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December 28, 2009

The Hottest Hotels For 2010!

By Liz Kaadou

Whether you deliriously dream about soaking up the scorching sun on a beautiful beach or spending a superb week sightseeing in some of the most historic cities in the world, finding a swanky hotel to stay at will not be a problem for the new year! Brand new breathtaking hotels are opening just about everywhere.  So sit back, buckle up and get ready for your dream destination guide to a new year of trendy travels! Here are a few of the best and brightest 2010 hotel picks from timesonline.com for the globetrotter in you!

1) Hotel Verta - London! The Verta will be in Battersea at the London Heliport, the main helicopter port in the city next spring. Boasting 70 rooms and excellent rates for highflyers, it will be "the first integrated hotel helicopter solution in the world." Visit www.hotelverta.com for more information.

Yashotel 2) Yas Hotel - Abu Dhabi!  If you are looking for a cool stay, this awesome hotel looks like two giagantic flying saucers, houses 499 rooms, 14 eateries and bars and a Formula One race track that runs right under the hotel! Visit www.theyashotel.com.

3) Villa Armena - Tuscany, Italy! Renaissance lovers should rendevous here. This "new" hotel is actually a renaissance villa dating back to the 1400's.  Opening in Sepetmber, this historic hotel is transforming into a ten-bedroom modern resort equipped with a large pool and gorgeous gardens. Visit www.villaarmena.com.

Kreston 4) The Kreston Royal - Greece! If you are looking for a breathtaking view, this hotel opening in April is situated on an actual clifftop. Filled with cubed shaped furniture and modern designs, the Kreston Royal looks like it will take travelers for a futuristic ride! Visit www.thekrestenroyal.gr

Source: Timesonline.co.uk
Yas Hotel photo: kr.blog.yahoo.com/

For more travel ideas from RTM, visit our Travel Channel.

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November 03, 2009

Hotel Review: The Wit Chicago

By Sara Hoffman

Thewitheader1
T
he night I arrived to the brand new but already renowned hotel The Wit, I had allowed the city stress of Chicago, plus my insane decision to drive there, to get on my nerves. Much to my relief, I was welcomed by a swath of lively valets and escorted into the bustling…“Wait, this is a hotel lobby?” I thought, as we entered a jam-packed city hot spot. The guests seemed they were enjoying a night out on the town rather than staying at a swanky hotel.

This hotel, in its dynamic downtown location, actually is a new part of Chicago’s nightlife.  A jam packed restaurant peeked out from one of the corners and I was given VIP passes to avoid lengthy lines at the hotel’s most popular rooftop bar. However, the best part of all was the room prices, which were surprisingly low for the windy city’s typically sky-high hotel rates.
 
The Wit, a Doubletree hotel, which opened recently in May 2009 stands for “whatever it takes” or implies “wittiness”, if you ask the clever and funny yet endearingly helpful hotel staff. Simple touches in the hotels décor are witty as well, including the use of local artwork to embellish the walls. One painting in particular shows escalators rising from a flood of water with the Chicago cityscape in the background.

The Wit is as instrumental for Chicagoans as it is an escape for tourists. The Screen, a private luxury movie theater, can be rented out for group viewings or presentations. There are beautiful ballrooms, seven-thousand square feet of cityscape-lined meeting rooms, and plenty of bars & restaurants open to the public. The Wit understands the daily Chicago scene, as it epitomizes the hustle and bustle of Illinois’ most chic and stylish city.

Read the full article here

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October 26, 2009

Five Things Hotels Can and Should Do to Go Green

Hotel room If you haven't noticed, green hotels are springing up all over the place and even mainstream chains are refining their practices. Here's what they're doing and what to look for in a responsible stay.

1. Redecorating or building with more sustainable materials: Bamboo flooring, straw bale walls, and solar panel roofing? We like.

2. Making partnerships with green programs: Hotels can partner with green tourism companies like Save Your World to become greener with guidance.

3. Using high-tech thermostats: You’re on vacation; do you really want to sit in the hotel room the entire time? While travelers are out and about, some hotels use climate control sensors to lower usage of A/C or heating.

4. Partaking in the Global Soap Project: Hotels replace every bar of soap in every room, every day, no matter if it’s even been touched. Some hotels (about 40) aren’t throwing theirs away, but donating them to non-profit group The Global Soap Project. Bars of soap are collected, sterilized, reshaped, and redistributed to Ugandan refugee camps.

5. Stocking organic wines: Pesticide-free anything is on the right track to more sustainable consumption. Keep the luxury, lose the chemicals.

For more information about green hotels, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

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October 19, 2009

Amangani Resort: Modern Calm Among the Mountains

By Sara Hoffman

 

Jackson Hole 131 As I was escorted to my suite at Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s exquisite hilltop resort, Amangani, I expected breathtaking views and elegant design. What I did not expect was to be greeted by a decadent fresh fruit and cheese platter, bottle of wine, and the most relaxing music I’ve ever heard. So relaxing, it blended with my phone alarm, making me almost forget my afternoon massage appointment as I lingered in a hot bath watching what appeared to be an owl outside my window.


