Friday, November 23, 2007

Holiday Inn on the Bay, San Diego

Holiday Inn on the Bay in San Diego offers exactly what you would come to expect from a hotel in that class. My interaction with the hotel actually began three weeks prior to my arrival and has been very satisfactory. I was able to communicate with one of the hotel's managers in relation to a package I wanted delivered to the hotel prior to my arrival. Their staff was more than accommodating in assisting me with this request and I'd like to make particular mention of Ms. Junneah Alilan who was always quick to respond via email. Upon arrival, before even asking, I was notified that I had my packages to pick up.

The good service continued through the stay. My only disappointment was the cloudy skies and cold days but this soon cleared up (on my last day in San Diego). The hotel room was just a bit above standard with a bit more attention to detail than in some other establishments though, some additional work could be done regarding the finishing touches. If you are to stay at this hotel, make sure and request a room on floor 9 or higher and on the Bay side. That way you are sure to get a great view of the Bay and the Star of India Ship instead of the great Holiday Inn Parking Lot :0

This hotel is located minutes away from a few shopping malls (Fashion Valley, Mission Valley, Horton Plaza & Sea Port Village. There are a couple eating options near by; I would recomment Anthony Fish Grotto (try any one of their lobster and pasta dishes)

The airport is just about 5 minutes away and the Hotel has a shuttle to take you there. Note though that the airport closes at 11 pm and reopens at 5am due to the proximity to the city so be prepared to line up outside if you've got an early morning flight.

Finally, many of the major attractions (zoo, museum) is just a few minutes away. If you're coming here on a vacation, plan on staying for about a week to 10 days to be able to visit everywhere and take in all the attractions. I stayed at the Holiday Inn to attend a conference held in the same hotel. I've got no regrets.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Omni Hotel, Houston

I had the opportunity to stay and attend a web developers conference at this hotel in September 2007. Click here to visit this hotel's website. This hotel lives up to all the reviews you can read about it online. It's a pretty luxurious hotel (by my standards) and I guess was worth the US$189 + taxes per night. I am not sure if that was a locked in conference rate though. The hotel is located in the Galleria district of Houston famous for the Galleria Mall. This was within 2 miles from the hotel and there was a complementary towncar service to the mall from the hotel.

The hotel room was impressive though I thought a little more attention could be paid to detail. However, you can say that is just me being picky as there really wasn't anything to complain about the room. I got a King size bed with equally big pillows. The bed itself was very comfortable and strategically placed right in front of the tv (which was hidden in a closet). The bathroom was very nice, I found the shower to make a vibrating nose when it was used late in the night. Did not have this happen during the day and well it wasn't that bad to have to call the front desk about it.

My only complaints about this hotel was it's location. Despite the proximity to the Galleria, nothing else such as pubs, restaurants were within walking distance. Something I usually expect from a conference hotel. There was however a restaurant and pub in the hotel. The restaurant Noe is a 5 star restaurant (well out of my budget); the pub, Black Swan was good and there was a live jazz band on Thursday night.

Overall the hotel was good, service and staff were very polite and I will definitely consider staying again if my budget will allow it.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tropikist Tobago

I've stayed at Tropikist so many times, I might as well buy shares in the damn place. I like everything about this Hotel. The location is excellent; just a stone throw away from the airport and Store Bay. There are also many restaurants close by.

The hotel itself is nice and clean. The pool; though not as big as the Tobago Hilton pool, still gives you the opportunity to have fun without bumping into an unsuspecting swimmer. (That however may not be the case on Great Race weekend) The restaurant - though not spectacular - give a wide assortment of local and american dishes. Breakfast at Tropikist was good but Tobago Hilton had a better spread when we were there.

I am not sure if there are any room with a full kitchen at Tropikist - something that I'll have to investigate. If we're looking for a nice weekend getaway, Tropikist will be on the top of the list.

Tobago Hilton

We stayed at the Tobago Hilton in 2006. I wasn't particularly impressed with this mini weekend get-away and probably won't stay at the Hilton again. Though the Hotel itself was nice, clean and service was good, I just wasn't impressed. The Hotel itself is a bit far from everthing - there isn't anything within walking distance so you'll need to rent a vehicle. The food at the Hotel wasn't much different than what you can get in Trinidad. Breakfast however was exceptional. The pool area was nice and big enough for everyone to have their 'own' space. One major disappointment about Tobago Hilton is the lack of beach front bathing real estate. The waters are too rough and it was pretty rocky. If you're looking for a vacation where you don't have to leave the Hotel then I guess the Tobago Hilton is OK. I won't make this a first choice for future visits to Tobago.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Grenada - Flamboyant

Grenada has once again won it's place in my book of travel. This time the entire family went on the trip and we had lots of fun. I should note that this vacation was post Hurricane Ivan. We stayed at The Flamboyant Hotel which is located on the popular Gran Anse beach. That has just got to be the best location in Grenada.

view from the roomThe hotel location was exceptional and the views from the room was great. You've got to be somewhat fit to stay at this hotel though since it's on a hill - a very steep on at that. You'll find yourself doing some walking to get to the pool area, restaurant as well as the beach. Hey, I looked at it as a good legs workout while on vacation :) The room was clean and spacious enough for a family of three. We got a crib for the baby as well as 'linens' however, next time we'll bring our own - not that it was dirty just that it didn't seem to be used recently and would have probably been better if we got some 'baby linens' instead of the standard white hotel linens.

I wasn't too impressed with the Hotel's restaurant. The food tasted OK, but the quantity served was far to small. I had only two meals there but was able to get food at the nearby restaurants. The hotel is located 5 minutes away from a mini mall with a small food court. Be sure to check the supermarket for a wide array of wines and drinks. You'll come out much better that way.

