What Makes a Hotel Boutique?

What Makes a Hotel Boutique?

There are lots of companies that claim to specialize in boutique hotels. For many, a boutique hotel is simply one that’s not part of a national or international chain and that distinguishes itself by its design, location or additional features. Many hotels aspire to be a boutique hotel without actually achieving it. Overall, there are four main elements to the true boutique hotel:

 

Size

Large hotels can be cool, trendy and chic, but they can’t be boutique. Just as the word is used to describe small, design-led specialist shops, so it applies to hotels. Hotels that apply the term “boutique” to themselves or have it ascribed to them are usually small – certainly less than 50 rooms and in some cases with only one or two. Their size contributes to the atmosphere and service that characterizes a hotel with a difference. Whilst size might count in terms of the number of rooms, it doesn’t follow that those rooms must also be small. In fact, a hotel than could easily accommodate 20 rooms might choose instead to create just ten, but make them spacious and luxurious, catering to the boutique market.

 

Design

When the first boutique hotel was opened in New York in 1984, by hotel entrepreneurs Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, it was praised for its original design and quirky nature. Designed for those who really wanted to participate in their travel rather than passively take it all in, Morgans, and those that followed it challenged the way we thought about hotels. Although Schrager would not now describe his hotels as a boutique, the name has been applied to those hotels who followed in his footsteps as far as design is concerned. From clean and contemporary to themed rooms and classic elegance, a boutique hotel must have a clear design theme and attention to detail.

 

Service

The hallmark of an excellent boutique hotel is its service. Whether the hotel chooses to assign a personal butler to each guest, or just hires and trains staff to anticipate your every need, the service at a boutique hotel is really what it should be at any hotel: ensuring that your stay goes without a hitch, that you can get transport, opera tickets or excellent meals when you want them and making you feel at home rather than feeling like you’re a nuisance.

Boutique hotels are scattered all over the world, from 24-hour cities like New York, London, and Rio De Janeiro to island havens in the Indian or Pacific Oceans. What often sets them apart are the buildings that contain them. From former plantation houses to old textile mills, towers and palazzos, the type of building often form the basis of the design and it is the blend of architecture, design, and service that turns what could be just another hotel into a boutique one.

The Luxuries of First Class Travel

The Luxuries of First Class Travel

The cost of first-class travel is more than the other classes available. It is because of the environment in which you travel and the facilities that are available for you to experience.

First-class travel is on a very comfortable seat that can be termed as the ‘Bed in the sky’. Yes, it is true! It is possible to recline that seat on all angles to give you the comfort needed while you sleep. The headrest can be tilted to various positions to suit your posture. You get more space and legroom while you travel in first class. A vertical partition is also available that gives you the privacy needed during your travel.

Sockets to attach your laptop and telephones with satellite connection are available to communicate with anybody you wish. Video monitors and video players with multiple channel options are available for first-class travelers.

Most of the international airlines provide these facilities for first-class travelers. The food that is served is also prepared by reputed chefs and is of international quality. Some airlines provide even pre-dining facilities so that you can have your dinner even before you board the flight so that you have a lot of time to sleep in the flight. This facility is available in the night flights.

Some of the airlines provide online check-in facility for first-class travel so that you can check in before you arrive at the airport. This avoids the need to stand in the queue to check-in. It saves a lot of time for you. First-class passengers are allowed to take more luggage. As a first-class passenger, you have a separate lounge which can be used before you board your flight and while you are waiting for your flight. Facilities to have a luxurious bath and have delicious cuisines are also available for the first-class passenger. Some lounges have even libraries to pass your time by reading through some latest books. For those who would like to have a drink, there are bars and some lounges even have massage parlors. Some of the bars also have wireless internet access so that you can browse or check your emails while you are at the bar.

To get more information on the facilities that are offered do check the website of the airlines. Why don’t you try this out at least once in your life?

Top 10 Tips for Visiting Egypt

Top 10 Tips for Visiting Egypt

1. Consider your dress

Egypt is a largely Muslim country and with this in mind, men and women should consider what they wear. You certainly do not have to be over the top, lets face it, it’s a hot climate. But you should avoid shorts and short sleeved shirts. Women may also want to consider taking a head scarf too, not for general use, but just in case they visit particularly important temples etc.

