We all love going on holidays. In fact, the vacations are what we all look forward to all round the year. However, planning of our financial budget, booking of tickets, hotel rooms etc is certainly required before going for any holiday. One of the most important part of our holidaying is booking of hotel room. Most amongst us are bargain hunters who are forever in the quest of cheap hotels. And the reason is simple. Lodging affects the whole holiday budget to a great extent. Thus the importance of cheap hotels comes into the picture.Talking to your travel agent is not always beneficial while you are out to find cheap hotels. The travel agents generally don’t have enough options to offer as far as the cheap hotels are concerned. However, the Internet is the better option. By visiting various search engines, you are easily able to find a plethora of websites that are ready to offer you with the best hotels that suit your style and budget across the major destinations of the world.These travel packages are indeed helpful in locating the destination that fit into your pocket and that gives you the best and cheap hotels. And it is even simpler to book a room in one of these hotels. With a mere click of your cursor, you can explore the best hotels and book them totally online as well. Sometimes, if you are lucky enough, you can also find discounts on several bookings. In fact some packages are constantly running with some discount scheme or the other in order to attract a pool of prospective customers towards them. You never know when you might stumble upon a lucrative travel deal.Another point that you can always remember is to book your lodgings and tickets in advance as that too becomes inexpensive than eleventh hour booking. To find out some off season discounts on various destinations isn’t a bad idea either!Finding cheap hotels isn’t a jackpot in the contemporary competitive scenario that is proving to me of immense benefit to the customers. So book your reservations today!
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Portland, Oregon for business. Not unusual for me as most of my work involves traveling somewhere. As I checked into the hotel, a woman was standing at the front desk yelling at the Front Desk Manager. I tried to ignore the situation but she was quite loud and it was impossible not to hear what her issue was. It seems that when she checked into the hotel, they asked her for a credit card to cover her incidentals (phone, mini bar, etc.).She handed them her debit card. A while later, when she went to purchase something using her debit card and there was not enough money in her account. You see, when you check into a hotel and give them your plastic, they immediately put a hold of $100-$150 for each day of your stay. Within a few days of your check-out, they remove that hold. As I stood there I thought to myself, doesn’t everyone know that? Apparently not.I realized that as a frequent traveler I take many things for granted. Here then is a list of travel tips that I have found helpful in my many years of traveling. I hope you find them useful.o When you make your airline reservation, be sure you know your destination (one of my clients ended up in Portland, Maine).o Reserve your seat in advance. Go on the airline website and look at what is open. Then go to one of my favorite travel websites, Seatguru.com. You choose your airline and the type of airplane listed on your ticket and it will show a seating chart of your plane and rate each seat for positives and negatives.o Check to see if your flight is on time. You can use the airline’s website or telephone number but I find Flighttracker.com by Orbitz to be the most up to date and user friendly. You can also download it on your PDA. (Note: Southwest Airlines does not report in to this site).o Be sure that you carry some small bills with you. Tipping and traveling go hand-in-hand. And, if you’re traveling internationally carry small bills, as when you exchange your money or pay for something using US Dollars, you will most often receive your change in the local currency. Also, if you’re in a place bargaining for a price, it is difficult to say that you have no more money if you’re paying with $100 bill and asking for change.o If you drive yourself to the airport, write down your parking information. Upon your return, you will be glad you did.o If you check your bags with a skycap, be nice. They decide where your bag is going.o Before you check your luggage, be sure your name is on all bags. And putting a business card or piece of paper with your name and contact information inside is always a good idea.o Once your bag is checked, be sure to look at your claim ticket to make sure the routing listed is the same as your itinerary. It is supposed to be foolproof, but one must take on quite a bit of personal responsibility when traveling. Also, be sure to remove old baggage tags from your luggage.o If you are traveling internationally, make a copy of your passport and carry it in a different location than the original. If your passport is lost or stolen, this can expedite the process of obtaining a new one.o Be kind to your fellow travelers and wear easy on/off shoes when traveling. You will have to remove them to go through security and, trust me, if you’re struggling with your shoes there are people behind you rolling their eyes.o Carry-on and liquids – you should know this by now. If not, go to tsa.gov.o When boarding the plane, count the seats between yours and the emergency exit. I know what you’re thinking; if we go down, there will be enough holes in this plane to get out of. Do it anyway. And make note of your hotel’s emergency exits also.o When you check into a hotel, use a credit card for incidental charges. DO NOT use a debit card. If you don’t have a credit card, ask about a cash deposit.o Now that you have your hotel room key, do not put it anywhere near other magnetic keys, credit cards, name badges with magnets or cell phones. Yes, that’s right, cell phones. Or you will find yourself knowing the front desk staff quite well.o Don’t depend solely on hotel wake-up calls. Use an alarm clock or cell phone as a back-up.o Respect your neighbors and close your door, don’t let it slam.o Check your hotel room safe prior to check-out. And don’t forget your cell phone and computer chargers. On a related note, if you arrive at your destination without your cell phone charger, call the hotel lost and found. They generally have dozens left by previous guests that they will be happy to lend you.These are some of my favorite travel tips. What are yours?
