The Ultimate Hotel Booking Guide

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Fed up of paying through the roof for hotels? Check out these 62 industry tips guaranteed to save you money on your next trip!

Do you feel your entire vacation budget gets swallowed by hotels?

Does everyone else seem to find great deals but you?

Read on for 62 hotel industry gems, guaranteed to save you money on your next trip!

CHOOSING A HOTEL

1) Figure out what you want. Don’t pay for a swish reception and room service if you just want a room. Don’t go 4 star if 2 star facilities fulfill your needs.

2) Steer clear of half/full board hotels – they’re rarely cost effective, you’ll be better off finding your own meals.

3) Consider chain hotels. Their rooms are often the same price irrespective of size, a great budget choice for families.

4) Seek out suite hotels: their rates are lower and the kitchen facilities will cut down costs on eating out.

5) Look for small hotels and B & B’s: they pay less taxes so you pay less for your room.

6) Hunt out family-run establishments: they genuinely care about their good name so will be less likely to take you for a ride.

7) Consider “pod/micro hotels” for budget trips and airport layovers. A compact solution halfway between a hotel and a hostel.

8 ) Stay outside of city centers – and if the saving’s big enough hire a car with the spare cash.

9) Don’t dismiss the hotel touts who meet you off the train/bus – you may find some hotel gems that charge less as they’re simply not in the guidebook.

10) Ask around for recommendations – you can’t beat word of mouth, it’s often the best way to find the best value options.

11) Get online: social media sites, review sites and forums are great ways to get recommendations find the best deals and find out about real-life experiences.

HUNTING DOWN DEALS

12) Use price comparison sites to find the best deals online.

13) Seek out 3 for 2 night deals advertised in the press/online.

14) Stay in a business hotel off peak (Summer months and weekends) and get a room for a fraction of the usual price.

15) Ask your favorite hotel to keep you updated on deals and discounts as they come up.

16) Book last minute: you may get as much as 50% off.

17) Don’t dismiss package deals: all in flights and hotel arrangements can still save you money.

18) Shop around: check the price with at least 5 different sources and never go with the first quote you get.

GETTING DISCOUNTS

19) Find a great deal online, call the hotel and ask them to match it: it’s preferable for them to do the deal directly and cut out their commission fee to the agent (can be as much as 30%).

20) Search online for discount coupon codes that will save you money when booking online.

21) Haggle hard in low season: tell the hotel your upper limit and they might just match it.

22) Ask for a discount when paying cash: again preferable for the hotel who gets out of having to pay commission to the credit card company.

23) Mix business and pleasure: see what deals you can get for hotels where you’ve organized conferences/meetings/business trips.

24) Ask for discounts when traveling in a group: you’re buying in bulk so should get a better rate.

25) Ask for a discount for longer stays: longer than 3 nights and you’re well within your right to ask for a special deal on the price.

26) Get an International Hostel Card: a sensible move for long-term travelers, the card will pay itself off in little under a week.

27) Get an ISIC card: students, under 26s and teachers get great discounts on hotels and attractions across the world.

28) Ask about standing discounts for the armed forces/professional organizations – you don’t want to miss out on perks that you’re entitled to!

MAKING A BOOKING

29) Check for shows and large-scale events taking place in the area – the rates will shoot up so you’ll be better off to alter your dates.

30) Travel mid-week – your “weekend away” will cost you less if you don’t actually go on a weekend

31) Put more people in a room: a double with 2 extra beds will cost you less than 2 doubles.

32) Research room rates: twins or showers may be cheaper but you won’t know if you don’t ask.

33) Opt for a shared bathroom: many hotels have basic rooms that they won’t tell you about unless you ask. Sharing a bathroom will lead a nice saving on your room.

34) If you want the cheapest room, say so. That’s exactly what you will get.

35) Check the room rate for each night of your stay and switch hotels mid-way if there’s a big saving to be made.

36) Keep checking the room-rate even after you’ve made a booking. If it drops call the hotel and let them know, they certainly won’t call you to tell you.

37) Avoid room-finding services when booking on the road. They only deal with expensive rooms and also charge a fee.

38) Check the hotel’s cancellation policy. If you need to cancel give them the notice they specified otherwise you’ll get charged.

39) Re-confirm your booking 2 days in advance: mistakes happen and can end up costing you money.

AVOIDING EXTRA CHARGES

40) Ask about extra charges upfront: it helps to know what you’re paying for.

41) Opt out of breakfast if it’s optional: hotel breakfasts rarely offer value for money

42) Don’t pay hotel parking fees: park on the street or in a local garage.

43) Don’t pay for wi-fi: stay somewhere that doesn’t charge or go surf for free in the local library.

44) Don’t pay for laundry: take your clothes to the local Laundromat or hand wash them in the sink.

45) Pretend the mini-bar isn’t there!

46) Don’t change-up money in hotels.

47) Don’t buy souvenirs in hotel gift shops.

48) Travel with a partner: singles can cost more than doubles!

GETTING MORE FOR LESS

49) Join hotel loyalty schemes: rewards include free nights, upgrades and special treatment!

50) Stick with the same hotel chain: again, loyalty saves you money.

51) Check in later and ask for upgrade: your odds will be better later in the day.

52) Broadcast special occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, engagements – all great reasons to get upgraded and treated like a VIP.

53) If you’re not satisfied, say so – good hotels will make an effort to make you happy.

54) Get to know the staff – they’ll be more likely to knock off charges and throw in freebies.

55) Ask for something in return if you brought a hotel substantial business. Don’t be shy!

HOTEL ALTERNATIVES

56) Travel overnight to save on a night’s accommodation.

57) Rent a vacation villa: great for families and large groups.

58) Do a house swap: live in comfort and pay nothing!

59) Camp: not for inner-city stays but reputable, well-run campsites are perfect for outdoorsy, budget travelers.

60) WWOOF it! Willing Workers on Organic Farms offer full board and lodging in exchange for a full day’s work in dozens of countries across the world.

61) Couch-surf: a trend that’s spreading fast. Find a couch, stay for free and make new friends all over the world.

62) Look up old friends and acquaintances – be bolshy and see if you can bag yourself a free room.

How Much To Give Hotel Staff The Ultimate Guide To Tipping

Hotel tipping is one of those things that can paralyze even the most experienced of travelers with indecision. Who to tip? When? How much? The exchange can become quite awkward, even if you are prepared with a stack of dollar bills, and decidedly worse if you start over-employing the “I’ll get you next time” strategy. There’s also a question of expectations. At a modestly priced hotel, should guests tip at all? Freelance travel writer Renee Sklarew tackles the issue by going to the experts for this special Hotels Week report.

