A New Hotel Booking Engine Emerges for the "Text Only" Crowd

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/29/2016, 4:00 PM

Today, more than ever, the medium is the message….as much as the message itself. If you have a friend (or child) who refuses to talk on the phone, but wants to have every interaction by text, you’ll know what I mean. We are a people who are being conditioned to strongly prefer some styles of communication over others. So it should come as no surprise that the booking process for hotels ha...

West Elm to Open Boutique Hotels

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/28/2016, 4:00 AM

Furniture seller West Elm is getting into the boutique hotel business.  Partnering with hospitality management and development company DDK, the retailer (which is part of Williams-Sonoma) will design, furnish, and market two hotels—one in Detroit, the other in Savannah—expected to open in 2018.  West Elm, which has experienced a lot of growth in recent years, sees the hotel project as ...

Marriott Finalizes Purchase of Starwood, Creating World's Biggest Hotel Chain

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/27/2016, 4:00 AM

On Friday, Marriott International's $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide was finalized, having been delayed for months pending approval from U.S., European, and Asian antitrust regulators (the Chinese government was especially poky). The move creates the world's largest hotel chain, spanning more than 5,700 properties and 1.1 million rooms in more than 110 cou...

Part of Prague's Dancing House Now a Hotel

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/22/2016, 4:00 AM

(Photo: Pedro Szekely/Wikimedia Commons) Prague's iconic Dancing House—which features two towers of glass and concrete that appear to be cutting a rug on the banks of the Vltava river—has been off limits for many visitors to the Czech capital because the building has been been used primarily for office space.  But now part of the unique edifice has been turned into a hotel.  A...

SpongeBob Pineapple Suite at Nickelodeon's New Beach Resort

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/19/2016, 4:00 AM

The Pineapple villa at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana (photo: nickresortpuntacana/Instagram) It's not quite living in a pineapple under the sea, but it's as close as you're likely to get.  At the new Nickelodeon-themed beach resort in the Dominican Republic—not to be confused with Orlando's old Nick hotel, which closed in February—you can stay in a two-bedroom, three-...

Video Suggests Not All Hotels Wash Sheets Between Guests

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/16/2016, 4:00 AM

And now for something completely disgusting for you to carry with you into the weekend. Reporters from Inside Edition undertook an experiment recently at nine hotels to test whether sheets were being washed between guests. At each property, they sprayed bed sheets with a harmless invisible paint that can only be seen under a black light. Then they checked back in the next day under a d...

Is the Trump Campaign Hurting Trump Hotels?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/12/2016, 4:00 AM

Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, DC (photo: thisisbossi/Flickr) In Washington, DC, a luxury hotel is set to open today in the Old Post Office Pavilion, following a $200 million renovation of the historic building, which was constructed in 1899.  But the idea of staying there might be a nonstarter for many travelers—and not just because the lowest rates are $950 per night.  The p...

London Double-Decker Bus Converted Into Hotel Room

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/07/2016, 4:00 AM

The South Causey Inn's double-decker bus room (photo: katyjourno/Instagram) Let's say you want to sleep inside an iconic symbol of London.  The royal residences are likely out of the question, until you can get Prince Harry to return your calls. And there's probably a night watchman at the British Museum to expel you if you linger past closing.  A better alternative: spend the...

Hotel Chains Testing High-Tech Innovations

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/06/2016, 4:00 AM

The fully automated future foretold by The Jetsons hasn't quite come to pass yet, but more and more hotels are doing their part to hurry things along. The Washington Post offers a rundown of the high-tech innovations currently being tested at hotel chains. They include: voice-activated rooms that let you control the thermostat, lights, and even soundtrack by speaking (Aloft Hotels); robots...

The Fees Travelers Love....At Least for Now

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/01/2016, 7:15 PM

Discuss the mechanics of travel with most folks and the talk inevitably turns to fees. Sometimes you can actually feel the room heating up as travelers rail against having to pay extra to choose a seat, change a flight, carry on a bag (or check one) or pony up the dreaded “resort fee" at a hotel. And the higher those fees are, the more the temperature rises. But there are a different clas...

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