Advantages Of Homestays Over Hotels

Missing the sense of living in a home in hotels? Have you started to think that living in hotels has become too mainstream. Well then Homestays are the best option for you. With a sense of living right at your home in a new city to which you are traveling, homestays are a very good option to consider.

What is Homestay?

Homestay is basically a form of lodging where travelers get to live in a person’s home living in the locality to which you are traveling to. They may be free of costs at times or they may be something like a home exchange which has close meaning to student exchanges.

Why is it better than Hotels?

Nowadays living in a hotel is what everyone does. But, does it give you the satisfaction of really going to the place and enjoying it to the fullest? Not really. That is why now people are shifting attention to other options like Homestays.

They give you the comfort of home in a tourist spot:

  • You get to have the experience of the local lifestyle.
  • What better place to enjoy the local cuisine than at the place of a person living in that area for years.
  • It gives you a taste of local culture.
  • They save on costs of hotels at times.
  • You get to make connections with the local people of different class/ culture within that one stay.
  • Staying in a friendly and family kind of environment

Even though the Estate stays are cheaper and gives you a home type of feeling, last minute cancellations on the host part or some other minor problems may be troublesome and difficult to handle during your tour.

While searching for homestays the main aim should not be just finding an accommodation to live in but it should be more of an experience which you get when you stay at a local person’s home. It is an experience worth having in your lifetime. You get to know people, their lifestyle as mentioned above, but above all you get to know the type of people who live in that area. If the place is surrounded by trees, is situated near a forest or is close to places where natural beauty can be seen in the locality then all this makes your stay more magical and amazing.

Tourists always find it difficult to firstly find an accommodation and then find the places to visit in the locality once they do that. Then they end up spending money on guides, maps and whatnot. But if you find an accommodation at a Homestay, then you can have the first hand experience of traveling to local tourist spots from your host. Your host can tell you all about the best place to eat, to shop, to see etc.

All this can be enjoyed by you if opt out of staying in hotels which don’t give you the benefits of living like Homestays and prefer estate stays over them.

Happy travelling with Homestay.

How To Be A Good Guest In A Homestay

Homestays are becoming increasingly popular with more and more people opting to stay in a homely environment during vacations. It gives you the advantage of learning about the local culture while also enjoying some homemade food. Moreover, it gives the real taste of a particular place’s lifestyle, which something one should try experiencing at least once in their lives.

However, when you board at a homestay, regular families will greet you instead of trained staff members. Which is why it becomes important to be careful of your behavior and etiquette so that you leave a good impression behind. Here are some ways of doing so.

Learn about the Culture of the Place

Culture can be a very important aspect of a person’s life, especially in Asian countries. So, let’s say, for instance, you are booking cheap flights, take some more time and read up about their culture too. This will help you gel well with your hosts and make you seem less foreign.

Be at Your Best Behavior

Remember that when you are lodging at a homestay, you are using someone’s home. Before you start your stay, ask them if they have any specific rules you need to follow. This way, you will not be disturbing them while enjoying your vacation. Also, be warm toward them so that they don’t have a skewed idea of the country you are representing.

Treat it Like a Homestay

Most often people forget the basic difference between a homestay and a hotel stay. At hotels, staff members will be at your beck and call. They will assist you with anything you want. But when you are staying at someone’s home, they might not have the manpower to do so. Try and help out as much as you can. If it’s not too much of a work, keep your room and bathroom as clean as possible. Additionally, try cleaning up after you have finished your meals.

Care for their Home

People often host guests to earn some extra cash on the side but that doesn’t mean, it’s not difficult to give up a portion of their house to strangers. Which is why, as guests, it becomes your duty to take care of their furniture and infrastructure. Don’t damage the property and try to treat it like your own home. Remember that someone has built it with as much love and care as you built your own.

These are some of the tips that will help you be a good guest at a homestay. And last but not the least, the best tip is always to be as smiling and welcoming as possible.

