Hotel

Overnight at Crowne Plaza LAX 

img_4784Last week I was stuck with a long layover choice out of LAX since I wanted a one-stop flight to Maui. One option was waiting around LAX all-day or flying out early the next morning.  I decided to go with the second option and spent the night at the LAX Crowne Plaza.

This hotel was located right near the airport with a shuttle service that continuously ran throughout the day. When I exited the luggage area at LAX, I waited for the shuttle at the hotel shuttle pickup and was picked up in around 20-minutes.

Even though I was at the hotel around 11am, I was able to check-in early and get a room. I had a king room, which I used IHG points to pay for. The room was located on one of the quiet floors and faced towards a small section of the runway, which I could hear at times throughout the day. The room was newly remodeled with a comfortable bed, which worked perfect for the overnight stay. Wi-Fi is available at the Crowne Plaza and was included with my IHG level.

After dropping off my luggage I went for lunch. There were some food trucks in the hotel parking lot, but I just ate at the restaurant off the lobby. There are actually 3 restaurant food options available at the Crowne Plaza. A taproom, sushi restaurant, and a pizza/fast-service place. I ate at the Century Taproom for lunch. The menu had sandwiches, salads, steak, and other typical foods of a taproom. There also was a halfway decent beer menu as well. For lunch I just had the club sandwich which sounded the best when flying the next morning.

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Even though I was in LA for  an afternoon and evening, I just stuck around the hotel for the day since I had an early  flight the following morning. In the morning I was able to catch the shuttle back to the airport. I did have to wait for around 30-minutes since the first shuttle filled up right when I got there. Luckily the shuttle only serviced the Crowne Plaza and not any neighboring hotels.

Overall the Crowne Plaza at LAX was a nice hotel and somewhere I would definitely stay again when stuck with an overnight layover. I found the hotel to be relatively quiet and comfortable for a one-night stay.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter

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We stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort in December over Christmas. The property is a moderate hotel and is one of the smaller Disney resorts at Disney World. We decided on the Port Orleans Resort French Quarter after reading some of the reviews online and looking at various other resorts in Disney. Since it was over Christmas, some of the next level up resorts were costing an arm and a leg to stay at.

Check-in for Disney World resort hotels is completely different from the last time we stayed at a Disney hotel. Now everything is online and you can receive a text message once your room is ready. Your Magic Band is also the key to your room. Since we got to Orlando earlier then planned, we did stop by the front desk since we weren’t sure of the process at that time for check-in. The check-in experience is really easy since everything is done online ahead of time, but we did all feel the Disney magic was no longer there.

Our room was ready within an hour after getting to the resort. The room was basic since this was a moderate resort, but there was a mini-fridge. We used the fridge to store water bottles since the tap water is not the best in Orlando. The resort did feel more adult oriented because of its size and seemed to have less kids than some of the other properties. 

Since this resort was not on a monorail line nor had boat transportation to any of the parks (boat transportation is available to Disney Springs), there was a bus service. Bus service is actually a major part of the Disney resort and is common at all the hotels. For the most part the bus system was convenient and easy. Only twice we found the system to be irritating. One time we waited for the bus to Magic Kingdom for over 40-minutes. Another time the bus to Epcot stopped at the Riverside resort as well and added a good 20-minute drive to Epcot, which thankfully was the only bus experience with multiple stops in December.IMG_3962

One of the major highlights at the Port Orleans French Quarters is the beignets in the restaurant. The beignets are made fresh to order and are fantastic. This is the only thing we had at the food area during our entire stay. We ordered beignets twice and both times they were delicious.

Overall the resort was nice for the price and quiet, though it really did not have the Disney feel like some of the other Disney resorts we have stayed it.

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