TripAdvisor has just announced the winners of the World’s Best Accommodations. Here’s the winders of the 2014 Travelers’ Choice Award for Hotels. The 12th annual awards celebrates everything from B&Bs, family hotels, luxury and romance. TripAdvisors annual list also features a US only list and dedicated sections for each type of hotel. It’s a good starting point for finding the best hotel in the world 2014 at your budget!
Barbara Messing, Chief Marketing Officer with TripAdvisor says: “We’re excited to recognize the world’s best properties, based on the opinions of those who know them best – the millions of travelers around the globe who come to TripAdvisor to share their experiences,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “For those seeking inspiration for their 2014 travel planning, this list of spectacular accommodations that received 2014 Travelers’ Choice awards is a perfect place to start.” Find out more about each hotel on TripAdvisor.
And the winners are:
1. Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Pontresina, Switzerland
2. The Upper House, Hong Kong, China
3. Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, Lankanfushi, Maldives
4. Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
5. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India
6. Casa Gangotena, Quito, Ecuador
7. Lindos Blu, Lindos, Greece
8. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Punta de Mita, Mexico
9. The Oberoi, Mumbai, Mumbai, India
10. Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Like a scare at bedtime? If things that go bump in the night and strange noises are things that you actually enjoy, then read on for our top 10 most haunted hotels. But, be warned, you’ll be staying here at your peril!
Image via @ Nomadic Lass
Karosta Prison Hotel, Latvia: This recreates that delightful experience of staying behind bars. Not only that, but it is said to be haunted by the ghosts of prisoners past whose footsteps echo the hallways at night.
Hotel Burchianti, Florence, Italy: This might be the most haunted on the list. It’s said that a ghost of a child skips down the corridors, while an apparition of a maid still carries out her cleaning duties in the early hours.
The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, India: The late chief engineer of the building is reported to roam the halls of the old wing of the hotel. W A Chambers apparently died of a broken heart, after he found out the palace wasn’t built to his original design.
Castle Leslie, County Monaghan, Ireland: A whole bunch of the Leslie family continue to haunt this 300 year old castle, including young Shane Leslie, who died in a war but returned to watch over the lake. The famous perhaps isn’t a person at all though; it’s a dog called Punch.
Langham Hotel, London, England: This may be a top quality 5 star hotel, but even that can’t stop ghostly carry on. Room 333 is the famous one, with a terrifying reputation. It’s said that zombie type ghosts approach guests with their arms outstretched. No, we don’t fancy that either.
The Stanley Hotel, Colorado, US: Seen The Shining? Did it give you the creeps? Yep, us too. Apparently, the Stanley was the inspiration behind the original Stephen King novel after he stayed there the night before it closed down for the season. The piano in the ballroom plays music, although there’s no one sitting there, while ghosts have appeared in various rooms at night.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Canada: Lost your room key? Well it’s not so bad here as the vision of a former bellhop Sam Macauley roams the corridors, even going as far as carrying guests’ luggage for them.
Ostrich Inn, Colnbrook, England: This one might put you off hotels for life. The owners installed a secret trap door under the bed in what they said was the best room in the house. It was right above the kitchen. When guests fell asleep, the door would be opened and the bed tilted, so the guest would slide into a cauldron of boiling water. Many of these unfortunate guests still haunt the corridors today to warn current travellers.
Hotel Provincial, New Orleans, USA: The Provincial is haunted by a former soldier; the site was once a military hospital which burned down in 1874. Recordings made in the hotel revealed ghostly sounds, while one female guest said she was dragged from her bed kicking and screaming when she stayed there.
The Roosevelt Hotel, California, USA: If you like your ghosts high profile, there might not be a better choice than the Roosevelt, said to be haunted by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift.
Hotels, in particular 5-stars, are made to satisfy every customer’s needs and tastes. But, it’s fair to say, some of them are taking that task a little too seriously. Here are the 10 weirdest hotel services we’ve heard of… This is of course open to change!
For the forgetful amongst us, the Standard Spa Miami Beach has its own beach vendor in case you’ve left your itsy-bitsy-teenie-weeny back home in Blighty.