At self-service hotels like Courtyard or Best Western, travelers typically wheel their suitcases to their rooms and help themselves to coffee in the morning. In those cases, tipping is less of an expectation. In fact, some hotels have policies that discourage tipping altogether. Helen Morton, the director of sales atSkyland Resort inside the Shenandoah National Park, says their employees do not expect to be tipped. “We want our guests to relax and unplug'” says Morton. “It’s a chance to get away from all that pressure.” Nevertheless, many guests tip the housekeeping staff at Skyland, and servers in their restaurants receive between 14-20% gratuities.

At upscale hotels in metropolitan areas, it is customary to tip several members of the staff. “There are guidelines in the industry where tipping has become an expectation,” explains Gabe Eveland, director of revenue management at the Park Hyatt Washington DC. “We tell our staff, tipping is a way of rewarding good service, and there’s no way to say what’s appropriate across the board. For our guests, we encourage tipping at their own discretion based on the service they receive, and how satisfied they are with that service.”

Most luxury hotel guests expect to dole out dollars. According to Eveland, some members of the front desk team have even been tipped, though it’s not customary. “Ultimately, the guideline is limited to the valet parker, shuttle driver, doorman, concierge and housekeeping. Those people are the ones providing a lot of services you take for granted, or you are doing on your own when you’re not in a hotel.” When tipping housekeeping, Eveland recommends you consider whether you’re staying in a standard room versus a suite, and whether you’re “very messy.” The bigger the room, and the messier you are, the more you should tip.

A concierge typically receives between $5-10 depending on the service provided, including making a dinner reservation or obtaining tickets to a theatre. At some upper-upscale hotels like Capella Hotels & Resorts, the concierge contacts a guest before arrival, then makes arrangements for transportation, in-room amenities, spa appointments or childcare. Often that same concierge welcomes the guest personally at the hotel entrance, addressing the guest by name and showing him or her to the room. When a concierge makes multiple arrangements, guests should tip an amount commensurate with the service—say between $20-$50—at the end of their stay.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association offers excellent advice on tipping standards in their Gratuity Guide. They list the staff members who should be tipped and a recommended amount. For example, it’s customary to tip $1-$5 to the bellman who takes your suitcase to the hotel room. You can decide how much, based on how heavy your belongings are, whether he showed you around, or provided you with useful information. Everyone appreciates a tip, but there’s another way to show your appreciation—take time to write an online review or letter mentioning a staff member’s exemplary service to the hotel’s general manager.

Here are tipping guidelines provided by the American Hotel & Lodging Association in partnership withForbes Travel Guide:

Hotel Courtesy Shuttle Driver: $1-2 per person, $5 per party.
Valet/Parking Attendant: $1-5 when car is delivered.
Bellstaff/Porters: $1-5 per bag when escorted to your room. Tip the same if you request bell staff service while checking out.
Doorstaff: $1-2 for getting a taxi. If they unload your luggage, tip in proportion to amount and weight.
Concierge: $5-10 depending on how involved the service, or lump sum upon departure.
Housekeeping: $1-5 per night, and tip should be left daily in the morning. If possible, leave a note saying the money is for housekeeping.
Delivery of Special Items: $2 for one item, $5 for more. Tipping is not required for someone fixing something broken or bringing something missing.
Room Service: A gratuity of 15-20% should be added if hotel did not include a room service charge on the bill.
Bartender: Tip 15-20% of total beverage tab.
Server in Restaurant: Tip 15% of total bill or 20% for exceptional service.

10 Hotel Secrets from Behind the Front Desk

By Jacob Tomsky

Jacob has worked on the front lines of hotels for more than a decade, starting as a lowly valet in New Orleans and ultimately landing at a front desk in New York City. He’s also the author ofHeads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality and a man with some hospitality secrets to spill.

1. HOTELS ARE RAKING IT IN.

The fact that a hotel could fail to be profitable astounds me. Why? The average cost to turn over a room, to keep it operational per day, is between $30 and $40. If you’re paying less than $30 dollars a night at a hotel/motel, I’d wager the cost to flip that room runs close to $5. Which makes me want to take a shower. At home. That $40 turnover cost includes cleaning supplies, electricity, and hourly wages for housekeepers, minibar attendants, front desk agents, and all other employees needed to operate a room as well as the cost of laundering the sheets. Everything. Compare that with an average room rate, and you can see why it’s a profitable business.

2. STAYING FOR JUST ONE NIGHT? YOU MIGHT GET “WALKED.”

The term “walking a guest” sends shivers down any manager’s spine. Since the average no-show rate is 10 percent daily, hotels will overbook whenever possible. The sales and reservations departments are encouraged to book the property to 110 percent capacity, in the hopes that with cancellations and no-shows they will fill every room. What happens when the numbers game doesn’t play in the hotel’s favor? Someone gets walked. The hotel will now pay for the entire night’s room and tax (plus one phone call—how cute is that?) at another comparable hotel in the area.

A guest is more likely to get walked if:
1. He booked using Expedia, hence he has a deeply discounted rate and is less important.
2. He never stayed here before and may never visit the city again.
3. He’s a one-nighter.
4. And this one is so much more important than all the others: He is acting like a jerk.

3. SMART COMPLAINERS WIN.

Though most complaints should be delivered to the front desk directly, in person or on the phone, keep in mind that most issues will not have been caused by the front desk at all. So briefly outline your problem, offer a solution if you have one, and then ask whom you should speak with to have the problem solved. “Should I speak to a manager about this?” “Should I speak to housekeeping about this?” Those are wonderful and beautiful questions to ask. Most of the time, the front desk will be able to solve the problem immediately or at least act as proxy.

Want to make sure that the agent doesn’t nod, say “certainly,” and not do a damn thing? Get his or her name. Nothing tightens up an employee’s throat like being directly identified. You don’t have to threaten him or her either, just a nice casual “Thanks for your help. I’ll stop by later to make sure everything has been taken care of. Tommy, right?” Whatever you asked me to do I am doing it. (Will screaming get you what you want? Well, probably. But it’s not nearly as effective.)

4. THERE’S A BETTER WAY TO CASE A PILLOW.

To put on a pillowcase, the housekeepers throw a solid karate chop right down the middle of the pillow and then shove it in, folded like a bun. This method is preferred to the civilian method of tucking it under your chin and pulling up the pillowcase like a pair of pants because these ladies have no interest in letting 50 pillows a day come into contact with their faces.

5. ENJOY YOUR LEMONY FRESH GLASSES.

You know what cleans the hell out of a mirror, and I’m talking no streaks? Windex? No. Furniture polish. Spray on a thick white base, rub it in, and you’ll be face-to-face with a spotless, streak-free mirror. However, I am not recommending you take this tip and apply it in your own home. Though using furniture polish is quick and effective, over time it causes a waxy buildup that requires a deep scrub.

