What Makes a Hotel Receive Five-Star Status?

So you’re planning a holiday, maybe you’re visiting a city in your own country or you’re experiencing abroad. Whatever your reason for travel, understanding why five-star hotels are more expensive and what makes them more appealing can help you identify if this is the right choice for you.

It is important before you start looking at five-star establishments, that you understand that every country has its own rating process and result. There are certain things you should expect from your hotel and when paying five-star luxury prices, the one thing you can be certain of is the finest quality elegance and luxurious guest accommodation that is spacious and well-appointed. All guest rooms should be en-suite with their own bathrooms, either shower or bath, or both and toiletries and amenities.

The next thing you will find when choosing a five-star hotel is that they have a twenty-four hour reception desk, which can be beneficial. You can leave your key at the hotel when you go out, reducing the risk of losing the key and you can get it from the open reception desk whatever time you decide to return back to the hotel. Smaller hotels and those with a lower rating, may not have a twenty-four-hour reception, this means that you need to take your key with you, sometimes you have to allow yourself into the building on your return to get back to your room with ease.

Five-star hotels have a certain level of cleanliness and maintenance that they need to maintain. In addition to their luxurious accommodation, hallways, restaurant and public areas must be spotless and gleaming without broken lights or lamps or taps that don’t work.

Further, a five-star hotel should always have a concierge service. A concierge service will handle everything for you during your stay. Do you want to hire a car? No problem the concierge will arrange it for you. Do you want to dine at a top restaurant? They will make recommendations and make the booking on your behalf. Do you want to see one of the top West End musicals? They will book your tickets for you so you don’t have to.

In addition to this, a five-star hotel is also to have certain facilities that you expect. They should have an on-site wellness centre where you can enjoy a range of top quality treatments. They should also provide you with access to a fitness facility and swimming pool.

The hotels in the United Kingdom with five-star status also provide their guests with a restaurant where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis. You can also enjoy the added convenience of twenty-four hour room service, ordering food to your room, sitting back and relaxing after a long day in business meetings or touring the city to see the sights.

The staff at these top establishments are all trained to the very highest standards. They are all qualified and experienced in the area to provide their guests with a first class service.

How to Choose From the Best Hotels in Dubai Within Budget

Time has changed a lot especially for Dubai which has transformed itself into the most sought after commercial destination in the world. Once a lonely desert, this gulf region has become a heaven for commercial people and all leading brands. A large number of people come to Dubai to give wings to their dreams. And this city never disappoints them with its magnificent charm that is truly distinctive in its own sense.

For visitors, staying at a good hotel is not big deal but they need to do a bit of research to get the best offers on the budget hotels in Dubai. From budget hotels, to 5-star & 7-star hotels, Dubai boasts of an extensive range of options that meet the specific accommodation needs of people coming to the region. Whether for business purpose or entertainment, these hotels offer superb amenities to travelers at economical rates.

Being one of the seven United Arab Emirates, Dubai enjoys comfortable location that makes it a great place for trading purpose. With its ever-developing trade scenario, it has become a center of trading, drawing tourists from all across the world. Dubai is recently in news for its hi-tech architecture of high-end construction projects and sports. A major part of its foreign cash flow emerges through tourism. With around 70 shopping malls and Dubai Mall, one of the biggest in the world, it is widely regard as the 8th most visited place in the world.

Among various big cities in the world, Dubai has some of the most magnificent hotels, resorts and apartments for rent. Most of the best hotels in Dubai are rated high on global hotel standards. Some of the best & luxurious accommodation options are Al Bustan Centre Residence, Al Bustan Rotana, Al Maha Desert Resort and others.

Anyone who is coming to Dubai and wants comfy and affordable accommodation, it is strongly suggested to do a thorough research on all leading budget hotels in Dubai that provide world-class hospitality experiences in a budgetary way. The deeper your research is the better outcome you can expect to get.

