Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Resorts Launches Taste of Waldorf Astoria‏

October 23, 2014 on 4:05 pm | In Dine Drink, Hotels | Comments Off

Partnership with the James Beard Foundation

Five Rising Star Chefs Travel to Berlin, Rome, Edinburgh, La Quinta, and Shanghai to Collaborate with Waldorf Astoria Master Chefs on Next Iconic Dish

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts announced the launch of a global gastronomy-focused programme in partnership with the world’s foremost culinary arts organisation, the James Beard Foundation (JBF). Taste of Waldorf Astoria pairs young, emerging JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist chefs with prominent Michelin-starred Waldorf Astoria chefs in Rome, Berlin, Edinburgh, Shanghai, and La Quinta, California. The programme is designed to reinforce Waldorf Astoria’s commitment to culinary excellence and create a platform for rising star chefs to showcase and develop their talent.

Waldorf Astoria New York is the birthplace of iconic classics such as eggs benedict, red velvet cake, Thousand Island dressing, and the eponymous Waldorf salad. Drawing on the heritage of the brand as a culinary innovator, the chef duos have been tasked to create the next iconic Waldorf Astoria dish. The winning Taste will be decided by a panel of culinary influencers at an unforgettable event in February 2015 at Waldorf Astoria New York.

“Waldorf Astoria serves global luxury travellers unique culinary experiences at each of the brand’s more than 140 world-class bars, lounges, and specialty restaurants worldwide,” said John T.A. Vanderslice, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “The historic James Beard Foundation shares our mission to celebrate, nurture, and honour culinary heritage.”

Taste of Waldorf Astoria will host five chef experiences at the following properties:

Waldorf Astoria Berlin

October 18 – 23, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Pierre Gagnaire

James Beard Foundation Chef: Christopher Kajioka of Vintage Cave (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowMichelin Star Chef Pierre Gagnaire is at the helm of 11 lauded restaurants in Europe and beyond, including the Michelin-starred Modern French restaurant Les Solistes at Waldorf Astoria Berlin. Chris Kajioka, an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America and Per Se in New York, just left the Executive Chef position at Vintage Cave in Honolulu to open his own project. His new restaurant is slated to open in 2015 and will emphasize his style of contemporary French cuisine paired with Japanese flavors featuring local and seasonal ingredients from Hawaii.

Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

October 20 – 24, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Heinz Beck

James Beard Foundation Chef: David Posey of Blackbird (Chicago, Illinois)

Since 1994, Heinz Beck has served as head chef at Rome Cavalieri’s La Pergola, Rome’s only restaurant with three Michelin Stars. Heinz Beck is the recipient of numerous awards for outstanding achievements throughout a long and prestigious career – La Pergola’s menu is his greatest achievement to date. David Posey is a star chef in Chicago, formerly the Chef de Cuisine at Blackbird and now embarking on a new chapter opening his own restaurant next year.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

November 17 – 21, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chefs: Chris and Jeff Galvin, Craig Sandle

James Beard Foundation Chef: Cara Stadler of Tao Yuan (Brunswick, Maine)

Michelin-starred chef brothers, Chris and Jeff Galvin reinvigorated the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh’s dining programme, making The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie De Luxe two of the finest restaurants in Scotland and the UK. Executive Chef Craig Sandle leads day-to-day operations. Cara Stadler, who has been recognized by Food & Wine as one of America’s best new chefs, is the owner and head chef at the celebrated Asian Fusion restaurant Tao Yuan in Brunswick, Maine.

La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

November 18 – 23, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Jimmy Schmidt

James Beard Foundation Chef: Eduardo Ruiz of Picnik and Corazón y Miel (Bell, CA)

An innovative pioneer in America’s culinary movement towards sustainable cooking and farm-to-table dining, La Quinta Resort’s Chef Jimmy Schmidt is a three-time James Beard Award winner and one of the original members of the James Beard Foundation. Recently named one of Zagat’s 30 Under 30, Eduardo Ruiz is the Executive Chef and owner of the newly opened PICNIK Restaurant in Pasadena, California and the acclaimed CORAZON Y MIEL in Bell, California.

Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

November 30 – December 7, 2014

Waldorf Astoria Master Chef: Jan van Dyk

James Beard Foundation Chef: Marjorie Meek Bradley of Ripple and Roofer’s Union (Washington, D.C.)