The housekeepers kept this move behind closed doors along with another dirty secret I didn’t discover until I walked in on ladies with Pledge in one hand and a minibar glass in the other. Keeping those glasses clean-looking was also part of the job. So the next time you put a little tap water into the glass and wonder why it has a pleasant lemon aftertaste, it’s because you just took a shot of Pledge.

6. NEVER, EVER PAY FOR THE MINIBAR.

Minibars. Most people are appalled at the prices. However, you never have to pay for the items in the minibar. Why not? Minibar charges are, without question, the most disputed charges on any bill. That is because the process for applying those charges is horribly inexact. Keystroke errors, delays in restocking, double stocking, and hundreds of other missteps make minibar charges the most voided item. Even before guests can manage to get through half of the “I never had those items” sentence, I have already removed the charges and am now simply waiting for them to wrap up the overly zealous denial so we can both move on with our lives.

See Also: 19 Secrets of UPS Drivers

7. BOOK ON A DISCOUNT SITE, GET A DISCOUNT EXPERIENCE.

Reservations made through Internet discount sites are almost always slated for our worst rooms. Does this seem unfair? First of all, we earn the slimmest profit from these reservations. And honestly, those guests didn’t really choose our property based on quality; they chose based on value. We were at the top of a list sorted by price. But the guest behind them in line, the one with a heavy $500 rate, she selected this hotel. When she comes to New York, she goes to our website to see what’s available. Since we have no reason to assume Internet guests will ever book with us again, unless our discount is presented to them, it truly makes business sense to save our best rooms for guests who book of their own volition.

8. BELLMEN HATE YOUR SUITCASE—BUT NOT BECAUSE IT’S HEAVY.

Bernard Sadow: the man all bellmen hate, though they’ve never heard his name. In 1970, he invented the wheeled suitcase, the bane of the bellman’s existence. Before that, the bellman was a necessity, a provider of ease and comfort, a useful member of society. When Sadow sold his first prototype to Macy’s in October 1970, he instigated a catastrophic change in the hospitality environment, causing the once noble species to retreat, rethink, and reemerge as a hustler fighting for survival. Sadow might as well have invented the phrase no bellman wants to hear, the phrase that leaves bills unpaid and ruins Christmas: “No, thanks, I got it.” Or that surprisingly prevalent and ignorant phrase: “I don’t want to bother him.” Don’t want to bother him? The man has a family. No one is being bothered here!

9. FRONT DESK AGENTS CAN ALSO BE AGENTS OF KARMA.

Any arriving guest should receive what are referred to as initial keys, which are programmed to reset the door lock when they are first inserted, deactivating all previous keys. Not until the keys expire or a new initial key enters the lock will the keys fail to work. With a “key bomb,” I cut one single initial key and then start over and cut a second initial key. Either one of them will work when you get to the room, and as long as you keep using the very first key you slipped in, all will be well.

But chances are you’ll pop in the second key at some point, and then the first key you used will be considered invalid. Trace that back to me? Not a chance. Trace that back to the fact that you told your 9-year-old daughter to shut her mouth while harshly ripping off her tiny backpack at check-in? Never.

See Also: 10 Flight Attendant Secrets

10. THERE’S ONE SUREFIRE WAY TO GET AN UPGRADE.

Here is one of the top lies that come out of a front desk agent’s mouth: “All the rooms are basically the same, sir.”

Bull. There is always a corner room, a room with a bigger flat screen, a room that, because of the building’s layout, has a larger bath with two sinks, a room that fits two roll-aways with ease, a room that, though listed as standard, actually has a partial view of the Hudson River. There is always a better room, and when I feel that 20 you slipped me burning in my pocket, I will find it for you. And if there is nothing to be done room-wise, I have a slew of other options: late checkout, free movies, free minibar, room service amenities, and more. I will do whatever it takes to deserve the tip and then a little bit more in the hope that you’ll hit me again.

Some people feel nervous about this move. Please don’t. We are authorized to upgrade for special occasions. The special occasion occurring now is that I have a solid 20. That’s special enough for me!

33 Ways to Sleep Better at a Hotel

Rattling ice machines. Dinging elevators. Bachelorette parties down the hall. The sleep gods have their work cut out for them if you’re expecting to snooze well while staying at a hotel.

We’ve compiled one of the most comprehensive guides available to sleeping in a hotel, covering everything from what you should ask when you’re booking the room to how you can swiftly take care of noisemakers so you can get back to sleep.

man sleeping at hotel

When Making Your Reservation

1 – 7. Ensure that you get a quiet room. Two requests are absolutely vital and pretty widely known when selecting your hotel room: a room on an upper floor and away from the elevators. But some other tried-and-true tips from frequent hotel guests could doubly ensure a peaceful experience.

They include:

– Booking a room midway down a hallway. This is generally the quietest part of the floor, as it’s away from the ice and vending machines, guest laundry facilities, exits, housekeeping closets, and other places where noise can be made.

– Asking for a room on the concierge or suite level, if the hotel has one. Sometimes those rooms have taller ceilings, giving you a little more air space from the people above you.

– Avoiding rooms facing a pool. While the view might be pretty, pools can be late-night gathering places — despite posted closing times — and noise echoes off water.

– Asking what time the trash is collected if there are dumpsters or recycling bins outside your windows. If the time is too early for your liking, get a different room.

– Requesting a room at the back of a low-rise hotel. They are generally quieter (especially if they’re away from the parking lot). Even if the view is poor, the peace is worth it.

– Getting a room at least two or three levels above banquet rooms, bars or other public spaces if the hotel has them. You’d be surprised how many floors a pulsating and thumping bass beat can penetrate.

How to Get the Best Hotel Room

8. Ask if the hotel is undergoing or has recently completed renovations. Usually these are done in segments — a floor or section at a time. You want to avoid floors that are adjacent to those currently being updated. But you do want to be on a renovated floor — which will usually be cleaner, smell better, and have newer beds and linens.

9. Inquire whether guestrooms have blackout shades. These are the heavy, thick curtains that keep the light out, and you want to have them.

10. Make sure yours is a non-smoking room. If you’re not a smoker, the scent of old cigarette smoke will keep you from feeling at ease (awake or asleep).

11. Ask about pillow options. If you’re vulnerable to neck or back pain from using the wrong pillow, find out if pillows with different levels of firmness are available. Some hotels stock firmer ones in guestroom closets, or have a secret stash at the front desk. If the hotel doesn’t offer what you need, consider bringing yours from home.

