Dan and I recently completed our third stay at one of my very favorite hotels – the TWA Hotel at JFK airport! Yes, this is the former TWA terminal at JFK that reopened as a hotel in 2019. You’ve almost certainly heard about the TWA Hotel, but these are my thoughts over three separate stays spanning three years. In sum, I absolutely love, love, love this hotel, but that’s due to my love of aviation and all things flying and travel, as well as the 1960s. The hotel itself, while fantastic for “av-geeks”, is, without question, overpriced and has never lived up to the standards I expect for the price. My recommendation is to go once if you love aviation, TWA or the 1960s but otherwise, I would skip an overnight reservation. The actual hotel portion of the TWA hotel only “ok” in terms of a luxury property (which its priced as). All of that being said, a day visit to the common area of the TWA Hotel is free and certainly worth the time if you have a long layover at JFK or are in the area and curious!
The TWA hotel!
The gorgeous Sunken Lounge at TWA.
A map of the public area of the TWA Hotel.
TWA Hotel Location.
The TWA Hotel is actually located inside the former TWA Terminal at JFK. The TWA Hotel is directly connected to JFK’s Terminal 5 (the home of Jet Blue!) via an elevator, which is very convenient. Those arriving or departing from other terminals can use JFK’s free AirTrain to travel between terminals. The AirTrain station is located across the street from the TWA Hotel in the parking area on the second floor. There are plenty of signs and large elevators for luggage. The AirTrain is easy to use and goes to all JFK terminals. As its free, no tickets or anything of the like are required.
The TWA Hotel! This view is from the entrance to the AirTrain across the street.
Dan and I stayed a few nights at the Hotel Palacio de Sal in April 2023 on our trip through Bolivia. We selected this hotel because it is super close to the Uyuni Salt Flats, looked luxurious online, and had a lovely looking pool. This article reviews the hotel and its amenities and food.
Hotel Palacio de Sal, located in the middle of nowhere.
HOTEL PALACIO DE SAL
Located just outside of the Uyuni Salt Flats in literally the middle of nowhere, Hotel Palacio de Sal self-identifies as the “first salt hotel” in the Uyuni Salt Flats. I’m not sure if this is accurate, but it is one of two hotels very close to the salt flats that I could find when booking our accommodation (the other being Hotel De Sal Luna Salada). We settled on Hotel Palacio de Sal for the sole reason that the pool looked nicer in photographs (and the pool did end up being one of my favorite parts of the hotel).
In any case, Hotel Palacio de Sal is located right on the edge of the Uyuni Salt Flats, near absolutely nothing else within an easy walk. Guests are pretty much “stuck” at the hotel unless they leave via car. This was fine, and we figured this going in. The hotel is also alleged “made of salt” from the salt flats. While it’s definitely not totally made of salt, some parts are made of salt, including the roof of our hotel room. Salt is also featured prevalently throughout the hotel, kind of like sand often is at beach hotels. This was a cool feature!
Here is the hotel. It does indeed look outerspace-ish. The domes are all made of salt!
After visiting the American Express Centurion Suite at the US Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York on Monday night, I learned that there is also a Chase lounge, called The Chase Lounge, that I could visit. Loving a good lounge experience, I gave it a go and while not as luxe as the Centurion Suite, it was a nice experience and a welcome break from the heat and crowds.
THE LOCATION AND OPEN HOURS
The Chase Lounge at the US Open is located on the second floor of the Chase Center, close to the grounds’ entrance on the right just after you walk in. To access the Chase Lounge, you simply need a ticket to the US Open grounds. Since the Chase Lounge is not in a stadium, there is no live viewing of the matches from the Chase Lounge, but many screens play the matches at all times. The Chase Lounge is open August 29 – September 7, with the Chase Lounge closing promptly at 8:30 PM.
Dan and I stayed a few nights at the Conrad Bora Bora in August, shortly after French Polynesia re-opened to Americans on July 15th. We had an amazing time at the Conrad. The Conrad is top notch, super classy, and much fancier than the Hilton that we stayed at on Mo’orea or the Intercontinental Tahiti. But, it was also more expensive and difficult to reach. This is Dan and my review of the Conrad for those planning a visit – happy trip planning!
