Online Travel Guides Having a Heyday

As Online Travel has caught the fancy of the internet savvy travelers the online travel market is booming. No wonder that the online Travel is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide. India is also not left behind in this race as according to industry Pundits, Online Travel Market in India would be worth around US $ 6 Billion.

As a logical extension to such buoyancy, Travel Guides have shown a steady rising to move online and in the process fulfilling the needs of the niche readers. Both traditional print brands as well as purely cyber entities are slogging it out to grab the attention of this niche segment. The publishers of print brands after their initial reluctance have also started embracing the web and publish all their content online.
Travel Guides

Let’s take a look at what the Travel Guides offer. Travel guides have become a necessary tool for anyone who is thinking of vacation. A Travel Guide is full of helpful advice, precise information, good ideas etc besides being well-written, well laid out as well as well indexed.

These City centric guides provide information on all aspects of travel. You can get good information on How to Reach, Attractions, Excursions, festivals, History along with the various kinds of accommodations available like lodges, hotels, resorts and the bed-and-breakfasts. Convenient maps make it easy for the newcomers to exactly pinpoint any destination.

An ideal Travel guide should also briefly outline the recreational activities coupled with more mundane activities of life that can be done in a particular city. Another important aspect that is generally missed out is the public transport of the cities where a traveler lands up. A genuine Travel Guide is also supposed to give precise information of the state of public transport highlighting bus routes, Cabs and Auto fares.

Another important aspect of a City Guide is to have a semblance of balanced information. This is important because travel can be both for as well as business.

Pros and cons of Online Travel Guides

More and more people are into researching the internet as a result the Online Travel Guides have become quite popular as compared to their print counterparts. However both the two brands have their own set of advantages and limitations.

Online Destination Guides are successful in tapping user-generated reviews and provide the added advantage of E- Commerce options. So surf the web pages of the guide and book flights, hotels and other arrangements at one go directly through the site. Another great feature of the Online Guides is that there is ample scope for value addition. For example Indian railway has planned a new train to connect Amritsar to Kasargod. This information can be easily updated in the Guide for the travelers to see.

As Hotels and rental agencies change their rates according to season and local competition, online travel guides also offer a dynamic lot of packages based on such variances. However coming to the flip side of it is very difficult to find Online Travel guides bereft of commercial influences. It is not uncommon to see many sites that are setup to merely attract the potential customers to a particular establishment, or sites giving reviews by travelers may not be wholly independent.

To conclude Online Travel Guides have become a very good way to gather information about smaller cities of India that has an immense tourism potential but often neglected. For example the whole of North east, Northern Kerala neglected as a tourist spot over the years have seen good tourist influx thanks to the ubiquitous travel guides.

5 Tips To Find Cheap Hotels

Searching for cheap deals and discounts on the internet is a new trend today. Since the economic downturn was hit the world in 2008, people has always tried to get the cheapest possible price when shopping online. Nowadays you can easily find cheap travel deals and hotel rates on the internet too. To help you find a hotel with the most reasonable rates at your travel destination, you might want to follow the five tips below:

1. Start your search early. Beginning your search early will enable you to make the right choice. If you wait until the very last minute, you will tend to make a rushed decision. As the result, you may book a hotel that does not meet your criteria and your budget. It is a good idea to take some time for shopping around. Compare the available hotels carefully and match the price with the quality that they offer. Today, you can also find websites that offer last minute cheap hotel rates but it would be much better to book earlier.

2. Lower attendance usually means lower rates. If you plan to make your visit on a weekend, you should look into hotels that cater for business stays because they are usually full in business days. Also avoid peak season as rates can be double or even triple the price of off season.

3. Browsing the internet is a great way to find cheap hotel deals but it will work more effectively if you do a combination search. It is a good idea to also call the hotel’s service desk and ask for their room rates. Then, you can compare the rates offered on the internet and the ones offered by the service desk to get the best deal. Some hotels offer lower rates when you book online or make a call; therefore make sure that you use different methods in searching for a cheap hotel.

4. Find out if you can get a discount. Some hotels usually offer lower price for groups and extended stays. Therefore make sure that you ask the hotel’s customer service for this discount before making a reservation. Some hotels also offer discounts for military personnel, university students, and senior travelers. They will not offer these discounts freely if you don’t make any inquiry. So, be active in obtaining information about it.

