Tag: Hotel Tips

View All Tags

/ / /

Amenities We Wish Every Hotel Stocked (for Free!)

May 8, 2013 at 1:57 PM | by | ()

We recently stayed at a large chain hotel (erm, kinda rhymes with chariot) and everything was fine until we went into the bathroom and took a shower. Not only was there no shower gel, but there wasn't any lotion! Only shampoo and conditioner and two skimpy bars of soap.

Now, we weren't that upset about the lack of shower gel, we get some hotels don't use it. But lotion? C'mon. When we went to the front desk the next day we were told that you just have to simply ask someone at reception for lotion. Um...what fresh hell is that?

Flash forward to an unpleasant TSA experience where they wanted us to show them our quart-size baggie full of our liquids. We haven't done that in ages. We've just simply put the appropriate size products in our Dopp kit and sailed through the scanner. After all, if it's over 3.4 oz they'll nab you anyway, right?

So, after our fit returning home, we wondered how could we ensure we'd never be caught in a hotel without essentials, but also bring with us amenities we wish hotels had so we could cut down our liquid lugging.

Luckily, we found some solutions!

more ›

/ / / /

What to Do When The Hotel Safe Isn't Very Safe

Where: Paris, France
May 2, 2013 at 3:42 PM | by | ()

What you don't want to see in the hotel safe when you've returned to your room.

Last week we talked about what guests were stealing from their hotels and it turns out, a lot of you are stealing way more than the bath toiletries and the slippers. (Seriously, how do you smuggle lamps and artwork out of a hotel? Extra large suitcases, we guess!)

But today, we've got a more serious side of hotel theft to talk about--the hotel safe, as in what to do when the hotel safe isn't safe?

A reader emailed us from the Hotel du Louvre, a five-star property in Paris located near three of the city's biggest landmarks--the Louvre, the Opéra Garnier and the Palais Royal. Room rates here start around 370 euros a night (or about $483). But just because it's a fancy spot, doesn't mean your valuables are safe, even when you put them in the safe. Our distraught reader tells us her tale:

more ›

/ / / /

10 Ways To Use A Hotel Without Ever Checking In

April 30, 2013 at 1:32 PM | by | ()

We should preface this by saying: we don't consider ourselves mooches. Far from it. We're loyal, paying, upstanding hotel guests. However, in all our years of hotel sleuthing, we've picked up a few tricks on ways to use a hotel without ever actually staying there as a guest. You'll be amazed at all the things you can get done (or not) without ever setting foot in a room.

So, without further ado, here's why you should go to a hotel the next time you have to…

Use a printer: Whether you have some urgent Facebooking to do, or simply need to print out a boarding pass, many hotels have business centers that you can use for a small fee—or, if they're nice, for free.

Take a nap: We've already outed ourselves as strong proponents of the lobby nap. Just make sure not to get yourself arrested.

Freshen up: Three reasons you're better off sneaking into a hotel bathroom rather than the nearest Starbucks? One, they're cleaner. Two, there's usually music playing. And three, they're cleaner.

more ›

/ / / / /

Sweat-Worthy Hotel Room Exercises. Part 5: Arms & Abs

April 5, 2013 at 9:54 AM | by | ()

We'll admit, sometimes traveling throws off your fitness routine, but you gotta do what you gotta do. With summer right around the corner, you need to start planning for that hot beach bod (we know you abandoned your New Year's Resolutions around Valentine's Day, don't lie).

So we've compiled this short-but-sweet series from our very own writer who is a trainer and all-around fitness buff. He's here to show you you can fit in a mini-workout in any hotel room in any city. We've taken the guess work out of the planning (and included a video of the moves!). Now it's up to you to sweat it out! No more excuses!

