Category Archives: Travel

Best Hotels for Business Traveler

Hotel Travel + Leisure magazine recently compiled list of the best hotel chains for travelers. Amenities, location, and quality of service were all factors.


The Ritz-Carlton has long been known as one of the most elite hotel chains in America. Now, its 86 different properties offer the benefits of the Marriott rewards program along with business friendly smartphone apps.

The Luxury Collection By Starwood

Starwood’s most prestigious hotel collection has recently expanded with 15 new locations in business districts in the Ukraine, China, and New Mexico.

Kimpton Karma

This group of small boutique hotels has one of the best loyalty programs in the industry. Business travelers enjoy free Wi-Fi at check-in just for signing up. Personal touches and ample room space also land to the business-friendliness of the hotel chain.


World-renowned for its luxury amenities in business-class services, the Waldorf Astoria and Hilton worldwide have put new business traveler accommodations in Beijing, Dubai, Jerusalem, and Amsterdam.


Founded in San Francisco, the Fairmont brand is best known throughout Canada for its exceptional accommodations. The hotel group is now available with convenient locations for the Asia-bound business traveler.

For Season

The four seasons brand is perhaps best for business travelers needing to relax after a long day. The hotel is known for its spa services.

Grand Hyatt

Grand in both name and amenities, this super star hotel chain offers plenty for business travelers. From high-speed Internet to ample meeting facilities, the grand Hyatt delivers exceptional service from its established locations as well as its new strategically placed buildings in China and the Bahamas.

JW Marriott

JW Marriott hotels are world renowned for their architectural excellence, large and comfortable accommodations, and unrivaled event space. The company has held events for Christie’s and Art Basel.


Based in Dallas, Texas, Omni resorts has locations in Nashville, look Costa, and Homestead, all located within bustling business districts.


Known for its exceptional cuisine and concierge services, the Intercontinental hotel group offers free iPad guides for travelers along with comfortable lodging and outstanding business services.

Travel Experts Share Favorite Global Hotspots for 2014

travel The International Business Times recently assembled 20 lists from English-language travel magazines, guidebooks and news organizations to determine what locations travel experts are recommending in 2014.

The top five countries, in order, are: Brazil, Scotland, