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Best of the U.S.

The Palazzo at Night

Overwhelmed by choices? Make it simple. Here are my picks for the best hotels in various locations throughout the United States.

Hotels Spotlight10

5 things to love about 88 Xintiandi

Tuesday April 15, 2014

In the midst of European-style tree-lined boulevards dotted with designer stores stands a boutique hotel with a truly personal touch. 88 Xintiandi captures the feel of a residence right from the lobby; in the center of the wood floor is inlaid a tile mosaic salvaged from an old Chinese home. That's just the start of the charm within this old-style hotel within new and flashy Xintiandi. Here are just a few things I love about 88 Xintiandi.

Image copyright Charlyn Keating, licensed to About.com

Heaven on Earth: The Langham Xintiandi Shanghai

Monday April 14, 2014

View from the Bund in Shanghai

I was able to cross two destinations off my travel wish list that had been added ages ago: Shanghai and Hong Kong. Exploring them for just a brief time, I realized something. No sooner had I checked them off my wish list, I added them to another list: places I hope to return to, and soon.

Shanghai is one of those places in the world that captures the imagination of travelers. Exploring Shanghai, you'll find a city that embraces modern aesthetics and can even look futuristic in places, alongside enduring ancient traditions and vestiges of the recent past that have yet to be erased by progress. In the heart of Xintiandi stands theLangham Shanghai, a beacon of Western hospitality. I can think of no better place to start your exploration of Shanghai.

Image copyright Charlyn Keating, licensed to About.com


Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Thursday April 10, 2014

When I heard Universal Orlando opened a new on-site hotel, I had to go. For years, there have been only three hotels on property - Hard Rock, Portofino Bay, and Royal Pacific. Each is unique, and each appeals for different reasons. After checking in to Cabana Bay Beach Resort, which just opened last week, I'm thrilled to say there's a fourth option to love.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort is on the value end, which means rooms are less expensive than at the other three. You can still enjoy all of the perks of staying on-site, including early access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with one exception - your hotel key won't get you front-of-line access to the attractions as it does with the other resorts. Plan your trip during off-season, or invest in Express Passes if you want that perk.

The 1950s and 1960s retro vibe is charming and fun, food and drinks were a hit with my whole family, and the pool area sports a water slide, ping-pong tables and (this summer) a lazy river. Standard rooms are available, but if you have a family of five or six (or even four), opt for a family suites. Created with the cleverest design I've seen in any family suite, it will give you extra room, a kitchenette, and a bathroom where three people can actually get ready at one time.

Image copyright Charlyn Keating, licensed to About.com.

A Fun and Funky Hotel in NYC You Can Afford

Tuesday April 8, 2014

If you're looking for an affordable Manhattan hotel that's very close to Times Square (three blocks away) and the Port Authority bus station yet delightfully removed from the chaos, then YOTEL needs to be on your radar.

The fun name says a lot about the kind of experience you're going to have here. And the funky exterior, which glows purple, also gives a hint that this is a fun-loving and rather futuristic kind of hotel. The idea is that everything about a hotel stay should be as easy and convenient as possible. Check into the fun and funky YOTEL in NYC.

Image courtesy Yotel

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