12. Request two beds if you’re traveling with a friend. You’ll get a more peaceful night’s sleep if you snooze alone than you will if you bunk with someone you’re not accustomed to being next to.

Five Things You Should Never Do at a Hotel

Packing for Your Stay

13. Pack earplugs. Uncomfortable as they can be, wadding little bits of foam in your ears is far less annoying than being kept up all night by noise.

14. Bring eyeshades. They are for your eyes what earplugs are for your ears — and they’re especially important if your room doesn’t have blackout curtains.

15. Bring your own sheets. If you have space to pack them, your own set of sheets could help you sleep better, as you’re already used to their feel and scent. They also are helpful for folks with skin sensitivities who are worried about the detergents or bleach used to clean hotel linens.

16. Or at least bring your own pillowcase. If packing a whole extra set of sheets isn’t an option, bring the pillowcase from your bed back home, to enjoy its worn-in feeling and familiar smell.

hotel pillows

17. Spray your room. The chemicals used to clean hotel rooms or launder sheets can be a little overpowering. Add your own scent with a spritz or two of a gentle linen spray you bring from home. (Consider one with a lavender scent, which is known to be soothing; here’s one travel-size optionfrom Amazon.)

10 Travel Essentials You Can Find in the Trash

Preparing to Hit the Hay

18. Don’t read, eat or work in bed. Admittedly, this is not always possible, as seating can be limited in a hotel room. But try not to use your bed to do anything but sleep.

19. Don’t eat a humongous dinner late at night. A belly that’s churning away digesting a big meal interferes with your ability to sleep soundly.

20. Ready a small nightcap. Nearly a quarter of all respondents to a recent IndependentTraveler.com poll say a glass of wine before bed helps ensure a good night’s sleep at a hotel. Too much alcohol can inhibit sleep, though, so keep it moderate.

21. Sip tea. A small cup of chamomile tea or other warm, non-caffeinated beverage can induce sleep. Don’t drink too big a mug, though, else you’ll get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

22. Silence your cell phone notifications. Especially if you’re in a different time zone than your friends and family, people could be trying to contact you when you’re trying to sleep. Turn off notification sounds for texts, emails and calls before you go to bed so you’re not disturbed.

23. Decide how you’ll mask outside sounds. Commonly referred to as white noise, sound masking involves adding a non-intrusive artificial sound to your sleep environment in order to drown out other noise. Running the fan in the room’s air-conditioning unit is one option. You can also bring your owntravel-size white noise machine, download a white noise app onto your smartphone or stream white noise from your laptop on a free website like SimplyNoise.com.

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Just Before Bed

24. Hang the “do not disturb” sign on the outside doorknob. This is especially important if you’re planning to sleep in. Some housekeepers start their service at 8 a.m. or earlier. If your room doesn’t have a “do not disturb” sign, request one from the front desk.

25. Set backup wakeup calls. How many times have you set an unfamiliar alarm clock, only to wake up the next morning in a rush because it never went off (or awakened in the middle of the night worrying it wouldn’t work)? For greater peace of mind, use two alarms — such as the hotel’s wakeup call service, or your cell phone, wristwatch or travel alarm clock.

26. Take a warm bath. In addition to providing relaxation, a bath lowers your body temperature slightly (once you get out and come back to a cool hotel room), which can help you sleep better.

27. Adjust the room temperature. Generally speaking, most people sleep better in a cooler room. Set the thermostat to just slightly cool — you don’t want to shiver. If you prefer an open window (not always an option), just open it a crack — too much could allow cold air and noise to waft in.

28. Turn the bathroom light on. If you get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom at home, you know you can make it there, do your thing and get back to bed half asleep. That’s harder to accomplish in an unfamiliar hotel room. Keep the bathroom light on and shut the door, just to help you see your way with minimally intrusive light. Alternately, you could bring a small nightlight with you.

29. Choose a non-controversial show or soothing music if you must keep the television or radio on before bed. That means no horror flicks, war documentaries or Rage Against the Machine on your iPod. And keep the volume down so you don’t disturb your neighbors.

15 Things Your Hotel Won’t Tell You

Once in Bed

30. Breathe deeply. Being out of your element can be stressful. Take some deep, slow breaths before bed to help you relax and unwind tense muscles.

31. Don’t wait to report noise. Hotel rooms have notoriously thin walls,you’re your neighbors may not realize their conversations are crystal clear to you. Sometimes a quick pound on the wall will do the trick to quiet down a noisy neighbor. (See When the Hotel Guest Next Door Won’t Shut Up.) If you’re not comfortable doing so, just ring the hotel front desk. They’ll phone the guest or send security personnel to the room with a warning. Excessive noise or repeated warnings could result in the guest being asked to leave.

Exclusive deals to The Telegraph’s favourite hotels

Exclusive deals to The Telegraph's favourite hotels
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Berlin Christmas Market
Save up to 25 per cent on a festive trip to the Berlin Christmas markets. CREDIT: © PICTUREPROJECT / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO/PICTUREPROJECT / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

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Cedar Manor, Lake District
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Outlaws restaurant, London
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Ston Easton Park, Somerset
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Devon delight

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From £145 per person

• Two nights • Breakfast • Dinner (up to £25 per person) each night • Use of spa

Save up to 50 per cent at east Devon’s Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, which is complemented by an unspoilt coastal location. Guests get full access to the spa, including a steam room, sauna and indoor pool.

Suzy Bennett, our Devon expert, says: “The views of the Jurassic coastline from its restaurant and terrace are some of the best coastal vistas you’ll find in the country.”

Book by September 17 for stays from Oct 1 to March 31 (blackout dates apply). Quote “TELP”; 0333 1229 236; telegraph.co.uk/tt-sidmouth-harbour-hotel.

Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, Devon
Save up to 50 per cent at east Devon’s Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, which is complemented by an unspoilt coastal location.

• Read the full review: Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, Devon

Explore Jersey

CHATEAU LA CHAIRE

From £299 per person

• Three nights in a superior room • Breakfast • Four-course dinner each evening • Local activities

Save up to £200 at Chateau La Chaire, a refined, boutique hotel which has been awarded four AA silver stars. It has the feeling of a 19th-century manor house, surrounded by acres of woodland, and the north coast of Rozel Bay in St Martin, Jersey, is just a two-minute walk away.

The package also includes a complimentary glass of champagne upon arrival and a choice of two local activities from the following: a La Mare vineyard tour, a visit to the War Tunnels, or a trip to Durrell Wildlife Park.

Antonia Windsor, our Jersey expert, says: “Fine dining and luxurious rooms makes any stay here feel like a special occasion.”

Book by September 17 for stays from October 1 to December 22. Quote “TELP”; 0333 1225 096; telegraph.co.uk/tt-chateau-la-chaire.

