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Not Just Two Hots and a Cot! A Traveler’s Guide to Choosing the Right Hotel

Not Just Two Hots and a Cot! A Traveler’s Guide to Choosing the Right Hotel

When traveling for work or play the hotel you choose can really make or break the entire experience. Whether your days are spent in demanding business engagements or snorkeling with family and friends, getting adequate rest and relaxation is key to a successful travel experience. Hotels have the ability to enhance either experience by providing the desired location, amenities, food services, freebies and a high level of cleanliness.

Regardless of the purpose for your stay a hotel’s location becomes a key factor when choosing a hotel. If you are in town for amusement and entertainment then choosing a hotel close to the attractions and planned activities cuts travel time in half and if the hotel offers shuttles services you may be able to eliminate the need for a rental car or taxi service. If you came to take care of business then choose a hotel near your work engagements, if it’s a business retreat then plan on staying at the company’s pre-arranged accommodations. Not only will you be able to take advantage of group rates, eliminate travel time, but you can also take advantage of business networking opportunities with colleagues before and after business meetings.

Once the day has drawn to a close it is always important that the hotel you choose offers spacious, comfortable rooms with cable access and hot tub or swimming pool to relax in. Find a hotel that offers a copy and printing room and you’ll thank us when you’re up against a dead line.

Regardless if you are working hard or playing hard you are bound to build up an appetite, so find a hotel with a bar and restaurant, or if you want to stay in your pajamas take advantage of room service. Inquire about complimentary drink coupons or food discounts for guests of the hotel.

Even the most prepared traveler forgets to pack or is not allowed to get on a plane with essential toiletries. In that case find a hotel that offers all kinds of complimentary essentials. It’s always nice to check in and find travel sized hygiene products, coffee tea and a surplus of towels and washcloths. In addition to food services and freebies a hotel room with the right built ins can save much needed space in your suit case. No need to pack a bulky hair dryer, iron or alarm clock if the hotel room already has one!

Finally and perhaps most important to an enjoyable stay is the cleanliness and level of guest services a hotel provides. Upon checking in make sure all of your linens are clean, pressed and wastebaskets are emptied. If you leave for the day you should expect housekeeping to visit, refresh towels, make the bed and empty the trash. Remember as a guest you are paying for all of these services and should expect five star service at every hotel you stay at.

Whether you plan on spending the majority of your trip working in the hotel or just plan on catching Zs, taking a shower and grabbing a cup of coffee on your way out the door, spend some time choosing your hotel, research online, read reviews and call the front desk to ensure all of your needs will be met. Because the last thing you should be worried about while traveling is the quality of your accommodations.…

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Thotlakonda – A Home For the Monks

Thotlakonda – A Home For the Monks

Located about 16 kilometres away from the city of Visakhapatnam is the famous Buddhist Complex, Thotlakonda. It lies on the city’s beach road that connects Bheemli, the historic town. Positioned on a hilltop at an elevation of 128 metres, this complex was first discovered by the Indian Navy at a village called Mangamaripeta.

It is believed that Thotlakonda was in full operation during 200 BC and 200 AD. The name of this ancient Buddhist compound means ‘Hill with Stone wells’. It was named so because of its stone wells that stored water for Buddhist monks. Even today there is a tub containing water at the top of the hill that never runs dry.

The architectural style of the complex is simple yet elegant with meditation halls mainly designed to offer peace and silence for monks. The stupas are positioned right in the heart of the complex while the hall is looked after by two guards standing by the entrance. Thotlakonda is also home to many stupas and viharas. The cooking area as well as the resting place used by monks creates a clear picture of how simple their lives used to be.

Monks visiting Thotlakonda from far off countries such as Burma, China and other Asian nations usually arrived at the site through sea. These monks used to stay for many long month and years before they completed their studying at this monastery.

Recognised as Hinayana Buddhist complex, AP tourism together with the assistance of Viskhapatnam Urban Development Authority has taken steps to put Thotlakonda in to the tourism map of Andhra Pradesh. As a result many refurbishment measures have been taken by the local government body to develop the site.