Jan van Dyk is the Executive Chef Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, offering modern French cuisine infused with gastronomy classics perfected over 20 years’ of gourmet experience in some of the world’s most exclusive restaurants and private clubs. Marjorie Meek-Bradley oversees the kitchens as Executive Chef at both Ripple and Roofers Union in Washington, DC. Marjorie has served a variety of cuisines in many top-rated restaurants and her impressive pedigree includes having worked for renowned chef, Thomas Keller, at Per Se in NYC and Bouchon in Yountville, CA, a One Michelin Star restaurant.

Each JBF Chef will visit their selected property for one week, spending time with the Waldorf Astoria Master Chef inside and outside the kitchen, visiting local markets and producers, restaurants or off-the-beaten-path locations for inspiration. At the end of the week, each chef pairing will have devised a unique and innovative recipe.

In February 2015, each participating chef will bring their knives to Waldorf Astoria New York to prepare their recipes for a panel of culinary luminaries, who will ultimately decide the reigning recipe. The final Taste will be included on the menus of Waldorf Astoria’s 28 hotels and resorts worldwide.

Foodies and Waldorf Astoria guests can track each chef’s on-property journey and dish creation by following the brand’s social channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Five influential bloggers and Instagram photographers from around the world will likewise be documenting their unforgettable experiences with Waldorf Astoria and JBF Rising Star Semi-Finalist chefs at participating properties.

For more information about Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.waldorfastoria.com aldorfastoria.com

Howard Johnson Celebrates 60 Years with TWO Exciting Promotions!‏

October 23, 2014 on 3:55 pm | In Hotels | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowTravel back in time with Howard Johnson as the iconic hotel brand celebrates 60 years of hospitality! This fall, Howard Johnson is marking its milestone with a number of exciting promotions that your readers can get involved in:

· “Spotlights On You” Ad Search: Howard Johnson is searching for its former employees who were featured in their 1960’s ad campaign “Spotlight on You.” All former employees in the ad who can be identified and verified will receive a complimentary five night’s stay at any Howard Johnson hotel. The participants will also have the chance to be featured in an upcoming Howard Johnson ad campaign. For full program terms and conditions, visit www.hojoadsearch.com

· Commemorative Key Chains: At all Howard Johnson hotels nationwide, travelers will be presented with a complimentary limited-edition key chain. Guests must ‘like’ the hotel’s Facebook page and show confirmation at the front desk in order to receive the gift.

About Howard Johnson

Part of Wyndham Hotel Group, the Howard Johnson® hotel brand is a global chain of nearly 440 hotels with locations around the world, most of which offer an array of complimentary amenities including free Wi-Fi and free Rise & Dine® continental breakfast. Many properties also offer meeting and fitness facilities, swimming pools and the opportunity to earn and redeem points through Wyndham Rewards®, the brand’s guest loyalty program. Travelers can join the free program at www.wyndhamrewards.com  This year marks the hotel brand’s 60th anniversary.

Each Howard Johnson hotel is independently owned and operated under franchise agreements with Howard Johnson International, a subsidiary of Wyndham Hotel Group and parent company Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN). Reservations and information are available by visiting www.hojo.com

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Preserve Your Travel Memories With The Ritz-Carlton App

October 22, 2014 on 11:12 am | In Hotels, Mobile Apps | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowApp Now Allows Creation of Personalized, Shareable Travel Posters

The Ritz-Carlton knows the value of a photo is not only its aesthetic quality, but in the memory that it evokes. Enhancements to the luxury hotel company’s app are live, allowing the creation of personalized travel posters on smart phones and tablets to all Ritz-Carlton App users globally.

Imagine being able to capture the beauty of an island sunset and then personalizing the photo with a destination stamp. Through a new travel poster feature, The Ritz-Carlton guests can transform their own photos into unique, vintage-inspired posters capturing their travel memories in a distinct and shareable way. The Ritz-Carlton is renowned for the importance it places on creating indelible memories for its guests, and providing a digital tool to curate a memory-evoking travel poster is an extension of a commitment to capture and share rare and special moments as they happen at each of The Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts.

“A picture is worth a thousand words and a beautiful way to hold on to the memories we want to preserve” said Ed French, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “Our guests can now curate their own images with special filters, effects, the ability to crop, to add destination titles, stamps and to create vintage-style posters that capture their favorite travel memories. They will then be able to share their posters across social media channels, or save them to a personal on-device camera roll, storing the travel memory forever.”

The steps to create a travel poster are simple. Upon opening The Ritz-Carlton App, users should click to open the travel posters feature. From there, select the option to access a photo from the album or take a photo. A photo editor tool provides 48 destination stamps, stickers, frames, effects and cropping tools. When completed, the ability to add a caption and post to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is at the click of a button.

Guests are also encouraged to share their poster across social channels using #RCMemories for the chance to have their signature travel moment captured by The Ritz-Carlton and shared on the brand Instagram channel or on ritzcarlton.com/yourmemories. ‘Your Memories’ displays photos of captured moments as they are shared by guests on Twitter and Instagram and tagged with #RCMemories. As travelers share their personal experiences at Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts, The ‘Your Memories’ page displays inspiring, dynamic, mosaic-like wall of images that is continuously refreshed.

Capture the beauty of the world as you travel. Show what you saw and experienced. Those moments — your moments — are the ones you’ll want to share and remember.

The Ritz-Carlton App is available for immediate download by visiting www.ritzcarlton.com/app

Destination stamps include:

Americas – Arizona, Half Moon Bay, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Palm Springs, California, Colorado, Florida, Naples, Miami, Orlando. Georgia, Maui, New Orleans, Boston, St. Louis, New York City, Philadelphia, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Toronto

Caribbean – Cancun

Europe – Vienna, Berlin, Lisbon, Canary Islands, Moscow, Istanbul, Barcelona

Middle East – Bahrain, Israel, Oman, Qatar, Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi

Asia Pacific – China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Sanya, Chengdu, Bangalore,

Japan: Kyoto, Tokyo

(Future locations are to be added)

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 87 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. For more information, or reservations visit the company web site at www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. NASDAQ:MAR

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Small Danish Hotels Offer Great Boutique Boltholes

October 22, 2014 on 7:09 am | In Beachbooker, Denmark, Hotels | Comments Off

Carefully selected for their fascinating history, attention to detail and gourmet food, Small Danish Hotels represent Danish hospitality and offer an excellent option for exploring Denmark’s regional cities and surrounding countryside.

Whether taking one of the popular Marguerite driving routes or a less beaten track to explore outside the capital, opting to stay in one of the many Small Danish Hotels along the way can add a whole other dimension to the concept of a town or city break.


Strand- & Badehotel Marienlyst and Elsinore Built in 1901 on a prime waterfront position as a part Marienlyst Castle’s wellness centre “Cuur- og Badeanstalt”, Strand- & Badehotel Marienlyst was extensively refurbished this year to reflect its former glory as one of RoyalNorth Sealand’s most popular beach hotels. With stunning panoramic sea views of the sound between Denmark and Sweden to be had throughout the property, the hotel is ideally situated for exploring the seafaring enclave ofElsinore with one of Europe’s best preserved historical town centres; impressive state of the art M/S Maritime Museum and cultural centre which have been respectively revitalised from the old dry dock and ship yard; world renowned UNESCO listed Kronborg Castle – the dramatic setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet; and Carmelite monastery and Sanct Mary’s Church, one of the best preserved medieval monasteries in northern Europe.


Outdoorplay.com - Free Kayak ShippingHotel Skibssmedien and Skagen

With a unique light, untouched wilderness and pristine beaches, far North Jutland has attracted visitors from over the centuries. At its tip, near to where the two seas meet, lies the picturesque fishing village of Skagen – a bohemian haven for artists in the late 19th century that still retains much of the character as depicted in their paintings. Joining the Small Danish Hotels group this year, Hotel Skibssmedien has been remodelled out of preservation-worthy workshops near to the old shipyard and offers a great central location for exploring the town by foot or bike. Within a few minutes walk to the popular harbourside

‘Fiskehuskajen’ where striking red wooden fish warehouses have been converted into a selection of excellent seafood restaurants, it is also an easy stroll to Skagen Museum with its superb collection of historic paintings, the local history museum Nordjyllands Kystmuseum and artists Michael and Anna Anchers House. Or for a longer walk or cycle, head to Skagen Odde Naturcenter to learn about the flora and fauna in the area, Den Tilsandede Kirke (the sand buried church) or Grenenwhere you can put a foot in each ocean at the same time.