Chateau La Chaire, Jersey
Save up to £200 at Chateau La Chaire, in Jersey, a refined, boutique hotel which has been awarded four AA silver stars.

• Read the full review: Chateau La Chaire, Jersey

Five-star Madrid

URSO HOTEL & SPA

From £449 per person

• Three nights • Return flights from London (other airports on request) • Transfers • Breakfast • Tour of Madrid

Save up to 21 per cent per person on a three-night break to Urso Hotel & Spa, including flights. The package also includes a tour: visit the Prado Museum or the palace, or walk through the most important plazas of this vibrant city.

Annie Bennett, our Spain expert, says: “The Urso is a smart, five-star boutique hotel in a chic area of Madrid, with lovely original features, a stylish Natura Bissé spa, and light and bright rooms.”

Book by September 17 for stays until February 28. Quote “TELP”; 0330 0374 369; telegraph.co.uk/tt-urso-hotel.

 

Urso Hotel and Spa, Madrid
Save up to 21 per cent per person on a three-night break to Urso Hotel & Spa, in Madrid, including flights.

• Read the full review: Urso Hotel & Spa, Madrid

Dorset foodie break

LA FOSSE

From £120 per person

• Two nights • Breakfast • Afternoon tea on arrival • Six-course tasting menu

Save up to 32 per cent on an escape in the hills of east Dorset. La Fosse is near the Wiltshire-Hampshire border, and the Dorset coast is 20 minutes away by car. A six-course tasting menu (on one night) is included at the award-winning Restaurant at La Fosse, led by Mark Hartstone, “Best Dorset Chef of the Year 2015”.

Benjamin Parker, our Dorset expert, says: “It’s a peaceful b&b as well as a popular restaurant. ”

Book by Sept 6 for stays until December 31 (Sun-Fri only). Quote “TELP”; 03332 228 167; telegraph.co.uk/tt-la-fosse.

La Fosse, Dorset
Save up to 32 per cent on an escape in the hills of east Dorset, at La Fosse.

• Read the full review: La Fosse, Dorset

Cotswolds dining break

TEWKESBURY PARK

From £129 per person

• Two nights • Three-course dinner • Afternoon tea • A bottle of Three Choirs Classic Cuvée Brut English sparkling wine in room • Breakfast

Save up to 43 per cent on a two-night stay at Tewkesbury Park, set in 163 acres of countryside. Prices start at £129pp in a Touch of Class room; up to £231pp in an Opulence Suite (pictured above). It includes dinner on one night.

Harriet O’Brien, our Cotswolds expert, says: “The lounge has huge windows to take in those dreamy views.”

Book by September 3 for stays until October 21 (Sun-Thurs only). Quote “TELP”; 0333 331 0737; telegraph.co.uk/tt-tewkesbury-park.

Tewkesbury Park, Cotswolds
Save up to 43 per cent on a two-night stay in a suite at Tewkesbury Park. CREDIT: ©MARK BOLTON PHOTOGRAPHY/MARK BOLTON PHOTOGRAPHY

• Read the full review: Tewkesbury Park, Cotswolds

Scottish castle stay

DALHOUSIE CASTLE HOTEL

From £135 or £185 per person

• Two or three nights • Three-course dinner on one evening in the 2AA Rosette Dungeon Restaurant • Bottle of champagne in room • Breakfast

Enjoy a two or three-night stay in historic Dalhousie Castle Hotel (from £135pp and £185pp, respectively), located on the banks of the South Esk River with views of the Border hills, 10 miles from Edinburgh. Complimentary room upgrades and late checkout are available. Guests will also have access to the spa – converted from the old storage vaults – which has a laconium and hydro pool, alongside a 15 per cent discount off pre-booked treatments.

Gavin Bell, one of our Scotland experts, says: “This is the real McCoy, Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle with a turbulent history dating from the 13th century. The interiors have been transformed into a luxury hotel with fine dining.”

Book by September 3 for stays until June 30. Quote “TELP”; 0333 122 5096; telegraph.co.uk/tt-dalhousie-castle.

Dalhousie Castle, Scotland
Enjoy a two or three-night stay in historic Dalhousie Castle Hotel, which dates from the 13th century. CREDIT: PETER_ATKINSON

• Read the full review: Dalhousie Castle, Scotland

At ease in Dorset

PRIORY HOTEL

From £295 per person

• Two nights in a suite • Dinner on both nights • Canapés, coffee and petit fours • Breakfast • Champagne afternoon tea

Save up to £230 per couple at the Telegraph-recommended Priory Hotel in Wareham. Two nights in the Boathouse Mini Suite is available for £295pp; the Boathouse Riverside Suite at £325 per person. The hotel makes a perfect base for exploring Dorset’s Jurassic Coast including the striking scenery of Lulworth Cove and the dramatic limestone arch of Durdle Door.

Our reviewer says: “A beautiful country-house hotel with serene gardens overlooking a river.”

Book by September 6 for stays until November 30. Quote “TELP”; 03334 146 693; telegraph.co.uk/tt-the-priory.

The Priory, Dorset
Save up to £230 per couple at the Telegraph-recommended Priory Hotel in Wareham.

• Read the full review: The Priory, Wareham, Dorset

Michelin-starred dining near Bath

THE MANOR HOUSE AT COMBE

From £140 per person

• One night • Three-course dinner in the restaurant • Breakfast

Save up to £200 on a one or two-night stay at The Manor House (from £140pp and £280pp). The latter deal includes dinner on both nights at Bybrook, which earned a Michelin star this year.

Fred Mawer, our local expert, says: “This five-star hotel offers a quintessentially English country-house experience. It is set in lovely grounds next to a very picturesque village.”

Book by August 31 for stays until March 31 (excludes Sat). Quote “TELP”; 0330 037 1535; telegraph.co.uk/tt-the-manor-house.

Manor House, Castle Combe
Save up to £200 on a one or two-night stay at The Manor House, near Bath. CREDIT:COPYRIGHT EXCLUSIVE HOTELS

• Read the full review: The Manor House, Castle Combe, Wiltshire

Michelin-starred break in the Cotswolds

LORDS OF THE MANOR

From £299 per person

• Three nights (Sun-Thurs only) • Room upgrade, subject to availability • Five-course tasting menu • Breakfast • Afternoon tea • Late 1pm check out

Readers have the chance to save up to £90 per person on a stay at Telegraph-recommended Lords of the Manor hotel.

Nick Trend, our consumer editor, says: “A mellow country house hotel in a dreamy Cotswolds village with a top-notch restaurant, sumptuous rooms and well-tended gardens.”

