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When we step into a hotel room we assume it’s going to be devoid of dirt, right? I’m not sure about you, but when I pay between $30 and $350 per night, I hope (read: expect) my room’s going to be squeaky – verging on lick-the-toilet – clean. Newsflash: it’s not. Between a rotating roster of bedfellows, it’s impossible to quarantine every single germ unless the room is wall-to-wall tile, and the clean-up involves industrial disinfectant and fire hoses spewing boiling water.
Before you get too worried, however, know that research shows that there are just a few ‘hot spots’ to watch out for if you’re concerned with clean. My approach is to perform a two-minute cleanliness sweep as soon as I enter the room using three of my five senses: sight, smell, and touch. After logging nearly 100 hotel nights in 2012, I’ve learned how to avoid the filth. Here are some tried-and-true hotel hygiene habits that I use to stay healthy on the road.
For many travelers, having plentiful amenities within arms reach makes for a great trip. Those who travel abroad would rather not squander downtime – or cash – trying to hunt down a bite to eat or a place to relax. For lovers of art, hearty meals, and fat wallets, guests at Beijing’s EAST hotel may find their business trip to be, dare we say, fun.
With the admittedly strange slogan of “a business hotel with a life,” Swire Hotels’ EAST, Beijing opened on September 24 in the Jiangtai area of the Chinese capital’s Chaoyang District. Rooms range from 323 to 753 square feet, with walk-in rain showers and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Through December 31, rooms are $128, plus a 15-percent service charge. Read more
For those of us who remember the Radisson that used to occupy the concrete high-rise that’s now Boston’s shiny new Revere Hotel, the change from one property to the other is dramatic, to say the least. The Radisson got the job done for leisure travelers, especially in this centrally located Boston neighborhood, but you can be sure that it never featured soothing aromatherapy scents in the lobby, sculptures, studded leather headboards, or trendy bath products in sparkly-tiled showers.
Following a July, 2012 opening, only the building’s parking garage-y exterior remains intact. The interior got a plush re-do for maximum comfort and urban cool. The building’s roof even received a subdued-yet-glamorous facelift and now serves as a topiary-filled sundeck with skyline views.
If you want to experience the Revere firsthand this fall, you’ll likely pay somewhere between $350 and $500 a night to do it, but if you can hold out for cooler weather – and resolve to do your Christmas shopping in the boutiques on Newbury Street – you can stay for as little as $159 to $199 per night in November and December. That’s a steal considering that the property is still as shiny as its namesake’s silver, and that its rooms, common spaces, and the super-friendly treatment from its staff feel more 5-star than 4-. At that price, even the winter wind that whips through Boston doesn’t seem so daunting. Click here to search for rates.
For a last-minute July getaway, stay in New Mexico’s largest city for $130 per night. This rate from the Hotel Parq Central – ranked by TripAdvisor.com users as Albuquerque’s number one hotel – reduces current rates by 30 percent and is available throughout July, including weekends.
Nightly rates includes round-trip transportation from the airport, on-site parking, continental breakfast, and free WiFi (a total savings of $56).
Stay in either Traditional King Room or Traditional Single Room accommodations. Each room is furnished with either a king bed or a double bed, flat screen cable TV, a mini-fridge, and modern bath amenities. For $20 more per night and more square-footage, stay in either a Traditional Double Room or a Deluxe King Room. Pet-friendly rooms are also available.
The Hotel Parq Central is situated in a historic neighborhood on the edge of downtown Albuquerque, close to the city’s Rail Runner and train stations. The recently-restored Italiante structure was originally constructed by the Santa Fe Railroad in 1926. Today the hotel provides contemporary amenities such as an outdoor garden dining terrace, a complimentary coffee and tea bar on each floor, a jetted hot tub, a business center, a fitness center, and rooftop yoga with skyline and mountain views. A nearby park offers jogging trails and dog walks. Read more
Get away to Chicago this summer, when temperatures rise, baseball’s in season, and the parks are in full bloom. Stay steps from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile at the 4-star MileNorth Hotel, where rooms start at $187 per night – including over the Fourth of July. Book this deal and you’ll save over 20 percent on the hotel’s current rates.
Enjoy spacious and contemporary accommodations, including high-speed Internet, flat-screen TVs, and stereos with MP3 capability. MileNorth also features an upscale restaurant, C-House, and a rooftop bar and lounge, C-View, where you can enjoy views of downtown Chicago.
Leave the hotel and stroll down the Magnificent Mile, Chicago’s most famous stretch, with its upscale shopping, restaurants, and historic buildings like the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower, headquarters for the Chicago Tribune. The theater district and Lake Michigan are also within easy walking distance. Plus, Chicago is celebrating its 175th birthday this year with special events throughout the summer, including an outdoor farmer’s market in Lincoln Market and bi-weekly fireworks at Navy Pier.
To book this deal, visit the MileNorth Hotel website; enter your dates and the promo code Mile20.
If you’ve ever stayed at a Hilton property and wonder where your leftover soap goes, here’s your answer: The soap is shipped to the warehouse of Global Soap Project, a soap recycling nonprofit, where it’s sorted and reprocessed, then molded into new bars that go to the people who need them – refugees, orphans, and disaster victims around the world. Hilton Worldwide announced its new partnership with Global Soap Project earlier this month.
Why soap? According to the Global Soap Project, “the number one cause of preventable death of children in Africa is unsanitary living conditions mostly due to lack of soap and potable water,” and around the world children die from diseases like pneumonia that can be largely prevented with better hygiene conditions. In addition to providing soap for those in need, the Global Soap Project also prevents unused soap from being thrown out, increasing the sustainability of participating hotels.
Fashion designer-turned-hotelier Georgio Armani opened his second luxury hotel in the heart of Milan, Italy, yesterday. This is the second hotel for the iconic designer: The first was in Dubai, with projects in the works in Marassi and Marrakech. Armani Hotels & Resorts has teamed with Emaar Properties PJSC to create luxurious hotels in keeping with the designer’s aesthetic.
The Armani Hotel Milano is in a palazzo designed by Enrico Griffini in the 1930s, with incredible views of the city. The public areas have panoramic views of the Duomo and city skyline, and the restaurant features traditional Italian cuisine. With 95 rooms and suites – from 485 square feet to 2150 square feet – these rooms are larger than the average Italian hotel room. Rates start at 500 euro a night (that’s nearly $700) and the rooms are equipped with minibars, high-tech gadgets, one-way glass shower doors, and Asian limestone surfaces. The Business Center has a conference room and board rooms, as well as a private kitchen to cater upon request. The hotel is also equipped with a Lifestyle Department, created to fulfill guests’ every wish, discreetly, of course; a spa with six rooms and Couples Suite; and a gym and pool.
In keeping with the fashion theme, the Armani Hotel’s brochure is decked out with stunning, chiseled models wearing fabulous dresses and suits, turning the hotel into a mere backdrop for an Armani photo shoot.
For general-trip planning information, see our Milan Travel Guide.
Stay at a downtown Miami hotel oozing with boutique charm through this deal with the Regency Hotel Miami. Book any number of nights from $119 within 7 days of travel and receive 15% off your entire stay. That means you’ll be paying a total of only $101 per night.
The Regency Hotel Miami re-opened in October 2011 after a $750,000 renovation including luxurious new bed sets and state-of-the-art HDTV monitors. Only a five minute drive from the airport, the Regency is a perfect starting point for the business or leisure traveler. It’s also just 15 minutes from South Beach and 10 minutes to historic Coral Gables. Complimentary shuttles are provided to and from the airport as well as to popular shopping centers in Miami. Or, simply relax at the Regency – lay out by the lush pool, enjoy a meal at Prieto’s Restaurant, and take advantage of the complimentary buffet breakfast each morning.
THE VALUE: Stay in a newly renovated hotel and save 15% off market pricing.
THE CATCH: This deal is subject to availability, so act fast!
THE DETAILS: Visit The Regency Hotel or call 305-779-2010.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights to Miami.
For general trip-planning information, see our Miami Travel Guide.
Squeeze out the last bit of summer or take in the fall foliage in laid-back Rochester, New York, the “photography capital” that’s home to a number of surprising attractions. Check out the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the legendary George Eastman House, take a tour of one of the Finger Lakes nearby wineries, or experience Rochester’s blossoming food, art, and festival scene.
Kids will love the National Museum of Play at Strong (Rochester’s world-famous interactive children’s museum), as well as Ontario Beach Park which boasts soft-sand, a beautiful hand-carved carousel, and plenty of playgrounds and picnic areas. The centrally-located Rochester Plaza Hotel makes it easy with the Stay and Play Plus package that bundles accommodations, four attraction tickets (including the National Museum of Play and George Eastman House), and a pizza dinner starting from $139. Additional nights can be added for $89.
THE VALUE: Depending on where you choose to spend your tickets, the added value of this package can total as much as $70.
THE CATCH: The second day doesn’t include all the extras for $89, but you can opt to purchase the package again.
THE DETAILS: This offer is valid through October 16. Visit Rochester Plaza to book, or call 585-546-3450. Use promo code SSP. (Insider Tip: Head to the Owl House for a taste of the city’s up-and-coming restaurant revolution).
WE’VE GOT MORE:
See why the Finger Lakes, located just outside of Rochester was voted a Top Ten Lake Vacation.
Grab a flight to Rochester on the cheap using our Travel Search tool.
Enjoy the ultimate golf getaway this summer in Mazatlan, Mexico. For just $313 per person, get three nights at the 5-star Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort, airport transfers, welcome margaritas, daily breakfast, and three rounds off golf – a savings of over $300 per person! This 816-acre resort is located on 3.5 miles of beachfront, and features a Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed golf course, as well as a Turtle Sanctuary, spa, and restaurants, for non-golfers.
THE VALUE: Save up 50% off regular rates
THE CATCH: Packages are based on double occupancy
THE DETAILS: Visit the Estrella del Mar website to book.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tools to find low rates on flights to Mexico.
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