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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...

Give to Charity, Get Discounted Hotel Rate

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/29/2016, 4:00 AM

A new hotel booking website aims to incentivize charitable donations by linking them to discounted rates for rooms.   It's called Kind Traveler and here's how it works: users who donate to a charity through the site get hotel prices that are 10-25% lower than published rates.  The site launched earlier this month with 21 hotels in 11 North American locations. Participating properties—w...

Indoor Rainforest Coming to Dubai Hotel

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/22/2016, 4:00 AM

El Yunque National Rainforest in Puerto Rico (photo: FreeImages/sue anna joe) The latest over-the-top luxury hotel planned for Dubai is for all those who have found themselves in a rainforest and wondered, Where are the robot baggage handlers? Planned for the United Arab Emirates city's Al Thanyah district, the 448-room, 1-million-square-foot Rosemont Hotel and Residence will feat...

Best Hotel Loyalty Programs for 2016 Are Named

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/17/2016, 8:00 AM

How easy it is to earn a free stay from a hotel chain? U.S. News has released its annual appraisal of the best and worst hotel loyalty programs—and the previous winner has been dethroned.   The publication evaluated "18 leading programs using an unbiased methodology that analyzes network size, property diversity and the ease of earning a free night, among other factors" and came up wit...

Booking.com Pulls Plug on Last-Minute App

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/15/2016, 8:00 AM

After only a year and half on the market, Booking.com is euthanizing Booking Now, its app specifically designed for last-minute hotel deals.   When it was released in January 2015, Booking Now was hailed by publications such as Wired as a probable silver bullet to slay reigning last-minute hotel deals app Hotel Tonight. It even expanded development to include iOS, Android, and the Appl...

New Hotel Set to Open Steps from Elvis Presley's Graceland

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/10/2016, 12:45 PM

Elvis Presley fans will soon get the chance to rent rooms mere steps from Graceland, the King of Rock 'n' Roll's former home turned museum and showcase for 1970s interior design in Memphis.  Set to open on October 27, the Guest House at Graceland is a new six-story, 450-room hotel with a stately Southern Colonial facade and a modern interior with touches of Kingly purple and gold but an ov...

Floating Hotels Drift into France and Japan

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/25/2016, 12:15 PM

Looks like floating hotels could become the latest trend in travel. The hip Hôtel Off Paris Seine is already bobbing in that river near the Pont Charles de Gaulle. And now an amusement park in Japan's Nagasaki Prefecture has announced plans for a floating hotel that can be towed by boat. Located in an up-and-coming industrial neighborhood of Paris, the two-story Hôtel Off features a stylis...

Marriott Brings Hotel Brand Aimed at Millennials to USA

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/19/2016, 12:15 PM

Hotel chains have begun courting Millennials—travelers in their 20s and 30s who have been spending more and more money on trips. Two of the generation's defining characteristics are said to be a fixation on technology and a fondness for laid-back communal spaces, so in the future you can expect a lot more hotels with internet TV and ping-pong tables in the lobby. To wit: Marriott Internati...

Sites in Mali, Libya, and Uzbekistan Added to UNESCO Endangered List

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/14/2016, 11:00 PM

An ancient village of mud houses in Mali has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list of endangered sites. Instability from Islamist militants in the West African country has kept preservationists from taking necessary measures to protect the village, known as the Old Towns of Djenné—a grouping of nearly 2,000 mud homes that have been inhabited since 250 BC. Other additions to the enda...

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