It came as shock to a hotel called The Greenbrier, when the AAA Five Diamonds ratings organization dislodged them from the spot of top rated the hotels. It was a first for the hotel, in 36 years, not to get the rating.
The ratings association who are tasked to create ratings for the best hotels in the US released the companies that got AAA markings called Five Diamond Award. Missing from the list were Greenbrier; White Sulphur Springs, a historic resort in West Virginia. The Greenbrier’s 5 diamond rating was lowered to 4 diamonds.
In Colorado Springs, a hotel called The Broadmoor hotel has won another five diamonds, it is one of the best hotels in the country and the only one to receive a 5 diamond award since the rating system’s birth in 1976.
Other hotels who enjoyed a 5 diamond rating last year and was dropped into 4 diamonds were JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort and Spa located in Arizona.
The Forbes Travel Guide which gave Greenbrier hotel a 5 stars rating has also lowered it to 4 stars. According to the president of the hotel, Jeff Kmeic, they were expecting lower ratings because of the size of their rooms and bathrooms. According to Mr. Kmeic, 10 percent of their rooms or around 710 guest rooms are smaller than what is considered 5 star rating.
Mr. Kmiec told the AAA that it will not budge when it comes to trying to meet the new standard of bigger rooms and bathrooms. Greenbrier is an old hotel with history and legacy according to the president and it will not destroy that just to accommodate the new rules in 5 star ratings.
Even the owner said that renovating the hotel is like damaging the face of Mount Rushmore.
It is still one of the best hotels in the US and the company has updated the room interiors in order to catch up with the times. In a report they stated that US$300 million were spent in the interior renovations and other additions. They did this for the hotel and not to affect the AAA ratings.
According to Mr. Kmiec, as always, the hotel is devoted in creating one of the best hotels and continuing premier hospitality, one that they have been providing for the past 235 years.
The ratings are conducted by unannounced on-site inspectors visiting the various hotels and giving their evaluations.
When asked about the ratings, the spokesperson for AAA , Heather Hunter, stated that they do not divulge the evaluations.
It also said that they note Greenbrier being a historic hotel and proud of its 4 star diamond rating.
AAA is given 5 diamond awards to a hundred US hotels based on service, guest comment, physical attributes and amenities.
If you’re looking for new blogs to read every day here’s a list of some of the best travel blogs in the interweb.
Travling is a gateway to finding a new road and finding your soul. The world may seem huge but when someone leads the way in getting to know it, and writing about then that destination seems reachable, navigable. The best travel blogs serve that purpose, they lead the way in telling the rest of us where to explore. We are lucky to be able to see the world through their eyes and their guide us on how to reach that place.
Our list of best travel blogs
1. Alex Robertson Textor
We love Alex and his summer stories. He’s a competitive traveler and his trips are so exotic we need an Atlas just to check where he is heading next. We evny that passport. Alex has made traveling his way of life.
2. Another Something
This site is clean and nice. It is easy to navigate and the design is spectacular. It is easy to checkout the highlights of where to travel, culture and style. The photography is amazing and the information is digestible. This is a smart and savvy blog site.
3. Atlas Obscura
This is a website that is a collection of curiosities, quirkies, and other quirky facts. The site is run by Joshua Foer who is into the bizarre and the charming. He goes to museums twice a week.
4. Babyccino Kids
This site is managed by three people from different cities. Courtney lives in London, Emilie is in Paris and Esther lives in Amsterdam. The blog documents the travel and family adventures.
5. Bald Hiker
Paul Steele is Bald Walker and he travels the world to get the best photos especially of places that are natural.
6. Been Seen
The blog is managed by Heinz Legler and Veronique Lievre and they scour the world for amazing design and architecture. They travel to both the accessible places and some unexpected corners of the world.
7. Christopher Elliot
He’s a writer and his blog reflects his training as a journalist.
8. The Culture-ist
This is a hodgepodge of information about Denmark and everything about the country’s slow food phenomena.
9. Design Tripper
The owner of the blog is Meghan McEwen and she’s devoted to reviewing the best hotels, inn, and accommodations available all over the world. It’s a cute blog.
10. Eat Your World
A food blog that diligently analyzes the best food that’s available all over the world.
What travel blog is your favorite?
Expedia is one of the biggest hotel online distribution company and it once again showed Silicon Valley why they are the market leaders. In a report and the company’s press release, it was announced that the company will be acquiring Trivago. Trivago is the number one hotel online distribution company in Europe as Expedia is to America so the merger is a smart deal deemed by experts. It also said that with the purchase of the European hotel online distribution company, competitor Priceline’s expansion in the market will be more challenging.
Expedia’s purchase of the German company, Trivago was reported to be a cash and stock deal and it is worth US$632 million.
Trivago was founded in 2005 in Dusseldorf and it has since become the leading hotel online distribution company in Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the UK. It is only last year that Trivago tried to infiltrate the US market.
After the deal has been finalized, Expedia is expected to own 62 percent stake in the company. It looks like it is worth it as Trivago is expected to produced US$132 million by the end of the year.
In the SEC filing, it was reported that Trivago’s management, made up of 3 members, will keep 36 percent of their outstanding shared. The other 2 members will get 2 percent of the securities. Expedia will give US$426.4 million in cash. It will also divide the payments of the common stock in 5 trenches worth 42.6 million, this can be claimed on the anniversary of the purchase, five years from now.
The German hotel online distribution company will also be issuing new shares and for this Expedia will shell out another US$7.6 million.
According to Expedia’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, the team of Trivago was responsible for created the speediest, biggest and most popular travel sites in Europe. It operates around 100 million hotel searches on a yearly basis. It is respected for creating great products and a solid brand. The same can be said for Expedia and this is why Dara is excited about the acquisition.
The acquisition is not a closed deal yet as Expedia awaits regulatory approvals that will be given by Europe. Interesting is that Expedia’s competitor, Priceline, also recently purchased Kayak. Priceline’s intention was to boost its international market.
In the report, Trivago comes out as stronger than Kayak when it comes to the European market. Trivago owns leading metasearch site Swoodoo which also started in Germany. Expedia’s purchase is a “in your face” answer to its competitor’s recent acquisition.
Earlier in the year, the rumors were that Trivago will ready for their IPO. However reports state that its founder Malte Siewert said that going public was never considered by the company.
Admit it, traveling can be a stressful activity. Sometimes people need a vacation after their vacation. Between delayed flights, problems with booking accommodations and conflict with your fellow traveler you get a picture on why traveling can be stress free.
So here are some tips for stress free traveling:
1. Stop checking your email
Once you hit the road, you need to stop checking your email and start enjoying your vacation. Set your email so that it has an autoresponder to tell your work and friends you’re on vacation. It is important that you should also take one day break after you get home and before you work so you can organize everything including checking your emails. If you’re really obsessive about work email go to Boomerang and ask them to hold your email and when you get back the software sends all the mail back to your account.
2. Cell phone
Before you leave arrange for your cellphone provided to provide you with the international roaming settings that you need. If you want to save money and you have a smartphone then download apps such as Viber to give your free calls, if you’re an Apple owner and your family or friends have one as well then you can do FaceTime. If you don’t know what that is the time to learn how to use it and set it up is before the trip.
3. Don’t worry about your favorite TV shows
If you’re really a TV buff or some say couch potato then you should have your DVR set up or sign in to popular sites like Hulu Plus or Netflix.
4. Travel on a budget
One of the best tips for stress free traveling is to manage your finance and organize it. If you carry with you a tablet or a smartphone then you should download budgeting apps such as Gasbuddy, Evernote or Trip Splitter.
Gasbuddy tells you where to load up on the cheapest gas, Evernote can store your receipts. Mint.com and Learnvest tellls you how to do some casually accounting. Trip Splitter is for keeping track of who paid the bills when going abroad with your friends.
5. Avoid Getting Lost
Getting lost is tantamount to stress so a tip for stress free traveling is to grab a map. There are also many apps that tell you where to go. So map your destinations ahead. You can even pre-research restrooms. In the US there are apps like Where To Wee that tells you the nearest restroom.
6. Organize Itinerary
You can keep your schedule in order with Tripit and you no longer have to worry about papers and folders.
7. Leave Guidebooks behind
With History Here travel app you can get the rundown on the history of the place you are visiting. This way you don’t have to lug around a heavy guidebook.
8. Book hotels on the same day
Hotel Tonight allows you to book on the same day and at cheaper rates.
9. Easy car service
Uber is a app that allows you to reserve a car for your service.
10. Avoid jet lag
Download JetlagGenie which helps you fix your body clock.