Book by August 31 for stays until February 28. Quote “TELP”; 0333 122 5096; telegraph.co.uk/tt-lords-of-manor.

 

Lords of the Manor, Cotswolds
save up to £90 per person on a stay at the Michelin-starred Lords of the Manor hotel.

• Read the full review: Lord of the Manor, Cotswolds

Country house in Cumbria

HIPPING HALL

From £295 per person

• Two nights in a best “Grand” room • Seven-course tasting menu on the first evening • Five-course dinner on second evening • Half bottle of champagne in room • Late checkout • Breakfast

Save up to £125 per couple on a pampering break at affable country house hotel Hipping Hall, situated between lakes and dales in Britain’s scenic north-west.

Fiona Duncan, our hotels expert, says: “The former Great Hall is now an elegant restaurant, with open fire in the hearth and the atmosphere is calm, gentle and genuinely welcoming. Nothing we ate was short of divine, from the glass of foaming butternut squash and Parmesan among the canapés to the perfect eggs Benedict at breakfast by way of dinner that was full of punchy flavours. There’s no Michelin-star here, for some unaccountable reason.”

Book by August 31 for stays until February 28. Quote “TELP”; 0333 2209 695; telegraph.co.uk/tt-hipping-hall.

 

Hipping Hall Hotel, Cumbria
Save up to £125 per couple on a pampering break at affable country house hotel Hipping Hall.

• Read the full review: Hipping Hall, Cumbria

Countryside and coast in Devon

ORESTONE MANOR

From £249 per person

• Two nights in a feature room • Dinner on each night • Canapés, coffee, petits fours • Devon cream tea • Breakfast

Save up to 30 per cent on a two-night stay, including a three-course dinner on both nights, at South Devon’s Orestone Manor. Stays from November to March will receive a bottle of champagne. The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the red sand seaside village of Maidencombe.

Suzy Bennett, our Devon expert, says: “On the English Riviera, four miles outside Torquay, and set among winding Devon lanes, Orestone Manor offers guests the best of both countryside and coast. Home to the narrative painter John Callcott Horsley, this Georgian manor house is where he painted the portrait of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.”

Book by September 6 for stays until May 31 (blackout dates apply). Quote “TELP”; 03331 225 096; telegraph.co.uk/tt-orestone-manor.

Orestone Manor, Devon
Save up to 30 per cent on a two-night stay, including a three-course dinner on both nights, at South Devon’s Orestone Manor.

Norfolk and Suffolk nightlife

Expert guide to Norfolk and Suffolk

The best pubs and bars in Norfolk and Suffolk, from traditional pubs to cosy village inns, chosen by our expert Sophie Butler.

Cosy East Anglian pubs are wonderfully atmospheric places to spend the evening. Try local beers such as Woodforde’s Wherry bitter or real ales from the Southwold-based brewery, Adnams. Increasingly, these old inns are making an impact on the gastronomic map of the region, serving excellent food in welcoming surroundings – as well as offering a high standard of accommodation.

The Hoste Arms in Burnham Market serves fine ales, a lively ambiance and decent food
The Hoste Arms in Burnham Market serves fine ales, a lively ambiance and decent foodCREDIT: ALAMY

Norfolk

Top pubs in the region include the King’s Head in Letheringsett (01263 712691; kingsheadnorfolk.co.uk), to the west of Holt, and New Zealand chef, Chris Coubrough’s properties; The Ship Hotel in Brancaster, The Crown in Wells-next-the-Sea and the White Hart in Hingham (flyingkiwiinns.co.uk). All have good restaurants and cosy bar areas.

A large, enclosed garden with a play area makes the snug Lord Nelsonin Burnham Thorpe (01328 738241; nelsonslocal.co.uk), a good choice for a lunchtime drink especially with children in tow. Named after Britain’s greatest naval hero, who was born and lived in this village in the 18th century, the inn remains little-changed with no bar but instead serving its real ales straight from tap room casks.

The Lord Nelson takes its name from the naval hero who drank here in the 18th century

Alternatively enjoy a pint of the region’s popular wherry beer at theAnchor Inn, Morston (01263 741392; morstonanchor.co.uk) which serves good pub food in a cosy environment.

Others with a good reputation for food as well as ambience are theHoste Arms in Burnham Market (01328 738777; hostearms.co.uk),The Pigs at Edgefield (01263 587634; thepigs.org.uk) and the Walpole Armsat Itteringham (01263 587258; thewalpolearms.co.uk). The Victoria Innat Holkham (01328 711008; holkham.co.uk/victoria) serves local produce including venison from its own deer park, beef from the marshes and vegetables from its walled garden.

Suffolk

The Swan Inn at Monks Eleigh (01449 741391; monkseleigh.com) is a welcoming thatched village pub serving real ale, as well as an excellent restaurant. Also offering good food, traditional hospitality and speciality beers is the Anchor at Walberswick (01502 722112; anchoratwalberswick.com).

Other good bets include the Crown at Woodbridge (01394 384242; thecrownatwoodbridge.co.uk) and the Crown at Stoke-by-Nayland (01206 262001; crowninn.net), which also offers comfortable accommodation.

As well as a cosy bar, the Anchor offers comfortable accommodation above the pub

Winter season special Hair care tips

Winter season special: Hair care tips

* Conditioning is the key: So many people deal with rough hair due to the sudden weather change mixed with harsh winter winds. A good conditioner will lock in all the moisture in to your hair and keep it clean and nourished. A good tip is to not rinse out to your conditioner completely if you have thick hair. For people with fine hair, you should just leave in a little bit of conditioner on the tips.

* Say no to hot water showers: A 30-minute-long hot shower may feel great on a cold winter morning, but it will most definitely strip your hair of all moisture. Instead, wash your hair with lukewarm water and finish off with cold water right at the end. This will help close and seal the hair cuticles.

* Safe styling: Since your hair is already prone to some damage in winters, ensure all other processes are smooth and hassle-free. Use a strengthening shampoo that nourishes the hair and forms a protective shield, allowing it to withstand the potential damage due to heat styling tools and frequent brushing. Opt for loose styles such as fishtail braids or a messy bun that are winter-friendly and can be easily created at home.

Hotel housekeeping tips and tricks

Hotel HousekeepingWhen crafting the perfect hotel experience for your guests, part of the plan has to include top notch housekeeping routines. Not only does this ensure that your hotel guests will enjoy a clean room, but it can also help make hotel furniture and fixtures last longer.

In the hospitality industry, creating the perfect experience for visitors and patrons is paramount. In this day and age, one or two bad reviews online can be the kiss of death for a business, and for better or for worse, business owners need to be aware of that possibility.