Tylstrup Kro and Aalborg

Dating back to 1644 and one of the oldest royally licensed ‘Kro’ in Denmark,Tylstrup Inn has continued to charm its guests with its historic atmosphere, delicious locally sourced cuisine and over 350 years of exceptional inn-keeping. Situated in a small village surrounded by wilderness on the outskirts of Store Vildemose moor and just a short drive from Denmark’s 4th largest city, it makes the perfect countryside escape from which to discover the city’s sights. Suitably compact with quaint cobbled streets, boutique shops and a glistening redeveloped waterfront sporting a shimmering new House of Music, the architecturally famous Utzon Center and renovated power station and cultural centre Nordkraft overlooking the Limfjord, Aalborg offers an ideal blend of culture, cafes and retail therapy.


Hotel Dania and Silkeborg

Straddling the banks of Denmark’s longest river Gudenåen, Silkeborg is at the centre of the Danish lakes with Hotel Dania at its heart. Built in 1848 after the establishment of the local paper mill, Hotel Dania’s popularity grew with the prosperity of the city and is regarded as one of its most important landmarks. Attracting politicians, well-known painters, authors and regulars such as Han Christian Andersen, it continues to draw guests with its historical setting, award winning ‘Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ Brasserie Underhuset restaurant and proximity to Silkeborg’s many and varied attractions. Highlights includeSilkeborg Museum’s mysterious 2400 year old bog body ‘Tolland Man’;Museum Jorn with works from the city’s best internationally known artist Asger Jorn and other COBRA art movement members; the beautiful old spa which houses Art Centre Silkeborg Bad and the world’s oldest paddle steamer.

Hotel Ritz Aarhus City, Aarhus

Hotel Ritz Aarhus City is all about design and location. Situated on the square in front of the central railway station, this 1932 gem has been extensively restored to become one of the city’s most stylish boutique hotels. Mixing beautifully preserved original features with Danish designer furniture, the hotel offers the optimal oasis for exploring Denmark’s second largest city and soon to be European city of Culture in 2017. Within a short walk to ARoS Aarhus Art Museum with its iconic eye-catching ‘Your rainbow panorama’ rooftop walkway, the Aarhus Concert Hall, Occupation Museum, Woman’s Museum and award winning market town open-air museum ‘Den Gamle By’(Old Town), the hotel is also close to local transport links for the new state of the art Moesgaard Museum which is due to open on 11 October 2014.

Hotel Vejlefjord and Vejle

Competitive Cyclist Spend $250 Get $50Stunningly tucked away on the edge of the fjord and surrounded by pristine beech forest, Hotel Vejlefjord is often referred to as the ‘the castle in the woods’. Originally built in 1900 as Denmark’s first tuberculosis sanatorium and therapeutic park, this beautiful property has been exquisitely restored into a luxury hotel and spa. Awarded “Spa of the Year” in the Danish Beauty Awards 2014, it is also Northern Europe’s largest spa and thermal baths. Further along the fjord in Trekanten (an area also renowned for its beauty), lies the attractive town of Vejle. With numerous historic attractions, such as the hilltop windmill Hopballe Mill and old merchants house, providing a fascinating step back in time, Vejle’s recent burst into contemporary urban architectureon its waterfront and redesigning of the Vejle Art Museum offer an inspiring glimpse of the future. Completing a visit to the region and only 15 minutes from Vejle, don’t forget to take in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Royal Jelling, where in 965AD the Viking King Harald Bluetooth embraced Christianity and recorded the moment on the world famous rune stones of the Jelling Monument. A new visitor’s centre will be opening here in 2015.

Nørre Vissing Kro and Skanderborg

In the heart of Jutland, surrounded by hills, forests and lakes Nørre Vissing Krois a must for ‘foodies’. With humble beginnings as an illicit pit stop serving salted herrings and mugs of beer at the crossroads in Nørre Vissing, this 200 year old Royal privilege inn cleverly retains a strong sense of history whilst having a fresh contemporary feel.

