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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The bustling city of Houston

Coming up, we return to the fastest growing city in the country.
We will be featuring the contemporary hotel - Hotel Derek and the fine dining Italian restaurant Valentino. Both are located in the Galleria area and near the Uptown district.
Hotel Derek
There is plenty to do in this vibrant city, the 4th largest in the county.

Check out the Houston CityPass, offering a range of attractions including:
Space Center Houston
Downtown Aquarium
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Houston Zoo Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
and more!

Have a favorite stay, attraction, or restaurant in Houston?
Let us know where and why and we may feature it.

Top Hotels in Houston | Top Attractions in Houston
Posted by Carl Burnham at 6:33 PM
Edited on: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 9:52 PM
Categories: Accommodations, Destinations, Restaurants, Videos

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Save 50% with Ramada - Limited Time Only

Wanted to let everyone know about Ramada offering a special rate of 50% off their hotel rooms for a limited time.

Reservation must be made via this special Ramada link from now till Jan. 26th, with stay completed by April 30th.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Top 5 Low Cost Improvements Hotels Can Make

I realize these are tight times for many hotel chains. The key ingredients that will differentiate a hotel property are attention to the basic details. What makes your hotel memorable over the others?

Have seen many hotels spend countless millions making architectural improvements yet still be lacking in the basics of how to impress their guests. Here I offer a few simple low cost impovements which would go far in a hotel reaching its' goal of attracting positive word of mouth and buzz (and adding to their bottom line).

1. Be Unique.
So maybe you are part of a chain of hotels that offer vanilla services. That may satisfy someome looking for a cheap room to sleep or do otherwise for one night. For the discerning traveler, that is not the case. They want a place to talk about where they've been, to remember about their trip, whether it is on business or part of a vacation about where they went. Spice it up some. Paint the walls an appealing color. Name each section something different that is tied to the history of the local area. Open a section of your lobby with old local ads and memorabilia of the area. Offer daily fresh cookies, produce, or locally made soaps/shampoo. Always emphasize locally made.

2. Parking.
If self parking is not available and valet parking is the only option, state it clearly (and give pricing on your website). If self parking is included then by all means list it on your website.

3. Be Thoughtful.
Have been to many hotels where it is a challenge to find an available electrical outlet. Many times these outlets are all being used by appliances in the room or behind bulky furniture. Consider having a power strip in every room for guests to hook their electrical devices to (iphones, cell, laptop, etc.). On checkin, provide guests with a map of your hotel with a map of the local area on the other side with restaurants and attractions noted that you recommend.

4. Everything In Its Place.
The TV remote control needs to be attached by velcro on top of the radio/CD player by the bed where it can be found easily. An extra measure, have cleaning people check the remote control to make sure the battery is good as part of their daily routine.

5. Offer Reliable Free Internet Access.
A hotel having reliable and free Internet access is a given in today's market unless you are in some remote mountainous region. And speaking of the Internet, make sure it works. Nothing frustrates more than hooking in after a long day and watching pages take forever to load or not at all.

I will add two final suggestions. Have friendly staff. It should be obvious, but I have been to some hotels where the staff acted as if they were bored to death and had no interest in their guests. And lastly, be hooked into social media with Twitter/Facebook and encourage guest interaction and feedback.

With these small simple steps, a hotel can think further outside the box and garner more guests and positive buzz.

Posted by Carl Burnham at 10:43 PM
Edited on: Friday, January 15, 2010 10:57 PM
Categories: Accommodations

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Saying Goodbye to a New York City Landmark

For those who have traveled to New York City, a stop at the artist lined walls of Tavern on the Green has been a must see. The famed restaurant began serving customers back in 1934. The building itself goes back to 1870 and is a perfect example of architecture from that era. Up until 1934 it housed a shephard who had a shearing business for his 200 sheep (believe it or not). The restaurant has impressed many patrons over the years with opulent chandeliers, artwork, and interesting dishes. Read more about in this WSJ article.

Posted by Carl Burnham at 1:19 PM
Edited on: Thursday, January 07, 2010 11:11 PM
Categories: Restaurants, Videos