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Everybody needs a little romance in his or her life from time to time. The hectic lifestyles of this modern world often leave little time for enjoyment, let alone quality time with a partner or spouse. Choosing the right hotel is the first step to a great romantic getaway. Some hotels simply ooze romance (particularly in Japan) and can put even the most sceptical of individuals in the mood for love.

Here is your guide to the top 10 romance hotels in the world.

1. Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

This hotel is beautifully situated in the most romantic city in the world. It is in a quieter area of the city to afford you some privacy but is also only a few minutes away from the top attractions, like the the Louvre for example. Most of the rooms have private balconies and all of them have an old world feel that simply oozes romance. This undoubtedly makes this hotel the best romance hotel in the world.

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New York is one of the most famous and popular cities in the world today. It is also referred to as the ‘Big Apple’. The city stands tall with its many impressive skyscrapers and statues. It has a unique fast paced atmosphere that shouldn’t be missed. As you can imagine, New York has all kinds of accommodation that caters for a range of budgets. Many of the worlds most extravagant hotels can be found in New York.

Tips To Find the Ideal Hotel in New York

When choosing a hotel to stay in New York then, it’s imperative that you ask yourself the following questions so you can determine what place is ideal.

What part of New York do you plan to stay in?

New York can divided into several districts and these districts usually determine the range of hotel fees you’re going to encounter. Do you want your hotel to be situated in Manhattan, where most New York attractions can be found? If you want, however, to stay in a funky upbeat district then the hotels in Soho and Greenwich and the likes are probably what you’re looking for.

How much can you afford?

Now that we’ve got a specific location in mind, the next step to take is to count our available dollars. Hotels in New York range from the exorbitant to the wonderfully cheap. Naturally, the features are somewhat dependent on the price.

Who are you with?

If you’re bringing kids, then not all hotels in New York can of course, open their doors to welcome you. With children in tow, we can suggest hotels like the Doubletree Guest Suites and the Hilton Time Square, hotels that are both famous for reliable, warm and efficient service. And then there are the pets. If you’re the type to bring around your Dalmatian or Siamese with you wherever you go then the lists of prospective hotels in New York that you can stay on would narrow further. For travelers accompanied by their furry friends, try checking out hotels like 70 Park Avenue Hotel and Carlyle Hotel, which even offers dog-walking services just in case you find yourself busy touring New York City.

What features / services do you need?

If you’re on some sort of business trip, then definitely you’d prefer a hotel with Internet access. If you’re planning to host some sort of gathering then you’ll also be interested to check out hotel facilities and see what best suits the event you have in mind. Also, not all hotels in New York come with Olympic sized pools, Grade A spas and fitness centers so you must take all these things in consideration as you try hit upon the best place to stay in New York.

Recommended Hotels:
Before I launch on a list of New York City hotels that could interest you, first, I have to warn you that what’s termed as “affordable” in New York City may not be “affordable” in your vocabulary. So if you’re cash strapped, better check first if you’ve got some friends living in New York City who’d lend you a room for a week or two as you go sight-seeing. New York is a city of high rise towers and a number of those are hotels that you can take your pick of. These buildings range from the five star hotels to the funky ones to hotels with “affordable” packages.

Four Season Hotel:  If you’ve got kids, then you should consider staying in this kid-friendly hotel because guests under 18 can stay for free. The tallest hotel in New York City, it also provides its family guests with coloring books, a video lending library and welcome gifts for kids.

Soho Grand Hotel:  If you’re the type of traveler who can’t bear to leave your behind, have no fear because there are several hotels in New York that can accommodate furry guests, just like the Soho Grand Hotel. Upon checkout, you’ll even be given a goldfish to remember your New York holiday.

Affinia 50 Suites:  This particular hotel has no difficulties in landing a Top 10 spot in any survey when it comes to being the best hotel in New York City. Previously known as the Plaza 50 Suites, this is a no-fuss-comfort-zone for travelers who want basic accommodations that would also be easy on the pockets. Large suites equipped with kitchenettes are also available if you so prefer.

