12 Chain Hotels that Make You Feel Right Home

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on December 21, 2015.



The great thing about chain hotels is that they can feel welcome, no matter where you go. You can pick your favorite based on the service, the amenities and the restaurants, knowing that the same standards will be consistent. And these aren’t “cookie-cutter” hotels, either: each is a different experience. Here are our picks for great chain hotels.


1. Fairmont, Pittsburgh

This prime downtown location is close to everything: Heinz Hall, Monongahela Incline and PNC Park. Relax in the health club, sauna or steam room. Large 430 sq. ft. rooms include a minibar, coffee maker, LCD TV, high-speed Internet and comfortable bathrobes. Get Hipmunk deals at the Fairmont Pittsburgh.

2. Hyatt Place, Charlotte

See the NASCAR Hall of Fame or enjoy the nightlife at the Hyatt Place Charlotte. The Hyatt Place is central to all the delights, and offers rooms with separate sleeping and living areas, 42-inch TV, coffee/tea maker, mini-fridge and free WiFi. Eat anytime at the 24/7 Gallery Menu and Market.

3. Hyatt French Quarter, New Orleans

This historic Hyatt puts you right in the heart of the city on Bourbon Street. Elegant non-smoking rooms feature HDTV and luxury bath products, and you can request a balcony room. Best of all, the rates are reasonable, even during Mardi Gras.

4. Hyatt at the Bellevue, Philadelphia

Theatre and art lovers will love this hotel, located in the theater district and close to Rittenhouse Square. Dine with spectacular views in the 19th-floor restaurant, and workout on the indoor running track. The luxurious rooms feature marble baths, sweeping views and 42-inch TVs.

5. Hotel Arts, Barcelona

Five-star luxury in a 44-story skyscraper right on the Mediterranean. This hotel is spectacular for its location, superb service, beautiful rooms and luxury spa. Barcelona mixes an enchanting blend of Spanish and Catalan culture, including fabulous markets. Let Hipmunk take you there.

6. Aloft Hotel, Minneapolis

If you like airy rooms with oversized windows and a hip urban location, you’ll love the Aloft. It’s in the trendy Mill District, near all that the vibrant Minneapolis arts scene has to offer. Rooms feature flat-panel TVs, free Wi-Fi and mini-fridges.

7. Radisson Blu Agua, Chicago

This is a sleek hotel with minimalist, elegant décor right on the lakefront. There’s a helpful Concierge Service to help you get around. Back at the hotel, relax in the beautiful Lifestyle Garden. Your Business Classroom includes an espresso machine, fresh fruit delivered daily and use of the business lounge.

8. Hyatt Regency Resort Spa, Maui

Enjoy the gorgeous views of historic Lahaina from your own lanai. Or splash into the huge 750,000-gallon pool, complete with a 150-foot lava tube slide surrounded by grottoes and waterfalls. You can sight see while the kids live it up at Camp Hyatt Maui. And naturally, there’s 40 acres of beach and two championship golf courses nearby.

9. Sheraton, Salt Lake City

Love to ski? Try the nearby world-class slopes, some with kid-friendly and beginner trails. You can choose from two room options: The Sheraton Club, with upgraded baths and great views from the Club Lounge, or the Salt Lake Lodging, with traditional rooms.

10. Sheraton, Seattle

Panoramic city views and luxury suites are on offer at this Sheraton. The indoor lap pool overlooks Elliott Bay, and there’s a fitness center and health club. Your room has Sweet Sleeper® beds with pillowtop mattresses and premium bedding.

11. JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE

All the rooms are colorful and comfortable, but if you’re in a group, splurge on a suite here, because it’s certainly worth it. This hotel is very close to the L.A. Convention Center.

12. Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles

You’ll think you’re in a boutique hotel at this downtown Ritz-Carlton. It features 123 large guest rooms, a heated rooftop pool with fabulous views, luxury beds and baths, and bath butler and bath menu services. And if course, you’ll love Wolfgang Puck’s WP 24 restaurant.

Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee by Julia Kent

Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee by Julia Kent 
(Shopping for a Billionaire #6) 
Publication date: February 26th 2015 
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

All of our best dates end up in the emergency room….

I planned the perfect proposal. Plenty of lobster, caviar, champagne and–her favorite–tiramisu. The perfect setting. The perfect woman. The perfect everything.

Dad gave me my late mother’s engagement ring, platinum, and diamonds galore. Shannon wouldn’t care if I slid a giant hard-candy ring on her finger instead of a three-carat diamond designed to impress. But my future mother-in-law, Marie, will pass out when she sets eyes on that rock, which will give us two minutes of blessed silence. That woman talks more than Kim Kardashian flashes her naked backside on the internet.

I was going to make it perfect, from the color of the tablecloth to the freshness of the roses. And it was perfect.

Until Shannon swallowed the ring.

* * *

Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancée gives near-billionaire Declan McCormick the chance to tell his story in this continuation of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shopping for a Billionaire series.

(On sale for $.99 for a limited time only!)

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge, and new adult books that push contemporary boundaries. From billionaires to BBWs to rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every book she writes, but unlike Trevor from Random Acts of Crazy, she has never kissed a chicken.


Harley by Michelle Jo Quinn – Book Blitz

Rock Star and a secret. I’m intrigued. – Sydney Aaliyah Michelle

Michelle Jo Quinn
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: January 19th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

All of her life, Cadence “Cade” Williams has been lied to…

With her ailing father on his deathbed, a whispered secret sends Cadence’s life into a tailspin. Determined to either confirm or debunk her father’s claim, she sets out on a mission to grow close to the only man with evidence to set things straight. To do that, Cadence earns a position in an elite security firm owned by her father’s old army buddy, Noah “Mac” Mackinley.

