Cleveland: The Forest City Rocks

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
A scenic bridge in Cleveland, Ohio.
A scenic bridge in Cleveland, Ohio.

 Named “The Forest City” in 1834, Cleveland, Ohio has a deep pipeline of history. Located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland is dynamic, sophisticated and vibrant.

Cleveland rapidly became one of the largest manufacturing hubs in the United States in its early days. The city’s location on the river and lake shores, as well as being connected to many canals and railroad lines, made this the perfect manufacturing center.

Over the years, Cleveland has been a home to many crime stories and crime-lords. Crime is particularly present in only certain districts of the city, and other neighborhoods are very inviting for visitors.

Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is an ideal location to sit back and enjoy a cold craft beer or locally distilled spirit among the history. Clevelanders have created a city known for award-winning food and historic buildings. The vibrant, culturally diverse city is filled with world-class museums, attractions, and parks.

Cleveland Museum of Art.
Cleveland Museum of Art.

Home to the second largest performing arts center in the United States, Cleveland hosts many Broadway musicals, concerts, speakers and other large events throughout the year. Playhouse Square Center, in the Cleveland Theater District, was originally constructed in the 1920s. After closing down, through grassroots efforts the building was revived and is recognized as “one of the top ten successes in Cleveland history”, for an entrance to the new era of downtown revitalization.

Cleveland Museum of Art is a globally recognized attraction and with a $755 million endowment, it is the fourth-wealthiest art museum in the nation. The establishment houses over 45,000 works of art from around the world over 5,000 years of time and is internationally renowned for its holdings of Asian and Egyptian art. The museum is now one of the most visited art museums in the entire world.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of the most recognized faces of Cleveland. In 2017 alone, more than half a million visitors traveled to see the famous establishment. Credited to holding the country’s first rock ‘n’ roll concert, the city has hosted some of the most famous faces of rock; from the Beatles, Paul Simon, Elvis, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and many more.

In April of 2018, Cleveland hosted the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, with Bon Jovi, the Cars and other rockers flooding the city.  Visitors can expect to see impressive collections of memorabilia— from John Lennon’s guitar to hip-hop pioneer Jam Master Jay’s gold chains. The Hall showcases many installations throughout the year, a recently popular exhibit being a history of women in rock.

Bon Jovi at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2018.
Bon Jovi at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2018.

Cleveland is not short of places to stay either.  Downtown is lined with new and old hotels, exhibiting the city’s vibrancy, diversity, and history. The DoubleTree by Hilton is warm, welcoming and is the closest hotel to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The building overlooks the shore of Lake Erie and is close any attractions you and your family may want to visit during your stay.

Metropolitan Hotel, Cleveland.
Metropolitan Hotel at the 9, Cleveland, Ohio.

The Metropolitan Hotel at the 9, is a luxury property to pamper you.  Located in the center of downtown Cleveland, the art and history of the city blend seamlessly at the iconic location. The design of the hotel displays bold designs, distinctive amenities to create a unique travel experience full of character.

Whether you’re going to Cleveland on business or pleasure, be sure to look into Bonwi and after you book, you’ll get points to use the next time.

Chattanooga: The Scenic City Is Ready for New Visitors

Choo Choo Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Choo Choo Hotel lobby in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Tucked between mountains and the Tennessee River, Chattanooga is one of America’s most breathtaking cities and has garnered the nickname “Scenic City”.  Beginning about two decades ago, private and governmental resources have invested an incredible amount of time and money to transform the city’s tarnished image.

In fact, the New York Times named the city one of the “Top 45 Places to go” in the World. The renovated city has also taken home many national awards for outstanding livability and largest metro areas where to get the best “Bang For Your Buck”.

The “21st Century Waterfront Plan” was put in place in the early 2000’s to revitalize the downtown area and making use of the Riverfront’s natural resources. Since then, visitor numbers have drastically increased and the city is opening new attractions and accommodations each year to support the influx of crowds.

The Scenic City has become a world of outdoor adventure, amazing restaurants, boutique hotels, live events, and world-class attractions.

One of the best and safe ways to explore the city is on the water. New attractions line the Tennessee River offering endless activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, surfing, and electric unicycle rides.

Chattanooga is home to one of the nation’s top children’s museums, the Creative Discovery Museum, perfect for a day for family fun. The museum inspires children’s passion for learning through play; clay sculptures, message zooming through pneumatic tubes, digging for dinosaur bones and cast assuming in the Back Alley Theatre. A great way for the family to enjoy the hands-on activity while inspiring imagination in the younger generations.

Ruby Falls Village, Chattanooga, TN
Ruby Falls Village, Chattanooga, TN

As Ruby Falls celebrates their 88th birthday in 2018, they are proud to open the first phase of the $20 million expansion. A destination that inspires exploration, Ruby Falls is home to the tallest and deepest underground waterfall, located 1,120 feet beneath the surface of Lookout Mountain.

Highlights of the expansion include a new entrance, accessible Blue Heron Overlook, shaded open-air dining, the Village Gift Shop, and the Village Plaza that serves as a gathering place with live music and food carts. Guided tours are offered to explore the cavern trails and ancient geological formation, supported by abundant views of Chattanooga.

Chattanooga offers some of the very best accommodations in the country. For an authentic experience of the city’s history, the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel is the place to stay. Opened in 1909 as a terminal station during the golden age of railroads, today the station stands as a grand hotel in downtown Chattanooga.

The Edwin Hotel, Chattanooga, TN
The Edwin Hotel, Chattanooga.

The building boasts dining, retail shops, rose gardens and a unique twist to spending a night in town. Guests can overnight in beautifully restored sleeper cars, which were once reserved for the wealthiest of passengers in the railroad era.

Many new accommodations are being welcomed to the city in the fall of 2018. Two of the most highly anticipated additions include the Edwin Hotel and Moxy Hotel, both boutique hotels.

Whether you’re off to Chattanooga on business or for fun, why not use Bonwi points and get free hotel nights?

Bleisure Travel in Detroit: Mix Business and Pleasure

The Parlor, a room at the Siren Hotel in Detroit.
The Parlor, a room at the Siren Hotel in Detroit.
The Parlor, a room at the Siren Hotel in Detroit.

Bleisure travel is quickly becoming the newest popular trend among young professionals. The idea is simple – you have to go on a work-mandated excursion to meet a client or attend a conference in a city you’ve never been to before? Why not use up a couple of those well-earned vacation days and take some time for yourself to see it from a tourist’s perspective?

And with Bonwi points, you can buy the hotel for work and use the points to extend your trip for fun!

By spreading out their vacation days into a multitude of smaller, less exotic mini-vacations, millennials are effectively finding the ability to check out unexplored parts of the country and take advantage of some of the new attractions these always-growing cities have to offer.

One of the most popular locations for these wanderlusting young people is America’s Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. Detroit is facing a revitalization effort of epic proportions, with engaging new attractions being built all the time.

Coupled with these new developments is a greater emphasis placed on luxurious and trendy spaces for visitors to stay and explore the city. Recently, three exciting new hotels are opening up within a two-block section of downtown Detroit that are sure to garner the interest of bleisure-minded folks.

