Monthly Archives: March 2010

Hotels invited to participate in beta launch of Hotelmine

HotelMine, a new online leisure travel site that is a hotel’s direct online channel option that is designed to lower distribution and conversion costs and bring you customers that are ready to travel.

HotelMine lets you share or create your hotel promotions and when a customer sees something that suites their taste or budget they book direct by calling your hotel or through your hotel’s website booking engine!

If you are a hotelier and would like to participate in the beta launch of HotelMine please send your contact information to info@hotelmine.com to receive additional details.

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Omni's signature spas make Conde Nast top spa list

Two Omni Hotels & Resorts signature spas were named to the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler 2010 Top Spas List.

The Mokara Salon & Spa at the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas in the Dallas area ranked number eight on the  top hotel spas in North America. The luxury spa, which opened in 2007, features customizable treatments utilizing a unique assortment of product lines, such as Skin Ceuticals, June Jacobs and Peter Thomas Roth. Additionally, Mokara offers signature services indigenous to the region, embracing the spirit and flavor of Texas with the Sweet Tea Body Gloss, Cactus Pear Moisture Wrap, Pecan & Brown Sugar Manicure and Ruby Red Reviver Pedicure.

The Watermark Spa at the Watermark Hotel & Spa, located on San Antonio’s historic River Walk, ranked number 17 on the list of the top hotel spas in North America. As the only world-class spa in the heart of downtown San Antonio, the Watermark Spa is a 17,000 square foot oasis which redefines spa luxury with its exquisite treatments, experienced therapists and elegant, sophisticated decor. In January 2010, the hotel and spa were also included in Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious Gold List of the World’s Best Places to Stay.

Exec chef phones in bomb threat so he could have the day off?

A bomb threat to the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables early Monday morning was traced to the office of the resort’s own chef.

Coral Gables police said just before 5 a.m. a 911 call was made to the department’s police and fire communications center in which a man said there was a bomb in the hotel and ‘death to all Jews’ before hanging up.

Police were able to trace the call to the Biltmore where the hotel’s phone system indicated it had come from the Executive Chefs office. Hotel security surveillance revealed that 62-year-old Thomas Hudnall was in the area at the time the phone call was placed.

In talking with police Hudnall reportedly admitted to making the threat because he wanted the hotel to be evacuated so he could have the day off.

Police said Hudnall had no intent on harming anyone of the Jewish religion. Hudnall was was arrested and charged with false report of explosive/weapons of mass destruction and transported to the Miami-Dade County Jail.

How to find summer domestic airfare deals

Everyone hoping to travel this summer is wondering whether to buy an airline ticket now or wait for a sale.

It’s impossible to generalize but if you find a domestic fare under $250 roundtrip with taxes then you might want to grab it. And while it all depends on where and when you’re going, and how flexible your travel dates are, here are a few clues as to what to expect:

Domestic U.S. travel

Domestic airlines have cut capacity, and the merger of Delta and Northwest has reduced price competition. Airlines are determined to make a profit this year, or at least cut their losses. As a result, airfare sales aren’t what they used to be

Southwest, which is reducing capacity by about 4 percent this year, recently announced a “breathtaking” sale on its Web site. Fares from Detroit to Milwaukee were listed at $298 roundtrip. Although we’ll still see those $99 one-way loss-leader coast-to-coast flights here and there, most likely you’ll have to travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday to avail yourself of one.

Traveling on Fridays and Sundays, and from Memorial Day until after Labor Day, will be the most expensive times to fly. If you’re at all flexible, Southwest.com has excellent flexible date search functions.

Airfare alerts: Since airlines are anything but predictable, the best way to grab a cheap seat is to sign up for free airfare alerts.  Airfarewatchdog.com‘s has alerts, but over a dozen other sites also provide them, including Fly.com, Bing.com/travel, Farecompare.com, Kayak.com, Momondo.com, and Yapta.com. Each has its strong points. Find others by doing a Bing or Google search under “airfare alerts.”

And sign up for airline frequent flier programs and e-mail alerts, because they often send out members-only deals and promo codes.

Another way to save: consider package tours. Last year, at the height of the financial panic, tour operators grabbed airplane seats and hotel rooms at favorable prices and locked in exchange rates. Depending on your travel plans, you may well find that a package tour to some international destinations costs not much more than airfare alone.

One other thing to keep in mind: the longer you wait to grab a fare, the less likely you’ll get the seat assignment and flight times you want.

SFO Parc 55 to fly Wyndham flag

Come April, the Wyndham flag will fly above San Francisco’s Parc 55 Hotel.

Of Wyndham’s over 7,100 hotels worldwide, 94 are branded Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, its top-tier brand.

With 1,011 rooms, the Parc 55 is the city’s fourth largest hotel. It will be renamed the Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco-Union Square.