30% Off Limited Edition Fixed Gear Bikes $299Making use of the abundant local ingredients such as zander, pike and perch from the lakes and mushrooms, snails and game from the woods, the restaurant has become famous for its creative gourmet cuisine. With the old market town of Skanderborg only a short drive, outdoor activities such as ascending the nearby Himmelbjerget(one of Denmark’s highest points) or canoeing on the river Gudenåen, can be culturally complemented with visits to the Museum at Adelgade Skanderborg , the World War II German air force headquarters in the bunkers of The Museum of Liberation and the Monastic Museum of Denmark (Øm Kloster Museum) – the most thoroughly excavated monastery ruins from the Middle Ages in Denmark.

Randers Hotel and Randers

With a star-studded guestbook, which includes the likes of the Danish royal family, Josephine Baker, Victor Borge, Rufus Wainwright, Ringo Starr and Cliff Richard, Randers Hotel exudes history from the moment you walk in the door. Lavishly adorned with original pieces of art and antiques as it would have been when it opened in 1856, it also has an extraordinary banqueting room which was decorated by Jean René Gauguin (Paul Gauguin’s son) in 1956 with impressive floor to ceiling murals in yellow and light blues hues typical of Scandinavian colours in this period. Offering a highly memorable stay, the hotel is also a must to be added to the Randers self-guided 2.5km ‘Star Route’ walk which includes one of the oldest and biggest local museums in Denmark -Museum Østjylland (Museum of Cultural History); Graceland Randers, a copy of Elvis Presley’s home in Memphis, Tennessee, that boasts one of the largest collections of Elvis memorabilia in the world; Randers Art Museum with its extensive collection of Danish and International art; and Randers Rainforest – a collection of temperature controlled giant domes replicating three different rainforest continents with flora and fauna to match.


Hjerting Badehotel and Esbjerg

On the outskirts of Esbjerg overlooking Ho Bay on the Wadden Sea, Hjerting Badehotel can be very simply summarised by ‘fresh sea air, beautiful sunsets and great food’. Built in 1914 on a spot on the beach where there had been an inn for over 300 years, this traditional seaside hotel has been sensitively restored to reflect its seafaring history with a lively ‘Ship Inn’ (bar/café), an exceptional gourmet restaurant showcasing the best of locally sourced produce and lovely light rooms facing out to the ocean. As with the hotel, much of Esbjerg’s past has also been defined by the sea. Represented by the monumental sculpture “Man Meets the Sea” which marks the entrance to the harbour, a number of the city’s attractions are unsurprisingly of a nautical nature such as the Fisheries and Maritime Museum and the former motorised lightship “Horns Rev”, which is now a floating museum. A broader selection of attractions can however be discovered on one of the two excellent self-guided city walks that cover many of the 19th century buildings through to the modern Jan and Jørn Utzon designed Musikhuset and Performing Arts Centre.


Tornøes Hotel and Odense

Almost in the middle of the aptly coined ‘Garden Island’ of Funen, Denmark’s 3rd largest city Odense is surrounded by lush rolling pasture, fertile orchards and 11,000 kilometres of stunning coastline. One of the oldest cities in Denmark and birthplace of storyteller Han Christian Andersen, the city is steeped in medieval beginnings and fairytale fantasy with a museumdedicated to the writer and open-air Den Fynske Landsby museum providing a tangible insight into the past. Within a 20km drive of the city, Tornøes Hotel in the idyllic market town and fishing village of Kerteminde also offers a compelling taste of life by the sea at another time. Once one of the town’s grand merchants’ houses overlooking fjord and harbour, the 16th century property was converted into an inn by Wentzel Tornøe and has since remained a hallmark to the town with its own small brewery.

— Ends —

Getting there

Under two hours flying time, Denmark has an excellent selection of flights from the UK to all its major airports. With Billund and Aarhus airports served from the UK by Ryanair, Aalborg and Copenhagen by Norwegian and Copenhagen by SAS and easyJet this means it’s both easy and affordable to plan a route.

Small Danish hotels

Read more about Small Danish Hotels’ beautiful inns, modern hotels and fairy tale castles dotted throughout the countryside.

