What Makes a Hotel Receive Five-Star Status?

So you’re planning a holiday, maybe you’re visiting a city in your own country or you’re experiencing abroad. Whatever your reason for travel, understanding why five-star hotels are more expensive and what makes them more appealing can help you identify if this is the right choice for you.

It is important before you start looking at five-star establishments, that you understand that every country has its own rating process and result. There are certain things you should expect from your hotel and when paying five-star luxury prices, the one thing you can be certain of is the finest quality elegance and luxurious guest accommodation that is spacious and well-appointed. All guest rooms should be en-suite with their own bathrooms, either shower or bath, or both and toiletries and amenities.

The next thing you will find when choosing a five-star hotel is that they have a twenty-four hour reception desk, which can be beneficial. You can leave your key at the hotel when you go out, reducing the risk of losing the key and you can get it from the open reception desk whatever time you decide to return back to the hotel. Smaller hotels and those with a lower rating, may not have a twenty-four-hour reception, this means that you need to take your key with you, sometimes you have to allow yourself into the building on your return to get back to your room with ease.

Five-star hotels have a certain level of cleanliness and maintenance that they need to maintain. In addition to their luxurious accommodation, hallways, restaurant and public areas must be spotless and gleaming without broken lights or lamps or taps that don’t work.

Further, a five-star hotel should always have a concierge service. A concierge service will handle everything for you during your stay. Do you want to hire a car? No problem the concierge will arrange it for you. Do you want to dine at a top restaurant? They will make recommendations and make the booking on your behalf. Do you want to see one of the top West End musicals? They will book your tickets for you so you don’t have to.

In addition to this, a five-star hotel is also to have certain facilities that you expect. They should have an on-site wellness centre where you can enjoy a range of top quality treatments. They should also provide you with access to a fitness facility and swimming pool.

The hotels in the United Kingdom with five-star status also provide their guests with a restaurant where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis. You can also enjoy the added convenience of twenty-four hour room service, ordering food to your room, sitting back and relaxing after a long day in business meetings or touring the city to see the sights.

The staff at these top establishments are all trained to the very highest standards. They are all qualified and experienced in the area to provide their guests with a first class service.

Effective Ways to Save Money on Hotel Booking

In today’s era when everything has become globally expanded and worldwide organizations are running an extra mile to serve communities across the earth, traveling have become more important than ever. Hence, people have started to consider voyaging as a daily part of life to either solve the business purposes or to have a break from all the stress. In both cases, finding an accommodation that can suit your requirements, budget and timing has become a major crisis and you all must be wondering on how to save those extra bucks on accommodation while traveling to an unknown place. To answer that question, this article has come up with the most amazing ideas after consulting the expert travelers and researching through the market to give you a final conclusion of effective ways to save money while booking a hotel. So, check out the list below and make your escapes much more affordable and enjoyable at the same time:

1. Timing is the Key

No matter what you do, the perfect timing covers the half way towards your success and when you are planning a vacation, it is really important as you might get caught-up in either hefty demand or a time when everything is closed. It is always important to keep on looking for the deals months before to ensure you get the perfect prices as per your season or take the chance for making a last minute search to get the cancelled rooms at an affordable price. Also, by perfect timing, we mean to plan your vacation in the season that is neither on the peak, nor on the off when we speak of tourism and ensure you get it all with perfect weather conditions, less demand and more fun.

2. Comparing for Best Deals

Most of the people these days go for the giant agencies or the trusted agents to get their bookings done and mostly end-up paying more for putting their trust in wrong hands. It is often advised by the expert travelers to always compare the prices between travel agencies and hotel groups to find the best quote and get the bookings done after finding what is best suitable for your trip. There are an abundant number of reputed as well as start-up travel agencies that allow you to book your hotel accommodation on seasonal sale, special discount and other offers exclusively available in the market to outshine others and give you a dream getaway you always wanted.

3. Looking for Less Prominent Locations

Hotel accommodations located near the prominent sites and attractions are costlier than the hotels and resorts located in other parts of the city. Whereas the prominent locality may give you the edge of exploring the attractions with a few blocks of walking, the hotels located farther are willing to offer you more at lower prices to get your attention as well as to give you the finest quality of stays. Hotels near the biggest landmarks and prime localities are often found packed throughout the seasons and require advance booking procedure which also pays a big contribution in higher prices. If you book your hotel room in places that are a little away from these major sites and are located at less prominent places, you will surely find some quality accommodation at lower plans.