Hilton Time Square:  Never mind Paris Hilton and her notorious antics. At least her family still hasn’t stopped in being one of the best when you’re talking about hotel services. The Hilton Time Square is one of the poshest hotels in New York City, with a twenty-five-seater theater and even its own wax museum! And just because it’s posh, don’t assume that the staff would turn its nose up on noisy, bratty kids or dirty, scrambling house pets. Nuh-uh! The Hilton Time Square aims to please all forms of guests, human and non human, adult and kids.

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1. Location, location, location. Just like in real estate – find out where you are going to be and what is available around you. Is the bus, train, highway near? Where are the shopping malls? How far is it to that temple you want to visit? Remember when reading through the hotel write-ups – not every hotel is “centrally” located. Avoid Khaosan Road unless you like backpackers.

2. Don’t be fooled by a name. Most of the hotels in Bangkok use the words “Grand”, “Boutique”, “Royal”, “Luxury”, “Executive” in the name of the hotel – so just because you booked a room at the Royal Grand Executive Luxury Boutique Service Apartments doesn’t mean the place will be royal, grand or any of the other words.

3. Ask your friends. If they have gone to Bangkok before, ask them where they stayed and get a recommendation. This doesn’t mean you have to stay there – but it should give you some ideas.

4. Shop around. The Internet is a wonderful place. Pop in the name of the hotel you want information on in Google, and you will see a myriad of info and a range of prices. Take good notes. Read actual reviews keeping in mind most people are more willing to write a negative report as opposed to a positive one.

5. Find a forum. There are many forums available on Thailand in general and Bangkok specifically. Most will let you read the info without registering but if you want to post a question you will have to register. A good place to get very current information.

6. Is it near the “action”? Bangkok is infamous for its nightlife and you may or may not want to be close. Most nightlife is centered on Patpong Road (between Silom and Surawongse roads), Nana Entertainment Plaza (Sukhumvit and Soi 4), and Soi Cowboy (near Soi Asoke). So these are the areas to either avoid or make your reservations.

7. Sukhumvit is a very long road. Your friend recommends a hotel on Sukhumvit road but can’t remember which Soi (small street or alley) it is on. So, based on her recommendation, you book a room on Sukhumvit and Soi 103 only to realize it is a gazillion miles from anything. If you want to be centrally located – find a place off Sukhumvit between Sois 1 and 23.

8. What else is included? Free breakfast? Free Wireless? Transportation to and from the airport? Cable, Satellite, DVD, International Direct Dial (IDD) phone? Check to see what is and what is not included.

9. Is there a joiner fee? For the single guys who may bring back a guest for the evening, some hotels charge ridiculous amounts of Baht for having a guest. Best to ask first, and then avoid. You may be able to beat this if you book a double – but it isn’t worth the hassle.

10. You get what you pay for. Don’t expect Marriott service at a flea bag. We all want value for our money – but if you go cheap – don’t expect much. Look for a mid-range priced hotel – around USD $50 per night and you should be satisfied. Bangkok, and all of Thailand, has different prices for different times of the year – high and low season. Check the listed prices carefully.

11. Have fun and smile. Remember – you are in a foreign country and they may not do things like they do back home. Keep your cool, avoid arguing and smile. If you have a problem, ask for the manager and explain it with calm words and a pleasant tone. Yelling and screaming will get you nowhere in the Land of Smiles.

12. Online consolidators can often beat the price of a direct booking.

13. You don’t land at Don Muang Airport any more. Bangkok has a relatively new airport – Suvarnabhumi – about 50 kilometers further south than Don Muang. Plan your airport hotel accordingly.

14. Don’t expect the hotel staff to be fluent in your language. Most will speak English to a degree. Get a dictionary and learn a bit of Thai.

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It is no secret that Las Vegas is a magical place. Millions flock to the city each year. Some of those have hopes of fame and fortune while others just wish to have a wonderful vacation. All in all it is hard to not have a good time in a place like Las Vegas. There is so much to do and it seems that it is hard to fit it all into the limited time that a vacation allows for. Even people who have lived in Las Vegas their entire life have yet to see all that this city has to offer and that means many great things for those that visit. Of course you will need a place to stay when you are in Las Vegas and there are many fine choices.

Mandalay Bay Las Vegas Hotel is one of the most popular spots in the entire city. Besides the beautiful rooms that this place offers, there is exciting casino gaming and some of the best food that you will find anywhere. There are five restaurants inside the hotel itself, including an award winning buffet that runs twenty four hours a day. The pool is the best in the business and the service is incredible.