Boutique Hotel. Just the words get the imagination going. Even before I dog eared the pages of Herbert Ypma’s first Hip Hotels book I was fascinated by the world of boutique hotel properties. “How cool would it be to be the general manager of a cool boutique hotel?” I often found asking myself as I flipped through the pages of his magnificent photos. Working hard to make a career out of the hotel industry, I was convinced that I just had to be involved with a boutique hotel someday.That someday came true, when in 2004 I was invited to be the general manager of what was and still is one of Palm Springs most hip boutique hotels. I left another huge opportunity just to be a part of this amazing world. The art, the design, the vibe. I had never really worked anywhere with a “vibe”. A year later and I knew, I knew what many in the hotel business do not…what it is really like to be the gm of a hip, cool boutique hotel. It’s not for everyone and amazing for many.There is a mini storm brewing in the boutique hotel world, one I don’t think most involved in this industry are aware of. With more and more boutique hotel operators entering the playground, more and more bad hiring decisions are being made. The right General Mangers are working at the wrong hotels. Like a square peg and a round hole, some things just do not work. Who is to blame and what can be done?The Boutique HotelFirst let me first tell you that I have a very narrow view of what really constitutes a boutique hotel. I think that the term “Boutique” when used to describe a hotel is often misapplied. A boutique hotel is not defined by simply a hot design, as many would argue.
In my opinion, a boutique hotel is a property that is uniquely significant in four ways:1. Architecture and Design.2. A high level of service. A property must not exceed 150 guest rooms, enhancing the guest to staff ratio.3. Sell to a specific demographic.4. Are independently owned and operated (this is where some will disagree with me).A boutique hotel must be an independent operation. The hotel must not be part of a collection that is more than say, 10 properties. Beyond this you get into having a corporate hierarchical management style that is required in running a large company and maintaining brand consistency. Take W Hotels for example. In my opinion these are not boutique hotels. They look like a boutique hotel, even feel like one. Many boutique hotels would strive to be as great as a W. But a W Hotel is run and managed by a massive corporation. The property level management makes very few decisions about what services are offered and how the property is run. A boutique hotel must be operated as close to the actual physical operation as possible. W’s and the like are amazing, but in my opinion don’t fit the definition of a boutique hotel. Boutique hotels are also constantly re-inventing themselves, making sure that their fickle guest never get bored and look to stay at the latest new, hip and cool property.Boutique Hotel GuestTravelers chose to stay at a boutique hotel because of the story, or the experience. The experience is very important and must be unique and somewhat cutting edge. The general demographics are individuals 20 to 50 years of age, work in more creative fields like advertising or entertainment and appreciate a higher level of service. When Ian Schrager entered the market with what many consider to be the first boutique hotel, this demographic discovered that they could use their travel budget get them a room at a cool, hip hotel rather than a generic mid-level branded property. And the boom started.