The Siren Hotel

The new Siren Hotel by ASH NYC is finding its home inside of the historic yet seriously dilapidated 1926 Wurlitzer Building. The restoration process was completed in November of last year and its massive transformation left even locals to the area stunned.

The hotel consists of 106 guestrooms, a rooftop deck, 2 retail spaces, and several food and beverage options. The aesthetic of the building’s new design draws from the history of the once bustling organ manufacturer’s main office building and incorporates some new ideas from the mind of chief designer Will Cooper.

The location is perfect for those looking to find a downtown headquarters for their explorations of the most happening part of the city and offers a great variety of room options for any prospective guest.

A Parlor Suite at The Siren Hotel (from their website)

The Element Detroit Hotel

Opening in December 2018, Marriott’s new installation in their extended-stay Element Hotel series is sure to take Detroit by storm.

Finding its place in the once-great Metropolitan Building, the first Element Hotel to open in Michigan will be a 14-story, 110 room sanctum for those looking to stay in the city for a longer period.

The hotel will have 2,000 square feet of meeting space on its second floor, making it the ideal location for in-town business operations and will also have a great deal of retail and restaurant space.

This redevelopment will certainly mark a fantastic improvement for the run-down building, originally set for demolition.

The Shinola Hotel

Last, but certainly not least on our list is the set redevelopment of the building at 1400 Woodward Avenue into the chic new Shinola Hotel. This project will see the disheveled shell of a building turn into one of the most happening places to stay in the city.

The transformation of this building is the brainchild of two famous Detroit-based companies, Shinola and Bedrock. Their creative collaboration promises to produce one of the most happening spots in downtown.

Along with this renovation, the project will also open up a back-alley that connects the hotel with the previous two listed, the Siren and the Element,

The hotel will provide 130 rooms for its guests and 16,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. It is slated to open late this year and will be an excellent place to relax after spending a night out on the town.

So if you find yourself in Detroit later this year on business, think about the opportunity to extend your stay in one of these elaborate new renovations to some of Detroit’s most famous buildings.

Use your Bonwi Points and enjoy a stay at fine hotels like these–and get points back to spend as you wish!

Memphis Has Hotels of All Stripes for Travelers

The Guest House at Graceland, Memphis Tennessee.
The Hotel Napoleon, a great place to stay in Memphis.
The Hotel Napoleon, a great place to stay in Memphis.

Memphis is the home of Elvis Presley, the blues, and the best barbeque around, and the city is building new hotels to accommodate the tourists visiting “Grind City.”

The nickname comes from Memphis’ famous professional basketball team, the Grizzlies, and their slogan ‘grit ‘n grind.’

Many people are eager to visit the South’s most soulful city to see Graceland, sample the mouthwatering eats, and immerse themselves in the music scene.

With so many people coming to visit, Memphis has now become home to several different new and updated hotels that are catering to the crowds.

From charming bed and breakfast to glamorous resorts, there’s a spot for everyone to come and be a part of the Home of the Blues.

Hotel Napoleon has hit the Memphis scene as being a modern accommodation for the sophisticated and selective traveler.

With 58-units, this luxury boutique hotel is located in the heart of Memphis’s downtown area inside the historic Winchester Building.

The Guest House at Graceland, Memphis Tennessee.
The Guest House at Graceland, Memphis Tennessee.

“A boutique hotel unlike any other” is the phrase coined by Hotel Napoleon. Sitting just four blocks away from the mighty Mississippi River and historic Beale Street, this hotel is sure to get you in the Memphis spirit.

If you’re looking for something even more immersive, Memphis now offers an everything Elvis hotel experience.

The Guest House at Graceland offers Southern charm and glam at the newest luxury resort in the city. The resort is located just steps from Elvis Presley’s home, the Graceland Mansion.

The resort includes 450 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a movie theater, a large outdoor pool, spa-like rain showers in each room, and much more to make for a swanky hotel stay.

The Guest House also offers special packages for guests. Packages include a Graceland Getaway for 4, Graceland VIP Tour + Planes, the Elvis Experience + Planes Package Elvis Presley’s Memphis Celebration Package, the Taking Care of Business Package, the Breakfast Package, and an Elvis Week Package.

Elvis Week is an event that happens each year at Graceland, and the Guest House is accommodating guests, and taking part in this event.

This event package with the Guest House at Graceland offers $339.00 per night for a stay at the resort and a week of celebrating the music, movies, and legacy of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The schedule of events includes the annual Candlelight Vigil, the Ultimate Elvis tribute, concerts, and much more.

If you’re neither a resort, or boutique hotel, type of guest, then it would be time to take a look at the bed and breakfast options.

The James Lee House in Memphis. Historic charm.
The James Lee House in Memphis. Historic charm.

The James Lee House one of the city’s most important residences and vibrant example of Memphis’ early grandeur and opulence. This location has been redone as a premier bed and breakfast.

The families who have called the James Lee house home were deeply engaged in the development of every aspect of community life-from commerce and banking to benevolence and the arts.

Due to its past inhabitants, this location has become a beacon of good in the community, and it now offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a bygone era while enjoying luxury and comfort.

If you’re thinking of combining work with pleasure in Memphis, find the best hotel deals on Bonwi that will give you points to use later.  It’s Win-Win!

Discounted Excursions from Metro North Railroad

Not only is taking the train romantic, it's scenic and you can get discounts to places where you can kayak, hike or even ski!
Not only is taking the train romantic, it’s scenic and you can get discounts to places where you can kayak, hike or even ski!

If you’re looking for an exciting trip to take for less, Metro-North Railroad is offering a discounted getaway to see the sights in New York City, Connecticut, and Hudson Valley.

Metro-North Railroad is now featuring trips to various different locations that are major areas of interest for tourists, travelers, and locals alike.

The railroad has created several different day-trip and vacation package deals that make a day of traveling a breeze for any tourist.

Metro-North has organized several different trips to attractions in various areas that include a discounted price for admission and a corresponding railroad route that delivers travelers to each destination.

The most recent additions for 2018 have been to their New York City getaway options. Metro-North Railroad has one of the least expensive options to travel to Manhattan, and there is frequent service.

You can get discounts to the most popular attractions in the Big Apple from Metro North railroad.
You can get discounts to the most popular attractions in the Big Apple from Metro North railroad.

Frequent service allows travelers to come and go as they please with lots of room in the rail car; lots of seats for you, your family, and friends.

Several different attractions and museums are featured by Metro-North Railroad, such as the American Museum of Natural History, Grand Central Terminal ‘Official’ Audio Tour, Guggenheim Museum, Gulliver Gate, Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, Madame Tussauds New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York Historical Society, National Geographic Encounter, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the New York Pass, the Sightseeing Pass, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Metro-North also has getaways to the Hudson Valley, Connecticut, the Bronx, various outdoor adventures, farms with apple picking, bike tours, walking tours, and shopping destinations. They even have an excursion to Thunder Ridge Ski area in Patterson, New York!