It is not just the city which offers an unforgettable experience to visitors, the hotels there also provide the similar level of experience to travelers. So, next time you think of visiting Dubai, make sure you get the most out of your time, efforts and investment. This way you can choose to enjoy a pleasant and remarkable accommodation experience.

The Beginners Guide To Finding A Luxury Condominium For Your Next Vacation

Perusing and choosing from a variety of luxury condominiums can be overwhelming, particularly if you are next to the scene. Condos can be a particularly tricky type of accommodation, but they can be some of the most rewarding choices if you know what to look for. Fortunately, there are some standard guidelines to follow and things to watch for when choosing a hotel. Take a look at some of the following tips to help you make the most of your accommodation choice:

1. Be mindful of your price range.

This is an important tip! Make yourself a budget for your travels and then stick to it. If you must go over, then be sure you have a concrete reason for exceeding your initial estimate. The beauty of condominium-style hotels is that you have a range of options with different prices. With luxury condominiums, you should be able to specifically see the amenities for which you are spending your budget. Searching online for special deals and promotions and traveling during the off-season are all good tips to help save you some money. Join a mailing (or emailing) list for even more specials and promos.

2. Determine which amenities are important to you.

Different people will have different expectations of their hotel choice. If you are traveling with your family, you will probably be interested in a different set of amenities than if you were traveling by yourself or with adults only. Ask about swimming pools, hot tubs and saunas. Some people really enjoy having large, community spaces for everyone to lounge in after the day’s activities. Campfires and grills are also things to consider if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors. The sky is the limit when you are discussing luxury condominiums, so make sure you keep your options open and your expectations defined.

3. Ask for a variety of room options.

For some hotel-style condos, you can expect privately owned rooms within a hotel setting. This means that a large condo building is generally under group management, but each unit is individually owned. Look for photos online to peruse your options. Checking out online reviews is also an excellent method for checking on the status of a particular condo. Keep this in mind when you are attempting to book with a company. Also, consider what would be best for your travel group. If you are going with just one person, you may want something completely different than if you were hosting children or extended family members.

4. Think about the activities in which you want to participate.

The activities in which you will participate while on vacation should influence your choice in luxury condominiums. If you are booking a ski trip, then check the access to ski lifts, ski lessons, and ski-lodge type of accommodations. If you will be in the mountains, then inquire after relaxing spa options. Adjust your sleeping accommodations to your vacation choices in order to maximize your vacation experience. Call ahead of time to see how the hotel management can accommodate you.

5 Secrets to Finding Where to Stay in Fredericksburg

Deciding where to stay anywhere in the world can pose challenges, but when you’re faced with a particularly interesting city, it can be a little tougher to make the right call. This is the quandary faced when choosing a place to stay when visiting Fredericksburg, Texas.

The city of Fredericksburg was established in 1846, so it has a very long history into the early days of the Lone Star State. What’s more, this city, which boasts a population of about 11,000 people, has gained popularity over the years for all it has to offer to visitors looking for a unique, yet thoroughly Texan, experience.

It’s important to know that Fredericksburg, TX is seen as a gem in the central area of Texas known as the Hill Country. As time has passed, the city has remained small, but it certainly packs a punch in terms of what it offers to visitors, and herein lies the issue with deciding where to put your boots up, so to speak, when in town.

Here are five secrets to choosing the best place to stay when visiting Fredericksburg:

Plan Your Travel – This seems relatively easy as most people plan their travel, but specifically, understand on what roadways you’ll be traveling. If you happen to be on I-10, you’re a little south of Fredericksburg. While not too far, if you’re not keen on straying from I-10, you might want to look elsewhere. If you happen to be traveling Highway 290, however, it goes right through town, which presents more options. Also, if you plan on using Fredericksburg as your home base when taking day trips to either Austin or San Antonio, know that you’re fairly equidistant from both, which means you’ll likely save money by staying outside of the big cities.