Bath The suite offered immediate access to the most multi-dimensionally breathtaking view I have ever seen. It would have been easy to tumble endlessly down the cascading green hills if it weren’t for a quaint patio and a few birch trees to stop me. Stepping out onto the patio, I was awestruck at how the immense mountain ranges engulfed the modern resort. To my right was an infinity-style pool deck and to my left, a glimpse of a little town nestled neatly at the foot of the hills. A clear blue sky enveloped the mountain tops and green grass stretched as far as the eye could see.

 

Jackson Hole 156 Even though the in-suite, spa-style bathrooms offered a host of comforting accommodations, the Spa at Amangani provided even more for guests seeking much-needed pampering. Before treatments, patrons are offered their choice of lemon or orange water and thereafter, only steps away, are the naturally filtrated outdoor pool and whirlpool for additional relaxation.  Other activities available for guests include horseback riding, tennis, golf, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art, which includes a hike on ski trails with plentiful wildlife.

 

Amangani Amangani is a hideaway resort, the epicenter of edgy, sophisticated, deep country calm in the Grand Teton National Park. Its lounge, patio, restaurant and bar are distinctive and beautiful; striking a unique contrast between modern architecture and raw nature. For those looking for an escape that offers the best of both worlds, the Amangani is the perfect place to go.

 

Jackson Hole 120 For more information on suite styles and prices, visit Amangani’s website here, or call (656) 887-3337 for booking. The Amangani resort is located on the edge of the East Gros Ventre Butte, at 1535 North East Butte Road, Jackson, WY. Jackson Hole Airport, located inside the southern boundary of Grand Teton National Park, is a 10-minute drive from the valley town of Jackson and less than 20 minutes from Amangani.

 

For more travel reviews from RTM, visit our Hotels & Resorts section.

 

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October 13, 2009

Adventure Travel for Kids: Most Family-Friendly Hotels

Of course kids will absolutely adore these themed hotels, but the biggest value is how they make vacationing a breeze for parents. When the hotel is a destination in itself it provides all the vacation entertainment the kids can handle!

NickelodeonFamilySuites633828059337232354_Big Nickelodeon Family Suites: Florida, United States - This hotel's suites are outrageous and unique, providing excitement from sunrise to sunset. The 2-Bedroom Kidsuites are themed around some of the most popular Nickelodeon Characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and The Fairly OddParents. The integrated waterpark is sure to keep kids active all day.

FantasylandHotel633828018398273260_Big Fantasyland Hotel: Edmonton, Canada - Each suite is themed after 1 of 11 different fantasies, like Hollywood, Roman, Polynesian, African or even Trucks - most of which have jacuzzis built into the themes. Located in the middle of an enormous mall and entertainment center, the only thing anyone won’t find here is boredom. There’s also the Galaxyland Amusement Park, World Waterpark, Professor Wem’s Miniature Golf, the Sea Life Caverns, the Ice Palace skating rink, movie theatres, arcades, cool stores and a Sony Playstation in every room.

BaumhausHotel633827420828823892_Big Baumhaus Hotel: Neißeaue, Germany - This treehouse resort/adventure park is one of the craziest of the crazy hotels - but it's actually very kid-friendly. Choose 1 of the 5 rustic and oddly-formed 2-story treehouses, located about 20 to 30 feet up in a tree for a truly unforgettable family experience. How to climb to your bed? It's a secret.

For more family travel adventure ideas, visit RTM's Adventure Travel or Family Travel Sections.

 

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August 14, 2009

Homestead Suites Review: Warwick, Rhode Island

By Courtney Caldwell

Homestead Not all suite hotels are created equal, so when checking them out make sure to explore all their differences before you commit. Some are bare bones and basic, good for long-term construction workers, while others are more upscale with many more amenities, which are great for women traveling alone or families. If you plan on a long stay, inquire about the long-term rates when making reservations.

The Homestead in Warwick, Rhode Island (RI) offers all the basics as well as many upgrades compared to others, making it one of the more affordable yet comfortable suite hotel chains in the U.S. They offer a well-stocked continental breakfast and provide shuttle service not only to and from the main airport, which is only five minutes away, but also provide shuttle service anywhere else within a five-mile radius, a great benefit of this location because a brand new super-sized Stop & Shop and Lowe's just opened a mile away, making it easy to stock up on all your needs.

At a recent stay in RI, I found this Homestead to be exceptionally clean and quiet. The hallways were so long it reminded me of a cruise ship. The queen suite is the perfect size for up to four people. The difference between a regular suite and a queen is that the bedroom and living room in a queen are divided by a wall, offering more separation and privacy in each room. What was particularly special about the RI Homestead was its close proximity to the I95 corridor making it quick and easy to get anywhere in or out of the tiniest state in the country.

The beauty about Homestead Suites is that they offer a full kitchen with all the necessary appliances for long-term stays. All you need to do is buy your own food, which saves time and money from going to restaurants. There’s also a fitness room, outdoor patio and BBQ grill in an atrium setting, a heated outdoor Jacuzzi beneath a beautiful gazebo, and a tennis court. In fact, the RI Homestead has so many comfortable and affordable amenities that there are just too many to put all in one blog post so instead, check them out yourself at the Homestead Suites website.