The Exercises:

Finally, we can move into the hottest body parts that turn the most heads. Still focusing on the upper-body, we tone and strengthen the arms and shoulders with a compound movement of biceps curls into a shoulder press. Generally focusing on the front of the arms and the top of the torso, it's the perfect movement to shape the upper body producing a gun show. Then we move onto abs of steel with a simple take on a the basic crunch that can be done almost anywhere. With a scary name, the Jackknife's bark is worse then its bite.

The Execution:

·Biceps Curl with Shoulder Press: You will need some equipment for this one, but it's a super light elastic tubing that can be found in most sports stores, so there's no additional baggage weight. Step on the middle of the tube and grab both handles. Fully bend both elbows bringing the handles to the front of the shoulders. Then rotate your arms so the palms are facing forward and press your hands overhead. Carefully return to the lower position, then rotate in and bring your hands to the side of your body.

·Jackknife: Sitting on the edge of a sofa or stable ottoman, extend the body as straight as possible supporting some of your weight on your hands behind the hips. Bend both knees and crunch your body into a ball, then extend back to almost straight. For best results, do this again and again, eventually feeling the burn in your abs.

more ›

/ / / / /

Sweat-Worthy Hotel Room Exercises. Part 4: Push-ups & Dips

April 4, 2013 at 5:01 PM | by | ()

We'll admit, sometimes traveling throws off your fitness routine, but you gotta do what you gotta do. With summer right around the corner, you need to start planning for that hot beach bod (we know you abandoned your New Year's Resolutions around Valentine's Day, don't lie).

So we've compiled this short-but-sweet series from our very own writer who is a trainer and all-around fitness buff. He's here to show you you can fit in a mini-workout in any hotel room in any city. We've taken the guess work out of the planning (and included a video of the moves!). Now it's up to you to sweat it out! No more excuses!

The Exercises:

Let's give your legs a rest and work the upper body. Both push-ups and dips are great to work the chest while using your own body weight as resistance. Each of these can be easily executed and modified for all fitness levels. A push-up focuses primarily on the chest muscles where the arms only act as assistance for the movement. Dips recruit both chest and arm muscles, so including them both in a routine will be plenty effective.

The Execution:

·Push-ups: Can be done on the floor or, the bed can be easier, with your torso slightly elevated. Place your hands about shoulder width apart and be perched on your toes. Keeping your shoulders, spine, hips and knees aligned, bend your elbows to lower the entire body to the ground or bed. Then, as the name suggests, push-up.

·Dips: Finding a stable surface, support your body with straight arms and knees at about 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor. Bend your elbows and lower your body towards the ground, maintaining your body close to the stable surface. Lift your body back up and repeat.

more ›

/ / / / /

Sweat-Worthy Hotel Room Exercises. Part 3: Split Lunges

April 3, 2013 at 12:16 PM | by | ()

We'll admit, sometimes traveling throws off your fitness routine, but you gotta do what you gotta do. With summer right around the corner, you need to start planning for that hot beach bod (we know you abandoned your New Year's Resolutions around Valentine's Day, don't lie).

So we've compiled this short-but-sweet series from our very own writer who is a trainer and all-around fitness buff. He's here to show you you can fit in a mini-workout in any hotel room in any city. We've taken the guess work out of the planning (and included a video of the moves!). Now it's up to you to sweat it out! No more excuses!

The Exercise: Split Lunges

Sometimes called a split lunge, other times a split squat, you may have even heard this exercise called a Bulgarian split squat, this exercise is a killer...in a good way! The last of our lower body exercises should be a bit more challenging so this one-legged squat is a perfect movement to strengthen the lower body one side at a time.

The Execution:

We would recommend to find an elevated surface just about knee height to carefully support one foot; in this case we used the side of the tub. If your hotel room is a shower-only facility, try to find the desk chair at its lowest or even the luggage rack, just make sure your shoes are clean before you put them all over upholstery. Simultaneously hinging from the hips and bending your knees, lower your center of gravity towards the floor, then reverse the movement and return to set.

more ›

/ / / / /

Sweat-Worthy Hotel Room Exercises, Part 2: Squats

April 2, 2013 at 12:31 PM | by | ()

We'll admit, sometimes traveling throws off your fitness routine, but you gotta do what you gotta do. With summer right around the corner, you need to start planning for that hot beach bod (we know you abandoned your New Year's Resolutions around Valentine's Day, don't lie).