In order to receive discounted rates on attractions and railroad tickets, you must hold on to your itinerary for rail times. Package prices come into play when you arrive at a certain railroad station and then go to the nearby associated attraction.

An example of this is the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, an attraction on the Metro-North’s Getaways to the Hudson Valley, Connecticut, and Beyond.

The deal that you receive through Metro-North applies to your ticket to the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum if you arrive at the GCT/Harlem-125th Street. There are also other package prices available from other stations.

Take a Metro North train to go skiing, kayaking, or hiking in nearby Connecticut!
Take a Metro North train to go skiing, kayaking, or hiking in nearby Connecticut!

You can purchase your rail/admission ticket from any Metro-North ticket office, full-service ticket vending machine.  Visit website for more information.

You’ll need a place to stay, so find cheap New York City hotels by using Bonwi, and get points for your next business trip in the Big Apple too!

Boston’s Harbor Islands: Not the Vineyard But Worth a Visit

Little Brewster Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands.
Little Brewster Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands.

While you’ve probably heard of the immensely popular Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket islands in Massachusetts, there are some other wonderful Eastern Mass island getaways that are sure to provide you with that same beautiful and relaxing journey off the mainland.

The Boston Harbor Islands are reachable by an hour-long ferry ride from either Boston or Hingham, and for a modest charge, you can book your trip to one of the eight publicly accessible islands. While only the Georges, Spectacle, Peddocks, Lovells, Little Brewster, Grape, Bumpkin and Thompson Islands are available by ferry, 19 others are visitable by private vessel and three are unfortunately closed to the public due to extenuating circumstances.

The Hyatt Regency hotel in Boston, with a view of some of the harbor islands.
The Hyatt Regency hotel in Boston, with a view of some of the harbor islands.

There is a wide array of activities to keep you busy when visiting the Boston Harbor Islands. From lounging or swimming at the plentiful picturesque beaches to trekking or trail running along the miles of woodland and beach trails spanning the islands, people of all interests are sure to love their time in Eastern Massachusetts’ largest recreational open space.

The nature and wildlife of these islands are rich and telling of years of human alteration. The flora of the islands consists of countless exotic and invasive species that have taken up residence through natural and human-assisted means, once looking completely different than they appear now. You can expect to see a variety of animals and birds on the islands, from creatures as large as deer to some as small as voles, there is no shortage of animal coverage. Bird watching is largely popular among visitors, as birds of all types are attracted to these gorgeous ecosystems.

Young travelers enjoying Boston's Harbor Islands. NPS photos.
Young travelers enjoying Boston’s Harbor Islands. NPS photos.

The islands offer several tent and yurt campgrounds with prior reservation, giving you a decently inexpensive option for staying overnight on any of  Grape, Bumpkin, Lovells or Peddocks islands. Or if you fancy yourself more of a conventional traveler, there are a plethora of excellent hotel options in the Boston Harbor area.

The luxurious Boston Harbor Hotel offers an amazing view of the harbor itself, while also providing an upscale lodging experience for the more affluent visitors. With extensive food and bar options and a world-class fitness and spa area, this hotel will serve as a phenomenal base of operations for your seaward journey.

For a bit more affordable accommodations, the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor hotel is a better option. This 270-room boutique style hotel offers guests a great selection of room styles, including several suite style and king-sized rooms as well as a great number of harbor-view rooms. The Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor contains several options for food and drink, as well as golf, laundry, a business center and a fitness area.

The Boston Harbor Islands are among the greatest island hopping opportunities in the Eastern United States and they are sure to show you a side of Boston that you’ve never imagined!

Book a hotel in Boston on Bonwi—and then use the points for your next trip, maybe to Martha’s Vineyard this time!

Pythian Market in New Orleans: A New Foodie Mecca

Pythian Market is a European-style food market, with 14 different eateries and tables people can sit at and share, in downtown New Orleans, Lousiana. Pythian Market photos.
Pythian Market is a European-style food market, with 14 different eateries and tables people can sit at and share, in downtown New Orleans, Lousiana. Pythian Market photos.

A new foodie endeavor has opened its doors in New Orleans’ Pythian Building. The Pythian Market Food Collective has become a gathering space for anyone and everyone that features local food purveyors, a fast craft bar, and retail vendors.

Since its opening in May 2018, Pythian Market has made itself a one-stop destination with an impressive variety of cuisines and drinks to try that accurately represent the diverse culinary landscape of New Orleans.

The market is located in the historic Pythian Temple in New Orleans’ Central Business District at 234 Loyola Avenue.

The temple was originally commissioned by the Colored Knights of Pythias in 1908, and it has been an “integral role in New Orleans’ early civil rights movement and was a place where the African American community congregated and celebrated,” according to Lisa Brefere, founder of award-winning F&B consulting firm Gigachef and curator of Pythian Market.

Brefere’s, and staff’s goals were to recreate this early notion of a gathering place. They wanted to reuse the Pythian Temple for its original purpose, and they have done this by creating a centralized hub of food, culture, spirit, and community.

Food halls like this have been delighting people in Europe for decades, now you can visit Pythian Market in New Orleans for the same experience.
Food halls like this have been delighting people in Europe for decades, now you can visit Pythian Market in New Orleans for the same experience.

The food collective has a  wide assortment of different eating places that feature locally-sourced purveyors who strive to consistently incorporate fresher and lighter ingredients and flavors.

The 14 independent vendors range from local brands that have a following, to up-and-coming new food concepts that seek to push the envelope of comfort food.

The unique offerings at Pythian Market include crawfish poutine from a Southern-meets-Louisiana comfort food spot Fete au Fete, the Hanover – oxtails stewed in a rich brown gravy with carrots and potatoes – from 14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant, Eat Well’s Vietnamese banh mi and phoritos (pho burritos), and cachapas – Venezuelan stuffed corn pancakes from La Cocinita.

La Cocinita has also been featured on CNBC’s Restaurant Start-Up, Food Network’s Eat Street, and the Cooking Channel’s Taco Trip.

One chef is taking center stage at the new Pythian Market. Chef Marlon Alexander has brought two fresh ideas to the food collective: Cru – raw and cooked specialty seafood dishes including tempura fried Gulf oysters – paired with craft cocktails and wines, and Poulet – fresh sustainable cuisine with an emphasis on locally-sourced rotisserie chicken.

Even those who are a little more conservative with their food choices will find something at the Pythian Market. Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from Frencheeze, wood-fired pizzas from Meribo Pizza, and traditional Southern barbecue from Central City BBQ are sure to cover the bases for anyone who’s not looking to stray too far into the unusual.

Craft drinks can be found at various locales throughout the market. Bar 1908 is the perfect stop for fast craft cocktails, local beers, and seasonal frozen beverages.

The Pythian Market is 11,000 square feet with 140 seats and combines contemporary and rustic themes that are reminiscent of the history of the building.

Find the perfect New Orleans Hotel at Bonwi, and get points you can use for your next vacation or business trip!

