We often joke that electronics run our lives. Well, for one hotel in Las Vegas, they certainly run the rooms. The Aria hotel in Sin City has installed tablets in all 4,004 guest rooms, allowing guests to control just about every aspect of the room – locking doors, turning on lights, drawing curtains, and ordering room service, with a few tabs on the screen. The tablets were installed by British company Crave Interactive in what is thought to be the largest guest-tech project in the U.S. [The Los Angeles Times]
Just like airlines, hotels charge customers an array of fees for everything from WiFi access, minibar usage, premium coffee, and other little extras. Instead of surprising guests with these costs when they check in (or, even worse, when they go to pay their bill at checkout), one hotel company is experimenting with packages of add-ons that customers can select when they check in. [More]
Hotel chain Marriott is no longer taking reservations for the Waikiki Edition hotel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a room. In a late-night raid last weekend, the chain was kicked out by the hotel’s owners, who changed the locks and brought in new management without even calling to say goodbye first. [More]
This summer, Abe went on a trip through Europe this summer with his wife and kids. One night, he made a hotel reservation using the Expedia iPhone app. But when he arrived at the place, it was already past check-in time and no one was around. When he called Expedia for a refund, they said no, because the check-in time was disclosed on their website, even though that information was not available through the iPhone app at all. [More]
Finding a bad place to stay can ruin a trip, or even your entire impression of a city. Lacking personal recommendations, you may turn to online reviews to help you find a place to stay. But how can you tell shill reviews from real ones? Other than an air of general fakeness, AOL Travel tells you what to look for in hotel reviews specifically.
Kristy and her husband were dissatisfied with their recent Comfort Inn stay while on vacation in southern Utah. The hotel manager resolved their cleanliness concerns, but then threatened to revoke their discount if they complained to corporate. Kristy tried to get her message across to the people in charge through the usual channels, and it seemed that nobody wanted to listen, Finally, she posted about the situation on Twitter and got the resolution she was looking for.
The swine flu outbreak is making thing tough for people who had booked Mexican vacations. Reader Kurt is one such person. He got a full refund from the hotel, but is dismayed that Continental won’t extend him the same courtesy.
You won’t get the best deal booking your hotel room through third-party sites like Expedia or Travelocity, according to an anonymous hospitality industry insider. Inside, four excellent reasons to book directly with a hotel to guarantee the best rooms at the best prices.
The makers of MileMaven.com, a utility to compare airline reward offers, have expanded their offerings to include PointMaven.com, a utility to compare hotel reward offers. PointMaven displays offers from several conspicuously named hotel reward programs, including the Best Western Gold Crown Club, Choice Privileges, Hyatt Gold Passport, and Intercontinental Hotels Priority Club. Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and TripRewards are in beta testing, and compatibility with Hilton HHonors and Radisson Gold Points Plus is “coming soon.”
If you’re looking for sound travel and especially hotel advice from other engaged consumers, TravelPost may be a site for you to check out, as Lifehacker did.
(D’oh! Brownlee is an idiot. This is one of our few duplicate stories, the unfortunate consequence of having two writers working thousands of miles away from one another. But we’re going to leave it up as it gives us another ace-in-the-hole for when Brownlee greedily starts slobbering for an undeserved raise.