Monday, April 08, 2013
New Airline Study
Given the long lines, the TSA hassles, flight delays, it's no wonder
that a new airline study reveals that complaints are soaring...
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Donate Hotel Rewards to Wounded Veteran Families
A new program with the participation of key hotel chains AmericInn, Best
Western, Choice, Marriott, Starwood and Wyndham allows hotel guests who
build up hotel rewards points to donate them towards wounded Vets and
their families to use. The program will be overseen by Fisher
House, a non-profit group that opens its homes to military families
while visiting injured family members at hospitals in the U.S. I applaud
the backers of these programs in helping our Veterans and their families
in time of need, and making it possible to people to use their points
for a very worthwhile cause.
Read more details about the Hotels for Heroes program and how to participate.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Buffalo Injures Man at Yellowstone
Even with the warning signs, tourists still get injured and sometimes killed every year from getting too close to wild animals in National Parks. The most recent case happened over the weekend in Yellowstone National Park. A Massachusetts was thrown 10 feet in the air and then pinned to the ground, according to CBS News. The man was lucky that his injuries only included a broken shoulder blade, ribs, collarbone, and groin injury. According to the man the buffalo approached him as he was sitting and he didn't move away.
When we visited Yellowstone National Park, I witnessed several buffalo milling around near the park road. Don't let their docile appearance fool you, as they can sprint up to 30 mph, and are territorial. When visiting our National Parks, remember the park rules that require visitors to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from buffalo and other animals.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Austin to get 3 new hotelsLike a rocket, Austin will be experiencing a building boom in the next few years to further transform the cities' skyline. If all goes as planned, three new hotels are scheduled to be built in the downtown area.
Construction on the 1,000 room Fairmont Austin Hotel is slated to begin spring of 2013, while the 1,012 room J.W. Marriott Convention Center hotel construction will start this summer. Another hotel will be a part of the redevelopment of the Green Water Treatment Plant along Lady Bird Lake.
Airline offers luxury suite
Singapore Airlines is known for offering amenities for the privileged
few. How about a private cabin with
bed? No problem. The airfare is rather steep though. A roundtrip flight
from New York to Singapore will set you back $15,750.
I can think of lots of better ways to spend that for a fun vacation. How about you?
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Over the years we have focused on providing unique content on stays and
attractions that we visit firsthand. In the coming months, look for our
new site design as we make major updates.
One new area you may have noticed is our new commenting via our blog and being added to our feature pages. Provided by Disqus, we were impressed with what they had to offer (it helps when you get major venture capital funding as well).
Have ideas? Let us know!
Monday, January 09, 2012
Western Caribbean CruiseAfter one of our writers had such a great time aboard the Carnival Elation cruise to Cozumel (and just returned from Jamaica on another one!), we decided it was high time that we go on one ourselves this year aboard one of Royal Caribbean's stellar cruise ships.
Our destinations will be Roatan, Belize City, with a final stop in Cozumel. Along the way we will be snorkeling, ziplining above the treeline, and exploring an ancient Maya ruin in the Belize jungle. More details coming soon as our departure date approaches.
Taken a cruise recently? Let us know about your cruise experience via our Facebook page.
Visit our Cruise section for affordable cruise getaways and look for our new expanded cruise section highlighting fascinating destinations to visit.
We will also be updating our segment on Galveston (being our port of departure to the western Caribbean) with new features and great things to do.
A must see for the family is a visit to the elaborate Moody Gardens, with pyramids housing an array of wildlife, featuring a 1.5 million gallon aquarium, an IMAX theatre, scientific exhibits, and rainforests.
Read our in-depth feature reviews of area Galveston bed & breakfasts.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
New Orleans requires tour guides be licensedShame on you city of New Orleans.
New Orleans city officials there are now requiring that every tour guide undergo an FBI criminal background check every two years, pass a history exam, and undergo a drug test in order to talk about the town. Those guides who give tours without going through these steps to get a license wll get fines of up to $300 per instance plus five months in jail.
New Orleans needs all the promoters it can get in telling about how special the heritage and uniqueness is to visiting tourists.