Georgia Hotels: Sweet Spots To Stay in the Peach State

Cooling off in style at the new Great Wolf Waterpark in Atlanta.
Cooling off in style at the new Great Wolf Lodge Resort Waterpark in Atlanta.

In recent years, the hotel industry in the state of Georgia has dramatically upped the ante, with developers continuously working on producing even more fantastic lodgings for visitors to enjoy.

The state is currently home to more than 1,845 hotels, comprised of an excess of 168,000 rooms across the board. As these new developments reach the end of their construction and open their doors for business, there are a few stand-out facilities that definitely deserve some special attention.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is getting a brand new face with the new 4-star Intercontinental Hotel set to be built on the airport’s campus. This Intercontinental will be the first hotel to be built within walking distance of the domestic terminal and will include 80,000 feet of conference/meeting space and 60,000 square feet of office space. A restaurant and skybar are planned to be built within sight of the runway, and this beautiful hotel is sure to provide out-of-state visitors with a glowing first look at Georgia.

If you fancy yourself a fan of massive water slides, relaxing tubing opportunities, and high-speed thrills, you should definitely check out Georgia’s new Great Wolf Lodge Resort. The resort offers a 93,000 square foot facility complete with an entire water park, mini golf, an adventure park, and a wide range of other great family-friendly activities that are sure to keep everyone entertained.

The resort offers a wide array of deluxe suite-style rooms that provide an option for all prospective visitors, no matter their group size. Kids and adults alike will love all that this magnificent resort has to offer, and it’s a great place to go to escape from reality for just a few nights!

The new Hard Rock Casino and hotel in Atlanta will feature live music venues, an outdoor pool and a skybar.
The new Hard Rock Hotel Atlanta will feature live music venues, outdoor pool, and a skybar.

For fans of Atlanta sports and exciting live music, Hard Rock International is developing a huge new hotel in Atlanta right next to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Centennial Olympic Drive. The Hard Rock Hotel Atlanta will contain 220 rooms and over 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

In addition, the hotel will offer an outdoor swimming pool, a rooftop bar, several live music venues, and a great deal of retail space for visitors to explore throughout their stay. The hotel will be open soon and give guests a taste of the luxurious accommodations there brand is famous for.

Set to take up an entire block’s space on Savannah’s historic River Street, The new Alida Hotel will provide guests with a safer and more easily accessible way of visiting the beautiful neighboring riverfront through their grand entryway. The hotel will be a seven-story, 173-room accommodation with 4,000 square feet of meeting space, a signature restaurant, rooftop event space and bar, pool, bar, and a large fitness area.

Any of these brand new Georgia hotels are sure to give your stay a fantastic base of operations to relax the night away after a long day of exploration. Book your reservations on Bonwi and use points for a future trip!

Bonwi Getting Noticed for Its High Points Returns

Best online hotel booking site Bonwi

Naturally we think you should you Bonwi for your hotel bookings so you can get a higher payback on points than with any other service.

free beach resort stay with Bonwi

We’ve laid out how Bonwi Rewards points are worth more than what you can get from an online travel agent like Hotels.com, a direct hotel chain loyalty program like Hilton Honors, or a competing points service like PointsHound. You don’t have to believe us though: the word is getting out that the returns here are clearly the best.

First, Bonwi got nominated in the Travelution Awards Shortlist in the “Best Travel Deals Publisher” category. As the celebs always say with a pained smile, it’s an honor just to be nominated, but we’ve got our fingers crossed for the ceremony handouts on November 19.  We’re up against some well-known brands like TravelZoo, but also some upstarts trying to disrupt the industry like we are to offer travelers a better deal.

Best online hotel booking site Bonwi

Next, the popular loyalty points and travel blog Upon Arriving put Bonwi in the #1 spot in its recent post on “The 15 Best Hotel Booking Sites of 2018.” They backed up our claim that nobody else is going to give you a higher return on investment in what you spend on a hotel.

It offers ridiculously high returns on some hotel bookings. With Bonwi, the amount of rewards that you earn when booking a stay fluctuates depending on all sorts of factors. So you never know exactly what kind of return you’re going to get.

But if you happen to be interested in one of the top earning properties, you might be able to get as much as 40% back on your booking, which is just incredible.

You’re not going to beat the best deals on Bonwi even if you have top-tier Platinum status with another hotel loyalty program.

It’s always good to get some outside validation for the claims we put out there. We regularly give you examples of how you can easily earn 20, 30, sometimes 40% back on our hotel booking by going through Bonwi.com. If you can’t bear the thought of another night in a hotel room, unlike most of the other services we give you options. And they’re not options presented at a lower cash-in value either. Your points are worth 1 cent per mile when you spend them on airline bookings, an Amazon gift card, a rental car booking, or a card for $100 at your favorite restaurant.

rent a car with points

If you do want to use your points for a hotel stay, you’ll quickly see they go a lot further than the ones from IHG, Marriott, or Hyatt. After just a few nights at hotel on business, you’ll have enough for a weekend getaway with that loved one you’ve had to leave behind. Isn’t that the best reward of all—turning business obligations into personal connection times?

Book your next hotel stay here and reap the rewards faster than with any other program.

 

TWA Hotel: Bringing Back the Glory Days of Aviation to JFK

The iconic TWA Terminal at JFK is being transformed into a mid-century modern inspired hotel.
The iconic TWA Terminal at JFK is being transformed into a mid-century modern inspired hotel.
The iconic TWA Terminal at JFK is being transformed into a mid-century modern inspired hotel.

The John F. Kennedy Airport in New York is receiving a new addition to its landmark former TWA Terminal. The TWA Flight Center at Kennedy International Airport is now being remade into a retro hotel that is planned to open in 2019.

Hotelier Tyler Morse is pioneering the project of having the first hotel within walking distance of the various terminals at Kennedy International Airport. Morse is said to be attempting to embrace the style and glamour that surrounded aviation in the past.

Plans for World’s Largest Lobby

The hotel will feature the world's largest lobby!
The hotel will feature the world’s largest lobby!

The hotel is set to live up to glorious standards with the plans for the lobby. The plans for the hotel lobby are to create the largest hotel lobby in the world.

The lobby is set to be 200,000 square feet with a museum inside that is celebrating mid-century design, the dawn of the jet age, and the terminal itself.

The Flagship Terminal

The TWA Terminal at Kennedy Airport opened in 1962 when the Trans World Airlines opened its flagship terminal at the JFK location. Morse hopes to capture the atmosphere and glory of this time in his upcoming hotel.

The original structure of the terminal, the gull-wing-shaped structure, is made of steel and concrete and reminiscent of flight. It was built by the famous Finnish architect Eero Saarinen, and his original intention for the structure was that the airport guests would catch sight of it and this would initiate the beginning of their journey.

For a long period of time, Trans World Airlines was the United States’ sole airline with both domestic and international routes that could be taken.

Past Failed Renovations

Renovations of the terminal had been planned over the years, but these were never carried out. It became increasingly difficult for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to find someone who could salvage the space.

The terminal had been considered for a hotel and conference center in 2013, but this fell through, as well. It continued to sit as a beloved landmark.