What You Need To Know Before Looking For A Business Hotel

Whether you are traveling for business or are looking for a place to host a professional conference, finding the right business hotel can be tricky. With a lot at stake, you want to be certain you contract with a professional, competent and reputable hotel. Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs of what constitutes stellar accommodations. Take a look at the following guide to help you locate the right hotel for your needs:

Seek out experienced staff

Hosting a business meeting in a hotel setting requires the employment of a competent and professional staff. From the concierge to the manager, to the chef, it all matters, as these people can make or break your event. With quality employees, you can rest assured that they will fill in the gaps in which you may lack experience. From large matters like seating arrangements and reservation help to technological assistance with PowerPoint and surround sound, to the small matters of having refreshments, it is important that your event run smoothly. And an experienced staff at a business hotel can make that happen.

If you are simply searching for accommodations while on a business trip, then the staff still matters. With a top-notch concierge, you can relax while the employees manage your logistical needs. It is stressful enough staying away from home. An unprofessional and rude staff can only add to that stress.

Don’t ignore the amenities

Most people believe it is unnecessary to consider any luxury item at a business hotel when traveling. This is a tragic belief! Just because you are tending to work-related matters does not mean you should not enjoy your stay. In fact, when working, luxury should be a priority. A good swimming pool and/or workout gym can help relieve stress and help you maintain your mental and physical sanity, which is an ever-growing need for many professionals. If you are unsure as to what amenities the hotel offers, you should call the front desk or concierge. And do not be afraid to ask.

If you are hosting a business event, this may be even more important, with many employees traveling to your conference. Choosing respectable accommodations indicates an adherence to quality and luxury and reflects well on your company.

Track online promotions

Many hotels and inns offer some fantastic deals, especially for the frequent traveler. In order to take advantage of these deals, you should never neglect your online searches. Signing up to be added to an email list is a terrific way to keep in touch and monitor periodic deals. And again, when in doubt, call the hotel personally and inquire after any specials they may offer.

Try not to neglect the location

While you may not always have a say over which location you are to travel, a business hotel should still be in a beautiful setting, if possible. This is especially true for those companies hosting work conferences. Find a unique town by looking at the tourist attractions. With beautiful scenery, unique restaurants and fun shopping excursions, you can transition your conference to one many people choose to frequent for years to come.

Why Is Display of Art In Hotels So Significant?

Are luxury hotels becoming fine art spaces?

Art has been a part of the hospitality industry for a very long time now. Hoteliers have often had to embrace creative strategies to make a hotel standout. By placing interesting and eye-catching artwork throughout the hotel, they’ve offered an exclusive experience to their clientele.

Artwork helps build the identity of a hotel and offers a superior aesthetic experience by creating inspiring and stimulating ambience. While the smaller accommodation options prefer cost efficiency and core amenities, artwork is almost integral to luxury, boutique, and design hotels.

The Need for Art

Artwork is a representation of the society because they served both as functional and symbolic elements. While some may say that art is a display of their ethnic sophistication, for some it may be more of an individualistic expression. As a functional element, artwork is utilized for psychological and healing purposes, for social causes, and even as a mode of communication. Personally, they connect people to their roots or the broader human condition. Artwork also evokes curiosity, interest and provides an exuberant experience.

Elevating the Style of Hotels through Artwork

Curating art for a hotel is often done by the hoteliers themselves, and, for this reason, it often reflects their values, creativity and the theme they are tying display. There is a separate budget earmarked for this purpose, and even though the investment in art is limited, it has given rise to different types of marketing strategies for hoteliers.

Use of paintings, sculptures or creative features in hotels, is without a doubt an effective way to revamp its look without investing in the structural changes, which could prove to be more expensive and time-consuming. Hoteliers who are experienced often say that simple changes in the color of the walls or the readjustment of the furniture can visually expand the room by as much as a feet. In fact the rooms that have framed artwork by famous painters are more expensive than others.

Integrating Artistic Communities and Galleries with Hotels

Famous luxury hotels are generally aided by the artistic community for new and exciting artworks. This helps hotels remain up to date with the latest trends while artists get a canvas to showcase their talents. It is a collaboration that is beneficial for both parties. As quoted by Paul Morris, the famous host of numerous international art fairs, including the Armory Show in New York City, “Hotels really can’t get away with putting mallard prints on the wall anymore. Therefore they need to tap into the artistic communities for help.”

Independent art consultants and interior designers are also known to frequently collaborate hotels. Not only do they help define the look of the property, they are able to source art locally from the best talent and get it at a great bargain. With the help of interior designers and consultants, hoteliers are able to achieve new heights in creativity.

Hotels That Have Brilliantly Integrated Art

In these times, art has become fundamental to a hotel instead of just being ornamental or an element of its design. As a result, hoteliers are inspired to think outside of the box and curate art in the most exquisite and unexpected ways possible.

Take for instance, the typical room at the Thompson LES hotel in Manhattan, which has an industrial-chic loft with exposed concrete columns and floor to ceiling windows. But what really catches your eye in the room is the artwork that hangs above the bed. It is a giant light box inside which there is a photo of a tree from photographer Lee Friedlander’s ‘Apples & Olives’ series. Stunning as the installation is, it also perfectly complements the organic setting of the room.

In the past decade, hotels like the Wynn Las Vegas, Chambers in Minneapolis, the Sagamore in Miami Beach and the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando have all displayed wide-ranging collections of art. The Gramercy Park Hotel, after being refurbished, has high-caliber artwork on display. In fact, the Museum of Modern Art is known to have taken a tour group to the hotel. I would call that high praise indeed!

Abstract artist Lynette Shaw painted a series of eight serene, textured canvases as large as eight feet across for the lobby and restaurant at the Wyvern Hotel in Las Vegas. Today the artwork is the most attractive quality of the hotel. Other hotels with famous artwork include the Ace Hotel in New York with four art-centric properties. The Pod Hotel in New York also features frameless art. J. M. Rizzi, the artist, has painted city scenes and abstract shapes directly on to the walls of the lobby and the corridors.

Most hotels commission and collect art that bring out the elements of the city inside the hotels. In some cases, they create a visual record of the rapidly developing neighborhood. For example in South Miami, the owner Michael Achenbaum commissioned Deborah Anderson, a London-based multimedia artist to shoot some of the area’s Art Deco architecture and also staged shots of tattooed models with ’50s hair and clothing. The photographer finally compiled 300 photographs, which were made into the 2,800 prints to be hung throughout the Gansevoort South.

Art in Indian Hotels

If you’re wondering where India stands on incorporating art in the hospitality industry, we have some stellar examples of our own. And why not! Indians have a reputation for being artistically inclined and we have some of the most beautiful examples of architecture in the world. There’s absolutely no way that we’d be left behind when showcasing artistic talent on the walls of our hotels.

Take for example the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. In a land that’s famous for the creative sensibilities of the Nizams, the hotel does justice to its legacy and heritage. Falaknuma’s frescoed ceilings, carved furniture, and Venetian chandeliers have art aficionados in throes of ecstasy. The library in the hotel is a replica of the Windsor Castle in U.K. and is home to 6,000 books. You’re free to take a tour of the Falaknuma Palace accompanied by the hotel’s historian, who takes you through a trip back in time as he regales you with stories from days gone by.

Yet another name that pops to mind is the ITC Maurya in the capital of India. As soon as you enter the hotel’s lobby, you’re greeted by the stunning visual spectacle that is Krishen Khanna’s ‘The Great Procession’ – a rich depiction of the vibrant life in India. But your artistic experience doesn’t end here. There are other exemplary works scattered around the hotel, including Tyeb Mehta’s ‘Bull in the Landscape’ painting and AR Ramachandran’s Ashoka ‘After Kalinga War’ – a sculpture etched with Ashoka’s anti-war inscriptions in Devanagri.

There is no end to instances of brilliant exhibition of art in hotels. It is significant to their identity and being. In fact artists consider it an achievement to have their paintings hang at famous hotel chains. The melange of art in hotels is what makes them an aspiration place where people want to spend their holidays. And in many cases, it forms an intrinsic part of the memories that a traveler carries back with him when he comes away from the hotel.

How to Choose From the Best Hotels in Dubai Within Budget

Time has changed a lot especially for Dubai which has transformed itself into the most sought after commercial destination in the world. Once a lonely desert, this gulf region has become a heaven for commercial people and all leading brands. A large number of people come to Dubai to give wings to their dreams. And this city never disappoints them with its magnificent charm that is truly distinctive in its own sense.