4. Use of Memberships

While paying or at the time of booking, we often forget to take other sources into account which can be more beneficial for us and often miss the opportunity to save a little extra while booking a hotel stay. These days, when organization is racing to get your attention and business from you, they also give you some privilege of getting cash-backs, discounts and other perks and leverages while using their special and exclusive membership options. Many banks and card companies these days give some special offers while collaborating with the travel agencies and give some cash-back as well as discounts on transaction of a certain minimum amount. Usage of these offers can also give you some extra benefits to ensure some more savings on the hotel booking.

5. Find what you Actually Require

In the hunger of finding the best accommodation option, we often lean towards finding hotel deals that provide it all and often pay more for services and amenities that we don’t really required. Before making your hotel booking with B&B, All Inclusive and half-board options, always sort your requirements and think accordingly whether you will be needing those services or not. It is quite obvious that the more services you add on your hotel room, the more you are going to pay. Hence, always book for the things you require and try to avoid those services that you might use and can get them if required as an add-on.

Whenever you plan a holiday for yourself or with friends, you can come up with many more options such as finding hostels, couch surfing (not for every destination), finding a person you know and more, yet these concepts are not worthy when you are either on an executive trip or on a holiday with your family or loved ones. So, if you have been thinking for going on your next vacation and taking a step back on your decision after watching hefty hotel prices, then all you need now is to effectively go through these points and consider them all before making your hotel booking to save a good fortune. However, if you have been thinking to save a little extra, you can always search for some seasonal offers on flights as well.

Weekend Getaways From Delhi Within 300 Km

A melting point of vibrant cultures, Delhi is an incredible city in itself and offers respite to its inhabitants in the form of abounding outings within the city. But unlike most of the cities, the folks in Delhi have a plethora of options when it comes to weekend getaways.

Also, since most of us are wary of spending our hard-earned money and deserving weekends on nonessential tourist-flooded destinations and long travel hours, weekend getaways from Delhi becomes all the more important.

Be it hill stations, adventure sites, religious shrines or commonplace tourist destinations, there are numerous getaways from Delhi at a stone’s throw.

Mentioned below is the ultimate list of weekend getaways near Delhi that would turn your monotonous weekend into a mini vacation and get in you in just the right mood to face the upcoming week.

1. Sariska, Rajasthan: Sariska rose to popularity due to Sariska Tiger Reserve. A successfully relocated home to Royal Bengal Tigers, the reserve is located in the Alwar district and is considered to be one of the best getaways from Delhi for its thriving wildlife.

Distance from Delhi: 215 km

Best time to visit: Throughout the year except May, June, July and August

Famous for: Rich flora and fauna including tigers, wild boar, antelopes and leopards

2. Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh: This quaint hamlet in Himachal Pradesh is one of the most charismatic hill stations in India. Narrow roads moving past undulated vistas take one back to the 19th century. The placid hill station is blessed with exotic surroundings and is a preferred weekend destination from Delhi.

Distance from Delhi: 285 km

Best time to visit: March to November

Famous for: Hill station, alluring landscapes, altars

3. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand: One of the holiest Indian cities, Rishikesh is not just the spiritual capital of India but its adventure capital too. Even the globally known band The Beatles couldn’t keep itself from visiting the sacred destination back in 1968.

Distance from Delhi: 230 km

Best time to visit: Throughout the year, peak summers can be a bit harsh though

Famous for: Adventure sports, yoga, spirituality

4. Mandawa, Rajasthan: Mandawa was founded in 18th century by rich merchant families and is known for its splendid mansions and havelis. It’s an aesthetically pleasing hamlet and attracts numerous tourists from nearby cities and is locally known as Rajasthan’s open art gallery.

Distance from Delhi: 260 km

Best time to visit: October to March

Famous for: Heritage, palaces, forts, camel rides and shopping

What Every Traveler Should Know About Making Hotel Reservations

There was a time when making hotel reservations was as simple as picking up the telephone & booking a room for a specific period of time. Depending on how your travels worked out, you would sometimes have the misfortune of having to book the same day & were hoping for the best, but all in all, booking a hotel room was not a big deal.

Boy, things have certainly changed! When the occasional hotel room “Booker” decides it’s time to make a reservation, the nervous perspiration starts. Palms get clammy, internal temperature starts to rise, and voices start cracking. The issue at hand is that we’re constantly bombarded by commercials on our airwaves telling us that we can find better deals by using technology. Online booking, booking apps, and email & text message alerts for price drops are now the way to book a hotel room not necessarily the right way but the smart way. Of course, no one wants to seem foolish, right?

