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Archive: Hotels

EasyHotel: Easy on the Wallet

Everyone knows about EasyJet, the low-cost European airline with a penchant for the color orange that's giving major carriers a run for their money across the pond. But what about EasyHotel? The good news is that it's run by the same folks, the bad news is that the rooms have...

By Christina Talcott | February 12, 2009; 07:08 AM ET | Comments (4)

Latest Lists: Beer Bars, Best Beds ... and Bedbugs

Right in the middle of our wintry weather come those things that warm the hearts of travelers -- "Best of" lists! For beer lovers, Draft magazine's Best Beer Bars in America list features more than 200 bars across the U.S. Tripadvisor has a two-fer, both its Travelers' Choice 2009 awards,...

By Christina Talcott | January 30, 2009; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

Winners, Losers in Atlantic City

When we came across the words "Win/Loss Statement" on the Resorts Atlantic City casino Web site today, we thought it an extraordinary admission of candor. After all, "Column Financial, a commercial mortgage subsidiary of Credit Suisse, filed a petition [today] with the state Casino Control Commission asking permission to foreclose...

By Scott Vogel | January 22, 2009; 03:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Inauguration News: Lincoln Did Not Sleep Here

Most likely, your chances of nabbing an invite to a sleepover in the Lincoln Bedroom are as slim as Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff getting off with only 100 hours of community service. However, those who want to count sheep in the 16th president's bed, or at least a replica, can...

By Andrea Sachs | January 7, 2009; 10:41 AM ET | Comments (3)

Insta Q&A: Non-Frilly B&Bs

No need to wait for Sunday to get your Q&A fix. Here's this week's bonus question, from reader Beth Dahlman of D.C.: I'm looking for an affordable getaway not far from the District (less than two hours, ideally). Virginia wine country or the areas around the Bay would be perfect,...

By Christina Talcott | November 19, 2008; 07:09 AM ET | Comments (2)

Restoring Sanity to the New York Hotel Market

Here's a new way to save money while traveling, although I recommend only it advisedly: staying in hotels that are under renovation. Depending on when and where you visit, "under renovation" can mean anything from cosmetic changes to a complete overhaul of a hotel's lobby and rooms. But if you...

By Scott Vogel | August 26, 2008; 07:12 AM ET | Comments (24)

Snakes in a Hotel Room

Carol's recent blog about the low numbers of visitors to the United States suggested some reasons why foreigners are staying away, but she neglected to mention one possibility: deadly snakes in our hotels. As an animal lover, I'm saddened by the wanton disregard for these creatures, but I also cringe...

By Christina Talcott | July 16, 2008; 07:16 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Monday Rant: If the Hotel's a Rockin' . . .

Not a week goes by, it seems, when we in Travel don't hear from some poor soul whose vacation was ruined by a bad hotel stay. The question is, what to do about it? Case in point: I recently stayed at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center in preparation for...

By Scott Vogel | June 16, 2008; 06:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

Donovan House, Cont'd

When I first blogged about the grand opening of the Donovan House, the new swank Thompson Hotels property on Thomas Circle in Northwest D.C., some mysteries remained. During my impromptu tour, the manager was coy about who would run the restaurant. He ginned up my curiosity by hinting that he/she/it...

By Andrea Sachs | April 23, 2008; 06:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

Orlando: Will the Smoke Ever Clear?

By law, 80 percent of all hotel rooms in cities like Atlanta, Honolulu and Cleveland must be nonsmoking. In Philadelphia and Chicago, it's 75 percent, and in Detroit it's 70 percent. So what percentage of rooms in Orlando -- one of the world's most popular destinations for children -- are...

By Scott Vogel | April 22, 2008; 06:39 AM ET | Comments (15)

Checking In: A First Look at D.C.'s New Hipster Hotel

I've been wondering what all that construction was a few blocks away from The Post at the old Holiday Inn, and now that I've seen the completed project -- the Donovan House hotel -- I can say I'm impressedt. The modishly swish hotel is the first Thompson Hotels property to...

By Andrea Sachs | April 3, 2008; 06:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Monday Rant: New York Hotel Rates

I love the Hotel Wales, a European-style boutique hotel on New York's Upper East Side: the fireplace and fresh flowers in the lobby, the architectural details in the guest rooms, the lace-curtained salon where you can curl up night or day with a latte and a laptop. It's the anti-chain...