In the meantime, if you’re visiting RI and looking for a comfy, cozy, and convenient place to stay, call the Homestead directly at 401.732.6667. I will definitely be back.

For more of RTM's resort & hotel reviews by destination, click here.

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July 16, 2009

The World's Best Luxury Resorts

Bathed in beauty and peddling in pure decadence, these international resorts have garnered acclaim as being rated the world's top hotels, hosting the exquisitely elite and daydreamers among all of us. From fine dining to first-class accommodations to outrageous spa pampering, these resorts have it all.

Topresorts-pic-4seasons Four Seasons Punta Mita (Mexico) :

On Mexico’s west coast, Punta Mita is one of the area’s best spots for scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing. The Four Seasons Punta Mita is on the northern tip of one of the Pacific Coast’s largest natural white sand bays. 

Topresorts-pic-villadesta Villa d’Este (Lake Como, Italy) : Less than an hour from Milan by car, Villa d’Este sits amidst the flowers, terraces, fountains and gardens of a lovely park overlooking Italy’s famed Lake Como. The Villa exudes nothing short of pure, decadent European elegance – and there’s a heated swimming pool floating atop the lake.

Topresorts-pic-esper Esperanza (Los Cabos, Mexico):

Situated on the Sea of Cortez, Esperanza’s casually elegant Baja style runs throughout the resort’s oceanview casitas and luxe suites. Featuring a spa, art gallery, private beach, boutique, yoga studio and gourmet dining, Esperanza envelopes every guest within the perfectly pampered environment, leaving little reason to venture off the property.

Continue reading here.

July 14, 2009

Hotel Safety Tips for Business Travel or Vacation

19299321 More than one billion travelers stay at U.S. hotels every year. While most enjoy pleasant vacations and business trips, some fall victim to theft, burglary and even assault, crimes that several hotel security veterans say may rise during a recession as hotels cut employee hours and possibly security staff. “When traveling, people tend to be more attractive to thieves looking for easy targets and hotel security is usually the last thing on travelers’ minds as they check in to a hotel. But security and safety should be a concern for anyone staying in a hotel this summer,” says Jack Feingold, Vice President of ADT Security Services. To avoid becoming a victim of criminals or injured in an emergency, vacationers need to pay close attention to safety and security in their surroundings.

To reduce the risk of crime or injury during a hotel stay, travelers should follow these safety tips:

  • Avoid rooms with ground- or second-level windows. When possible, choose a room between the third and sixth floors. Rooms on these floors are high enough to discourage access from the street, yet are within reach of most fire-department ladders.
  • Remember to always close and lock your door. Make it a habit to use all locks, including the deadbolt and chain. If you choose to stay in a room that faces pools or beach areas, make sure your sliding doors and windows have sturdy locks.
  • Park in well-lit areas and as close to the hotel as possible. Many hotel thefts take place in parking lots and structures, so finding a well-lit area to park your car is essential. If possible, use valet parking services.
  • Take note of the hotel’s emergency evacuation plan. As soon as you enter your room, take time to look at the hotel’s emergency escape plan and make a mental note of the nearest emergency exit and how to get there.

Taking a few minutes to think about hotel security is not only crucial to a fun, relaxing vacation; it is one of the best safety choices travelers can make.

(Source: ADT Security Services)

April 15, 2009

Budget Travel Tips for Business Travelers

Country Inn and Suites With corporate budgets as tight as they can get, business trips now lack any time to rest and relax. Many hotels are recognizing this trend and like the Country Inns & Suites offer business travelers great packages and tips on way to save money.

The Country Inn business travel tips for travelers crunched on time and money.


1. Never check luggage. If you have a lot, ship it ahead of time.

2. Pack lightly, if you run out of clothes you can always purchase something.

3. Pack toiletries in an easiy accessible pocket or bag to speed up airport security.

4. A DC/AC converter can come in handy when you have several devices to charge.

5. Always check firewall settings when using public Internet access.

6. Use a padded backpack to carry personal items such as iPod or laptops. Keep this bag with you at all times.

(Source: Country Inn & Suites)

February 03, 2009

The Truth About Nude Travel

Nude-vacation-pic1 Dare to go bare? Nudist travel is big right now and is getting bigger. Sure, its not for everyone, but if you’ve had a sparked curiosity of what the buzz is all about you need to know the facts from the myths. You may want to go au natural on your romantic getaway.

Myth #1 All nudist resorts are the same
All clothing optional resorts are unique and different. There are some that appeal to first timers, and are not for kids. That way you can have a nice relaxing, pampering, romantic vacation. Find the nudist resort that is right for you. If you go to the wrong place, you will probably never try nude recreation again.

Myth #2 You will have to play volleyball all day long
Yes, volleyball is the national pastime of many nudist clubs, parks, beaches and campgrounds. However, most of the more modern nudist resorts don't even own a volleyball net.

Still interested in nude recreation? Click here to read the rest of the nude myths.