2. Goldfish for hire
Probably a handy thing to have around if you’re feeling lonely, one Cheshire hotel offers guest their own pet fish for the duration of their stay. For £5 ‘Happy’ the goldfish can come and stay in your room.
3. Sex Toys
The Drake Hotel in Toronto, Canada is one of a growing number that offers a list of sensual toys. It has a ‘pleasure menu’ where you can take your pick of locally supplied playthings.
4. Social Media Butler
If you fancy switching off, but still want to share your envy-inducing instagram pics, tweets and status updates then the Lowes Madison Hotel in Washington has what you need with its social media butler.
5. Soundtrack concierge
If you’ve ever had an earworm, or a song that you just need to hear right now, or just need some in-room party music suggestions, why not take up the offer of a soundtrack concierge who’ll develop a playlist just for you?
6. Celeb for a day
The Geejam Hotel in Jamaica offers a recording studio where guests can sing to the top of their lungs and release their inner popstar. Working with the studio’s engineers you’ll find out about the process of recording your very own CD.
7. Dog surfing lessons
California’s Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa offers doggie surfing lessons for man’s best friend. Instructors from the surfing academy bring little Rover or Rex to catch their first waves without wiping out.
8. Vibe Manager
If you’re not partying quite hard enough, then head for the Ritz-Cartlon on Palm Beach, Miami which offers a personalised party manager. Your evening escort is on hand to create playlists, offer a cigar or knock up a cocktail for your delectation.
9. Fairy service
Not content with regular concierge servics, the Barnsley Gardens Resort in Atlanta, Georigea, offers a special service of a fairy godmother, who offers to fulfill dreams and wishes. For customised evenings with your significant other, ‘Love Spells’ or over the top proposals the Fiary is on hand to help you.
10. Sleep concierge
A growing number of hotels are drawing customers in with the promise of a good night’s sleep. A sleep concierge assess sleeping habits, recommends pillows, offers a bedtime snack of can organise a relaxing massage to help you drift off.
We go around the world to find the most beautiful, weird and wonderful hotels for our series of posts on a night less ordinary. From panda-themed hotels to converted silvermines, expect the unexpected. This week, a plane hotel in Teuge, Netherlands.
What’s the gimmick? This one is for all the airplane appassionatos who dream of travelling and staying business class! This 1960 Ilyushin 18 was once the pride and joy of governmental transport, now it’s been converted into a luxury suite made just for two. At 40 metres long and filled with as much luxury as you can think of, a night in the plane hotel is really a high-flying experience.
Why stay? The Airplane Suite offers great views of the platform and runway at Teuge Airport. So it makes a great treat for any engineering fanatics in your life. Although it’s in an airport, privacy is a major priority. Guests can enjoy the whole plane to themselves, with on site jacuzzi, sauna, mini bar and all sorts of appliances and entertainment facilities.
The WOW Factor? If you fancy being a pilot but can’t face the hours, then this is the choice. The cockpit is left completely intact, so you can play pilot or cabin crew as much as you like. What’s more, guests can take an extra plane tour, helicopter trip or flight lesson. If you’re really making it something special, get yourself booked in for a parachute jump or ride on a stunt plane.
Anovernight stay for 2 persons, including luxury breakfast costs about £300.
We go around the world to find the most beautiful, weird and wonderful hotels. From Underwater Lodges to converted Airplane Suites, expect the unexpected. This week a hotel made entirely of cake. If you can make it through this post without drooling, you’re better than us. Ladies and gentlemen, let us present to you the Cake Hotel in London… and get ready to drool just a bit.
What’s the gimmick? For most of us, eating out and treating ourselves is part of the fun of holidays. You might check out the hand made pasta in Rome, the cheese in Paris or the Mediterranean cuisine in Greece. However, this is something a little different. A hotel for one night only made entirely of cake. The Cake Hotel in Soho is filled with bright pops of coloured cakes, frothy confections and macaroons as far as the eye can see.
