Archive

Archive for September, 2010

Anaheim, CA is next Travel Temptation

September 23rd, 2010

Last Minute Travel is giving away free hotel nights at popular locations across the country. To qualify, just follow @LMTTweets on Twitter and RT (re-tweet) the contest Tweets as instructed. Then, those who follow and RT will be entered into a random drawing for those free hotel nights. We’ll have a new RT promo about every two weeks, so be sure to check back for new hotel packages and additional chances to win.

Our second “Travel Temptation” is a 2 night stay at the Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim located in the Resort District in Anaheim, CA. Of course, you can’t mention Anaheim without mentioning Disneyland, but there is also the convention center, a new entertainment center called Garden Walk, and the rest of the Southern California attractions to enjoy.

While searching Last Minute Travel you’ll find that we also have a wide selection of Anaheim transportation and activities that you won’t find anywhere else.

Learn more about Anaheim at our destination guide for the city.

For complete “Travel Temptations” official sweepstakes rules click here.

JFrost Promotions , , ,

Paris and Orlando moving closer

September 22nd, 2010

Polish up your Joie De Vivre, Air France has announced it will begin non-stop flights between Orlando International Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport starting June 11.

“This is an effort we’ve had going on for probably 20 years to get into France from Orlando,” said Phil Brown, executive director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, who said it took, “persistence with Air France to make it work.”

The addition of other international flights over the last few years has allowed Orlando International Airport to set a new annual record with 2.98 million international passengers arriving or departing in 2009. The airport reports that the 2010 pace also looks to be on record pace, up another 10 percent over last year.

JFrost Uncategorized , , ,

Hudson Hotel adds Semi-Automatic Giftshop

September 16th, 2010

Having just stayed at the Hudson New York, a Morgans Hotel Group property, I can tell you that the hotel has a unique take on the guest experience. The standard room is small, although not completely out of range for the New York sized hotel room, but they more than make up for it with their indoor and outdoor public spaces, bars, and restaurants.

One of the more fun aspects I found was that ever floor had a centrally located vending machine area with some unique items along with the standard candy, soft drinks, and ice. They’ve now brought that idea to a whole new level with a giant vending machine in place of a gift-shop.

SemiAutomatic - The Hudson New York Gift Shop

The gift shop called Semi-Automatic is available to guests 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will present new luxury items on a regular basis. Prices range from $4 (for the basics) to $4500 (a two night penthouse package at Morgans Hotel Group’s newest hotel, Ames in Boston ).  For the extravagant consumer with refined taste the Ben Watts photo shoot is priced at $8,000 and the Ferrari 599 GTB can be yours to rent for $10,000 per week. Other items include: Classic paperback Catcher in the Rye, a stylish toothbrush by Paul Smith, a retro Ouija Board, a luxe Dagger Rosary by renowned jewelry designer Pamela Love, an Essential Travel Kit by Malin+ Goetz, and a chic black sequin mini skirt by Haute Hippie.

“We’re thrilled to bring the unrivaled Semi-Automatic experience to Hudson in New York City,” said Kim Walker, Senior Vice President and Creative Director for Morgans Hotel Group. “This incredible concept gives us the opportunity to enhance our guests’ travel needs by offering exciting luxury brands, everyday essentials and unexpected experiences to take advantage of during their stay.”

The Hudson Hotel is one of Last Minute Travel’s Four-Star “Best Value” properties in New York. It’s Midtown location is really quite ideal for anything you need to do on Manhattan Island.

JFrost Hotels , , , , ,

This Week in Travel

September 15th, 2010

Here’s a short list of travel related stories I wasn’t able to write posts about this week. I hope you’ll explore the links on your own:

The San Diego Wild Animal Park is being renamed the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Safari is Swahili for “Journey of Mind and Soul” which the park claims better represents the current mission of the park.

The Oregonian has a beautiful guide to the state’s wineries. Make sure to take advantage of the ‘driving tour’ application. There is also a beautiful photo gallery of Crater Lake, one of the state’s best kept travel secrets and its only National Park.  (See also this description of a day at Crater Lake on 100Hikes.com)

Didn’t get to take a vacation this summer? NPR has a list of books to read that might put you in vacation mode even if you’re just in the living room.

Here’s a link I meant to include in my recent story on Las Vegas room nights increasing, the closure of the Liberace Museum. Even though the museum experienced an upgrade less than 10 years ago, today’s visitor numbers are less than a 10th of its peak attendance. Fame passes, even for someone as legendary as Liberace.  The Museum’s final day is October 18th.

JFrost News , , ,

Las Vegas reporting uptick in Reservations (and rates)

September 14th, 2010

Las Vegas Strip

It is unlikely that any city in the US was hit as hard by the recession as Las Vegas. They experienced twin crashes in housing and tourism while still not being completely recovered from the downturn of the early 2000s. While housing may yet take a while to recover, signs of a recovery in the tourism industry are growing.

Numbers just released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority say the city attracted 3,330,658 visitors in July, an increase of 4.7 percent from the same month a year ago.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, that is the largest single-month percentage growth in visitors to Las Vegas in almost five years.