To begin, let’s keep it simple. First of all, you always want to be sure you have the dates correct for your prospective reservation at the correct hotel. In other words, have the basic information spelled out correctly before you even start. It seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often people will try booking a hotel room with faulty information.

You also want to be sure to try & book early. Even though this may not always be possible, it does help get things off your mind faster than waiting until the last-minute before booking. You also avoid issues of not having a room to reserve because of something on the calendar that is bringing people into town. An example would be trying to book a hotel near the beach during Spring Break season.

It pays to think about how you book so that you can avoid having to contend with overbooking, time crunches, and heavy travel windows. For example, if you are traveling on the weekend, try to book a room at a hotel that tends to have a leaning toward business bookings. In the same vein, if you’re traveling during the week, like to stay in a hotel that has more of a ‘resort’ feel to it. This way, you’re always trying to travel opposite of the general travel traffic.

Finally, here is some input regarding the online & discount booking apps & websites – it can go either way. You can actually save some serious money booking online in some way, but you may open yourself to being booked at a mystery hotel whose identity isn’t known until after the reservation is made. In some cases, you also have to act quickly to take advantage of hotel reservation deals in order to get the pricing, which you may not be in a position to do right away. It’s also important to know about being “walked” by a hotel. Getting “walked” means that if a hotel can’t fill your reservation, it will pay for a night elsewhere. Hotels overbook assuming that there will be “no shows”. Depending on how & when you book, your indirect/third-party booking leaves you as a low priority, and if you’re unlucky enough to have booked at a hotel where everyone showed up, you will be “walked”.

Surprisingly enough, booking hotel reservations directly with a hotel over the phone or through their own website is the best way to book in many cases & provides the most perks. Whether through loyalty programs, flexibility in price negotiation, or being a frequent guest, connecting the old-fashioned way seems to be the best bet for handling your travel lodging.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Boutique Hotels

The lodging industry is one of the oldest businesses to exist in this world. It has been around ever since people started traveling from one place to the other for trade and other purposes. What began as the need of the hour (rest and shelter during long journeys) soon turned into an industry that offered comfort, convenience, even luxury, to their boarders. For example, The Greeks built thermal baths that allowed their guests to rest and recuperate. Romans constructed palatial mansions for travelers, while Caravanserais along the famous Silk Road from Turkey to China offered shelter not just for men but also their beasts.

In the 21st century, hotels have evolved into a flourishing business that has become an inseparable part of the travel industry. The styles range from flamboyant properties to bare-bone youth hostels, and all-inclusive honeymoon resorts to quaint country inns.

However, as competition grew and hotels started offering standard services across the chain, there was need for something innovative in the market. People, tired of impersonal services, started moving towards smaller hotels that offered personalized attention and unique experiences.

And thus was born the darling of the hospitality industry – boutique hotels. Today, they are the most sought after stay option for leisure travelers and the ultimate name in exclusivity. More and more people are choosing to stay in boutique hotels, because they’re almost always guaranteed to have a good time and get great value for their money

Given the popularity they enjoy, it’s worthwhile taking a peek into the fascinating history of boutique hotels and trace their evolution over time.

History of Boutique Hotels

The earliest boutique hotels appeared in the early 1980s, the first two of them being The Blakes Hotel in South Kensington, London, and the Bedford in Union Square, San Francisco. The term ’boutique hotel’, though, appeared much later in 1984, coined by Steve Rubell. He compared his own establishment, Morgans Hotel, to a small boutique, obviously wishing to highlight its exclusivity and set it apart from other hotels that were cropping up everywhere, much like the monolithic department stores.

This is not to say that boutique hotels are a modern invention. There are plenty of documented instances of similar lodging experiences dating back to the 13th century when staging posts were set up for travelers in Mongolia and China.

Here are a few more examples of one-of-a-kind boutique hotels that were popular back in the days:

  • In 1705, César Ritz opened a boutique hotel at Place Vendôme, which earned him high praise from King Edward VII who called him “king of hoteliers and hotelier to kings”.
  • In 1822, Venitian artist Giuseppe Rubino transformed an old palace into a gorgeous hotel and called it “il Rubino”.
  • In 1880, the Sagamore Hotel on Lake George (in the state of New York) became the first to provide electricity in each of its guest rooms, creating no small stir among visitors in those times.
  • In 1900, Edouard Niiermans, known as the ‘architect of palaces’ transformed Emperor Napoléon III’s summer residence – Villa “Eugenie – into a beautiful and niche hotel.
  • In 1919, Barcelona inaugurated a stylish hotel that was equipped with hot and cold water in its bathrooms.