Define Your Lodging Needs – Whether it’s one night, a weekend, or an entire week, staying in historic Fredericksburg provides many lodging options in the way of inns & suites, hotels, and B&Bs. Each has its own set of amenities and offerings for visitors, so it pays to know what you want out of your lodging.

Pets – More and more people are starting to travel with their pets rather than leave them with a neighbor or board them. It may be nice to travel with your furry buddy, but the options for finding a place to stay that is pet-friendly are greatly reduced. You may also be one of the many people who travel with a service animal. Though it’s easy to get online & check policies, a quick online search of Fredericksburg pet-friendly lodging gives you very inconsistent results. Calling ahead is your best bet.

Wineries – Fredericksburg is known across the country & abroad for its amazing wine. If you’re traveling to the area to check out any number of the fifteen wineries associated with Wine Road 290, you may want to consider how you plan on moving back & forth. Since you’ll be interacting with alcohol, these wineries take care to maintain safe environments. There are a few wineries that have attached lodging available, but you’ll have to call ahead of time to find out about availability (if applicable).

Know Your Map – Regular travelers know that when trying to secure a deal on a room, businesses offering a place to stay will advertise about their proximity to various landmarks & places of interest. Fredericksburg is no different. For example, a hotel may indicate that they are right off Main Street, which cuts right through the city. That sounds more appealing than staying off of U.S. Highway 290 until you realize that it’s the same road.

Choosing where to stay in Fredericksburg, TX requires a little bit of work on the weary traveler, but in the end, you’ll be greatly rewarded.

Last-Minute Hotel Deals Will Make a Procrastinator Out of You

Last-minute hotel deals were once looked at as being able to get what you could at a price higher than you really wanted to pay. In other words, the idea of a ‘deal’ was relative and was non-existent. Sure, there were times you could score some cheap travel lodging, but it was rare & had a slew of hidden issues attached.

Nowadays, the notion of planning ahead for any type of travel seems almost crazy. What’s more, this applies to travel in-state, state-to-state-, and even international travel. No longer are borders problematic, and considering how finicky lodging can be for some travelers, this is especially welcome & also perplexing.

How is the ease of making last-minute hotel plans possible? One word – Internet. The fact remains that the Internet has revolutionized the travel industry, and you are in the driver’s seat for the entire travel booking process. Never in the history of the world has it been easier to be so involved in all facets of travel, and the truly mesmerizing thing that it just keeps getting better.

Websites all over the world for everything from the most basic motor lodge to the best five-star hotel offer user-friendly websites that allow customers the chance to even be able to see what rooms may be available. Some offer live chats with prospective travelers, and even more profound are the hotels that offer a 360° view of available rooms so that when you book, you know exactly what you’ll be seeing when you arrive. The advancement of technology is just astounding.

21st century technology has now spawned the dawn of the mobile app, which connects prospective hotel visitors to the entire world by way of a little application. On these apps, you can explore rooms, reviews, prices, and even proximity to locals attractions. Even more crucial is that these apps often have four to five-star ratings for their accuracy & ease of use, essentially silencing the critics who believe that such ‘flash-in-the-pan’ tech is limited.

A last-minute hotel room is made even easier because there is so much competition between competing hotels for your business, you can almost list your own terms, including price. There was a time when you were stuck with one option for a hotel stay, and since everyone was vying for the same rooms (i.e., Spring Break, Memorial Day/Labor weekends), you really had to plan far in advance to make sure you had somewhere to stay. While this may still be the case in more rural areas, more often than not, you really have a tremendous amount of choice when it comes to the hotel you want with the type of room you want, and you can wait until even the same day to book.

As a final note, though, travel experts do advise travelers to use common sense when booking their lodging & urge them to understand that waiting too long for last-minute hotel deals can result in having no lodging available all together, so be mindful of your plans & book accordingly.

Why Is Display of Art In Hotels So Significant?

Are luxury hotels becoming fine art spaces?