This peaceful and outstanding monastery located on a hill top provides the perfect place for worship and even sightseeing. Exploring Thotlakonda and its rich Buddhist heritage will be easier by choosing to stay at The Gateway Hotel Beach Road Visakhapatnam which is located close by. The Gateway Hotel is well known for offering refined personal service which is ideal for a cozy, convenient and pleasant stay.…

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Gangtok Hotels: Best of the Lot

Gangtok Hotels: Best of the Lot

The beautiful capital of Sikkim in North-Eastern part of India, Gangtok lays in lap of mystic Himalayas. Renowned for its awe-inspiring natural riches and abundance of intriguing vistas, Gangtok is a very popular destination which pulls several travelers each year. Travelers arriving at the town are comfortably accommodated at Gangtok hotels which are available in varied categories and budgets to befit all kinds of travelers. These hotels in Gangtok overlook some of the mightiest peaks including world’s tallest peak Kanchenjunga. A distinct peace prevails at the guestrooms of these properties which makes them all the more inviting.

Whilst picking hotels in Gantok, properties one should consider are:

The Sikkim Continental: The property is located in the heart of Eastern Himalayas and thus is surrounded by enchanting vistas. A luxurious setting is arranged with the right balance of traditional hospitality and contemporary amenities at the hotel. To further enhance the experience the surroundings of the hotel are studded with meandering rivers, coniferous trees and green valley. The hotel offers mouth-watering vegetarian delicacies at its multi-cuisine restaurant where guests can savor delicious Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine along with wide range of cocktails, mocktails and wines.

Hotel Suhim Portico: A stunning four star property, Hotel Suhim Portico has redefined the trend of hospitality business in Gangtok with its ultra luxurious built and plethora of dining, wining and recreational amenities. The property has achieved a respectable status amongst Gangtok hotels with the help of its dedicated staff and innovative nerve. The exceptional levels of service achieved by the hotel helps guests spend a gala time at Gangtok and compels them to return again on their next trip to the town.

Mayfair Gangtok Spa Resort: It was the first five star property in the town and Mayfair Gangtok Spa Resort has managed to stick to its level by availing an experience of being close to nature. The classic settings of the hotel are well blended with luxurious interiors. Choose from a selection of 53 plush rooms and you will be next entering into a world of luxury and beauty. Lavish buffets are spread in front of the guests at multi-cuisine restaurant serving European, Oriental and Indian delicacies.

The Sidlon Residency: The Sidlon Residency is best known for its ideal location close to M.G. Marg and several local attractions making it the ideal location for both business and leisure travelers. 22 superb guestrooms are studded with all the modern amenities for a comfortable stay.

It is needless to say that these Gangtok hotels have achieved admirable standards with their persistent zeal to deliver quality and efficient services. They are therefore trusted by their guests for immaculate settings, peaceful ambiance and unhindered stay.…

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The Iconic Cleopatra’s Needle in London

The Iconic Cleopatra’s Needle in London

With its historic landscapes, modern feel and cosmopolitan attitude London proves itself to be much more than just the host of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Radiating a confidence that is hardly rivalled this European mega city’s prominent status is enhanced by its glorious history.

Dubbed a ‘world in one city’ by residents and globe trotters, London’s present vibrance is both due to its past conquests and present significance as a melting pot of world cultures. A trip to the British capital is however amiss if one did not pay homage to the iconic remnants of its history such as the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Trafalgar Square. But no other monument has captured the imagination and the wonder of locals and tourists alike as Cleopatra’s Needle in London. The British version of the Ancient Egyptian obelisks that are also found in New York and Paris is a whopping 68 feet in height and constructed with red granite from the Nile’s Aswan quarries. Bejeweled with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs by Ramses the Second, the Needle was first erected in 1450 BC in Heliopolis in Egypt by Thutmose the Third. Once housed in an Alexandrian temple built by Queen Cleopatra as a tribute to Mark Anthony, it was later gifted to Britain by Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali in 1819.

The Needle is now located on the Victoria Embankment in Westminster city close to the Embankment station and the Golden Jubilee Bridges. Flanked by two magnificent bronze Egyptian sphinxes, the inscription on the statues state “the good god, Thuthmosis III given life” in hieroglyphics. Another must-see attraction is the sturdy winged sphinxes on the bench armrests in the surrounding area.

