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Well, after all the hemming and hawing over fluctuating, inflated hotel room rates for the London 2012 Olympics, the Games are finally upon us.
There have been 8 million tickets sold for the 17 days of competition, and the Opening Ceremony is tonight. So, where will everyone be staying? Social location-sharing app Foursquare has an idea, since they've just gathered data on what London hotels are most popular, overall.
A few years ago, we fully embraced using social media when staying at hotels. Finally, you could publicly tweet out a complaint (or a compliment) on Twitter and get some instant notice from the hotel, as opposed to calling down to the black hole that is sometimes known as the front desk.
You could also check-in to Foursquare and get a discount on your hotel stay or a drink at the hotel bar and by liking a hotel on Facebook you could see their latest promotions and participate in contests for a free stay.
But not long after, the fun wore off. The discounts and promos weren't worth the effort that it took to remember to check-in, Tweet or like a hotel every time we entered one. Yet Fairmont Hotels might just win us over on Social Media Day which is happening this June 30.
Just this week, location-based social app Foursquare released a new "Trainspotter" badge that recognizes users who ride the rails. That's great, but we're still waiting for something like a Hotelhopper badge. Fingers crossed!
Until a real badge comes around, we recommend following the newest big hotel brand to join Foursquare: Hilton. Follow them here, to get their tips to pop up when your nearby one of 27 of their hotels around the world. Hopefully they'll add more, but for being on Foursquare for a month, this is a great start.
As it goes with any Foursquare tips, Hilton's are hit or miss and they need to be put on an exclamation mark diet. Still, we particularly love these two tips:
Twitter / Hotel Snapshots / Foursquare / Wyndham Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Killer Views / → All Tags
In the ever-expanding universe of Twitter, there is one particular trend @HotelChatter happens to quite enjoy: candid hotel photos. These Twitpics range from stunning views to anti-views to celebrity tomfoolery and everything in between. And we can't get enough of 'em! Every Monday, we will feature one "Twitpic of the Week" to commemorate our favorite hotel-themed snapshot. Got a favorite of your own? Want to show off your sweet suite? Send it in!
We caught Conan O'Brien with his goofy hotel cookie last week, so we thought we'd change the mood today with something a little more...picturesque. @dens, also known as Dennis Crowley, co-founder of Foursquare, tweeted this shot from his room at San Francisco's Parc 55 Wyndham last Wednesday morning, capturing some brilliantly illuminated boats out in the bay.
Yesterday, The Economist wrote about a new study showing that the majority of online hotel reviews are—believe it or not—positive. But does this come as a surprise?
Guests are less likely to take the time to post a review on TripAdvisor than, say, a hotel-employed PR person, or a General Manager, who find ways to talk up their hotel in carefully chosen, seemingly trustworthy language. According to TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer, however, people talk about a positive experience in order to "give back to the community." But do we trust the good reviews as much as the bad ones?
Ahhh...the elusive late check-out. Everyone wants it, hardly anyone can get it. (Unless you're willing to pay $50 or half a day's rate.) But for at least the next month, the late check-out can be yours at Radisson Edwardian Hotels in the UK simply by checking into the hotel via Foursquare or on Facebook.
As part of the hotel brand's Social Media Day celebrations, they are offering guests this super sweet perk until July 31st. The late check-out time is two hours past standard check-out so 1pm.
Here's how you can get it:
When you arrive at a Radisson Edwardian hotel, check in via Facebook or Foursquare. Once you’re at the check in desk, show our staff that you’ve checked in on your smartphone. Enjoy your later check out time!
Is Foursquare making a comeback? First Starwood Preferred Guests started giving extra SPG points for Foursquare check-ins and now Ritz-Carlton Hotels is offering up their concierges via Foursquare Tips.
Concierges from the 75 Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide will now be comment-bombing the tips section on various Foursquare places with loads of their expert advice on what to do when you're in town. Not traveling but still want to see what RC concierges recommend? Then follow their tips live on Foursquare right here.
We're slowly starting to come back around to Foursquare these days and since the whole "Foursquare specials" thing hasn't really worked out for us (10 percent off a second appetizer? No thanks), the tips section is probably what will have us "checking in" more often. That and humblebragging to our friends on Twitter about where we are, of course.
