Celebrity Owned Hotels

I write a lot about actors, actresses, and musicians in the POP CULTURE blog and one of the trends I have been recently taking note of is the huge number of celebrities who are dabbling in other ventures, including real estate. And I’m not just talking about multiple homes, but many A-list Hollywood stars are adding hotels to their real estate portfolios. For instance did you know the B-52’s Kate Pierson owns the Lazy Meadow Motel in New York’s Catskills? And Clint Eastwood is the proud owner of Mission Ranch in Carmel, California? In fact, the award-winning actor enlisted a … Continue reading

What’s in a Name? Presidential Suites

I have never had the good fortune of staying in a presidential suite, but that hasn’t quelled my interest in them. In fact, during our recent trip to Hawaii I got the rare opportunity to tour the presidential suite at a luxury resort on the Big Island (thanks Erika!) and learned there is a lot more to these opulent pads than fancy furniture and expensive building materials. Did you know the term “presidential suite” was actually derived from Europe? It came from the European tradition of royal suites, but since we don’t have a royal family in the United States, … Continue reading

More Tips on How to Escape a Hotel Fire

In 1980, a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel (now Ballys) in Las Vegas killed 84 people and injured nearly 700. And just recently a fire charred the top four stories of the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. No one was seriously injured in the blaze, but the fire forced thousands of visitors and employees to evacuate. Do you know how to protect yourself and your family in the event of a hotel fire? It’s not a subject most families talk about prior to leaving on vacation, but fire spreads quickly and it can often become life-threatening if you don’t … Continue reading

The Search for Silent Space at a Hotel

How many times have you cursed the people in the hotel room next to yours for making too much noise while you were trying to catch some zzz’s? Is it too much to ask for a quiet hotel room these days? According to travel experts, hotel stays ruined by raucous neighbors was one of the top complaints travelers had in 2007. So what does it take to be guaranteed a little quiet time? Apparently, a bit of legwork on your part. Travel experts say if you are that serious about finding silent space you should select a hotel in a … Continue reading

Hotel Furnishings Go High-Tech

By now I’m sure you are familiar with Westin’s signature Heavenly Bed. The pillow top-mattress bed, introduced almost a decade ago, became an instant hit and is credited with starting a revolution in hotel bedding. (You can now buy your own Heavenly Bed at Nordstrom stores.) The mega-popular bed set off a hotel furnishing war of sorts and Wyndham Hotels fired back with a “Smart Chair” aimed to do for comfortable multi-tasking what the Heavenly Bed did for sleeping. For those of you who don’t frequent Wyndham Hotels the “Smart Chair” is a high-tech furnishing that has integrated pivoting tables, … Continue reading

Hotel Room Sticker Shock

Each year I spend a few days figuring out how much it would cost for our family to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. I usually look at the cost of flights first, then I try to see if there are any hotel rooms available for the days we would be in the city. I typically do this in August and the results are almost always the same–“no availability.” That is unless I don’t mind shelling out $650 a night at a hotel in Midtown. I do mind, so I don’t book. The fact of the … Continue reading

New Hotel With Real World Luxuries

Forget about the hotel suites that feature foyer floors made of amber-striated travertine marble. Never mind the million-dollar chandeliers, the $2 million glass balconies, and the cream-colored lacquered walls inlaid with thousands of pieces of mother-of-pearl. How would you like to stay at a hotel that does your dirty laundry for free, doesn’t charge you for eating from the minibar, and lets you make all the local phone calls you want without making you pay a dime for doing so? Now that’s what I call luxury. That’s exactly what you’ll get when you visit Hyatt’s new luxury boutique hotel. The … Continue reading

No Smell Hotel

How this for a refreshing change—a hotel void of foul odors. Hampton Hotels (they own Hampton Inns and Hampton Inn & Suites) new chain-wide “Non-Scents” program is guaranteeing guests rooms void of stale cigarette smoke, the smell of headache-causing cleaning products, and the putrid aroma of perfume mixed with body odor. The introduction of the “Non-Scents” program follows a month long survey of 1,000 people who almost unanimously responded negatively to distinctively foul odors in hotel rooms. More than 75% of respondents reported that cigarette smoke is the most dreaded smell in a hotel room. What’s more, the survey found … Continue reading

The Most Expensive Hotel Room In The Nation

My father used to joke that every hotel room we stayed in during our family vacations was “the most expensive hotel room in the nation.” None of them were, but chock one up for dad’s attempt to make the six of us feel that we needed to make the most of each stay. The rooms we stayed in were modest (we were allowed to ride the elevator up to the penthouse floor—-but he never let us get out); nothing at all like the room that actually holds the title as the most expensive hotel room in the nation. That crown … Continue reading

Hypoallergenic Hotel Rooms

By the end of the summer our family will have stayed at five different hotels in three different states. Two down, three to go. (You’ll recall the first left much to be desired.) I’m hoping the next few will live up to their online descriptions. It’s bad enough when you see a six-legged critter scurrying across the floor of a four-star hotel, but having to worry about hair, pet dander, pollen, mold and other bacteria left behind from the previous guest—it’s enough to make you put the kibosh on family trips. Let’s face it; every time you check into a … Continue reading