For visitors, staying at a good hotel is not big deal but they need to do a bit of research to get the best offers on the budget hotels in Dubai. From budget hotels, to 5-star & 7-star hotels, Dubai boasts of an extensive range of options that meet the specific accommodation needs of people coming to the region. Whether for business purpose or entertainment, these hotels offer superb amenities to travelers at economical rates.

Being one of the seven United Arab Emirates, Dubai enjoys comfortable location that makes it a great place for trading purpose. With its ever-developing trade scenario, it has become a center of trading, drawing tourists from all across the world. Dubai is recently in news for its hi-tech architecture of high-end construction projects and sports. A major part of its foreign cash flow emerges through tourism. With around 70 shopping malls and Dubai Mall, one of the biggest in the world, it is widely regard as the 8th most visited place in the world.

Among various big cities in the world, Dubai has some of the most magnificent hotels, resorts and apartments for rent. Most of the best hotels in Dubai are rated high on global hotel standards. Some of the best & luxurious accommodation options are Al Bustan Centre Residence, Al Bustan Rotana, Al Maha Desert Resort and others.

Anyone who is coming to Dubai and wants comfy and affordable accommodation, it is strongly suggested to do a thorough research on all leading budget hotels in Dubai that provide world-class hospitality experiences in a budgetary way. The deeper your research is the better outcome you can expect to get.

It is not just the city which offers an unforgettable experience to visitors, the hotels there also provide the similar level of experience to travelers. So, next time you think of visiting Dubai, make sure you get the most out of your time, efforts and investment. This way you can choose to enjoy a pleasant and remarkable accommodation experience.

What You Need to Know About the Notting Hill Carnival

This event welcomes the vibes of calypso music, food stalls offering Caribbean flavors and delights and so much more. It is important to note at this point that the roads used by the parade are closed off, so if you are thinking of attending, it’s worthwhile making use of the local bus service to get to the carnival and back home or to your hotel.

This carnival has been held in Notting Hill since 1966 and has more than fifty thousand participants taking part in the parade and event with thirty sound systems which are strategically placed throughout the streets and more than one million people attend each and every year.

There are some very important things you are going to want to remember if you are thinking of attending the Notting Hill Carnival this year with the first being that you will want to use the bus service and to your own vehicle or the tube. While the tube may appear to be the most convenience, the tube service is suspended during the event, but there are extra buses which are put on service to manage the spectators and ensure you get to and from the event safely. It’s worthwhile speaking to your concierge service to identify what bus service to use, along with the time for that day.

The next thing is as a woman, don’t fall into the trap of wearing high heels, ensure you wear flat shoes, sandals if it’s a nice day. There isn’t much seating space and if you want to move along with the parade and experience all the carnival has to offer, then you will be thankful for wearing sensible shoes rather than high heels which can make the day uncomfortable.

In addition to this, the Notting Hill Carnival does take place in the summer months and the sun in London can get exceptionally hot, especially if you are not used to it. Be sure to pack a bag for you and the family which includes sun cream, a sun hat and sun glasses. It’s advisable to throw in a few bottles of water to reduce the risk of dehydration while attending this fun event.

Remember this is a day of family fun, so take the children along. If you have younger children, ensure that they have comfortable shoes. That they have your telephone number in case they get lost and for younger ones, take the push chair. You may think the push chair is going to get in the way, but when you spend a day on your feet enjoying the festivities, carrying your youngest child is not something you are going to want to be doing you will be thankful you packed the push chair to take along with you.

When you choose where to stand to watch the parade, take careful note of where the speakers are located and try and move a little bit away. Remember these speakers are catering to thousands of people and they can be exceptionally loud. Unless you love loud music, you may find moving away slightly will make your experience a little more enjoyable.

Weekend Getaways From Delhi Within 300 Km

A melting point of vibrant cultures, Delhi is an incredible city in itself and offers respite to its inhabitants in the form of abounding outings within the city. But unlike most of the cities, the folks in Delhi have a plethora of options when it comes to weekend getaways.

