Archive for the ‘traval’ Category

October 26th, 2017 No comments

Marriott International is the world’s premier hotel management company, operates in the United States and 67 other countries and regions, manages more than 2800 hotels, provides about 490500 rooms. The company’s name comes from Marriott International Group Chairman and CEO J.W.Marriott, Jr. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with 128000 employees. Marriott’s turnover in fiscal year 2003 reached $9 billion. Marriott has also been rated as one of the most admired and ideal hotel groups in the hospitality industry by fortune magazine.

Marriott International’s distinctive collection of passionately independent hotels, today announced its fourth hotel in Italy with the opening of Hotel Sina Villa Medici, located in the historic heart of Florence. The hotel joins a diverse portfolio of more than 125 Autograph Collection Hotels around the world – all one-of-a-kind properties that champion values of vision, design and craft.

“We are delighted to see this historic residence in the heart of Florence reimagined for our guests,” said John Licence, VP Premium & Select Brands Europe, Marriott International. “With its classic architecture and carefully curated design that nods to the building’s rich history, Hotel Sina Villa Medici evokes the spirit and heritage of this captivating city and embodies our Exactly Like Nothing Else brand philosophy perfectly.”

Housed in a historical residence dating back to the 19th century, the hotel has a new, resplendent look following an extensive nine-month refurbishment by. Boasting design elements including vaulted ceilings, marble bathrooms, silk wall coverings, and antique furniture, the hotel is befitting of its majestic city surroundings.

Modern artworks created especially for the hotel by locally born artist Marco Lanza have been added to the ground-floor entrance hall, the gallery and the lounge bar, depicting details of original paintings of Caterina de’ Medici that now hang in the Uffizi Gallery.

The hotel’s 99 guestrooms and suites offer the perfect mix of traditional features and contemporary finishes with parquet flooring, mood lighting, USB outlets and modernized bathrooms. Almost all guestrooms have balconies or terraces offering stunning views of Florence’s iconic monuments.

Sina Villa Medici’s prime location provides guests with the perfect opportunity to discover the city with iconic sites such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo just a stone’s throw away, whilst the hotel’s lush, private gardens and swimming pool offer a verdant oasis in which to relax and unwind. Guests can take their relaxation one step further at the hotel’s wellness centre, featuring a sauna, steam room, and fitness space.

The hotel’s restaurant, Da’Pescatore, is overseen by award-winning head chef Daniele Pescatore and specialises in fish and seafood dishes, inspired by his Neapolitan roots. Conferences and events are also superbly catered for across the hotel’s five individual conference rooms, measuring from 32 quare metres to 150 square metres, and accommodating between 15 and 100 guests.

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About Autograph Collection Hotels
Autograph Collection Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., celebrates individuality by curating one-of-a-kind travel experiences at more than 110 luxury lifestyle hotels in nearly 30 countries and territories, among the world’s most desirable destinations. Exactly like nothing else, Autograph Collection properties are hand selected for their rich character and uncommon details. A personal realization of an individual founder’s vision, these hotels are defined by unique design, differentiated guest experiences and their meaningful role in locality. Autograph Collection Hotels is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information, please visit, and explore our social media channels on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to learn more about championing the independent spirit that is #ExactlyLikeNothingElse.


Would you recommend Hotwire booking in Munich? How about in Canada in the US?

August 21st, 2017 No comments

It’s funny you ask this question, but to use Hotwire in Germany.. NO! BEWARE of Hotwire in Europe, it’s a different mentality, hotels that are supposed to be in the city ARE MORE than 15 min subway. You calculate maybe 15 to 20 km or more away from the center. Usually they are in business areas. I just reserved on in Munich and I am really upset. Here is why. I asked the agent if the 4 star was an American known brand 4 star and she said, “Yes, that would be a Hilton, Sheraton, Omni, brands we have in America”. Turns out that it was not. This is important in Europe because a Marriott in North America has clean rooms and very good service. A Marriott in Rome had a clausterphobic room with a very stinky toilet and a very rude snobby service at the reception. Anyway, back to the Munich thing. The hotel was more expensive on Hotwire than it was to book with the hotel itself. When I called back Hotwire they said, “Oh but that’s in Euros!” True, but with the worst exchange it was 50 US cheaper anyway. WIth Hotwire you will never know your hotel and in Europe it’s not at the center. It still cost me 80 US a night, with the hotel itself it was average 45 Euros all taxes in. They denied me the refund difference because they said that it was after 48 hours I contacted them. Then I dug out emails and call logs telling them theirs was not the cheapest rate six hours after the booking. Their next excuse was that in the 5 day booking I did, one night was more expensive than their rate so it’s not in the total rate it’s in the daily rate. So all five nights need to be lower than their nightly rate. So, if you have a hotel that charges 20US, 20US, 60 US, 20US and 20US, and theirs is 40US all the way, because of that 60 in the middle, you’re screwed.
Hotwire also is non refundable. If you or someone in your family dies or has some accident, you need to supply a certificate (which would be the last thing you’d want to do if that would happen).
They also take your money right away, as soon as you book.
My experience in Munich was not to my satisfaction.

Another time I reserved in L.A. It was the Sheraton at the airport. I got there at 1pm. The hotel was beautiful but the front desk was rude (one of the guys). He said, “You’re room is not ready, but if you get an upgrade and pay 30US more per night with breakfast, I can give you a non-smoking room.”
ANd I said, “No, I want my room.”
And he said, “Well, I only have smoking rooms available for Hotwire because you paid less than others.”

So there you go. The parking was $12US a night for a car. Usually Hotwire in the US choses hotels in which you will pay a lot for a car. In the day it may have been 24 US.

Toronto Sheraton was amazing. BUt then again, it was near the airport and the parking was expensive (there was nowhere to park your car!). The front desk was amazing though they even told us if we weren’t lazy to park the car in an outside parking and walk back. Thanks.

So far that is my experience with Hotwire. Book in North America was good. In EUrope…. I wasn’t impressed.

If I were you, had the same rate for the hotel and you don’t have to pay until you get there AND you can even cancel with no charge on the day you arrive for that hotel (some 24 to 48 hrs in advance) but at least if you do have an emergency, it’s not like Hotwire where you need to fight, and for the same rate.

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