In New York City, Rapidly Shifting Hotel Prices, Shorter Dining Hours, and More

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/12/2018, 5:30 PM

Every year at this time, I update the book Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City. This involves spreadsheets of pricing, hours, and more, meaning that I’m easily able to graph the trends that shape visits to Gotham. Here’s what I’m seeing for 2018 and into 2019: Good news/bad news on hotel rates: To track hotel pricing, I use several hotel booking engines, and I test dates for the slowest travel da...

Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas Getting a Virgin Hotels Makeover

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/02/2018, 3:00 PM

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is entering Virgin territory.  The hotel—located just off the Strip on Paradise Road—has been acquired by the growing Virgin Hotels chain, which is giving the property a top-to-bottom overhaul.  Virgin founder Richard Branson revealed the changeover at a press conference announcing that his company and other investors had made the purchase.  The ren...

Hotel on Skis Debuts in Finland for Northern Lights Viewing

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/21/2018, 9:15 PM

A novel way of experiencing the Northern Lights has come to Finland.  The new Aurora Wilderness Camp, located near the village of Kilpisjärvi, is comprised of three mobile cabins that have been mounted on skis so that they can be dragged into the remote reaches of the country's Lapland region. And because each unit has a glass roof, guests have a good chance of spotting the Northern Lights from t...

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Makeup Mogul Bobbi Brown Opening Her Own Hotel in New Jersey

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/16/2018, 12:30 PM

Makeup designer and skincare expert Bobbi Brown is going from fashionable boutiques to her own fashionable boutique hotel.  Known for creating a popular line of understated cosmetics (she later sold the company to Estée Lauder), Brown has teamed up with her husband, developer Steven Plofker, to open The George, a 32-room inn "with modern style and historic bones." In other words, it sort of looks...

What to do on Catalina Island

Exploring Catalina Island: New Experiences on L.A.'s Island Getaway

By Jason Cochran

A new look at Catalina Island: Things to do, memorable bars, good hotels, and a rich history that has kept vacationers coming for decades

The New Park MGM Replaces the Monte Carlo—and Las Vegas' Outdated Hotel Traditions

By Frommer's Staff

This spring, a new casino hotel on the Las Vegas Strip rises from the bones of an old one. Is it possible to give an enormous hotel complex a sophisticated boutique feel?

Disney World Now Charges for Parking at Hotels, Decreasing Their Value

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/14/2018, 4:00 PM

It used to be one of the great courtesies of staying in a Walt Disney World resort hotel: You got free parking, and then you could take Disney transportation for free. It was touted as one of the perks and a big incentive to choose a Disney hotel over a room located outside the resort property's gates. Since Disney hotels are two or three times as much as a room of comparable quality a mile away, ...

New Club Med Openings: Sicily, the Great Wall, and More

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/13/2018, 2:30 PM

Club Med has embarked on an ambitious expansion project. The pioneer in all-inclusive resorts plans to add 15 new properties to its worldwide roster by the end of 2020, opening five resorts per year between now and then. Though you might associate Club Med with sunny spots in the Caribbean, major focuses of the company's latest efforts are Asia and the mountains of Europe. Openings scheduled fo...

Booking.com Introduces New Program for Unusual Stays

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/08/2018, 12:30 AM

Unconventional accommodations like treehouses, yurts, and barns have proven popular on vacation rental sites such as Airbnb and HomeAway. For the increasing number of travelers seeking unique, Instagrammable experiences, a night in a castle or on a houseboat has obvious advantages over a run-of-the-mill chain hotel. Now Booking.com, which has an enormous online database of accommodations around t...

Privacy vs. Security: How Hotel Guests Can Get Around the Rise in "Room Checks"

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/06/2018, 5:00 PM

I do a strange thing in hotel rooms sometimes: I host a live radio show. When I'm on the road, thanks to the magic of Skype, my room becomes my studio. And it used to be a quiet, easy place to broadcast from. No more. During not one, but two recent broadcasts, I’ve been interrupted by the maid knocking insistently. This despite hanging a "do not disturb" sign on the door. I’d thought it was bad...

The Ever-Expanding Footprint of Airbnb and What It Means

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/05/2018, 6:00 AM

With speed more head-spinning than Linda Blair's in The Exorcist, Airbnb has been growing and changing and growing once again. In just the past 18 months or so, it has added online guidebook-style material, a section for luxury rentals, another that filters for “unusual” digs, and, most surprisingly, actual hotels. In the latter category, Airbnb will be growing exponentially in the coming months: I...

The World’s Most Rewarding Source of Free Homestays Is, and Remains, Servas

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 03/02/2018, 8:45 PM

Organizations come and go that arrange for you to stay free-of-charge in someone else’s home or apartment in the course of your travels. The latest leaders in this effort are Couchsurfing.com and Globalfreeloaders.com, which are sometimes criticized as having grown too large to be effective.   But another such organization—USServas.org—is older by far and careful to hand-pick both hosts and ...