Bringing Back the Glory Days

After Morse took on the daunting project, plans for the hotel started to come together. The hotel is now planned to embody the time period that planes were flying out of the TWA Terminal.

Mid-century modern is the look for the new TWA hotel at JFK.
Mid-century modern is the look for the new TWA hotel at JFK. 

The 512 rooms are set to be both evocative and nostalgic with rotary dial phones, iconic mid-century modern architecture, and TaB sodas in the mini-bars.

The TWA Hotel will also include six different restaurants and eight bars. One of the bars, a cocktail bar, will be located within a redone Lockheed “Constellation” aircraft. This particular aircraft was a staple of the TWA fleet in the 50s and 60s.

Aviation and architectural enthusiasts are anxiously awaiting all of the emerging details about the construction and completion of this historic location’s new hotel.

Find NYC hotels almost as cool as this one on Bonwi!  And use Bonwi points to get another hotel stay after paying for just one.

Southern California’s Newest Hotels for Visitors

The new AC Hotel Laguna Beach, southern California.
The new AC Hotel Laguna Beach, southern California.
The new AC Hotel Laguna Beach, southern California.

Southern California has been one of the most popular and exciting vacation destinations in the United States for decades. With all of the luxury arts and entertainment opportunities, one can quite easily forget about the importance of planning the logistical side of their trip entirely.

However, if you don’t plan your stay ahead of time, you may find yourself out of luck when searching for reasonable deals on lodging in the Golden State. Luckily, 4 exciting new hotels have recently opened their doors throughout the state’s Southern regions that are sure to capture your attention.

Burbank

If you find yourself planning a trip to Burbank in the next couple of years, consider staying at the AC Hotel. Officially opening in 2020, the AC Hotel in Burbank will boast a classically European designed 196-room, six-story building directly across from the newly renovated Burbank Town Center.

The hotel will feature a beautiful rooftop observation deck, a large public courtyard, a luxurious pool and a 3,800 square foot restaurant space. Geared toward the traveling young professional, the AC Hotel will exude a totally new lifestyle concept for Burbank. AC focuses on the millennial travelers–not a lot of emphasis on the lobby, but fast Wi-fi, a great hotel bar, and a fun experience.

Laguna Beach

This August, the same people that brought you Palm Springs’ Korakia Pensione, “One of the Sexiest Hotels in America” according to Forbes and the New York Times, are rolling out a new boutique hotel in Laguna Beach, Hotel Joaquin.

Taking the place of what used to be an old Motor Inn, the Hotel Joaquin will provide a fiery new atmosphere to the area by embracing the land’s Spanish heritage in accompaniment with the beauty of the breathtaking California coastline. This petite resort promises to provide guests with a relaxing and gorgeous stay and wants to help you create memories to last a lifetime.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to many exciting new opportunities in the realm of lodging. This past January, The Sydell Group opened an LA branch of its famous NoMad Hotel in New York. Located Downtown, the hotel consists of 241 rooms over 12 stories, complete with a rooftop pool.

Also Downtown, the anticipated opening of the first Proper Hospitality location in LA, the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel is sure to impress. This 13-story hotel was built in 1924 and will have 148 rooms for guests to occupy starting later this year. And last, but certainly not least, the Godfrey brand, famous for their fabulous locations in New York and Boston, is opening a brand new high-end boutique in Hollywood.

The 60,000 square foot hotel will be geared toward the fast-paced lifestyle of the traveling professional, providing amenities that allow guests to conduct both local and remote business operations in a comfortable and aesthetic atmosphere.

Find your Los Angeles area hotel on Bonwi, and use the points for another stay!

New York City: Hudson Yards Brings It–Big Time!

Hudson Yards Manhattan New York City
Hudson Yards is going to change the skyline of Manhattan with five Empire State Building sized structures plus a massive arts center, retail stores, parkland and condos.

When you think of New York City, what are the first images that come to your mind? You may be thinking of the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty or maybe Rockefeller Center. But a huge new attraction is coming to lower Manhattan in the coming years that is sure to whisk you off your feet.

Constructed on 28 acres over a working rail yard, the Hudson Yards project is set to become the largest private real estate development in United States history, and there is truly a staggering amount of effort being put in to make this compelling vision an absolutely incredible sight to behold.

The Hudson Yards features one million square feet of retail and mixed-use space, eighteen million square feet of commercial and residential space, five Empire State Building sized buildings, one hundred shops, fourteen acres of gardens, plazas, playgrounds and public space, four thousand state-of-the-art residences, and three dynamic parks.

Several extremely high profile restaurateurs and boutiques will be opening for business in the area, including world renowned chef Thomas Keller. And if all that is not enough to get your attention, then some of its unique, never-before-seen architectural innovations may just do the trick.

Interior view of the Vessel, at Hudson Yards.
Interior view of the Vessel, at Hudson Yards.

The Vessel at the Hudson Yards is the centerpiece of the entire project. Engaging and interactive, the Vessel is comprised of one hundred and fifty four interconnecting flights of stairs and about a mile’s worth of pathway rising over the Hudson Yard’s gardens. Its design, a geometric gridwork of stairways, is fashioned out of painted steel and a coating of polished copper-coloring, which almost gives New York City’s new public landmark a futuristic honeycomb feel.

Another fantastic addition that the Hudson Yards will be bringing to New York City is its “Haven for Creative Expression”, The Shed. The Shed will be New York’s first multi-arts center designed to be a flexible and manipulatable venue for all kinds of events, ranging from concerts to sporting events. An extremely notable feature of The Shed is its telescoping outer shell that can expand and contract with the flip of a switch.

The outer shell gives an unparalleled amount of freedom to its users, allowing the temporary construction of a one hundred and twenty-foot-high temperature controlled hall, which can be retracted at any point to clear the neighboring seventeen thousand foot plaza for public use.

The Hudson Yards will also come equipped with a small public school for its residents and children in the surrounding areas, it’s literally a brand new neighborhood. With all of these exciting new improvements on their way I’m sure you’re wondering when you can check it all out, and I have some good news.

Many of the Hudson Yard’s features will be available to the public by 2019, with a few areas scheduled to be completed as late as 2022. However, with the magnitude of this project in mind, this completion date is coming up fast. So next time you’re in New York, make sure to check on the status of the Hudson Yards, because it is set to become one of America’s most popular destinations!

Find NYC Hotels and use Bonwi points to save on your next Big Apple adventure!

The Hotel Zones of Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach and Sunny Isles

Miami Beach hotel zones Florida

These days, South Beach in Miami is a glamor hub, a playground for the fit and sexy. It’s one of the USA’s most popular destinations for gay couples, Latin Americans, and celebrities, giving it an energy that’s hard to find elsewhere.

That’s just one side of Miami, however. The city is also a major art center, a banking and investment hub, and home to the U.S. operations of many international companies. The traditional crowd that came here in droves–retirees from up north–are still a big part of the real estate market as well.

If you’re planning a Miami vacation or a business trip, you’re going to need to pick the right Miami hotel neighborhood. Otherwise you could be spending needless time in traffic.

