For every traveler, from the road warrior to the family heading out on their yearly vacation, where you decide to spend the night is an important and sometimes agonizing decision. It’s often difficult to know the best place to stay so that’s why last month’s Twitter chat was all about hotels.
What’s a Twitter chat? For those unfamiliar, TripIt holds a monthly chat on Twitter on the third Thursday of each month from 2 to 3 p.m. Pacific Time on the hashtag #TripItChat. Every month there’s a new travel topic where we encourage participants to share advice with one another. To learn more, please see: http://landlopers.com/2013/05/01/tripitchat/
Here are some of the key takeaways from our last #TripItChat on hotels and resorts around the world.
What’s In A Name
When it comes to large chain hotels versus smaller boutique properties, opinions are split. Some love the consistency of a known brand while others look forward to being surprised by a one-off hotel. Here are some of the best answers to the question about which one our followers prefer.
- @Saraholdthe_h started things off out of the box by listing Airbnb as their favorite way to find a place to stay citing the interaction with locals as an important aspect of travel.
- Believing that the purpose of the trip matters, @FrannieFeds said that she prefers chains for business but boutiques for personal travel.
- #TripItChat co-host @PoshBrood made the great point that it depends on the location. In some places the chains are better and vice versa.
- Spoken like a true TripIt power user, @wanderingshane said he prefers chains for the points!
Speaking of points, our users are power travelers and know that accumulating points means free vacations in the future. We asked them which hotels feature the best rewards programs, and here’s what they had to say.
- @Middleseatview said that the Omni Hotels have a great program thanks to the free WiFi, morning paper, and even late checkout offered to members.
- Shocking the chat, @marcexplores said that Kimpton Hotels has a special “Raid the minibar” perk!
- Chat co-host and friend of TripIt, @LeeAbbamonte said that Starwood offers his favorite rewards program bar none and he should know.
- Several people made the great point that while some hotels make it easy to earn points, it’s not always as easy to use them so do your research.
Remember to keep track of all of your reward programs using TripIt Pro!
For many people, hotels are more than just a place to sleep at night, they’re experience curators. As such, some are better than others, so we asked our followers the impossible–what is your #1 favorite hotel experience ever?
- The answer was easy for chat co-host @motherofalltrip who said the Marriott Custom House Hotel in Boston was a fascinating historic property with a huge room and amazing views.
- Listed by several people was the Four Seasons Lanai and those who haven’t been instantly added it to their bucket list.
- For something more exotic, @cybycmu listed the Aman resorts in Bali and the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong as his personal favorites.
- Other favorite hotels mentioned included: the Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau in Buenos Aires, Round Hill Resort in Jamaica, Charlotte Street Firmdale in London, New York’s Waldorf Astoria and the RitzCarlton Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando.
We all know that the needs of a business traveler are much different than someone on vacation, so we asked the #TripItChat participants to name their favorite hotels specifically for the business traveler.
- @philatravelgirl said one of her top picks is the Peninsula Chicago who knows how to accommodate everyone’s needs.
- Omni Hotels also scored big points amongst business travelers; @MiddleSeatView said their rooms are comfortable and well laid out and that their in-house gyms are almost always great.
- Basic needs are important and co-host @SandiMcKenna said that any hotel with GOOD coffee is best for her business travel needs.
- Of particular note was Marriott who many lauded for the consistency found amongst the brands, a vital need for business travelers.
Admit it, you love the little perks that some hotels offer, especially to frequent guests. Us too! Always on the hunt for the best perks available, we asked the chatters where they found they favorite perks.
- It’s sad that this is considered a perk, but co-host @RickGriffin spoke aloud what many of us considered the #1 perk – free WiFi!
- Obviously we need to stay where @moxacity stays because their favorite perk was a free massage on the first night’s stay.
- A road-tripper, @Clarissa_xplain says her favorite perk is free parking.
- Our favorite answer though was the request for bacon in the minibar–can we get an amen?!
After hearing about all of these amazing hotels we decided to ask our followers to name their ultimate dream hotel stay. Where would you love to stay if money and time weren’t a factor?
- With paradise in mind, @ArdellWalken pines for the Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, India or Four Seasons in Bora Bora.
- Proving that social engagement is key, @LoisMarketing said that following Ritz Carlton on Twitter makes her want to visit every one of their properties.
- Willing to bundle up, @Blondiemcl6 said the igloo hotel in Finland tops her list!
- Other notable (and dreamy) hotels listed by our fabulous chat participants included: Shangri-La Paris, any overwater hotel, Burj Al Arab Hotel, Old Course Hotel in Scotland and the Four Seasons Maldives.
And don’t forget to join us for the next #TripItChat on May 15, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific/5:00 p.m. Eastern when we’ll be talking about Cruises!