My husband and I recently went on an east coast tour starting from NYC on April 2nd. We enjoyed this air cruise quite a lot, and there are some things to be said of this tour by private plane.We had two tour guides Eugene Ener and Lillian Barbela. Eugene truly did a great job! And the second guide, Lillian Barbella, was acceptable but we would like to mention the following remarks and want you to take them into consideration in order to encourage travelers to enjoy this kind of experience.Here is the full review of our east coast travel tour…Punctuality is an important factor when it comes to tour guides. Thankfully, on the first day we didn’t have to wait for Mrs. Barbela at the Hudson Hotel. She was on time! The same happened after the lunch break on April 3rd and on April 4th, we had an extra 35 minutes after the spare time/lunch break at the Hershey factory due to her timeliness. The same day she was again 10 min early after a short stop at the Amish tour. For a guide, this is more than acceptable. One usually has to wait when travelling with a group, but on this east coast tour by private plane, our guide’s punctuality allowed us to partake in new activities with our added spare time like at the CN Tower where a coffee shop was available.We were told that our guides have done this tour several times before, and it showed! She knew the schedules for each day and it seemed that she was very knowledgeable of each destination, which often resulted in in-depth discussions about all facets of each destination as we arrived on our deluxe coach bus. This may be a result of the fact that the tour guides spend a lot of time before the trip studying the history of the region. Because of this, she never missed to give information on landmarks, she saw and recognized each of them (such as the Capitol building in Washington D.C.). There was a lot of information about the schedule and everything else given, same for facts if for example tickets were still needed (for example at the Niagara Falls), which resulted in a lot of answers for the needed information.Fortunately, there are little to no complaints about the topic information. Besides precise information… when to be where, my expectations were met with guides that give information on facts (e.g. about the main achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. or during which time George Washington lived).According to my knowledge our tour guides were not booked on the tour until a couple from Brazil booked the tour and asked for a Spanish/Portuguese tour guide, which is totally fine, because everyone should have the chance to truly enjoy the tour. Luckily, we appreciate that the tour was multi-lingual in Spanish and English. Guided tours (e.g. at the vine tasting and through the Amish country) are rarely interrupted by her to translate, which never upset and confused the stops on the tour.As Mrs. Barbela would always say, when traveling with a group one has to be flexible, but this flexibility is understood if the whole group has to consider the wishes of the guide or a minority.Overall, the tour guides made the experience of flying by private plane to multiple cities in the eastern region a huge success!
The city of Bangkok in the Kingdom of Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Traveling to any exotic destination is exciting and exhilarating, and Bangkok is as exotic as it gets. And when you arrive you will find soon enough that it doesn’t disappoint. So be prepared for the culture shock of a lifetime.In any travel plan, staying in a good hotel for a relaxing night is integral in starting a new day, fresh and recharged to explore with more energy. But staying in a good hotel and saving money is even better. Especially when you can use the money you save on a nice relaxing Thai massage.What most people are concerned about when the words “Budget Hotel” comes to mind is whether or not the rooms are clean. Nothings worst than staying at a hotel where we have to worry about ones’ own health and hygiene. Relax, the budget hotels in Bangkok listed in this article are well known for their cleanliness and very popular in the budget category. They may not have a first class spa, pool and fitness center, but they’re still value packed. All have a free daily breakfast and some even have free Internet Wi-Fi for notebook computer users.What most people are also concerned is the proximity of the hotel to main attractions. Good news is there are lots of great budget hotels in Bangkok close to popular cultural sights and shopping centers in Bangkok.With that said, here are my Five Best Bangkok Budget Hotel picks:
The Bedrooms Boutique Hotel The Oasis Inn Bangkok Varandavin Park Service Apartment Samran Place Hotel Royal Asia Lodge So what’s so great about these budget hotels in Bangkok. First off they are all located in prime location in the center of Bangkok. And all of them are 5 to 10 minutes walk to the nearest BTS Sky Train station. The Sky Train is an elevated train system that runs along the major commercial areas of Bangkok. It’s the best fastest way to get around the commercial areas of Bangkok in no time.And of course the most important factor are the room rates. The budget hotels listed here range between 1300 THB to 1400 THB ($30 USD to $40 USD). Now, there are cheaper budget hotels, but personally I prefer a certain amount of comfort level whenever I travel on a budget.Here’s one final travel tip. If you get a room that you are not satisfied with for whatever reason, you should try and dress as casual as possible before you speak to front desk to request a room change. Wear a button down shirt, pressed pants and casual dress shoes if you have. Thai society is very class based. The better you’re dressed, the better you’re perceived to be in the social order. If you’re dressed like you’re heading into a pool, then your chances of requesting a room change will be a lot tougher.