By K.C. Summers | March 24, 2008; 06:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

Insta-Q&A: Rooms in Paris for La Famille

Today's Insta-Q&A question comes from a reader who's trying to find a reasonably priced hotel in Paris that can comfortably house a family. If you have some advice for Allison from Millersville, by all means post a comment. And if you have a question yourself, e-mail us at travelqa@washpost.com. She...

By Scott Vogel | March 19, 2008; 07:16 AM ET | Comments (6)

Checking In: The Early Word on NYC's Revamped Plaza Hotel

We've been eager in the Travel section to hear about what marvels the newly revamped Plaza Hotel holds in New York City. But with rates that easily top $700 a night ($700!!) we haven't been able to check it out yet. Nor do we think we can anytime soon. So...

By John Deiner | March 18, 2008; 12:03 PM ET | Comments (4)

Checking In: Goodbye to Hooters Hotel

Numerous blogs are mourning -- okay, noting -- the imminent demise of Hooters Hotel in Las Vegas. World Hum says that "despite the oh-so-clever do-not-disturb signs -- not to mention that fact that Hooters and Las Vegas would seem to be made for one another -- redevelopers have come a...

By John Deiner | March 13, 2008; 12:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

In the News: Checking In on the Mayflower

So you've probably read about Eliot Spitzer and the prostitution ring by now -- and the Mayflower Hotel, where the dalliance allegedly took place. The Post's Dana Milbank gives an intriguing overview of the case this morning in his Washington Sketch, including some historical info on the place (JFK apparently...

By John Deiner | March 11, 2008; 03:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Grunge Report: One Dirty Hotel in Lancaster, Pa.

Once upon a time, amid the bucolic splendor of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, there was an awful little hotel called the Days Inn Lancaster. Actually, "awful" is too weak a word. Godawful is more like it. The Days Inn, unlike most others in the hotel chain's stable of properties, was the...

By Scott Vogel | March 5, 2008; 07:14 AM ET | Comments (11)

Insta-Q&A: Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel

It's time once again for Insta-Q&A, where you can both pose questions to the Travel section, and also help out fellow travelers with your own answers to their queries. Today's question comes from a reader whose wife is soon to celebrate her 50th birthday. If you have some advice for...

By Scott Vogel | February 20, 2008; 07:07 AM ET | Comments (7)

Travel Health: Dirty Hotel Glasses, Part 2

Fellow blogger John Deiner wrote about a hidden-camera report on dirty hotel drinking glasses a few weeks ago, and most folks were duly repulsed. Now, an even more recent disgusting report has reared its germ-studded head. Earlier this week, ABC's "Good Morning America" aired a report showing just how dirty...

By Christina Talcott | February 14, 2008; 01:53 PM ET | Comments (9)

The Monday Rant: Nonsmoking Rooms . . .That Aren't

Have you ever specifically requested a nonsmoking hotel room only to find that the previous guest has ignored the rule? It's not a huge problem if there are other rooms to be had, but when a hotel is sold out, it can be a big hassle. Even worse, you don't...

By Carol Sottili | February 4, 2008; 07:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Valentine's Splurge

Hotels all over the country have been pitching special deals for Valentine's Day. But really, how far are you going to go for a Hallmark holiday? Still, given these gloomy winter days, your romantic impulse might need a jolt. Here's some ideas not far from home: * If you have...

By Cindy Loose | January 16, 2008; 07:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

TripAdvisor: 10 Funniest Traveler Comments of 2007

Ah, TripAdvisor: Can't live with it, can't live without it. Like most travelers, I compulsively check it when I'm planning a trip to an unfamiliar place, looking for patterns in the wildly idiosyncratic user reviews. And the site is definitely easier to navigate since its redesign. But man, you have...

By K.C. Summers | December 27, 2007; 12:32 PM ET | Comments (36)

The Other Congress in Town

We don't usually spring for Relais and Chateaux properties in our travels, but we can dream, right? So we were intrigued to learn that the organization is meeting in D.C. this week. Unfortunately, none of the events, which includes a black-tie affair tonight at Union Station, is open to the...

By K.C. Summers | November 27, 2007; 02:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Ten Favorite Hotels

I am leaving The Post as of Nov. 2, so this is my final blog in this space. As the Post travel writer assigned to the hotel beat for the past seven years, I have had the good fortune to critique hundreds of accommodations all over the world. I toured...

