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?

Where to Stay for the Montreal International Jazz Festival

Montreal Jazz Festival performers

Montreal Jazz Festival performers Lowdown Brass Band

Where are the best places to stay near the Montreal Jazz Fest that happens each summer? Which hotels get you close to the action?

If you’re headed to the International Festival of Jazz in Montreal, Canada, one of the great advantages is that it’s in a very central, pedestrian-friendly area. You don’t have to bus out to some distant fairgrounds area or spend a fortune on taxi rides. All of the outdoor stage shows are free and they’re clustered around the largest concert hall, where the big-name paid shows are. You can come and go as you please, doing your dining and drinking at local bars and restaurants if you don’t like the selection near the stages. (When I attended in 2018, none of the available beers were Canadian!)

If you stay near the event, you can pop back to your hotel to change, shower, or take a nap between shows. Then you’ll be ready to hit the late concerts, which can run until midnight. Then the fun moves to the clubs. Here’s where to check in nearby.

Hyatt Regency Montreal

You can literally watch a show from the sun deck a

bar at the Hyatt Regency Montreal right by the Jazz Festival

t this Hyatt in the center of the action. You walk out the door and you’re at the entrance to the festival, so you may be sharing the elevator with a legendary jazz musician on the way.

There are nearly 600 rooms though, so you can snag one fairly easily if you book ahead. The set-up is a little strange in that the first few floors are a shopping mall, but this being Quebec, you’ll find plenty of quality meals in the food court. You can also go grocery shopping without leaving the building–and there’s a fridge in the room.

Delta Hotels by Marriott Montreal

One of the 30 brands you can’t keep straight in the Marriott portfolio, this is the best one if you’re looking for a solid chain property with no quirkiness or surprises. With 465 rooms, there’s often availability and a good rate right up to a few weeks before the festival. There’s a spa and 24-hour room service if you party too hard at the festivities.

Courtyard Montreal Downtown

Another “no surprises” Marriott choice, this one is just one block downhill from the festival perimeter, so when you’re done for the night it’s all downhill to your room.

Montreal International Jazz Festival crowd

L’Appartement Hotel

Near the Delta but with lower rates and free breakfast, this one will get your day started right and leave a little cash for food trucks and drinks. Or you can make use of the in-room kitchen that most rooms have. It does have a gym if you overindulge and there’s even a rooftop pool to take advantage of the summer sun.

Best Western Plus on Ste. Catherine Street

This is often the best value choice in the area, so book well ahead of time for Montreal Jazz Festival 2019 or 2020. Otherwise those strapped international touring musicians  may beat you to it. Although it’s a relatively inexpensive option, this is one of the newest hotels in the area.

Le Square Phillips Montreal hotel

Le Square Phillips Hotel

Rates here are often reasonable and Le Square is in a great location. It’s near the metro, the Underground City, and Chinatown, but it’ll take you less than 10 minutes of walking to get to your favorite performance stage.

Hotel Le Dauphin Montreal Downtown

If you’d like to spend your days in the historic section and your nights at the Jazz Festival, Le Dauphin is in a good location between the two. Rates are usually reasonable at this minimalist, Danish-modern feel hip hotel.

Hôtel Zero 1

This is another stylish choice near the festival if you’re trying to avoid the typical chain hotel feel. Most of the 124 rooms are smaller than you’ll find at other properties on this list, but they’re well-designed and have a fridge. There’s a gym and a roof deck, but no pool.

Hotel Quartier des Spectacles

This budget hotel option is close enough that you could catch glimpses of who is coming on stage from your window if you’re on the top floor, with the hotel located right on Ste. Catherine Street. This is a quirky choice, sharing a lobby with Hotel Abri du Voyageur and with no elevators for the four-floor building, so you may not want to just blindly pick the cheapest room.

Montreal Jazz Festival performers

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

If you’re not much of a planner and you decide the week before to head to the International Festival of Jazz, you may well end up here at the Fairmont. It’s Montreal’s largest hotel, with 950 rooms in a building complex started in 1958. It has been through many renovations over the years and is known for running like a well-oiled machine.

Get the most reward points back with Bonwi

If you book any of these Montreal hotels with Bonwi, you can compare rates to other sites right on the page to make sure you’re getting the best possible rate. Even better, you will earn reward points back on every night’s stay that you can redeem later for free hotels nights, an airline seat with no restrictions, or a rental car. If none of that works, you can get the same return value on a gift card! See all the options here:

Montreal hotels with high reward point earnings.

 

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!

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!

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!

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.

Rome Offers Many Unique Hotels

Rome Hassler Hotel
Elizabeth Unique Hotel, Rome.
Elizabeth Unique Hotel, Rome.

New places are always popping up around the city of Rome, but two new and improved options, both near the famous Spanish Steps in the city center, are great options for your next stop in the Eternal City.

Elizabeth Unique Hotel

As of January 2018, the Elizabeth Unique Hotel of Rome has reaped as a newly restored 17th-century palace. Inside the centuries-old palazzo, the boutique hotel is located just a few minutes walk from the famous Spanish Steps in the pedestrianized Via del Corso neighborhood. With thirty-three freshly renovated guest rooms, Elizabeth’s quarters are perfect for savvy travelers with antique wallpaper, couture, one-of-a-kind textiles, and incredibly varnished floors.

The guest rooms’ canopy beds welcome visitors as they sip espresso while taking in the breathtaking views from outside their window. The living room offers guests a relaxing atmosphere to wind down in after their day of sightseeing in the city, complete with a fireplace or their garden terrace.

Centrally located and tragically chic, the Elizabeth Unique Hotel’s contemporary style, innovative use of technology, trendy bar, and international team offer guests an unforgettable stay in the city on seven hills.

Rome Hassler Hotel
Rome Hassler hotel

Roma Hassler Hotel

If you’re looking for a more historic accommodation, a notable Roman property, and another uniquely non-chain lodging option, the Hassler is a fan favorite. Owned and operated by the same family since the early twentieth century, perched atop the Spanish Steps, the Hassler is overridden by Roman style and personality.

Three newly renovated suites were recently revealed, adding more appeal to this timeless classic. At their in-house bistro, Italian fusion cuisine is served to guests, dishes like tandoori-style duck and cacio e pepe risotto, all while overlooking beautiful panoramic views of Rome.

Find hotels in Rome and then use the points from Bonwi for another stay.

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.

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!