As you can see, there have been numerous occasions throughout the history of the lodging industry when hoteliers applied creativity and offered top-notch services to stay ahead of the competition and offer something extraordinary to their visitors.

Boutique Hotel of the 21st Century – Characteristics that Set It Apart

Today, the term ’boutique hotel’ is used to describe small establishments with around 150 rooms. They are privately owned, or part of a small group of hotels, and are best known for iconic, memorable and, at times, eccentric design themes. The concept of boutique hotels became a trend after hotelier Ian Schrager and French designer Philippe Starck used unique designs to build their hotels. And now, it has become a flourishing industry of its own, complete with unique traits and qualities.

Here’s looking at some of the more important ones.

Size Does Matter

Boutique hotels are generally considered small, but they’re not in the same category as Bed and Breakfast hotels or homestays that have less than 10 rooms. Boutique hotels can have up to 150 rooms, which does make it appear smaller when you compare it to most chain hotels.

However, it is this intimate scale that helps create a home-like ambiance with peace and privacy aplenty. These cozy properties often have a communal “living space” where the guests can sit and interact with each other.

Personality Speaks Volumes

Since boutique hotels are independently owned and not affiliated to any big chain, they are a brand in themselves. They have a distinctive vibe to them that sets them apart from the others. It is their unique personality and absence of cookie cutter solutions that guests find refreshing, thereby drawing more and more people towards boutique hotels.

Design by Desire

Boutique hotels are known for their intriguing interiors, which are very often created by leading designers and architects. Generally speaking, these niche hotels tend to maintain an upmarket look, combining historic elegance with chic details. The decor conveys a progressively forward style and the overall design could range from contemporary and quaint, to homely and artistic. Each guest room is decorated individually, complete with exclusive amenities and upscale linen.

It’s All in the Charm

You know how you walk into a big hotel, but nothing really spectacular or interesting jumps out at you? Boutique hotels will have none of that and the first thing that grabs your attention is their eccentric personality. They are funky, trendy, and offbeat. For instance, the Hotel Monaco in Washington D.C. will bring a goldfish in a bowl to your room, if you don’t have a pet of your own.

Lovely Location

While there aren’t any hard and fast rules about where a boutique hotel should be situated, it’s no coincidence that the best of them have a great location going for them. When designing boutique hotels, most hoteliers choose the hippest and most happening places to set them in. You may even find them in high-end neighborhoods, removed from the hustle and bustle, but still close to the attractions and highlights of the city. Yet another popular choice for boutique hotels would be in areas that are far removed from the city, in the lap of nature and surrounded by lush greenery.

Superb Service

One of the most distinguishing features of boutique hotels is the highly personalized and exclusive services they extend to their guests. The staff is courteous and friendly and is likely to know your name from day one. The hotel provides bespoke luxury amenities, like an extensive pillow menu, custom toiletries, and an array of relaxing spa services. A sumptuous spread of food and drinks menu is also a signature part of a boutique hotel. All these services combined create a top notch and singular experience for the guests.

Delectable Dining Options

Another feature that makes boutique hotels stand apart from other hotels is their significant focus on creating extraordinary restaurants and bars, which are modish and trendy. These hotels make a great reputation for themselves, which is independent of the conventional star ratings. Thanks to their appeal, they’re able to draw crowds not just locally, but also globally.

As you can see, there are a number of reasons why boutique hotels are fast gaining popularity among travelers, who are demanding more than comfort and convenience from their stay options. They want to be surprised, they want to experience something new, something completely different from what the run-of-the-mill hotels offer. In fact, these days, if you’re not staying at a boutique hotel, you’re considered unfashionable.

I don’t mean to imply in any way that hotels are boring or uninspiring. There are excellent hotels all over the world offering out-of-the-world service to their guests. However, boutique hotels break the traditional mold and refuse to be boxed in by regular standards. Offering visitors style, distinction, intimacy, and warmth, they leave guest with an experience they can cherish forever. And isn’t that what hotels set out to do in the first place?

Is Your Hotel Ready for the Millennial Traveler?

Before I continue, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page about who were referring to when we use the expression ‘millennial traveler’.

Millennial, also more commonly referred to as Generation Y or Generation Next, are people who were born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. They make up about 20% of international travelers and it is estimated that by 2020, they will account for more than 320 million international trips.

Phew. Those are some staggering numbers right there! It’s no wonder that hotels are wooing them with everything they have. But for all the effort they’re making, do hotels really have what Millennial want? Do they even know what Millennial are looking for?