Earlier this year, Dan and I spent a long weekend in Belgrade, Serbia. There are many, many hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfasts in huge Belgrade, but we choose to stay at the Hilton Belgrade because of the perks that come with our Hilton Diamond Status. There were other reasons as well, like location, a sweet spa with a “Caribbean shower,” and recently redone interiors, but our Diamond Status was what lead us to this hotel in the first place. If you’re unfamiliar with Diamond Status, its Hilton’s top status of hotel goers and we achieved it via our Hilton Aspire credit card. You can also achieve it via many night stays (I believe its currently 60 nights) or accumulating a certain spend. Diamond Status comes with a number of perks, including room upgrades, a welcome amenity, free breakfast and, our favorite, access to the Executive Lounge!
Entrance to the Executive Lounge in Belgrade.
An Executive Lounge is basically a private club room for certain patrons of Hilton. The quality of an Executive Lounge varies by property, but, outside of the US, they generally all offer a quite space, your own concierge, and food and drink during certain times of the day.
In the Belgrade Hilton, the Executive Lounge was located on the second floor of the hotel, just about the checkin area and very close to the hotel’s ballrooms (lots of weddings on the weekend here!). This particular lounge was on the small side for a Hilton Executive Lounge, but it was very nice. You reach the Executive Lounge by swiping your room card and then checking in with the employee working the door by providing your room number. Once you check in once, they tend to remember you. Hilton is very good about remembering it Diamond members. Once inside, the Executive Lounge is basically one room decorated in a modern fashion.
The Executive Lounge.
As you can see, the room is set up with low tables and chairs, with a series of televisions playing major news channels in English. Along the wall there is a street view with bar style seating and a kitchen area in the back of the room, where all the food and drink are located. The private lounge restroom is also in the back of the lounge.
The Executive Lounge from another angle.
One or two Hilton staff members work the lounge throughout the day, hence remembering the Diamond members. We found the staff to be helpful, nice, and quite friendly!
Like most Executive Lounges, the Belgrade lounge offered breakfast, non-alcoholic drinks and very light snacks throughout the day, and a happy hour each evening for a couple hours. As is pretty standard at Hilton lounges, breakfast was substantial, but not huge, and offered a selection or hot and cold foods. The variety changed slightly each day.
Breakfast meat and cheeses.
A Serbian bean dish, sausage, and bacon.
Vegetables and a porridge type dish.
Jams and cereals.
Kind of off topic of the Executive Lounge, Diamond members also get free breakfast in the hotel restaurant which, in my opinion, often offers more options and better food. In Belgrade, this was my made-to-order Eggs Benedict breakfast in the restaurant. Those hash browns were 100%!!! The cons, its way more crowded than the Executive Lounge, is not as relaxing, and it usually takes longer.
Super delicious breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Free for Diamond Status holders.
After breakfast ends, most Executive Lounges put out some grab and go snacks, the quality and quantity varying by hotel. Belgrade’s were particularly bad – just these Big Corny bars. At least they were Serbian made. And they were kind of tasty.
In all the Executive Lounges that I have visited, happy hour is the busiest and most popular time in the lounge. Happy hour is usually a 2 hour period, in Belgrade from 18h – 20h, where the lounge puts out essentially a small dinner spread and offers alcoholic beverages. During our stay, the food was quite good, and we actually made a meal out of it one evening! The Belgrade lounge offered a variety of dishes, a selection of which were always Serbian dishes. You can eat as much or as little as you want. This is definitely a good option for a pre-dinner snack or a full dinner if you don’t feel like leaving the hotel!
Cute & delicious cheese and peach plates!
My second portion of a delicious pasta dish!
Overview of the appetizer area.
Awesome fried potatoes.
Another, not as good as the white pasta sauce.
In addition to substantial food at happy hour, the Executive Lounge also puts out free booze! In Belgrade, the Executive Lounge set out some local beers, a couple bottles of Aleksandrovic wine (which we visited on our wine tour!), and flavored rakia, as well as some standard hard liquor! The alcohol was replenished frequently. In addition to alcohol, an espresso machine, as well as sodas, canned juices, and still and sparkling water are always available when the Executive Lounge is open.
The Raika – fig and plum!
Chips, nuts and popcorn with the booze!
In addition to food, the Executive Lounge has free, good wifi, a computer area, and a number of magazines in a variety of languages.
STEAL OUR LOUNGE
Hilton Belgrade: Kralja Milana 35,Belgrade,11000, T: +381-11-7555700. Great hotel, and highly recommended! Access the Executive Lounge with the Hilton Aspire Card.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.