Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tour of the Grand Canyon National Park

Traveling broadens the mind and enriches a person's life. While school teaches us new skills and knowledge, nothing beats first hand experience and recalling the travel memories that will stick with you forever. In fact, CS and I went to US about 10 months ago but I can still remember how cold is the water at Malibu beach and how delicious the lobster roll was at Sam's in San Francisco. Among the many things we planned for the trip, the tour of the Grand Canyon National Park is one of the greatest and perhaps the most exciting experience. The things that I only see in TV and magazines is now right in front of me. It was magical, a surreal moment indeed.

Viator, a Tripadvisor company, offers a wide variety of tours in Las Vegas at very competitive prices. The Grand Canyon National Park Bus Tour we booked included hotel pick up and drop off, live commentary aboard vehicle, bottled water, lunch and snacks - all for $156 for 2 persons! Highlights of the 14-hour bus tour comprise of visits to the Grand Canyon South Rim (Mather Point and Bright Angel Lodge for breathtaking views), Hoover Dam and Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona.

Basic information on visiting the Grand Canyon National Park:

  • Carved by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is a mile-deep canyon and stretches 18 miles across at its widest point
  • It is located in the US State of Arizona
  • The Grand Canyon became a national park in 1919
  • A visual treat for its unique erosional forms and geologic color combinations
  • The 2nd most visited national park in the US and attracts 5.9 million visitors per year
  • The rock found at the bottom of the Grand Canyon is around 2 billion years old while the rock found on the upper rim dates about 230 million years old
  • American Indians have been living in and around the canyon for thousands of years
  • It takes 5 hours to drive the 345km distance between the South Rim and the North Rim
  • The South Rim is open all year round for camping, lodging and day tours
  • Least crowded time to visit is from November to February
  • North Rim facilities and lodging is open from May 15 to October 15 only

Tip: Check out the National Park Service's website for more information, tips and the latest news on the best time to visit the Grand Canyon National Park. Click here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Breakfast at 57th Street, Marriott Bangkok Hotel

I am a creature of habit.
I love breakfast.
I am a morning person.

No two people are alike; even couples who are in long-term relationships have differences. While I love waking up early for breakfast, CS is the exact opposite. Its not easy to convince him on waking up early to begin with but more so if I'm feeding him mediocre food. Good thing Marriott's 57th Street offers an inventive menu inspired by traditional Thai home-style cooking in a vibrant and inviting ambiance - my perfect pitch to persuade him for an early enjoyable meal.

What I love about 57th Street's breakfast buffet is its well-curated menu, not too much variety but enough crowd favorites to satisfy its diners. Another notable and commendable thing about staying in Marriott is their friendly and dedicated team to assist your every need. I have yet to meet an unlikable Thai person because service is just amazing wherever we go!

Make your own salad

Breads and different types of spread

Cold cuts and cheese

More breads and pastries

Pain au chocolat

Various types of sandwiches

Pancakes, waffles, crepe and french toast


Noodle soup

Japanese food section


More Chinese dishes

Congee with condiments

Egg station

Bacon and sausage

Halal food

Fresh fruit juices

Fresh vegetable juices

Fresh fruits

On our table

Hot green tea

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict


My favorites in one plate!

Fruits to go are available for hotel guests who have no time for a sit-down breakfast or simply anyone who can't get enough of these extra sweet fruits. The staff would even encourage you to get as many as you can possibly hold even if you just exited from the restaurant!


Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit
2 Sukhumvit Soi 57, Klongtan Nua
Wattana, Bangkok, Thailand
Tel.: (662) 797-0000
Website: www.marriott.com/sukhumvit

Monday, February 5, 2018

Hotel Review: Aria Resort & Casino

Vacation is supposed to be relaxing, fun and enriching. Back when I was looking for a hotel in Las Vegas, my top considerations were location and amenities. Price was a secondary factor as CS wanted it to be the best trip with me being a first timer in the US so he let me choose which hotel I wanted to book. The Strip is full of 5-star hotels offering varying types of experiences but at the end of the day, Aria Resort & Casino won our hearts. Scroll down to find out why.

Standing tall at the heart of Las Vegas Strip, Aria boasts of modern architecture, top-tier dining and entertainment, and high tech rooms and suites. With just 9 years in operations, everything in Aria is relatively shiny and feels brand new. Our deluxe room, the cheapest available in the resort casino, is priced at Php11,650/night including resort fees and government taxes. Pretty steep for our standards but for the full Vegas experience, it was all worth it!

Aria Resort's deluxe room amenities include:

  • Panoramic corner view
  • Custom Sealy beds with Aria mattress and triple-sheeted, 300-thread-count bedding
  • 42" HD LCD television 
  • 10” tablet to control lights, temperature, service requests, and in-room dining ordering
  • A goodnight button to power down your room with the touch of your finger.
  • Fully-stocked intelligent mini-bar
  • Dressing area with dual closets and granite-top dresser
  • Full bathroom with shower and bench adjacent to a soaking tub
  • Granite dual sink vanity

The Buffet at Aria Las Vegas is open from 7am until 10pm daily. We only tried dining once on our last night in Vegas because we wanted to save the best for last. Dinner on weekends is priced at $43.99/adult while weekday rate is $38.99/adult; quite pricey but the unlimited crab legs was very tempting! The open-kitchen buffet was divided into several sections: Fish Market, Asian, Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean, Tandoori, Latin, Carvery, Diner, Salad and Sweets.

As much as we wanted to try each and every dish on the buffet, the selection was just overwhelming. A tiny piece of this and that to try as many but in the end, we decided to save our calories for the freshly steamed crab legs - the main reason why we dined there the first place!

Pros: Las Vegas Strip location, modern and spacious rooms, tight security, friendly service, mobile check-in/check-out facility, relaxing pools, and smoke-free rooms and hotel corridor.

Cons: Nothing because we absolutely loved every minute of our stay in Aria!


Aria Resort & Casino
3730 S Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Tel.: (1702) 590-1111
Website: www.aria.com/en
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