Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Canada & Hawaii 2016


Hotel 1: Radisson Blu, Dublin Airport
Wednesday 17 Aug to Thursday 18 Aug (1 night)
Room 134 (Double)
As previously mentioned in relation to another trip, this is one of two hotels in Dublin that is located within the airport complex itself. (The other appears below.) The  Radisson Blu can be accessed from the terminals by shuttle bus (2 mins) or on foot (10 mins). I would now say categorically that this is the better of the two on-site properties, although my stay seemed expensive for a standard room at an airport hotel. (This feeling was clearly not helped throughout the current trip by the fall in value suffered by the British currency after the 'Brexit' referendum result in June 2016.) Following a curtailed visit to Dublin city centre thanks to some lousy summer weather, I had dinner in the hotel's 'T3' restaurant, and this proved to be quite a pleasant experience.

Hotel 2: Hilton Garden Inn, Charlotte Airport
Thursday 18 Aug to Friday 19 Aug (1 night)
Room 411 (King Suite)
At the end of a long day of intercontinental travel and with a further transcontinental flight coming up the next morning, this really was nothing more than a necessary - and much appreciated - night stop. The hotel is situated in the Lakepointe Center business park, a short shuttle-bus ride from the airport. The property was being expanded at the time of my visit, but my hours of arrival and departure were such that there was no noise problem from the works. I had a rather nice suite for my short stay, and with the bedroom a considerable distance from the door, my slumbers were never going to be disturbed by corridor noise.

Hotel 3: Hilton, LAX
Stay 1: Friday 19 Aug to Saturday 20 Aug (1 night)
  Room 1663 (King Executive Suite)
Stay 2: Sunday 28 Aug to Monday 29 Aug (1 night)
  Room 9072 (Corner Twin)
Stay 3: Saturday 03 Sep to Sunday 04 Sep (1 night)
  Room 1730 (Executive Corner Twin)
The Hilton is just one of a whole line-up of hotel brands strung along West Century Boulevard, a short distance from Los Angeles International Airport ('LAX' - it's not just the airport's IATA code; it's what everybody calls it). I used the hotel a total of three times on this short trip, once on my own and twice along with Bruce. On five out of the six transfers, the shuttle buses were very busy, somewhat chaotic and desperately slow. That's not necessarily a criticism of Hilton; it was largely down to huge demand coupled with horrendous traffic. What the airport really needs is an on-site hotel, but this would probably command premium rates. My first executive suite was nice enough, but the two twin rooms were a bit tired-looking. The executive lounge was typically North American, i.e. overly busy and really not that great (compared to a typical Asian offering, for example). On the first stay, when I had some free time in the afternoon, I wasn't inspired by the small and busy pool area.
LEFT: Twin room for Stay 2
RIGHT: Twin room for Stay 3

Hotel 4: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, Osoyoos
Saturday 20 Aug to Sunday 21 Aug (1 night)
Room 102 (Queen Suite)
The Holiday Inn Osoyoos appears to stand right in the middle of the eponymous lake, being situated at the tip of a narrow peninsula and adjacent to the Crowsnest Highway bridge, which completes the crossing. As such, it has a very scenic location. The rather plain furnishings and decor definitely had a 'Holiday Inn feel'. There were a lot of families staying, but once the kids had settled down for the night, there wasn't a sound. I really liked the Sol Grill Room. Situated directly above the main entrance, it combined decent food, friendly service and some good views. However in the interests of a simpler style of breakfast, I used Shores, a family diner which was part of the same building but, I suspect, independently operated.

Hotel 5: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Kelowna
Sunday 21 Aug to Tuesday 23 Aug (2 nights)
Room 373 (King Accessible)
This is one of two hotels on the trip that are marketed by Marriott outside its main brand, and they jointly form the accommodation highlight of the trip. (It just goes to show that Marriott need not mean boring!) This property achieved the pleasing combination of being both modern and stylish. It is situated right on the Kelowna lakefront, and is almost integrated into the attractive Waterfront Park. I was allocated an accessible room, which was very comfortable and probably a little more spacious than I could otherwise have expected. OAK+CRU (described as a 'social kitchen and wine bar' - erm, okay!) was a wonderful and popular space, with a great atmosphere, friendly service and excellent food. An in-house Starbucks concession also served its purpose in providing a simpler and lighter first meal of the day. Altogether, highly recommended for anyone visiting the Okanagan Valley!

