What Is Better – Short-Term Accommodation Or A Hotel?

You have planned your holidays, and now you are selecting the destination. In the meantime, I hope that you have not missed booking the room that you are looking for. Whether you are going for the business trip or you are taking your family members for the holiday, it is always preferable that you book a place that offers various amenities suiting your needs. We all know that the hotels are quite popular in all the tourist destinations around the world, but what about the privacy and luxury. Do all the hotels have the same facilities to make your trip a success?

Now, what is the second option? Have you heard about the guesthouses? They are one demanding accommodation varieties these days; almost all the tourist spots have the residing places that attract travelers from all over the world. I have also once gone for a holiday and stayed in the guesthouses. I will help you to know the difference between the hotel and guesthouse-

1. Guest house has larger space

When you are staying at the B&B accommodation, you are enjoying a larger space than the hotel. In the latter one, you are just getting 1-2 rooms that you are booking. However, in the former one, you are getting the entire space to enjoy. Even, when you are going for the business trip, you can stay in these places. You can organize the meetings with your colleagues too.

2. Unlimited privacy

From my experiences, I know that there is little privacy in the hotels. There are various types of people coming from each corner of the world to live. You cannot totally feel safe and enjoy to the fullest when you are staying at the hotel. But, in the case of the guest lodging, you are going to get unlimited privacy. Therefore, for the next time, when I go with my kids, I will surely stay at the guest houses.

3. Private pool and garden area

When you are choosing the B&B lodging, you can enjoy at the private pool area or at the garden that you like. You can even have your breakfast in the garden. Both these areas are best places to relax and spend the leisure time. You can rarely get the private pool or garden at the hotels.

Apart from these, the best part is that the guesthouses give concierge services, which are great. I hope, if you book a short-term accommodation for your holiday, you will get a new experience.

Tips to Planning Your Honeymoon on a Budget

A wedding is not a cheap exercise. You may have been saving for months or more to get the wedding of your dreams, but what about your honeymoon. When planning a wedding, you always want to leave some of your budget for your honeymoon but when you look at the cost of booking a venue, caterers, flowers, entertainers and even a wedding gown, you will soon find that your honeymoon budget has reduced.

Not everyone has the benefit of being able to go on honeymoon without a budget, which is why you need to have some idea on what you can afford before you start shopping sound. The first step to planning a honeymoon on a budget is to know what your budget is. Your budget should include travel, accommodation, food, drink and experiences to ensure you have a memorable time and the perfect start as your new life together.

That being said, it is always advisable to start saving as soon as possible to push your budget up slightly, though all-inclusive deals may be the best option for you to help your money go further and gel you save on your budget, so that everything is included and all you have to worry about is food, drink and entertainment, or in some cases just your drink and entertainment. It’s something to think about. There is nothing that says you have to go straight from your wedding reception to your honeymoon, you can wait a couple of weeks or months and then go on your honeymoon to ensure you have a big enough budget to relax and enjoy yourself.

The next tip is to look at the honeymoon travel deals and offers that are currently available. It is at this point you may want to look at online travel companies that work with resorts throughout the world and can offer you a type of holiday experience that you will both enjoy. Ideally the company should provide city, sea and snow breaks, so you can choose the one you feel is the best match for you. Have a good look through the honeymoon travel deals that they provide, identifying their costs and see if anything appeals to you that you feel is the romantic getaway that you deserve.

It is always advisable when planning your honeymoon on a tight budget to look at out of season times. Even if you are getting married in the heat of summer and you want to go to a seaside resort, consider midweek or out of school holidays, where resorts and hotels are more likely to drop their prices to fill rooms. Here you can find value for money deals that has you staying in top quality resorts at prices you can afford.

If you are planning your honeymoon on a budget, then the shorter your honeymoon the better. Yes, it’s fantastic to imagine a few weeks or a month away together to spend your first few weeks as a married couple, but you have to be realistic in terms of your budget. You an easily enjoy yourself for a full week, enjoy a spectacular location and five star hotel within your budget. Who says you can’t have more than one honeymoon and if you had your heart set on a longer honeymoon, split it up into budgeted experiences over a period of time.

Another tip when planning your honeymoon on a budget is to not travel too far. If you live in the United Kingdom then travel within your own country or head over to Spain or France, which are easily accessible and affordable for travel so that you can make your budget go a little bit further.

5 Secrets to Finding Where to Stay in Fredericksburg

Deciding where to stay anywhere in the world can pose challenges, but when you’re faced with a particularly interesting city, it can be a little tougher to make the right call. This is the quandary faced when choosing a place to stay when visiting Fredericksburg, Texas.