South Beach Waterfront

When people here “Miami Beach Resorts,” they’re picturing the swanky places you find on South Beach. This sand and fun area is party central for the city and has the largest concentration of hot clubs and restaurants. Sometimes it feels like you have to be extra young and sexy to fit into the South Beach scene, but there are plenty of older people and families enjoying their time here as well.

The names here practically ooze “cool factor” when you see the rundown: SLS South Beach, Eden Roc, Mondrian, Metropolitan by Como, Setai, Delano, Sagamore,  Dorchester… If you’ve got the funds, you can get right onto the beach from the pool at these spots and have a stylish cocktail club to hit at night.

South Beach Inland

South Beach Miami hotel zonesThe beach is public in Miami, so nothing is roped off for the waterfront resorts. If you don’t mind walking a few blocks to the water, you can stay elsewhere in South Beach and be closer to the restaurant and nightlife action.

This city is chock full of Art Deco buildings, so many of the smaller inland hotels are real works of art on the outside, decorated with mid-century modern whimsy on the inside. Most of them are independently owned and operated, though there are a few chains like Wyndham and Hyatt dotted around.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach proper starts where South Beach ends, but really it’s just a line on a map. The glamor address these days is the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, the sister property of a hip hotel in Buenos Aires. It’s near The Edition and The Palms, plus a lot of lower-priced properties on the water stretching north along the ocean.

Miami beach earn the most points with Bonwi

Brickell and Downtown

The prestige factor doesn’t stop if you stay away from the beach for business. Lots of company offices are in the Brickell area and you can find hotels from chains like Kimpton, Four Seasons, JW Marriott, W Hotels, and Mandarin Oriental. There are also some hotels moving into the downtown area, bringing some life into a zone a commuter foot traffic heaven that used to be a dead zone.

downtown Miami hotel Langford

Wynwood Arts District

Until the Art Basel Festival came along, this was kind of a no-man’s-land from a hotel standpoint, mostly filled with cheap motels. Times have changed as this has become the epicenter of the art scene in Miami.

Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles

In between Miami and Hollywood Beach/Fort Lauderdale is a strip of high-end condos and a few pricey resorts. These self-contained villages include Acqualina, St. Regis Bal Harbour, and Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour. There are a few mid-range options like the Newport and Solé on the Ocean. The beach here is quite nice and seldom crowded. (These properties tend to offer a high payoff on Bonwi points too. Check your dates here.)

Miami Beach and Sunny Isles

Other Miami Options

Of course there are plenty of hotels out by the airport, if you’re just looking for a place to crash during a long layover or before an early flight. The airport is not all that far out of the center here and you can even take a train from there to the business district. Or connect with Tri-Rail and head all the way up to Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Palm Beach.

Search Miami Hotels and Miami Beach Hotels on Bonwi to earn a big points payback for every stay, no matter which neighborhood you choose.

Heading further north? See the hotel zones of Fort Lauderdale here.

Article and photos by Tim Leffel, editor of Hotel Scoop.

 

New Orleans Gets a New Children’s Museum and a Four Seasons Too

The dramatic Four Seasons Hotel and Residences on Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans.
The dramatic Four Seasons Hotel and Residences on Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans.
The dramatic Four Seasons Hotel and Residences on Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans.

Exciting developments are coming to New Orleans, Louisiana in the next few years.

New Orleans is officially becoming home to a new Four Seasons Hotel and Residences. This renovation will be located in the former World Trade Center located in downtown New Orleans. The revived World Trade Center building at the foot of Canal street will include 335 hotel rooms and 92 residences, as well as a grand and junior ballroom, restaurant, fitness room, and rooftop pool.

The Four Seasons will also house a proposed museum and attraction that will highlight New Orleans culture with wings looking out onto the famed Spanish Plaza and the Mississippi River. Plans for construction are pointing towards the building of an observation deck that will be a major attraction for hotel guests and city goers who will be able to purchase a ticket for an elevator ride to the viewing deck.

The elegance of the Four Seasons is expected; however, an added touch of stylishness can be seen during the evening when the entire exterior of the building is lit up.

The new Louisiana Children's Museum in New Orleans is opening in 2019.
The new Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans is opening in 2019.

This soulful city will also be receiving a new Children’s Museum that is working to change the New Orleans landscape by creating a major educational and visitor attraction that will be placed in a natural park setting. The Louisiana Children’s Museum is planned to be child-centered, family-friendly, and it will become a part of New Orleans’ topography in 2019 with its location in City Park.

The museum will be spanning eight and one-half acres with indoor and outdoor environmental elements, which will include decks, bridges, sensory and edible gardens, a floating class, and a restored interpretive wetlands area overlooking one of the well-known Louisiana lagoons.

The construction of the new children’s museum kept families in mind with its 56,000 square foot facility that will house five indoor exhibit galleries, a literacy center, and a parent and teacher resource center.

The Louisiana Children’s Museum design for the new site in City Park “will offer families a wonderful way to play, learn, and build essential life skills through hands-on, everyday experiences,” according to Ellen Galinsky, chief science officer and executive director, Mind in the Making, Bezos Family Foundation and author of ‘Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs.’

Find your own favorite New Orleans Hotel and use Bonwi points for an even better deal.

See what else is happening in New Orleans here.

The Small Carrot and Big Stick of Branded Hotel Loyalty Programs

Hyatt Place no breakfast for you

Hyatt Place no breakfast for you

What if when you checked into the Doubletree Hotel they said you could only take a cookie if you filled out a detailed loyalty program survey with personal information?

What if the bartender at Embassy Suites said there would be no cocktail hour for you unless you tell him the last 10 times you stayed at a Hilton branded hotel and how much you paid?

What if you were told you could only fill up your plate at the breakfast buffet at a roadside Hyatt Place hotel if you joined the World of Hyatt loyalty program so they could get at all your data?

The High Stakes of Big Data

Two of those scenarios above are fictional, but the third one is not. Hyatt recently announced there’s no breakfast for you if you don’t bend to their demands and join their loyalty program. They want your personal information so badly they’re willing to extort you via coffee and muffins to make you submit.

We’ve seen them head down this slippery slope before. After a continual torrent of outcry about having to pay for Wi-Fi, the big international chains figured out a loophole: you could get that Wi-Fi for “free” if you simply signed up for their frequent guest program. The aim wasn’t really to gain more loyal customers—an estimated 80% of those customers don’t stay at the same chain more than once per year. Only the sales rep road warriors are loyal enough to get big benefits. The real goal is to get what Facebook and Google have: more information about you and your habits.

You’re no longer just a customer with these companies: you’re the product too. When you sign up for these programs—and I do—you’re part of an ongoing research experiment. Apparently that’s worth the wrath of customers who come down to breakfast and are told they can’t eat unless they turn over their data. You need to pay to play, but with your personal information, not your money.

Hyatt loyalty or else no breakfast
Now with free breakfast! (That used to be free anyway.)

The only way to opt out is to stay somewhere else or complain loudly on the review sites.

