The Watergate Scandal: ill luck or conspiracy?

August 13, 2012

The Watergate Complex

IT is a fair to say a lot happens in hotels, but rarely does what goes on behind closed doors change the world…but it can happen.

The Watergate Scandal is proof of this.

Exposed by a story in The Washington Post, it was to mark the overturn of the entire American political system, marring it with distrust and resulting in the eventual resignation of the 37th President Richard Nixon.

Olga Leleka looks at the events that unfolded in the Watergate Hotel and their impact.

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Sleeping with celebrities (sort of) – hotels owned by the rich and famous

August 8, 2012

A-LIST glamour is not always reserved for celebs, sometimes the rich and the famous splash cash on property that they then share with the rest of us mere mortals.

Some come at A-list prices, others might surprise you with their affordability.

So, here are five of the best celebrity-owned hotels in the world.

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A slice of Tuscan paradise – Castel Monastero

July 16, 2012

The Tuscan vineyards surrounding Castel Monastero

TUSCANY can be likened to a fine wine, with time it just gets better.

And this triangular section of Italy has certainly taken its time.

From the first major civilization, the ancient Etruscans to assimilation with the Romans through to becoming the birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany secured its place in world history as an epicenter of innovation, culture and art.

It’s a legacy that lures millions of visitors every year and the list of cultural hubs is daunting.

Castel Monastero, detail of the entrance

From the regional capital and renaissance center Florence, to Siena, Pisa and the other “cities of art”, known in Italian as città di arte, the list of cultural attractions is long.

Gourmets and wine buffs will find themselves in their element savoring the simple yet awe-inspiring food while accompanying their dish with vintages from what is recognized as one of the finest wine-producing regions in the world.

No less inspiring is the beautiful countryside and for those looking for a destination that combines all the elements of the best of Tuscany there is a place nestled among Chianti vineyards, just 20 kilometers from Siena that encapsulates Tuscany in one package.

As the saying goes a picture speaks a thousand words, so we’ll keep the text short and let the images do the talking as we take you inside Castel Monastero (be sure to click on the images for a larger view).

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Abba Hotels and Booked.net toast two year anniversary

June 29, 2012

JUNE 29, 2012. Spanish-based urban hotel chain Abba Hotels and fast growing hotel reservation website Booked.net are celebrating a two-year working partnership.

Booked.net partner account manager Anna Mosiychuk said the deal brokered between the parties in 2010 had allowed Booked.net direct connection with Abba’s reservation database.

“This means Booked.net customers can reserve accommodation in Abba’s range of hotels across all main Spanish cities as well a hotels in Andorra, London, Berlin and Bratislava.”

That connection was powered by Trust International’s centralized reservation system (CRS), she said.

Trust International is a market leader in electronic reservation distribution via the CRS system, which offers reliable, responsive and fast hotel distribution, with immediate availability of new rates in all distribution channels worldwide.

“The CRS system means when our clients book with Abba Hotels they are offered only the latest information and competitive prices. These are constantly updated across the 17 Spanish cities the company operates in as well as four European destinations,” Mosiychuk said.

Booked.net was proud to have developed the working relationship.

“We are optimistic that this relationship that will only strengthen in future and result in increases in the number of reservations for Abba Hotels long into the future.”

About Booked.net

European-based Booked.net is a hotel reservation website with live connections to booking databases covering more than 90,000 hotels worldwide on a commission-based model. The company’s multi-lingual platform offers hotel descriptions and information in 20 languages with reviews written by real travelers.

For more information please visit http://www.booked.net.


Last-minute Euro 2012 hotel booking a lottery

June 21, 2012

ENGLAND’S progression to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 has led to an army of Lions fans desperately trying to get to Ukraine, but accommodation is a “lottery” Booked.net says.

Airlines are heavily booked and competition for accommodation among the 500,000 foreign fans expected in the Ukrainian capital Kiev is fierce.

England next plays Italy in the knock-out phase of the UEFA European Football Championship at Kiev’s Olympiysky Stadium on Sunday, June 24.

