Friday, July 27, 2012

How Luxury Hotel Programs Work To Get An Edge on Your Booking!

With so many travel sites on the internet, and quite a few that focus on upscale travel, it can definitely be a daunting task to drill down to the very best. Connoissuers of  luxury hotels want websites that focus only on a line-up of the finest hotels, offering the best deals, the most perks, and  top-notch customer service, offline. When planning for a trip, whether it’s a vacation or for business, who you book with can make all the difference.

One caveat that is common among luxury travel providers is their "membership" requirement  or point-accrual condition. Some "rewards programs" require members to reach a certain level of "spend" before they get privileges. One very popular credit card offeror  for instance, only provides its Platinum and Centurion members access to its hotel program. So, if you don’t fall into that slot, find someplace else to book from. Other sites will have you in some sort of point scheme that measures your access to benefits based on your points. So while the hotels are certainly alluring, why bother reserving with a site that has conditions based on your status? 

Find a hotel program where no membership is required. No points one has to earn in order to qualify. There are hotel programs that do not even charge a fee to use  and they offer the finest properties, most of which grant guests complimentary perks. The best sites have a full-service travel management company backing it. This support  brings site visitors  things like ‘Preferred Partner’ status with luxury 5 star hotel brands. Such a designation provides any guest who book with the site an edge with complimentary room upgrades, free breakfast daily and more at any one of the properties of that preferred brand.

Based on double occupancy, and at least a 2-night reservation, most of  the properties in a good hotel program offer its reserved guests, perks worth as much as $450 per stay! A VIP welcome is generally standard, and it is likely you will be given the best room available within the room category booked or even  upgraded to a superior category. Full American breakfast daily for two is a given and some additional bucks are usually thrown in for a Spa treatment or towards incidental expenses during the stays. One feature that many guests appreciate is the availability of early check-in and late check-out without charge too.

When looking for the right hotel rewards program,you should find a program that has enough properties in many destinations on every continent. Its range of accommodations should run the gamut from distinct luxury hotels in major cities, to country lodges, boutique hotels, large and small-scale resorts, and spas. The collection should be contain all the prestigious  brands, famous for their internationally renowned high standards, such as the Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton.  Plus, the collection should also feature  an array of single hotel properties such as the Hotel Plaza Athenee in New York, Le Sirenuse on Italy’s glamorous Amalfi Coast, or Claridge’s in London, among many others.

So look around and find the right hotel rewards program because some a definitely are more rewarding than others. Once you choose which program to book from, check out all the wonderful hotel's within a collection and enjoy the stay!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stay Where the Pros Play

A hidden gem in the league of the finest luxury resorts is located on Kiawah Island  in South Carolina. Located only 30 minutes from the historic city of Charleston, the 5-star, Sanctuary at Kiawah Island stands out.
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island comprises over 250 hotel rooms and suites, measuring anywhere from 520 square feet to over 3000 square feet. Whether you want a view of the ocean, gardens, or the pool, The Sanctuary has something for you. A walk to the hotel’s two pools is only about five minutes, give or take. And shortly past the pools is the walkway to the beach, where attendants are ready to assist you and set up chairs and umbrellas for your party. As you relax on the sandy shore, enjoy a full meal or just a tropical drink, served right at your chair. Unlike most beaches, the soft sand is not your only surface on your walk to the water. After approximately 10 yards of the soft sand, there is about 30 yards of hard-packed, concrete-like sand. The harder sand allows for bike riders to ride along the water and gives a surface for playing beach games where your feet won’t get buried in the sand. In other words, the beach in Kiawah is still very attractive, but not in the cookie-cutter style of beaches that many are used to.
If the golf facilities at the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island weren’t “up to par”, would the Professional Golf Association of America (PGA) host its annual major tournament there? Of course not! But Pete Dye created a treasure along the Atlantic Ocean when he designed The Ocean Course, and has maintained it beautifully to the point that it was selected to host this year’s 2012 PGA Championship, held from August 9-12. The Ocean Course isn’t the only spectacular golf course on the island, as there are two private courses for residents only. There are also 4 other Championship courses in addition to The Ocean Course: Gary Player’s Cougar Point, Jack Nicklaus’ Turtle Point, Tom Fazio’s Osprey Point, and Clyde Johnston’s Oak Point. Each features spacious clubhouses and is accessible by car or shuttle bus. Each course varies in difficulty, length, and setting, providing the perfect course for every golfer.
If Tennis is your sport of choice, the property offers two tennis facilities: the West Beach Tennis Club and Roy Barth Tennis Center, who teamed up to earn the resort the distinction of being the #1 Tennis Resort in the World by, and the #1 U.S. Tennis Resort by Tennis magazine. 
The resort’s spa is also highly ranked, being known as one of the Best Hotel Spas in the United States by Travel + Leisure. The Spa provides relaxing Southern comfort with all the natural surroundings one would expect, such as trickling water, the Sun’s calming rays, and the flow of ocean waves.
Also a fun island activity is renting bikes from the Sanctuary and riding all around the island. Almost everything is within biking distance from the resort, and seeing the sights of the island is amazing. When I visited this summer, I was able to bike right along the waves to The Ocean Course, so I could see exactly what the pros will be seeing come August at the PGA Championship. Being able to watch the tournament on TV next month and say, “I was there! I remember that hole!” will be something I can remember and tell others for a long time. 
In conclusion, Kiawah Island has almost everything to make your vacation memorable, from the golf to the Sanctuary to the beach, and everything in between. So, ask yourself next time you’re planning a vacation, “Why don’t we stay at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island?” And then remember to place your booking across WhataHotel! if you want an edge on your booking that you only get with the Exclusive Complimentary Perks our site offers!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You can see "beyond" from here!!

