visited the Business Lounge before walking again to our C gate.  We had Business Class again using miles back to Brussels so it was time to sleep!  

Arriving Brussels was fast with a quick visit to security and then off to our gate.  We were not able to visit any lounges since access is restricted to Business class only (no *A or Gold possible).  Boarding was completed quickly and we were off to Newark.  We were able to get quite a bit of work done on the flight and kudos to United for another smooth flight.  No delay for Global Entry this time and we stopped by the United Club before departing to Boston.


It was an amazing trip.  We had multiple segments though didn't have any delays or issues on transfer.  Using points and miles was really helpful and we hope to get back to the Maldives soon!