It’s pretty much indisputable that airlines are making frequent flyer miles harder to use. Across the board, we’ve seen programs increase the amount of miles needed for awards—all while restricting the amount of seats available at the lowest level and adding new fees. However, it isn’t all doomsday. Luckily, credit card bonuses are extremely lucrative and there are now more ways to earn miles than ever before. Whether from online shopping or dining out, you should be getting miles for almost every purchase.
Hilton is taking a page out of the airline handbook. This week, the hotel giant announced a plan to open room selection for members of the brand’s HHonors loyalty program—for the first time ever, this would allow guests to review floor plans of open rooms and pick their favorite before check-in. Roll-out is expected for over 650,000 rooms at 4,000 hotels across the Hilton portfolio—including its Waldorf Astoria and Conrad brands—by the end of the year, with limited availability piloting by the end of the summer.
Ambergris Cay, Belize: All 26 candy-hued, thatched-roof casitas at Matachica Resort & Spa sit right on the sand, with hammocks in matching colors. Book a Sea-View Cabana room—the Caribbean is just 125 feet from your door, with Belize’s famous barrier reef just a two-minute dive-boat trip beyond.$$
San Diego: The new 78-suite Pier South Resorthas balconies with sweeping views of the Pacific and California’s southernmost beach. Our two favorite ways to chill out here? Surfing lessons and a Green Flash (jalapeño-infused tequila, pineapple juice, and Midori) by the waterside fire pit. $$
• 3 nights in a suite in Hub Porteño, a Belle Époque gem with insider access to the city’s arts and culture scene. • A private tango lesson on the hotel’s outdoor terrace • Daily breakfast • A bottle of wine upon arrival; non-alcoholic drinks and snacks from the mini-bar • Cocktails on the terrace
Cost $736 ($245 per night)
Book now for travel through September 30.
For more information or to book, please visit Hub Porteño with booking code TYL; additional room categories available.
New York's legendary Plaza Hotel has always inspired grand story-telling. There was the little girl named Eloise who lived on the "tippy-top floor" of the hotel. Then the great Jay Gatsby checked in to battle it out with Tom Buchanan. And years later, came the big bad movie Home Alone 2, which was filmed at the property in the 90s.
The opulent Palazzo Parigi is taking luxury accommodation in Milan to new heights. The luxury hotel recently debuted its Duomo Suite, which offers residential-style lodging in an elegant space overlooking the city and the Duomo of Milan (of course!). The room features a terrace and multiple balconies, a high-tech kitchen, and the option for one's own private butler.
Looks like Ritz-Carlton is already making a run for the 2015 SMITTY Awards. The brand just launched “Your Memories,” an image-based social network where guests can share their favorite vacation moments, and future travelers can preview the hotel experience.
The constantly updating, tiled photo stream showcases snapshots and video shared by guests on Twitter and Instagram with the #RCMemories hashtag. Users can also submit photos for display directly through the website.
Hyatt realized that social is a behavior but questioned how to make it part of their business. The answer? Hyatt is going to provide the materials that will inspire action both online and off, in the hopes that social media will give their offline initaitives legs.
The term "authenticity" is one we've heard again and again (tired of it yet?), though it remains on the tongue of industry insiders thanks to an influx of travelers who continue to seek out local experiences around the globe. At the recent travel conference ILTM Asia, in Shanghai, which brings together travel agents, hoteliers, and the media, T+L's Sarah Spagnolo once again dug into the trend of connecting travelers with local culture. Watch the video for a couple examples of new programs.
Still prefer real books to e-readers—but hate having to lug them in your suitcase? Shutters on the Beach, the iconic Santa Monica hotel, is introducing a new Beach Book Bag program, allowing guests to order their beach reads before stepping foot on the plane.