The Charles Hotel is Cambridge Massachusetts is a very nice hotel. It is also very expensive. We recently stayed at the Charles a few days ago for a business trip. I have to say that I really enjoyed our stay at the hotel. Everyone was friendly and very respectful. This is one of the biggest problems that I have when traveling in today’s world.The minute we arrived someone was at the cab before we could get out of the car to help with the luggage. When we went inside, the service at the front desk was as good as you can get. They treated us with the utmost respect and courtesy. We had a few questions about what to do is Boston and where to eat, they were more than helpful with that information also.The Charles has a gym inside that is its own gym. The guests of the Charles can visit the gym during normal hours and access all it has to offer. This was a big plus for us, since we are big into health and staying fit. The gym had a lap pool that we swam in for almost an hour. Then we sat in a wonderful hot tub to relax after a few minutes. We then decided to go take a look around the gym to see what they had to offer. It is very nicely equipped with weights, machines, and room for different cardio classes.The rooms at the Charles are not very big, but the cleanliness and service makes up for it. The quality of construction of the rooms here are almost immaculate. They did a wonderful job on the hotel. The bed sleeps like a champ as well. I highly recommend staying if you are visiting the area.
The largest hotel in Los Angeles, the Westin Bonaventure has 35 floors and includes a restaurant and bar on the revolving top floor. This hotel has been featured in many movies including Nick of Time, Mission Impossible III, Hancock, and True Lies. It has also been showcased in episodes of the popular television show CSI as well as having been featured in popular video games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Midnight Club: Los Angeles.In the heart of Los Angeles financial district, you are minutes away from everything. Oddly enough, with a central atrium which includes an assortment of 42 restaurants and shops, you never really have to leave the Westin Bonaventure for anything during your stay.Having been renovated in the recent past, you will be sure to enjoy any of the guest rooms or 135 suites. Each guest room has floor to ceiling views as well as the usual amenities you would expect to find at a hotel of this class. Of the 135 suites, there are 9 different types. Amenities in the guest rooms and suites include high speed internet, coffee and tea maker, in room safe, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, radio/alarm clock, air conditioning, cable, sitting area, 24 hour room service, free weekday newspapers, the Heavenly shower/bath, the Heavenly bed, in room movies, Westin workout room, non-smoking rooms, dual line speaker phones, video check out, city view room, voice mail, data ports, refrigerator, and roll away beds.With a six story atrium covering an entire city block, you can enjoy the shops and dining and spend a whole day doing it without ever leaving the hotel. The Bonaventure Spa is available for a variety of spa treatments. The Westin Workout Gym is available for your fitness needs and includes an outdoor swimming pool as well. Nearby you can play golf, go sailing or even horseback riding. There is also a fitness center with an indoor swimming pool, an indoor basketball court and even offering fitness classes.Some of the other services offered by the Westin Bonaventure are concierge service, currency exchange, laundry and valet service, car rental service, bell stand and porters, luggage storage, doorman, florist, 24 hour front desk, clothing stores, tour desk, gift shop, spa facilities, fitness center, outdoor heated pool, secretarial services, travel services, multilingual staff, shoe shine, 24 hour room service, business center, hair and nail salon, jogging track, boutiques, Westin Kids Club and 24 hour valet service.When you get hungry or thirsty, there is a variety of restaurants, lounges and coffee bars for your needs. From the BonaVista Lounge on the 34th floor to Starbucks, L.A. Prime and Lakeview Bistro, your choices are various. They are numerous as well because there is something like a food court, the Lobby Court to be exact located in the atrium.When planning a meeting or event, the California Ballroom at the Westin Bonaventure is the largest in the city and can’t be beat. Altogether the Westin Bonaventure has a total of over 130,000 square feet of room available for your meeting pr event needs as well as a friendly and knowledgeable staff ready and waiting to assist you with everything from planning to cleaning up after your event.When planning a trip to the Westin Bonaventure, don’t hesitate to check out their website where they keep an updated calendar of events going on in and around Los Angeles for your planning pleasure.The Westin Bonaventure is definitely a hotel that beats all the rest when in Los Angeles.