Boutique hotel guests enjoy experiences, unique architecture, cutting edge interior design and in some cases an urban location. The market is expanding and the demographic model explained earlier is beginning to bleed into others. You might very well find a Fortune 500 CEO staying at a boutique hotel. It is hard to ignore the hype.Brands vs. BoutiquesLuxury hotel operators are scrambling to avoid losing market share to the boutique world. Some hotels are actually taking the “brand” off their marketing and streamlining their operations so that their properties are authentically boutique. Take the Kahala Mandarin Oriental for example. This famous luxury property recently took Mandarin Oriental away so that they could operate and compete in the new marketplace of more independent hotels. They are now simply “The Kahala” and are working hard to be authentically local and independent of a major brand identification. I think others will follow.The Boutique Hotel General ManagerFor the sake of this publication, I will use the luxury hotel as the comparison to the boutique since most closely associate a boutique hotel with luxury travel. So what is so different about being a general manager at a luxury hotel versus a boutique hotel? Can it really be that different? The basics are the same. The general manager is responsible for the entire day to day operation, hiring decisions, marketing, budgets, forecasting, rate strategy, facility maintenance etc… The key for both types of properties is guest service and guest interaction. The guest at a high end luxury hotel expects to be able to interact with the hotel general manager, as do the guests at a boutique property. It is all high touch.The difference is that a boutique hotel general manager wears just a few more hats than the luxury general manager. A boutique general manager might be preparing complex budget forecasting spreadsheets at 10am and at 10:30 am be clearing the pool towels from around the hotel’s salt water plunge. When was the last time you saw the general manager of the Peninsula Beverly Hills with an arm full of towels? Don’t get me wrong, I know that the general manager of the Peninsula would do this in a second, if they had to. The general manager of a boutique hotel HAS to, because there is nobody else. The one server working the restaurant is also probably responsible for taking care of the pool, taking room service orders, delivering the orders and on and on…. The general manager of a boutique hotel is sometimes also the HR director and breaks the front desk agents. If the gm is in California then the gm might find themselves breaking just about every position just to avoid getting sued and fined!Take this example; you are the GM of a hot boutique property in the desert. The temperature is pushing 118 degrees. Since occupancy during the summer is very low, you encourage a lot of your team to take their vacations so you can get that vacation accrual off your books. One of those who takes you up on this is your chief engineer, one of two engineers for your entire five acre property. He goes home to the motherland, Germany for a week. Now just because it’s hot does not mean that you don’t have customers. Some tourists seem to love the heat, and so it was with this particular steamy day in August. As the sun begins to set, your guests make their way from the pool to their bungalows. Dusk and 100 degrees, everyone turns on their aged air conditioners full blast so they can cool down. Your only other engineer has gone home for the day. It is at about this time that the calls start coming in. The ac units are freezing up. The old units freeze up when they are turned on full blast. Many blow the circuit breakers. So there you are, in your office doing the forecast for your weekly corporate status report call when the front desk calls you in a panic, “the guests are flipping out” cries your new front desk agent. You check out the calls and see that you need your engineer back on property, but his pre-paid cell phone (you cant afford to pay for a cell phone for him) is out of time -you cant reach him! So what do you do? You head to the rooms to see if you can fix them. Room by room you tackle the challenge of explaining to your sweaty and angry guests why they cant turn their ac on full and that it will take at least two hours for the ice built up around the coils to melt. Then you start looking for the circuit breakers, which are scattered all over the 60 year old property. By the time you reach the last room the guest who answers the door almost screams at the sight of the sweaty, dirty general manager holding a tool box with a dazed look on his face. “Wasn’t this the same guy who was pouring us Mimosas at the pool this morning honey?” asks the guest as you begin your repairs. Once the craziness is over you get a call on your cell phone. Yes, it is your engineer returning your call. “You trying to reach me boss?”. The next day, while on your conference call you listen to a speech about how general managers need to spend more time with their guests rather than in their offices. Duh, you think as you try to scrub the grit out from under your fingernails.The financial realities of a boutique hotel are unique. The appearance of three to five star service with a two star budget is the norm, and the gm’s get caught in the middle. The boutique hotel just does not have the budget to staff like a true luxury property and everyone has to pull their weight. The gm who does not will not be there long and hate every second of their lives.Along with the additional sweat and frustration of being a boutique hotel gm are the rewards. For the right individual, they will find that the entrepreneurial management style required of them is highly empowering. The gm can make a lot of decisions on their own, decisions that in a larger corporate hotel would require an approval or worse….committee discussion! The fact that some towels need to be picked up and maybe a drink or two be mixed and served is actually fun to them. The rewards of always being in front of your guests are what most gm’s want anyway, but many are not really ready for it when they are tasked to make that happen every day.So what kind of person would do well as a general manager of a boutique hotel? Answer these questions, if you can say yes to each answer then you will probably really like the challenge. Please note that I am assuming that you are already an experienced manager and qualified to be a general manager.The 51 Questions1. You do not need routines to feel successful at work.2. You can delegate without concern.3. You can make decisions without committee recommendation.4. You can spend long hours at work. By long I mean sometimes up to 14 hours at a time.5. You have no problem spending the night at the property to make sure everything is ok.6. You don’t have a problem delivering luggage to guest rooms (you probably wont have a bellman to do this for you).7. You can valet park a car.8. You can re-program