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10 Dirtiest Hotels in Europe Exposed

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It's time again for what easily ranks as one of TripAdvisor.com's most talked-about annual lists: Dirty Hotels. Who doesn't want the dirt on where stay in Europe—and where to avoid?

eTurbo News |  The list of Europe's ten dirtiest hotels was released today.

The list of shame is dominated by just three destinations, with London, Amsterdam and Turkey's Aegean coast collectively responsible for Europe's ten dirtiest hotels. The two Turkish hotels top the list, followed by four properties each in London and Amsterdam.

"Despite the average overall rating for a property on TripAdvisor rising to four out of five, it is clear that a minority of hotels are still not delivering the minimum standard of experience travellers deserve, especially in relation to cleanliness" comments Emma O'Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson. (Photo by iStock)

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Hyatt Cleans Up Its Act with New Hypoallergenic Rooms

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When you check into a hotel, you naturally want a clean room. But if you want a science-fiction-scary clean room, look to Hyatt. The hotel chain recently introduced its Respire rooms, which are sterilized, sanitized, antisepticized, and deodorized to the extreme. They're so clean you're unlikely to find so much as dust mite feces under the decorative pillow shams.

"We basically kill all living organisms in the room," said Brian Brault, chief executive officer of Pure Solutions, the company behind the purified rooms. Presumably he was referring to mold, fungi, bacteria, and viruses -- not hotel guests.

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City Tour: Running the Streets of Paris

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As both an active runner and someone who enjoys travel, I speak from experience when I say: it can be really hard to stay true to my routine when I'm away from home. (To date, I have only successfully maintained a semi-normal running schedule once while traveling. Don't judge me.) Between late nights, full days, and the desire to take in as much as possible in a short period of time, sometimes it's just not possible. (And fine, I admit: sometime I'd just rather sleep a little later than get up for a run. There, I said it.)

That being said, I was intrigued when a colleague passed along information about a different type of tour now being offered in the great City of Light: a running tour.

That's right. A running tour. This is some serious travel time management, and I love it. (Not to mention, anyone who knows me knows that when I travel, I'm very much a "do as the locals do" type. So what better way to tour a city than as a resident jogger would?)

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4 Great NYC Running Routes

As a runner living in New York City, you might think it's challenging for me to find decent places for nice run. But the truth of the matter is that there are a ton of hot spots, whether it's in/around one of the city's many parks, or along one of the many waterfront sidewalks.

josh-racejpgFor about a year, I was a slave to the treadmill, but when I signed up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon, I knew I had to start running on uneven, outdoor ground again. (P.S. - Once I started running outdoors again, I was reminded of how infinitely more enjoyable it is this way!)

The half marathon was last weekend—I ran with a few friends/colleagues from our sister mag, Food & Wine—but now I'm craving more. That being said, I want to share a few of my favorite running routes in the city. (And, since I'm an outer-borough guy, they are not all based in Manhattan!)

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Medical Emergency Abroad? There's an App for That!

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Anyone who travels frequently can attest: finding medical assistance while traveling in a strange city—especially in a foreign country, where language barriers can easily work against you—can be quite the challenge. But thankfully we live in an age chock full of so much convenient technology, that obstacle is becoming less of an issue.

I recently learned about an iPhone app called mPassport. It's a handy piece of software that is a wealth of information for anyone needing medical attention while away, whether it's routine or emergency service. What exactly can you do with the program?

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Just Back: Park City, Utah

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Utah and its frontiers for skiing and snowboarding have long been on my list for exploration, and my recent trip there did not disappoint. In fact, I was amazed at how easy it was to get there (a non-stop from JFK to SLC on Delta plus 35 minutes in my Enterprise rental car from the airport to Park City—with no harrowing mountain pass requiring tire chains). And it was so much fun (9,026 acres of skiing; hundreds of hotels to choose from, sunny skies, and, since 2009, no more “membership” necessary to enter a bar and buy a drink). One local told me he always felt like Park City was the redheaded stepchild of the U.S. ski areas, but I think it is soon to be (if not already) one of the favorites.

Favorite Runs:
Apex and Spider Monkey, The Canyons (lift ticket $85 a day)—trails here are generally fairly narrow, which made me feel immersed in nature, much like when I hike. Apex varies intermediate and advanced tilt down a thrilling ridge, and Spider Monkey bops beneath a cathedral of tall pines.

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Could This Be Your Dream Bike Trip?

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I am like a kid in a candy store when I surf around the pages of Tour d’Afrique’s website. The eight-year-old cycling tour company has four epic trips—Tour d’Afrique, Orient Express, Silk Route, and Vuelta Sudamericana—of which you can do all or part; 26 shorter tours; and a DreamTour program in which you create your ideal, no-limits, perfect journey, and if enough people join the “Count Me In” list for your tour, TdA will add it to their roster, work out the details, and let you go on it for free.

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Airport Body Scanners Raise Radiation Exposure, Committee Says

Bloomberg News |   Air passengers should be made aware of the health risks of airport body screenings and governments must explain any decision to expose the public to higher levels of cancer-causing radiation, an inter-agency report said.

Pregnant women and children should not be subject to scanning, even though the radiation dose from body scanners is “extremely small,” said the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety report, which is restricted to the agencies concerned and not meant for public circulation. The group includes the European Commission, International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Energy Agency and the World Health Organization.



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Football vs. Soccer—Which is the World’s Favorite?

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With the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa just around the corner, U.S. media and fans will have a flare-up in interest in world sports. Our minds open to the fact that sports aren’t just strenuous things done around leather balls and across finish lines, but also with paddles, on blades, in water, and on trampolines. Our brains reset from caring about athletes with names like LeBron and Brett, and we start to root for people named Oksana and Usain.

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Holidays on Ice: St. Regis Atlanta Opens Skating Rink

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Growing up in Marietta, Georgia, I had only one option for ice-skating: a spiritless indoor rink, where everyone in the entire state seems to come at the same time. It was practically an ice box packed with jostling skaters, some visibly sick from too much ice cream cake (the only snack offered other than pizza), and the music director assumed we would truly enjoy top 40 jams like MC Hammer's Pray in constant rotation.

Fortunately families now have alternate options.

Recently the St. Regis Atlanta (opened April 2009) started a new tradition—transforming its outdoor Grand Terrace into a festive ice skating rink.

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