When staying at a hotel, it's common to tip the folks who work there for various services, such as the housekeepers, the bellhops and the concierges. But a credit card education website is now saying (randomly) not to forget the front desk workers this holiday season.
CreditDonkey.com has compiled a list of all the other people in your life that you need to leave a tip for including hotel, motel and resort desk clerks. CreditDonkey claims these employees make an annual wage of $21,960 in their gig and deserve a tip between $5 and $10 before you check-out, especially if you they've helped you out other than just checking you in and handing you a room key.
We have to agree with this sort of tip, not just for the holidays, but always (again, if they go above and beyond their duties.) So now, who else should we tip at hotels over the holidays? And we're talking about a few days at a hotel over Christmas, not just a one-night stand sometime the week before. Let us know who should go on the NICE list in comments below!
Of course, tipping the housekeepers, the bellhops, the concierges and the front desk can add up (not to mention the pressure to tip is high these days. Read the comments on this story for some advice). Perhaps consider some other gifts aside from cash that will be sure to delight. Otherwise, make sure you've got your dollar bills and fivers in place before checking out.
True, sometimes you need to pack three friends and all your gear into a budget hotel to make ski trips feasible. With gear rentals, lift tickets, and apres beer prices by no means on the cheap end of the scale, cutting costs on lodging is often the only option. But, if you've been saving your pennies and plan on treating yourself right, here are five things you should look for in a hotel that will make your trip that much more pleasant:
Slope-Side Hot Tub/Heated Pool
File this one under "OBVIOUS" and "OF COURSE."
One of the most inconvenient aspects of skiing is lugging around all the gear. Hotel rooms are small enough already - no reason to clog up your corners with boots and poles. Look for a hotel that has a ski shop on-site or a ski concierge, an in-house, full-service team that stores your skis overnight, usually on the ground level right where you come off the slopes. Some hotels that are not located slope-side will partner with local shops to provide guests with ski storage, so be sure to inquire before booking. Last thing you want after a day on the mountain is to be stuffing your skis into an elevator.
Lately, there's been a bit of hotel resurgence in the Central Park area. There's the Quin, the Viceroy, the Westhouse and a 1 Hotel is expected to next year too. But those are all luxury hotels with rates starting around $400 a night. Which is why the news of a Hilton Garden Inn in the area has us, and our wallets, feeling relieved.
The 401-room hotel will open at 237 W. 54th Street, about six blocks south of the park between 8th and 7th Avenues. It will also be the largest Hilton Garden Inn in North America.
Right now the opening date is set at January 5th but we couldn't find a room open online until February 4th for $152 a night. That's for a room with one king Serta bed, a large work desk, a 40-inch HDTV and a "hospitality" center with a microwave, refrigerator and coffee/tea maker. Oh and the WiFi is freeeeeeee. There's also a king deluxe room with a private walk-out terrace that's just $239 a night ($203 if you pay in advance.)
Of course, these rates are for February in NYC, typically a low season. We fully expect these to go way up once summer comes around.
[Photo: Hilton Garden Inn]
Development news from 3201 Collins Avenue, Miami keeps catching us off-guard. Back in January 2012, there was this bait and switch where the development sneakily went from Cipriani Miami to a new Faena project. Now we hear that they've been keeping a star design duo under their belts: Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.
The husband-and-wife movie director and costume/set designer duo will be collaborating on the design for the 168-suite hotel; handling the interiors, uniforms, and 'cultural programming' for the what was originally called the Saxony Hotel, which is just one part of Faena's huge Miami development project.
When was the last time you sat inside the lobby of a major city hotel, sans open windows, and heard birdsong? Yeah, we couldn’t remember either, but it’s exactly what happened to us at Rosewood London last week. Our first reaction was one of dismissal, but when it persisted and we went exploring, it turned out to be real (admittedly, that made us feel a little bit better about our own sanity).
Make your way through the rose-bronze entrance gallery, which we still unreservedly love, turn left past the reception desk and by the set of elevators you’ll find a cage with finches and budgerigars. It’s one of many unexpected little things you’ll find around the hotel, now open just shy of two months on High Holborn, an area between the West End and the City that is rather incongruously being relabeled as “Midtown” by, among others, Mayor Boris Johnson.
The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!
We knew it was snowing on the East Coast but in San Francisco? What's that about?
Well, once again, The Hyatt Regency San Francisco has transformed its lobby, one of the largest in the world, into a virtual, over-sized “snow globe” with 30,000 lights that cascade down the hotel's 17-story atrium, a 30-foot Christmas tree and best of all, daily snowfall.
The snow falls daily at different times throughout the day (see below) which is sure to delight the children (and adults) of the world who don't usually see snow. For the snow-weary folks, don't worry, the snow will only "fall" until December 30th.