guest keys using the key card system.9. You really enjoy speaking with your guests….REALLY.10. You can mix a drink and you know who Mr. Boston is.11. You can run a commercial washing machine.12. You can re-set a circuit breaker.13. You can change a flat tire, jump start a car.14. You can re-set your router. If you don’t know what a router is then stop now and re-think any thoughts you have of being a boutique hotel gm. You will not have an on site IT manager to help you!15. You can check in/ out a guest using the front office system.16. You can process credit cards and split payments to various folios.17. You can run the switchboard at the front desk.18. You can ring in an order using the restaurants POS.19. You can re-set the restaurant POS.20. You can program a digital surveillance system.21. You can type your own memos, send your own e-mails and answer your own phones (this should be true of ANY gm nowadays).22. You can jump from one project to the next without hesitation.23. You know what to do when someone has a heart attack in your lobby.24. You know what to do when someone chokes in your restaurant.25. You can explain your restaurant menu items as well or better than your servers.26. You can brew coffee using a commercial coffee machine.27. You can draw a good cup of espresso.28. You know the difference between a latte and a cappuccino.29. You know the temperature requirements for your walk-in and refrigerators. If you don’t know what a walk-in is, stop here and think about your career choice.30. You know what to do when the health inspector shows up. Hint, it is not to grab a handful of cash!31. You know who to call if your phone system suddenly stops working.32. You know how to read the history off an electronic guest room lock.33. You know how to make a bed as well as your best housekeeper.34. You know what the ph level should be in your wash rinse.35. You know how to check the chemicals in you pool and Jacuzzi.36. You know what the interfaces are for each of your hotel software systems.37. You know how to get guests online using your wireless internet service.38. You know the difference between an p&l and a balance sheet.39. You can run a commercial dishwasher.40. You know your receivables and payables.41. You know where your housekeeper buys their supplies.42. You know local city ordinances as they apply to your property.43. You can deliver a room service order.44. You can clean a bathroom to 5 star standards.45. You can fold a towel like your housekeepers.46. You know where the water and gas mains are, and how to shut them off.47. You know each of your guest room types.48. You have no problem befriending your neighboring business and residents.49. You can write a well researched and accurate month end report.50. You know how to calculate flow through.51. Have a number two person who can answer these questions as well.I task the many boutique hotel companies to ask these questions to gm candidates during the interview process. I know that you will save a lot of time, frustration and lower your turnover rates (higher for general manager positions in boutique hotels).If you are a boutique hotel company I would also ask you to make sure that you do the following for your hotel general managers, ensuring their success and lowering your gm turnover:1. Don’t hire an experience luxury (non-boutique hotel) general manger unless they can answer yes or actually commit to learning the answer to each of the prior 51 questions.2. Train, train and train your new gm’s on the property they are going to. Make sure they know everything before you “turn them loose”.3. Pay them a fair wage, maybe even a bit more than fair. Boutique hotel companies seem to think they can attract new gm’s who maybe were a number two at a larger property, convince them that it is “cool” to be a part of your company and pay them less than the industry standard. This just makes your new gm start listening to those headhunter calls (they call hotel gm’s a lot!) with offers of much higher salaries back in the “comfort” zone of a branded hotel.4. Understand what goes on in the life of a boutique hotel gm. Most boutique hotel corporate staff have never been a gm at a real boutique hotel and have no idea what it is like. Get to know what happens on property.5. Insist that your gm’s take time off. It is easy for your gm to get wrapped up in the operation and start working 7 days a week. This will just burn them out. Figure out a way to get them the time with their families they need to stay sane, married etc…6. Don’t call them on their day off unless it is an emergency. If you don’t know what days your gm’s are off then shame on you.7. Don’t be double minded. Don’t show up one day and berate the gm for the pool deck needing re-surfacing and then two days later come down on them for requesting the funds to make property repairs.8. Give them realistic budgets, and if you sell a bonus during the interview process, make sure it is realistic.9. Give them the same “perks” that gm’s in large hotel properties get. You can skip the car allowance, but at least offer dry cleaning and travel privileges at your other properties.10. Talk to them often. Really talk to them, don’t talk at them. Listen to what is going on.11. If you tell them that “we are an entrepreneurial company” and that gm’s can “make their own decisions” and then second guess every decision they make you need to re-think your message.12. Make sure you give them the ability to hire a strong #2. One of the reasons your gm’s leave for other companies is because most boutique hotel companies don’t give their properties the budgets to have a number two, so they have nobody to take their place if other in-company opportunities come up. This is the old and very tired “to move up you have to move out” dynamic that kills us in the hotel industry.13. That takes me to this point—set out to develop bench strength. Have leaders waiting in the wings to take positions as you grow. If you don’t you will end up “borrowing” leaders from each of your properties to open your newest. This leaves your existing properties, already running lean on management with an over worked and stressed out group of leaders and staff. Make this a priority.14. Thank your gm’s. This is a no-brainer but a much forgot important task as a hotel company. THANK YOUR GM’s. This goes for any hotel company. Your general managers get beat up a lot. By unhappy staff, guests and you. You hit them with constant “notes” on how to perform better. Make sure to balance the coaching with praise.The point?So what is the point to all of this? The boutique hotel general manager, in my opinion is a completely different job than a general manager at a full service luxury property. But unfortunately the two are muddled together in a basket full of un-attainable expectations.I think that the boutique hotel general manager should have a new title– I leave this up to the boutique hotel companies and the creative genius that drives their brands.