Mac is the only man who could hold the evidence to support her father’s claims…

But first, she must prove herself worthy of Mac’s trust and get close enough to find the truth. Her first mission is to watch over an eight-year old girl, Harley Clark.

Harley is not an ordinary girl. She’s the daughter of a rock star…

Despite her fragile appearance, Harley has tenacity and brilliance like nothing Cade has ever seen. To everyone’s surprise—including her own—Cade forms an unlikely friendship with the beautiful wallflower.

Her first assignment just became more interesting…

When Harley’s rock star father, Jax Clark, enters the scene, Cade can’t deny the instant attraction for the self-proclaimed bad boy. Tattoos, piercing eyes, and a raspy voice that sends thousands of fans into a screaming frenzy, he’s more than just a heartthrob. Worse, Jax starts to pay her more attention than she expects.

She’s faced with a choice—get lured in by the celebrity world and lose any chance of finding out the truth, or stick to the plan and avoid Jax at all costs to earn Mac’s trust.

Goodreads / Amazon



Author Bio:

Michelle ‘s love for writing blossomed when her father gave her a diary. However, instead of recounting her daily life, she wrote stories of fictional people. Like most of her characters, she believes in Happily Ever After. Naturally, she finds harmony in writing romance.

An unabashed, self-proclaimed foodie, Michelle loves to try new food whenever she travels. She once had triple crème Brie and duck rillette for lunch on top of Grouse Mountain. She enjoys watching foreign films and reading a good book by the fireside.

Michelle is an active member of RWA and several of its chapters. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids.

Website / Facebook / Twitter



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#Junkie by Cambria Hebert – Book Blitz

Cambria Hebert
(GearShark, #1)
Publication date: January 20th 2016
Genres: LGBTQ+, Romance, Sports

Drew Forrester is a total adrenaline junkie.

His high of choice?


The faster, the better.

He’s been making waves in Maryland’s underground racing circuit since he crossed the state line, and after speaking with him, we know he’s not hitting the brakes anytime soon.

So what exactly does it take to burn rubber and make a name for yourself in a world where the only rule is there are no rules?

You gotta be hungry…

You gotta have balls…

And you can never back down.

What’ve we learned here at GearShark?

Drew is all of the above.

We also know he’s got some secrets buried under his hood.

Secrets we think are loaded with octane and just might set the world of cars on fire.

Check out the full feature article inside…

*this is a spin-off of the Hashtag series but it can be read on its own.

**This book contains an M/M romance relationship.

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo



Author Bio:

Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest



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What to do in France in February

I had the pleasure of knocking Paris off my bucket list about 12 (oh wow) years ago. It was so long ago; I think it’s time to put it back on the list. While the regions of France have so much to offer a traveler, on my next trip, I want to explore more of the communes of Paris, as well as the Parisian Coast.

Boulogne Billancourt, France

I love photographing my world. I take a picture randomly of a tree or a sunset and capture it on my phone to share on Instagram or Twitter. I believe Albert Khan (a French banker and philanthropist who lived in Paris in the early 1900s) would have loved social media. He created the Archives of the Planet, a photographic endeavor where he wished to document buildings and cultures. He would travel around with his chauffeur and photographer and document the world. He even commissioned and sent out photographers to every continent to record images and film of the planet.

Albert-Kahn Musee et Jardin houses these photos and films in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. During a winter month, I can’t think of a better way to fill the day than by looking at images of our world.


Image via Trover.com by Manuel Villanueva

Chessy, France

Chessy, France is in eastern Paris. The city isn’t much these days; oh, except for being the site of the Disneyland Paris Amusement Park. Even the cool temperatures in February shouldn’t stop you from visiting the happiest place on earth … in France.

The park offers many new experiences for the family during this time of year. It’s open for the Half Term in February, but the winter temperatures keep the crowds away. It is an ideal time to visit the Magic Kingdom to avoid the lines and the usual chaos of the amusement park. I’m ready to dress for the occasion, and after the first ride and a photo-op with Mickey, I’m sure I won’t notice the temperature.


Image via Trover.com by Snappy David

Courbevoie, France

Courbevoie, Frances is the densest populated region of France. It’s situated in the business district and houses tall buildings, great hotels, and is an amazing shopping district. Furthermore, it has my favorite place on earth, the Eiffel Tower. Chances are the top floor observation deck will be closed in February, and if open, it won’t be the best view. However, I’m going to visit anyway. You will avoid long lines during this time of year and the structure itself is impressive enough. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. You will warm right up. Plus the tower has four restaurants, so grab a seat and enjoy a meal in the most iconic landmark in the world.


Photo via Trover.com by Noe Correia

Avignon, France

Avignon, France is in southern France, but not quite next to the Mediterranean Sea. It is a city steeped in rich history, especially Catholic history. The commune housed the original residency of the Pope back in the 1300s. You could spend days exploring the Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace). It is the most impressive example of Gothic architecture in Europe. I can imagine spending a day by soaking up the rich  and at times — tumultuous history of Catholicism during this period.


Image via Trover.com by Marta Logan

Antibes, France

The art fan in me would love to visit Antibes, France, located further down south on the Mediterranean coast. It is a beautiful coastal town. Many artists and writers used Antibes as a retreat in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It houses a Picasso museum, which holds some of his beautiful, albeit confusing, works of landscapes from the time he called this French commune his home. It also houses the Absinthe museum. This infamous drink has a crazy history, and I would love to explore it and maybe have a taste.


Image via Trover.com by Michelle DuQuette

Have you been to any of these cities? What’s on your travel bucket list?