When looking to experience the incredible city of Los Angeles, a stay at the lovely London West Hollywood is definitely in order. Formerly known as the Bel Age, it was recently renamed and redesigned.Seated on the Sunset Strip, you will enjoy breathtaking views of both the Hollywood Hills and downtown Los Angeles. You’ll have access to all the boutiques and shops frequented by the stars. Nearby are movie studios, a great nightlife, amusement parks and even cultural attractions and recording studios.Including a roof top swimming pool complete with poolside cabanas, the Alex Roldan Salon that offers in-suite services, a restaurant where the chef is none other than Hell’s Kitchen’s Gordon Ramsay, a personal fitness trainer and even an American Girl package for the little females you won’t be disappointed!The interior of the London West Hollywood has been beautifully designed by the incomparable David Collins Studios with open floor plans in each of the 200 guest suites and glorious views from the windows, terraces and rooftop. It has been styled in a modern sense with all the amenities that today’s traveler needs.While at the London West Hollywood, you can take advantage of their wonderful concierge service. Doing everything from opening doors to procuring transportation and tickets to area attractions and sold out shows, and even finding babysitters, the concierge staff is dedicated to making your stay as hassle free as possible.If you are interested in wines and cooking, there is even a trio of classes on these subjects. One of the classes is on pairing wines with different foods. One is to teach some of Chef Gordon Ramsey’s famous dishes and one is a private dinner for you and seven of your friends where you plan the menu and learn to cook the dishes involved.Fine dining is an experience to be savored at the London West Hollywood. From the opulence of dining at the Gordon Ramsey at the London, to eating a la fresco at the rooftop pool to just relaxing and enjoying the delight of room service, the Gordon Ramsey team will fulfill your culinary desires. They are open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner and feature both a la carte and tasting menu options. Offering a Power Lunch Menu and as well as lighter fair and a sushi menu at the bar, there is something for everyone.No one should stay at the London West Hollywood without taking advantage of the fabulous spa services. They offer the standards such as facials, manicures and pedicures along with such delightful treats as private in-suite massages and other spa treatments.The fitness center at the London West Hollywood is unbelievable. From cardiovascular equipment and lifefitness machines to ab wheels and exercise balls and free weights, they have it all. Not only do they have it, but you can take advantage of this equipment either inside or out on the deck by the rooftop pool. They have complimentary sunrise yoga on Saturday and Sunday mornings and even provide the towels and the bottled water.While at the rooftop pool, you will be pampered with personal seating complete with a towel, passed fruits and smoothies, a complimentary beverage bar and even complimentary reading material. You can book a poolside cabana with the hotel concierge and enjoy a television, dvd player, sofa, mini refrigerators and even spa services while poolside.In short, a stay at the London West Hollywood is nothing short of magnificent. From the rooms to all of the services and amenities, the spa and Gordon Ramsey at the London, be sure to take the time to relax and experience everything the London has to offer.
If you are planning to travel to Thailand you have many choices in the way of hotels. Weather you want modern conveniences and state of the art technology, or do you want to stay somewhere with rich historical value, there is a place for you in Thailand.There are many famous worldwide resorts and hotels in the area, as well as smaller mom and pop places. Each place will give your vacation a special feel. There are places on the beach and places in the forest, no matter what you want your surrounding to be Thailand can make it happen.Some cities, such as the northern capital Bangkok, are known as party cities while others are more laid back and less crowded. Keep traffic and activities in mind when you book your stay. Some cities offers malls selling jeans while others have road side stands with handmade goods.December is a hot time for travelers pouring in Thailand. Book your hotel outside of December to save money and miss some of the crowds at tourist attractions. Hotels also offer cheap rates in off seasons.Many amenities are offered in the larger hotels; internet, on site workout area, and spas. If you stay in a small low cost place in one of the older less populated cities don’t expect all the bells and whistles. Ask your travel agent about hotel amenities when booking to make sure you aren’t in shock when you show up. You can also search for online photos of hotels and read user reviews.Consider activities when booking your hotel and lodging. Make sure you are staying in an area that offers activities that interest you. Hike in the forests and view the waterfalls or stay on the beach and snorkel. Many water sports and activities are offered as well as tours. Keep travel times in mind when planning trips. There are also many zoos with exotic animals you can’t see anywhere else.Thailand is one of the rare places that offers something for everyone and has activities for every budget. Always do research before you book your hotel so that you know where you are staying, what is close by, and what your hotel offers.