Paris Las Vegas Hotel is a true bright spot in the sometimes less than colorful strip area. Making its way by the foreign theme, the Paris is first class all the way. Their service has won so many awards that it is hard to find a wall without some sort of plaque attached to it. The gaming is great and you can find some great food with a little money inside the hotel. There is twenty four hour room service available and there is always the shows that light up the night.

MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel is a site where your breath will literally shoot from your lungs. The sight of this magnificent hotel will take your breath away and leaving you standing there in awe. There are live lions in the lobby, over one hundred thousand square feet of casino space and the rooms are to die for. This is the best there is when it comes to Las Vegas and they play the part well. You will find some of the finest dining without having to leave the hotel and the shows that are put on will knock your socks off.

Bellagio Las Vegas Hotel is one of those places that cater to the whales. The money that is required to stay here is tough to raise and the gambling is not the cheapest either. You will find that the food is a bit pricey as well. But, it is all worth the expense if you can raise the funds to stay as they do everything better in this hotel.

Monte Carlo Las Vegas Hotel is one of those places that is popular with the families in Las Vegas. The rooms are cheap and decent and the gambling is even cheaper. You can play a lot of poker in the rooms and there is more than enough to do for the young ones.

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With summer finally getting into full swing, many of us will be looking forward to travelling abroad for a well earned holiday. Of course, you’ll need access to cash while you’re away, so what are the best and safest ways of arranging your travel money?

1) Local Currency

It’s a good idea to take a small amount of local currency with you whenever you travel, if only enough to last you for your first few hours. You’ll probably need to arrange travel from the airport to your hotel for example, and local currency is the easiest way to pay for these initial expenses. The exchange rates charged at airports are notoriously expensive, so buy some currency before you leave and you’ll get a much better deal.

The drawback to carrying currency is that if it gets lost or stolen, it can’t be replaced. For this reason it’s best to use another form of travel money for most of your funds.

2) Travellers Cheques

These are the traditional way of carrying money abroad. When you buy the cheques, which can be in Sterling, Euros or US Dollars, you have to sign the stub of each cheque in the presence of the teller. Once abroad, you can convert the cheques into local currency by signing the other half of the cheque at a currency exchange, where the teller will compare the two signatures and also inspect your passport.

This system is more secure than cash as each cheque is uniquely numbered, so if a cheque goes missing it can be quickly cancelled and replaced by the cheque issuer. There is a drawback in that you have to cash the cheques at a currency exchange, and you might not find one offering a good exchange rate.

3) Credit Cards

Credit cards are accepted virtually the world over, and may seem a good way of paying your way while abroad. As well as using them for shopping, they can be used to pay restaurant bills and even to withdraw cash. Before choosing this as your travel money option though, check your card’s small print to see what interest rate is charged on overseas use – it will probably be higher than the standard rate of your card, and you’ll probably have to pay exchange charges too.

4) Cash Machines

There are now several international cash machine networks in operation, for example the Cirrus network, and it’s likely that your cash card can be used internationally, especially in Europe and the USA. This is a good way of financing your holiday spending, as you can draw out what you need while keeping the rest of your money safe in your normal bank account. The downside is that you may have to pay a fee for each withdrawal, and the exchange rate you’re charged may not be the best available.

5) Prepaid Cards

These are a relatively new kind of plastic card, which are used in much the same way as credit or debit cards, with the big difference that you have to ‘load’ the card with funds before you can spend with it. They are a secure way of carrying money, as the card is replaceable if lost, and as it can only be used in conjunction with a PIN number then even if stolen it’s difficult for a thief to make use of it. There will, however, still be exchange commissions payable when you use the card, and also usually a flat fee for cash withdrawals.

The main thing to bear in mind with travel money is that while each of the above options is useful, not all are suitable for use everywhere in the world. The best advice is not to rely on a single kind of travel money, but to take a sensible mixture of cash, local currency, and plastic or cheques, to make sure you can always get local currency when you need it. Enjoy your holiday!

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BEFORE YOU GO

Do a hotel research on the net looking not only for the cheapest rates but also considering the amenities and services provided, location, possible references from other people. Travel guidebooks can also be very helpful for choosing the hotel that suits you best. Be as much flexible with your trip schedule as possible. For example, business class hotels often have lower weekend rates.