So remember the other week when we told you that Starwood Preferred Guest was linking up with Foursquare for a new Starpoints promotion? We've been down on Foursquare for a while since the benefits weren't outweighing the annoying sign-in/find places/check-in hassle. But this new promotion is totes legit. And it kinda made us like Foursquare again.
We had a confirmed reservation at the Element Las Vegas over the weekend and once we got there, we signed into Foursquare and sure enough, we got 250 Starpoints just for checking in. (We also got a message from one of our Foursquare friends saying, "You're baaaack!") Sadly, we didn't unlock the Free Resort Night Award but 250 Starpoints is good enough.
Morgans Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Promotions / Foursquare / Twitter / Hotel Bars / Rooftop Bars / → All Tags
In January, we gasped about the Hudson Hotel room that squeezed in up to 20 people for a mini production of the Tennessee Williams play Green Eyes. Today, we're focusing on another of their ample spaces—the exclusive, guests-only, fifteenth-floor Sky Terrace. Yes, it is quite large. And yes, the vibe is a little high-flown. But, no, we're not just telling you all this to make you jealous! It turns out that Sky Terrace, which launched its summer event series last Thursday, has chosen to open up their sought-after venue to Foursquare and Twitter enthusiasts. Because, as we have shown before, if you're not racing to reward your guests through social media promotions and contests, be assured that another equally-suitable hotel will.
Foursquare Hotels / Foursquare / Loyalty Program News / Hotel News / Starwood Hotels / Starwood Preferred Guest / Hotel Social Media / → All Tags
We admit, we were fully under the Foursquare influence back in 2010 but as the rewards for checking into places dwindled and the process of checking in became annoying (not to mention the cheats and scams of mayors and the spam "friends"), we pretty much abandoned Foursquare altogether.
But Starwood's SPG program is making us reconsider again with a pretty cool loyalty program incentive. Right now, you can earn 250 Starpoints when you check in for a confirmed reservation through July at over a 1,000 participating Starwood hotels worldwide.
And every day this month, one very lucky Foursquare user will also unlock a Free Resort Night Award which will be hidden at one of the 1,000 hotels. Plus, anyone who does check in to a Starwood Foursquare hotel will automatically enter themselves into a contest to win a resort getaway including five Free Resort Nights AND airfare.
Loyalty Program News / TopGuest / Foursquare / HHonors / Intercontinental Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Holiday Inns / Social Media / Standard Hotels / Grand Guest / Viceroy Hotels / → All Tags
How awesome would it be to get loyalty program points just for visiting a hotellike dining at its restaurant, grabbing a beer at the bar or just meeting in its lobbyinstead of only for the time you actually sleep there?
Put very simply, that's the concept behind the social media loyalty program TopGuest, which tracks your Foursquare and Facebook Places check-ins and awards you points when you stop by hotels under their program. It's an excellent, novel idea, but is it worth paying attention to?
TopGuest launched exclusively with Standard Hotels over the summer, and they quickly picked up further partnerships with the Soho Grand/Tribeca Grand Hotels, Viceroy Hotels and many others, even Holiday Inn. Check out the current full list in the image above (with a bonus of Virgin America and Avis thrown in). Now, we feel like we have a pretty well-rounded social life, and yet we haven't yet earned any rewards. What's up with that?
Earlier this year, we were so hot for Foursquare especially when we saw some hotels offering incentives to guests and visitors just for checking in via the location-based social network. But after the novelty wore off and after the Foursquare deals became a little more complicated and a lot less fun, we found ourselves asking, "And then what?"
But thankfully, the Roger Williams Hotel in NYC and Oceana Santa Monica have restored our faith in Foursquare Hotel deals. When a guest checks in for the first time to the hotel on Foursquare, they are offered a free drink on the hotel. At the Oceana, it's a buy one, get one in the lounge just off the pool area and at the Roger Williams it's a straight-up free drink at the lounge. You must show your check-in to the front desk to get a drink voucher.
Both hotels promise to change up the Foursquare specials in the future to "reward guests in different and exciting ways." May we suggest a room discount?