Watch the video and sign up with the Institute for Justice in protesting this affront to their Constitutional freedom of speech rights.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
The evolving cruise market
For 2012, those going on a cruise are expected to increase by 5.6% over this year. As part of this growth and our own research, we are planning more features on cruising and the most popular places to cruise to. Read about our recent cruise to Cozumel aboard the Carnival Elation.
Taken a cruise recently? Let us know about your cruise experience via our Facebook page.
Visit our Cruise section for affordable cruise getaways.
Hotel Key Cards A Thing of the Past?
A new technology being tested at a Stockholm hotel allow guests to go
straight to their rooms without checking in with the hotel front desk.
Developed by Near Field Communication (NFC), a guest's room at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm is unlocked simply by the guest swiping their cell phone in front of their room door. When checking out, the guest swipes their cell phone at a designated point in the lobby before exiting. Don't expect it to become available by next year, as the technology currently requires specialty phones to use. Still, I expect something similar to this to be available in the next few years as hotels experiment with new technologies to further enhance the travel experience.
View a video of the technology in action here -
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Your Space Vacation
Want an out of this world vacation and have money to burn?
Space, the final frontier....
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Renting out your house? Think twice....
You may have heard about Airbnb, the startup that allows people to rent
out their homes while they are away on vacation.
In a horror story that is now going viral online and causing a black eye for Airbnb, a woman rented out her San Francisco Bay area apartment through the Airbnb service. Her apartment was rented out by a mysterious "Dj Pattrson" for a timeframe when she would be away. The renters who were supposedly checked out through the Airbnb service methodically destroyed her apartment and stole all her valuable belongings over the period of a week.
Here is a snippet from the woman's blog detailing the damage caused:
"They smashed a hole through a locked closet door, and found the passport, cash, credit card and grandmother’s jewelry I had hidden inside. They took my camera, my iPod, an old laptop, and my external backup drive filled with photos, journals… my entire life. They found my birth certificate and social security card, which I believe they photocopied – using the printer/copier I kindly left out for my guests’ use. They rifled through all my drawers, wore my shoes and clothes, and left my clothing crumpled up in a pile of wet, mildewing towels on the closet floor. They found my coupons for Bed Bath & Beyond and used the discount, along with my Mastercard, to shop online. Despite the heat wave, they used my fireplace and multiple Duraflame logs to reduce mounds of stuff (my stuff??) to ash – including, I believe, the missing set of guest sheets I left carefully folded for their comfort. Yet they were stupid and careless enough to leave the flue closed; dirty gray ash now covered every surface inside."
That's not all....
"The kitchen was a disaster – the sink piled high with filthy dishes, pots and pans burnt out and ruined. Comet Cleanser was dumped everywhere; the kitchen counters, wood furniture, my gorgeous new bed frame, my desk, my printer… all were doused in powdered bleach. The death-like smell emanating from the bathroom was frightening (and still is) and the bathroom sink was caked with a crusty yellow substance. Various pairs of my gloves were strewn about – leather, dishwashing and otherwise – I imagine in a weak attempt to cover up fingerprints. Whoever these people were, they were living large and having one hell of a time for an entire week inside my home, unwatched, unchecked, free to do whatever destruction they wished. And damn, did they do a lot of it."
While all this was happening, the "renters" were sending her soothing emails saying how they loved her apartment.
She deserves an apology and reimbursement from Airbnb for her damages caused by relying on their service to properly vet potential renters. Until that time, I would warn others to not use the Airbnb service.
Read the full story here.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Help for Allergy Sufferers who Travel
Hotels are paying more attention to those who suffer from allergies.
According to a 2010 Lodging Survey prepared for the American Hotel and
Lodging Association by STR, a hotel research company, thirty-eight
percent of hotels now offer some kind of allergy-friendly service in
Read more about.
Friday, January 21, 2011
The French Room in Dallas receives AAA Five Diamond Award for 2011
AAA has recently awarded 179 establishments the AAA/CAA Five Diamond Award® for 2011. The AAA award listing accounts for only 0.3 percent of the total 59,000 AAA listed lodgings and restaurants that receive the prestigious honor. “It is encouraging to see an increase in the number of AAA Five Diamond establishments this year,” said Michael Petrone, director of AAA Tourism Information Development. “The recent economic downturn has presented many challenges for the travel industry including increased closures and fewer new restaurant openings."
