Hotel-Reception

Guidelines for Choosing a Hotel

Arranging for the right accommodation is essential for every holiday trip, and in order to choose the right place to stay during your vacation, you need to be aware of the considerations that need to be made when choosing a hotel. Follow the guidelines below to find the best accommodation for your upcoming trip:

Location of the Hotel

The location of the hotel depends on your particular travel requirements. For a sightseeing tour, you will need an accommodation that is centrally located, whereas for a quiet retreat, you might opt for a more scenic location. Similarly, businesspersons might prefer choosing a location that is located near the major trade and commerce centers.

Services Provided

services1The best hotel is the one that can provide you with all of the facilities and services that you require. For instance, you may require a pool or a restaurant at your hotel to relax and eat delicious meals.

Parking Facilities or Proximity to Public Transit

If you have hired a rental car, you will need to choose a hotel that has a parking facility, and if you are planning to travel by public commute, you will require a hotel that provides easy access to the local transit system.

Local vs. Well-Known Hotels

It is up to you to choose a hotel that is renowned and famous, or to opt for a local name that may not be as famous, but might have a friendlier environment.

Rating of the Hotel

Hotels are rated on a 5-star basis and the higher the star rating, the higher the costs of your accommodation. Usually, star ratings are also a sign of greater and better quality of services provided by the hotel.

Hotel Reviews

Hotel reviews are just as important as the rating and reputation of the hotel. You can search online or ask for recommendation from your friends to determine how their experience has been with your chosen hotel and then make your decision in accordance to the reviews that you read or receive.

Hotel Policy about Pets

If you want to take your pets along for the trip, you need to find a hotel that has a pet friendly policy, and allows pets within its premises.

Food Choices or Menu

buffetDo you want to enjoy local cuisines? Would you like to have a large menu selection to experience during your stay? Although not as important as the other considerations, food and hotel menus can be of importance for those travelers who want to experience the local cuisine to the fullest.

Environment of the Hotel for a Family Stay

If you are traveling with your family, you will need to determine if the hotel you are choosing is appropriate for a family stay.

Accommodation Costs

The overall accommodation costs and expenses are one of the biggest considerations made by people when planning a trip. Even after making all of the other considerations, your final selection of the hotel will ultimately be based on your expenditure limit.

Sources:
http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/hotel-and-b-and-b/choosing-a-hotel
http://www.superpages.com/supertips/top-10-choosing-hotel.htmlhttp://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/31723/hotels_and_hostels/how_to_choose_a_good_hotel.html

geneva

Geneva International Airport 504/147

Overview

Geneva International Airport (IATA Code: GVA) is also known as the Geneva Airport, formally Cointrin Airport and serves Geneva, Switzerland. The airport is located approximately 4 km northwest of downtown Geneva with easy access by all modes of transportation. The airport serves over 14 million passengers a year, equipped with two main passenger terminals divided into piers. Numerous gates at Pier D are designated Schengen gates, through which passengers boarding flights are not subject to passport checks. Pier F is designated as the French sector, serving passengers arriving or departing to French destinations.

Brief History

The Geneva International Airport formerly known as Cointrin, was developed in 1919, serving minimal air-traffic needs from the mid-19 20s to the early 1930s. It wasn’t until 1937 that the first concrete runway was built. During the Second World War, no flights flew from the airport outside the borders of Switzerland, but in 1945 the first terminal was built at Geneva which is today Terminal 2. The runway was extended in 1960. In 1968, the main terminal was inaugurated, able to accommodate approximately 7 million passengers a year. A new pier is currently under construction with completion date set for 2015 to enable larger Airbus, Boeing 777 and 8340 aircraft via air bridges to connect to the terminals.

Facilities

servicesPassenger services and facilities at the Geneva International Airport are plentiful with a variety of dining, shopping, and VIP lounges located throughout the airport. Dining options include Italian cuisine at Al Volo Pizzeria or enjoy Asian take-out at Bento. Travelers also have options of fast food including Burger King, or sit-down dining at the Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar. When it comes to shopping, everything from gifts and souvenirs to pharmaceuticals, fashion, jewelry, and chocolates are available. Duty-free shops are in restricted areas though fashion and accessories such as leather goods purchased at Hermes, Bongenie and Ralph Lauren are found throughout the terminals.

Car Hire Services

Car hire services at Geneva International Airport offer a variety of carriers. Travelers can hire cars in the Swiss sector and in the French sector. Car rental desks in the Swiss sector are located at the arrival level. Be advised that if you rent a car in the Swiss sector, you must also return it to the Swiss sector. Cars available in this sector include:

Car rental desks in the French sector can be reached (even from the International terminal) by following the ‘destination France’ signs.  Proceed through customs and show your rental contract. If you wish to depart the airport into the French sector but have arrived in the Swiss sector, you can reach the international sector through the transit area. Cars available at the French sector include most of the same types available in the Swiss sector.

For more information regarding Geneva International Airport visit their website at www.gva.ch or call their general information number +4122 717 71 11. The airport is located at Route de l’Aéeroport 21, 1218 Grand Saconnex, Switzerland.

