Tag: European HotelsView All Tags
The other month, we published 5 Booking Sites to Know About and Use, our handy little guide to the hotel booking sites (and one mobile app) that we use frequently for our hotel stays in the U.S. But what are the best hotel booking sites for Europe?
We personally have used a variety of booking sites for our past European vacations. In Monte Carlo, we ended up going through Kiwi Collection and Leading Hotels of the World. In Paris, we once had you dear readers pick our hotel. Another time, we booked through the hotel at Le Meurice. In London, we booked directly with Tune for the opening of their first hotel in London and in Munich and Barcelona a few years back, we actually booked using credit card points.
And the frequent hotels we've casually surveyed seem to use different tactics themselves. Several folks told us they go through loyalty programs like Starwood and Hilton. While others stick with the big travel aggregators like Expedia, Kayak, Priceline and Travelocity.
Correct us if we're wrong, but aren't Europeans supposed to crush American men when it comes to romance? Candlelit dinners, walks along the canals, deep knowledge of the arts, literature and history, a tongue that speaks far more than one language, etc., etc. We've heard it all, not only from women abroad but from those right here on our own soil.
Damn you, Fabio, you and your long locks of love.
But is all as it seems? Why, then, do so many European hotels insist on using double duvets on queen size beds? And that weird thing of pushing two twins together to create the "illusion" of a double/queen bed? European men might have all the swag in the world, but perhaps they’re not as good in the ninth inning as they are in the first–they seem to need their beauty rest, indeed. Perhaps American boys aren't afraid to share their sheets and space?
On recent trips to Europe, we inquired about this tendency that's completely non-existent in the United States. What's the reason? The most common answer was that Europeans “prefer their space.” So much for the post-coitus cuddle, folks.
What are your thoughts? Yay or nay on the double duvets? Chime in!
[Photos: Will McGough for HotelChatter]
Hotel Hype / Courtyard By Marriott Hotels / Hotel News / Budget Hotels / European Hotels / → All Tags
Last year, we were tres excited by the opening of the Courtyard By Marriott in Paris as Paris is one of our favorite cities and Courtyard is one of our favorite budgie brands. Starting at 81 euros a night, we don't have to fret about spending all our money on a hotel room, just train rides into the center of town. (And sadly, on WiFi which is not gratis here as it is stateside.)
And it looks like Courtyard is tres excited about being in Europe as well since they are planning on adding 80,000 rooms in Europe by end of 2015. These rooms will also be brand-new room layouts, designed to be a "haven for business travelers" with 42" LCD TVs, ample work spaces, spa-like bathrooms and multiple, accessible outlets.
Downstairs in the lobbies, the European Courtyards will feature a hybrid of dining/meeting/relaxing layouts, very much like what we see in the U.S. right down to the 24-7 market, an all-day Bistro and the interactive GoBoards with the latest news, weather and local information.
London / London Hotel Scene / Service / Hotel Reviews / Hotel News Briefs / Hotels / Europe Hotels / European Hotels / → All Tags
Surly, not sweet: London hotels slammed by a recent customer satisfaction report
The oft uttered stereotype that Brits lack grace in the service department was recently reinforced by a report compiled by Trivago, a hotel price comparison website. Measured against 1,000 cities and towns throughout Europe, London ranked dead last by way of reputation amongst travelers, followed closely behind by Birmingham.
Boscolo Budapest, which joins the Autograph Collection in September
The six newbies, all Boscolo Hotels, join the four Spanish hotels that came on board with Autograph in May, giving them a stronger European presence and even more historic, high-end hotels for guests to choose from.
Four of the new Boscolos will join in September--Boscolo Palace Roma and Boscolo Venezia in Italy, Boscolo Prague and Boscolo Budapest. The remaining two--Boscolo Exedra Roma and Boscolo Milano--will follow in 2012.
The hotel world is never in need of new booking sites but yet, they keep on rolling out, all with their own gimmicky hooks. Today we find ourselves investigating what the Paris-based CheckYourRoom.com has to offer.
Checkyouroom.com launched in beta earlier this year and boasts a "carefully handpicked collection" of over 250 luxury and boutique hotel rooms in the world, but mostly in Europe. Going along with the "handpicked" theme, the site has just launched its, "What Room are You?" quiz. (Why, hello there gimmick.)
The quiz is pretty much a personality test, much like the ones you fill out on Facebook that tells you what Sex and the City character you are and what city you're meant to live in. After you answer six questions ranging from your fashion style to a typical night out to your dream car, CheckYourRoom.com spits out a personality type and several hotel rooms that fit your personality. And we mean, actual hotel room categories not just the hotel name. The results are also for different destinations, making it a fun tool for people who know they want to get away, but don't know where.
While many guests probably had a sleepless night worrying that someone named Vlad or Tatiana was going to take over their lives, Best Western today issued a statement that the initial hacking report is "largely erroneous."
We can confirm that on August 21, 2008, three separate attempts were made via a single log-on ID to access the same data from a single hotel. The hotel in question is the 107-room Best Western Hotel am Schloss Kopenick in Berlin, Germany, where a Trojan horse virus was detected by the hotel's anti-virus software. The compromised log-in ID permitted access to reservations data for that property only. The log-in ID was immediately terminated, and the computer in question has been removed from use.
We can also confirm that we have been able to narrow down the number of customers affected by this breach to ten. We are currently contacting those customers and offering assistance as needed.
The statement from BW also said that the computer reservations system purges data from guests seven days after departure. This is definitely reassuring but does this mean they don't keep our pillow preferences on file?
In a truly bizarre turn for the hotel industry, the European Best Western reservations database was hacked last week. Information on former and future guests for the last year was stolen, including names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card information, and even places of employment. Ack!
The Jason Bourne-like heist involved a hack using an employee account login which siphoned the data. The data was then sold on a underground website operated by the Russian mafia.
Some are saying it's the greatest cyber-heist in world history which could affect up to 8 million people in several different ways.
Slovakia's capital city, Bratislava, is becoming increasingly popular with tourists who've realised it's just an hour from Vienna, and a good alternative to busy-busy Prague. Our tip for the hotel with the best location is the Hotel Danube which, as the name suggests, is set on the edge of the mighty river itself (there's a road and a tramline between the hotel and the river, but the views are still perfect) and also at the beginning of the Old Town. With a tram stop right outside and a good half of Bratislava's attractions right at the doorstep, you couldn't find a better place unless you set up your own tent outside the National Theater.
It is now managed by a French company, the Meydan Hotel chain, and service and facilities have been continually upgraded in the last decade or so. In fact, the service is so great that the website claims:
We are not only hotel for you...we are HERE for you.
They also claim to be multilingual, but didn't mention whether that meant the staff have good grammar or not. Slovak English aside, there aren't too many complaints to be made about Hotel Danube, and recent guest reviews all sound very satisfied. Our main gripe is that to use the relatively small pool or fitness center, despite having a great view over Bratislava Castle, even guests have to pay an additional fee. And although prices are steadily rising in Slovakia--and will no doubt continue to do so as the date for introduction of the Euro currency approaches--having the standard nightly rate starting at 139 Euro ($185) is still pretty high compared to the average costs you'll find in Bratislava.