Win a Seat with Randy Petersen Giveaway

Loyalty Traveler readers have a chance to win a seat next to frequent flyer legend Randy Petersen (and founder of FlyerTalk, InsideFlyer, MilePoint and BoardingArea) on the StarMegaDO4 flights November 14-15, 2012 from San Francisco to Houston to Chicago.

You also have a chance to win the seat through 28 other blogs hosted on the BoardingArea.com site participating in this giveaway.


Comment on these Blogs for a chance to win (See this MommyPoints post for direct links to the comments page for each blog). The links below go to each blog, but not the “Win a Seat” post for that blog.

Honestly, I have never paid much attention to these chartered MegaDO flights where you fly around the country and have the opportunity to hang out with frequent flyer geeks and airline and hotel executives.

I did stay up until 2:30am one night in Girona, Spain talking to Platinum Traveller on the steps of the city cathedral. So, I also have the ability to geek out talking miles and points for hours and days.

To each their own.

I would certainly be happy to win the seat next to Randy Petersen and experience the StarMegaDo4 event, but as a Boarding Area blogger I am ineligible for the giveaway.

Here are links to all the pertinent information for this giveaway:

The Prize:

A reserved aisle or window seat next to Randy Petersen on the upcoming StarMegaDo 2012, hotel accommodations, and $250 for personal expenses!

Start reading these blogsand find out why BoardingArea is considered the home of all the best frequent/business travel bloggers.

For information on the MegaDo visit the official homepage or the MegaDo Milepoint subforum.

Important Note:You must be able to get yourself to San Francisco on your own to start this trip and it looks like the trip ends in Chicago, so I guess you have to be able to get home again from Chicago.

Here are the official BoardingArea rulesfor this “Win A Seat with Randy Petersen” giveaway.

Here is the StarMegaDo4 schedule.

Loyalty Traveler Star MegaDO4 Giveaway Entry Question

Your opportunity to win the Loyalty Traveler portion of this giveaway is based on replying to the question below.

Share your opinion with a comment about the best hotel worldwide where either you have stayed or desire to stay.

The reason I ask this question is that I am frequently asked, “What is your favorite hotel in the world.”

I honestly do not have a favorite hotel.

When I was asked this question last week at a dinner in Blanes, Spain at a fine restaurant on the beach of Costa Brava, my reply was that I have had incredible experiences while staying at some hotels and those are the memories I cherish more than the actual memory of the hotel.

Winning the Star MegaDo seat

Loyalty Traveler will select a random winner and the Loyalty Traveler winner will be entered into a drawing among 29 BoardingArea.com blogger winners for two seats in this Randy Petersen giveaway.

I think that means there is only something like a 1 in 15 chance to win this trip, even if you do win the Loyalty Traveler portion of the giveaway.

One thing is for sure though. You have to enter on one or even all the BoardingArea participating blogs to have a chance to sit next to Randy Petersen on the StarMegaDo 2012.

  • You must be 18.
  • You can only enter one time for each Boarding Area blog participating in the giveaway.
  • You must use an email when submitting your comment where you can be reached if you win.
  • Contest comments entry period ends 11:59:59 pm MT October 7, 2012.
  • Winner Selection: Two (2) winners will be chosen in a random drawing on Monday, October 8, 2012 from all eligible entries received during the Giveaway Period, as posted in the comments section of participating BoardingArea.com partnering blogs. The random drawing will be conducted by Randy Petersen, whose decision is final and binding in all respects. The winner will be notified via email within two (2) days after the selection is made. Each winner will have five (5) business days to reply confirming his/her acceptance of the giveaway seat. Failure to reply in the indicated time frame will declare that the seat has been refused and forfeited for all time and the first alternative entry will be chosen in random drawings as outlined above and provided the opportunity to claim the seat giveaway.
  • Disclosure: And if I understand the rules correctly, Loyalty Traveler wins an iPad if one of the two seat winners is my commenter.

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »



  1. My favorite hotel in the world is the Blue River in Saigon. It’s sub-$50, but so hospitable and actually silent for sleeping.

  2. The Canyon Suites at the Phoenician was amazing. Stayed there last year with Starwoods free resort night promotion

  3. i don’t have a favorite hotel, but like to think it’s somewhere i’ll stay in the future…which would require a lot more traveling 🙂

  4. My favorite was the Park Hyatt Chicago. Overlooking Water Tower Place and a view of Lake Michigan, having perfect access to public transportation and in my favorite city.

