My Favorite Hotels, Resorts and Transportation Tips

California

Santa Barbara – Chic, sleek and cool, the Canary, www.canarysantabarbara.com, is centrally located off State Street. Consider a long weekend, since there’s always something going on in town.

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Rooftop Pool at the Canary Hotel

Temecula – Classy and elegant, the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, www.wineresort.com,
features private villas and an award-winning vineyard. If you live in Southern California, there’s no need to travel to Napa or Sonoma. This prize winning, wine growing region is in your backyard.
Nevada

Las Vegas – CityCenter’s crown jewel, Aria, www.arialasvegas.com, is a must for your Sin City visit. Don’t miss their Spa or Sirio Restorante.

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Aria at Night

Reno – The Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa, www.atlantiscasino.com, recently spent $100 million on the resort and it’s well worth a visit. The restaurants, poker room and spa are outstanding.
Elsewhere in the USA

Chicago – The Hotel Palomar, www.hotelpalomar-chicago.com, is a short walk to Lake Michigan and a two minute walk from the Miracle Mile. Confession: I’m a Kimpton groupie. Look for their hotels, www.kimptonhotels.com, anywhere in the US and you won’t be disappointed. They are celebrating their 30th. anniversary this year.

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Chicago’s Hotel Palomar

Columbia, Missouri – The Marriott Courtyard is on my list because of the friendly, welcoming staff, LEED certification and our two year old grandson loves their pool and spa. Info can be found at www.marriott.com. Go Tigers!

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The Marriott Courtyard – Columbia, Missouri

New Orleans – Take time for a side trip and overnight stay at Houmas House. It was a working plantation and antebellum estate in a previous life. It’s now a tranquil place with great food. It’s a perfect spot to recover from a visit to the Big Easy. For more, logon to www.houmashouse.com.

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Houmas House

Santa Fe – The award-winning Inn of the Five Graces, www.fivegraces.com, is an intimate jewel. The 24-suite hotel is unique in its furnishings and whimsical designs. Their rates include breakfast, parking, in-room refreshments, snacks, wi-fi and other amenities.

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The Inn of the Five Graces

Mexico

Cabo San Lucas – Pueblo Bonita Pacifica Resort & Spa, www.pueblobonitopacifica.com, is Baja’s perfect spot to unwind; world class art, wonderful rooms, gourmet dining and an attentive staff.

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Pueblo Bonita Pacifica Resort & Spa

Cancun – The Fiesta Americana Condesa, www.fiestamericana.com, has recently gone “all inclusive.” An extraordinarily well trained staff delivers a superior product in elegant surroundings featuring contemporary architecture and lots of options for drinking and eating.

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Fiesta Americana Condesa (need I say more?)

Playa Del Carmen – The Riu Palace Riviera Maya, www.riu.com, is a stunning beachfront, all-inclusive resort on the Caribbean side of Mexico. Don’t miss Krystal’s featuring fusion fare or the outstanding Brazilian steakhouse Botafogo.

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Riu Palace Riviera Maya

Puerto Morelos – The Ceiba Del Mar Beach & Spa Resort, www.ceibadelmar.com, is an intimate resort that is bliss on the beach in Riviera Maya. They have an excellent meal plan option.

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Ceiba Del Mar Beach & Spa Resort

Transportation Tips

USA
Chicago – Welcome to one of America’s most congested cities, traffic-wise. Going Green Limo, www.goinggreenlimousine.com, is a family affair. Using hybrid SUVs, they’re committed to environmental issues and only a few dollars more than a taxi. They are kid friendly, with car seats, DVDs and more.

Seattle – Another entrepreneurial operation, Amy’s Limos, www.amyslimo.com, started with one limo and they are now up to 25 vehicles in their fleet. Their services include transportation for city tours, proms, weddings, casino trips and, of course, airport pick-up and drop-off.

Portland – Ride the Red Line, www.trimet.org. The light rail system takes you from the airport to downtown. It’s efficient, inexpensive and the best travel bargain for ground transportation anywhere I’ve visited.

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Portland’s Light Rail System

San Diego – My hometown, go-to-guy, Nur at Regency Limo, www.sdregency.com, matches taxi rates in his spotless limos; good for around town or airport runs including LAX, Orange County, ONT and LGB. Plus, he’s a really nice person.

Mexico

Acapulco – Complete travel information can be found at www.visiteacapulco.com including transportation. Request Manuel Barrera as your driver through the website.

Cabo San Lucas – Private Luxury Travel provides everything from airport pick-ups, to tours and daytrips in their fleet of Escalades, Suburbans and spotless vans. The staff is state certified and all speak English. Information can be found at www.privateluxurytravelcabo.com.

Cancun – Taxis tend to be expensive, but public buses to/from/within the Hotel Zone run often and are cheap. You can wave down a bus anytime and they will pick you up, even if you’re not at a bus stop. Additionally, the Green Line offers inexpensive transportation between the Cancun International Airport and town.

Manzanillo – Hectours specializes in transportation and tours. They’ve been around since 1986. Email them at info@hectours.com for information.

Puerto Vallarta – For all sorts of outdoor activities, go to www.vallarta-adventures.com. I’ve also taken their excursions in Cabo San Lucas and found the staff well trained and helpful in both locations.

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Safe travels and enjoy the journey…

Howard Hian
www.Travels-with-Hian.com

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