So we've compiled this short-but-sweet series from our very own writer who is a trainer and all-around fitness buff. He's here to show you you can fit in a mini-workout in any hotel room in any city. We've taken the guess work out of the planning (and included a video of the moves!). Now it's up to you to sweat it out! No more excuses!

The Exercise: Squats

Let's look at the Squat. A simple exercise that is one of the most effective that you can do in or out of a gym. Often times, we squat without even knowing it, so we will break down the details here. A squat is a multi-joint exercise which mean is it using more than one joint, so, just like the deadlift, it's a huge calorie burner and strength builder. Engaging the majority of muscles below the belt, this one will can make us feel better and get the blood pumping after a long flight.

The Execution:

Standing with your feet about hip width apart, lower your pelvis as if you are sitting onto a chair simultaneously bending your knees. Essentially you want to lower your bottom to the ground in a smooth fashion. Once you are at the bottom of the movement, stand back up returning to set and you've done one, gear up for a few more.

more ›

/ / / /

Sweat-Worthy Hotel Room Exercises. Part 1: Deadlifts With Rows

April 1, 2013 at 3:18 PM | by | ()

We'll admit, sometimes traveling throws off your fitness routine, but you gotta do what you gotta do. With summer right around the corner, you need to start planning for that hot beach bod (we know you abandoned your New Year's Resolutions around Valentine's Day, don't lie).

So we've compiled this short-but-sweet series from our very own writer who is a trainer and all-around fitness buff. He's here to show you you can fit in a mini-workout in any hotel room in any city. We've taken the guess work out of the planning (and included a video of the moves!). Now it's up to you to sweat it out! No more excuses!

The Exercise: Stiff-leg Deadlifts With Rows

This series is broken down into different body parts to make it super easy. A deadlift is one of the best lower-half exercises since it incorporates large muscles groups, glutes and hamstrings, which burns more calories, ultimately doing double duty for weight-loss and muscle gain. Not only do dead-lifts work larger muscles, recruitment of core and postural muscles, like lower back are at an all time high, so this one's a power-house.

The Execution:

Maintaining neutral spinal alignment and a slight bend to the knees, hinge from the hips and lower your torso forward until it's just about parallel to the ground. Return to set. During the movement, your weight will slightly transfer to your heels, this is normal.

more ›

/ / / / / /

The 72-Hour Layover: Four Seasons Beijing Style

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 48 Liang Ma Qiao Road, 100125 Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
March 25, 2013 at 7:23 PM | by | ()

As we learned from our extensive coverage of Anthony Bourdain’s “The Layover” show, a stopover in a city can be as fun as you make it. And if you’re a savvy traveler (which we know most of you are), many of you will plan your flight arrangements to include a break in a city that you love or want to cross off your bucket list. Certain routes seem conducive to extended layovers—Beijing being one of them.

But instead of holing up in an airport lounge of one-of-the world’s most historic and exciting cities, the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing has come up with a better idea--the “Experience the Best of Beijing in 72 Hours” package.

For the first time ever, tourists can spend up to 72 hours in Beijing sans visa. So, now a hotel staff member will arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport, tuck you into a FS car (either limo or BMW 5, hand you a steaming cup of traditional tea, then whisk you away to the hotel to get freshened up.

more ›

/ / / /

Check In To The World's Best Airport Hotels

March 21, 2013 at 3:57 PM | by | ()

The view from Hong Kong's Regal Airport Hotel

There may come a time when you'll need to stay at a hotel near an airport--usually because you have an unreasonably early flight, or because you're landing unreasonably late and will be too exhausted to travel to your intended destination. Airport hotels have traditionally received a bad rap as uncomfortable, dark dank dens filled with bleary-eyed business travelers. Not so, we say.

