Hotel Deals: Summer Vacation is Here and Hotel Deals Heat Up

Most Americans take their summer vacations while trying to save money. This summer many large hotel chains are cutting costs or including various perks that could appeal to your wallet. Since school is now out parents are looking for ways to keep their kids busy and out of trouble. One thing you can do is plan a family vacation even if it is just for a few days. Planning a summer vacation will keep the kids inline and also give them something to look forward to, since you will save the most money and get the best hotel deals by booking in advance.

Hotels and family resorts do not want a low occupancy so they offer you better rates to get more advance bookings. The savings at some hotels can be as much as 40% depending on the resort and their occupancy. One of the best ways to guarantee the best hotel deals is to use a travel discount coupon guide, which can be found at numerous places like McDonald’s, Dennys, and some rest areas across the United States.

Another great way to save money on your vacation is to stay at a condo. There are plenty of sites out there including VRBO.com that offer great vacation rentals by owners. Most of these condos will include pools and other activities such as golf or tennis. Staying at a condo will also allow you to save money because you can now dine in instead of eating out. If you still prefer to look for hotel deals and discounted resorts keep in mind that they can always offer you a lower rate than listed on the websites depending on availability.

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Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

On our recent trip to Maui we stayed at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa for 8 days. Once landing in Maui and getting our rental car we took the drive from the airport to Wailea in what I would classify as a torrential down pour. Barely being able to see the road we arrived safely in Wailea. It was night when we checked into the hotel and too dark to see the beautiful grounds that surrounded this lovely resort. We were greeted promptly by the bell hop and then headed to the check in desk where we had an upgrade to an ocean view room.

The room was great with a very comfortable king size bed, which we couldn’t wait to climb into after our long day of travel. Another great feature of the room was the balcony or lanai as they call it over in Hawaii was a great place to sit on while eating your room service, which I must say had some great selections of food. Since you don’t spend all that much time in your room while Maui I would not suggest spending extra on the ocean front rooms, an ocean view room is sufficient enough. The Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa has over 497 rooms throughout 7 buildings called “hales” meaning homes. We stayed in hale 2 which was located close to the main building, the pool and the walkway along the ocean.

Our first full day in Maui the sun was shinning bright and the only sign of the rain from the night before was all of the water on the ground, but that did not matter as we were in Hawaii. The Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa features some beautiful views, and landscaping. Although it is not directly on the beach it is a short walk to Wailea Beach and Ulua Beach. The resort also features three pools, one geared towards children, one for everyone and one for the 18 and older crowd. The adult pool, which was an infinity pool, was fabulous with cabana’s available for rent that were situated right on the water. For those not looking to spend extra money multiple lounge chairs surrounded the pool.

The Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa puts on a luau titled Te Au Moana which we went to one night. The admission cost was well worth it. The all you can eat buffet had many traditional and non traditional dishes which pleased all of the guests and to top it off the show was outstanding. With dancing and singing and fire, a night at the luau is a definite must do when you visit Hawaii.

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Going Out Of Business: 59 Year-Old Sahara Hotel

There is a lot of history at the Sahara hotel but they are actually going out of business. The Sahara Hotel and Casino will be closing its doors for good soon. This was announced March 11,2011. This hotel has 1,720 rooms but as of May 16th you will not be able to stay in any of them.

going out of businessWhat does this mean to jobs in Las Vegas? This hotel/casino has over 1,000 employees so there are going to be more people out looking for work.

In case you do not know which hotel I am talking about it is one that was featured in the Hollywood film Ocean’s Eleven. It was built in 1952 and had been a frequent spot of people such as Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and Dean Martin.

With less gambling and fewer conventions because of the downturn in the economy they could not keep the hotel/casino afloat.

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Maui Dining, Places to Eat in Wailea: Longhi’s, Tommy Bahama, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

When visiting Maui if you stay in Wailea there are many places to eat including the restaurants in the hotels along with the eatery’s at the Shops of Wailea. The shops, which have ample parking and are within walking distance to some of the hotels, feature a selection of places to eat to meet everyone’s liking. Along with the eating there is also some great shopping to be had. High end retailers mixed in with some galleries, surfer clothing stores and souvenir shops.

