Articles in Checking In

My 2023 Mattress Run: How I Retained Hilton Honors Gold Elite Status With 2 Stays

While in pre-pandemic days I did my share of mileage runs to maintain top-level status with either American Airlines or Delta (depending on the time period), I never engaged in a mattress run, that is until now.
For the uninitiated, a mileage or mattress run is what frequent travelers can do if they are short on status miles, points, nights, or stays, for the purpose of maintaining or increasing their elite …

Coronavirus Morning News Brief – April 1: New XBB.1.16 Variant ‘One to Watch,’ Over 50% of Parents Lied About Child’s Covid Status

Coronavirus Morning News Brief – April 1: New XBB.1.16 Variant ‘One to Watch,’ Over 50% of Parents Lied About Child’s Covid Status

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 1,116th day of the pandemic and April Fools’ Day.
Nothing would please me more than to announce that the pandemic is over, but I’d have to follow it up with the exclamation “April Fools!” and say “never mind, it’s still ongoing.”
Indeed, I further wish the following were also a trick, but …

New York City’s Hotel Pennsylvania – Once the World’s Largest – Now Under Demolition; Fate of Famous Phone Number Remains Unknown

Big band fans take note! The Hotel Pennsylvania – which, when it opened in 1919, was the largest hotel in the world with 2,200 rooms and continued to be the fourth largest hotel in New York City until it closed temporarily amidst the coronavirus-pandemic induced decline in visitors to the Big Apple – has been largely reduced to rubble.
Indeed, as of the start of March, the Pennsylvania has been deconstructed …

Review: Schloß Elmau, The Bavarian Castle Hotel and Spa Hosting the G-7

It was only seven years ago that President Obama, German Chancellor Merkel, and other Group of Seven leaders gathered at a summit in the Bavarian Alps to discuss affairs of state that included sanctions against Russia.
While the roster of leaders may have changed, the topic of Russian sanctions remains on the agenda, and that country’s invasion of Ukraine will also be a topic of much conversation.
Nestled at the foot of …

Hotel Review: The Lloyd, Stamford, Connecticut

Writing a hotel review during a global pandemic is fraught with peril.  While I felt completely confident in my selection, I wouldn’t wish to cause someone to abandon all coronavirus safeguards and dive back into travel unnecessarily or with reckless abandon.  Then again, I also believe that the overwhelming majority of the magazine’s readers would not do this, so here goes.
The brand new Lloyd, Stamford is a new luxury boutique …

Review: Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München, Munich, Germany

Review: Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski München, Munich, Germany

Just when you start to think that one of the best hotels in the world cannot top past experiences, it happens. But allow me to set the scene.
After a short flight from London in British Airways Club Europe, I arrived at Munich Airport and took the S-Bahn to the city center.  It was a glorious fall day and the walk from the Marienplatz S-Bahn Haltestelle to the hotel on the bustling …

Hotel Review: Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City

Coordinating the opening of a hotel is a big deal no matter when it happens, but doing so in the midst of a raging pandemic is not only an achievement worthy of note but one fraught with some degree of peril.
The managers of the Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City did just that and the hotel, located in the East Market development opened its doors to guests in August of …