Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A First Class Start to 2014

We quite literally had a first class start to the New Year when Alaska Airlines upgraded us from coach to those big cushy seats in the front of the 737 on our Jan. 1st flight to Las Vegas from Seattle.

It’s the section of the plane where the real cups of coffee are constantly refilled  and real food is served on real plates.

PicMonkey Collage

A real surprise.
A real treat.
A real reminder of why airline loyalty programs are still worth joining. (If you missed our article on other benefits a few weeks ago, click here.)

[Travel Tip:  The Scout had booked this trip an air/accommodation package on Expedia.com  The airfare was less than $200 per person round-trip, including taxes and fees.]

Vegas2014 046Our return from Vegas brought us back to reality – paper cups, one serving of coffee, and a package of nuts – ahh, but the memory remains of that New Year's Day  flight.

The unexpected upgrade was one of those ‘little things’ that are long remembered after a trip ends.

Sometimes those ‘little things’ fall into the ‘sad-but-true’ category, like this memory of Vdara, the hotel where we stayed as part of the package.





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Vdara, is a condo/hotel, a part of the recently completed City Center development. To get your bearings, that small tower in the photo above is a side view of Bellagio, home of The Strip’s famous fountains.

PicMonkey Collage

Our room was a Vdara Suite, one of the smaller ones but at 810 sq. ft. plenty spacious for us and we had a killer view of the fountains next door.

[Travel Tip: We saved a tremendous amount eating breakfast and lunch ‘at home’ in the room. Had we needed them, it also was equipped with a washer and dryer.]

The kitchen (similar to the tale I wrote about The Cosmopolitan Hotel) was empty except here there was a coffee pot. (A make- or break-a-place item in my mind.)  However, with a single call housekeeping arrived bearing plates, bowls, flatware, cookware and utensils.  When I had called in advance to inquire about the kitchen I was told that in the beginning the kitchens were fully stocked but because so many items had ‘walked away’ with guests, they had to institute an inventory control system. 

[Travel Tip: The cost of our suite was just under $150 including taxes and booking fees; the resort levied a $28 additional resort fee per day for internet, telephone, use of the exercise facility and daily newspaper.]

We had daily maid service that couldn’t be faulted. . .and then on the third morning I thought the maid had forgotten to leave the wash (face) cloths in the bathroom.  We’d had had three – shower, sink and tub – each day.   I stopped her in the hallway and asked for one.  “Oh, they have to be ordered from housekeeping,” she explained apologetically.

Really?! I mean, really?! Without kitchen supplies for souvenirs could the guests now be taking wash cloths? I am struck with guilt when I forget to leave a plastic key that could be reused, the thought of taking property. . .hmmm. . .

As I said, it is those little things we remember when we come to travel. . .

That’s it for this Travel Tip Tuesday.  We’ll be back again this week and hope you’ll be traveling along with us.  You can follow TravelnWrite on Bloglovin and Networked Blogs or have posts delivered to your inbox. 

We’ve  just figured out Instagram and are posting travel photos there as well. Click the link to follow us there. 

Until next time, happy travels. . .
Jackie, The Scribe, and Joel, The Scout

5 comments:

  1. Airline status is a wonderful thing -- until you lose it. Sadly, we won't be United 1K folks this year. :( We also stayed at Vdara in Vegas for a few nights and had a great stay. Didn't run into the "inventory control" issues. We liked the fact that it was non-smoking and casino-free -- even though I do thoroughly enjoy my time at the casinos.

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    1. We have struggled to stay at the MVP level on Alaska and hope they recognize the loyalty that others like us have for them and don't start doing funny things like Delta and United! Casinos are interesting, aren't they?!

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  2. Happy New Year to you both and just found you on Instagram. Much love from Sydney F xx

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    1. Happy New Year to you, dear friend, "Down Under"!

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  3. Wow...and I was literally saying "Wow!"....more than once reading this, Jackie! That suite is about the same size as my tiny house. Even though I live in Reno I've fallen way out of touch with the latest news on Vegas. I used to go there every other weekend to meet my airline (ex) wife. This is the first I had heard of Vdar and it's gorgeous. Btw...my blind step-mom (malcular degeneration) will only fly Alaska because of their excellent service. Nice New Year's Day treat for you two! :)

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