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Relive The Ryder Cup With Macdonald Hotels

October 21, 2014 on 9:00 am | In Golf Resorts, Hotels, London, Scotland, United Kingdom, Wales | Comments Off

Golfsmith: Best Brands, Best PricesFrom £89 Per Person At Macdonald Hotels Golf Resorts Across The UK

• Enjoy a luxury overnight stay at Macdonald Hotels Golf Resorts

• From £89 per person for bed and breakfast

• Two complimentary rounds of golf and 20% off food and drink

• Book from now until 31 Oct 2014

• Stay from 1 Jan 2015 to 30 Dec 2015

There’s no better way to re-live the excitement of the Ryder Cup than by treating yourself to a luxury overnight stay at Macdonald Hotels Golf Resorts for 2015 who are holding 2014 prices for a limited time only.

Tee off at one of the UK’s most spectacular golfing destinations, where you’ll be welcomed by pristine greens, fine food and great service all from just £89 per person.

Macdonald Early Bird Golf Breaks for 2015 are available at:

• Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa – Peebles near Edinburgh

• Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf & Spa – Cheshire

• Macdonald Spey Valley Championship Golf Course – Aviemore

• Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa – Shropshire

• Macdonald Linden Hall, Golf & Country Club – Northumberland

For more information or to book a visit: www.MacdonaldHotels.co.uk/early-bird  or call 0844 879 9294

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Hilton Revolutionizes Hotel Experience with Digital Check-In, Room Selection and Customization, and Check-Out

October 20, 2014 on 11:24 am | In Golf Resorts, Hotels | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowGlobal/Corporate News Packages/Promotions | Hilton Worldwide Hilton Revolutionizes Hotel Experience with Digital Check-In, Room Selection and Customization, and Check-Out across 650,000-Plus Rooms at More Than 4,000 Properties WorldwideFirst hospitality company to enable room selection and customization via mobile and web-based floor plans; Company also announces that guests will be able to use their smartphone as their room key in majority of hotel rooms by 2016 July 28, 2014 | This information originated in American English. Girl_DigitalFloorPlan_FP.jpgDownload Hi-Resolution Version for Print Media » By the end of 2014, digital check-in and room selection will be available at more than 4,000 Hilton Worldwide properties across 11 brands in 80-plus countries via members’ Hilton HHonors accounts. Credit: Hilton Worldwide. MCLEAN, Va. – In a first for the hospitality industry, Hilton Worldwide today announced its guests will have unprecedented choice and control over their entire hotel stay with the ability to check-in and choose their exact room from digital floor plans, as well as customize their stay by purchasing upgrades and making special requests for items to be delivered to their room, on their mobile devices, tablets and computers. Guests also will be able to check-out using these personal technology devices. By the end of 2014, digital check-in and room selection will be available at more than 4,000 Hilton Worldwide properties across 11 brands in 80-plus countries via members’ Hilton HHonors accounts.

“For nearly a century, our guests have counted on us to consistently deliver exceptional experiences around the world, and in today’s digitally connected culture, that means providing them with more choice and control over their hotel stay through technology,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and chief executive officer, Hilton Worldwide. “The tremendous scale of our world-class operating platform enables us to quickly and nimbly introduce exciting enhancements for our guests at all of our hotels worldwide.”

Today’s announcement represents the latest industry-first in Hilton’s rich history of innovation. The company piloted an initial version of digital check-in more than five years ago, and in 2012 it launched Conrad Concierge, the first hospitality software application that enables guests to customize their hotel experience through their tablets or smartphones. Going forward, Hilton anticipates delivering further digital advancements to guests every six to eight weeks.

“We analyzed data and feedback from more than 40 million HHonors members, as well as guest surveys, social media posts and review sites, and it’s clear that guests want greater choice and control,” said Geraldine Calpin, senior vice president and global head of digital at Hilton Worldwide. “In fact, in a recent study, 84 percent of business travelers surveyed said they wanted the ability to choose their own room. We are giving our guests the ability to do just that by enabling them to select not just their room type, but the exact location in the hotel, all the way down to their room number.”

Simple and Streamlined Process

Once a room is booked, the process for guests to manage their stay is simple:

Room selection: At 6 a.m. the day before a booked stay, Hilton HHonors members can sign into their account via their mobile device, tablet or computer to check-in and choose their preferred room through floor plan maps or lists populated from the hotel’s available inventory. Photos of rooms are also available to help with their selection. Hilton’s digital lobby function is updated in real-time, so guests no longer have to wait until they are physically in the hotel lobby to be assigned a room.
Special requests: After choosing a room, guests can further customize their stay at full-service hotels by purchasing upgrades and requesting specific amenities to be delivered to their room before arrival.

