Nadine's Accommodation Reviews & Links


The Manhattan Club – Manhattan, New York City.

posted May 20, 2011, 12:33 PM by Darren Cannell

This property is located at 200, West 56th street.  It is right on the corner of Broadway with all of the action.  The location of this timeshare is superb.  You can walk about 5 blocks to Times Square and it is surrounded by the Theatre District.  The famous Carnegie Hall is kitty corner to the Manhattan Club.  The Tonight Show is one block away and you can walk to all of the other theatres.  There are many subway stops surrounding this property and a very short walk to as well.  Central Park is 3 blocks away.  There is a full service grocery store one block away to pick up any grocery items you may need.  There is also free wireless in all of the rooms.  There is a fitness room but it was nothing to write home about.  Besides who has time to work out when you are in NYC?

We had an executive suite room which is basically a larger hotel room with a hide a bed coach and a small kitchenette consisting of a sink, a microwave and a small fridge with dishes and a 4 cup coffee maker.  We ate all of our breakfasts in the unit and our lunches and suppers out and about.  There is a large flat screen tv to watch and a small bathroom with a pedestal sink and a smaller tub.  There is lots of storage space for suitcases and clothes in the unit.

You are very close to restaurant row and there are many places to eat out around the Manhattan Club.  We found one restaurant called Topaz which is Thai and it was really inexpensive for NYC standards and the food was great.  I loved the Green Curry.

There is so much to do here on the island of Manhattan but if you are a shopper then go to Century 21 Department store which is directly across the street from Ground Zero.

I highly recommend staying at this property, location, location, location...............
 
 

Westin Kierland Villas – Scottsdale, Arizona

posted May 20, 2011, 12:28 PM by Darren Cannell

 

I love love love these villas.  I did an exchange through Interval International for a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom connecting unit.  The kitchens are granite and stainless steel and quite workable.  The dining room is spacious and the living room is large and comfortable with a fireplace.  Our view was awesome of the mountains and the golf course.  Our balcony was big with comfi furniture.  The Master bedroom was huge and the bed was super comfortable and the bathroom was beautiful and very large.  The connecting side also had a balcony which was the same size.  They had technically a full kitchen as well but much smaller.  There is also a hide a bed on this side to and a laundry unit just like the master side.  This bathroom is also very big and beautiful too.  There is really nothing to complain about with these villas they are beautiful and well designed and very spacious.  There is even complimentary internet as well.
 

The grounds of the villas are wonderful with tons of lazing around space to sit out with friends and family.  There is an outdoor fireplace with tons of furniture.  There are two pools and the misters come on after 90 degrees and these are at the pool bar.  If you want more action then you can take a free shuttle or walk over to the Westin Kierland Hotel and do the lazy river and waterslide there.  It was fun and relaxing.  They hand out free ice water there.
 

The fitness room is a good size and has everything that you would want.  There is also a complimentary steam room and sauna just outside the fitness rooms so you should take advantage of these.
 

There is a grocery store and a Super Walmart a short drive away to pick up groceries.
 

I highly recommend staying at this timeshare.
 
 
 

TownePlace Suites Tempe at Arizona Mills Mall - Tempe, Arizona

posted May 20, 2011, 12:20 PM by Darren Cannell

We took this hotel room for a night through the Marriott Rewards Program.  The room was not pretty, but the bed was decently comfortable.  We had a studio suite and it was in desperate need of refurbishment.  The one thing that I will highly recommend is that it had a really great complimentary breakfast.  I made myself piping hot fresh waffles with fruit and syrup.  The coffee was ok but weak though.
There is complimentary internet.  It is within walking distance to the Arizona Mills Mall which is a great place to shop especially the Marshalls.
 
 
 

Marriott Frenchman’s Cove – St. Thomas USVI

posted May 5, 2011, 6:08 AM by Darren Cannell

 

We exchanged into this timeshare and ended up getting a great unit on the 5th floor of the Virgin Gorda building which is dead centre overlooking the beach, the pool and the Caribbean.  We also have a great view of Charlotte Amalie the capital of St. Thomas.  We watched cruise ships coming and going into the harbour.  The cruise terminal is a short drive away.  We also have views of water island straight across.  At night time you can see the lights twinkling in Charlotte Amalie as the city stretches right up the mountain.  The views are unbeatable here.

 

The pool is perfect for kids, there is a waterslide and there was only one area of the pool that was over our 7 year olds head.  There were lots of kids to play with as well.  The beach has a little tiny reef that stretches across so you have to watch going in and out of the water, there are little sea urchins that would be painful to step on.  There is a cleared area closer to the pier that you can safely enter or walk onto the pier and step on to the floating dock and enter the water this way.  There is a bouncy climbing apparatus to play and lounge on as well as a floating plastic rock climbing wall/slide into the water.  These are great toys to play on for all ages.  If you walk or take the shuttle over to the Marriott hotel property there is a lovely long beach with great sand but there are waves, so swimming for a 7 year old would be iffy.