Hotel 6: Best Western Plus, Revelstoke
Tuesday 23 Aug to Wednesday 24 Aug (1 night)
Room 419 (Executive)
My 'Executive' room turned out to be a rather fabulous King Junior Suite, with an end-of-corridor location - superb! That aside, this was another hotel that made a good job of 'modern and stylish', and as such it had certainly earned its 'Plus' designation, in my opinion. The property is situated outside the centre of Revelstoke, just off Highway 1. A shuttle bus links the hotel with its sister property The Regent, in the small downtown area.

Hotel 7: Four Points by Sheraton, Kamloops
Wednesday 24 Aug to Thursday 25 Aug (1 night)
Room 329 (Queen)
In line with previous experiences, this Four Points by Sheraton seemed to occupy a similar market segment to Courtyard by Marriott. As such, it provided a perfectly acceptable, convenient and comfortable night stop on my BC road trip. The on-site Prime Steakhouse was available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Hotel 8: Hilton, Whistler
Thursday 25 Aug to Friday 26 Aug (1 night)
Room 712 (King Junior Suite)
Rather remarkably, I thought, this was my third stay at this hotel - and all of them have been in summer! It has integrated parking and is easily accessible from Highway 99, while at the same time being an easy walk from most places in the central area of this popular resort. I was allocated a spacious and comfortable junior suite and received the normal loyalty programme entitlement of a complimentary breakfast.

Hotel 9: Radisson, Vancouver Airport
Friday 26 Aug to Sunday 28 Aug (2 nights)
Room 1201 (Business Class)
For the second time in a few days, the somewhat bland official description of my room masked a delightful reality. In this case, my allocated accommodation was a King Penthouse Junior Suite! Because the twelfth floor was an addition to the original building, access arrangements were just a little bit odd: the regular elevators ended on the eleventh floor, then I had to take a 'secret lift' to complete the ascent, which featured no inner doors and an outer door that automatically swung open on arrival! The hotel is situated in the suburb of Richmond, next to the Aberdeen Skytrain station. This allows for reasonably easy access to downtown Vancouver and - via a change at nearby Bridgeport - to the airport.

Hotel 10: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Monday 29 Aug to Saturday 03 Sep (5 nights)
Room 405 (Deluxe Oceanfront Twin)
With this exclusive hotel justifiably describing itself as a 'Landmark of Luxury', this substantial points-funded stay - grateful thanks to Bruce! - certainly hit the mark as an aspirational redemption. The 1960s building enjoys a stunning location on Kauna'oa Bay, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Its grounds include a championship golf course, and other facilities include tennis, fitness centre, pool and spa. Our allocated room represented a double-upgrade from the standard, golf-course-view twin that we had booked. The room, complete with private balcony, was a delight. The Copper Bar and a selection of on-site restaurants and snack bars kept us supplied with food and drink when we weren't out exploring the island.

Hotel 11: Hilton, Boston Airport
Sunday 04 Sep to Monday 05 Sep (1 night)
Room 1019 (Executive Twin)
A repeat stay at something of an old favourite - you can't beat an easy walk from and to the terminal building!

Hotel 12: Maldron, Dublin Airport
Monday 05 Sep to Tuesday 06 Sep (1 night)
Room 183 (Triple)
This was the second time in a year that Bruce and I had ended one of our trips here, and the second occasion on which we turned up to find that front desk staff had no record of our reservation. Perhaps even more astonishingly, there was already a gentleman being attended to, who appeared to be experiencing a similar problem! As previously, staff managed to rustle up an unoccupied triple room. The final straw came the following morning when Bruce complained to the duty manager, only to be met with pushback and denial that any problem existed. Suffice to say, we will not be returning to this establishment.