mermaidcamp

mermaidcamp

Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

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Air bnb vs Hotel Throwdown

July 27, 2014 3 Comments

I came to Austin to attend a reunion party that was held yesterday at the Drury Inn. Although I am very happy in my Air BnB Airstream I decided to check into the hotel for one night to have the best experience at the party. I am glad I did because the festivities were extensive and the crowd big. By staying there I was able to visit and enjoy the group, drink alcohol, and then just fall asleep in my hotel room. I brought my bathing suit thinking I might go in the pool, but the party was the focus, so I never unpacked the suit.  I had a wonderful time and ate some amazing food that was brought to the giant potluck.  Someone even imported white cheese from Venezuela for the arepas.  I got so full I could not taste all the goodies, but I was impressed with the creativity of all the cooks.  There was a giant paella prepared, then some music and dancing after dinner.  All in all this was one of the best organized and entertaining parties to which I have been invited.  It was really fun to see friends from 50 years ago.

Today it took me less than 5 minutes (because it is Sunday) to move back to East Austin to the Airstream.  I like both hotel and Air bnb, but for different reasons.  My love for hotels will never die, but now I have a choice when I travel, so I do look for availability in the rental market to compare prices/value.  It all comes down to one thing for me..or, or if you are a real estate professional you could say three things..location, location, and location.  If I can situate myself in the exact spot I want to be I consider the Air BnB option to be the superior one.  You will be exposed to the local culture, have a chance to live like a native wherever you are when you rent a space from a private owner.   I have found my hosts to be very attentive to my personal needs, offering much information and guidance that makes the stay more individually crafted.  This time my host is out of the country and two very local managers handle anything I need.  My full of organic food and drink kitchen saved me both money and time upon arrival.  The two fancy bottles of wine for which there is a $15 charge if I decide to drink them are a super nice touch.  I have laundry facilities and plenty of parking off the street.

I liked my hotel stay because:

  • It was convenient, clean, and well managed
  • The staff was very helpful and friendly in every way
  • The internet was the fastest I have had in any hotel (often this is a problem)
  • They serve good coffee at breakfast (this is not always true)
  • The bed was excellent, providing full comfort when I crashed
  • There was room for our big party and they let us make paella in the parking lot
  • They have bathtubs and unlimited hot water (this was my favorite part..I took 3 baths during my overnight stay)

I am happy to be home in the Airstream because:

  • I am integrated into this neighborhood and know my way around
  • I have total privacy
  • I have a full (tiny) kitchen and lots of storage space in general
  • I am not right next to the freeway
  • My rent is about half what the hotel costs
  • My managers are on hand to answer all my questions and give me good advice
  • I live here as a part of the community rather than a pure tourist. I meet people who live here.
  • Now I can say I have stayed in an Airstream

I am not sure how you like to travel or what your priorities are, but check out Air BnB for the fun of it.  You can start a wish list if there are properties that strike your fancy.   Depending on where you want to be it may or may not be the best choice, but I think it is worth investigation.  The Airstream has no TV.  I do have Hulu, but I can only see the evening news 24 hours after it is broadcast.  These days there is so much tragedy in 24 hours, and all the news comes on twitter anyhow.  Being spared the ritual of news watching at the end of every day at this particular time has been a blessing.  At breakfast in the hotel the television was large and looming. CNN was showing us all the freaky horror going on in the world…over our morning meal.  This, I can certainly do without.  Home sweet Airstream, for 3 more days!

 

Stroll to Hotel William Penn

December 10, 2012

Hotel William Penn in downtown Pittsburgh has a gingerbread house of the hotel in the lobby..I had a really wonderful buffet breakfast there after a stroll of the town.

stone carving Pittsburgh

stone carving Pittsburgh

goth church

goth church

Lobby William Penn

Lobby William Penn

William Penn

William Penn

hotel in gingerbreadhotel in gingerbread

bridge

bridge

growing art

growing art

Local Color

July 10, 2012

On Saturday we checked into the Windmill Inn at St. Philip’s Plaza in Tucson for a one night staycation.  I have recently made an arrangement to offer exotic aquatic packages, mermaid makeovers, and  Floatli training to the guests of the hotel.  We will be able to offer guests a very good price to stay at this great location.  Since it is impossible to know how well a hotel operates without checking in, we did.  I am more than pleased with every aspect of the property.  They do allow dogs, & ours loves hotels.  She was impressed right from the start when she received a welcome bag of dog treats at check in.

The staff at the hotel is well trained and helpful at every turn .  They have a few services we did not try, such as room service delivery of breakfast and a paper at the requested hour.  There was also an in room dining menu from a local provider that we did not use, since we decided to try a local hot spot for dinner.  Union is the latest cool bar with urban post industrial decor, hip cocktails, and some pretty good food.  It is popular with all ages, and gets crowded in the evening.  We went at about 4:30 to avoid the rush.  The decor and atmosphere was pleasing, food and drinks good, but the service at the table, disappointing. We decided we might return, but will sit at the bar to try for better service next time.

hotel hound does a site inspection

sunflowers bloom in St Philip’s Plaza

trendy cool pub

beer and cocktail

On Sunday morning at St Philips’s Plaza the farmers’ market sets up early.  We are happy to have many farmers as well as  artisan cheese, bread, salsa, jelly, and butter makers attending the market as vendors each week.  There are prepared treats from food trucks like Planet of the Crepes, and organic produce of all kinds available for shoppers.  Live music usually serenades the customers, many of who bring dogs to the plaza with them. Everything from prickly pear syrup, to squash blossoms, to herb plants is on sale.  For me, this is as close as I get in regular daily life to a European street market.  For a foodie in Tucson this market is the best place to discover the tastiest of any season. This week we are savoring some local melons, cucumbers, tomatoes and greens.

local farmers

Fresh eggplant

herb plants for sale

purple asparagus and beans

The reason I am so crazy about the location is not just the farmer’s market.  The river walk is right outside the door, and several excellent restaurants surround the property.  Right across the street is Trader Joe’s in case you need to pick up some specialty groceries, wine or beer.  Body Works Studio offers classes and private lessons in Fletcher Pilates method. I had a great time having my make up air brushed on for our video shoot right across the street at Heat, a new concept for looking good. The high quality, locally owned businesses, the convenience of walking to experience them, and the recreation available by walking, running or riding the river walk make St. Philip’s Plaza Tucson’s best location for discovering local art and culture. Why travel if not to discover?

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