Tempted to stay in a winter wonderland, if only for a night? It's easy to get seduced by pictures of glistening snowflake art and glowing translucent ice walls. And not doubt, the on-site hot tubs are heaven on earth. What an incredible experience it would be. As icy as the rooms appear, the goal is to spend a comfortable, cozy, warm night's sleep. Read on for tips on how to spend a comfortable night in an enchanting ice hotel.
Image courtesy Terry Ward
The winter of 2014, in case you weren't paying attention (or live in Hawaii or Puerto Rico), has been all about the Polar Vortex. Everywhere from the usual wintry suspects like Chicago and New York to Atlanta and even the Gulf Coast, prolonged below-freezing temperatures and an abundance of sleet, frozen rain and the white stuff have set the nation a-flurry with all manner of cold weather preparation, panic and plain old fatigue.
The weather is playing havoc in all sorts of ways. Hotel rates aren't immune, either: rates in sunny climes have risen, while hard-hit cold areas are seeing rates drop with the thermometers. What's a deal-hunter to do? Read on for tips on getting great hotel rates in this season's weather.
A few years ago, the Mandarin Oriental Miami won big points with me through their incredible attention to detail. Little things like a turndown service that tilted the TV toward the bed and turned on soft, relaxing music; supplied me with a complimentary bottle of Voss; and opened the hotel services menu to the Room Service page. As someone who frequently beds down alone, I was also impressed to note they paid attention to which side of the bed I preferred (a detail too many turndown service attendants simply miss).
Terry Ward agrees with me. She's found a luxury hotel in Stockholm that catered to so many details, she felt compelled to sing their praises. From warmed towels to well-selected magazines to an extra USB cord and well-placed outlets, this hotel won her over on all the right details. In a luxury hotel, it's the little things that most impress.
Do you have a tale of a hotel hitting all the right notes (or missing the mark)? I'd love to hear from you in the comments.
Image courtesy Terry Ward
These days, the savviest travelers know that the best way to land great hotel deals often happens in a flash. On a flash vacation sale site, that is. And when you're looking to score a room at below rack rate at some of the world's finest properties, there's one website that you should especially have on your radar: Jetsetter. Here's what you need to know to land a deal with Jetsetter on one of the world's great luxury hotels.
Image of the One&Only Ocean Club copyright Charlyn Keating Chisholm, licensed to About.com
There is not much about the moniker "airport hotels" that's inspiring. For me, it always brought to mind bleak corporate guest rooms, views of parking lots, and tasteless all-day menus. Two hotels changed my mind, and in a big way.
The citizenM Schiphol Airport wowed me on an overnight stay with fresh sushi in the lobby, tiny ultra-high-tech guest rooms, and a great rate. I got a good night's sleep and took a quick walk to my terminal the next morning for an early international departure.
The Sofitel London Heathrow was such a great place to dine, drink, spa and bed down, I'd choose it for a London stay even if I didn't need to be close to the airport. Traditional English tea at Tea 5 was a treat, guest rooms come with Sofitel MyBeds and Hermes amenities, and there's an express train to central London. (The spa has day packages if you're just passing though Healthrow.)
Read on for more airport hotels that take the stress out of travel.
Image of the lobby of citizenM Schiphol Airport copyright Charlyn Keating Chisholm, licensed to About.com
I picked up an iPad a couple of years ago out of curiosity. And now, I admit, I can't live without it. I use it as a computer when I'm not near my laptop computer, a note-taking device (with pictures!) at conferences, a portable TV (for watching Netflix and Hulu Plus), and a video game machine.
Hotels, too, are finding new ways to use iPads to make your stay more convenient, more fun, even cooler. On one end of the spectrum, a 24-Karat-Gold iPad is offered for guests' use at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai (which you can take home for a mere $10,000). On the other, Starwood's Aloft Hotels have iPads on hand in the lobby for nightlife and restaurant recommendations--no visit to the concierge desk needed. See how hotels are making use of iPads.
Image copyright Charlyn Keating Chisholm, licensed to About.com.
In the hotel world, as in much of the world at large, it's all about separating yourself from the competition. And some hotels have gone to great lengths to catch your attention, amuse you, intrigue you, even scare you.
A hotel constructed, in part, from a vintage 1965 Boeing 727 fuselage. A midtown Manhattan hotel with a 30-foot interactive LEGO installation. And the largest, oldest, deepest, darkest, quietest motel room in the world, 220 feet below the ground. Read on for ways hotels are grabbing the attention of guests.
Image courtesy Costa Verde Inn
Have a romantic overnight getaway planned for Valentine's Day, or maybe for a special occasion coming up soon? You might as well take that extra step to make it extra special. Hotels and resorts are ready to assist in making your stay memorable, often with no extra fees. You just need to know what to ask for. Make the Most of Your Romantic Getaway
Image courtesy Blend Images - Dave & Les Jacobs/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Even if you're not going anywhere this Valentine's Day, it doesn't hurt to dream. And maybe make plans for a getaway in the not-too-distant future. After all, you never know what (or who) is waiting around the corner in life. So be prepared. Take a look at these Six Uber-Romantic Hotels. Pick your favorite. And let the universe work its magic.
Image copyright Charlyn Keating Chisholm, licensed to About.com
The hotel that feeds you well - and often lets you get in on the cooking, too, in some cases - is an ever-evolving trend. After all, so much of the joy in our travel experiences is tied to what we eat. And learning to cook a regional specialty at a hotel is a great way to take your vacation home with you and enjoy it into perpetuity. Check into six great hotels, from Tuscany to Tampa, where you can marry your passion for good hotels and great food: Six Great Culinary Hotel Experiences
Image courtesy The Peninsula Paris.