At the end of the day, a title is really not important, but the expectations are. Make sure you understand your role as a boutique hotel general manager or the role your general managers play at your boutique hotels. Make certain that as you take a job or when hire them, they know what a boutique hotel manager really is.
Dubai Travel – You might be traveling to the Middle East soon on business, but hopefully you will also get to savor the sights during some well-earned vacation time as well. Your plans for Middle East travel will likely hinge on the sights you wish to see that are nearby your Dubai hotel. There are many lovely local attractions, with hotels nearby, so that you can spend your precious vacation time enjoying the attractions rather than traveling to them.If you enjoy golf and Dubai travel, or United Arab Emirates travel, then visit The Montgomerie Golf Course. You will receive excellent service as you enjoy this outstanding challenging but fair course designed by Scottish course designer Colin Montgomerie. For a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Dubai hotels, visitors choose the Burj Al Arab. A five star hotel located on a manmade island, with its architecture resembling the sails of an Arabian ship, the Burj Al Arab will offer you every luxurious accommodation you could wish, all with style and panache – an excellent choice for a Dubai hotel.Visitors to Cairo, Egypt flock to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Pyramids. Cairo Hotels nearby include the Hilton Ramses. Located only eight miles from the Sphinx and the Pyramids, the Hilton Ramses offers their Windows on the World restaurant, which is up on the 36th floor and features glorious views of Cairo. The Hilton Ramses is one of the premiere Middle East Hotels.For those who want history, privacy and luxury, you can find it all at Qatar hotels such as the Ritz Carlton Sharq Village. Fourteen courtyard houses with architecture reflective of an earlier time are where guests stay, enjoying spa treatments and palm trees that dot the waterfront. You will see craftsmen practicing the traditional artisan crafts of the area, and you can visit the lovely palace of the former ruler.When you engage in Saudi Arabia travel, you will not want to miss visiting the Gold and Antique Souks, which are near the ancient city of Jeddah, the Khalil International Museum, and the Gateway to Makkah Al Mukaramah. Saudi Arabia hotels near these attractions include the Crowne Plaza Jeddah. Featuring a swimming pool, currency exchange, as well as several delightful ethnic restaurants that offer Arabic, Japanese and Chinese foods, you will bask in the luxury that places you so close to so many local attractions.Saudi Arabia Travel is a great way to see a country rich in culture and history. During your stay there you will want to spend time exploring the Grand Mosque of Makkah and Kabah Musharrafah, as well as Jabal Al Noor and the Jannat Al Moaalah Graveyard. At the end of your busy day, retire to the Intercontinental Dar Al Tawhi Hotel, and enjoy the restaurants, non-smoking rooms, and even a florist to make your time at your Middle East hotel beautiful.
While the comparisons made between bed and breakfasts and hotels are very much dependent on who is making the comparison, one thing is certain: The world is simply filled with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. The great playwright, Henry Miller, said this. And, when it comes to the notion of why you’re traveling in the first place, Miller’s words give us pause for thought regarding reasons why traveler’s should consider staying at a B&B on their next journey.First, let’s talk a bit about hotels. Surely, everything has its place and the chief attribute for many (though a deficit for others) is their predictability. That is to say, some travelers desire the commonness of hotels – all the rooms the same from location to location, and very little difference from their home environment. For some – particularly overnight business travelers – this sort of predictability is a convenience that fits in well with the purpose of their visit. Where they stay has little importance in the scheme of things.However, for many travelers where they stay is of considerable importance. For them, it is the world of Miller’s rich treasures they are seeking. The escape from the common is not only a desire, it’s a goal, and the cookie-cutter sterility of a hotel room is not for them. It is for those who want unique experiences in their travel that the B&B experience is the perfect fit. Folks who’ve stayed at B&B’s while on a trip know this, and it’s the reason why B&B stays are in and of themselves an important part of the trip.Why stay at B&B instead of a hotel?
Each B&B is a unique lodging experience – no two B&B’s are alike.
B&B hosts are excellent concierges at no extra charge (hotel concierge service usually costs quite a bit in gratuity). They are able to steer you to well-known attractions and restaurants, as well as the local gems found off the beaten path.
The decorations are charming, the environments comfortable, the linens fine, and the breakfasts homemade. Some B&B’s will have wine and cheese in the early evening, or a special tea-time included during your stay.
A B&B is an experience, a part of that rich pageantry of the world. An atmosphere that keeps your spirit of travel alive throughout your stay. A hotel simply cannot be these things.