Also, since most of us are wary of spending our hard-earned money and deserving weekends on nonessential tourist-flooded destinations and long travel hours, weekend getaways from Delhi becomes all the more important.

Be it hill stations, adventure sites, religious shrines or commonplace tourist destinations, there are numerous getaways from Delhi at a stone’s throw.

Mentioned below is the ultimate list of weekend getaways near Delhi that would turn your monotonous weekend into a mini vacation and get in you in just the right mood to face the upcoming week.

1. Sariska, Rajasthan: Sariska rose to popularity due to Sariska Tiger Reserve. A successfully relocated home to Royal Bengal Tigers, the reserve is located in the Alwar district and is considered to be one of the best getaways from Delhi for its thriving wildlife.

Distance from Delhi: 215 km

Best time to visit: Throughout the year except May, June, July and August

Famous for: Rich flora and fauna including tigers, wild boar, antelopes and leopards

2. Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh: This quaint hamlet in Himachal Pradesh is one of the most charismatic hill stations in India. Narrow roads moving past undulated vistas take one back to the 19th century. The placid hill station is blessed with exotic surroundings and is a preferred weekend destination from Delhi.

Distance from Delhi: 285 km

Best time to visit: March to November

Famous for: Hill station, alluring landscapes, altars

3. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand: One of the holiest Indian cities, Rishikesh is not just the spiritual capital of India but its adventure capital too. Even the globally known band The Beatles couldn’t keep itself from visiting the sacred destination back in 1968.

Distance from Delhi: 230 km

Best time to visit: Throughout the year, peak summers can be a bit harsh though

Famous for: Adventure sports, yoga, spirituality

4. Mandawa, Rajasthan: Mandawa was founded in 18th century by rich merchant families and is known for its splendid mansions and havelis. It’s an aesthetically pleasing hamlet and attracts numerous tourists from nearby cities and is locally known as Rajasthan’s open art gallery.

Distance from Delhi: 260 km

Best time to visit: October to March

Famous for: Heritage, palaces, forts, camel rides and shopping

Why Should You Always Try and Stay in a Five Star Hotel?

Let’s be honest, not everyone can afford five star, which is why so many people book into three and four star hotels. But before you start shopping around and book the first affordable hotel you find, there are a few things you should really know about.

The first thing is that every country has their own hotel rating system, which means a five star in London is not necessarily the same as a five star hotel in Australia or the United States. Every country has it’s own rating system, which could result in some confusion. In the United Kingdom stars are awarded on facilities, service and customer service, In France they focus on the quality of the rooms and in Italy they focus on cleanliness. Which means knowing the star rating system in the UK can help you look for hotels in other countries offering the same facilities, services and customer service, even if they are not awarded with five stars.

In the United Kingdom, facilities and services are taken very seriously and any hotel which is lucky enough to be awarded a five star status, must provide guests with exploratory facilities and services. They must also have experienced, qualified and excellent staff who focus on providing guests with the highest level of customer service, working to exceptionally high quality standards at all times.

The hotel should provide the finest level of cleanliness, it should be well-maintained and offer the delivery of any services to the highest of standards. In most instances a five star hotel will provide you with some benefits such as a fitness center and on-site wellness center, which should provide you with a range of quality treatments provided by qualities therapists. In addition to this, the hotel should also provide you with a twenty our hour reception desk for added convenience.

It is always advisable when visiting a new city or country, to choose a five star hotel with a concierge service. The concierge has a wealth of local knowledge and experience. They can make recommendations and suggestions on what to see and do, they will book a taxi for you or assist you with public transport. They can also make theater bookings on your behalf or make dinner reservations at a top hotel, saving you time and energy and reducing what you need to do when on holiday.

Further, they should provide a butler service. If you have hired a suite and have guests coming to visit you for an evening meal, then a butler could be the ideal way to spend the evening, enabling them to handle the dinner, serve the meal and clear the plates, while keeping glasses filled.

Most five star hotels will have a choice of public areas. They should have a full on-site restaurant that serves evening meals and maybe even breakfasts, they should also have a lounge bar or relaxed area where you can sit and chill out, maybe with a coffee or dinner cocktail, light snacks should be served here during the day. In addition to this, they should also provide you with twenty four hour room service to quality as five star.

