Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives for June 2006.

Same Travel Site, Same Flights or Hotel, Different Prices

Alex Tabarrok points to a discussion of a travel website that appears to price the same hotel differently depending on how results are sorted — offering lower prices for the same room if a person search the site chooses to sort by price (presumably indicating that price is their key criteria for choosing a hotel). I’m not sure I’ve ever seen results precisely the same, but I do understand that Hotwire has been known to offer slightly different pricing to users of different web browsers (perhaps the theory being that more obscure browsers indicate net-savvy individuals who would be more price sensitive?). And there’s a current Flyertalk discussion on whether the ever-problematic USAirways website prices flights higher for Dividend Miles members that are logged into their accounts (although I suspect that it’s a preferences issue…

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You, too, can honeymoon like Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are honeymooning at the new St. Regis Bora Bora. According to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, the newlyweds are staying in the luxury $15,000 a night U.S. Royal Estate at the new St. Regis resort. … Kidman and Urban are among the first guests of the Royal Estate over-water bungalow in the resort, which just opened a few weeks ago. The massive over-water villa boasts a 24-hour butler service, an in-room Jacuzzi and a room with a private swimming pool. And to think, part of my own honeymoon was just at the nearby Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa. But then that was the most posh property on the island at the time, the St. Regis only just opened this month. And I had the room next to where Christina Applegate honeymooned,…

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Marriott is ramping up their airline checkin stations quickly

marriott hotel
Jun 27 2006

Marriott is ramping up their checkin kiosks from 32 properties now to 150 within two weeks. All Marriott and Renaissance properties are targeted to have the machines by the end of September. The kiosks will have the functionality to print airline boarding passes, a nice feature indeed. Marriott is actually a bit behind the curve on this one, Hilton announced the capability of their kiosks to print boarding passes back in April, but Marriott looks like it will jump ahead of its competitors with the ubiquity of the feature across two of its brands within a few months. This is one of the easy no-brainers of the hotel industry. If done right the cost to set up the machines with internet connectivity and a printer should be low, and it’s a major convenience. But in…

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Politicians railing against the evil airlines

Pago Pago (American Samoa) is served by only one scheduled airline, Hawaiian.. and the Governor of American Samoa wants them to discontinue service.. because they refuse to offer DigE Players on their Pago Pago – Honolulu flights?In fairness, the Governor also complains about “high fares” and fare rules for Pago Pago flights that are more onerous than other Hawaiian Airlines destinations. But somehow I imagine that having the major competitor pull out of the market won’t help to lower fares. Demagoguery, American Samoa style.

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Up to 3000 bonus Starwood points for stays in Asia

Starwood is offering 500 bonus points for the first stay, 1000 for the second, and 1500 for the third at participating properties in Japan, Korea, and Guam from June 20 through August 20, 2006. Registration is required. Participating hotels include:Guam The Westin Resort – Tumon Japan Sheraton Sapporo Hotel – Sapporo The Westin Tokyo – Tokyo Le Meridien Grand Pacific Tokyo – Tokyo Le Meridien Pacific Tokyo – Tokyo Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel – Chiba Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers – Yokohama The Westin Nagoya Castle – Nagoya The Westin Osaka – Osaka The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto – Kyoto Kobe Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers – Kobe The Westin Awaji Island Resort and Conference Center – Hyogo Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort – Miyazaki Korea The Westin Chosun, Busan – Busan Sheraton Grande…

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$149 Room Nights at the Bellagio

Bellagio has probably been surpassed by the Wynn, and it depending on the experience you’re after no Vegas hotel can really offer true luxury. Plus summertime can be brutal in Vegas (I’m still going myself in a few weeks). But if you do plan to go, these rates are pretty good — many weekdays from $149 between June and September.

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Unrelated observations

I’m sitting here in one of my absolute favorite hotels, the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida. I reviewed it extensively with photos this past September, so I’ll spare most of the details. This isn’t the highest-end property in South Florida — it’s not the Mandarin Oriental Miami or the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, for instance — though it’s more than nice and at a much better price point. What sets it apart is that there is no better property in the world for elite recognition. They upgrade platinums to suites consistently, and have even been known to let Platinum members know in advance when a suite upgrade might not be forthcoming. And those suites are large, with nice bathrooms, and wraparound balconies overlooking the ocean. It’s a very large hotel with nearly 1000 rooms but they…

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