If you’re not quite sure, let me drop a few hints your way

Hint No.1: Technology is their life force

Technology is to Millennial what water is to fish – life itself. The perks that most of us consider good to have – Internet, WiFi, hi-speed mobile data – are essential to their way of living.

What this means for hotels

According to a report, almost 71% of Millennial travelers considered free WiFi an important factor when choosing a hotel. So hotels, pull up your socks and put the technology in place for them. Or they’re likely to walk up to your competitor and book a room with them.

Hint No.2: Millennial love their smartphones

‘Technology at your fingertips’ is an expression that’s taken very seriously by the Millennial. He is likely to go for hours without food and water, but not without checking his smartphone. He works, plays, chats, networks, writes emails, watches videos, and stays up to date on news using his phone. Other more complicated actions like booking tickets, making hotel arrangements, and paying bills can also be competently handled by his handset.

What this means for hotels

It’s absolutely imperative that hotels invest in superior mobile technology, starting with a website that adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions. With more than half of millennial travelers using mobile devices to discover and book hotels, the hospitality industry is paying a heavy price for not investing in a mobile responsive website. You might also want to consider getting an app for your hotel, to facilitate functions like mobile check in, check out, payments, and en-cashing loyalty points.

Hint No.3: Millennial are ‘social’ creatures

Generation Y is often criticized for shirking the forms of social interaction that their parents were fond of. They’re considered aloof, standoffish, and a little bit asocial. But the truth is that Millennial do tend to connect to each other, just not in ways that are familiar to us. The online world, especially social media, takes precedence in their social life. Facebook, Twitter, What’sApp, GChat, and Snapchat is where they hang out, check in, upload pictures, start conversations, and share details of their life.

What this means for hotels

Given that social media is one of the biggest influencing factors in the life of a Millennial, hotels must make a concerted effort to have a presence on various platforms. In fact, they must go beyond the token Facebook and Instagram page and build a community online. Reach out to your audience, engage them, solve their problems, and invite them to leave reviews. An active social media profile inspires confidence among Millennial and is likely to win you brownie points in the long run.

Hint No.4: Millennial place great faith in peer reviews

Generation Y is a suspicious lot and they can recognize a marketing gimmick from a mile away. For this reason, they rely heavily on ‘peer review’ to gather information about a place. Whether they’re buying a new gadget or trying out a restaurant in the neighborhood, you’ll see them pouring over reviews before deciding to do anything. They consider it a more authentic and ‘real’ source of information. And you can be 100 per cent sure that they’ll be reading up about your hotel before deciding to stay there.

What this means for hotels

Do not try to patronize or trick the Millennial traveler. All your online properties (website, blog, social media profiles) should display accurate information, accompanied by up-to-date pictures. If you’re offering a deal or discount, lay out the terms in black and white. Encourage your visitors to leave you a review on platforms like Trip-advisor or your Facebook page; incentivize the process, if you have to. Should you receive a negative review, take steps to address it and resolve the situation.

Millennial don’t expect you to be flawless. However, they do expect you to be transparent and sincere. Mistakes are an inevitable part of your industry and if you’ve taken every possible step to rectify the problem, you will be forgiven. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself at the receiving end of a nasty review posted for the entire world to see.

Hint No.5: Millennial are into Bleisure

Generation Y is relatively unencumbered by responsibilities at home and are more open to taking business trips. However, unlike the previous generation, almost 62% of millennial travelers will extend their business vacation to explore the place and gain cultural experiences.

What this means for hotels

Gone are the days when that solitary desk in the hotel room took care of any ‘business needs’ that travelers had. Millennial do not like working inside their rooms. This is the generation that steps out to a coffee shop to sit with their laptops and work for hours. The concept of the ‘third space’, independent of home and office, has been popularized by them. Design hotel lobbies to cater to this demand, so that when they step out in search for a place to work, they don’t have to go very far.

Hint No.6: Millennial look for authentic experiences

Despite what might look like their preoccupation with the cyber world, Millennial are always looking for unique and meaningful travel experiences. They want their stay personalized and won’t pass up an opportunity to learn something valuable. Not content with hitting the high spots of a tourist destination, they crave interaction with locals and enjoy immersing themselves in a variety of cultural experiences.

What this means for hotels

Reject the cookie cutter approach to the services you offer your guests. Offer them a genuine travel experience, one that is immersive, interactive and hands on. Don’t just take them on a regular sightseeing tour that showcases the city from behind the panes of a bus or car window. Take them to meet local artisans, show them the way to the hip and happening underground bar, and expose them to interesting customs and traditions. That’s the only way to add true value to their life and create an experience they will cherish for life.

There’s no denying that Millennial are driving the hospitality industry with full force. They already account for a third of the hotel guests in the world, and by 2020, the figure is expected to climb to 50 per cent.

To keep pace with growing demands, hotels must show a willingness to evolve and reinvent themselves. They have to put aside traditional methods of functioning, revisit their marketing strategy, and curate unique experiences for Generation Y.

Besides, it is in their best interest that hotels up their game. By updating their offers, hotels stay relevant within the industry and equipped to deal with the demands of changing times. Millennial travelers are the cash cow that every industry dreams of, and by catering to them, hotels are ensuring themselves a solid revenue stream for the next few decades, at least.

Why Is Display of Art In Hotels So Significant?

Are luxury hotels becoming fine art spaces?

Art has been a part of the hospitality industry for a very long time now. Hoteliers have often had to embrace creative strategies to make a hotel standout. By placing interesting and eye-catching artwork throughout the hotel, they’ve offered an exclusive experience to their clientele.

Artwork helps build the identity of a hotel and offers a superior aesthetic experience by creating inspiring and stimulating ambience. While the smaller accommodation options prefer cost efficiency and core amenities, artwork is almost integral to luxury, boutique, and design hotels.

The Need for Art

Artwork is a representation of the society because they served both as functional and symbolic elements. While some may say that art is a display of their ethnic sophistication, for some it may be more of an individualistic expression. As a functional element, artwork is utilized for psychological and healing purposes, for social causes, and even as a mode of communication. Personally, they connect people to their roots or the broader human condition. Artwork also evokes curiosity, interest and provides an exuberant experience.

Elevating the Style of Hotels through Artwork

Curating art for a hotel is often done by the hoteliers themselves, and, for this reason, it often reflects their values, creativity and the theme they are tying display. There is a separate budget earmarked for this purpose, and even though the investment in art is limited, it has given rise to different types of marketing strategies for hoteliers.

Use of paintings, sculptures or creative features in hotels, is without a doubt an effective way to revamp its look without investing in the structural changes, which could prove to be more expensive and time-consuming. Hoteliers who are experienced often say that simple changes in the color of the walls or the readjustment of the furniture can visually expand the room by as much as a feet. In fact the rooms that have framed artwork by famous painters are more expensive than others.

Integrating Artistic Communities and Galleries with Hotels

Famous luxury hotels are generally aided by the artistic community for new and exciting artworks. This helps hotels remain up to date with the latest trends while artists get a canvas to showcase their talents. It is a collaboration that is beneficial for both parties. As quoted by Paul Morris, the famous host of numerous international art fairs, including the Armory Show in New York City, “Hotels really can’t get away with putting mallard prints on the wall anymore. Therefore they need to tap into the artistic communities for help.”

Independent art consultants and interior designers are also known to frequently collaborate hotels. Not only do they help define the look of the property, they are able to source art locally from the best talent and get it at a great bargain. With the help of interior designers and consultants, hoteliers are able to achieve new heights in creativity.

Hotels That Have Brilliantly Integrated Art

In these times, art has become fundamental to a hotel instead of just being ornamental or an element of its design. As a result, hoteliers are inspired to think outside of the box and curate art in the most exquisite and unexpected ways possible.

Take for instance, the typical room at the Thompson LES hotel in Manhattan, which has an industrial-chic loft with exposed concrete columns and floor to ceiling windows. But what really catches your eye in the room is the artwork that hangs above the bed. It is a giant light box inside which there is a photo of a tree from photographer Lee Friedlander’s ‘Apples & Olives’ series. Stunning as the installation is, it also perfectly complements the organic setting of the room.

In the past decade, hotels like the Wynn Las Vegas, Chambers in Minneapolis, the Sagamore in Miami Beach and the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando have all displayed wide-ranging collections of art. The Gramercy Park Hotel, after being refurbished, has high-caliber artwork on display. In fact, the Museum of Modern Art is known to have taken a tour group to the hotel. I would call that high praise indeed!

Abstract artist Lynette Shaw painted a series of eight serene, textured canvases as large as eight feet across for the lobby and restaurant at the Wyvern Hotel in Las Vegas. Today the artwork is the most attractive quality of the hotel. Other hotels with famous artwork include the Ace Hotel in New York with four art-centric properties. The Pod Hotel in New York also features frameless art. J. M. Rizzi, the artist, has painted city scenes and abstract shapes directly on to the walls of the lobby and the corridors.