The latter can work: when Marriott revamped its award program after acquiring Starwood, one change made everyone happy. Regular non-loyal customers get free Wi-Fi at most properties, but loyalty members get the faster “enhanced” service. Loyalty earns something extra, but the regular paying customers aren’t extorted into it for a service now as expected as hot water.

You Do Have a Choice

You can always choose to stay somewhere else, of course, and that’s what we strongly advise. Just as customers are starting to shun resorts that charge a gotcha “resort fee” just for using the gym and pool you can also avoid this latest ploy.  Just as you can fly Southwest to avoid baggage fees and having to pay for a decent seat.

There’s no sign yet that other chains are following Hyatt’s lead and you can bet that the actual hotel owners are going to rebel after feeling the heat on this one. They want all customers, not just the ones giving the managing corporation customer data. They’re not going to be happy when the angry TripAdvisor reviews start pouring in.  As the blog One Mile at a Time pointed out, what’s the point of staying at a hotel brand like this without the breakfast?

Hyatt Place is one of Hyatt’s limited service brands. When I think of limited service hotels, the first thing that typically comes to mind is free breakfast.

So for now, we advise avoiding participating Hyatt Place hotels if you’re not a member of their loyalty program and don’t like the idea of being forced into it against your will. Every city in the USA is saturated with chain hotels, so there are always plenty of others to choose from. As we mentioned in this article about overwhelming brand choices, the combined Starwood and Marriott have more than 30 just in that company.

30+ hotel brands to keep track of with Marriott

How to Win the Hotel Game No Matter What

There’s one sure way to come out ahead no matter which hotel chain you choose: book through Bonwi. You’ll earn points that can be redeemed two or three times as quickly as ones from Hilton, IHG, or even Hotels.com. If you don’t need a hotel stay, you can book a flight with those points instead. Or get a gift card from Amazon or Best Buy for gadgets or gifts.

You don’t have to let the corporations push you around and treat you like a collection of marketing stats to be bartered and sold. Book with Bonwi and keep your travel habits to yourself.

Las Vegas Boasts a New Hockey Team

Neon Museum in Las Vegas
T-Mobile Arena is the new home of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL hockey team.
T-Mobile Arena is the new home of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL hockey team.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas– except for Vegas’ new hockey team which just entered the National Hockey League for the 2017-2018 season.

After much push from Vegas’ citizens, the city finally has their own hockey team to root for, the Vegas Golden Knights. The team is the first major professional sports franchise to be based in Las Vegas. See them play at home in the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.

And incredibly, this expansion team has done something no other expansion team has ever done–they made it to the final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, losing to the Washington Capitals!

After the game, head down to the bright lights of the famous Las Vegas Strip.

The stunning fountains at Bellagio are a sight you don’t want to miss. With over 1,000 fountains rocketing hundreds of feet into the sky, prepare for the waterworks. Don’t worry about missing out on the show, the fountains go off every thirty minutes from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every fifteen minutes between 8 p.m. and midnight during the weekdays. On weekends, they happen even more often, giving your eyes a nice break from all the flashes of neon.

Neon Museum in Las Vegas
Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Max Hartshorne photo.

Speaking of neon, modern art connoisseurs should stop by the Neon Museum, especially at night, for a tour of some of the discarded neon signs that tell the history of the gambling city.

If you don’t get enough colorful signage on the streets, head down to the museum’s “Boneyard” to see the history of Vegas unfold with over 200 neon signs.

If the fountains at the Bellagio intrigued you, book a room at the extraordinary Bellagio Hotel And Casino through Bonwi for $179 a night.  Before hitting the casino at night, enjoy the outdoor atmosphere by hanging poolside. When you’re in need of some rest and relaxation, head over to the spa for a massage, body treatment, or facial.

You have plenty of mealtime options, with 13 restaurants, five bars, and a cafe on the resort. If you’re in town to cheer on the Vegas Golden Knights, the Bellagio is the perfect candidate, being close proximity to the T-Mobile Arena. Booking today can get you 2,770 points per night to spend toward your flight home.

The Bellagio is also walking distance to The Park, an entertainment and dining district created in 2016 by MGM Resorts. Put yourself in the center of great eateries, creative displays, and the exhilarating energy of Sin City. If you’re looking for a less expensive hotel, try the Monte Carlo Resort or the New York-New York Hotel & Casino, both minutes from The Park.

The Monte Carlo is $92 per night, complete with a 24-hour fitness center, three pools, and even personal cabanas you can rent out. Earn a total of 1,792 per night when you book today. The New York-New York Hotel & Casino is $89 per night with a 1,808-point reward. Get a break from the Vegas heat in your air-conditioned getaway, or embrace Sin City culture by dancing the night away at their nightclub. They even have their very own Coyote Ugly, inspired by the hit movie.

Don’t forget to snap a picture with the legendary “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign too!  Don’t wait–find hotels in Las Vegas now, on Bonwi!

Honolulu’s Best State Park

Hanauma Bay State Park, near Honolulu, Hawaii.
Hanauma Bay State Park, near Honolulu, Hawaii.

When you think of the perfect beach getaway, you think tropical weather, white sand, and turquoise waters. Throw in some leis, luaus, and Hulu dancing, and you’ve got all the best perks of a tropical island along with a rich culture to explore in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Being in Hawaii, every place you go will be a fun, carefree, escape from the grip of your typical 9-to-5, but of all the great places in Honolulu, which spots are the best of the best?

Hanauma Bay State Park is a must-go destination for adventure lovers. The bay was formed within a volcanic cone, giving it a cool curved shape with an intriguing display of marine life. Whether you’re just there to lay out on the beach and take in the stunning surroundings, or to snorkel and scuba dive within the crystal clear waters.

There is also a marine education center in the area, which allows visitors to learn about the ecosystem they are exploring. You learn about the conservation of the area, marine life, and safety rules of the park. Hanauma Bay, roughly translating to ‘a curved bay’ in Hawaiian, sees about one million visitors per year, making a top destination for tourists.

If you want to stay around the area of Hanauma Bay, book a room at The Kahala Hotel & Resort through Bonwi.com to get a great deal and be an 18-minute drive away. The Kahala Hotel & Resort is a beautiful five-star resort home to 338 air-conditioned rooms. After a long day outdoors, treat yourself to the full-service spa, to get a massage, body treatment, or facial. For more fun, head to the pool, spa tub, and sauna.

Kahala Hotel and Resort, on Hawaii.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort boasts five wonderful restaurants, but if you’re too tired to have a fancy sit-down, head to the poolside bar or take advantage of 24-hour room service.

The resort is also close to another popular tourist spot, Diamond Head State Monument, a state park that hikers need to venture to. Like Hanauma, it’s circular shape was also caused by nature– around 300,000 years ago the crater that is now Diamond Head was formed by an explosive eruption.

At Diamond Head, take in views of the coast, city, and Pacific ocean during your hike. There are also guided tour options, from half-day walks to segway rides. The trail to the summit of Diamond Head, or “Lē’ahi” was originally used for O‘ahu’s coastal defense system. Once you reach the top, check out the bunkers and lighthouse from the early 1900’s.