If you’ve been using a travel guide book, it is going to have hotel recommendations included. Most have reviews, include pricing, or at least pricing categories, for each one. Many will be able to be booked online.However, some of the smaller, independently owned hotels still do the booking themselves. Most you can correspond with via email, but some are a little more old fashioned, and only take reservations over the phone. If that is the case, don’t let the thought of calling internationally and speaking to someone that English may not be their first tongue, intimidate you. These are business people that make a living providing rooms to tourists that, guess what, probably don’t speak their native language. They all speak enough English to take a reservation!Take a look at your itinerary, and start booking these hotels for each location. You generally want to book at least 2-3 months prior, just to ensure you are able to get exactly the hotel you want. If you’re traveling during the peak season, you might want to start a little earlier. Most hotels do require a credit card to book the room, but most will allow you to pay in cash upon arrival.Once these hotels are booked, write down the contact information (hotel name, address, phone number) and save for your records. There is also an awesome website called Tripit, that has an itinerary maker tool that allows you to either enter this information in manually, or it even has a cool feature that you can forward them any confirmation emails (for hotels, and even airline info), and it will actually do it for you.For my hotel choices, I go middle of the road here. I can’t afford to stay in five star hotels, but I don’t want to be inconvenienced by uncomfortable circumstances like an over crowded Youth Hostel. I prefer to have the best of both worlds: experiencing the country, people, and culture that I’ve immersed myself in, while not staying in “sketchy” accommodations. I lean towards small, independently owned hotels, near the city central, but sheltered from the areas that are choked with tourists.Plus, most of these independently owned small hotels are run by the owners themselves, who are always MORE than happy to help out their guests. They are one of the best travel advisors you will run into while you’re there. They can tell you where the best local places are to eat, the easiest ways to navigate the city, to even helping you book museum reservations and tours.
Tenerife, the biggest of the seven Canary Islands, offers year round pleasant weather making it an ideal holiday destination. This volcanic-island is home to the highest mountain in Spain which offers breathtaking views of the ‘lunar-like’ landscapes of the volcanic slopes. The northern coast of the island is marked by steep cliffs whereas the southern side descends to a level coastal plain.The beauty of the island is enhanced by the traditional rural villages which have blended into the unusual but naturally formed lava-rock landscapes that contain unique plants, flowers and wildlife. Restaurants, cafes, bars adorn the beaches and the nightclubs and the exciting night life adds to exhilarating atmosphere.This perfect year round destination offers a variety of lodging options, ranging from hotels, hostels, apartments, cottages and even camping sites, to suit ones requirements and budget. But it’s advisable for travellers to compare some of the lodging options to make sure they get a great bargain holiday with the type of accommodation that meets with the expected standard.Independent online research on travel sites that offer reviews would be the ideal way to ensure a holiday that’s worth the money spent.This also gives the traveller the advantage of comparing some of the real bargains in store. Most often travellers review several lodging options on different websites to ensure a memorable holiday.The most sought after area in Tenerife is its southern coast where tourists have access to its lovely beaches. But Tenerife offers lodging options in other parts of the island as well for the more adventurous nature lovers. Listed below are some of the lodging options which are popular among the travellers to the island.Hotel Bitacora offers comfortable accommodation with modern amenities and facilities in the heart of Playa de las Americas, whereas the Hotel Barcelo Santiago, a contemporary hotel providing a number of modern amenities, is located in Puerto Santiago, the southwest part of Tenerife.San Blas Reserva Ambiental Hotel is a nature resort in the southern coast of Tenerife. Landscaped amidst an artificial lake the hotel’s appeal is relaxation and tranquillity. For those who are seeking a more luxurious holiday, the Grupotel Parc Natural offers a breathtaking setting overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.The Hotel Europe Villa Cortes boasts a unique Mexican design with modern amenities and facilities. Conveniently located on the picturesque beach of Playa de las Americas, it’s ideal for the sun worshipper. For families in search of a relaxing holiday the Las Platameras Bungalows are ideal. Located in the tourist area of Los Cristianos it offers basic modern facilities just 500m from the beach.