Longhi’s can be found on the lower level of the mall and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfast is what the restaurant is known for, as it has been voted best breakfast in Maui many times. They specialize in eggs Benedict; you can have it the traditional way, with crab and lobster, or Florentine all served on a french bread. We tried the traditional way as recommend by our waiter Ian, and it did not disappoint. The restaurant makes their pastries fresh daily and every morning they have a featured pastry. The cinnamon bun I ordered filled the plate and was loaded with a delicious icing. The prices of the food were comparable to many other restaurants in the area; be prepared to spend about $40 for breakfast for two.

If you are looking for a casual dining experience with some great cocktails then Tommy Bahama is the place for you. If you are like me and thought it was just a clothing store, while we were wrong. They have about 10 restaurants mainly in California and Florida. This location is voted best cocktails on the island our waitress Chanen informed us, probably due to the generous alcohol amounts. We tried three cocktails during our dinner; a blue hawaiian, a margarita and a coconut martini all tasty in their own way. The appetizer Tommy Bahama is most noted for is the coconut shrimp and they did not disappoint. 6 colossal shrimps deep fried in a coconut batter, need I say more. We topped off our dinner with a scrumptious key lime pie made with real key limes, other desserts on the menu included a pina colada cake, a pineapple upside down cheesecake, and a delectable brownie.

Another restaurant chain that can be found at the Shops of Wailea is Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. If you have never tried a steak from here it is a must. The menu is quite pricey and the steaks do not include any side dishes with them, but boy is it some great meat. Our waitress explained that the steaks are cooked in double broiler to the temperature that corresponds to your preference. The steak is then plated on a very hot plate and topped with butter so it comes to you sizzling. We had the mashed potatoes with our dinner, they were a garlic mash and whipped up so they were very creamy. This night we were to full for dessert, but I did take a peak at the menu and was tempted to try the mud pie. The wine selection at Ruth Chris’s was plentiful we tried two types, Tapestry and Ferrari, both reds, the latter of the two was our favorite.

I hope these reviews help you when deciding where to eat when you stay in Wailea. There are other restaurants found within all of the hotels along the main road, many have received great reviews too. You definitely will not go hungry here!

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MoDot – Lane Closures That Will Affect You

How come when MoDot comes up with solutions it just seems like it’s something that makes our lives more difficult? When you hear they are doing something new you just close your eyes and wish for the best. Well this time it may not affect you too much but that depends on what you work schedule is. What is MoDot up to now?

The Missouri Department of Transportation is going to close two lanes which are on westbound hwy 40-61. This is going to be at the Daniel Boone Bridge which is over the Missouri River. These closures are going to happen Thursday and Friday nights. MoDot is doing this because of expansion joint repairs.

You are going to find the two left lanes closed at 9 pm on Thursday Dec 16 as well as Friday Dec 17. The lanes are supposed to be reopened by 5 am the next day. Hopefully it won’t put too big of a hiccup in your plans. MoDot says that the whole roadway might have to be closed up to 15 minutes long during some parts of these days.

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If Ever in Toronto You Must Eat Here

The beautiful city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada brings to you cultures from all over the world in one place. There are areas throughout the city that would make you think that you were in another country. China town, Greek Town, Little Italy just to name a few, all provide you with restaurants and stores that make you feel like you are somewhere else. The city is filled with historic buildings mixed in with modern ones. There are museums, art galleries, a waterfront, a zoo, and the list goes on.

If you ever are in Toronto you must eat here, a restaurant high a top the city on the 54th floor of the Toronto Dominion Tower, called Canoe. The views from the top are enhanced by the large windows that surround the restaurant. You can see planes getting ready to land at the airport found on the island in Lake Ontario or look down at street level and see cars and people that look miniature. Canoe is part of the Oliver and Bonacini restaurant group that has about 6 other places to eat in its repertoire. It opened about 14 years ago and in January of 2011 will be undergoing renovations.

The service that you will receive upon arriving at Canoe is top notch. See if you can get a tour from one of the waiters, where you may even find yourself meeting the chef and getting a look at the kitchen. The food is delicious from start to finish, and with a large selections of wine you are sure to find one to please your taste buds. Canoe is not just another dinner, it is a dining experience.

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