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.