Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, draped across a series of rocky hills overlooking the sea. It’s a town intimately entwined with its landscape, with buildings and monuments perched atop crags and overshadowed by cliffs - in the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘a dream in masonry and living rock’. From the Old Town’s picturesque jumble of medieval tenements piled high along the Royal Mile, its turreted skyline strung between the black, bull-nosed Castle Rock and the russet palisade of Salisbury Crags, to the New Town’s neat grid of neoclassical respectability, all columns and capitals, porticoes and pediments, the city offers a constantly changing perspective. And it’s all small enough to explore easily on foot.
One of our favorite hotels in Edinburgh is the Tune Hotel Haymarket, which is directly across the road from the entrance to Haymarket Rail Station and centrally located to all the main attractions in the city. Tune Hotel Haymarket is just a mere 15 minutes’ walk to Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street which is the main shopping street in Edinburgh. Other attractions include Edinburgh International Conference Centre (only 7 minutes’ walk away), Murrayfield Stadium and Edinburgh Zoo is just a short 8 minutes’ drive away.
In one of our recent posts about Spring Break vacation, we discussed some of our favorite hotels to travel to during this spring. In this post will take a closer look at two cool hotels in Florida, which we all know is a place that can party with the best!
Wyndham Garden Clearwater Beach hotel, which is located not far from the beautiful Tampa Bay, is nestled right on a charming and private 260-foot white sand beach. This hotel is a perfect blend of contemporary amenities with impeccable service for the ultimate Clearwater Beach getaway. The hotel is 15 miles from St Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport and 24 miles from Tampa International Airport, offering easy access to the area’s best family-friendly attractions, championship golf courses, shopping and sporting events.
The InterContinental Miami lets you discover a new dimension of sophisticated elegance. Set in the heart of downtown Miami’s thriving financial and business district, InterContinental Miami offers rich accommodations and breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay. From the dramatic 34-story marble exterior to the soaring atrium lobby, InterContinental Miami specializes in stylish flair.
Atlanta hotels offer everything a savvy traveler would want while preserving the traditions of a bygone era. The Georgian Terrace, for instance, is a fine example of historic Atlanta hotels and of great value for your money. Its construction dates to 1911 and while boasting old world ambience it affords guests all the modern conveniences. It’s situated across from the fox Theater, not far from the Centennial Olympic Park or the downtown area. If you’re in Atlanta for other than leisure, the hotel’s business center will come in handy. And in the rooms, you’ll have access to all the necessary perks such as high speed Internet. You may relax by the rooftop pool or work out at the fitness center. If you have any requests, the concierge will be happy to assist you. And feel free to bring your pets. Like in many Atlanta hotels, they’re invited too.
The Hilton Atlanta is another hotel that boasts a central location in the heart of downtown Atlanta. It’s within a walking distance of some of the best attractions in the city, including the Georgia Aquarium, CNN Center and the Georgia World Congress Center. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is just a 15 minute drive from the Atlanta hotel.
The Comfort Suites are yet another excellent choice in inexpensive Atlanta hotels. It’s within a short distance of popular attractions like Six Flags Water Park, the Georgia Aquarium, Cumberland Mall and underground Atlanta. Most two star Atlanta hotels keep the frills to a minimum without compromising on comfort or service. But at the Comfort Suites, you’ll be delighted to know that all accommodations have wireless Internet, microwave oven, refrigerator and cable television. There’s an outdoor pool and business center as well.
Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead is set within the upscale uptown neighborhood of Buckhead. Renovated guestrooms include state-of-the-art Internet access, and sleek flat screen HDTVs with Roomlinx interactive iTV. You can also enjoy views of the Japanese Zen Garden.
But if staying in one of the luxurious Atlanta hotels is what you desire, the selection is truly impressive. The Omni Hotel at the CNN Center, for example, recently underwent a one hundred million dollar renovation. It’s one of the Four Diamond Atlanta hotels and is situated in the heart of the city. It connects to the Phillips Arena and Georgia World Congress Center. It’s also the only one of the Atlanta hotels to enjoy close proximity to the Georgia Dome. This award winning establishment welcomes visitors with elegant rooms and suites. They’re fitted with the best amenities and serviced with the highest level of attention in the industry.
Atlanta hotels are everything you can possibly want and more.
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.
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.
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago steps into the limelight with the largest restyling in the hotel’s history since its 1977 opening. During the first week in May 2010, the $25 million project unveils a dramatic new lobby, restaurant and bar, promenade, ballroom and Presidential Suite. (The re-design of the hotel’s guestrooms and suites was completed in 2009.) The Ritz-Carlton Chicago renovation was designed by Brayton Hughes Design Studios. The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (a Four Seasons Hotel) offers a setting of unmistakable grandeur, ideal for business or leisure, centered in the prestigious shopping and cultural mecca of North Michigan Avenue. (See all of LastMinuteTravel.com’s 5 Star Hotels along the North River.)
“We are very fortunate to benefit from Ownership’s long-term commitment, which has allowed The Ritz-Carlton Chicago the luxury to move forward in the current economic climate as it is,” says The Ritz-Carlton Chicago’s Regional Vice-President and General Manager, Patrick Ghielmetti. “This renovation marks a new and exciting era for The Ritz-Carlton Chicago.”
The vision for the Lobby was inspired by a highly-styled era with its deep woods and rich earth tones. A blend of contemporary and traditional is created with graceful upholstered wall coverings; large graphic-patterned carpeting in hues of gold, champagne, caramels and chocolate browns; and Breccia Oniciata marble flooring. Stepping off the 12th floor elevator, the Lobby’s captivating views of the city’s skyline come to life. A sky-lit fountain centrally anchors the room, surrounded by natural scenes of Art Nouveau plaster relief; stylish sofas; glass-topped, antique bronze hammered coffee tables; glass floor lamps; pedestal rosewood tables with marble insets and Paris influenced lounge chairs.
“This living room environment allows guests to feel the comfort of home, while also being able to congregate and socialize, and drink and dine in an easy setting,” explains Ghielmetti.
2009 saw many hotel companies open new properties or relaunch remodeled ones. With more than 100 hotels from major brands scheduled to open across the United States, 2010 looks to be an even stronger year for openings. For the traveler this is good news as a surplus of room inventory will keep prices down. That’s not such a good thing for the hotels. So why would they want to open so many hotels right now?
The answer, according to Mark Lomanno, president of Smith Travel Research, is that “hotel building cycles rarely mesh just right with economic cycles.” Planning a new hotel can take two to four years, and construction an additional one to four years. Most of the hotels getting ready to open were on the drawing boards several years ago, when the economy was healthy, demand for rooms was strong and room rates were rising quickly.
Of course, the opposite will also be true. Not a lot of hotels are being planned during the recession. So everything should start to balance out in three to four years. But in the meantime, now is your chance to get out there and experience some amazing savings as these new hotels fight for market share.
The big topic of conversation at the holiday parties I attended this weekend, other than the few remaining shopping days til’ Christmas, was the U2 360 Tour. It’s coming back for a second trip across the pond and many locations still have tickets available. Those who have seen this tour say it is among the top 10 rock band tours ever and amazing even from the cheap seats.
We asked our travel experts their opinions on great places to stay for the remaining North American cities and found some great deals to pass along:
If you’re still looking for that last minute holiday gift this year, why not give that someone special a trip to the U2 360 Tour near you and make everyone very happy. Book now to lock in these great last minute deals in advance.
The Ice Hotel in Sweden is 6,000 square feet of ice and snow making it the biggest ice hotel in the world. The beds of the hotels are specially made of snow, ice and reindeer skins. Guests sleep on these beds in a thermal sleeping bag to keep warm. The hotel is rebuilt every winter after it melts. Each time the hotel is rebuilt they make changes to it. The hotel is open for 3 months out of the year.