Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Courtyard by Marriott is now in every US State

The newest addition to the brand is the hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii, travelers can now stay at Courtyards in all 50 U.S. States.
In the U.S., the brand is currently undergoing a makeover by redefining the hotel lobby experience. Guests are greeted in a bright, new lobby where the front desk has been replaced by more intimate pedestals. They are putting news, local attractions and directions on what they call a ”GoBoard™”. I stayed at one of the new design Ct yds in Southern California and felt as if I was staying at a full service Hotel.
I wonder if doing away with the desk will prevent people from hearing my private information when checking in. As a woman, I am more careful about shouting out my name and address when checking in so I hand reception staff my Marriott Rewards Membership card when I check in but the silver writing on the card has worn off so they still demand my name and shout out my room number, when they think I can't read. I am also cautious because I have had unauthorized charges signed to my room by someone posing to be me. For those reasons I do recommend this tip of presenting the card or a printed confirmation of your reservation.
(Hopefully, the "GoBoard" will eliminate the need for all the un-necessary info. sent on the 3 page confirmation email.)
The new lobby also features – Eat. Drink. Connect.; a 24/7 Market and free WiFi. This is the part that I like. I like the fact that I can rely on Court yards to have convenient, PC workstations because sometimes my Laptop is needed at a Show or I just want to go to the internet for a few minutes. If I’m travelling for only one night I can even manage with my 3G phone and may get a net book because I have damaged several notebooks on the road. Plus it's so COOL to travel light! Nothing glamorous about being weighted down like a pack donkey!
CourtYard is my preferred hotel because I like the free WiFi and the American Express discount to save 5% with OPEN Savings® for Small Business. Fairfield, Res Inn, TownePlace and SpringHill Suites also offer 5% off the bill and JetBlue give 3% Discount off flights.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

BA asks staff to work for free - FARES RISING SOON!

Take advantage of cheap fares now because they are going up.
International airfares have been really low recently, especially in business class but now that airlines have cut capacity on domestic flights, they will start to cut capacity on long haul flights. When this happens, ticket prices go up.
In an e-mail to 40,000 staff, British Airways sent an offer to employees to take unpaid leave, or work for free. What a shame that the national flag carrier of the United Kingdom has done this! I understand that demand for the airline's seats are way down due to the recession and it gives them time to look for another job without feeling too desperate, but I think that it is a creative way to not lay them off, thereby avoiding paying severance packages that could tip them into bankruptcy. Other airlines that have jumped on the furlough bandwagon are US Airways and American Airlines.
Pilots are underpaid and overworked on many airlines and cost cutting has become ridiculous, as I mentioned in a previous post , Some pilots are requesting passengers of EasyJet to bring extra food with them so they can feed the crew.” You might want to bring along some coffee to keep your Capt. awake.” Is dangerous considering that both pilots on the Hawaiian Airlines flight fell asleep and flew past the airport to the dismay of the Passengers.
And an Airline pilot mentioned that a flight from London, LGW-SSH, ran out of crew water & food You really want your pilot fed and watered and focused on safe travel.
Delta Airlines has business Class deals From Atlanta, Cincinnati, or New York-JFK to business Elite destinations in Europe, with fares as low as 30 to 50 day-advance purchase: $1,249–$1,669 each-way, (based on a round-trip).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Enjoy summer fun at Intercontinental Hotels or a Fairmont Spa at the Ocean

Had a wonderful dinner at Shula’s in the Intercontinental Hotel Tampa, Florida. The steak house was named after NFL Miami Dolphins Super Bowl Player Don Shula (owner) and has memorabilia all over the restaurant, but it does not have a Sports bar atmosphere. It is an elegant, romantic and cozy setting.

If you are a Priority club member, you may be interested to hear that they have an offer for an overnight stay at the Intercontinental Hotel Tampa, Florida plus a delicious Shula's Steak House dinner for only $149 Ask for rate code "IKA 11". Valid through August 09.The hotel does not have a Concierge “Club type” lounge for snacks, but does have a nice coffee machine in the guest rooms.

Priority Club IHG, also has a good promotion going. Stay any 2 nights from now to – July 3, and you will get 1 FREE Night to use from July 3 – December 26, 2009
Earn and use free nights at any of these global hotels: ..

Fairmont Hotels are calling their 2-night stay, offer-"Spa Season" at any of their fourteen global locations, this season. The promotion includes a room upgrade, spa gift, $25 spa credit, and a Spa robe and slippers. Don’t know why they featured that because there is usually a Spa robe and slippers.- Nothing special about it, in fact, I can’t remember when last I stayed at a full service hotel that does not have a robe. (Tip: Call housekeeping if there is not one to loan in the room. 9 out of 10 times the will send one up.) Fabulous to step out of a bath into freshly laundered robe!
Viva Mexico on the Riviera Maya the Viva Wyndham Azteca hotel in Playa del Carmen- an all inclusive beachfront Resort has an offer for $69 per person (children free) SAVE 60% OFF Rack Rates.OR a 3 night spa package for $159 Per Person, per Night with spa treatments and room included.
enjoy the white sand beaches. Mayan ruins, lush jungles and a championship golf course.
The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun rests peacefully at a quiet end of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, where you can enjoy the serenity of private white-sand beaches and stay in a room with super clean, white marble floors. It is a Cat 3 hotel so you only need 7000 Starpoints for a free night. We rented a car to see the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum, Chichen Itza and Uxmal. You can catch a tour to the ruins from your hotel. Tulum is the closest to Cancun, so try to fit it in. It is a wonderful experience! Stay 4 nights and get One night free + $100 credit on Food and a Room upgrade. Starwood Preferred Guest members, will receive 35% off their room rate,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bing will shake up Hotels and Airlines

Marriott hotels have started a new offering of random, deeply discounted, advance purchase rates at specific Resort properties. Each offer is valid for 24 hours and can be found on a bubble on their home page or on Twitter. Today’s example is:
Deal of the Day: Waikoloa Beach Marriott, View Room $159/night . Book before 7am EDT, Wed, June 3
And yesterday was the first offer, - to stay at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, 55% off room rates.
Microsofts Bing shows a green "DEAL" sign to point to the best rates; Savvy travelers now, have competition from Bing, or can see Bing as a tool to speed up their search for the best deal. Hotels must be concerned that even the average Joe will be able to find rock bottom rates. Up till now many gullible travelers fall for the absurdly high Rack rates.
I suspect that this is the reason that Marriott has introduced the “Deal of the day”. This way, they can retain traffic to their website. The June 4th Deal is at the San Juan Marriott® Resort & Stellaris Casino, 4th night free with extras –!

Booking your flight with the new search engine is now a breeze. Bing’s new approach, with a decision Engine, is able to find the right hotel easily,completing a search. It offers a fare predictor that can track hotel rates to see if rates trend up or down.
I have always alleged that buying an airline ticket is like trading the stock market. You have to do your homework!

A useful feature on Bing is that you can get instant flight status. They even pay you to shop on their site.
Each hotel review has a score based on reviewers' responses to TravelPost's survey For example, the Vegas MGM Grand 5 star luxury hotel -score is: 7.8 out of 10 (based on 4 reviews) I could view all 5-star hotels •and the• $135 JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa came up for $135.

Many airlines have their weekly specials like Continentals offers that you can subscribe to receive an e-mail every Tuesday Delta has Web Fare Specials and AAirlines have netSAAver fares, plus last minute packages. Marriott also send an email with their weekly destinations for e-breaks. There will probably be more of the package deals offered on their websites to evade Bing. See de telegraaf