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Travel

A Review of the Hyatt Regency Orlando

A Great Option For Tourists and Convention Goers

The Hyatt Regency Orlando is a massive, 1,600+ room hotel located right next to the Orange County Convention Center. I had a chance to stay here as a World of Hyatt Globalist recently- here’s how the stay went!

Tour The Property

How I Paid

Paid rates were through the roof- I figured a convention must be in town, and I was right! I managed to snag a points+cash reservation, the first one I’ve booked in quite some time with Hyatt, for $50 plus 7,500 points. To me, it represented a good savings on rates that were over $450 a night.

The Perks

As a World of Hyatt Globalist, I receive a lot of perks over a “normal” visitor. I get these perks for earning 60 elite nights a year (some of this is from Hyatt credit card earning). At this property, they’ve actually reopened the club lounge, so I was able to visit that in the evening for some free appetizers and discounted drinks, and free breakfast in the morning. I also received a space-available upgrade to a beautiful one-bedroom suite, which you can see detailed in my hotel video above. Finally, I also received late checkout, which is 4PM at non-resorts for Globalists.

What I Loved

For a convention hotel, they really had a lot of awesome activities for adults and families. This makes sense, as the hotel is centrally located for all the Central Florida theme parks, like Walt Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Orlando. Families could travel with the convention-going parent, and still want to use the pools in between park visits. I loved the massive pool complex, with waterslide, kid pool, and poolside restaurant Coconuts.

They also had a full-service spa and massive fitness complex, which is great for those that are trying to stay centered and in shape on the road.

What I Hated

The hotel is massive, and if you are put off by convention crowds, this is not the hotel for you. Dining at restaurants on property could also be an issue if there was a busy convention that lined up with your stay.

The area around the hotel isn’t too exciting, though I-Drive with very touristy attractions is close by. Ubers and Lyfts are plentiful, but it takes a bit to manage traffic in the area if it’s bustling.

Overall

The Hyatt Regency Orlando is one of my favorite Hyatts I’ve stayed at in recent memory- the suite upgrade alone, with firework views at night, was truly spectacular. There are two other Hyatt Regencies in Orlando that I’ve stayed at, and it’s hard to choose a favorite. Just another great stay at one of my favorite hotel chains!

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Travel

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Review – January 2022

Sailing The Newest Cruise Line

The Scarlet Lady, part of Virgin Voyage’s new cruise line, has made quite an impression on us after our four-night sailing in January 2022. We chose the “Sunsets and Soirées” journey to Key West, Florida and Bimini, Bahamas. By the time we sailed, Key West was changed to Nassau, Bahamas. Bimini is host to Virgin’s Beach Club at Bimini, a private destination that was quite a hit.

The Ship

The ship is absolutely gorgeous- it’s one of the best looking profiles I’ve seen of any new vessel in quite some time. Stretching 14 decks, the ship really emphasizes fitness, high-quality food and entertainment, and a fun adults-only vibe. You can check out the full ship tour below.

The Cruise

While it was a short voyage, we got to experience a lot! From trivia to unique entertainment, as well as some shark snorkeling mixed in, we had an absolute blast. If you want a day-by-day journey of our trip, check out our video below on our YouTube channel Jackson Jetsetting.

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Travel

A Review of Luxor Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

Check out my March 2021 review of the Luxor Las Vegas, using my M Life Gold status perks as a Hyatt Globalist.

As a reminder, M Life Gold is earned at 75,000 Tier Credits, or matched to World of Hyatt Explorist or Globalist status. You’ll receive better-than-public room rates (my room at the Luxor was free, plus the $39.68 resort fee per night), 20% bonus on slot points and Express Comps earned, priority hotel check-in, room upgrades, priority dining reservations and line-skipping privileges, as well as VIP line access at some nightclubs.

The Luxor can be booked with cash, which earns World of Hyatt points and status nights, or 12,000 World of Hyatt points a night. Generally, you’ll get better value using cash here than points.

The Luxor is an absolute maze of a hotel, with lots of dead-end hallways, confusing signage, and a dark interior. Honestly, it felt very eerily quiet as I roamed the pyramid’s ground-floor hallways for this video. To be fair, some of the hotel is under renovation, but this ain’t Bellagio.

Some of the ancient Egyptian theming has been removed, but much remains, including on the attractions level above the casino. While the Titanic and Bodies exhibits aren’t Egyptian themed, the obelisk is, as well as the once-largest atrium in the world that it resides in.

As you can see in the video, the Luxor has several room types- some in its “Tower” level of rooms, and some in the Pyramid. The Pyramid rooms are the most famous, because you’ll need to take a horizontally-moving elevator to get to them, as the Pyramid is sloped. The exterior wall in your room will be sloped. This is fun for kids, and certainly unique for a hotel nerd like myself. The rooms are up for renovation, which you can see is needed in my video above.

There is actually a lot to do on property, like the aforementioned activities above the casino. There is also a massive pool, which was unfortunately closed during my visit. Next door is the Mandalay Bay, where guests could use that pool if they wanted since the Luxor’s was closed. The Excalibur is on the north side of the hotel, and offers more shows, a large basement arcade, and dining options.

I love the Luxor for cheap nights to re-qualify for Hyatt status, as well as its kitschy history. However, I wouldn’t want to stay here for an extended period of time, as it felt dark, wasn’t conveniently located to the more exciting parts of the Strip, and was in dire need of an upgrade.

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Hotel Review Travel

A Review of the Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles

I had one more night to use at any Ritz-Carlton of my choosing (up to Tier 4), due to my Ritz-Carlton Credit Card sign up bonus. Having stayed at the Ritz in LA in the past, I decided to stay there once more. Here’s my review of my stay.

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Hotel Review Travel

A Review of the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

I’ve stayed three times at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach between 2016 and 2018. I find it to be one of the best valued, and kitschiest properties in Hyatt’s portfolio.

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Hotel Review Travel

A Review of the Residence Inn Long Beach Downtown

Located right on Long Beach Harbor, and close to the cruise port and local tourist attractions, I was very impressed with the location of the Residence Inn Long Beach Downtown. But, will the rest of the stay stack up?

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Hotel Review Travel

Ritz-Carlton New Orleans Review

With the bachelor party festivities over with (finally!), I retreated to the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans for one night before my flight. The rate was just too low to pass up, and with my $100 resort credit and free breakfast from a timeshare ownership rate, the stay had a lot of benefits included!

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Hotel Review Travel

The Renaissance New Orleans – Warehouse District Review

In town for a bachelor party, I visited New Orleans in August of 2017. Arriving a day early due to award flight availability, I checked out the Renaissance New Orleans- Warehouse District for a one-night stay.

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Travel

Riding Amtrak Business Class from Chicago to St. Louis

Needing to be in St. Louis after a business trip in Chicago left me with a few choices. I could have flown, but with flights over $150 one-way, I wasn’t too keen on that option. Instead, I elected to take the Texas Eagle Amtrak long-distance train for its leg from Chicago to St. Louis. All in, I paid $100 for my business class cabin, which included a meal for my journey.

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Hotel Review Travel

A Review of the Excalibur, Las Vegas

I needed a place to crash for one night before my stay at the Wynn Las Vegas, so I decided to take advantage of my mLife Platinum status (for the last time, sadly) at the Excalibur. For $77 a night, including resort fee, it was a no-brainer!