The city of Fredericksburg was established in 1846, so it has a very long history into the early days of the Lone Star State. What’s more, this city, which boasts a population of about 11,000 people, has gained popularity over the years for all it has to offer to visitors looking for a unique, yet thoroughly Texan, experience.

It’s important to know that Fredericksburg, TX is seen as a gem in the central area of Texas known as the Hill Country. As time has passed, the city has remained small, but it certainly packs a punch in terms of what it offers to visitors, and herein lies the issue with deciding where to put your boots up, so to speak, when in town.

Here are five secrets to choosing the best place to stay when visiting Fredericksburg:

Plan Your Travel – This seems relatively easy as most people plan their travel, but specifically, understand on what roadways you’ll be traveling. If you happen to be on I-10, you’re a little south of Fredericksburg. While not too far, if you’re not keen on straying from I-10, you might want to look elsewhere. If you happen to be traveling Highway 290, however, it goes right through town, which presents more options. Also, if you plan on using Fredericksburg as your home base when taking day trips to either Austin or San Antonio, know that you’re fairly equidistant from both, which means you’ll likely save money by staying outside of the big cities.

Define Your Lodging Needs – Whether it’s one night, a weekend, or an entire week, staying in historic Fredericksburg provides many lodging options in the way of inns & suites, hotels, and B&Bs. Each has its own set of amenities and offerings for visitors, so it pays to know what you want out of your lodging.

Pets – More and more people are starting to travel with their pets rather than leave them with a neighbor or board them. It may be nice to travel with your furry buddy, but the options for finding a place to stay that is pet-friendly are greatly reduced. You may also be one of the many people who travel with a service animal. Though it’s easy to get online & check policies, a quick online search of Fredericksburg pet-friendly lodging gives you very inconsistent results. Calling ahead is your best bet.

Wineries – Fredericksburg is known across the country & abroad for its amazing wine. If you’re traveling to the area to check out any number of the fifteen wineries associated with Wine Road 290, you may want to consider how you plan on moving back & forth. Since you’ll be interacting with alcohol, these wineries take care to maintain safe environments. There are a few wineries that have attached lodging available, but you’ll have to call ahead of time to find out about availability (if applicable).

Know Your Map – Regular travelers know that when trying to secure a deal on a room, businesses offering a place to stay will advertise about their proximity to various landmarks & places of interest. Fredericksburg is no different. For example, a hotel may indicate that they are right off Main Street, which cuts right through the city. That sounds more appealing than staying off of U.S. Highway 290 until you realize that it’s the same road.

Choosing where to stay in Fredericksburg, TX requires a little bit of work on the weary traveler, but in the end, you’ll be greatly rewarded.

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.

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.

9 Tips for Selecting the Best Hotel at a Tourist Place

In a tourist place, there are hundreds of hotels available for travelers. To select a hotel in the city for your travel, it is important for you to identify what you actually need from it. The needs may vary from individual to Individual and from family to family.

The below-given tips will make your search for best hotels and resorts easy and productive. It will save you time and also reduce frustration.

1. The first work you will do is to filter and sort hotels on the basis of facilities they provide and the budget you can afford. First of all, put in the name of the city and the date on which you need to book a hotel.

2. After filtering date and locations wise, now you can sort resorts amenity wise. There are hotels which offer free WiFi services, parking and swimming facilities to guests. I for myself will always select a hotel offering these amenities.

3. If you are traveling along with your family then you can look for a family hotel in the city and travel with a Girlfriend or wife, then you can look for a “romantic” type of hotel.

4. A good hotel is one that is located close to the airport and has decent road and rail links. Although these resorts mention these details in their description, it is not possible for a traveler to read the description of each hotel.

5. There are some hotels booking sites that show hotels on a single map. You can use their map to find a hotel that meets your travel requirements.

6. Some people intentionally look for a hotel that offers its guests free breakfast while as others don’t consider free breakfast as that much important. Similarly, some homestay have free WI-Fi service for guests. If you really need internet then only makes it a deciding factor.

7. These days every hotel has its own website where they make announcements and update their guests about any new development. People post their reviews directly on their website. Read those reviews and what people think about the hotel.

8. Price is the deciding factor when it comes to making a hotel booking for an average person. An average income person may not be able to afford a costly hotel. Booking engines sort hotels price wise. Some resorts offer discounts to their guests. So check out that which hotel in the city is offering discounts on bookings.

9. The environment of a hotel should be soothing and pleasant to have a peaceful stay during your travel. A good and healthy environment will ensure your well-being. There are a number of green and best hotels and resorts, visit their websites and select an Eco-friendly hotel for your travel.

Conclusion

When it comes to select a hotel, always focus on what matters to you most and don’t pay heed to other matters. That will only waste your time. Filtering out the hotels that meet your requirements is an ideal way to identify best hotels.