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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ocean Lodge Hotel, Santa Monica, CA

While on vacation, my husband and I wanted to stay as close to the Santa Monica Pier and 3rd Street Prominade as possible, but we wouldn't pay the exorbitant $500/night prices most places were charging the first week of June.

Ocean Lodge was the cheapest we could find at $199/night. I am a hotel snob, so I prepared myself for the worst, and was pleasantly surprised. Of course this is no Ritz Carlton, but if you want a place to stay near the Santa Monica Pier (that is clean), without breaking your budget, this is a great place. The Location is Awesome!

1667 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Bayhill Inn, San Francisco, CA

We had an early flight out of San Francisco, and needed a cheap place near the airport to stay the night before. This place was closeby, cheap, and not scary looking. The lady that runs it is very nice.

Olallieberry Inn, Cambria, CA

The website for this pretty and relaxing Bed & Breakfast allows you to see a picture of each room so you can choose where you want to stay. We stayed in the Angel's Nook room and really liked it.

The fireplace is a great amenity! It warmed the room really well. Even though we went in June, it was really chilly at night and we needed a jacket and long pants.

The bed was comfortable, too. The wine and hors d'oerves were alright. The breakfast the next morning was really good, but my husband said it didn't fill him up.

This is a very peaceful and relaxing place. I enjoyed sitting outside in the garden and reading. This is a great place to stay for one night.

Sheraton Dallas Hotel, Dallas, TX

I stayed in a suite in the South Tower (which is supposed to be the refurbished rooms - 3 years old). The suite was beautiful. It was very comfortable and had great amenties. Free bottled water, a loofah, and even a bathroom scale!

However, when I went to take a shower, the water wasn't hot. It wasn't even very warm. I called guest services and they said it was normal, especially because I was on the 20th floor. (The higher up you are, the more likely you won't have hot water.) They offered that I could change my room, but I was in a beautiful suite and didn't want to move rooms.

Then she told me to just let the water run until it turned hot. I let it run a full 15 - 20 minutes, which is expensive and wasteful. After 15 - 20 minutes, it was a good temperature. But it is pointless to stay in a suite and not have hot water!

I didn't like the food in the restaurant either. Not only was it extremely overpriced ($6 for a cup of soup), but the food wasn't anything special. When it was the Adam's Mark (before April 2008), they had an awesome restaurant on the top floor. Now, that's gone and the only restaurant is the mediocre one in the lobby.

On a positive note - the staff is wonderful and they offer free postcards with postage if you send them from the hotel's front desk.

I would recommend this hotel if you can get a good price, or if you need the great location.

Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas, NV

AMAZING room. I had just the basic, run of the mill room and it was AMAZING. I am a white girl who normally doesn't use this phrase, but my room was "off the hook"! There was a remote control to move the window coverings. The bathtub was perfect, and they give you bath salts upon request! They even will bring you a humidifier at no extra charge! (Although mine didn't really work very well, but still it was better than most hotels who don't have humidifiers at all!)

The restaurants are so good, although be prepared to pay A LOT for the food. about $6 - 10 for breakfast. $15 - 20 for lunch and definitely $35 and up for dinner. I loved the restaurant at the Spa. It was very healthy and not too overpriced.

The pools are beautiful and free. However it costs $35 per day to use the health club to work out. But the room TVs have DVD players, so bring your own work out DVD to have in your sleeping room.

My biggest complaint was the cigarette smoke. People can smoke in the casinos, and even though I stayed in a non-smoking room, cigarette smoke wafted through the vents. If I was pregnant, I couldn't have stayed at the hotel at all.

All in all, the hotel was fabulous and beautiful.

Carlisle Inn, Walnut Creek (Amish Country), OH

I had no expectations and was pleasantly surprised. This is definitely the place to stay in Amish Country. I won't stay anywhere else now, and am looking forward to coming back for when I need to "get away from it all." The views are great and I loved sitting out on the balcony and just gazing at the landscape.

Liked — sitting on the balcony with the beautiful views
Disliked — the free choc chip cookies could have been better

Super 8 Sapulpa/Tulsa, OK

If you are driving through Tulsa, Oklahoma, this is a great place to stay if you are just stopping for the night and don't want to spend a lot of money, but also don't want to stay in a dump. I am a hotel snob, and while I wouldn't vacation here, I definitely would stay here again to save money on a road trip.