Hampton Inn, Downtown Boise… Exceptional

My kids have traveled as writers in eight states and four countries, logging more miles before the age of 10 than many adults… one thing we know is a good hotel, and this place is the cat’s pajamas.

The comfort and appointments are easy to describe. They’re basically the best. The Hampton Inn is a Hilton Hotels brand property, and like all it’s siblings (Embassy Suites, Hilton Gardens, Hilton and Hampton Inn) they’re just top notch. Continue reading Hampton Inn, Downtown Boise… Exceptional

A welcome surprise in Southern California Extended Stay America – Simi Valley, California

Bob van der Valk gives the Extended Stay America in Simi Valley two thumbs up.
Bob van der Valk gives the Extended Stay America in SiMi Valley two thumbs up.

We have had the opportunity to travel and visit family and friends as well as do business in Southern California for the last five years traveling from our home in Terry, Montana. My wife and I lived and worked in Southern California most of our lives prior to our move to Big Sky Country Montana about five years ago.

We typically bunk up at the home of a family member or friend but did not do so on our recent trip in the beginning of August 2013. This time we planned mixing business with a little pleasure since we hardly seem to make time to visit museums and amusement parks while we are “in town”.

Our daughter recommended the Extended Stay America in Simi Valley being in close proximity to our various stops scheduled during our stay. We reserved a room with a queen size bed, kitchen (with utensils) and a desk to get some work done. The price quoted was under $100 per night for a 4-day stay. The short of it is they exceeded all of our expectations and then some.

Upon checking in the desk clerk recommended the king size bed and even gave my wife the key to the room so she could check it out. My wife decided it met our expectations and we finally got some much needed rest after our travels to the hotel.

The “Wow’ factor is the friendliness of the staff at this hotel. Verica Weikal, the Manager of the hotel, took time to greet her guests and patiently answered any questions posed her. I had two exhausting days of work during our stay but each time was relieved to see the insignia of the hotel ahead knowing I was at my home away from home.

Verica Weikal posing next to the picture taken of her meeting President George W. Bush.  She said he was a "hugger", which he had learned from his mother Barbara.
Verica Weikal posing next to the picture taken of her meeting President George W. Bush. She said he was a “hugger”, which he had learned from his mother Barbara.

The run and grab morning continental breakfast was helpful in keeping me on schedule for my early morning appointments along with having Freeway 118, right next to the Kearns exit, easing my traffic concerns. The shopping center next to the hotel has a variety of fast foods and to our great surprise an In ‘N Out Burger restaurant is located just on the other side of the 118 from this hotel. a

Two supermarkets are within a mile of the hotel with many more restaurants with foods of any choice of which you might want to eat when you’re hungry. It made our stay even more comfortable and we did not have to cook with the inexpensive places to eat out or bring-in so close by.

Dogs and cats are allowed at this hotel and guests were polite as they brought them in and out of their rooms for their regular walks.

After two hard days of work came the “pièce de résistance” visiting the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum located close by this hotel as well. Again Verica Weikal came to our rescue and informed us about the ins and outs and does and dont’s to make our visit to the site easier and spend time on the most worthwhile exhibits since we were on a limited time schedule.

Our trip to Simi Valley was made even more comfortable by being able to sleep on king size bed as well as not getting that cooped up feeling whenever we stay at a place where we did not have time to check reviews before booking our room.

I give Verica Weikal, her staff as well as the hotel two thumbs up and will be back soon to stay there again on our next visit to Southern California.

Bob van der Valk is the Managing Editor of the Bakken Oil Business Journal as well as Petroleum Industry Analyst living and working in Terry, Montana. He can be reached at editor@bakkenoilbiz.com

Killer Low-Budge Value at Cabana Inn, Boise

If you’re looking to shave a few shekels off your travel budget, you’re not going to do better than the Copa Cabana Inn in downtown Boise, Idaho.

The air conditioning works and the wifi is free (something that can’t be said of a number of other hotels across the cost spectrum.) There’s no breakfast or swimming pool, but how much are you really willing to pay for that? Continue reading Killer Low-Budge Value at Cabana Inn, Boise

What Are the Best Road Trip Microwaveable Foods?

This is the fourth part in our Road Trip Food Packing series. Today we’ll cover foods you can pack along and then microwave to delicious perfection. How can you save the most money on road trip snacks? What are the most popular road trip snacks? How can you keep your road trip snacks fresh? This article includes photos, examples and explanations. Continue reading What Are the Best Road Trip Microwaveable Foods?

San Francisco B&Bs Not Super Friendly To Kids

I’m sure just about anyone would love a nice stay in a cozy bed and breakfast no matter where they’re staying but sometimes, it just isn’t worth it. You pay a little extra for a little extra inconvenience, but in big cities, that little extra cost can quickly add up to a lot more than you think. When it comes to San Francisco, stick to the hotels and I’ll promise you this, they’ll stick to you. Continue reading San Francisco B&Bs Not Super Friendly To Kids

Mark Hopkins Hotel Central Geographically, Historically

When we took our entire headquarters to San Francisco, we wanted to do it in such a way as to pay highest and best tribute to the very best in family fun that can be had in the town, but naturally, we had to do it in such a way as to maintain sensitivity to our budget. We did all that with our trip to the Intercontinental at One Nob Hill, but we did so much more at that. Continue reading Mark Hopkins Hotel Central Geographically, Historically

Choose Out-of-Town Motels for Best Value, Least Attitude

During our lengthy visit to San Francisco, we had intended to check out two hotels and maybe a couple bed & breakfasts for a single day, but as with everything in our lives, you just never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. If your yesterday had a promise that today can’t deliver and your budget feels as strained as it is, don’t feel bad, just hop back in the ride and get out of town. Continue reading Choose Out-of-Town Motels for Best Value, Least Attitude