Going on a trip? There are so many things to consider when booking for hotel accommodation. There’s the actual location of the hotel, its accessibility to public transportation, its proximity to the sites that you want to visit, the reviews of the hotel also play a big factor, and of course, there’s the cost.Thankfully, everything nowadays is accessible through the Internet. We’ve compiled a list of online travel agencies offering accommodation in different price points. So whether you’re a backpacker or a leisure traveller, we’ve got you covered!1. Booking.comBooking.com has enjoyed being in 1st place of the top online travel agencies in the world since 2014 (according to Skift). They provide various types of accommodations from high-end hotels, hostels, apartments, and rooms. Customer ratings are displayed on the site, and you can search hotel accommodations depending on your budget, with most of the deals offering free cancellation.2. Expedia.comLaunched in 1996, Expedia recently bought Orbitz, another online travel agency. Hotel booking is only a part of Expedia’s business, as they also book airline tickets, cruises, and even vehicle rentals. You can earn ‘Reward points’ by getting the Expedia+ card. They also regularly have secret deals and discount coupons for those looking for a deal.3. Agoda.comThe only online travel agency based in Asia (Singapore) that became a part of the top online agencies in the world. Agoda.com has steadily increased their clientele by offering a “Best Price Guarantee” in their rooms, as well as having specialized “flash sales”. Hotel accommodation in Agoda range from luxury hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, to resorts.4. Tripadvisor.comWhile Tripadvisor.com is primarily a review site, they also offer the option of hotel booking. Currently, the site is Top 2 in the list of the top online travel agencies in the world, also according to Skift. What’s nice with it is that as you view various accommodation deals, you can also see price comparisons with another site offering the same hotel. Usually, the prices at tripadvisor.com are discounted, so you get the better deal. Also, the user generated reviews are very useful.5. Hotels.comYou can book for hotel accommodation in Hotels.com for over 325,000 hotels worldwide. Bed and Breakfasts, inns, and even some condos are also included in its inventory. They have a great deal for long-stay guests called the ‘Hotels.com Rewards’. Guests that stay for at least 10 nights get a discount on their next booking.6. BedandBreakfast.comFor those looking for the quaint charm of bed and breakfast accommodations, BedandBreakfast.com is a speciality site that’s been around for more than 20 years. The site offers Hot Deals, and has a special area for Diamond Collection Inns, which feature luxury bed and breakfast accommodation.7. Hostels.comTouting ‘great deals on hostels everywhere’, the site has 33,000 hostels in its inventory. And if you sign up for their SmartSavers membership, you virtually get no booking fees. Ideal for those on a budget, there’s so many choices in this site.
Bangkok is a fascinating city with a dizzying array of color, sound and culinary delights that will satisfy anyone with a voracious Asian appetite. And there is just so much to do in Bangkok. It’s a serious shopaholics paradise with some of the poshest malls to the crowded street market where you can haggle like a native. There’s a vast array of temples for you to go temple hopping by day, and by night you can go club hopping to the beats of International DJ’s in many of Bangkok’s famous nightlife venues.But the best thing of all about traveling to Bangkok is you don’t have to spend a lot of money for quality and value. This is especially true for hotels in Bangkok. It’s true that there are many ritzy hotels in Bangkok with consistent awards from travel magazines. Those hotels will set you back $400 US per night. But you don’t have to spend a lot to stay in a nice hotel with good guest facilities such as a pool and gym all for under $50 US.Matter of fact there are lots of budget hotels in Bangkok that include Wi-Fi Internet access, shampoos, soap and almost all include a free daily breakfast in the room rate. And it’s buffet style!Most budget hotels in Bangkok are very well maintained by the hard working maintenance crew and housekeepers. Even though most budget hotels are at least 10 years old the mattresses are often changed and damaged furniture are replaced. This may not mean everything is perfect like a brand new hotel but you do get a sense of comfort, Thai style and decor.Some of the downsides on staying in budget hotels in Bangkok is that some of the rooms may not be so spacious. Or the bathroom may be a bit small for comfort. To most travelers like myself it’s not a serious issue since Bangkok has so much to see and do, it would be a total waste to stay in.Another problem might be the language barrier. Thai hotel staff’s language skills may not be up to par especially reception at the front desk. But they do try hard as long as you speak clearly and slowly. Before I learned to speak Thai I found that somehow, someway they will eventually figure out what you want without you getting frustrated.Now the best news of all is that there are plenty of budget hotels located in central Bangkok near cultural sights and great shopping. Some are even conveniently next to a train station to zip you to your next attraction to discover.So when considering your hotel accommodations in Bangkok, I suggest you take a good look at some of the budget options. You may be surprised at how much you can get for how little you spend.