Executive Chef Jason Weaver of The French Room
Congratulations go to The French Room restaurant located in The Adolphus in Dallas and featured here at Southpoint.
The Adolphus Hotel
The Adolphus is a museum unto itself, and includes a rare 1893 Steinway piano which was destined for the R.M.S. Titanic. The piano was owned by the millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim, who died after refusing to get into one of the few available lifeboats just before the Titanic sank in 1912.
Watch in February as we visit The French Room in a new expanded feature.
View here for a full listing of the AAA Five Diamond Award list for 2011.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
National Park free entry days
Like free stuff? Sure you do! We have been to many of our National Parks
over the years. From Denali to the Smokies, each is unique in their own
Plan a trip to a National Park this year around these days and get a free entry.
Add these dates to your calendar for these fee-free National Park days in 2011:
* January 15-17
(Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday weekend)
* April 16-24
(National Park Week)
* June 21
(First day of summer)
* September 24
(Public Lands Day)
* November 11-13
(Veterans Day weekend)
Search for a National Park via the NPS website.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Hotel ICON in Houston to be rebranded
Built in 1911 as a bank, many historic reminders remain including a huge bank vault at the hotel check-in desk.
Read our Hotel ICON feature and watch our video:
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Creative Travel Ad Airport Style
Rental car companies have done it for so many years so why not hotels?
The next time you go through the airport you may see a hotel desk where
you can make reservations, while checking email, or catching up on the
news. This method is now being tested at the Denver International
Airport by the Denver area Courtyard
by Marriott hotels with a mockup of their new lobbies.
Seen other creative advertising used by hotels, b&bs, or resorts? Let us know.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Kayaking Paddlefest in Corpus Christi
Looking for some weekend outdoor fun? Head to Corpus Christi for the
Halloween Paddlefest being held at Port Aransas from Friday Oct 29 thru
Sunday Oct 31, 2010. Kayakers from Texas area meetup groups will be
congregating at IB Magee Beach Park at Port Aransas for a weekend of
guided kayaking tours, demonstrations, BBQ, and campiing. New demo
kayaks made by Mayan Seas, P&H Kayaks, and TideRace Kayaks will be shown
as well as Greenland Kayaking. There will also be previews of the new
kayaking book by John Whorff, "Paddling the Texas Coast." Wish that I
didn't already have plans, this sounds like a great event for kayakers.
Headed up by area kayak expert Ken Johnson, we went on one of his kayaking tours last year and were impressed with his kayaking knowledge and expertise.
His guided tours which will be held over the weekend include:
1- Guided kayak tours of 1-Shamrock Cove birding refuge,
2- Historic Lydia Ann Lighthouse,
3- Circumnavigation of Harbor Island to see lots of dolphins,
4- Paddle along the Padre Island canal homes,
5- Corpus Christi Bay around the city and the Lexington Aircraft Carrier, and
6- Aransas River and Nueces River (the tour that we took).
Group Camping is available for only $12 per night, with a nightly beach fire with music and a BBQ Saturday night with Halloween costume contest.
For details on camping see here. Hotels are also available nearby.
Register to attend the Paddlefest in Corpus Christi by contacting Ken
Johnson at email@example.com with the following information:
Will you attend Corpus Christi Paddlefest 10/29-31/2010 this year? ____Yes ____No ____ people in my party
Which days do you plan to attend? ____Fri 10/29 ____Sat 10/30 ____Sun 10/31
Do you want to pay $10 for a catered group BBQ dinner Sat night? ____Yes ____No
Do you want to pay $10 per 2-3 hr lesson for Greenland kayak classes by Doug Van Doren? ____Yes ____No
Would you be willing to volunteer to help (lead tours, assist other new first time kayakers, let others try your kayak)? ____Yes ______No
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Space, the travel frontierIn the planning stages for 2012 is the world's first space hotel. To be known as the Galactic Suite, the out of this world hotel will offer a three-night orbit in space after a four month training period.
The pricetag? Oh, just over $4 million...
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Tallest Hotel in the World
With great fanfare, the world's tallest hotel opened earlier this
year. The Burj Khalifa is located in Dubai, and was built at a cost of
over $1.5 billion. A marvel of modern engineering.
Here is a video from the observation deck.