5. Join a hotel membership to save money. After you have chosen a hotel to stay, join their membership to help you get cheaper rates. If you travel a lot, it will really save your budget.

Hotel Restaurants – Where Good Food is Just the Beginning

There’s no denying that the perfect complement to a great hotel is a great restaurant – one in which mouth-watering food delights the palate, stunning city or ocean views please the eyes, and a pleasant atmosphere makes you feel right at home from the moment you set foot inside. Whether traveling for business or leisure, some travelers opt to venture beyond the property come breakfast, lunch or dinner time. But why leave the premises when good food and service are mere footsteps away? Below you’ll find a sampling of hot dining spots in select properties, chosen not only for their delectable fare but also for the comfortable ambiance, impressive decor and unobstructed views that have earned them high marks among travel mavens and restaurant critics alike.

New York – Top of the Tower Restaurant: Prepare to be swept away by a majestic New York skyline while at this rooftop restaurant inside the historic Beekman Tower Hotel – a perfect choice for fans of Art Deco architecture. Located on the 26th floor, the hotel’s menu features small plates such as Seared Sea Scallops and Crispy Calamari as well as big dishes including Oven Roasted Chicken paired with mashed potatoes. Open for breakfast and dinner daily, the restaurant’s inviting ambiance makes it a popular meeting spot among vacationing couples and business travelers alike. What’s more, excellent service provided by the restaurant staff tops off what many call the perfect New York City dining experience.

Orlando – The Plantation Room: What could top a Four Diamond hotel chock full of great amenities including a lakeside outdoor pool, Grand Bohemian Gallery and evening entertainment? One that has a Four Diamond restaurant, of course, like the boutique Celebration Hotel nestled in the heart of Celebration. Featuring hand-cut Stock Yars Angus Beef steaks and premium cuts of pork, all cooked under the watchful and expert eye of Executive Chef Zach Martin, The Plantation Room is nothing short of a meat lover’s paradise. Delectable steakhouse salads and Florida seafood entrees round out the contemporary menu, and guests can also take advantage of the restaurant’s eclectic wine list.

Las Vegas – Top of the World Restaurant: Ever thought about elevating your taste buds while you yourself are elevated 800 feet above the ground? That might seem a bit far-fetched, but not if you happen to stop by Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Towers’ Top of the World Restaurant. Awarded “Best Gourmet Room” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the restaurant revolves 360º every 80 minutes, ensuring you take in picturesque views of Vegas, the Strip and the surrounding valley. From savory steaks and mouth-watering seafood to a wide assortment of delicious desserts including Banana Bread Pudding, this restaurant is a can’t-miss stop on the Strip. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for lunch.

Boston – Meritage: The 5-star Boston Harbor Hotel’s location overlooking historic Boston Harbor at Rowes Wharf makes it a great place to relish expansive water views. But at Meritage The Restaurant, that’s not all travelers enjoy – let alone those with discriminating palates. Chef Daniel Bruce has perfected the art of seamlessly pairing the flavors infused in his cuisine with those found in hundreds of fine wines. Try delicious Caviar Topped Island Creek Oysters, or indulge in Pan Seared Diver Sea Scallops. Meritage was given the “Best in Service” distinction by Boston Globe Magazine (2007), named “Boston’s Best Romantic Restaurant” by The Improper Bostonian (2006), and rated #1 for Best Waterfront Dining by Citysearch (2005). Accolades racked up by this fine hotel go on and on.

Los Angeles – WEST Restaurant & Lounge: Housed inside Los Angeles’ Hotel Angeleno, set at the crossroads of Brentwood and Bel-Air, WEST offers a great spot to mingle with friends or convene with co-workers following a day spent shopping or in meetings. Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, and for dinner Monday through Sunday, the restaurant features a diverse range of lively music, from contemporary jazz to funk. The dining room has sophisticated lighting and comes furnished with lavish banquettes and marble tables. Pair your entree – prime dry age steaks and traditional pastas are guest favorites here – with a glass of Italian or California wine while soaking up panoramic views of Los Angeles through floor-to-ceiling windows. Should you need it, WEST features more than 2,800 square feet of private reception and meeting space.

Whether you’re looking to start your day off right with a buffet breakfast, fuel up at lunch time, or wine and dine with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day while staring into a perfect sunset, hotels are home to some of the finest restaurants out there. So next time you’re craving a good meal, don’t be so quick to look beyond the walls of your hotel; a gastronomic gem could be just a few floors down – or up!