(Photos courtesy of Flickr members uhuru1701, KcSoapsNmore, and USACE HQ)
Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to get away and kick off the start to summer. Tingo is now offering deals for up to 60% off hotel rooms in popular locations including Orlando, Las Vegas, and Ocean City, so book right away! Don't forget: If you book a Money Back room and the price drops, Tingo will automatically refund you the difference!
(Photos courtesy of High Rooftop Lounge, blackbookmag.com, and michiganavemag.com)
As a follow-up to our "10 Cozy Hotel Bars for Winter," we've come up with a list of our spring/summer favorites. With temperatures rising, we're ready for a refreshing drink spiked with breathtaking panoramas. Check out these rooftop hotel bars serving drinks that could battle their views:
- SummerSalt, Hotel Palomar, San Diego, CA—This rooftop pool and lounge combines the best of both worlds: skillfully crafted cocktails and a chic place to cool off. The bar is buzzing day and night, offering refuge from the heat during the day and a vibrant nightclub once the sun sets.
- The Joule Poule, The Joule, Dallas, TX—The gem of this hotel is undoubtedly the roof Joule "Poule." The pool extends eight feet beyond the hotel's structure and is glass-fronted so the views are fabulous from any angle. After your dip, peruse the extensive menu full of creative cocktails. This outdoor oasis doubles as the perfect location for high-profile parties, fashion shows, and cocktail receptions.
(Photos courtesy of Post Ranch Inn, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and The Standard)
Hotels can be judged on room size, amenities, perks, and loyalty programs, but we think a new category should be introduced: bathrooms. While hotel bathrooms used to be relatively cookie-cutter, hoteliers have upped the ante and bathrooms have become pieces of art, fitting the personality and tone of the hotel. We've rounded up a list of our favorite U.S. hotel bathrooms:
- The Standard, High Line, NYC—All 338 guest rooms feature wall-to-wall windows that overlook breathtaking views of Manhattan or the Hudson River. While the views had us speechless, we were also wowed by the sleek bathroom that separates you and NYC by a piece of glass. The bathroom also includes a deep-soaking tub with views of the Empire State Building, a walk-in spa shower, and tons of closet space.
- Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur—The view from the bathroom at the Post Ranch Inn is second to none. The gorgeous bathroom in the Cliff House offers beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. The deep granite bathtubs have internal water heaters, since the windows open for optimal viewing. The luxury doesn't stop at the tubs: Tibetan rugs cover the heated floor to ensure that you're comfortable even when you're done soaking.
(Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts)
A couple of weeks ago, we recapped an interview hospitality expert Bjorn Hanson did with Skift.com on hotel fees to watch out for in 2013. It got us thinking: What else are hotels charging for these days? Here are 9 irritating hotel fees that are becoming more and more common and tips on how to avoid them from Tingo spokesperson George Hobica:
- Resort Fee: Even if you're not staying in a true "resort," many hotels charge a resort fee of $20–$50 per night. This fee often isn't mentioned on booking sites or in the final price—it simply appears on your bill at checkout. One of our team members was recently charged a resort fee for services that included free yoga class, and he doesn't even do yoga. You must be proactive when it comes to avoiding this fee. Call the hotel before you even book to see if they charge it. (Tip: Hotels like Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, and Staybridge Suites don't assess this and many other fees.)
- Parking Fees: Many city hotels charge upwards of $25–$35 per day to park your car. The most annoying part is that it's sometimes mandatory that you valet it—which means you have to tip. We recommend researching nearby parking garages in advance. You'll probably pay less than your hotel charges to park your car, and you won't have to pay someone to park it, either.
(Photos courtesy of Dromen aan Zee)
Yes, you heard us right. These intriguing hybrids have somehow slipped under our radar until now. This month, CNN reported its top 5 boatels, from old lifeboats to military ships.
- Yankee Ferry—This historic ferry shuttled new immigrants to Ellis Island and served in both World Wars. Today, the Yankee is permanently docked on the Hudson River and serves an entirely different purpose. Furnished with vintage finds and carnival-esque accents, the Yankee has a "bow"-row seat to a beautiful Manhattan skyline.
- Harlingen Lifeboat Hotel—From the 1950s to the 1970s, the Lilla Marras was operated by Britain's Royal National Lifeboat Institution and carried rescue operations along the North Sea and saved many from drowning. Now, the Lilla Marras is moored and combines a comfortable night's sleep with a beautiful panoramic view of the fishing town of Harlingen in the Northern Netherlands.
(Photos courtesy of Flickr members 401(K) 2013, Ugg Boy, and Giorgio Montersino)
Resort fee. Parking fee. Internet fee. Once you're done paying all of the hotel's taxes and fees, the original price of your stay has practically doubled. In 2012, hotel fees climbed 5.4%. Hospitality expert Bjorn Hanson told Skift.com that with hotel occupancy on the rise this year, hoteliers plan to tack on even more fees.
