lodging (126)

Is Executive Club level worth it? It depends. The first thing to do if you are considering it is to join the hotel’s customer loyalty program.  There are certain benefits such as free internet, preferred check-in, late check-out and often “member-only” rates.  One of the very best Executive Club Levels I have had the pleasure to enjoyed have been at the Pan Pacific’s Pacific Club and Park Royal’s Orchid Club. Their Executive Club level is well worth it extra cost to upgrade.



One of my favorite

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Newly opened this past August on Canada Street running through the heart of Lake George Village, Courtyard Lake George represents a community effort to expand this iconic seasonal lakefront retreat into a year round destination.

Each year during summer, thousands of visitors stream into this village of 900 full-time residents only to vanish from October through March. 1950s era motels still dominate and are lovingly patronized across generations of summer vacationers but for years, village offi

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Few public inns in the United States can boast the patriotic pedigree of the Thayer Hotel at West Point, in New York State's Hudson Valley.

We paid a visit to the award winning Thayer Hotel during the holiday season, and felt it especially appropriate to write about this unique hotel on Veterans Day, when we honor the members of the military that have gallantly served our country.

General Douglas MacArthur stayed at the Thayer whenever he visited the military academy. Dwight D. Eisenhower did the

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Itty Bitty Hello Kitty Rules the Rooms


I don't get Hello Kitty. Well, I do get Hello Kitty - I get the merchandising, the appeal to pre-adolescent females and the cutesy factor that seems to adorn all young Asian girls and indeed little girls all over the shopping world. I get that it's a character of fiction - I don't get the look (Kitty is portrayed as a female white Japanese bobtail cat with a red bow), I don't get why Kitty doesn't have a mouth.

Researching the erstwhile feline, I found out she was created by Yuko Shimizu in 1974,
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The Colonnade: Boston's Homegrown Luxury Hotel


The Back Bay neighborhood is home to so much of what makes Boston a world-class city. You're a quick walk from legendary Fenway Park, the seemingly endless blocks of Newbury Street's boutique shopping, the Skywalk Observatory atop Prudential Center, stunning emerald ribbons of parkland bordering the Charles River, and inventive dining helmed by a growing community of star chefs.


It's hard to imagine but fair to say that well into the early 1970s, demolition permits for much of what you now see fa

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9009075893?profile=originalphoto: David Kay

Back in April while my two teen kids were enjoying their spring break from school, my wife Sue and I researched destinations for an August family vacation.

The four benchmarks that we used in the vetting process were:

  1. It had to be a beautiful beach site with lots of charm.

  2. It had to be within a reasonable driving distance from our HQ in northern New Jersey.

  3. It had to offer land and water activities that allowed for exploration of the area.

  4. Commercial mayhem needed to be minimal:  we w

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The Amazing Hilton Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv - Hilton Pool LOBBY

by Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer

It seems like this hotel has always been there. And in many ways this is a statement closer to the truth than one might imagine. Construction work was launched on September 13, 1962, just a few years after the founding of Israel itself. Three years later, Israel's biggest and most modern hotel was open for business

There are those who say the Hilton Tel Aviv is still the finest hotel in the city. It is definitely one of the largest in all of Israel. Crea

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As a business owner with clients around the U.S., I occasionally hit the road for face-to-face confabs.  So when I needed to meet with a new client in Baltimore, I researched hotels in Charm City where I could stay while taking care of biz.


Given my affinity for hip boutique hotels, I checked out two popular properties:  Hotel Indigo and Hotel Monaco.


Hotel Indigo had sharp rooms, but the rest of the property looked kinda stiff.  And Hotel Monaco’s rooms, lobby, and overall feel - though attracti

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Turning the mundane,  frustrating  experience of booking a hotel online into a fun moment, is an act of legerdemain that only Booking.com is probably able to pull off.

Take a look at their YouTube commercial to see what I mean. It’s wry, funny and self-deprecating.

It’s a spoof on hotel TV commercials that in and of itself, is a smart TV commercial for Booking.com’s new U.S ad campaign: “Booking Epic.”