Again, there are reasons why some travelers choose hotels, and it is for these reasons that hotels do have their place. However, if the reason you are traveling is to escape the common, to discover beautiful places, beautiful souls, interesting people – then a B&B stay is the fit for you.Remember, just like choice hotels, choice B&B’s often book many months in advance. It’s good to plan ahead by visiting the websites of B&B’s in the places you are traveling to. Unlike hotels, though, you will be able to get a good look at pictures of the very room you choose to stay in. Make your selection, book your room. The experience of staying in a B&B is one you will want to have over and over again.
Beijing hotels provide much needed accommodation facilities to travelers coming to China. Hotels in Beijing are known to accommodating all class of travelers including of luxury, budget as well as students. The city of Beijing is considered the heart of China. Known for it being the political, economic and cultural center of China for more than 800 years from the Yuan Dynasty, Beijing has a number of travel attractions which include old forts, museums, monasteries, temples, colonial buildings, etc. amongst others.Beijing hotels are divided into various categories including of luxury hotels, budget hotels, cheap hotels, etc. Some leading five star hotels in Beijing such as Hilton hotel, Marriot hotel, Kempensky hotel, etc. are known globally for their service standards. Hilton Hotel in Beijing is located in the diplomatic area called Chaoyang Commercial District. Ideal for corporate meetings, Hilton Hotel Beijing has the cozy atmosphere of a boutique hotel.Marriott Hotel is located on the western part of Beijing on Xisanhuan Bei Road. Considered as the first full-service Marriott Hotel in Beijing, the proximity of the hotel with Financial District on the West side of Beijing helps travelers with standard five star accommodation. It is just 34 KM away from the Beijing International Airport. With well appointed rooms, the hotel provides an intimate and comfortable stay to travelers.Great Wall Sheraton Hotel in Beijing is located on North Dong San Huan Road in Chaoyang District of the city. Considered as the first five star hotel in China, the hotel is known for its size and services across the country. Its close proximity with the Diplomatic District enables diplomats to save time on the travel. Great Wall Sheraton hotel is ideal for corporate meetings, international conferences, etc. King Wing Hot Spring International Hotel in Beijing offers five star hotel accommodation and standard conferencing services.Travel Attractions in Beijing,Tourist attractions in Beijing range from medieval palaces to monasteries to colonial scultuptures. Forbidden City in Beijing is the largest and the best-preserved imperial palace complex which attracts travelers to Beijing from around the world. The palace was the center of administration for five centuries. With 9,999 rooms in it are surrounded by a moat six meters deep and ten-meter high wall. No wonder the most attractive travel attraction in China is Great Wall in Beijing.The Great Wall of China in Beijing has traditionally been considered one of the ‘Eight Wonders of the World.’ The mammoth sized wall was meant to secure the boundaries from attackers and save the territory of China. Spread in the wide part of China, the wall goes through the plain, desert, mountains, etc. and looks like a dragon from bird eye view. Tiananmen Square in Beijing is a major travel attraction in China which has mixed memories of Chinese revolution and sacrifices of youths fighting for democratic rights.Besides historical travel attractions, Beijing has a number of natural tourist attractions in the form of beautiful parks including of Fragrant Hills Park, Jingshan Park, Jingdong Grand Canyon, Beijing Botanical Garden, Fenghuangling Nature Park, Chaoyang Park, Stone Flower Cave, Taoranting Park, Xishan National Forest Park, etc. amongst others.
Regardless of where you choose to travel or why you are making your trip, the hotel has the ability to make your stay one to remember for all the good or bad reasons. A Hotel is more than just a place to spend the night. You will find that the better hotels will provide information and services to help you become familiar with the location you are staying, and address any special needs you and your family may have.When the time comes to actually book your hotel, you need to consider why it is that you are travelling. If it is a business trip, then you will have different needs and service requests than if you are travelling for vacation. The same is true if you will be staying with children and the hotel you choose should reflect this.If booking for a business trip, reserve a hotel that either has a business center with internet access to use or which provides secure wireless internet access in your room. Choose a hotel close to the city’s business district and airport. An airport hotel doesn’t usually offer the best views, but will make up for that with excellent customer service, convenient shuttles, and a strict focus on people travelling for business.If you are travelling with children, you may wish to consider spending a little more money to stay at a hotel which is family-friendly. You should look for several amenities such as kitchen appliances and a refrigerator in your room. It would also be convenient if the hotel had a restaurant which features a child’s menu, portable cribs, indoor pools, and even professional babysitting services. Another useful amenity is laundry services. Find hotels which meet your necessary needs.Finding a hotel in a good location is essential to making your trip a memorable one. But what really is a good location for you and your family? That will totally depend on why you are staying at the hotel. Your entire trip does not need to be planned before choosing your hotel, but be sure to have an idea of what services you will need or things you will wish to do once you arrive at the location.You can begin with a map of the city and mark the closest airport, shopping and local attractions, entertainment or other areas you would like to visit. Next, go ahead and find hotels that are located conveniently near those areas. The easier it is to get where you want once you arrive at your hotel, the less stress and the more relaxing time you will have.If you don’t want to pay more for your hotel than you absolutely have to then there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the best rates. Always be ready to ask the front desk of the hotel if they can give you a better rate. Front desk reservation staff normally have the authority to discount the rate or know of other options to save you money. Check to see if they offer discounts for auto club or retirement memberships. The rental car companies and airlines often times will partner with the hotels to give room discounts to their shared customers. Many credit card companies do this as well. Be sure to look into these options before booking your room to get the best rates.Follow these tips and get the best room rates, locations, services and amenities on your next vacation or business trip.