 

The room that we had was a two bedroom/two bathroom unit.  The kitchen was great and well equipped and we cooked all of our meals.  There is a Pueblo Grocery Store in Charlotte Amalie, which is only a 5-10  minute drive up the road. The bedrooms each had a balcony off of them, but the balconies do not have lights so you cannot stay out to long in the dark.  The bathrooms were a nice size as well.  These units are nice and typical Marriott quality which is really good.  My sole complaint is the furnishings were 4 completely different fabrics that did not match what so ever.  Either the designer was blind or they have been mismatched somehow.  The dining room chairs are very nice and they sort of matched the kitchen bar stools but the couch and two chairs were definitely ugly and came from some grandmother’s house somewhere in the United States.

 

The fitness room overlooks the Caribbean and is nice with ample equipment and comes equipped with a steam room and sauna.  The internet is wireless and free in your room.  There are 3 TV’s in our rooms and they are due for an update, they are not flat screens.
 

 

 

 

Marriott St. Kitts Beach Club - St. Kitts, West Indies - Caribbean

posted Apr 24, 2011, 11:49 AM by Darren Cannell

 
 
This is a lovely property on the Atlantic side of St. Kitts.  The Atlantic side of this island is actually prettier than the Caribbean side.  This is a lovely island that is lush with rainforest in the higher elevation areas.  Where the Marriott is situated in Frigate Bay the land is so narrow here that you can see both bodies of water and it is a bit drier but not as dry as the southern peninsula is.  The beach is well protected by a combination of naturally occurring reef and man- built up rocks.  This breaks the surf and leaves a lovely beach if you can take the heat of the sand.  The sand is speckled with black sand due to the volcanic nature of this island and this makes for an extremely hot sand beach but the water is sweet and cool to take a dip.  There are plenty of cabanas for shade and tons of loungers down at the beach.  There are also 3 pools that you can utilize while staying at this timeshare.  The grounds are lovely with all sorts of pretty flowering trees.
 
We ended up staying in Brimstone House on the second floor and our two balconies overlooked the quiet pool.  We had an end unit which was huge at about 1400 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.  The kitchen was divine with granite counters and modern stainless steel appliances.  We cooked all of our meals over our 11 night stay and had no problems with lack of kitchen tools etc.  We even had an ice maker in our deepfreeze.  You can drink the tap water here and if you put enough ice in it to cool it off you can barely taste all of the chlorine.  Our beds were really comfortable and our master bathroom was obscenely huge.  We had 3 flat screens and free internet hook up in our unit.  The fitness room was very well equipped and I visited that every day.
 
Rent a car and explore the island.  There is an IGA grocery store about a ten minute drive into Basseterre the capital.  The Marriott is located in Frigate Bay which is a lovely community with huge homes climbing up the steep slopes of the mountainous terrain.  There is a kid’s club here at the Marriott at a cost of 45 US per day.  They had organized an Easter egg hunt and our son ended up with about 50 eggs in his bag.  He also received a pail and a shovel and a freshly made cookie with a cute monkey stuffy as well.  All of this cost us only 10 USD for the Easter gifts and activities.
 
The weather here is perfect morning noon and night and I found myself enjoying a glass or two of white wine out on my balcony.  I loved watching the birds here they are very pretty and the stray resort cats are the prettiest around, they were Siamese.  We bought a can of tuna for the one darling cat; bring some cheap dry cat food from home and feed them.  God knows the groceries here are very expensive and cat food was too expensive to buy so I do not know how the locals afford it?  We found it ultra comfortable here at the Marriott and very homey and we would definitely return to St. Kitts in the future and to this Marriott property.
 
 
 
 

Marriott Aruba Ocean Club

posted Apr 15, 2011, 7:52 AM by Darren Cannell

 
This is a Marriott category 8 property so that entails that it is very nice.  This is a timeshare exchange week for us.  We ended up getting a second floor unit in the corner.  We have a view of tropical trees and a fountain so it is nice but it is not a view of the Caribbean which I wanted.  The unit is very nice and has recently been renovated and is looking grea!  The kitchen has new appliances and granite and is very well stocked so you can cook whatever your heart desires.  We have a two bedroom/ two bathroom unit so there are a total of 3 flat screens to watch.  We have a ridiculously large whirlpool bathtub in the master side and a shower only on the spare bedroom side.  The bathrooms are large and very nice.  We have two balconies with furniture.  The bedrooms are large and have plenty of storage.  There is a laundry on each floor and it is complimentary so that is acceptable.  There is a fitness centre which is shared with the Marriott Hotel and it is really large with lots of new equipment.  The internet is wireless and free of charge like all Marriott Vacation Clubs.  There is a pool and the beach is a lovely Caribbean beach. (The lazy river is no longer shared with the Marriott Ocean Club; the Surf Club also have a couple of pools but unfortunately the owners at the Marriott Surf Club decided not to share their pools and lazy river with the Ocean Club so these are off limits.) 
 