Most hotels commission and collect art that bring out the elements of the city inside the hotels. In some cases, they create a visual record of the rapidly developing neighborhood. For example in South Miami, the owner Michael Achenbaum commissioned Deborah Anderson, a London-based multimedia artist to shoot some of the area’s Art Deco architecture and also staged shots of tattooed models with ’50s hair and clothing. The photographer finally compiled 300 photographs, which were made into the 2,800 prints to be hung throughout the Gansevoort South.

Art in Indian Hotels

If you’re wondering where India stands on incorporating art in the hospitality industry, we have some stellar examples of our own. And why not! Indians have a reputation for being artistically inclined and we have some of the most beautiful examples of architecture in the world. There’s absolutely no way that we’d be left behind when showcasing artistic talent on the walls of our hotels.

Take for example the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. In a land that’s famous for the creative sensibilities of the Nizams, the hotel does justice to its legacy and heritage. Falaknuma’s frescoed ceilings, carved furniture, and Venetian chandeliers have art aficionados in throes of ecstasy. The library in the hotel is a replica of the Windsor Castle in U.K. and is home to 6,000 books. You’re free to take a tour of the Falaknuma Palace accompanied by the hotel’s historian, who takes you through a trip back in time as he regales you with stories from days gone by.

Yet another name that pops to mind is the ITC Maurya in the capital of India. As soon as you enter the hotel’s lobby, you’re greeted by the stunning visual spectacle that is Krishen Khanna’s ‘The Great Procession’ – a rich depiction of the vibrant life in India. But your artistic experience doesn’t end here. There are other exemplary works scattered around the hotel, including Tyeb Mehta’s ‘Bull in the Landscape’ painting and AR Ramachandran’s Ashoka ‘After Kalinga War’ – a sculpture etched with Ashoka’s anti-war inscriptions in Devanagri.

There is no end to instances of brilliant exhibition of art in hotels. It is significant to their identity and being. In fact artists consider it an achievement to have their paintings hang at famous hotel chains. The melange of art in hotels is what makes them an aspiration place where people want to spend their holidays. And in many cases, it forms an intrinsic part of the memories that a traveler carries back with him when he comes away from the hotel.

Rabat Must Visit Places on Holidays

The Villa des Arts in Rabat (as in Casablanca) is the result of corporate sponsorship through the foundation of the ONA Group. The latter (Omnium Nord Africain) is the first Moroccan private industrial and financial group formed as a holding company.

The Villa des Arts in Rabat aims to be a space for the discovery and promotion of contemporary arts with a permanent reference to Moroccan culture and heritage.

Located in the Hassan district near the As Sounna mosque, in a magnificent neo-colonial style house of the 1930s where you can admire the architecture, inside a superbly flowered and beautifully wooded park, Villa des Arts will attract you and make you feel that you are in one of the most pleasant places of Rabat with a halt freshness and culture at the same time. The entrance is free and you can easily move around by simply respecting this place dedicated to modern art in all its forms by selecting Morocco holiday packages.

The Villa des Arts is not a museum or even a gallery of exhibitions, but a cultural place that is divided into several spaces: in the main building, the Villa du Parc, the Carré d’art (the Futuroscope of the creators) The Al Borj space of concrete and glass that evokes the nearby Hassan Tower and will recall the BNRM, Al Qantara the bridge between cultures, multipurpose room for conferences, screenings and exhibitions, small theater which allows The performances of small lyrical, poetic and musical performances as well as open-air conferences, the Diwan space of permanent or itinerant exhibitions, retrospectives of eminent artists and the Gallery on the courtyard for emerging artists.

Upstairs the library and the media library shelter the places of research and exchange between students, researchers, historians and artists. The multimedia library is dedicated to students and researchers with the access to a selection of databases or sites in the fields of arts and culture.

Finally, the virtual museum hosts performances allowing the visitor to create the show from their own imaginary. The Village des Artistes, hosting the workshops of prestigious artists such as Chaïbia, Kacimi, Gharbaoui, and Cherkaoui, offers artists the opportunity to express, realize, make discover, transmit, and make understand the act Creation.

The Villa des Arts is a place that will make you fall in love with its artistic work and cultural hertitage and it’s a must visit site if you are in Rabat. Here are the names of the artists who have already exhibited at the Villa of Arts in Rabat: Maika Agueznay, Ahmed Mjidaoui, Dia Azzawi, Mohammed Melehi, Abdellah Sadouk, Mohammed Chabaa, Adlellatif Lasri, Milou Labied, Anissa Berrada.