References:
Geneva International Airport – http://airport-geneva.com/
Genève Aéroport – http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/
World Travel Guide – http://www.worldtravelguide.net/switzerland/geneva-international-airport

iceland

Iceland

Overview

Iceland is classified as a Nordic country, located in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.  The entire population of the country numbers less than 400,000. The capital and largest city of Reykjavík and rural areas of the country offer quiet vacation destinations for Europeans and other international travelers. At the same time, the country provides visitors with a fascinating history, numerous landmarks, and plenty of things to do.  Travelers come from around the world to see her volcanoes and glaciers and never leave disappointed.

Brief History

It is believed that Iceland was first inhabited back in 874 when Norse settlers arrived on the island. Until 1918, Iceland was considered part of Norway, and then later, Denmark, although the country claimed its independence in the early 20th century. Iceland announced herself as a Republic in 1944. Most of the island inhabitants are descended from Gaelic and Norse settlers.

Languages and Religion

The main language spoken in Iceland is a North Germanic language that has descended from the Old Norse language and is today called Icelandic. Because of its relative isolation, schools do teach Danish and English and most inhabitants of the country speak and understand both languages. Other languages spoken in Iceland include German, Swedish, Norwegian, and French. A large majority of Iceland inhabitants belong to the Church of Iceland, classified as Lutheran denomination. A very small number of the population claims no affiliation with any specific church or belief.

Climate

Interestingly, despite her location between the North Atlantic and Arctic Sea, Iceland enjoys a rather temperate climate due to warm Gulf Stream weather patterns. The coastlands of the island are also relatively temperate during winter months and remain ice free. The southern coast of the island provides warmer and windier temperatures than the north, though the central highlands are considered the coldest. In the wintertime, snowfall is common in the north but not so much in the South. Reykjavík averages 13°C (approximately 56°F) in the summer months.

Places and Cities to Visit

Despite its isolation from Western Europe, Iceland receives a surprisingly high number of visitors on a yearly basis thanks to her unique geography and volcanoes. The country is filled with ice fields, plateaus with occasional mountain peaks, while the coastline is riddled with fjords and bays. The country is most known for its volcanoes that include:

  • Eyjafjallajokull (last eruption in 2010)
  • Katla
  • Grimsvoetn
  • Hekla

Of course, there are other things to do in Iceland besides visiting her volcanoes. Some of the most popular things to do while in Iceland include visiting the Vatnajökull National Park, covering approximately 13% of Iceland and classified as the largest national park in Europe. The Pingvellir National Park is filled with historical importance and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park has fascinating natural and geologic features.  If you have the time, visit Snaefellsnes National Park, home to the Snaefellsjökull Glacier, a volcano that stands over 1,400 m high.

After you’ve visited the national parks, enjoy some whale watching, or bask under the awesome Northern lights by night. Ice climbing is a popular activity and pastime in Iceland, as is horseback riding, hiking, and bicycling.

Car Hire Services

331;152Car hire services in Iceland are typically found at major airports or in Reykjavík. It is recommended that travelers arriving at Iceland pre-book vehicles, as their numbers may be limited depending on the season or events going on at the time. Car rental services available from Keflavík International Airport serving the Reykjavík area provide numerous options. Compare prices and types of vehicles for rent (midsize, 4×4 jeeps, economy, and compact) from Keflavík Airport Car Rental or other providers located at the airport. Car rental stations are clearly marked. For example, Sixt car rental offices are located in the building next to the arrival hall, and provide free shuttle services. Other popular choices include:

Driving Regulations

Be aware that driving in Iceland may provide challenges that many drivers aren’t used to.  For starters, many of the roads are not paid, but gravel. Drive on the right side of the road and always wear your seat belt. Headlights are to stay on at all times. Be advised that many car rental agencies located in Iceland will not allow rental cars on any unsecured highland or mountain roads. Always ask at the rental car agency the limitations for where you can take your rental car.

A number of documents are required for renting driving a car in Iceland. Documents include your driver’s license, proof of insurance, a passport, and vehicle registration.  Non-residents must be 25 years old to rent off-road jeeps, although for on-road travel the minimum age for renting cars in Iceland is 21.

The speed limit in Iceland is 50 km an hour in urban areas, and 80 km an hour on gravel country roads. When driving on an asphalt or hard surfaced road, the speed limit is 90 kph. You are not allowed to drive off-road in Iceland.

It is also forbidden to use cellular phones while driving. When driving in Iceland, don’t drink. Police strictly enforce alcohol-free driving, and you may have your license revoked if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.5%.

Sources:
Official gateway to Iceland – www.iceland.is
CIA world factbook – Iceland – www.cia.gov
Visit Iceland – www.visiticeland.com/plan-your-trip/getting-around/driving-in-iceland

zadar_panorama-altstadt_01

Attractions in Zadar

Situated at the heart of the Adriatic as the urban center of the Dalmatia, the historic city of Zadar offers a diverse range of tourist attractions. The one’s you must absolutely not miss are as follows:

Osljak Island

The perfect beginning or ending of any journey should be in Paradise, and if you agree, there is no place more eager and practiced at proving itself than the island of Osljak. The island boast a rich history with monuments dating back to as early as 500 AD standing intact and well preserved to this day.