Art has been a part of the hospitality industry for a very long time now. Hoteliers have often had to embrace creative strategies to make a hotel standout. By placing interesting and eye-catching artwork throughout the hotel, they’ve offered an exclusive experience to their clientele.

Artwork helps build the identity of a hotel and offers a superior aesthetic experience by creating inspiring and stimulating ambience. While the smaller accommodation options prefer cost efficiency and core amenities, artwork is almost integral to luxury, boutique, and design hotels.

The Need for Art

Artwork is a representation of the society because they served both as functional and symbolic elements. While some may say that art is a display of their ethnic sophistication, for some it may be more of an individualistic expression. As a functional element, artwork is utilized for psychological and healing purposes, for social causes, and even as a mode of communication. Personally, they connect people to their roots or the broader human condition. Artwork also evokes curiosity, interest and provides an exuberant experience.

Elevating the Style of Hotels through Artwork

Curating art for a hotel is often done by the hoteliers themselves, and, for this reason, it often reflects their values, creativity and the theme they are tying display. There is a separate budget earmarked for this purpose, and even though the investment in art is limited, it has given rise to different types of marketing strategies for hoteliers.

Use of paintings, sculptures or creative features in hotels, is without a doubt an effective way to revamp its look without investing in the structural changes, which could prove to be more expensive and time-consuming. Hoteliers who are experienced often say that simple changes in the color of the walls or the readjustment of the furniture can visually expand the room by as much as a feet. In fact the rooms that have framed artwork by famous painters are more expensive than others.

Integrating Artistic Communities and Galleries with Hotels

Famous luxury hotels are generally aided by the artistic community for new and exciting artworks. This helps hotels remain up to date with the latest trends while artists get a canvas to showcase their talents. It is a collaboration that is beneficial for both parties. As quoted by Paul Morris, the famous host of numerous international art fairs, including the Armory Show in New York City, “Hotels really can’t get away with putting mallard prints on the wall anymore. Therefore they need to tap into the artistic communities for help.”

Independent art consultants and interior designers are also known to frequently collaborate hotels. Not only do they help define the look of the property, they are able to source art locally from the best talent and get it at a great bargain. With the help of interior designers and consultants, hoteliers are able to achieve new heights in creativity.

Hotels That Have Brilliantly Integrated Art

In these times, art has become fundamental to a hotel instead of just being ornamental or an element of its design. As a result, hoteliers are inspired to think outside of the box and curate art in the most exquisite and unexpected ways possible.

Take for instance, the typical room at the Thompson LES hotel in Manhattan, which has an industrial-chic loft with exposed concrete columns and floor to ceiling windows. But what really catches your eye in the room is the artwork that hangs above the bed. It is a giant light box inside which there is a photo of a tree from photographer Lee Friedlander’s ‘Apples & Olives’ series. Stunning as the installation is, it also perfectly complements the organic setting of the room.

In the past decade, hotels like the Wynn Las Vegas, Chambers in Minneapolis, the Sagamore in Miami Beach and the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando have all displayed wide-ranging collections of art. The Gramercy Park Hotel, after being refurbished, has high-caliber artwork on display. In fact, the Museum of Modern Art is known to have taken a tour group to the hotel. I would call that high praise indeed!

Abstract artist Lynette Shaw painted a series of eight serene, textured canvases as large as eight feet across for the lobby and restaurant at the Wyvern Hotel in Las Vegas. Today the artwork is the most attractive quality of the hotel. Other hotels with famous artwork include the Ace Hotel in New York with four art-centric properties. The Pod Hotel in New York also features frameless art. J. M. Rizzi, the artist, has painted city scenes and abstract shapes directly on to the walls of the lobby and the corridors.

Most hotels commission and collect art that bring out the elements of the city inside the hotels. In some cases, they create a visual record of the rapidly developing neighborhood. For example in South Miami, the owner Michael Achenbaum commissioned Deborah Anderson, a London-based multimedia artist to shoot some of the area’s Art Deco architecture and also staged shots of tattooed models with ’50s hair and clothing. The photographer finally compiled 300 photographs, which were made into the 2,800 prints to be hung throughout the Gansevoort South.