According to online reservation website http://www.booked.net/ there are rooms available in the city if fans act fast.

Booked.net chief communications officer Jared Morgan said a quick search of the site’s data bases revealed a handful of rooms were available in the city in the lead-up to Sunday’s quarter final.

“Admittedly, it’s a lottery, my guess is last minute fans are simply looking for a bed for the night,” he said. “So, if location isn’t an issue, then by all means take the gamble.”

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Hilton Worldwide joins forces with Booked.net

June 20, 2012

ONE of the most recognized names in the hotel industry globally has signed a distribution agreement with one of the world’s fastest growing online reservation websites.

The agreement, inked last month, means Hilton Worldwide’s portfolio of 10 brands, 3,800 hotels and 630,000 rooms in 91 countries will be available for reservation directly on Booked.net and its’ network of affiliate websites.

Booked.net director Andrei Grudiy said the agreement created a direct link between Booked.net’s customer base and Hilton’s properties.

“This agreement marks our commitment to bring our customers the best range of hotels and having such a prestigious and recognizable brand on our database is exciting for us and our customers,” he said. “It means we can deliver high-speed and reliable bookings as every booking made on our web site quickly accesses the hotel reservation system.”

Hilton’s loyalty program was also for every booking made via Booked.net, he said.

“We are eager to develop this relationship and we continue to expand as a company.”
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Prison Breaks: The top 5 ex-jails transformed into hotels around the world

May 28, 2012

SPENDING time behind bars is usually reserved for a specific sector of the community – criminals.

But what if you could serve jail time on your terms and check-in and out when you wanted and without a criminal record?

Welcome to the world of ex-prison hotels.

Hotel reservation website www.booked.net has selected the top five ex-jails people can stay in without first committing a crime.

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A special offer from Booked.net and Hilton

May 17, 2012

NOW you have the chance to stay in the comfort of a Hilton hotel and save up to 40 percent with a partnership offer available at Booked.net.

Hilton hotels are a great choice for those planning holidays this summer offering the standards of comfort and service synonymous with the Hilton brand.

To take advantage of this offer simply Book a room from May 17 to August 31 and save up to 40 percent off your reservation at your pick of any Hilton hotel across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In South Africa, Hilton properties offer an escape from hot coastal beaches and adventurous safaris, while appealing natural beauty and ancient architecture surround them in the Middle East and glossy European capitals like Amsterdam, Berlin, London and so on.

The Hilton Durban hotel, South Africa.

Hilton experiences constant change, but its’ warm hospitality is permanent.

Considering the high demands on accommodation in the tourist season of 2012, the Booked.net/Hilton initiative means both brands are offering you the opportunity to experience traditional hospitality with 21st century comforts.

Whether you are about pampering yourself in the spa in the Hilton Durban Hotel, South Africa or relaxing in a swimming pool in the Hilton Munich Park, Germany, Booked.net offers listings of all participating Hilton properties.


Whitney Houston’s death in a hotel room. When celebrities check out – permanently

April 20, 2012

FOR some the idea might sound macabre. However, the death of Whitney Houston is not deterring guests from the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.

Booked.net writer Olga Leleka looks at the link between celebrity deaths and hotel rooms.

The 48-year-old was found unresponsive in the bath in room 434 of the hotel on February 11.

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European recession – it’s not all bad news for the travel industry

April 19, 2012

WHAT does economic turmoil in Europe mean for tourism? Booked.net chief communications officer Jared Morgan attempts to answer that question.

With experts predicting the Euro, the region’s currency, will fall to record low levels in the coming months, Europe’s travel industry could see an increase in visitors from less recession affected parts of the world.

Those riding out recession pressure include Australia and New Zealand with both countries currencies trading at record levels against the Euro, which has been used by 17 European Union countries since 2001. The Euro zone countries include some of the most popular for antipodean travelers such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Spain is among the four nations worst hit along with Ireland, Portugal and Greece. All four rely heavily on tourists dollars and their respective governments are working to keep the foreign cash from visitors rolling in.

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