As soon as you reserved the room(s) online, document all information about the hotel(s). The easiest way is to print out the whole page off your computer screen so you will have a clear statement that you can use as evidence in case of misplacing or incorrectly entering your information by a hotel clerk. Take a copy with you, make another one for your relatives so they will know when and where you are going to stay so they can contact you in emergency cases.

WHEN CHECKING-IN

Learn the proper check-in and check-out times. Confirm the amenities and services the hotel provides. Ask for directions, a local map. Get a card with the hotel’s name, address and phone number so you can show it to a taxi driver or a passer-by in the street if you get lost.

Some hotels may provide extra services that you may not know about unless you ask for it:

  • – laundry service,
  • – hair dryers,
  • – voltage converters/ adaptors,
  • – newspaper service,
  • – complementary meals,
  • – access to fax machine, copier, printer, computer, Internet connection,
  • – cable TV, rental movies, video games,
  • – portable beds, baby cribs,
  • – complementary shuttle service to airport,
  • – rental safe for your money, jewellery, documents,
  • – telephone access charges,
  • – fees for using mini-bar,
  • – guided tours, excursions.

 

AT THE HOTEL

Safety should be a priority for everybody and you have to take some precautions. We devoted a whole separate page to travel safety including hotel safety measures so we will skip this part here. When you go out for the day, leave your key at the reception desk. Confirm closing time. Some hotels do lock up at night and you’re expected to keep the key if you stay out late.

BEFORE LEAVING YOUR HOTEL

Check out your room for left-behind items. If you need extra time for staying over the regular check-out time (usually it ranges from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m), make a request in advance or the hotel may charge you an additional night.

Review the hotel bill making sure that all charges are accurate.

We wish you a successful and safe trip!

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Rome is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. The very cradle of human civilization, its many landmarks are a joy for the eyes to behold. The Eternal City remains unrivaled when it comes to the sheer aesthetic supremacy of its antique structures and its impressive, widely-venerated history. It doesnt come as a surprise then that Rome has claimed the #2 spot on the top travel destinations in the world.

1. Rome

With a climate mild and rainy in winter rather than full of snow, many find Rome the perfect place to vacation during any time of year. You do not need a Visa if youre only staying for 90 days or less. Experts recommend visiting Rome in the off-peak months between October and March to avoid the summer rush. If you can, try to book a hotel near or within the centro storico or historic district.

2. Take The Tour

Be sure to make a list of locations you intend to visit within Rome beforehand to save you time and money. Private tours are a great way to get around and at the same time soak up the local culture. Another great way to economize is by taking the TramBus system, that goes around the city and provides a fascinating tour of Romes neighborhoods.

3. Don’t Miss These Locations

The Coliseum is probably, next to the Vatican, the best structure to visit in the city. You can tour the premises on your own or join those conducted every hour by guides dressed as Gladiators. Operating hours vary throughout the year, so you will want to call in advance if at all possible.

4. The Roman Forum

Check out the civic center of Ancient Rome where political, religious, and economic activities took place. Many of its columns remain standing among the ruins even after 2000 years, displaying the intricacies of Roman architecture. Admission is free, opens at 9 am and closes an hour before sunset. If you want, you can spend a little more to get a personalized guided tour complete with audio pedestals where you can learn more.

5. The Vatican

One of the most popular spots to visit in Rome is, of course, the Vatican. In addition to its religious importance, the Vatican has a fine collection of sculptures, paintings, books, and many other artifacts that chronicle the Catholic Churchs history. You can view St. Peters Basilica, marvel at Michelangelos Pieta, its detailed masonry, or the papal catacombs. Move on to the Vatican Museum where even more magnificent antiquities are housed, not the least of that are Egyptian mummies from B.C. era.

6. The Sistine Chapel

If pressed for time, skip everything else and proceed to the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo, primarily, was known as an excellent sculptor so when Pope Julius II commissioned him to paint the Bible on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he thought it was a ploy by his rivals who thought Michelangelo, not being a full-on painter, would yield mediocrity and eMBArrass himself. Of course, we all know it didnt quite turn out that way. In fact, the Sistine Chapel is probably the most recognized piece of work from the Renaissance period.

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