Art in Indian Hotels

If you’re wondering where India stands on incorporating art in the hospitality industry, we have some stellar examples of our own. And why not! Indians have a reputation for being artistically inclined and we have some of the most beautiful examples of architecture in the world. There’s absolutely no way that we’d be left behind when showcasing artistic talent on the walls of our hotels.

Take for example the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. In a land that’s famous for the creative sensibilities of the Nizams, the hotel does justice to its legacy and heritage. Falaknuma’s frescoed ceilings, carved furniture, and Venetian chandeliers have art aficionados in throes of ecstasy. The library in the hotel is a replica of the Windsor Castle in U.K. and is home to 6,000 books. You’re free to take a tour of the Falaknuma Palace accompanied by the hotel’s historian, who takes you through a trip back in time as he regales you with stories from days gone by.

Yet another name that pops to mind is the ITC Maurya in the capital of India. As soon as you enter the hotel’s lobby, you’re greeted by the stunning visual spectacle that is Krishen Khanna’s ‘The Great Procession’ – a rich depiction of the vibrant life in India. But your artistic experience doesn’t end here. There are other exemplary works scattered around the hotel, including Tyeb Mehta’s ‘Bull in the Landscape’ painting and AR Ramachandran’s Ashoka ‘After Kalinga War’ – a sculpture etched with Ashoka’s anti-war inscriptions in Devanagri.

There is no end to instances of brilliant exhibition of art in hotels. It is significant to their identity and being. In fact artists consider it an achievement to have their paintings hang at famous hotel chains. The melange of art in hotels is what makes them an aspiration place where people want to spend their holidays. And in many cases, it forms an intrinsic part of the memories that a traveler carries back with him when he comes away from the hotel.

Rabat Must Visit Places on Holidays

The Villa des Arts in Rabat (as in Casablanca) is the result of corporate sponsorship through the foundation of the ONA Group. The latter (Omnium Nord Africain) is the first Moroccan private industrial and financial group formed as a holding company.

The Villa des Arts in Rabat aims to be a space for the discovery and promotion of contemporary arts with a permanent reference to Moroccan culture and heritage.

Located in the Hassan district near the As Sounna mosque, in a magnificent neo-colonial style house of the 1930s where you can admire the architecture, inside a superbly flowered and beautifully wooded park, Villa des Arts will attract you and make you feel that you are in one of the most pleasant places of Rabat with a halt freshness and culture at the same time. The entrance is free and you can easily move around by simply respecting this place dedicated to modern art in all its forms by selecting Morocco holiday packages.

The Villa des Arts is not a museum or even a gallery of exhibitions, but a cultural place that is divided into several spaces: in the main building, the Villa du Parc, the Carré d’art (the Futuroscope of the creators) The Al Borj space of concrete and glass that evokes the nearby Hassan Tower and will recall the BNRM, Al Qantara the bridge between cultures, multipurpose room for conferences, screenings and exhibitions, small theater which allows The performances of small lyrical, poetic and musical performances as well as open-air conferences, the Diwan space of permanent or itinerant exhibitions, retrospectives of eminent artists and the Gallery on the courtyard for emerging artists.

Upstairs the library and the media library shelter the places of research and exchange between students, researchers, historians and artists. The multimedia library is dedicated to students and researchers with the access to a selection of databases or sites in the fields of arts and culture.

Finally, the virtual museum hosts performances allowing the visitor to create the show from their own imaginary. The Village des Artistes, hosting the workshops of prestigious artists such as Chaïbia, Kacimi, Gharbaoui, and Cherkaoui, offers artists the opportunity to express, realize, make discover, transmit, and make understand the act Creation.