In 2013, keep an eye out for:
- Baggage holding fee—While this service was previously complimentary, some hotels may now charge up to $2 per bag (not including tip) to keep your bags safely stowed.
- Minibar restocking fee—Restocking the minibar requires hotel staffers to make sure each candy bar and nip is refreshed. Since these fees may cost you up to $2.50, try your hardest to fight the $5 late-night craving.
(Photos courtesy of Tropical Islands Resort)
Last month, we wrote about the most bizarre hotels in the world. If only we had known about this place then, it for sure would have made our list...
Tropical Islands, located 60 km south of Berlin, provides the best of warm worlds. Even though Germany is currently buried in snow, you can warm up in this former Soviet military hangar turned tropical paradise.
Inside the giant dome, there are sandy beaches, water slides, palm trees, and whirlpools. The resort is split into different spa zones, each based on a tropical region. Relax in a sauna or steam bath, or treat yourself to a massage. Children will surely enjoy the miniature golf and bumper boats.
(Photos courtesy of Chole Mjini and Marina Bay Sands)
One of the members of the Tingo team recently shared her experience of staying at the Wigwam Motel along Route 66 in Arizona. The place is bizarre. If you don't believe us, book it—when you realize your room is a wigwam, you'll understand what we're talking about. Anyway, this got us thinking about what other bizarre hotels are out there. We did a little research, and as it turns out, there are quite a few of them:
- Palacio de Sal, Uyuni, Bolivia—Don't lick the walls (it's a rule)! Meaning "Palace of Salt," Palacio de Sal is located a few hundred miles south of La Paz on the port of Colchani, one of the world's largest salt flats. The hotel (and everything in it) is made entirely out of salt blocks.
- Hotel Kakslauttanen, Saariselkä, Finland—Sure, a night under the stars is romantic and exciting, but having a front-row seat to the northern lights from the comfort of your own bed is another experience altogether. At Hotel Kakslauttanen, guests enjoy their own private igloos, which are treated with thermal glass to block out the -22°F temperatures—and they're the perfect place to take in one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
(Photos courtesy of Langdon Hall, Gramercy Park Hotel, and Terranea Resort)
The weather outside may be frightful, but these hotel fireplaces are so delightful that you just may want to hit the road and check them out for yourself. Stay warm, friends.
- Gramercy Park Hotel, New York City—With a distinctive custom scent by Le Labo (juniper, sandalwood, cedar, and patchouli are just four of the 26 elements), Gramercy Park Hotel's lobby smells like the sexiest cabin you'll ever be lucky enough to set foot in. The space—a rustic-chic instaclassic dreamed up by eccentric artist Julian Schnabel—is a funky respite from the wintry city streets.
- Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA—What could be finer in January than a beautiful stone fire pit overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where you can sit and think about everyone turning into icicles elsewhere in the country? Not much, we're thinking. To get in on the fun, head to Nelson's, the bluff-top restaurant at this Los Angeles-adjacent resort—it's almost as popular with locals as with visitors.
- The Soho Hotel, London—The winding and colorful streets of the capital have their charm, but just as appealing is having a place to retreat to when the crowds and damp, dark winter weather get to be too much. The guests-only drawing room and library areas at this very chic, well-hidden retreat in the middle of one of the city's most enduring neighborhoods feature big, wood-burning fireplaces, comfortable and colorful décor, and a help-yourself honor bar. Who's up for whisky?
(Photos courtesy of Six Sense Zighy Bay, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Loews Coronado Bay, and OPUS Hotel Vancouver)
The Tingo team has been on the hunt for cool and unique amenities, and we're happy to announce we've found some pretty wild ones! Take a look at our list—some of our finds are so crazy, we never thought they'd exist!
- Bed-In for Peace Package, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Montreal (from $810/night + taxes & gratuities)—Bring out your inner wild child by staying in the same suite where John Lennon and Yoko Ono had their "Bed-In for Peace." The package also includes breakfast in bed for two or buffet breakfast at Le Montrealais restaurant, as well as a Lennon CD featuring "Give Peace a Chance."
- Fairmont's Romantic Bath, Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park ($150)—Bath specialists provide a tailored bath package which includes a bottle of champagne, strawberries and chocolate, a loofah, bubble bath, candles, a Kama Sutra Weekender Kit, and a "Do Not Disturb" sign for the door.
- Su'Ruff Camp, Loews Coronado Bay, San Diego (price available June 2013)—Your puppy can learn to "hang ten" at Loews Coronado Bay's puppy surf camp. Dogs will especially enjoy the included surf 'n' turf room-service meal (salmon and beef tenderloin), and they can wear board shorts or a bandana during the lessons.