 

2. Pens

Offer a child an Egyptian pound or a pen and they will take the pen every time. Pens for children are like gold-dust. So if you want to give the kids a treat, pack a box of cheap pens and give them out whenever you get the chance. Do note though, that you need to do this not too openly as if you don’t you may have a very good natured riot on your hands as kids will appear out of nowhere when you start handing them out.

 

3. Toilet paper

Toilet paper is often at a premium at historical sites and so it’s a really good idea to take a roll out of your hotel and take it in your back whenever you are out for the day. It should also be noted here that toilets at many historical sites are not of a “western standard” so arranging toilet visits in hotels, restaurant stops etc is not a bad idea.

 

4. Water

Like with any other hot climates, you should look to take plenty of water with you on your days out and make sure it’s sealed of course.

 

5. Avoid ice / salads etc

This related partly to number 4. People generally know not to drink non bottled water (to avoid possible upset stomachs), but often they over look that ice is frozen water and that salads have often been washed in water. Keep these things in mind when ordering food and drinks.

 

6. Take small notes

If you are going to tip, it’s a good idea and it avoids embarrassment to change up some bigger notes for a number of 1 LE (Egyptian Pound) notes

 

7. Be strong

This applies to people begging. Egypt is a relatively financially poor country and with that comes the fact that people (children and adults) will beg. This is obviously a very personal issue, but obviously it’s possible to personally sort out all of Egypts financial problems. So feel free to help out where you can and when you feel comfortable, but realise, it’s just not possible to give to everyone who asks.

 

8. When in rome

This again partly relates to tip 1. You are ultimately vacationing in a more reserved country and therefore you need to just think about things like public shows of affection. Obviously we want you to have a good time, just be respectful to a different culture and you’ll be just fine.

 

9. Haggle

As a tourist, when you buy almost anything, anywhere, the price will be marked up. You therefore HAVE to bargain your socks off. We generally suggest offering a maximum of 1/3 to 1/2 of the asking price and work up. If you can do it, you are even better to not offer a price at all, but just keep saying no and let them lower the price. The best tip is to just keep saying no until the person selling stops and lets you walk. At that point, you just won’t get a better price and then you have the option to go back and say – OK, I’ll take it at that price!

 

10. Baksheesh

If you do not know what this is, by the end of your holidays you will! Baksheesh is a tip in Egypt for just about anything. From carrying your bags at the airport to offering to have a picture with you or showing around a tomb. So just be aware. If you chose to pay (it’s completely optional) pay with the smallest bills / nots possible (1 LE will be just fine).

Five Tips for Low-Cost Vacations

Five Tips for Low-Cost Vacations

1. Fly from further afield

This may sound silly, but by widening your choice of departure airport, you could save a lot of money. The larger airports carry more flights and that allows airlines to keep prices low. By flying from a bigger airport you could save a lot of money on your flights.

 

2. Travel out of season

If you’re not bound by school holidays, take the opportunity to travel out of season and fly during the week rather than at weekends. Flights are often cheaper during these times in order to encourage travel, so think about leaving on a Thursday rather than a Friday and see what a difference it could make to the price.

 

3. Register for updates

Cheap discount vacation travel companies often operate newsletters or email updates to let you know about special offers and last minute deals. Registering for these communications gives you advance information about discount travel, allowing you to take advantage of offers that suit you.

 

4. Find hotel reviews

Cheap holiday hotels aren’t always good. It’s best to get as much information as you can from the travel company and to go online to look for reviews. This is a great way to find out if you’re booking a great little budget hotel or a place that could spoil your holiday.

 

5. Book online

You can often get discounts on flights, hotels, car hire and vacation packages if you book online. Make sure that the site you’re booking with has a secure payment system and that you print off your confirmation so that you can call the company with any queries or problems. Use reputable discount holiday travel sites and you could get your holiday for a much cheaper price than on the high street.

It is possible to get great cheap discount vacation with a little bit of research and a flexible approach to travel times.

Tired of the Same Old Hotels?

Tired of the Same Old Hotels?