Spanning 74 acres, with the highest point at 90 meters above sea level and a population of 29 in a single village on its western shore, the island lets you experience the true thrill of natural silence in a small corner of the world. Amenities include luxury accommodation and a seaside restaurant offering scrumptious local cuisines that you can enjoy to the sea waves orchestrating a symphony of nature.

The Sea Organ

Descending into the sea, extending 70 meters along the coast, and awaiting the sea waves to orchestrate an opera are the stairs of the Sea Organ — a purpose built sea harmonica containing 35 whistle carrying angled pipes of varying lengths and diameters.

A true marvel of human innovation, the Sea Organ uses the energy of the tidal waves to stage an endless concert of mystic harmonies that not only sooth the nerves but also string away the stresses of the modern life. It is truly a fitting place to end one’s day listening to the sea play at the 7 cords of 5 tones.

Greeting to the Sun

Bathing in the sun, glittering during the morning next to the Sea Organ — its three hundred multi-layered glass plates forming a great circle — is the solar powered photovoltaic stage of light, “The Greeting to the Sun”.

Throughout the day, the great circle absorbs solar energy and saves it for a wondrous lighting show that at night as well as for lighting the whole waterfront. The lightning show is directly synchronized with the sounds produced by the Sea Organ and offers one of the most serene and wondrous combinations of nature with modern technology. Visiting it once can never be enough.

The Church of St. Donatus

Revisit the Pre-Romanesque times through one of the most stunning churches of the European Carolingian periods at the gates of the Donatus of Zadar. Dating back to the 8th century, the Church shows the historical transitions in Europe as the inflow and adoptions of ideas from Byzantine across the lands is evident in its structure.

Kalelarga

Rumored to be older than the city itself and also known as the Wide Street, the Kalelarga is the most famous street in Zadar. Cutting across the city from the People’s Square to the famous Forum, it connects the tourist to all that the city has to offer.

The Public Square (aka Narodni Trg) is the center of public life dating back to the Renaissance, boasts diverse historical monuments, and offers a walk through time. On the other hand, across the length of city through the Kalelarga, is the Forum — the municipal square from the Roman era. A walk through the Wide Street will be an intoxicating experience not only because of the cultural diversity you get to experience and also because of it summarizes the Zadar experience.

The Riva

Enjoy a relaxing walk around the beautiful green parks and amidst the palm trees in the sea promenade of Zadar, the Riva.

Constructed in the late 19th century, the Town Quay offers great panoramic views of the regions and offers a relaxing atmosphere for a long solitary walk ending before a great sunset, and followed through towards the Riva’s public life at hotels and restaurants for a refreshments and great dining options.
Source
http://www.tzzadar.hr/en/city-guide/attractions
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g295374-Activities-Zadar_Zadar_County_Dalmatia.html
http://www.izadar.info/en/zadar.html

bonus

Why You Should Join A Hotel Rewards Program?

All of us have heard about the various hotel rewards programs offered by leading hotel chains. However, most of us ask the same question; “Why should I join a hotel rewards program?” In other words, most of us want to know what we can receive in return when we opt for the rewards program offered by any hotel. A hotel rewards programs can have numerous benefits for frequent flyers and occasional travelers alike and here is where you can get the answer to your question. You should opt for a hotel rewards program for the following reasons:

You can redeem the points that you earn

A hotel rewards program allows you to earn points in return for your stay at the hotel. Thus, the money you spend is converted into reward points, and the best part about this program is that you can redeem these points as and when needed.

Easier process to redeem your points

In general, most hotels offer a simpler and quicker process to redeem you reward points. Thus, you can avail the facilities offered by the hotel at cheaper rates without the hassle of a long redemption process. Additionally, larger hotel chains provide you with the convenience to redeem your points and receive your rewards online by booking a stay with your reward points.

Facility of point redemption around the world at hotels of the same chain

If your chosen hotel has a chain of hotels around the world, your rewards program will also allow you to redeem your points at any location across the globe.

Special deals for members of the rewards programs

RabattMost hotels offer discount deals and services that can only be redeemed by the rewards program members in lieu of the points that they have earned on their reward card. The deals can include free Internet provision to free overnight stays or even the free use of some of the hotel’s facilities during your stay.

Rewards programs for different budget levels

Most hotels offer a variety of rewards programs and you can choose the one that suits your budget. However, the higher the status of the program, the better the rewards will be when you redeem you points. Considering the benefits offered by a hotel rewards program, all travelers should opt for at least one or even multiple rewards programs to avail the advantages offered by these programs.

Sources:
http://seniortravel.about.com/od/accommodations/f/Should-You-Join-A-Hotel-Rewards-Program.htm#
http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/hotel-loyalty-programs
http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/travelers-ed/seven-smart-reasons-to-join-a-hotel-rewards-program