But we have come to expect these sorts of creative approaches from the company that’s the

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Downtown New Rochelle's Radisson Hotel has been a go-to lodging destination in lower Westchester County since the 1970s. After receiving a well deserved $2 million upgrade in 2011, the property's vibe was transformed from cookie-cutter chain to Manhattan-chic, with boutique-style rooms complemented by NoMa (North of Manhattan) Social, a brand new onsite lounge and restaurant that's quickly built a strong following with happening nightlife, craft cocktails, and creative Mediterranean-Spanish sm

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9008789078?profile=originalVillage Center, Vaqueros, Salta, Argentina

Located in the foothills of the Andes at 4000'above sea level, Vaqueros is a small country village at the northern edge of the city of Salta, Argentina. With a resident population of about 4000 persons, here you will see traditional Argentina Gauchos (cowboys) on horseback making their way around the hamlet, enjoy a small town atmosphere and great low prices in restaurants or local shops.

9008790052?profile=originalEnjoy Local Delicacies

Visitors can experience horseback riding on

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Data Darwinism: Of Survival and Reviews


Reviews do matter, but what seems to matter more is who writes them, and the question, can they be predicted?
And it seems Airbnb is saying, "yes."

Booking an Airbnb place anywhere can be a 50-50 proposition, but it's the very unpredictability and rich individuality of each place that makes the stays (and the site) so undeniably attractive. 

In a delightful comment, GigaOm, a data science and social web site, says reviews do indeed matter more and more because we are in an age of "Data Darwini

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Our favorite travel season is upon us. The summer heat has ebbed, the kids are back in school, traffic is a bit more tolerable, and most lodgings are dropping their prices in anticipation of winter. Best of all, the leaves are putting on their autumnal extravaganza of color. This is an exceptionally rewarding time to visit New England.

We are particularly fond of everything Cape Cod in the fall. There is a certain serenity in the air as October ushers in the cool breezes off the bay.


Last fall w

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A New Air BnB Alternative


Legal issues have recently plagued Air BnB in a growing number of cities. It's great to share your home with others but your lease or homeowners' association may forbid you from doing it on a routine basis. Restrictive City ordinances are next. Easynest steers clear of these pitfalls by getting you in a hotel room at half price. Double occupancy rates automatically charged for a room by hotels and resorts are single biggest hurdle for solo travelers.

It doesn't matter if you're staying by yoursel

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omniberkshireplace.jpg?width=328When staying in Manhattan, some hotels capture the essence of what it's like to actually live here. Visitors may wonder what drives people to pay a premium for the privilege of forsaking their cars and residing in apartments with square footages approximating walk-in closets. Upon checking into a hotel like the Omni Berkshire Place, you quickly realize that having so many views at every turn each day is one of Manhattan's most alluring characteristics.


At the Omni Berkshire Place, you are situ

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High up on a hillside overlooking the waters of a vast silvery blue lake...Montana. Serenity and sweeping views yet minutes away from a bustling historic village...Montana…Hotel Montana, that is, in Lucerne, Switzerland. Embodying art deco magnificence with no expense spared, this grand dame is one of the last of its kind, built in 1910 on a former dairy farm perched in resplendent isolation yet no more than a minute vertical ride via Switzerland’s shortest funicular to the lake shore promenade

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Hotels live and die by the number and kinds of reviews they get. Especially on TripAdvisor, because the quantity, quality and frequency of reviews a hotel receives there, determine a hotels  all-important ranking.
Very little is said about the authenticity of a review, but regardless, even a small change in TripAdvisor's rankings can send shock waves, and deeply impact a hotel's website and revenue.

Hotelmarketing.com points out that TripAdvisor's rankings are based on a propriety algorithm cal

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Did you ever notice how many Manhattan hotel exteriors are often buried in the jumble of surrounding architecture and obfuscated by the frenetic street activity? Without signage, you'd walk right past many of their entrances without noticing.

An exception to this scenario, Sofitel NYC, rises 30 stories above 44th and 45th streets, sheathed in a contemporary pattern of limestone and glass among midtown Manhattan's concrete canyons. Upon stepping through the doorman-attended glass front doors, y

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Is it possible for a Courtyard by Marriott to actually be a boutique hotel? Lately, it seems that mainstream chain hotels are strategically inserting themselves into prime urban locations walkable to top amenities rather than buried in the anonymity of suburban strip development.


Marriott's Courtyard Stamford Downtown
exemplifies this trend with a sumptuous lobby wrapped with floor-to-ceiling windows affording sweeping views of surrounding architecture and street life. Its 70-minute train rid

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It has been some time since we reviewed a Hawaiian vacation property, and the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas on the leafy garden island of Kaua‘i  is particularly interesting for several reasons.

Mixed Clientele

The Westin Princeville is a village style resort that caters to a number of different types of vacationers. We spoke with Westin Vacation (timeshare) owners, business people using their Starwood Preferred Guest points for a much deserved vacation, and ordinary folks seeking a safe

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