Crime scene

The Notorious B 'n' B: Infamous Historic Buildings That Are Now Hotels

By Zac Thompson

Check in somewhere with a checkered past. Each of these homes, jails, courthouses, and other sites where notorious events took place is now a hotel.

Huge New Atlantis Resort Opens in China

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/26/2018, 10:30 PM

The world now has three Atlantis resorts to overwhelm visitors with an ocean's worth of watery amenities and maximalist architecture.  Joining sister properties in the Bahamas and Dubai (another is in the works in Hawaii), the just-opened Atlantis Sanya occupies more than 130 coastal acres on China's Hainan island, a tropical spot southwest of Hong Kong in the South China Sea that's becoming incre...

Resort Fees Are a Tax Dodge: Why They're Destructive for Us All

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 02/21/2018, 12:00 AM

Americans despise resort fees. But in a shockingly short span of time, about a decade, we became blasé about them. Appallingly, the people once reknowned for feisty individualism and a testy spirit of fairness have rolled over like docile lap dogs—we sigh and pay hidden charges as if staying in hotels had always been this way. It wasn't. This is not normal. Can you remember how terrible you felt ...

Japan's Ultra-Cheap “Bed-in-a-Box” Hotels Have Resurfaced—in London

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 02/16/2018, 2:30 PM

Many years ago, when Japan was the world’s leading economy and Japanese businessmen were hard-striving cheapskates anxious to squeeze out any savings, several properties in Tokyo created so-called “capsule hotels” charging awesomely low rates.     Instead of placing their clients in normal rooms, they lodged them in coffin-like boxes, three feet wide, four feet tall, and seven feet long, all...

What to Expect When You Stay Overnight at the Quebec Ice Hotel

By Zac Thompson

Every winter, North America's only ice hotel is rebuilt in Quebec. Here's what you need to know before checking in. 

No More Airline Miles for Hotel Stays Among Changes to Hilton's Loyalty Program

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/10/2018, 11:30 PM

Hilton Worldwide is making changes to its 70-million-member hotel loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Among the most consequential of the updates: Starting April 1, members will no longer be able to earn airline miles from stays at Hilton hotels. Though it will still be possible to transfer loyalty points to the airline of your choice, the move makes it even harder for ordinary travelers to gain mile...

Shanghai skyline at night

World-Record Hotels: The Biggest, Tallest, Oldest, and More

By Zac Thompson

We took a dive into the Guinness World Records to compile this superlative collection of unsurpassed hotel champs in categories ranging from the significant to the silly.

Robert De Niro’s Hotel Brand Goes On a Building Spree in 2018

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/28/2017, 12:15 AM

Nobu Hotels, co-owned by actor Robert De Niro, star chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and movie producer Meir Teper, will have a busy 2018. The upscale chain is adding new properties in Chicago; Los Cabos, Mexico; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and two in Spain—one in Barcelona, the other in Marbella.  Since the first Nobu hotel opened in 2013 inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, six more have followed in locales aro...

Arthur Frommer's Travel Resolutions for the New Year

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 12/28/2017, 12:00 AM

Because they often seek to regulate all of human activity, I find most New Year’s Resolutions to be rather unsatisfying. Here’s an attempt to limit these rules to the world of travel, which—to me—is badly in need of a little moralizing at this moment in our history.   So here goes. In the year ahead:    I shall fight, as a citizen and as a voter, to preserve the right of every American...

Hyatt's Cancellation Rules Worsen for Consumers

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/26/2017, 5:00 PM

Hyatt Hotels has made it more expensive for you to cancel a reservation.  At most of the company's 700-odd properties, customers must now cancel at least 48 hours ahead of their planned arrival or they'll be charged. The new penalty, which will be imposed at all Hyatt brands except for Hyatt Residence Club resorts, Miraval resorts, and M life resorts, kicks in on reservations made or changed afte...

Torch lighter, Sheraton Maui

Great Traditions Worth Experiencing at World Hotels

By Jason Cochran

Many great hotels around the world perform special rituals every day—and checking in is the best way to enjoy them.

Why Hotel Bills in Hawaii Are About to Go Up

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/16/2017, 2:00 AM

On January 1, the tax on lodgings in Hawaii will increase by 1% statewide. But that's not all. The fee charged to tourists who rent rooms in hotels, condos, B&Bs, and "transient accommodations" of any other kind is going up to 10.25%. Paired with a 4% sales tax, that means state legislators will now charge visitors an extra 14.25% on top of room rates, simply for the pleasure of sleeping in p...

Marriott's New Shower Doors Record What You Doodle on Them

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 12/12/2017, 5:00 AM

This winter, Marriott introduces what it calls "Splash of Brilliance," which are special shower doors that record whatever guests trace onto them and emails an image of it. You probably had to read that twice, because so did we. Yes, if you draw on these shower doors with your finger, the glass remembers what you drew and can transmit it to you for later use. Marriott is spinning this technolo...