The Beginners Guide To Finding A Luxury Condominium For Your Next Vacation

Perusing and choosing from a variety of luxury condominiums can be overwhelming, particularly if you are next to the scene. Condos can be a particularly tricky type of accommodation, but they can be some of the most rewarding choices if you know what to look for. Fortunately, there are some standard guidelines to follow and things to watch for when choosing a hotel. Take a look at some of the following tips to help you make the most of your accommodation choice:

1. Be mindful of your price range.

This is an important tip! Make yourself a budget for your travels and then stick to it. If you must go over, then be sure you have a concrete reason for exceeding your initial estimate. The beauty of condominium-style hotels is that you have a range of options with different prices. With luxury condominiums, you should be able to specifically see the amenities for which you are spending your budget. Searching online for special deals and promotions and traveling during the off-season are all good tips to help save you some money. Join a mailing (or emailing) list for even more specials and promos.

2. Determine which amenities are important to you.

Different people will have different expectations of their hotel choice. If you are traveling with your family, you will probably be interested in a different set of amenities than if you were traveling by yourself or with adults only. Ask about swimming pools, hot tubs and saunas. Some people really enjoy having large, community spaces for everyone to lounge in after the day’s activities. Campfires and grills are also things to consider if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors. The sky is the limit when you are discussing luxury condominiums, so make sure you keep your options open and your expectations defined.

3. Ask for a variety of room options.

For some hotel-style condos, you can expect privately owned rooms within a hotel setting. This means that a large condo building is generally under group management, but each unit is individually owned. Look for photos online to peruse your options. Checking out online reviews is also an excellent method for checking on the status of a particular condo. Keep this in mind when you are attempting to book with a company. Also, consider what would be best for your travel group. If you are going with just one person, you may want something completely different than if you were hosting children or extended family members.

4. Think about the activities in which you want to participate.

The activities in which you will participate while on vacation should influence your choice in luxury condominiums. If you are booking a ski trip, then check the access to ski lifts, ski lessons, and ski-lodge type of accommodations. If you will be in the mountains, then inquire after relaxing spa options. Adjust your sleeping accommodations to your vacation choices in order to maximize your vacation experience. Call ahead of time to see how the hotel management can accommodate you.

What Is Better – Short-Term Accommodation Or A Hotel?

You have planned your holidays, and now you are selecting the destination. In the meantime, I hope that you have not missed booking the room that you are looking for. Whether you are going for the business trip or you are taking your family members for the holiday, it is always preferable that you book a place that offers various amenities suiting your needs. We all know that the hotels are quite popular in all the tourist destinations around the world, but what about the privacy and luxury. Do all the hotels have the same facilities to make your trip a success?

Now, what is the second option? Have you heard about the guesthouses? They are one demanding accommodation varieties these days; almost all the tourist spots have the residing places that attract travelers from all over the world. I have also once gone for a holiday and stayed in the guesthouses. I will help you to know the difference between the hotel and guesthouse-

1. Guest house has larger space

When you are staying at the B&B accommodation, you are enjoying a larger space than the hotel. In the latter one, you are just getting 1-2 rooms that you are booking. However, in the former one, you are getting the entire space to enjoy. Even, when you are going for the business trip, you can stay in these places. You can organize the meetings with your colleagues too.

2. Unlimited privacy

From my experiences, I know that there is little privacy in the hotels. There are various types of people coming from each corner of the world to live. You cannot totally feel safe and enjoy to the fullest when you are staying at the hotel. But, in the case of the guest lodging, you are going to get unlimited privacy. Therefore, for the next time, when I go with my kids, I will surely stay at the guest houses.

3. Private pool and garden area

When you are choosing the B&B lodging, you can enjoy at the private pool area or at the garden that you like. You can even have your breakfast in the garden. Both these areas are best places to relax and spend the leisure time. You can rarely get the private pool or garden at the hotels.

Apart from these, the best part is that the guesthouses give concierge services, which are great. I hope, if you book a short-term accommodation for your holiday, you will get a new experience.