With its idyllic location beside the Thames it is difficult to fathom the difficult journey it made on its way to London on a specially made cigar-shaped sea vessel which met with deadly storms and other calamities along the route. It is believed to include a time capsule containing four Bibles in different languages, pins, British currency, a railway roster and a newspaper in addition to photographs of the globe’s most attractive women at the time. Towering over the contemporary metropolis, Cleopatra’s Needle at once looks over and dominates the city’s skyline.…

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Washington’s Most Alluring Enticements

Washington’s Most Alluring Enticements

The fact that Washington D.C is the capital of the most developed, and powerful country of the world, is a reason enough to draw tourists from all around the globe. However, this is not the only reason to visit it since it is home to innumerable memorials, museums, art galleries and other sightseeing opportunities.

City Overview:

Washington D.C or the District of Columbia is situated at the north bank of Potomac River, sharing borders with Virginia and Maryland. Washington D.C is the cultural hub of US, if you want to get to the roots of American history; you need to pay a visit to this beautiful and peaceful capital.

Places To Visit:

– The first thing you should visit in Washington is the White House. Although it isn’t something that one can skip visiting however, you still can’t help mentioning it. White House is the American President’s residence as well as the work place. The wonderful architecture of White house is also a reason to visit it. However, make sure you book the tour to visit White House in advance because without it, you won’t be able to get inside.

– National Mall is a beautiful open air park in Washington, which needs to be visited. It is home to some of the most famous memorials and monuments.

– It would be a blasphemy to visit Washington and skip visiting Lincoln Memorial. This memorial was built to pay homage to the 16th US President, Abraham Lincoln. It is a great place to take pictures, so make sure you bring along a camera with you.

– Plus ensure visiting National Air and Space Museum particularly, if kids are accompanying you as they will get to see a large number of various artifacts from Wright brothers plane to missiles to space capsules and what not.

Things To Do:

– Make sure you visit all the different museums and memorials in Washington apart from those mentioned above. For instance you can visit, Smithsonian Museum of National History and Vietnam memorial etc.

– Your trip would be incomplete without visiting Rock Creek Park. It is a place where you can indulge in various recreational activities including, fishing, strolling around, playing tennis etc.

– Moreover, do visit the library of Congress to witness the huge collection of books, it contains.

Shopping and Sports:

Georgetown is a marvelous place for shopping as well as munching on some scrumptious cuisines from innumerable caf?�s and restaurants. Dupont circle is another shopping area, which will surely make you go crazy since there are several shopping stores from clothing to boutiques to shoes to gift stores.

For sports freak, a visit to Key Arena is a must. Whether you want to be enthralled by watching a game of basketball, hockey, wrestling or you are looking for enjoying ice-shows this is the place to come.

Night Life:

There are numerous bars and clubs here but do drop in Adams Morgan which is a famous place offering exciting night life. Then Georgetown also houses various bars so you can go there as well.

Famous Festivals:

Innumerable festivals are held in this city all year round but some of the most famous are; National Cherry Blossom fest (march-April), Smithsonian Folk life fest (July), National Capitol Barbecue battle (summer) and Capitol Jazz fest (early June).…

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Making the Most of Milan’s Fashion

Making the Most of Milan’s Fashion

In 2009, Milan was nominated by the Global Language Monitor as ‘Fashion Capital of the World’ and, having been a bastion of innovative fashion since the Renaissance, it’s easy to see why. In the 16th century, Milan’s fashion industry was so widely-recognized that it led to the old English word ‘Millaner’, a term given to jewellery, cloth, and importantly hats. It later evolved into the word ‘Millinery’, meaning a maker or seller of hats. With the importance of fashion outlets and events in Milan centre, hotels are often no more than a short journey away from the latest designs and bargains.

Fashion week

The most famous event associated with modern fashion in Milan is undoubtedly Milan Fashion Week. It is held bi-annually, with a spring/summer event and an autumn/winter event. Established in 1958 as part of the international ‘Big Four’ fashion weeks, the event lets fashion houses around the world know what’s ‘in’ and what’s ‘out’ for the season. After the previous event’s reduced duration led to it being dubbed a ‘fashion weekend’ in 2010, Milan has set the stage for a spectacular return to form in September 2010, with the ‘week’ once again becoming a full seven days, and moving into the 16th-century Palazzo de Giureconsulti. It’ll be within easy reach of airports and Milan centre hotels for the international audience the show attracts.