  5. I had a baller VIP suite at the Venetian for my bachelor party. That was pretty sick…

  6. I love to stay at Valdoro Mountain Lodge in Breckenridge. I aspire to stay somewhere warm. Anywhere, really. Oh, and the Hyatt 48Lex was a fun upscale stay I had earlier this year.

  7. The hotel I’ve had the most fun was PH Towers (now Elara Hilton) in Vegas, so we’ll go with that 🙂

  8. Best hotel I’ve stay at is the Westin Grand Vancouver. I love the location, the layout (all suites) and I especially love Vancouver.

  9. The best hotel worldwide for me would be the Conrad Maldives. The unmatched accommodations, personalized service, and phenomenal beauty of the resort grounds make this a magical place to go. I went once and can’t wait to get back.

  10. The best (really my favorite) hotel I have stayed in is Raffles Beijing. I had a suite for 8 nights on my first trip to China. It was a wonderful and comfortable refuge after long days around town.

  11. PHT – because it’s legendary and lives up to its reputation

    SGS – Because of the way they treat platinums.


  12. Best hotel to me is not a 5 star, nor a luxury hotel. It is the hotel I stay at when visiting my terminally ill father… La Quinta Inn in Lake Worth, TX. It helps me to realize that at the end of the day, a clean hotel room is all I need while spending quality time with my dad.

  13. Always looking forward to the next stay possibly in Paris at the Westinghouse or Park Hyatt.

    Sad that more of my memorable hotel memories are because of disappointing rather than stellarstays

    Though, I do recall an excellent FD agent at the,COS Marriott who seriously wanted to learn about hotel policies & promos of which she was unfamiliar.

  14. Hmm, good and tough question. I’ll go with Grand Hotel Miramare in Santa Margherita Liguria, many years ago.

  15. Best hotel I have stayed in was 3 weeks at the Taj Palace in Delhi, India. I was in a club level room with great service.

  16. Intercontinental Hong Kong — panoramic view of the Hong Kong skyline, one of the prettiest skylines in the world.

  17. Of the ones I have stayed at, the Imperial Hilton Dubrovnik was a favorite. Probably mostly because of the view from the room we had and the massive patio outside.

  18. I love the Starwood property in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Probably not the most luxurious in the world, but it is such a tranquil ambiance with a great attentive staff.

  19. Very difficult question, but one of my favorite hotel experiences was at the Nang Yuan Diving Resort. The hotel is overpriced and not that nice for the region, but its unique location on three islands connected by sandbars in the beautiful Gulf of Thailand makes it one of my top picks.

  20. Like somebody already mentioned…the Park Hyatt in Tokyo. Got to see the cherry blossoms from there

  21. The best hotel/resort I stayed at was Kondai Lip in Kerala, India. Its situated in the backwaters and you have use a boat to get to the resort. Absolutely divine experience

  22. Best hotel stay was in 1999, travelling as a guest of the vendor to a conference in San Jose, California.

    The hotel was overbooked, they had no room **and no confirmed reservation** for me.

    So the hotel put me in a 6-room suite with a 24-hours-a-day-on-call butler.

    For a week.

    I was 23 years old!

  23. While there are other hotels I aspire to visit, the Conrad Hong Kong holds a special place for me in my travels as I stayed there during my first real international trip.

  24. I don’t have a favorite. I prefer hostels & budget hotels. My favorite time would probably have been at Suk 11 in Bangkok. Lots of friendly people- my wife and I joined a group outside during Songkran (the Thai new year water festival) and soaked anyone walking by and had a great time!

  25. It’s really hard to pick a favorite hotel. I’d pick the Wynn in Las Vegas for a hotel I’ve seen. I’d pick Las Brisas in Mexico every since that “I Spy” episode.

  26. I usually don’t stay at very glamorous hotels – but the Hyatt Regency Long Beach is probably my favorite. The views are really nice, great location and a really nice hotel.

  27. The best hotel stay I have ever had was at The Drake in Chicago. It’s so beautiful – think right out of an old movie with chandeliers, etc. Gorgeous! We had a huge room overlooking Michigan Avenue – was perfect!

  28. The best hotel I had was Le Meridien Monaco. I redeemed during the GrandPrix Monaco and still was upgraded, and received something like 14 cents per point value.

  29. I’ve stayed in a lot of unremarkable hotels…I enjoyed the Aloft in Harlem, NYC though – very classy, and super convenient to Columbia which is where i was going at the time.