In fact, HotelChatter's editors and contributors have come up with an extensive list of their favorite airport hotels, so the next time you find yourself in need of lodging, give them a try.

When a mayor tweets about how good an airport hotel is, you tend to pay attention. That's how we felt when Newark's Mayor Cory Booker mentioned the new Courtyard Newark Downtown. At first we (and many folks online) were skeptical. The city and especially the hotel's location doesn't exactly have a stellar rep. But we gave it a shot and found it a top-class operation and only a 4-mile and free shuttle ride away from EWR. Not only did we love the in-house Bistro's impressive menu (tomato mozzarella flatbread and cheddar French dip!), but dining while working (free WiFi!) in the living room-like lounge felt like we were in an upscale hotel. And the rooms were more deluxe Marriott than mid-range Courtyard. With rates in the $119 per night range, it's a definite deal.-Chanize, Editor

more ›

/ / / / /

[UPDATE] Guests Enjoy Ritz-Carlton Perks Staying at Cheaper Courtyard New Orleans

March 13, 2013 at 9:52 AM | by | ()

UPDATE: We were informed after press time that the "privileges" for Courtyard guests at the Ritz Carlton come with a $25 fee when using the fitness center, pool, and spa (if not making an appointment)-- a resort fee, if you will. Disappointing, for sure and not our understanding when originally approached with this story. So, we now turn the question to you, reader: Is this still a deal you'd be interested in? Would you pay the $25 with the cash you save on the rate to take a dip or workout at the Ritz while staying at the Courtyard?

Looking for a deal at the Ritz Carlton? Aren't we all. But now, thanks to an emerging hotel trend, you can crawl out of the bowels of the Internet: In New Orleans, the cheapest room at The Ritz-Carlton is actually next door at the Courtyard.

"Say what?" We can hear your disbelief right now. But it's true! The two hotels are connected by a shared elevator, and guests of the Courtyard New Orleans Downtown/Iberville are allowed access to the Ritz-Carlton's fitness center and pool for a $25 fee (fee is normally $75 for non-Ritz guests). They can also charge back to their room at the Courtyard when hanging at the Ritz restaurants, lounges, and spa. We find this great for business travelers, their expense accounts, and anyone looking for perks that up their swag from mid-market to luxury level.

Property sharing among sister brands isn't exactly a new concept, but this is one of the first we've seen to offer budget and business travelers the chance to live well above their room rate. Prices for the Ritz start at $249 a night while the Courtyard will run you only $129 per night. Food for thought!

more ›

/ / /

Watch Out For These Hidden Hotel Fees

March 7, 2013 at 2:08 PM | by | ()

In addition to the resort fees that have been a topic of late, more often we’re seeing little charges on our hotel bills or hearing of people being nickel-and-dimed for services they feel should be included in the hotel rate. The Federal Trade Commission has recently sent a letter to some hotels, warning them to disclose all fees in the total hotel price.

Here’s some of the more finer print charges you should be on the look-out for:

Bedside Water: Oh, you think that bottle of water at turndown is to quench your middle-of-the night the thirst? Sure it is, to the tune of $7. Take a look a pic above. The bottle was turned so we didn’t see the price sticker until the morning (we’d come in pretty late night before) and had already taken a swig. Bam! And it tasted like regular tap water to boot!

Early departure fee: Some hotels will charge you if you have reserved for a certain amount of days and decide to check-out early. They’ve already counted on that revenue and need to make it up if you’ve changed your mind.

Minibar removal fees: You think you’re doing the right thing by removing treat temptation if you ask staff to remove or empty the mini-bar. This is especially true with small children on board. But that service isn’t free in some hotels. You may find a charge of up to $25 on your bill. And if you ask for a minifridge to chill your own treats? Expect a fee for that!

more ›