Much of the growth can be attributed to great deals, an increase in convention business, and visits from those within driving distance to Levas. Airline passenger counts have yet to see much improvement.

“We’re encouraged and happy to see the continued increases in visitation,” says Kevin Bagger, senior director of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “But we still know that people are cautious in their spending habits.”

Room rates for July were up 4.8 percent to an average of $91. Additionally, even though there are some 7,000 more hotel rooms than a year ago, citywide occupancy remained at 84 percent, essentially unchanged from a year ago.

Alas, not all the news is good. The Plaza Hotel downtown recently closed. However, they say they’re doing renovations and plan to re-open the property in the future.

Find Las Vegas deals so amazing, we can’t tell you the hotel name until after you book!

JFrost Destinations , , , , , ,

Cedar Point named Best Amusement Park

September 13th, 2010

As Academy Award winners often say, it’s an honor to be nominated by one’s peers and to win is just the icing on the cake. The same goes for the Amusement Park industry awards known as the Golden Ticket Awards. These are the destinations that industry insiders consider to be the top of the top.

Calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today, the Golden Ticket Awards are the results of a detailed survey that is sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans around the world – in balanced geographical regions – asking them to rate the “bests” in 25 categories such as “amusement parks,” “roller coasters,” “shows,” “landscaping” and “water rides.”

The 2010 winners are …

Best Amusement Park
Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Best Waterpark

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas

Best Children’s Park
Idlewild and SoakZone, Ligonier, Pa.

Best Marine Life Park
SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla.

Best Seaside Park
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Best Wooden Coaster
The Voyage at Holiday World, Santa Claus, Ind.

Best Steel Coaster
Millennium Force at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Best Kids’ Area
Kings Island, Kings Mills, Ohio

Friendliest Staff
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.

Cleanest Park
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.

Best Halloween Event
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, Orlando, Fla..

Best Landscaping
Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va.

Best Christmas Event
Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Best Food
Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.

Best Shows
Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Best Outdoor Night Show Production
IllumiNations: Reflections of the Earth at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center, Orlando, Fla.

Best Water Ride
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.

Best Waterpark Ride
Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.

Best Dark Ride
Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.

Best Indoor Waterpark
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Galveston, Texas

Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction
Noah’s Ark at Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa.

Best Carousel
Grand Carousel at Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.

Best Indoor Roller Coaster
Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Orlando, Orlando, Fla.

Best New Ride of 2010 - Amusement Park
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.

Best New Ride of 2010 - Waterpark
Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.

This is the 13th annual year for Amusement Today’s coveted Golden Ticket Awards, which are the most sought-after awards in the business of amusements and attractions. This year’s host park, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, has won the Best Landscaping title every year since the poll has been in place.

“We are very proud of the men and women who maintain Busch Gardens’ landscaping. The park’s landscaping complements the park experience for our guests. It’s something we take great pride in, so this award is especially meaningful,” says John Reilly, president of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. “We are thrilled to host this year’s Golden Ticket Awards and welcome the industry to our park.”

Personally chosen by Gary Slade, publisher and editor-in-chief of Amusement Today, the Publisher’s Pick Awards are presented in three categories: Park, Individual and Supplier. Respectively, the 2010 recipients are Beech Bend in Bowling Green, Ky., for its perseverance in overcoming unexpected health and flooding challenges; Jeff Novotny of Larson International in Plainview, Texas, for his donation of land and labor to make the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives a reality; and Environs in Jacksonville, Fla., for its generous $650,000 gift of a scenic ship to Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Fla.

Read more…

JFrost News , , , ,

September 10th, 2010

Last Minute Travel is proud to support independent music. If you’re in Southern California, we hope you’ll check out The Wellspring, who are playing a concert tomorrow night in Los Angeles. They’ve also made a download available on their Facebook page. We know you’ll become a fan of their music, we certainly are.

Fall Fantasies - Afordable Luxury Escapes

rsvp facebook

JFrost Music , ,

LastMinuteTravel.com Travel Temptations Sweepstakes Kickoff

September 7th, 2010

SeaWorld Orlando's Manta Roller Coaster

Last Minute Travel is giving away free hotel nights at popular locations across the country. To qualify, just follow @LMTTweets on Twitter and RT (re-tweet) the contest Tweets as instructed. Then, those who follow and RT will be entered into a random drawing for those free hotel nights. We’ll have a new RT promo about every two weeks, so be sure to check back for new hotel packages and additional chances to win.

Our first week will give away a 2 night stay at the Hilton Orlando located in Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort. We choose Orlando because it has so much to offer both families and business travelers. Beyond the must-see theme parks, there are dozens of roadside attractions, air tours, and dining opportunities. At Last Minute Travel we have the deals on Orlando transportation and activities that you won’t find anywhere else like our Orlando Superpass.

Learn more about Orlando at our destination guide for the city.

For complete “Travel Temptations” official sweepstakes rules click here.

JFrost Promotions , , , , , , , ,