Hotel review: Hilton Garden Inn Venice Mestre San Giuliano

Venice is one of those must-see, otherworldly places.

As touristy as it is, I don’t think there is any place like it.

I posted a photo story here if you’re interested.

Like the city it’s in, the Hilton Garden Inn Venice seems to get stampeded year-around by visitors.

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Hotel review: Holiday Inn Genoa City

There are two final hotel reviews I’ve been wanting to post from my travels in Italy last fall, but first a couple things to know:

  • I’m not reviewing them because they are overly special or luxurious. They’re pretty basic chain hotels.
  • I’m reviewing them because I stayed for free using points, and I was having trouble finding reviews about them when I was booking.

Tomorrow I’ll post about a Hilton Garden Inn in Venice, Italy, but first:

Holiday Inn Genoa City.

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Gift card abuse tried to keep my girlfriend out of medical school

My girlfriend is psyched because she recently got accepted to one of her top choice medical schools.

But the school requires a $1,500 deposit by next week, and she doesn’t have that amount of cash in the bank.

And gift card abuse is making it very difficult for her to get that deposit sent.  Continue reading

The first good value SF Bay Area Hilton award redemption I’ve ever seen

Hilton announced a bunch of changes to its loyalty program yesterday (here and here are good summaries).

It got me checking out the new program, now called Hilton Honors instead of the old Hilton HHonors with the weird double H.

The simplified program and app design looks good:

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Comparing miles: Crediting a Virgin America flight to Alaska vs. Virgin America

Before a recent Virgin America flight from San Francisco to Seattle, I decided to credit the miles earned on the flight to my Alaska Airlines loyalty account instead of my Virgin America account.

Because I’d already booked the ticket with my Virgin loyalty number, I had to call up Virgin America to make the change (they don’t allow you to edit that online, though I could have entered my Alaska number initially when booking).

Why credit the flight to Alaska?

With Alaska, you earn miles based on how far you fly.

Even on Virgin America flights, if you credit the flight to your Alaska account you’ll earn the amount of miles that you fly.

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With Virgin, you earn miles based on how much money you spend, as it is with most airlines now.

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