By Gary Lee | November 2, 2007; 09:33 AM ET | Comments (7)

In D.C., It's Easy Going Green

Eco travelers rejoice! You don't have to go to Costa Rica to take advantage of eco-friendly lodging. In keeping with the movement across the hotel industry to go green, a couple of properties in Washington are moving to make their properties more ecologically correct. * Residence Inn Capitol by Marriott...

By Gary Lee | October 25, 2007; 01:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Lights Are On, Nobody's Home

What's your reaction when a new hotel provokes reactions like this on TripAdvisor?: "The valets were terrible, but also 99% ... of the other hotel employees we spoke with reacted as though every question or request was a huge inconvenience for them." "We found trash on the closet floor, soap...

By Scott Vogel | October 8, 2007; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (9)

Hotels with Women-Only Floors: A Good Idea?

Even though Marriott has scrapped plans to set aside a women's-only floor at a major new property, the concept is still being batted around among hoteliers. Marriott had originally designated the 19th floor of its new $100 million, 340-room JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, Mich., to be exclusively available to...

By Gary Lee | September 27, 2007; 07:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Cheap Hotels in Europe

Just as we enter the shoulder travel season, when airfares to Europe begin to dip to affordable levels, Eurocheapo, which features budget hotels throughout Europe, is expanding its offerings. The site has has led us to some pretty cool digs at great prices in the major European capitals (examples: the...

By Gary Lee | September 6, 2007; 01:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Hip Hotel Watch

Hey, ye roadsters who like to stay on the cusp of trends, take note of the upcoming openings of a handful of fresh, innovative hotels. Located in different parts of the U.S. -- Tacoma, Miami, Boston, North Carolina -- they're all well outside the typical chain lodging box. 1. The...

By Gary Lee | August 2, 2007; 09:33 AM ET | Comments (1)

Favorite Hotels -- or Not

Ritz Carlton nudged just ahead of JW Marriott and Four Seasons as the favorite luxury hotel of guests surveyed by JD Powers, an information agency. The 46,634 guests who were questioned also rated their favorite hotels in upscale, midscale, budget and extended stay categories. The just-released 2007 North America Hotel...

By Gary Lee | July 26, 2007; 10:22 AM ET | Comments (12)

Hotel Blogs: The Users Check In

Dig the blogging thing? (Well, you must, since you're reading this.) Or are you simply into hotels? Fans of both will find nirvana in several Web sites specifically dedicated to blogs about individual hotels or chains. I have checked out a couple of the blogs devoted to chains: www.starwoodlobby.com and...

By Gary Lee | July 10, 2007; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (0)

How Wired Is Your Room?

High-speed Internet? Of course. In-room iPod and docking station? Check. IP Video on Demand in High Definition? Er, coming right up! As hotels compete for tech-savvy travelers, the most forward-thinking have begun offering videos on demand in high definition. Many properties have offered HDTV in guest rooms for some time....

By Gary Lee | June 28, 2007; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

Boutique Hotels: Thumbs Up or Down?

Thanks to a plan in the works by Marriott International, a new line of boutique "lifestyle hotels" may soon be coming to street corners across the country. Is this welcome news for travelers? Are these the kind of properties you are looking for? A few days ago, Bill Marriott, Marriott's...

By Gary Lee | June 25, 2007; 03:41 PM ET | Comments (5)

Best Beds for the Buck

Consumer Reports has just released its tally of hotels that offer the best value. These are the results of a 2006 survey of 35,000 CR subscribers. They spent a total of 139,000 nights in hotels. The respondents nominated what they found to be the best hotel deals, determined by value,...

By Gary Lee | June 6, 2007; 02:27 PM ET | Comments (2)

Pilfering From Hotel Rooms

Today's news flash: a gold bathtub (estimated value: $987,000) was taken from a 10th-floor guest room at the Kominato hotel, south of Tokyo. The tub was apparently in a bathroom shared by guests. The theft raises several questions. Among them: Why was a $1 million tub in a shared bathroom?...

By Gary Lee | May 31, 2007; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (0)

$32 Tip Included

In the latest salvo in the debate over how much to tip hotel staff, a guest at the posh Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz., is suing over mandatory gratuities included in his room bill. It seems that upon check-out Jim Schulevitz got a bill that included a $4 daily tip for...