  30. I would love to stay in a Premier Over-Water One Bedroom Villa Bungalow at the St.Regis Bora Bora Resort – preferably on points and miles.

  31. I recently stayed at the park Hyatt Sydney with the free nights from the Hyatt credit card!

  32. Firstly thanks for the mention – I hope I re-awoke the frequent flyer nerd within – it was great chatting to you.

    To answer the Q for the competition – I’ve always wanted to try the Burj Al Arab in Dubai – everything there looks so over the top and now Qantas are code sharing with Emirates it is slightly less impossible it might happen one day!

  33. Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris. The location, the staff, and Paris. What more could you ask? Been there, and want to go again.

  34. The Westin Mumbai Garden City. While its mostly a business hotel, the rooms are gorgeous, very spacious and they treat SPG Plats extremely well!

  35. I have not stayed in many exceptional hotels, but the 2 I’ve stayed in that I liked the most were The Cosmopolitan in Vegas, and the JW Marriott in Phuket, Thailand.

  36. Five years is a long time. But, pessimisim aside, we are all going to keep finding ways to travel the world through incredible deals. Especially by communicating great finds instantly throughout our unique, if diverse and sometimes fragmented, community. Its always going to be too hard for the average traveller to follow this fastinating pursuit.

  37. My favorite hotel in the world is the awesome Grand Hyatt Kauai for its incredible spirit of service and aloha, pounding surf, beautiful rooms, happy music and delicious food!

  38. The best hotel I’ve stayed at isn’t a hotel at all; its a hostel, and it certainly wasn’t the opulence of luxury that alot of people who stay at high end places are used to. It’s called K’s House Ito, on the Izu Pennisula in Japan, about an hour from Tokyo. The building was a traditional ryokan (japanese inn) and all we had were futons on the tatami mat floor. But the building, dating back over 100 years, was set right on the river and it was gorgeous. The natural hot spring bath (onset) didn’t hurt either and the people who worked there were the friendliest people ever (it is Japan, after all).

  39. I’d love to stay at St. Regis Bora Bora. Truth is that’s where the other half wants to honeymoon. So getting there would represent a huge personal milestone and (for me) a monumental achievement in accumulation of points to get there in style and stay for at least a few nights

  40. Cape Grace Hotel Capetown SA
    Peaceful oasis smack dab in the middle of the action.
    Staff treats you like a long lost friend.
    Breakfast buffet best in the world slightly edging out Windsor Court New Orleans

  41. I don’t know about best in the world but I liked The Mira in HK and would love to stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney

  42. My favorite hotel in the world is Craddock Terry Hotel in Lynchburg, VA. It is a local (to me), boutique hotel that is just phenomenal. Check out the photos on their website and tell me you don’t wanna stay there! Gorgeous. Featured in the NYT. Great place. Love it!!

  43. I am an x B727 pilot , and would love to fly the B787 and take a look at the cockpit to see how much things changed.

  44. Really enjoyed staying on the 47th floor of the W in Times Square with my family. And especially because we stayed on points, and it’s one of the few hotels that offers rooms with 2 double beds on points.

  45. I had a great stay in a suite at the Bayerischer Hof in Munich about 10 years ago. My grandmother, now deceased, paid for my room, which was pretty sweet of her.

  46. Hilton Garden Inn on River Street in Savannah. The southern country breakfast is awesome.

  47. I recently stayed at the Grand Hyatt Seoul and was blown away by their service. At one point I lost my rented cell phone in a taxi; the driver brought it to the hotel and the staff figured out on their own it was my phone! Saved me hundreds of dollars in lost phone fees.

  48. I have yet to stay at a hotel that blows me away with their service. I tend to like Westins, but there isn’t a specific one that stands out.

  49. The Fairmount hotel right in the middle of San Francisco, just a brief walk from Grace Cathedral and right on the MUNI and cable car lines.

  50. El Encanto – Montecito, California – near Santa Barbara…beautiful landscaping/gardens, very romantic…of course, this entry is somewhat dependent on my own experience there/who I was with as well as the hotel itself and it’s professional service, cleanliness, respectful staff and fabulous location…

  51. My favourite hotel is the one associated with the best memories so for me it’s the Novotel in Singapore when I was travelling with a bunch of friends and it was an indulgence that ended up being a tremendous amount of fun.

  52. I want to stay at Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong. My favorite hotel so far is Kowloon Hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Mainly because good views of the city from the room

  53. Park Hyatt Tokyo.
    They met each individual need that I had and more often than not anticipated my needs before I could ask, and fulfilled it promptly.