Planning your travel accommodation is necessary for all travelers to ensure that they have a comfortable place to stay during their overseas trip, whether they are roughing it out in the wilderness or experiencing the modern conveniences of a city. However, travelers typically do not place accommodation booking at the top of their priority list when making travel plans, instead deciding to spend more time on securing air tickets and setting their itineraries.In any destination, you are often faced with a large selection of accommodation choices, with many variations in each category. It is thus imperative that you invest some effort into researching appropriate accommodation that will suit your needs, otherwise you may encounter an unpleasant accommodation experience which you do not expect.A restful and pleasant hotel stay is often desirable for many, but often comes with a hefty price tag. Therefore, it is essential that you reserve an ideal hotel at an appropriate timing. This way, you would likely be able to book a suitable accommodation and enjoy great savings at the same time.Now, I shall advise you regarding when to book your travel accommodation and what kinds you can consider.Making advanced reservations of your hotels is a surefire way of snagging a comfortable room at the ideal accommodation in your destination without having to fret about the possible scarcity of rooms if you decide to book nearer your travel date.Advanced booking is thus especially prudent during a popular travel season that may see increased competition for rooms among many of the visitors in your destination. These travel seasons include widely celebrated festivals such as Christmas or other major local festivals, as well as large-scale international events such as the World Expo. There may even be early bird deals that can save you more money if you book well in advance.Conversely, it may at times be inevitable to book our accommodation at the eleventh hour, owing to many of us having packed and unpredictable schedules which results in increased last minute travel. Online travel agents and hotels are thus catering to this particular segment of travelers by offering great deals on unsold rooms that might even match the attractiveness of early bird specials.Last minute hotel booking is recommended only if there is close to zero probability that the hotels might be booked over capacity by the time your travel date arrives. This might happen during the off season that typically sees hotels publicizing such appealing last minute deals in order to get travelers to occupy their unsold rooms.I shall now introduce three different kinds of accommodation that may suit your needs.HostelsIf you do not mind sharing a room and amenities with several other travelers, hostel accommodation might be for you. In demand from students and backpackers, hostels are one of the cheapest accommodation types available and present many social opportunities for guest interaction. Sometimes, you may even find private rooms in some hostels.MotelsMotels are a form of budget accommodation catered specifically for travelers on the road, as they are usually within easy access of a major highway. Motel rooms generally open to a parking lot which affords easy access to guests’ vehicles. Many rooms also have their own kitchen and machines for making coffee and tea.HotelsRanging from modest budget hotels to decadent luxury hotels, hotel accommodation is varied but nonetheless consists of serviced accommodation with a selection of amenities and services that cater to different guests’ needs. These include dining outlets, spas and business centres, and services such as concierge and room services. The available offerings vary with the star rating of the hotel.