By Gary Lee | May 17, 2007; 11:04 AM ET | Comments (32)

Greener Travel Options

Good news for environmentally conscious travelers: Hotels are getting religion on ecology. Leading Hotels of the World, a conglomeration of some of the finest properties across the globe, has introduced a new booking site, www.lhwgreen.com, which includes several eco-friendly tools travelers can use. As part of its Leading Green Initiative,...

By Gary Lee | May 8, 2007; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Waiting For Hotel Info? Get In Line!

Ever send an e-mail off to a hotel asking whether you can check in early or some other question and never hear a peep back? Apparently you're not alone. Twelve percent of the e-mails travelers send to hotels are ignored, according to a study just released by the Customer Respect...

By Gary Lee | April 26, 2007; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

Escaping Holiday Inns (and Other Chains)

In my ongoing search for lodging that is above the ordinary, I recently discovered Provenance Hotels, a group that offers just the kind of creative off-beat properties I like. All of the group's four properties (and a new one opening soon) are unique. The hotel deluxe, located in Portland, Ore.,...

By Gary Lee | April 19, 2007; 03:18 PM ET | Comments (5)

Lobby Music, Hyatt-Style

Hyatt is moving into the music business. It's the first hotel chain to sell its own collections of downloadable MP3 format music. The initial nine collections, which cost $22 each, are linked to two of its properties, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch in Arizona, and Hyatt...

By Carol Sottili | April 6, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Hidden Hotel Fees: The Horror

So you're feeling pretty good about snagging that great deal on your hotel room. Then you check out, and your jaw drops when you see the final tally on those "bargain" accommodations. What's this "resort fee" of $30 a day, when you didn't even set foot in the hotel's gym...

By K.C. Summers | April 4, 2007; 02:41 PM ET | Comments (7)

That Room Costs What?!?

I recently saw a report showing that hotel room rates shot up at a hefty rate across most of Europe in 2006. The report was from TRI Hospitality Consulting, a London-based company that keeps track of the costs of hotels in Europe. By TRI's account, the most expensive hotels in...

By Gary Lee | March 20, 2007; 02:25 PM ET | Comments (12)

Not Your Dad's Concierge

Before a recent trip to New York City, I logged on to Yahoo's Trip Planner to see what cool venues other travelers had recently uncovered. The service, which went fully live a few weeks ago, allows you, among other things, to view the itineraries other travelers have taken to your...

By Gary Lee | February 21, 2007; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (4)

Hotels With Shared Baths: Ewww or Ahhh?

With hotel room rates at record highs, especially in major U.S. and European cities, one way to cut back on travel costs is going for a room with a shared bath. In my case, they have made trips affordable that otherwise might not have been. And options pop up everywhere....

By Gary Lee | February 15, 2007; 03:00 PM ET | Comments (19)

Hotel Search SOS

Need help figuring out a good hotel for a family reunion? Or want to compare the different prices offered on the Web for a room in the same hotel? Or to find a hotel meeting space good for a book club or other social group? In my research as a...

By Gary Lee | February 5, 2007; 03:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Room Service: Hold the Trans Fats

Hotels are jumping into the healthy-eating trend. Marriott International has just joined a growing list of hotels and food service companies that are banning trans fats. In an announcement yesterday, the hotel chain said it is phasing out the use of trans fats in the cooking of French fries and...

By Gary Lee | February 2, 2007; 02:22 PM ET | Comments (3)

How Clean Was Your Hotel Bedspread?

TripAdvisor, the travel review site, has just come out with its 2006 list of the ten dirtiest hotels in the U.S. The list, based on travelers' reviews: 1. Tropicana Resort Hotel, Virginia Beach 2. Hotel Carter, New York City 3. Days Inn Downtown, Port, Miami, Fla. 4. Budget Inn, Knoxville,...

By Gary Lee | January 31, 2007; 03:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

Skip the Creme Brulee and Head for the Gym

A new list of the top 11 hotel gyms in the U.S. is the kind of reference that sports-minded travelers will want to keep. However, a close look at the list, compiled by the San Diego-based Athletic-Minded Traveler, suggests that many of the gyms recommended are in the least fitness-minded...

By Gary Lee | January 18, 2007; 02:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

 

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