I blogged about why I love Priority Club as my favorite hotel chain a few days ago. For me, one of the best features is points break. The day the new list comes out I start looking for where I can go on a short or long vacation with my bride or with friends.
This weekend I took advantage of just such a break and got 3 rooms at the Intercontinental Hotel O’Hare Airport (ICH). 3 rooms? Yes I brought 3 of my friends and my wife for a quick weekend getaway. One of them, after a few years getting over the loss of her furry friend Taj, is ready for new cat and wants a British shorthair. So we found someone online who had some and went to see. We got there early and they were not home so thanks to my Magellan GPS (travel tip always take your GPS with with you) we found a Baskin & Robbins and had an ice cream cone treat to kill an hour.
Now it was time to go on to the “cat house”. While the cats were adorable, as you can see below, the sellers were not very adorable and we will not be going back to see them again!
Next it was on to the ICH to check in. The day before I had done what I always do and sent a very nice email ( a fax works often as well ) requesting an upgrade for my and my wife’s room for our stay since I am a Priority Club Platinum ( we did have 3 rooms all at 5000 the point, points break price but with my PC visa I will get 1500 back so all in 13,500 points. A few hours later the upgrade was approved for our room. We were given a 720 square foot 2 room suite that I very much enjoyed). The bed was dreamy, soft and nice.
Now unlike “Onemileatatime Lucky” I am no Ambassador of any flavor so it was very good of the ICH to upgrade me as they do not have to even as a Priority Club Platium. Other than the upgrade, there was no free wifi, no free water, no free breakfast. Parking was $22 for 24 hrs. The room faced the airport so it was very kool to look out the window and see the runway at ORD being the airplane geek that I am.
After checking-in we shared a bottle of Pinot Noir in our living room and then set off to dinner. We went to an outstanding place that you should try next time you are in Chicago. The place is called Salerno Pincente Ristorante.
The food – wow – was it good. I had a $50.00 off restaurants.com coupon and I got a 30% rebate off the coupon price + $5.00 cash at Ebates.com on top of an 80% off discount code ( “STOCKING” is the current 80% off code after you join Ebates search for restaurants.com!). We had a great meal, from appetizer of stuffed mushrooms, that were so nummy I could have had 50 of them, to main course and fresh bread. Let me tell you, each one was was better than the last! Now one thing about this place I must warn you about is that they bring you a TON of food. The Chicken Salerno was enough for 3 people to eat. Seriously! I have never ever been served so much food at a reasonable price. They say locals come all the time and love to have leftovers for another meal! The service from “Tina” was just tops. She was there when we wanted her and not when we did not. That is a “art” that many servers do not have. They also have other “guys” around to fill water glasses etc if you need more help. Love that as the server can do what they need to with other tables. Anyway – try this place it is great!
Sunday we slept in a bit and awoke to a crisp clear morning. Again it was fun to watch planes come in while I woke up and checked comments on the blog from the Delta Q&A post (you can click on the photo to see it larger btw)!
After checking out it was off to see some old friends in the area who are on a 3 year volunteer work in the area and soon to move on. Near where we were going we again used my trusty Magellan GPS (Love it) to look for a breakfast spot. We found a spot called Walker Brother Original Pancake House that we were told was so good the line is often all the way around the outside of the building. You know what, they were right about this place. The bacon and pancakes may be the best I have ever had. Again you must try this place if you are in Chicago ( maybe for the next Chicago DO?).
We headed home along Lake Shore Drive with a cloudless evening and brilliant setting sun illuminating the skyscrapers and Navy Pier. It was the kind of sky where the vapor trails even disappeared in moments. It was such a great fun weekend for us all.
Now as I said, the reason I do what I do, is that this cost me only a few hotel points, some tolls, gas, and really very little for food with the $50 off dinner coupon. I love to share my points and show what can be had if you play this silly points game we play and yes you should too! – Rene