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Four Seasons creating expriential travel packages

In what is dubbed the “Get Away, Get More” program, the Four Seasons hotel chain has created travel itineraries that offer guests unique, hyper-local cultural and educational experiences.


The Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest, for example, has created a “Twilight in Budapest” experience that explores the spine-tingling story of Vlad III, the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


After a limousine-guided tour of the city, participants will visit the hilltop Visegrad Castle, where the 15th century warrior, known as Vlad the Impaler for impaling his victims on giant spears, was kept prisoner for 12 years.


At the Koh Samui outpost in Thailand, guests can also try muay thai or Thai boxing under the guidance of a former world champion.


The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney has created a full-day excursion into the Australian Outback that includes a bushwalk tour led by an indigenous guide and encounters with native animals like koalas and kangaroos.


It’s become a widely used marketing strategy in the luxury hotel industry: promises of rich, once in a lifetime travel experiences!


Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 06:55

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Sheraton Creek Dubai re-opens after refurbishment

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced the re-opening of the iconic Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers following an extensive US$50 million renovation.

Opened in 1978, the landmark hotel was the first Starwood hotel to open in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).Following the refurbishment – which includes all guestrooms, facilities, public spaces and the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo, as well as its Indian restaurant Ashiana by Vineet – Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers will continue to be a choice gathering place for global travellers and the local community.


Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:49

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Top 10 family-friendly hotels in 2014

Florida has emerged as the leading destination for family-friendly hotels among US travelers, with the Floridays Resort Orlando near Walt Disney World Resort taking the top spot in a new TripAdvisor survey.


With a living and dining area, and fully-equipped kitchen, a suite at the Floridays allows families to cook and eat at the hotel. The hotel also offers a grocery delivery service that will stock the fridge before families arrive.


In fact, the condo-style accommodations could be described as an extension of family home life, as suites also come with washer and dryers, Jacuzzi tubs in the Master suite, Wifi access and 37” flat-screen TVs.


Given that Florida is home to a slew of park attractions, it’s no surprise that the Sunshine State dominates the list of top 10 hotels for families with four addresses. California follows with three hotels.


Top 10 Travelers’ Choice Hotels for Families in the U.S.:


1. Floridays Resort Orlando, Orlando, Florida

2. Woodloch Pines Resort, Hawley, Pennsylvania

3. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Orlando, Florida

4. Candy Cane Inn, Anaheim, California

5. Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, North Conway, New Hampshire

6. Best Western Premier Saratoga Resort Villas, Kissimmee, Florida

7. Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, Highland, New York

8. West Inn & Suites Carlsbad, Carlsbad, California

9. Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground, California

10. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orlando, Florida

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:26

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Hotel survey reveals most valued amenities

Free wifi and complimentary breakfast have emerged as the most important hotel amenities among guests in a new survey.


When 1,000 travelers from around the world were asked in a Hotels.com poll to rank 33 different amenities in order of importance, the ability to stay connected was deemed the most important in-room amenity, while free breakfast was the most sought-after overall hotel service.


After free connectivity, guests also ranked a bathroom with a shower and room size as priorities when it comes to in-room amenities.


Meanwhile, as free wifi has become increasingly standardized in response to consumer demand, hotels are trying to woo guests with other premium services including high-end coffee machines and concierge iPad services.


Here are the Top overall hotel amenities:


Complimentary breakfast


Internet/Free wifi

Free parking

24-hour front desk

Smoke-free hotel

Swimming pool


Air conditioning

Coffee, tea lobby

Top in-room hotel amenities

Free wifi

Bathroom with shower

Room size

TV system

Air conditioning

Coffee, tea

Non-smoking rooms

Premium bedding

Daily housekeeping

Mattress type

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:01

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Virgin Hotels to open in Chicago

After planes, trains and spaceships, Sir Richard Branson has revealed new details on his latest travel-related venture: Virgin Hotels.


According to a new infographic released from Virgin, the inaugural Virgin Hotel is slated to open in Chicago’s central business district, The Loop, and feature 210 rooms, 38 suites, and 2 ‘Rock Star’ rooms.


In line with the brand’s overall branding strategy, Virgin Hotels will target a creative, high-income audience by pitching a “sophisticated hotel experience.”


Other specs for the hotel include a rooftop lounge, the Boheme, two restaurants, a coffee and wine bar; gym, yoga and relaxation center; business area, theater and dance floor.


The hotel takes over the 27-storey landmark Old Dearborn Bank Building and is expected to open in September.


Virgin said that the Art Deco building, designed in 1928, “has significant historic and architectural features that will be restored and recreated.”


The Virgin Hotels brand is expected to offer accommodation competing with upscale lifestyle or luxury chains such as W Hotels, Andaz or Hotel Indigo.


Branson has also expressed interest in moving his Virgin brand into the cruise industry, telling German business daily Handelsblatt that he’s already in negotiations with shipyards in Italy and Germany.

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 April 2014 01:46

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The world's costliest room service

Helsinki has emerged as the priciest city for room service, and Tunis the cheapest in a new index that provides a snapshot of how much a club sandwich and a can of Coke will set guests back around the world.


In TripAdvisor’s 2014 TripIndex Room Service, analysts created a price comparison of in-room amenities like a club sandwich, a bottle of water, peanuts, a soda, a mini bottle of vodka and dry cleaning services.


Not surprisingly, Scandinavia emerged the most expensive region on the index, with Nordic cities claiming four of the top 10 most expensive spots. After Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen also made the list.


The survey also revealed that travelers can expect to pay 22% more for room service amenities in the US compared to major destinations around the world.


Meanwhile, Las Vegas emerged the most expensive destination in the US for hotel amenities, followed closely by New York and Washington D.C.


The most affordable cities in the US are Denver, Seattle and Minneapolis.


The most expensive cities for room service in the world (club sandwich, water, peanuts, soda, a mini bottle of vodka and dry cleaning service):


Helsinki, Finland, $89

Oslo, Norway $88

Seoul, South Korea $73

Zurich, Switzerland $72

Stockholm, Sweden $69

Paris, France $68

New York, USA $68

Toronto, Canada $66

Singapore, Singapore $62

Copenhagen, $60

Last Updated on Friday, 28 March 2014 16:09

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