In order to help prevent the dreaded bad review, there are a number of things that business owners can do, but none more important, perhaps, than having a thorough and efficient cleaning and housekeeping plan in place.

Creating the most effective housekeeping checklist doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Check out this list of helpful housekeeping tips and tricks for hotels.

First things first: Open room windows, if applicable

This can take a few extra seconds of time in each room, but the difference it makes can be huge. Upon entering a room, before starting with cleaning anything, open up the windows and shades.

Getting some natural light and air flow in the room can be helpful. In addition to allowing the room to “breathe,” it also provides good ventilation (for when you’re working with cleaning chemicals) and lets you see the details of what needs to be cleaned better.

Next, clear out the clutter

Many housekeepers report that starting with a “blank slate” gives them the easiest job of cleaning a room.

With that in mind, here’s what to do: empty the trash, remove linens, towels, bathmats, bottles of shampoo and other shower products, and anything else laying around.

This removes the temptation to simply wipe around items, or to pick them up and replace them after cleaning onto a wet surface—this can cause ring marks.

Clean bedroom areas first

For minimal bacterial transfer, start cleaning in the bedroom and then clean the bathroom area. This helps improve sanitation and overall cleanliness.

Give cleaning products time to work

Save time scrubbing and let the products you use do the work for you. Spray the shower walls, toilet, and sink down, then clean things like the mirrors and windows while they work.

You’ll find that when you go back and clean everything else, you’ll need to use less elbow grease.

ALWAYS sweep or vacuum before mopping

Mopping should be your last task during the cleaning process. Vacuuming or sweeping ensures that you get the dust and debris off the floor before getting it wet.

Things like wet hair, for instance, can be extremely difficult to clean up off floors, and sweeping or vacuuming can help prevent that headache.

Use a toothbrush to get into nooks and crannies

For places like the screws on the bottom of a toilet, nothing works better or faster than a toothbrush.

Keep everything for cleaning in a cart

One thing that can waste a lot of time, all the time, is having to hunt down every product required for cleaning a hotel room. Housekeepers at their most efficient keep everything they need on a handy cart so that it can be brought from room to room very easily.

This is a basic tip, but it’s surprising how many hotels don’t do this!

Be sure to dust everything

Dusting is a quick and easy job, but it’s very easy to forget certain surfaces in hotel rooms. For instance, it’s easy to forget to dust off exposed light bulbs, which can gather dust quickly and look much dirtier than they are.

You should also shake out the curtains every few days to knock the dust off of them before vacuuming the floors.

Use mattress protectors to extend their lifespan

More of a design idea than a true housekeeping tip, one thing that can help save your hotel a lot of money is to use mattress protectors.

These can protect your mattresses from not only liquids and stains, but also dust mites and allergens.  Pillow protectors can offer similar benefits.

Vacuum the furniture, too

Finally, vacuuming the furniture using an attachment to remove dust and dirt can make the room much cleaner. Neglected, these areas can quickly become very dingy and hotel guests will be sure to notice.

And, what’s worse, if guests feel one part of their room hasn’t been adequately cleaned, they may assume the rest of the room isn’t getting enough attention, either. It’s not a good situation, but thankfully, it’s one that is very easily avoided.

When you’re crafting a cleaning and housekeeping checklist for your hotel, be sure to keep these tips in mind. This will help ensure that all hotel guests enjoy their stay and feel comfortable that the rooms in your hotel are properly cared for.

7 Ways Your Hotel Stay is Changing

Image result for 7 Ways Your Hotel Stay is ChangingNo. 1: Concierges Are Getting a Reboot

A number of upscale brands are taking their concierge services digital, using texting, social media, and custom apps to help guests connect with the hotel. In some cases, they’re replacing people with technology altogether.

It’s quite a change for this very traditional hotel role. And while it may dismay travelers who rely on concierges for assistance and advice, there are definite upsides for guests.

Many of the new apps provide a central place to make various kinds of requests. At Conrad Hotels & Resorts, for instance, you can book a spa treatment and ask for restaurant recommendations with a few taps instead of multiple phone calls. You can even select your room and order a room-service meal before check-in, tasks that were challenging—if not impossible—at the hotel previously.

Useful for those times when you’re away from the hotel but want a concierge’s local insights, Porter & Sail is a city-guide app used at independent hotels. It offers picks curated by distinguished locals (musician Moby, chef Alan Stewart), and is available at more than three dozen properties worldwide, including Soho Beach House, in Miami, and London’s Zetter hotels.

Social-media addicts might appreciate that Hyatt has taken to Twitter—direct-message or tweet at the @HyattConcierge handle, and the 24/7 guest-service team will usually respond within 15 minutes. (It’s handy for quick requests, like extra pillows or a restaurant suggestion.) Guests of most Commune Hotels & Resorts don’t have to speak to anyone in person, either—they can use e-mail or SMS to communicate with the hotel, whether they want to inquire about a car service or complain about noise. And a new function in the Marriott Rewards app lets guests chat with a concierge before they arrive at the hotel.

Like the world’s best concierges, some of these apps are fluent in multiple languages. Though Connie, the two-foot-tall robot concierge unveiled in March at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, in Virginia, is monolingual, the AI-powered automaton is able to answer simple, common requests (What time does breakfast start?), so guests don’t have to wait for attention.

Connie doesn’t expect a tip—though for better or worse, apps haven’t yet eliminated that practice. In fact, they have made it a bit more challenging. Says George Corbin, senior vice president of digital at Marriott International, “Some guests have made a point of seeking out in person the associate who helped them online.”

No. 2: They’re Padding Your Tab

Some hotels are adding vague, even questionable charges—like facility and hospitality fees—to bills. Several in Canada are being sued for making a marketing fee look like a tax. If you don’t know what a charge is for, ask. If it’s not an actual tax and you weren’t informed about it, politely request its removal.

No. 3: Airport Hotels Are Taking Off

With architectural pedigrees, fitness classes, and (believe it or not) good food, you might actually want to stay at one—even if you don’t have to.

Denver
The Westin Denver International Airport, shaped like a whale’s tail rising above the main terminal, debuted in December. Travelers can recharge in Westin’s Heavenly beds, swim in the 11th-floor pool, soak in a hot tub with Rocky Mountain views, or take advantage of yoga classes and self-guided art tours.

Amsterdam
Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo was tapped to create the Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The striking, modern building, wrapped in diamond-shaped windows, has 433 chic guest rooms decorated with Dutch art and furnishings, 23 meeting spaces, and a spa with four treatment rooms.

Sydney
With floor-to-ceiling double-glazed windows and comfy lounge chairs, the 229 rooms at the new five-star Pullman Sydney Airport Hotel feel like stylish apartments. The fitness center is open 24 hours, and the restaurant, Mobius, features an open kitchen and a mix of individual and communal seating.