Room key: Next year, the company will begin to equip its hotel rooms with the technology for doors to be unlocked with guests’ smartphones, enabling them to go straight to their rooms upon arrival. For now, once they arrive on property, guests simply pick up their room key from the front desk, a streamlined process since the guest’s payment information and other details are already verified through their Hilton HHonors account prior to arrival.

Check-out: Guests can bypass the front desk upon departure as their bill will be automatically sent to their email address.

The Future of Room Keys at Hilton

As part of its digital strategy, Hilton has made a commitment to enable all of its hotel rooms worldwide with technology that will allow guests to use their smartphones as keys.

Said Nassetta, “Travelers can use their smartphones as boarding passes to get to their seats on an airplane, so it is only natural that they will want to use them as a way to enter their hotel rooms. We have spent the past few years testing a number of different options to make this vision a reality, and we are developing proprietary technology that is safe and reliable for our guests to use, and cost-effective for our hotels to install.”

Rapid Roll Out Across Hilton Properties Globally

Hilton is rolling out these digital enhancements globally over the next several months:

By the end of this summer, Hilton HHonors members can check-in and choose their room from digital floor plan maps online or via the Apple and Android HHonors apps across the following U.S. brands: Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites.
The functionality will also be available at DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites Hotels properties within the U.S. this fall.

By the end of 2014, room selection, either from digital floor plans or lists, will be available globally for over 650,000 rooms at more than 4,000 hotels across Hilton’s portfolio of 11 brands.

Digital check-out, currently available at all U.S. hotels, will be rolled out globally by the end of 2016.

In 2015, Hilton will introduce technology that enables smartphones to be used as room keys, and all U.S. hotels across four of its brands will have this capability by the end of that year. By the end of 2016, the majority of its rooms system-wide will be equipped with this functionality.

*The Hilton survey was conducted by Edelman Berland among 1009 total participants (529 female and 480 male U.S. census representatives over 18 years of age) using a five-question online survey between July 7-11, 2014. The margin of error (MOE) for the audience (n=1009) is + 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Virgin Hotels Website Launches Ahead of Brand’s Debut

October 17, 2014 on 8:07 am | In Hotels, London, Scotland, United Kingdom, Wales | Comments Off

Feel Airphoria; Book a flight to London today!
Virgin Hotels launched its official website today, complete with an animated video that highlights how the four-star lifestyle brand courtesy of Sir Richard Branson will eliminate the usual frustrations for travelers.

The website, www.virginhotels.com, boasts a sleek, interactive and mobile-friendly design, keeping up with the times while providing easy browsing whether you are using a desktop, smart phone or tablet.

“Our goal in the creation of Virgin Hotel’s website was to clearly differentiate the entire experience from what typical hotel websites have been offering up, while also improving upon ease of use,” said Doug Carrillo, vice president of sales & marketing for Virgin Hotels, via a press release. “Guests will no longer have to sift through unnecessary or irrelevant information. The site will show exactly what guests want to know and helps them find it effortlessly.”

The new video illustrates the “unbrilliant” ideas of hotels that lead to frustration for travelers, and counters them with the “brilliant” ideas Virgin Hotels promotes.

Aspects of the Virgin Hotels experience include: free Wi-Fi with no bandwidth restrictions, cheaper minibar pricing, no hidden fees at checkout, a pied-a-terre style room that can be divided into two chambers (allowing for flexibility and privacy), room amenities that cater to the female business traveler and—perhaps most eye-catching—an app that controls the room environment, entertainment, service and check-in/checkout.

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com

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How To Save Big On A Club Med Vacation

October 15, 2014 on 2:39 pm | In Beachbooker, France, Hotels, Paris | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowClub Med, the world’s leading premium all-inclusive resort company, announces a Six-Day Flash Sale from Sept. 19- 24. Vacationers need to act fast to take advantage of Club Med’s best offer on the market, featuring incredible savings of 50 percent off on travel between Nov. 1, 2014 and Feb. 13, 2015.

