Hotel Horror Stories: as soon as I saw that title I knew I wanted to be involved. There's just something we all seem to ignore about hotels, namely that thousands of people stay in their rooms every day/week/month/year (depending on size) and turnaround times between occupants HAS to be tight. If you really feel like giving yourself some serious second thoughts about ever staying in a hotel again, take a look at this Quora feed (but promise you'll come back after). We kicked off with the question we all want to see answers to.
What is the biggest surprise you have ever found in your hotel room, or shower?
Of course the usual combination of "creatures that shouldn't be there" came up, including "A dead cockroach lying in the middle of the shower :( At least it was dead!" by @SunCabo and a "Frog in the bog in Kanga Camp" which @thesafaririch was kind enough to show us with this accompanying visual representation:
Something stranger happened to @AtTheDrop, who found "Another person! That I didn't know". Who was in the right place?
Personally I'm always surprised to find a completely unstocked minibar - does that count?
Tell us your worst hotel customer service story, juicy details please
@always5star showed us almost the definition of poor service "when customer service thought this was the way to fix a leaky plumbing". Points for resourcefulness though. Full points.
I took part in the latest Twitter Chat operating under the hashtag #TravelSkills with the eye-catching title of 'The Hidden Gems of Europe'; bringing to mind quiet little towns uninterrupted by globalisation, exquisite scenery unchanged for centuries and the type of places we seek when travelling in order to avoid the usual touristic traps. I was definitely interested in hearing what this group had to say about where in Europe is still considered 'hidden' and unexplored, by many of us at least!
This week's chat was helpfully moderated by absolute experts in the travel industry: @cjmcginnis and @JohnnyJet along with deluxe river cruise company @USEmerald.
First question came out looking for immediate names of places we could consider as 'Hidden Gems' with:
"After London, Paris and Rome, which 3 capital cities should travelers see in Europe? Why?"
Much discussion and naming of a multitude of cities ensued but @TravelCuts summed it up well with: "Budapest, Zagreb & Warsaw. So much culture + history to discover in Eastern Europe & you’ll def have a unique experience!"
@LifeofTravel gave us a diverse response listing some cool spots very worth visiting: "Lisboa, Belgrade & Berlin- for history, cuisine & 3 very different european cultures!" while @BBC_Travel provided one solid answer we're excited to hear: "Dublin’s on the rise - it’s being called the Silicon Valley of Europe!" What with so many international companies calling Dublin their European base, such as @Google, @LinkedIn and @Etsy, there's a real buzz about the city full of young professionals from all over the world.
Other capitals mentioned were: Prague, Reykjavik, Madrid, Amsterdam to name a few.
This week on #luxtravelchat, we were talking about luxury beach hotels: what's fabulous now and what might be fabulous in the future. The topic was brought to us by @luxresorts, who have some truly amazing places to visit but more on that later (OK, you can skip to the end for a few photos as long as you promise to come back here right after).
Close your eyes and think. What was the most fabulous thing a hotel ever did for you?
This was slightly tamer than I anticipated - all very sensible answers. I was hoping the word fabulous would bring out some real surprises, but alas, I guess we are all easily pleased. That must mean there's room to shine for a superstar hotel!
@carmensluxtrvl kicked us off by saying "Hard to pick (1st world problems) but I'd say pickup service from the airport in a luxury car w/ champagne!" Not bad at all. @JetsettingBen may have topped that with "Make me a personalised dessert with my name on it!" What would the dessert be?
I personally liked my own addition: "Upgrade to a room with a terrace and its own pool. Thanks @ViceroyAI" Not sure what I did to deserve that, the gods must have been looking on me favourably that day.
#TravelTuesday came flying around this week, arriving quicker than a supersonic passenger plane, with #TTOT (Travel Talk on Twitter) this week asking the travel community for its views on Airlines and Airfares.
A nice easy question to start us off, courtesy of @TravelAtWill:
Which airline makes economy flights better? How?
The team at @aardvarksafaris kicked off with a carrier I haven't flown yet, telling us "@flyethiopian econ has lots of channels & a widescreen to keep you & other people entertained on long haul" Those seats certainly do look comfortable:
Next up was @travelphotogiri, who reminded us that often for some flights, it doesn't really matter: "Comfort isn't my #1 priority on a short flight. Cost is." What's the cutoff for you @travelphotogiri? How long does a flight have to be before you look at other factors?
@tommyburson summed up his priorities quite nicely: "@FlySWISS mostly because of the free chocolate. A lot of free chocolate. Because chocolate makes everything better, right?" We agree, so we just planted a tree with @cffigrenada to help!
This latest chat was about Luxury Trends and how they affect how we travel around the world:
This chat started out by asking:
Millennials like to travel in a tribe, are they the only ones? Who likes to bring the whole gang?
@DelightThoughts hit it right on the head by starting out the answers with: "I only like to travel in groups IF everyone agrees that people are free to do their own thing."
There was an outpouring of agreement from all sides including ourselves, @concierge_99 and organiser of the chat @mrsoaroundworld, both exclaiming “Amen!” in response!
@LuxeRecess clarified how group travel should be done: “I love travel in big groups if we rent a house or villa and make meals events. Otherwise, nah.”
And @Aardvarksafaris took it a step further with: “We have 'clans' of families, & the new trend of bringing your friends and family on honeymoon” which caused quite a stir as many felt honeymooning with friends was too much. However, we pointed out that #friendmoons are actually quite popular these days! (Ahem, we had one! :D)
Siamac and Julieanne are avid world travellers, sun worshippers and enjoy sharing recommendations of treats they've encountered along the way. With this blog and Concierge99's Top 5 Guides, they can help you make the most of your travels, giving you an opportunity to find interesting and unique things to do wherever you are in the world.
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