The Villa des Arts is a place that will make you fall in love with its artistic work and cultural hertitage and it’s a must visit site if you are in Rabat. Here are the names of the artists who have already exhibited at the Villa of Arts in Rabat: Maika Agueznay, Ahmed Mjidaoui, Dia Azzawi, Mohammed Melehi, Abdellah Sadouk, Mohammed Chabaa, Adlellatif Lasri, Milou Labied, Anissa Berrada.

Marina Bouregreg of Rabat-Salé:

At the entrance of Salé, along with the old Moulay Hassan Bridge and a few meters from the prestigious gate of Bab Lemrissa, Marina Bouregreg offers, over a 4-hectare lake, 240 moorings on floating pontoons, Sailing less than 30 meters and a maximum draft of 3 meters.

The construction site started in 2006 but the Marina was not able to really open in good conditions to foreign boaters until early 2009.

Backed by the future city of the Arts and the hotel complex that have not yet seen the light of day, the Marina Bouregreg welcomes the visitors in an excellent way. Some boaters may go particularly towards the Canary Islands because it is located half- Distance from European coasts in Morocco hotels & resorts.

In the evenings or on Sundays, the terraces of the cafes and restaurants along the docks towards the delight of the Rabat and Slaouis (the most affluent ones) where people come there willingly to take a refreshment while dreaming a little.

The other less fortunate people simply hang out when the overzealous security guards let them in, as these people often do their job with a hint of brutality confusing pleasure port and military port.

Tips to Planning Your Honeymoon on a Budget

A wedding is not a cheap exercise. You may have been saving for months or more to get the wedding of your dreams, but what about your honeymoon. When planning a wedding, you always want to leave some of your budget for your honeymoon but when you look at the cost of booking a venue, caterers, flowers, entertainers and even a wedding gown, you will soon find that your honeymoon budget has reduced.

Not everyone has the benefit of being able to go on honeymoon without a budget, which is why you need to have some idea on what you can afford before you start shopping sound. The first step to planning a honeymoon on a budget is to know what your budget is. Your budget should include travel, accommodation, food, drink and experiences to ensure you have a memorable time and the perfect start as your new life together.

That being said, it is always advisable to start saving as soon as possible to push your budget up slightly, though all-inclusive deals may be the best option for you to help your money go further and gel you save on your budget, so that everything is included and all you have to worry about is food, drink and entertainment, or in some cases just your drink and entertainment. It’s something to think about. There is nothing that says you have to go straight from your wedding reception to your honeymoon, you can wait a couple of weeks or months and then go on your honeymoon to ensure you have a big enough budget to relax and enjoy yourself.

The next tip is to look at the honeymoon travel deals and offers that are currently available. It is at this point you may want to look at online travel companies that work with resorts throughout the world and can offer you a type of holiday experience that you will both enjoy. Ideally the company should provide city, sea and snow breaks, so you can choose the one you feel is the best match for you. Have a good look through the honeymoon travel deals that they provide, identifying their costs and see if anything appeals to you that you feel is the romantic getaway that you deserve.

It is always advisable when planning your honeymoon on a tight budget to look at out of season times. Even if you are getting married in the heat of summer and you want to go to a seaside resort, consider midweek or out of school holidays, where resorts and hotels are more likely to drop their prices to fill rooms. Here you can find value for money deals that has you staying in top quality resorts at prices you can afford.

If you are planning your honeymoon on a budget, then the shorter your honeymoon the better. Yes, it’s fantastic to imagine a few weeks or a month away together to spend your first few weeks as a married couple, but you have to be realistic in terms of your budget. You an easily enjoy yourself for a full week, enjoy a spectacular location and five star hotel within your budget. Who says you can’t have more than one honeymoon and if you had your heart set on a longer honeymoon, split it up into budgeted experiences over a period of time.

Another tip when planning your honeymoon on a budget is to not travel too far. If you live in the United Kingdom then travel within your own country or head over to Spain or France, which are easily accessible and affordable for travel so that you can make your budget go a little bit further.