Shopping tips

A few tips can be useful for first-time visitors; generally on Sunday the shops close, even during Milan’s famed sales season, but on particular days it’s possible to find shops open until later at night. Saturday, as usual, is the most crowded day of the week for shopping, in particular during the afternoons. While you’re on holiday, try going early on a weekday to make the most of a swift shopping trip to Milan centre. ‘Hotel rests’ in between expeditions to some of the flagship shops might be a welcome break! For mid-price fashion, Corso Buenos Aries is recommended; one of the biggest shopping streets in Milan, it features over 350 shops amidst the late 18th-century architecture. And if you time your trip carefully, you might be able to experience the street market set up on Via Brera on the third Saturday of every month, with plenty of bargains on all kinds of clothing, toys, and even antiques.

The Quadrangle of Fashion

Milan’s “Quadrangle of Fashion”, as it’s sometimes called, is a district housing many of the designer boutiques and upmarket jewellery shops between Via Montenapoleone, Via Andrea, Via Gesu, Via Borgospesso, Via della Spiga, and Corso Venezia. Most of the major Italian fashion brands are headquartered in the city; if you recognize the names Gucci, or Dolce and Gabbana, a trip to Milan will be right up your fashion-boutique-lined avenue.

Sights to see

While shopping, or afterwards, you can take the opportunity to visit many important cultural sites located close by in Milan centre; hotels are often just a moment away to set down the shopping bags, and then you will be free to enjoy some of the city’s sights. Duomo Cathedral, the Museum Bagatti Valsecchi, and the Palazzo Reale are all within walking distance of the “Quadrangle of Fashion”; and the ‘Teatro alla Scala’, or ‘La Scala’ theatre, is the perfect place to show off all your newly purchased outfits.…

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Four Seasons Jackson Hole – Wyoming Luxury Hotel

Four Seasons Jackson Hole – Wyoming Luxury Hotel

High in the Rockies, on the doorstep of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks the Four Seasons Jackson Hole luxury resort is a successful combination of rugged Western style and the elegant service associated with the prestigious Four Seasons brand. Wrapped in natural splendor, this internationally celebrated year-round outdoor playground offers the panoramic mountain vistas of the Tetons which may be enjoyed in the fully heated, 75-foot outdoor pool – as may the unadulterated pleasure of relaxing in any of the three hot-spring-style outdoor whirlpools close by.

Guests may also relax on Westbank Grill’s heated outdoor terrace, complete with its own fireplace. A thoughtfully chosen list of popular vintage wines provides the perfect accompaniment to a menu with particular emphasis on seasonal selections of grilled meat, game and fish. Diners at Westbank Grill will not only enjoy the flavors and ingredients of the American West but prime, slope-side views of Rendezvous Mountain, as well. An open kitchen and a large fireplace in the center of the restaurant add to its lively, casual Western atmosphere.

Inspired by the serenity of the tranquil streams and expansive valleys of the mountain wilderness, this luxury resort’s full-service alpine spa provides a comprehensive range of massages and spa treatments to promote relaxation, invigoration and renewal. Après-ski massages and high altitude hydration facials and body treatments are among the most popular pampering options at Four Seasons Jackson Hole, while signature therapies, such as the alpine berry body ritual and the hawthorn and mallow body glow showcase local ingredients. The massage menu is well rounded, offering everything from aromatherapy and deep tissue treatments to moonlight massages and native stone therapies

This luxurious on-site 11,685-square-foot spa facility offers 16 treatment rooms, including two private spa suites – each with a Swiss shower, fireplace and deep soaking tub. The treatment area also features separate men’s and women’s tranquility lounges with fireplaces. Upon completion of your treatment choices fruit, tea and a variety of other calming amenities are available at this lavish Jackson Hole spa.

Live theatre and musical entertainment thrive here. Countless films, documentaries and outdoor commercials have made the most of Jackson Hole’s magnificent alpine vistas and at least 30 art galleries flourish throughout the valley.

During your Jackson Hole visit, experience Four Seasons luxury with ski-in/ski-out access in Wyoming’s spectacular Teton Mountains. During milder weather, play golf, fish or hike in unspoiled natural wilderness. Savor the fresh alpine air while marveling at an evening sky full of stars. Enjoy exquisite dining surrounded by panoramic mountain views.

In every season, within easy reach of your guest room are a myriad of exciting activities to choose from. At Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, you will enjoy a unique vantage point from which to explore the sights, sounds and experiences of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.…