As many people know, there are landmarks throughout the United States that garner worldwide attention. The experience of seeing these landmarks is breathtaking at a minimum, and is usually a reason for repeat visits. These American travel hot spots are located at various points in the country, each with its own distinct characteristics and 5-star luxury hotels to surround it.

Throughout the nation, visitors can experience many world-renowned monuments. The Empire State Building stands on Fifth Avenue in New York City at an astounding 1,453 feet, 8.56 inches. This is a very recognizable site for tourists because of its massive size. Its two observatories provide stunning panoramas all around. In a similar way the Statue of Liberty stands tall as a mark of patriotism for all Americans. This gift from the French provides a symbol of America’s diversity and various backgrounds. Tourists can book tours to see this landmark from many different angles, be it from cruise tours or from the crown of Lady Liberty herself. We have a marvelous lineup of our top hotels in New York, which is only a click away.

As you travel south, you can discover another nationally-known landmark, the Washington Monument in downtown Washington D.C., tucked in between the United States Capitol Building and the White House. Whether visitors wish to observe views of the Monument from National Mall or take in the magnificent panoramic scene from atop the Monument, they will be treated to a spectacular experience regardless. While visiting either of the previously mentioned patriotic locations1, one has many choices for a luxury hotel at which to stay during the visit. Our best hotels in Washington D.C. are ready for your visit, so please click on the link to choose your hotel.

The United States has many landmarks throughout the country, and one of the least talked about but most impressive can be found right in the center of the nation, where you encounter the thrilling Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. Standing in the heart of the city at 630 feet, the Arch honors Thomas Jefferson and his role in the western expansion of the United States. As high as the arch looks from the bottom, the ride visitors take to its top makes it seem enormous. On a personal trip last year, I was able to ride the 5-seat capsule to the high point of the Arch. When I arrived at the top, I got out of the capsule and saw the observatory platform. From the observatory I was able to see downtown St. Louis, as well as an aerial view of the entire Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. When standing on the sides of the platform, I could feel like the Arch was ever-so-slightly rocking from side to side. This experience made for some great stories and I would encourage anyone to visit. The Four Seasons St. Louis is also a popular hotel in the central United States, as there is a location close to the Gateway Arch.

Last but definitely not least is the Southernmost Point in the 48 contiguous United States, located in Key West, Florida. Here is a large marker that displays this location, as well as the distance (approximately 90 miles) to Cuba from that point. There is no charge to visit, and tourists can experience some fantastic photo opportunities with the spectacular ocean views. While visiting the Southernmost Point, situated only a few minutes from downtown Key West and many of the city’s attractions, stay at a luxurious hotel, the Casa Marina Resort by Waldorf Astoria.

 In conclusion, there are many landmarks in the United States that people should visit. Not only do these landmarks provide great sightseeing and photo ops, but there also are many luxury hotels that are located near each landmark. So the only question is, “Which one will you visit first?”

 1 Both locations are currently closed but are scheduled to reopen soon.