Make note of any interesting hotels you come across while surfing the Web or watching TV. When traveling pick up any brochures of unique accommodations you find. Many times a hotel lobby will be filled with these little brochures all arranged in a nice little display rack.

Consider staying at a Bed and Breakfast. B & Bs are becoming increasingly popular as each one provides a unique experience over any standard hotel chain. From quiet often charming rooms to great homemade food these are many times cheaper than regular hotels and motels.

If you are traveling abroad and seek a special kind of quiet try a convent or monastery for a truly unique experience. In many countries you can stay for far less than what a hotel would cost with some places only asking for a token offering. Just be prepared to give up some of the more traditional hotel amenities like TV for the peace and quiet.

If plan on traveling to one of the great parks in the United States check into staying at a nearby lodge or cabin. Many parks have on-site accommodations and of course you could always pitch a tent if you really wanted to rough it and save money.

When a friend of mine goes on vacations he looks for condos or homes for rent. This can be a great idea if you are traveling with your family as you get all the comforts of home and can save money buy cooking your own meals.

Many people will do a house swap with you as well but if you happen to live in a spot that might not be very popular with travelers it could be hard finding someone to swap with you.

Going to Europe and into backpacking? You might consider staying at a youth hostel during your continental travels. Many have a dormitory arrangement with shared baths and kitchens but they can be quite inexpensive and you get a great opportunity to meet some interesting people. Just be sure to use a little common sense if you plan on staying in a group environment.

These are just a few of the many options available to the traveler looking for a little more adventure. Keep your eyes and your mind open to new possibilities and you will be rewarded with rich memories for years to come.

Reasons Why You Should Visit Hawaii

Reasons Why You Should Visit Hawaii

Maui, Hawaii is one of the most traveled to and more popular islands. Accommodation is abundant on Maui, from bed and breakfasts to hotels and resorts, to vacation ownership, one could say that the island is indeed a fantastic place to stay. Some of the activities and attractions would include land adventures, sky adventures, water sports and play, and wellness and rejuvenation centers.

Outdoor adventures have to rank in the top things to do in Maui, Hawaii. There are tons of rainforests that people hike or take specially guided hiking tours through. Lounging on a secluded or public beach, just relaxing yourself in the sun and listening to the waves of the ocean would be an outdoor adventure, especially for anyone that works an inside type job. Probably one of the most interesting outdoor adventures to take there would be one of the many professionally guided tours through the volcanoes and mountains. A lot of people like to mountain bike through these regions because of the terrain, it helps keep their bodies in a more fit condition, allowing you exercise in one of the most grueling ways.

The island of Aloha offers a variety of things to do too. There are plenty of services that provide you with sailing trips around the island, or you can take a chance and go skiing on the slopes of the Mauna Kea Crater. Other popular activities on Aloha are snorkeling around all the coral reefs, hiking through the volcanic regions looking at all the ash scars, or just exploring the island in general.

One of the most popular activities among tourists is to take part in the traditional festivities of a Luau show. This is a show that is usually put on by Hawaiian natives which includes certain types of dancing in certain types of clothes or covers put together by the natives, and then a luau feast follows.

Hawaii is mostly known for its unique cultures, but over the years it has been gaining a more popular reputation for its hosting of Arts and Cultural events. Old World offers unique exhibits to look at and they occasionally take these exhibits around the world. They offer lots of cultural celebrations throughout the year, and one of the most popular is a Hula show. Another not to miss exhibit is the Monet which has been a permanent exhibit for years in Hawaii.

Among all the things to do in Hawaii, from going to one island to the next to see exhibits, their cultural diversity, exploring their regions and landmarks, or just to take a vacation and enjoy the sun, climate and sandy beaches, everyone would agree that it is one of the most sought after vacations to take. Family, friends, weddings and honeymoons, whatever the occasion may be, Hawaii offers some of the best features to treat you with a relaxing fun-filled environment.

Most people would think that having a pre-planned set of sights or things to do would be the best idea, but they often change their minds when they arrive there, due to the uncountable features that the islands have to offer. In any bet, a trip to the islands would be one of the most entertaining and unforgettable vacations any person would ever experience in their life.

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