There is a grocery store about 2 minutes away by car called the Kong Fui but drive a bit farther to the IGA instead, the IGA has much more selection and is nicer and newer.  Rent a car here in Aruba it is easy and safe to drive and there is lots to see.  The Marriott Ocean Club is a very nice place to stay and I would recommend it. 
 
 
 
 

Marriott Aruba Resort and Stellaris Casino

posted Apr 15, 2011, 7:45 AM by Darren Cannell

 
This is a category 8 Marriott hotel and I thought that Marriott only went up to category 6.  I got this room for $159 USD through the Friends and Family program with Marriott.  This was a good rate believe it or not.  We had a very large room with a huge flat screen, desk and the coolest most comfortable chair, a small coffee/bar area and a small walk in closet and a very large and gorgeous bathroom with a tub and two separate sinks.  The room had obviously been renovated; this resort has gone through a 50 million dollar revamp. 
The balcony was also large with chairs to sit.  The hotel has many dining options and a large pool and of course the beach and beautiful turquoise colors of the Caribbean.  It has a great workout centre with two stories and everything you could possibly want with new machines and plenty of them.  The internet was only $7.95 USD per 24 hours and this was the cheapest price that we have encountered other than being complimentary of course.  This is a beautiful hotel and you will not be sorry if you come here.
 
 
 
 

Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino

posted Apr 9, 2011, 3:05 PM by Darren Cannell

 
This hotel is a two minute drive from the cruise terminal.  It was opened in 2009 so it is fairly new and modern.  We arrived at 8:15 am and only expected them to take our luggage but they actually found us a room this early to check in, which we really appreciated.  The room has floor to ceiling windows to catch the views.  Once side of the hotel has views of the cruise ships and the other has partial ocean views.  The pool area is large and very nice with several dipping pools and one swimming pool.  The lounge chairs are very comfortable and plenty of them.  There are quite a few restaurants and there is the Casino and Convention Centre that is all attached.  You would have a bit of a long walk to the beach we never tried it.  There is a large flat screen in the room and a nice sized bathroom.  There is a complimentary business centre on the main floor where you can print confirmations etc.  There is complimentary free WiFi throughout the hotel and pool area which is really excellent.  There is a fitness centre on the 3rd floor with plenty of equipment and services.  This was a very comfortable hotel, we only stayed one night but we could have stayed longer.
 
 
 

Celebrity Summit Cruise Ship

posted Apr 9, 2011, 3:03 PM by Darren Cannell   [ updated Apr 9, 2011, 3:19 PM ]

 
We did the Southern Caribbean itinerary with the sailing date of April 2nd, 2011.  The stops were St. Croix, St. Kitt’s, Dominica, Grenada and Tobago.  I chose this cruise due to the interesting itinerary and we had not been to any of these 5 countries.  The cruise began in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  We got a deal of 549 per adult.  This boat is approximately 11 years old and she is holding up quite well.  The food is excellent in the dining room we loved everything and the buffets in the Waterfall Cafe were also excellent.  Breakfast buffet was a vast array of food to choose from.  We were off the boat most days and missed lunch and would come in to the buffet for a light salad sometimes.  I was impressed with the formal nights because I only saw 2 men without jackets and my husband was one of them.  I was dressed up but I did not see one gown, back in the day I use to wear gowns for formal nights on any cruise but women don’t bring them anymore it seems.  Our waiter Sukayadi and our steward Luciano were both excellent.  They both loved little kids and paid special attention to our son.  Luciano brought him a big bag of the pillow chocolates because he knew that my husband was eating them on his kid.  Luciano also brought my son a Celebrity terry towel bath robe in my son’s size.  This really surprised me and it was a very gracious gift.  The entertainment was excellent, the singing and dancing Broadway style shows were very professional and added to our cruise.  There also was a comedian – Free Klett that was one of the funniest I have ever heard.  There are many places to relax and many places to have fun on this boat.  Our child loved the Fun Factory and honestly never came off the ship once in 5 port days.  He always begged to stay with the kids and the wonderful counsellors of the Fun Factory.  Now I know that our son is going to be a diehard cruiser because of the Fun Factory on board the Summit.  I would highly recommend this ship and this itinerary for families, honeymooners, young and old alike we loved it!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Double Tree Miami Airport Hotel and Convention Centre

posted Apr 9, 2011, 3:02 PM by Darren Cannell   [ updated Apr 9, 2011, 3:22 PM ]

 
We stayed one night at this hotel and I got a deal at 85 for the night on Priceline.com.  You can get it cheaper on weekdays.  It is a brand new hotel and already is showing its age.  The rooms are very large but not thought out well.  The bathroom door banged into the shower rod, the coffee service which was on the granite counter had to be moved off of it to the floor because there was no outlet to plug in the single serving coffee maker. there was a great lounger with no ottoman to put your feet up etc.  The bed was OK.  The ice machines on two floors that we tried did not work and they obviously were not new, but rusted out badly.  Check in was promp and we received a warm cookie each which was tasty.  There is a free shuttle to and from the Miami International.  There was also free internet.  This was just an OK hotel for one night.
 
 
 
 

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