With this limited-time offer, travelers looking for the perfect all-inclusive getaway this winter can book their cold weather escape to the following Club Med resorts: Club Med properties in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Ditch the winter chill and hustle of the holiday season and explore a marathon of scenic properties from Sandpiper Bay, the brand’s “premium sports” resort in Florida, which offers highly acclaimed golf, tennis, volleyball, fitness and triathlon academies to the exotic Ixtapa Pacific, the No. 1 “Hotel in Mexico for Families” as ranked by TripAdvisor.

Whether traveling as a family or a couple, Club Med offers the ease of an all-inclusive escape with everything included in one convenient price from gourmet dining throughout the day with a full open bar of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to a variety of exciting activities complete with professional instruction and top-of-the-line equipment.

Offer requires a three-night minimum stay. Available only at Sandpiper Bay, Punta Cana, Columbus Isle, Cancun Yucatan, La Caravelle, Buccaneer’s Creek, Ixtapa Pacific & Turkoise. Does not include airfare. Valid for new individual bookings only for select travel dates between Nov.1, 2014 and Feb.13, 2015 and must be booked by Sept. 24, 2014. Subject to capacity control and may increase at any time.

This offer may not be combined with other promotions. Travel to Columbus Isle requires a seven-night minimum stay, and air must be purchased through Club Med at full price.

General Conditions: Blackout dates apply, including holidays and other dates. For Turkoise all guests must be 18 and older. Guests at Columbus Isle must be 2 and older. Club Med Membership fees of $60 per adult and $30 per child are additional. Other restrictions apply including brochure terms and cancellation/change fees. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.clubmed.us, call 1-800-ClubMed (1-800-258-2633) or contact a preferred travel professional. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on facebook.com/ClubMed, Twitter @ClubMedOfficial or Instagram.com/ClubMed, subscribe toYouTube.com/ClubMed and download Club Med’s free innovative travel app for iPhone and iPad at www.clubmed.us/app.

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com

Best Western Announces Vib

October 15, 2014 on 1:31 pm | In Hotels | Comments Off

Best Western International is launching two major new hotel development offerings – a stylish new hotel concept and a soft brand – both designed to meet growing demand for new hotel offerings in urban and primary markets. The announcement, made during the brand’s 2014 North American Convention, comes as Best Western continues to see historic growth in the brand’s North American and global development pipeline.

Best Western’s newest hotel offering, Vib (pronounced Vibe), is a stylish and technology-centric hotel concept created to meet the needs of today’s connected traveler. Vib, which is short for “Vibrant,” is a hotel prototype designed for urban markets. Vib’s high-density concept will be cost-effective to build and operate, making it an attractive option for owners and developers.

The boutique Vib concept features vibrant and modern design with a focus on convenience, technology and social engagement. Vib hotels will have large, interactive lobbies that incorporate the local flavor of their individual markets, as well as comfortable and chic guest rooms. Guests will find ample USB and power ports for electronics, a media wall with custom content in the lobby, smart TVs in the rooms to stream on-demand content, and LED mood lighting throughout the hotel.

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com

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Get Your Pumpkin On with Wyndham Hotel Group

October 10, 2014 on 9:51 am | In Golf Resorts, Hotels, Mexico | Comments Off

Keene, New Hampshire – A picturesque New England town in New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region, Keene a beautiful getaway with a whitewashed steeple decorating the countryside. Surrounded by scenic lakes, streams and rivers, the area is known for its covered bridges and state parks. Keene is also home to the Keene Pumpkin Festival! Be sure to stay at the Days Inn in Keene to be close to all the best the city has to offer!

· Dover, Delaware – Not only is it the capital and second largest city in Delaware, but Dover is also the hometown to many of Delaware’s historical landmarks. In downtown Dover you can check out the many legislative and government buildings which have stood for generations, or relax at Silver Lake’s popular park. Stay at Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Dover for close proximity to the International Speedway and Punkin Chunkin event.

· Highwood, Illinois – Highwood is a city in the Moraine Township of Lake County, Illinois which offers an escape away from all the hustle and bustle. Stay at the Wyndham Glenview Suites to experience true comfort and luxury – plus it’s just a short drive to the pumpkin festival in Highwood.

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