We've already told you about one big rock star touch at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla.--the free WiFi. But during a recent stay in this sprawling casino hotel just outside of Fort Lauderdale, we discovered a few more rock star amenities that got us amped up.
Of course, these room items shouldn't come as a surprise from a Hard Rock Hotel, where the entire guest experience revolves around music. Yet after a few not-so-good experiences at the Hard Rock in Vegas, the Seminole Hard Rock has restored our faith in the entire rock n' roll hotel concept. And best of all, none of these rock star touches involve loud music or wild parties. Well, not if you don't want them to.
Keep reading to see how the room is a-rocking at the Seminole Hard Rock
Although it doesn't feel like it to us (this contributor is currently in Mexico!), ski season is officially in full swing in the States, with snow falling across the country and temperatures down below freezing in mountain towns out west. While the initial shock of the winter season takes some time to embrace, we know you're excited to hit the slopes.
With the calender now on December, ski deals and packages are really beginning to flood out. Hotels offer a variety of options, including ski and stay deals, discounts on rentals, and packages for both beginners and adrenaline seekers, and we'll dish on the best ones later this week so you can get to booking your trip for 2014.
We see many offers that allow you to save money, but we get most excited about hotels that provide unique perks and experiences for their guests. For example, we're digging Breckenridge Ski Resort's “First Tracks Fridays” program that begins this Friday (Dec 13th), which allows guests staying at any of the mountain's official lodging properties to get on-mountain access one hour before the resort opens to the public every Friday morning throughout the season.
It's been close to a year since hot hotelier Ian Schrager lay down $50 million to purchase a community garden at 215 Chrystie Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side. To the casual observer, not much has happened since then, but the Bowery Boogie last week reported that the Schrager had some unpleasant business with the neighbors to tie up first.
Sperone Westwater Gallery, which, as the Bowery boogie cheekily points out, is itself a relative newcomer to the area and "contributor to expedited change in the vicinity", opposed the development on the grounds that the development would negatively affect the character of the neighborhood. The gallery, in a complaint filed in January, said that the Board of Standards and Appeals failed to properly assess the environmental impact of such a large construction, and that the height of the building would hurt the gallery's property by blocking out sunlight.
It used to be that ice skating rinks at hotels were a holiday novelty. When we made this list back in 2009, those five hotels were rather, for lack of a better phrase, cutting edge. Fast forward to 2013 and it seems like everyone has an ice skating rink in their hotel backyard, even hotels in the desert. Especially hotels in the desert.
So, in case you feel the need for speed...on skates, here are 13 hotel ice skating rinks to glide on this winter season.
1. THE STANDARD HIGH LINE
The Standard Plaza's Ice Rink is now open from 12pm to 12am during the week and 9am to 1am during the weekends. The cost is $12 to skate plus a $3 skate rental. Kids can skate for $6 and a Standard Skater will be available to help you get your footing. Hot ciders, hot toddys, hot chocolate, donuts and waffles will all be served rinkside.
2. CHARLES HOTEL IN BOSTON
The 2,900 square foot ice Rink at The Charles Hotel will open this Sunday, December 15th at 12pm. The rink will be open to hotel guests and the public and the opening event this weekend is free.. Skate rentals, season passes, and lessons will also be available this season.
3. BOSTON HARBOR HOTEL
The new 2,500-sq.ft Rotunda Rink will open on December 14 and will be open until February 28th. While opening day is complimentary, rates will be $10 for adults and $5 for kiddos going forward.
4. FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO, Connecticut
The Foxwoods Resort Casino just opened its Rink & Winter Patio last week with Nancy Kerrigan christening it with a special performance. The rink will stay open from now through the end of February. The cost is $10 for adults aged 13 and up and $6 for kids 12 and younger. Skate rentals are $ but Rewards Card Holders and a guests can skate for $8 a person and for free on Tuesdays.
Visitors to the The Setai in South Beach this month might notice the property smelling a little more fragrant than usual. That's because master perfumer, Roja Dove, of Roja Perfumes (and formerly of Guerlain) has created a new fragrance especially for the luxury hotel.
The orange-inspired Neroli-based scent is now present throughout all areas of the hotel and can be found in the new line of bathroom amenities from the shampoo to conditioner, shower gel, body milk, and hand soap. Roja himself traveled to the Setai last New Year's to conduct research for the "olfactory project." And here's what he came up:
We can’t tell you much that you don’t already know when it comes to Shangri-La at the Shard; we’ve documented its long and winding road to opening ad infinitum on this site. In fact, it’s nearly three and a half years ago we took our first pictures of the then under construction tallest building in Europe.
And no, unfortunately we still have no more specific window for opening than “first quarter of 2014”. But! The hotel has an updated, and slightly expanded, website, with details on room types, their views, and what looks like some actual photography from inside the hotel. While we pour over these snippets, we’ll go ahead and take it as confirmation – for now – that Shangri-La is indeed committed to making it across the finish line with its second western European hotel.