No. 4: Direct Isn’t Always A Deal

Hilton wants you to “stop clicking around.” Marriott says, “It pays to book direct.” Hyatt tells travelers they can save big.

Hotel companies are tired of paying commissions to online travel agencies (OTAs) like Priceline and Expedia, so they’re trying to convince customers to cut out the middlemen—they promise you’ll find the best prices on their own websites and apps, with loyalty-program members seeing even bigger savings.

But do they deliver? We put the brands to the test, to see what kinds of discounts travelers could expect, and got mixed results. In some cases, prices were lower on hotel websites. In others, the very same room cost 20 percent more. So caveat emptor—but remember that if you’re trying to collect hotel loyalty points, which you don’t get through OTAs, it might be worth paying a little bit more.

No. 5: Credit Cards Are Paying Off

Hotel-branded cards are gaining on their airline competitors, offering customers these valuable extras.

Big Bonuses
Cards have been giving record sign-up bonuses this year: the Hilton HHonors Surpass American Express and the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business cards each offered 100,000 points for meeting the initial spending requirement, enough for a night at a top hotel.

Better Earnings
Several hotel cards do better than the usual one mile per dollar spent. The IHG Rewards Club Select card, for instance, pays double points on gas, groceries, and dining.

More Perks
While airline cards come with benefits like free checked bags and priority boarding, many hotel cards now simply bestow full elite status. The Hilton HHonors Citi Reserve and American Express Surpass cards make you a Gold guest—with 25 percent bonus points on hotel stays, free Wi-Fi, late checkout, and more.

Annual Freebies
IHG cardholders get a free night every year at any of the brand’s properties, even the pricey InterContinental Paris-Le Grand (from $549 per night). The Hyatt Visa’s complimentary stay is only good for hotels in specific categories, but that includes some luxury resorts.

No.6: You Can Stay For A While—in Style

If you consider them at all, you might think of extended-stay hotels (a.k.a. apartment hotels) as functional but blah accommodations for businesspeople or families between homes. But a number of properties aimed at leisure travelers have recently hit the market. They’re upscale, offering rooms that feel like residences (kitchens, separate bedrooms), yet with a level of predictability and service that you generally don’t get with vacation rentals. There’s just one element travelers might miss. “Some people want to meet the owners and have some hot chocolate with them,” says Skyler Reep, marketing director at Stay Alfred, which has serviced apartments in 11 U.S. cities. “We don’t offer that.” For some, that might actually be a selling point.

Q&A Residential Hotel, New York City
This property in the Financial District offers loftlike digs starting at 500 square feet, done up in a minimalist style. Pets are welcome, and guests get access to a 21,000- square-foot La Palestra fitness center. Have groceries delivered to your suite or, starting next year, just head upstairs to the April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman restaurant.
Minimum Stay: One night
Starting Rate: $329/night

Roost Apartment Hotels, Philadelphia
Roost’s two locations— in Midtown and Rittenhouse Square—have Midcentury Modern furnishings and bathrooms clad in subway tile. Each unit (from studios to two-bedrooms) is equipped with a Bosch washer and dryer, Apple TV, and Sferra sheets. With the in-house bike-share program, guests don’t even need to bother with Uber.
Minimum Stay: One week
Starting Rate: $155/night

Hollywood Proper Residences, Los Angeles
Poised to become a celebrity favorite, the just-opened Proper offers one- and two-bedroom suites kitted out by Kelly Wearstler. All units have professional-grade kitchens, and two of the four penthouses come with private plunge pools. Guests can avail themselves of the rooftop pool, open-air yoga patio, and coffee and wine bar.
Minimum Stay: 30 days
Starting Rate: From $10,500/month

25 Place Dauphine, Paris
Vacation-rental specialist Paris Perfect spent two years renovating this 17th-century building. Situated on the Île de la Cité, it contains six apartments decorated with gilt-framed mirrors and contemporary sofas. The kitchens are sleek. While there’s no concierge in residence, the company will make your restaurant reservations for a small fee.
Minimum Stay: One week
Starting Rate: $261/night

No.7: Rooms Can Be Had By the Hour (Or the Minute)

HotelsByDay
This app (Android, iOS) and website lets guests reserve rooms in four- to nine-hour blocks—typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Inventory consists of three- to five-star hotels, mostly in U.S. and Canadian cities. Five daytime hours in a deluxe double at Tryp by Wyndham in New York costs $125, versus $249 for a regular stay.

Recharge
Recharge (iOS) makes upscale hotel rooms— at press time, four- and five-star properties in the Bay Area— available at the last minute, for 66 cents a minute (around $40 an hour). By comparison, a same-day booking made directly with Park Central Hotel in San Francisco, one of the properties on the app, is $284 a night.

Dayuse
The only global microbooking service, Dayuse (Web, Android, iOS) has an inventory of more than 2,000 hotels in 15 countries. You’ll find plenty of Quality Inns and Best Westerns, but also a few gems. Sort hotels (by cost, proximity to airport, etc.) to find spots like the Pullman Miami, just three miles from the airport.

Take a Digital Detox (at a Secret Location) in a Tiny House

Tiny House
Between noisy hotels and constant access to wi-fi, finding a true getaway can be nearly impossible. That’s exactly why a year ago two former Harvard classmates built three 160-square-foot homes on trailers, drove them to the outskirts of Boston, and rented them out to overworked city folks starting at $99 a night. Now they’re making them available to New Yorkers.

Starting in June, guests can book one of three tiny houses for a mini (seriously) vacation about two hours outside of NYC. There’s a catch: you don’t find out the exact location until the day before.

“Our vision was always that this was wellness experience not a hospitality experience,” Chief Executive Officer Jon Staff, who launched Getaway with his friend Pete Davis, tellsTravel + Leisure. “That’s part of the reason we don’t tell people where they are before they go. It’s about being on this land and not looking at your phone. We’ve been pleased to find that it’s connecting with people.”

Tiny House

“It turns out people want to get away all the time,” adds Staff. “We love technology. We love the city. But, it’s changed a lot since work has become a 24/7 thing and technology has permeated our life completely and we need to balance that out.”

After their Massachusetts success, the company decided to bring their idea to New York. “New York City is a particularly stressful, high pressure, and just stressed-out place, so we wanted to help people disconnect,” he notes. “We want you to build a campfire and look at the stars. We want to help people disconnect and recharge to create that wellness experience.”

Bookings became available today and the first overnights will begin in June and continue for the foreseeable future. “This is something you can do several times a year and make it part of your routine,” says Staff. “People need to disconnect, recharge and find balance. That’s our goal.”