One of the best holiday destinations in the world today is Singapore. It is also known as the Garden City and as a place for luxurious five star hotels. People who love beaches and the mere sight of famous sites will definitely enjoy touring around Singapore. Guests who come to Singapore usually take time to visit Changi Museum, Cub Street, Fort Canning Park, Istana, Johore Battery, Jurong Bird Park, National Museum, National Orchid Garden, Night Safari, Parliament House, Singapore Flyer, Lau Pa Sat, Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands, or Orchard Road. Not only will enjoy the beautiful sights there is but you will also be overwhelmed by the country’s immense hospitality and sophisticated facilities.Travel deals Singapore have always enticed many guests given the fact that they are great deals plus it allows you to save money. If you are a finance conscious person who wants to reduce extra expenses while traveling, be keen enough to find hotel deals Singapore from various travel and tour sites. From there, you will find the right information about the best deals, promotions, or discounts made available by different hotels in Singapore. Hotel accommodation prices range from cheap to expensive; it is worthy to choose the right hotel according to your designated budget. Once you have found the right hotel you want to stay into, you may access its website and search about the most up to date information about the deals they offer.Many people book their vacations with the aid of a travel agent. There are some travel agents who are licensed. The standard of services offered by travel agents vary thus be sure to inquire about certain details about your travel in order to avoid frustrations. Be sure to inquire them about the following:-Are plane tickets and cash deposits refundable? Usually, it is required of you to pay a deposit when you book through travel agencies. They sometimes want you to have an advanced payment for reservations a couple of months before the travel date. And you will be asked to pay the full amount for your travel package on a later date. Certain circumstances might happen at any time and the amount you paid are on average not refundable. In the events of natural catastrophes however, exceptions do exist. Inquire from your travel agent if you could get refunds under such circumstances.-Can I get cheaper rates on certain alternative travel dates? On rare occasions, an efficient travel agent will recommend another travel date where you could get better travel deals Singapore. You will also be able to save money if you have flexible vacation travel dates. Airfare tickets are cheaper if you fly on off peak days for instance during Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. Hotel accommodation prices vary also; you can get diverse room rates on weekdays or weekends. Tourist attractions such as parks and museums have lower rates on weekdays than on weekends.-What are the additional charges? Roughly every travel agency hides their extra charges in travel deals Singapore. Scrutinize the whole travel package and ask about the ultimate travel price. Find out if there are certain charges that you have to pay yourself. Anticipating these travel expenses will allow you to plan and allocate your vacation finances accordingly.-Can I get more information about the travel destination? Travel agencies have abundant information about the vacation place in the form of brochures and booklets. Ask them if they have any and get a copy of it. With these resources, you will find out more about certain tourist attractions, shopping districts, and local food guidelines.
Finding the right hotel accommodations that will meet your needs and expectations is almost like finding a needle in a haystack. Not quite, but almost like it. If you’re the type of traveler that has particular preferences, finding the hotel that will suit you, well ahead of your scheduled trip, would serve you best.Travel agencies will be a good starting point of your research. More so, online travel guides will also be able to assist you in making the right choice of hotel. But before you tackle the quick points of finding the right hotel accommodations, here are a few questions you should have ready answers to:1. Are you planning a vacation or a business trip?2. Are you travelling with an infant or children?3. Would you prefer downtown hotels, airport hotels or city hotels?4. What is your budget?5. How many days do you plan to stay?Having answers to the above questions will help you set your sights on a specific kind of accommodation and will help you maximize your trip. For most parents like me, I base my hotel preference on the three criteria I have come up with over the many years of travelling:SAFETY: First ground rule should include the safety considerations of me and my little girl. Every year when we plan out our trips, I consider hotels that are strategically located near police stations, first aid stations, clinics or hospitals, and even fire stations. If we are going for a really far away trip like our last year’s island hopping adventure, I opted to check in hotel accommodations that included 24-hour security, enough hotel staff to assist you in whichever way, with pools that are constantly guarded by “life guards”, and most importantly, have great fire proof plans and fire extinguishers on hand.It is also essential to note that hotels that have garnered a three, four and five star rating would provide their best security and safety assistance to their hotel guests. However, if you prefer a more intimate and personal setting, I have discovered that bed and breakfasts, travel lodges, inns and business hotels prioritize safety in their considerations as well.CONVENIENCE: Finding a grocery store, a pharmacy or even a parlor should be possible if you are the kind of traveler who would put convenience in your preference list. Hotel accommodations are now being marketed by the convenience that they offer to their hotel guests. Most hotels can be found in the middle of the metropolis or downtown area wherein good restaurants, shopping centers, recreation centers and relaxation centers are within an arm’s reach.Even far flung hotels specified for weekend get-aways, honeymoons and quiet retreats also mark convenience in their priorities. These hotels provide their guests add-on services like in-house massages and spas, free internet connection, room food service, and in-house parlors, boutiques and souvenir shops, restaurants, coffee shops and bars.It is also important to know if the hotel that you are considering provides airport transfers and that there is a steady stream of transportation for your easy travel. If you are travelling overseas, it is also important to consider that your hotel is located near foreign exchange establishments or banks.BUDGET: Hotel accommodations abound and the only way to narrow down our choices is if we set our budget from the beginning. Most hotels offer packages wherein discounts may be availed if we stay for more than one night or if we avail of more than one room for groups travelling together. For a lengthy stay like a month or two, hotel accommodations may offer much lower rates and additional perks.For whatever hotel accommodations you may choose, and whatever preferences you may have, always remember the three: Safety, Convenience and Budget. This will help you achieve a stress-free vacation or business trip and will allow you to maximize your travel plans.Enjoy globetrotting!