Head back to The Kahala Hotel & Resort for some much-needed rest and relaxation, earning 9,131 points for a scenic $316 mountainside room, or a whopping 36,887 points for a $1,276 ocean front suite.

Use those points towards a flight home, because getting to Hawaii from the mainland isn’t cheap!

In Scottsdale, the Andaz Resort Will Erase Your Winter Blues

The Andaz Resort in Scottsdale, outside of Phoenix, Arizona: The ideal getaway for winter.
The Andaz Resort in Scottsdale, outside of Phoenix, Arizona: The ideal getaway for winter.
There comes a time each winter, sometimes even all the way into early spring, that the Northeast or Midwestern winter months have everyone beat.
After months of brutal cold and loads of snow, many ask themselves, “Gee, why do I live here when places like Arizona exist?” Celebrating their one-year-anniversary just a few months ago, the Andaz resort, an affiliate of the Hyatt company, has offered visitors a range of great reasons to stay in nearby Scottsdale, Arizona, near Phoenix.
Situated on their hotel row, the Scottsdale resort is tucked away, feeling secluded but not far from the city’s bustling center of boutique shopping and fine-dining options. 

The contemporary design of the high-end accommodation compliments the open layout of the property. Designer furniture, architectural features, and local flair of the boutique hotel leave guests feeling regal.

The Andaz’s unconventional check-in process, paired with their eclectic décor, local artwork, inspired dining, and indoor & outdoor event space, this luxury Scottsdale hotel’s pod-style layout makes guests feel independent, but never alone. Surrounded by incredible gardens and citrus trees.

The elaborate pool area with copious chaise lounges and cabana-style beds compliment the beautiful blue waters of the impressive pool. Camelback Mountain is completely visible from this outdoor oasis, with unobstructed views of the impressive landscape.

Their local kitchen takes on local cuisine with their sophisticated menu of creative cocktails and desert dining.  Apply named Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen utilizes their access to incredible locally-sourced ingredients, refined cooking techniques and desert-inspired craft cocktails from their living room feeling bar and “glass box” plancha kitchen.

Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen at Andaz Resort in Scottsdale, AZ.
Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen at Andaz Resort in Scottsdale, AZ.

Or, guests can take in the views and the warmth at Andaz’s outdoor Turquoise Pool Bar for poolside snacks and cocktails under the sun. If guests are still hungry, these kitchens also offer full 24-hour room service menu options.

The Andaz is just another reason for guests to choose Phoenix as their next domestic getaway. With southwestern inspiration in their incredible decor, creative cuisine, and unique culture, guests will feel far from home right in Arizona.  And if you book a few nights in Phoenix at the Andaz using Bonwi, you’ll get points that will add up to make your next stay close to free!

What You Can Get for 10,000 Points on Bonwi

cash in Bonwi points for flights

cash in Bonwi points for flights

When you sign up for Bonwi for the first time, you get 1,500 points automatically. Right there that’s worth $15 because for 10,000 you can get a $100 gift card to one of your favorite merchants, like Amazon, Best Buy, or Target. What’s on your list right now?

If you start with 1,500 and just make one or two hotel bookings, you’ll probably get to 10,000 points by maximizing the options on Bonwi.

After that, we mentioned that one thing you can do with 10,000 points: cash it in for a gift card. Besides retailers, there are also some food outlets. Need to fund a kid’s birthday party? You can cash in for a hundred bucks from Papa John’s or Dunkin Donuts. Need to take your mom out to dinner? Cash in points for Olive Garden or Cheesecake factory.

You can also use your 10,000 points to rent a car. When I pulled up summer days in Orlando, I found rental cars for as little as 2,150  a day. If you need some room for a family though, you could splurge and get two days of a sport utility vehicle or a minivan for less that 10,000 points over two days.

rent a car with points

Or you can use those points to get a hotel instead. Maybe you want to take your honey on a weekend getaway to the big city, to the beach, or to a town a couple hours away. Or maybe you need a night at an airport hotel in the hub city so you can catch an early flight in the morning. Maybe you need one night at a hotel before a cruise.

What can you get with 10,000 points? I searched weekend nights in the high season for vacations in late June and found plenty: the Atlanta Hilton, a downtown hotel in Nashville, a few motels near the cruise port in Ft. Lauderdale, a few chain hotels in Denver, Hawthorne Suites and Home2Suites in Salt Lake City.

You can also cash Bonwi Rewards in for an airline ticket, with 10,000 points being equal to $100. Maybe $100 won’t go very far in the airline world, but it’s enough for a one-way ticket on some routes. You could fly on Southwest or Delta, for example, one way from Atlanta to New Orleans, and still have some  left over.

Bonwi Rewards points cash in for flights

It’s true that 10,000 points won’t get you very far with the loyalty programs of Hilton or IHG and with Hotels.com you would need to book hotels 10 times to get one free night in return. With Bonwi it’s a different story though and you can do a lot with 10K.

Book your next hotel here and really get something back.

Chicago’s Lollapalooza Is a Summer Highlight

Lollapolooza in Chicago in 2016.
Lollapolooza in Chicago in 2016.
Lollapalooza in Chicago in 2016.

After surviving at least six months of brutally chilling winds, Chicagoans are gifted with euphoric blue skies and steamy temperatures during their Midwestern summers. From beach days at the lakefront to endless street festivals at the end of every block, there is no shortage of activities throughout the blazing hot summer in Chicago.

If you’re in the mood to go all out in the Windy City this summer, check out Lollapalooza Chicago. Each year, the music festival sets sail to six global cities, including Lolla Paris, Berlin, São Paulo, Santiago, Buenos Aires, and of course, Chicago, Lolla’s flagship festival spot.

Going strong since 1997, Lolla Chicago is proud to be one of the largest music and arts festivals in North America. With over 130 performances at Grant Park in the heart of Chi, the energy and atmosphere of the party that is Lolla is perfectly complemented by the city scene.

With four straight days of insane performances, headlined this year by The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, Vampire Weekend, and dozens of more artists, Lollapalooza will not disappoint the hundreds of thousands of festival-goers that will attend this summer

Located in the center of the city, the festival is easily accessible by public transportation from all around Chicago. If you want to stay locally, though, there are plenty of hotel options for festival-goers at every budget.

For more high-end attendees, The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, Langham Hotel, and Peninsula, Chicago, offer guests a luxury experience just over a mile from Grant Park, where the festival takes place.

More mid-range attendees have plenty of options to choose from as well, like the Dewitt Hotel and Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile, and Chicago South Loop Hotel, all just up the road from Lollapalooza.

For the most budget-minded of guests, the Freehand Chicago, ACME Hotel, and Crowne Plaza are just as conveniently located to the festival, at a much lower price.   Use Bonwi and find just the right Chicago hotel for you and get points you can use later in the summer!

Regardless of their budget, every festival guest has the opportunity to stay locally during their time attending the music festival. After all, a good night’s sleep before the craziest music festival in the States is completely necessary in order to have the best time possible. See you soon, and rock on, Chicago.