  54. Park Hyatt Shanghai – one of the best non-suite corner Bund-view rooms received, prompt service, and one of the most amazing pools I’ve been to…

  55. Have stayed: Arizona Biltmore
    Want to stay: One of those hotels where the bungalow sits over the water.

  56. Anantara Phuket Villas… amazing location and great service. I would go back in a heartbeat. (Sorry Hyatt… none have compared so far)

  57. Fairmont in Singapore – back when there were NFFFR rates and rooms were going for $100 😉 They consistently upgraded elite members too – so I had a suite for $100.

  58. I think the best hotel I’ve stayed at was either the Conrad in Singapore or the Park Hyatt in Tokyo. I’d go with the Park Hyatt in Tokyo

  59. Kukuna near Mount Fuji.
    It has open air bath and a view of Lake Kawaguchi as well as Mount Fuji itself!
    It also has a very strong traditional Japanese feeling 🙂

  60. Most luxurious stay I’ve personally had and could afford was the 18-buck a night Conrad Bangkok executive suite deal. Haven’t had a hotel room with 6 interior doors since.

  61. The Fairmont Vancouver suites are a very nice place to stay. It’s a venerable old hotel, still done right. Thanks for the contest!

  62. Aman Resorts. I never heard about someone having a bad experience at any of their properties. Considering they tend to be small properties, it allows the guests to get the best personalized service.

  63. The grand hyatt berlin was awesome, they treated me really well and should be a park hyatt!

  64. The Breakers in Palm Beach FL – was a teenager and it was majestic! Started my interest in travel =)

  65. i keep going back to the Soho Hotel in London (or other Firmdale properties) – i give up points (at the W) to do so

  66. My favorite hotel in the world is the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome because of its elegance and customer service.

  67. I rarely leave North America, so I’ll limit myself to the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando. Its new, a disproportionate number of suites to regular rooms, rates are often around $160 when I go, and I’ve always been upgraded to a 1 bedroom suite.

  68. I shared tips on spending miles with a stranger last flight last week. We have become friends and found out that we have something in common in term of research/work!

  69. always depends on what the trip is all about, and I try to match to that. The hotel that I have returned to the most is the Fairmont Kealani on Maui. Great overall balnce.

  70. I had a great experience and find memories from the Hyatt on Kaui, HI. A great trip and a solid hotel.

  71. Park Hyatt Tokyo is probably the best, most luxorius hotel I have ever stayed in. I yearn to return.

  72. My favorite hotel is Nam-San Hilton in Seoul, Korea. So close and convenient to everything in that wonderful city. Lotte hotel in Jeju Island in Korea is also awesome.

  73. Best hotel in the world: Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, Palacio Duhau, in Argentina. I had the fortune of staying there for the first time this past August for a week. Enjoyed a suite upgrade with amazing room view of the city, stellar service. The Diamond privileges were awesome! Located in the historic diplomat district and close to everything.

  74. My favorite hotel that I have stayed at was the Gaylord Texan because of all the friends that I was with. You can stay at the most expensive place in the world alone and it would be worse than a dirty hostel with friends.

  75. The El Dorado Maroma Beach. I went there on my honeymoon and the staff were amazing. Such a high level of care and quality.

  76. My best hotel experience was at Coco Palm Bodu Hithi in the Maldives. It is supposedly not even one of the best in the Maldives, much less the world, but it was great to me!

  77. Park Hyatt Tokyo. I ahve stayed and the views and level of service were very memorable. I would love to return.

  78. I would love to stay at the Mystique, Santorini. Santorini Island, Greece is my top destination on my bucket list.

  79. Hmm. I think my favorite was a youth hostel in Sarlat, in France, in the 80s. At that time youth hostels in France were extremely dreary, regimented places run by starched elderly matrons. I expected the same when I showed up in Sarlat but round the “warden” passed out at a table in the common room with a partially consumed bottle of wine in the crook of his arm.
    I stayed two weeks, made some great friends, and hitchhiked all over the Dordogne.
    I’ve come to realize that an advantage of never paying more than $20 a night for a place to stay is that it’s almost impossible to be disappointed. If you pay $500 a night, it’s almost impossible not to be.

  80. while i appreciate fancy hotels, usually when traveling i’m never in my hotel. what i do appreciate is free breakfast and a hot shower – so i prefer any hotel that offers it! my favorite non-hotel is a tent.

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