Marina Bouregreg of Rabat-Salé:

At the entrance of Salé, along with the old Moulay Hassan Bridge and a few meters from the prestigious gate of Bab Lemrissa, Marina Bouregreg offers, over a 4-hectare lake, 240 moorings on floating pontoons, Sailing less than 30 meters and a maximum draft of 3 meters.

The construction site started in 2006 but the Marina was not able to really open in good conditions to foreign boaters until early 2009.

Backed by the future city of the Arts and the hotel complex that have not yet seen the light of day, the Marina Bouregreg welcomes the visitors in an excellent way. Some boaters may go particularly towards the Canary Islands because it is located half- Distance from European coasts in Morocco hotels & resorts.

In the evenings or on Sundays, the terraces of the cafes and restaurants along the docks towards the delight of the Rabat and Slaouis (the most affluent ones) where people come there willingly to take a refreshment while dreaming a little.

The other less fortunate people simply hang out when the overzealous security guards let them in, as these people often do their job with a hint of brutality confusing pleasure port and military port.

5 Solo Travel Tips – How to Pay Less for Luxury Lodging

For tours, “single supplements” are generally added over the per person rate for pairs and couples. Lodging is less clear. In most of the world, prices are a so-called “rack rate” or by the rooms based on double accommodations. As the number of solo travelers has increased, travel providers have added some better pricing options. While we all work to build a more level playing field, here are our 5 updated tips for luxury lodging at better prices.

1. Modify your searches for booking engines. Manually convert “one room” to “one adult”. In Europe, the good news is that such solo prices for lodging are common. Once you change from 2 to 1 adult, prices may drop 40%.

2. For short trips, vacation mid-week. When everyone else is back-to-school or back to work, you can take advantage of reduced traffic discounts.

3. Consider ways to save on meals. I found a great room rate at a 5-star Nordic hotel. However, I skipped the $110 dollar dinner on-site for a trip to a local deli for about $10.

4. Check out season deals. These are most common at ski resorts. The fabled Lodge at Sun Valley (subject of a classic film) has had really reduced rates just prior to the Dec. 22 holiday influx.

5. Don’t bypass the famous names assuming they are too costly. One great such option is the 5-star Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. They now offer a solo priced room. (Always check the size to see if it is a standard/double room or a smaller single room.)

Look for our updated solo travel tips so that your next trip will be your best.

Looking for a Cozy Holiday Stay? Manali Cottages Are The Perfect Choice

Manali is among the most popular hill stations of India and I have done nothing but appreciate its beauty and contrasts. It has a combination of relaxing and wild as it has something for every kind of traveler. This magical town has become a very popular spot for travelers. Thousands flock here to enjoy the many things it has to offer. The amazing thing about Manali is that even with the increased numbers of visitors it has always managed to handle them in terms of accommodation.

The options vary from Homestays to villas, apartments to guesthouses. The cottages here are some of the best I have experienced. They are simply charming and designed to offer nothing short of the best during the holidays. Most of the cottages I have been to have beautiful backyards for relaxing and calming down and balconies that offer magnificent views of the Himalayas. From the comfort of your cottage you can enjoy splendid views, enjoy the night sky and then wake up to uplifting bird chirps and beautiful sunrises. I select my cottage according to the kind of experience I want to enjoy during my stay.

Cottages in Manali come in different sizes ranging from 2 bedrooms to some as big as 8 bedrooms. I love checking into the cozy 2 bedroom cottage when looking to spend an intimate holiday, whereas the larger ones come in handy when traveling with a bunch of friends or family. Selecting the appropriate size means that everyone gets to enjoy some privacy during the vacation and everyone is happy at the end of the day.

Apart from being available in different sizes to meet different holiday preferences, I love the fact that the cottages here are well distributed throughout the city. There are even cottages near popular location of Manali like Central Bus Depot and Kanyal Road. Considering that I always have a list of things and places I wish to experience during my stay here, I always go for cottages that are in close proximity to these areas for convenience.

When packing for a holiday I consider the things that I will need like my hairdryer and other personal effects. Luckily the Manali cottages are well equipped with amenities any holidaymaker would need. I do not need to carry almost everything from just so as to enjoy my stay in the town. The sufficient providence also means that I spend less trying to put my stay together. The cottages have modern amenities offering comfortable, convenient stay every time.

The rates are of course a major consideration. Having traveled for a considerable length of time, I am now well aware that the rates largely depend on the size of the facility, the amenities provided for, and the length of my stay. With so many different cottages scattered all over Manali, it is very easy to find something affordable yet something that I am bound to enjoy throughout my vacation.