There is a grill and a chinese restaurant which both serves good food. You can also dine on the various 'street meat' caravans that set up shop on a Friday and Saturday night - I did not try any. Close to the mall is also a KFC restaurant. Located a stones throw away from the mall is a sushi restaurant and an itallian restaurant. So you can definitely see that there are many food places nearby. We got a full kitchen in the room we rented so there was always the option of buying stuff from the grocery to prepare - but hey we're on vacation - who's cooking?!?!?

I'd definitely look at staying at The Flamboyant again and would recommend it to anyone.

We had some company on this trip, Kerry & Marissa. We decided to rent a vehicle and scope out the island. We drove and drove and drove. Checked out a 'waterfall' and a few goats and pommerac trees on the way :) It was all good. Make sure though that you get well maintained vehicle. You'll be heavy on the brakes driving through this mountainous island. One stop at the gas station is all you'll need as well. If you have a chance, check out the St. Georges University - it's on the way to Bananas.

Friday, June 8, 2007


Barbados is a really nice place to visit. The Beaches are near perfect. I stayed at the Blue Horizon Hotel which is predominantely a business class hotel. The rooms were well kept and the hotel staff was nice (whenever I got a chance to see them). The hotel location was about 5 minutes walk from the ever popular St. Lawrence Gap and the beach was just over the road. A real convenience for a morning dip before heading out to a full day of meetings.

I'd recommend renting a vehicle during your stay. If you are from other caribbean territories, you may find that things are a bit more expensive in Barbados but I guess that comes with most tourist destinations for people from the Caribbean.

If you are an avid motor sports fan then the Annual Barbados International Rally is the thing for you. Plan your visit well in advance if you plan to come around this time as hotels and flights are a premium during this week of events.

Barbados Crop Over and Jazz Festival are also bigh attractions though I've never been to either. I'll definitely visit Barbados again and next time I'll take along the camera.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007



I've visited Grenada twice. Once before Hurricane Ivan and the other time after the hurricane for the ICC Cricket World Cup. Each visit was different in their own right. The first time was spent at Coyaba Hotel & Resort as an anniversary gift in July 2006. Both my wife and I were pleased with the Hotel staff and room. There was a problem with our bookings though and it turned out to be the travel agent's fault. This was quickly rectified by the concierge at Coyaba.

Coyaba was located right on the Gran Anse beach which was ideal. The beach and the weather was ideal for a weekend getaway. There was an aquanauts nearby for those interested in the watersports. I was impressed by the cleanliness of the beach and the daily maintenance. The Gran Anse beach itself was calm and made it very nice for bathing. This was especially inviting for Sasha who isn't much of a swimmer. You could have taken lounge chairs on to the beach to relax under the shade of a coconut or almond tree.

I faintly remember dining at the restaurant in Coyaba. For us it was convenient to have a mini shopping centre right over the road from Coyaba. There are a few places to eat - Grill and Chinese food - both of which tasted well. There was also a supermarket which came in handy for snacks, beer and wine.

Coyaba was damaged by Hurricane Ivan and they have rebuilt. I have not returned to Coyaba since that time however, I understand that they have upgraded all of their facilities. In 2006, the price was very affordable - I am not sure what it would be like post hurricane.

My second stay in Grenada was for the ICC Cricket world cup earlier this year - April 2007. I stayed at Deynas City Inn. This newly built inn is in the heart of the city, located opposite to the taxi hub. It's just about 7 minutes walking distance from the newly built cricket stadium so this was an ideal location for my 2 day cricket trip. I was suprised to see how well space was used in this building. The room that I stayed in was neat but good enough for the purpose of the visit. I would not suggest more than 2 adults stating in these rooms. The one we stayed in had two queen beds, air condition, full (compact) bathroom and a mix of local and cable TV. There wasn't any coffee machines or mini fridge in the room - however, there is a full bar and kitched just down the corridor. Breakfast was included in the cost and it was really good. Definitely something to comment on. The dining area included an enclosed balcony overlooking the port. This was cool to see the cruise ships coming in for the cricket. The staff at Deynas Inn was extremely polite and helpful. I would return to Deynas if going to Grenada on business or for cricket. I won't recommend it as a place for a family to stay for vacation since it's a bit small and there isn't any pool or beach within walking distance. The hotel also did not have reserved parking spots however, there was a 'parking lot' right over the road from Deynas.

Monday, June 4, 2007


Ok so Tobago is another country that I've visited but should it be counted? Since I do live in Trinindad & Tobago :) Oh well, I'll still include my reviews of good places to stay in Tobago when I get to it.

Where I've been so far

I guess I haven't travelled as much as many other people with travel blogs, but I consider myself new in the game. Being from the Caribbean, I've travelled mostly on this side of the globe visiting countries such as Grenada, Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica, USA and Canada. In the US, I've been to Miami, Orlando and Las Vegas and in Canada I've been to Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, Waterloo and Toronto. Outside this region, I've visited Germany for the 2006 World Cup where I followed Trinidad and Tobago in their very first World Cup.

I've been able to travel primarily due to my work at the Unviersity and I am thankful for that. I intend to visit much more places while I can and what makes it more fun is that now I've got my wife and daughter to tag along :)


Hi there. I've been putting off my blog for far too long now. My original intention was a travel blog detailing all the places that I have visited. This will still be the main purpose of this blog however, there are so many other things that I want to chat about, I'll include them from time to time. So, that's it for my first post. Stay tuned for more....