Travel Trend Watch: There's a Butler for That!

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members Vancity Allie, Almada Hotel, and FeeBeeDee)

Hotels will go to extreme measures to ensure their guests have a memorable experience. Aside from the expected amenities, hotels have gone above and beyond with the introduction of specialized butlers.

  • Personal Mixologist, The Surrey Hotel, New York City, NYWhy go to the bar when the bar can come to you? The mixologist at The Surrey Hotel offers New York's finest "in-room imbibing." The mixologist will make your first round of drinks and bring additional ingredients for 4-5 other drinks. Don't feel like mixing yourself? Request the service again. Cheers!
  • Tanning Butler, The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, FL: Yes, you heard us correctly. The tanning butler at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach circles the beautiful pool looking for those in need of SPF. Equipped with Hampton Sun products, sunglasses cleaner, and an Evian spritzer, the butler will make sure you have everything you need for a day in the sun. And let's not stop there—the butler will happily apply your sunscreen for ensured even coverage.


Travel Trend Watch: Unique Hotel Freebies

(Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and Flickr members Photographer23 and Larry Ziffle)

In the past, we've complained about annoying fees that hotels sometimes charge. This time around, we're celebrating a few special hotels that offer really cool freebies to their guests.

  • Goldfish—The Soho Grand Hotel in New York City will provide a goldfish pal to keep you company for the duration of your stay. This trend is becoming increasingly popular among other hotels, too.
  • Bike Rentals—Vancouver's Opus Hotel has mountain bikes available for free rental. The bikes are first come, first served, though, so if you plan to tour the city on a set of wheels, make sure you request your rental in advance!


End of Summer Deals on Tingo

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members Moyan Brenn, Shockingly Tasty, and Sheba_Also)

End your summer right with a Labor Day long weekend. Tingo is now offering hotels up to 57% off in top spots like Las Vegas and Orlando, as well as lesser traveled destinations like Portland, Myrtle Beach, and Vancouver, Washington.


The Library Hotel: A Literary Delight

(Photos courtesy of Library Hotel)

The Library Hotel in New York City is a dream for those who can appreciate a good read. Interestingly enough, the setup of this hotel is based on the Dewey Decimal System. Each floor is dedicated to one of the system's major categories, and each individual room is based on a subcategory. The books in each room match its category designation—it's an interesting and unique way to design a hotel! For example, the third floor is the Social Sciences floor, and guest room 300.003 contains books focused on Economics.


Happy National Rum Day!

(Photos courtesy of Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel, Liaison Capitol Hill and Flickr member wickerfurniture)

Happy National Rum Day! In order to celebrate the holiday, we found a few hotel bars offering rum specials that pack a punch:

  • Kimberly Hotel, NYC: Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel is offering a discount on their signature rum drink called Rum Service. Tastes of honey and pear perfectly accentuate the rum, while the NYC skyline views from the bar are unbeatable.
  • Revere Hotel, Boston: Go for a dip in the rooftop pool while you sip on Hibiscus Punch from Revere Hotel. This rum drink garnished with a beautiful hibiscus flower tastes so good, they serve pitchers of it!


Best Hotel Pools

(Photos courtesy of MGM Resorts International, Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, and Sheraton Waikiki)

It's already August, and it seems like this summer has flown by! Before the fall season rolls around, we set out to visit some of the country's best hotel swimming pools. These gems aren't your average places to splash around—they are top-notch, and we can't wait to dive right in!

  • Viceroy Miami, Miami: Take in the stunning skyline views while you float in Florida's longest infinity pool. Just past the hotel buildings, you can see the nearby bay. If the colder water isn't your thing, step over to one of the two oversized heated whirlpools—they are heavenly.
  • Grand Wailea, Maui: Waterfalls, rapids, and caves—oh my! Grand Wailia's Wailea Canyon Activity Pool is one of the most exciting pools we've ever seen. It consists of nine pools on six different levels, all connected by a river to carry swimmers from one to the other. It has slides, rapids, a rope swing, a sand beach, waterfalls, caves, and the world's first water elevator! Adults can chill out in the mosaic-lined Hibiscus Pool, where no children are allowed and relaxation is encouraged.


Trump Hotel Collection: A Healthier Option

(Photos courtesy of Four Seasons)

Sometimes we use the "I'm on vacation!" excuse to skip a workout while on a trip. It looks like Trump Hotel Collection has finally caught on to us! The hotel brand recently announced Trump Wellness, a trio of programs that aims to maintain each guest's healthy lifestyle while he or she is away from home.

Nourish—An updated menu will provide vegan, gluten-free, and organic options for adults and a revamped kid's menu. We featured Trump's minibar water selection in a previous post, and there are no plans to update the beverage selection, but it looks like the snacks in the minibar will undergo a healthy upgrade.


Chateau Elan: Where Southern Charm Meets French Luxury

(Photos courtesy of Chateau Elan)

We recently discovered the enchanting retreat that is Chateau Elan. Nestled in the rolling foothills of north Georgia, the resort sits on 3,500 acres of lush vineyards and vibrant fairways. The best part? It offers something for everyone.

  • Foodies: Chateau Elan is most known for its wine tours and tastings. The Winery is also home to The Viking Culinary Studio. It's here that guests can brush up on their cooking skills alongside a team of world-class chefs.
  • Spa-Goers: Surrounded by deep blue waters and green forest canopies, the Spa at Chateau Elan is a destination all on its own. It boasts an extensive spa menu, 14 newly renovated overnight suites, and its own kitchen and epicurean chef.


News to Use: Marriott Debuts Mobile Check-In

(Photos courtesy of Marriott)

Marriott has developed a new way for its guests to check into its properties. If you're a Marriott Rewards member, you can now skip the front desk and use your smartphone instead. With the updated Marriott mobile app (which is available for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play), you're able to virtually check in up to two hours before you arrive. You'll receive an automatic notification when your room is ready. Upon arrival, go directly to the mobile check-in desk, where your key will be waiting for you.


Welcome to the 21st Century with Hotel Video Reviews

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members ZaptheDingBat, Alan (merrionsq) and Maridari)

Are written hotel reviews things of the past? With the influx of 6- to 15-second videos, thanks to the Vine and Instagram apps, will people turn to filming their experiences rather than typing them?

American and Virgin American have quickly adopted Vine as a marketing tool, enticing followers to use hashtags and enter contests. JetBlue asked followers to celebrate National Paper Airplane Day by showing off their best paper airplanes in short videos for the chance to win 20,000 TrueBlue miles.