Why stay?The Hotel has eight tasting rooms with different themes including Pirates of the Caribbean, Mardi Gras and more. The brainchild of a sugar cane manufacturer, it certainly set our tastebuds tingling just at the thought of it. The best part is, each lucky guest can eat everything, carpets, decorations, lights and windows. The bedside tables house edible books and the bathtubs are filled with caramel popcorn.
The WOW Factor? Did we mention everything is edible? The walls are made with 2,000 macaroons, the rugs are made of 1,081 meringues, there are edible pearls in treasure chests and a two-metre-high Easter Island chocolate statue. 14 bakers slaved for 2,000 hours using 600 of sugar to make this hotel taste as delicious as it looks. However, sadly this special hotel was open for one night only, but we can always dream.
We’re all about the Algarve, specifically the lovely seaside town of Albufeira. It’s got the Old Town that’s perfect for long lazy strolls in the sunshine. Over the hill you’ll find The Strip, packed with neon bars and all night parties. It really offers the best of both worlds.
So if you’re stuck for a place to stay, here’s our top 5 hotels in Albufeira.
Family friendly: The Paraiso de Albufeira Hotel Apartments have practically every facility you could think of, from one bedroom apartments to duplexes. The MGE restaurant and pool side snack bar are great for keeping little ones topped up, while the multi use court for basketball or football, mini golf course and video game room will keep even the moodiest teenager busy. That’s before you even get to the pool, nearby beach or the selection of water parks you’ll find around.
Ever come back from holiday only to discover that you’ve left behind your favourite book, mobile phone or even your credit card at the hotel?? What about your prosthetic leg? Did you leave that too? You may be shocked, but that is one of these 10weird things found in hotels Check the list to find out more..
1. Marriage License
What a way to start a marriage! The important new document was found by the cleaning staff in the Hyatt Regency Columbus. The certificate was quickly returned to the newlyweds. No word as to whether the pair has since left their wedding rings behind.
2. License Plate
In one of the rooms in Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel & Spa, in Goat Island, the maid came across a Connecticut license plate, which surprisingly, none of the guests ever attempted to reclaim.
3. False Teeth
The famous golf resort Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Scottsdale has discovered a set of false teeth, while cleaning a guest-room bathroom. Luckily, the hotel was able to overnight the dentures back to their embarrassed owner.
4. A Wig
The next most common items left behind after false teeth are wigs. Not necessarily strange, though it does make you wonder how someone can forget something so crucial behind, especially if they checked in the mirror before leaving.
5. Prosthetic Legs
Socks and shoes are one thing to leave behind but an entire leg is a whole different story. Such was the case for one hotel staff member at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Quebec, who found the prosthetic limb after checking underneath one of the hotel beds.
6. A Shark
If you thought finding a tiger in your bathroom, a la Hangover was crazy, try finding a shark in your bathtub. That’s the surprise hotel cleaners at The Tivoli Marina Vilamoura in the Algarve faced when they found a weakened shark in one of the room’s bathtubs — swimming in tap water when it was in desperate need of salt water.
7. 6K in Cold Hard Cash
Leaving a tip for house cleaning is a customary practice. Leaving a zippered bag filled with $6,000 in cash? Not so much. Still, the exorbitant find by Jeanne Mydil, a house keeper at the Miami International Airport Hotel, wasn’t enough to tempt the mother of three. Mydil returned the money to her employers who then returned it to a missionary group.
8. A Bird
The Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque hotel in Tenerife once found a caged cockatoo in a room. The owners subsequently asked for it to be flown back to them in a private jet. Which makes you wonder: if they cared that much for it, why forget it in the first place?
9. Expensive car keys
Leaving car keys behind seems to be another common occurrence – but when you drive a Ferrari, it’s inexcusable. At the Hesperia Tower hotel in Barcelona a guest left behind the keys to their Ferrari Testarossa. Upon finding them the staff ran to the parking lot to check if the car was still there – it wasn’t It’s anyone’s guess how the guest got away without his car keys.
10. A baby
Forgetting your pet might be forgivable even if it happens to be a horse, but your own toddling flesh and blood? A forgotten baby earns the number one weirdest thing to forget in a hotel room title. In this instance it was a couple with way too much luggage who had to leave in separate taxis – a classic case of “But I thought you had the kid!?!”