Gung Hay Fat Choy! The Lunar New Year is now in full swing across the globe.
By Joshua Hergesheimer
With Lunar New Year now in full swing, we’ve scoured the globe for the best spots to say goodbye to the Year of the Dragon and welcome in the Water Snake. So get packing, since the last day of Lunar New Year is on the 15th day of the first lunar month. Got that? As the full moon rises that evening, more than two-and-a-half billion people are going to party like it’s 4710. And that’s epic. So get under the skin of the Year of the Snake with our top hotel tips:
Dan and Audrey from UncorneredMarket.com.
Dan and Audrey from major travel blog Uncornered Market are a professional writer/photographer team who have visited a whopping 75 countries in the last six years! With all that trekking around the globe, these nomads are naturally full of helpful travel tips and advice – and we wanted to tap into all that knowledge. Lucky for us, the duo kindly agreed to answer some questions from our HotelsCombined community and recently provided their guidance on destinations ranging from Colombia to Singapore. Without further ado, here’s your travel advice from the experts:
“The Godfather” of concierges – Mr. Victor Baraya.
Victor Baraya might not order anyone to “sleep with the fishes” or have devotees kissing his ring finger, but the concierge’s powerful connections and inside knowledge of the hospitality industry have earned him the same awe and admiration that made filmdom’s Vito Corleone so revered. It’s therefore not surprising that the long-time hotel professional is widely referred to as “The Godfather” by his peers – a moniker that’s resulted from an impressive 40-year career spanning London, Damascus, Beirut and Cairo. A member of the Union Internationale des Concierges Hotels “Les Clefs d’Or,” Baraya has served as the face of the five-star Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney since the hotel’s opening back in 2000. He is also arguably one of Australia’s longest-serving concierges. We were recently lucky enough to chat with the international man of mystery to find out just what makes him tick: Continue reading
Matthew Karsten, a.k.a “The Expert Vagabond,” makes some new friends in Guatemala.
Matthew Karsten’s blog, The Expert Vagabond, is not for the faint of heart. In it, the professional photographer details his hair-raising travel experiences which include the likes of downhill mountain biking, skydiving and canyoning (he also doesn’t shy away from getting up close and personal with local wildlife). Truly, this daredevil nomad is not one to shy away from excitement.
Because we have our fair share of adrenalin junkies within the HotelsCombined community, Matthew was recently kind enough to take time out from his exploits to share his thoughts on the true meaning of adventure and his tips for newbie thrill-seekers:
Married couple Tracy and Evan have travelled the world together since 2005 – and they still like each other!
Travel can certainly bring out the best in people, but it can oftentimes bring out the worst too. With stressful obstacles such as lost luggage, language barriers and noisy hotel neighbours to contend with, it’s not unusual for tempers to flare when things go awry on the road. Which is why couples who travel the world together continuously inspire and impress us – just how do they manage to journey cheek by jowl without killing each other?!
With that thought in mind, we recently chatted with Evan and Tracy, founders of the website travels4couples.com. Together since 2000 and hailing from Vancouver, Canada, the pair took their first trip in 2005 through Europe and have since gone on to visit a whopping 28 different countries side-by-side (and they still like each other!) The nomadic duo was recently generous enough to share their survival tips with us so that other twosomes might learn how to experience the wonders of travel without breakdowns or breakups.
Break out the mistletoe and eggnog –the most wonderful time of the year is once again around the corner! And for those about to embark upon a yuletide vacation away from home, we’ve listed the merriest hotels around the globe guaranteed to get anyone into the holiday spirit:
Blogger Jamie Pearson and her family make a furry friend in Chiang Mai.
Travel ain’t what it used to be – gone are the days when families with young children were banished to theme park destinations and buffet restaurants. Today, a whole new range of kid-friendly travel options are available and knowledgeable trendsetters like Jamie Pearson, who runs the popular blog Travel Savvy Mom, are there to help guide fellow parents along the path less travelled with tots in tow. Inspired to create her blog thanks to a daunting travel moment when her young daughter vomited in a hotel dining room, the mom of two is dedicated to assisting others cope with the bumps that can oftentimes arise when on the road with young children. Pearson recently took the time to share with us her recommendations for kid-friendly accommodation, her fellow blogger inspirations and her tips for the best family vacations.
Working for HotelsCombined is a tough job – every day, we’re tortured with images of stunning hotels in exotic locations, which we stare at wistfully from the confines of our desks. While this leads to plenty of daydreaming and some rather unproductive work days, it’s fair to say that at this point, our team has gotten pretty familiar with the plentiful accommodation options around the globe. And while we have a staggering 350,000 hotels in our database, there are still a handful of properties that continually stand out for their amazing amenities and breathtaking views. Without further ado, here are our selections for the top 10 hotels in the world (in no particular order):
Provided the conspiracy theories are wrong and that December 2012 won’t, in fact, prove to be the end of existence as we know it, there’s a lot to look forward to in terms of travel editorial over the coming year. As more and more travel bloggers crop up around the globe, the calibre of both written and photographic content continues to blossom; full of dazzling images, useful tips and insider itinerary suggestions, these blogs certainly help keep the flame of travel inspiration burning bright. To help sort through all the overwhelming travel guides continually becoming available online, we present to you our top 10 picks to follow going forward into 2013:
Bali will soon be offering a whole slew of new accommodation options.
Another month has flown by and November is nearly upon us. But before moving forward, we look back at what an eventful October it’s been for the hotel industry. From Gangnam fever to a booming Bali, there’s been plenty of hospitality news to pique our interest and keep us pleasantly surprised: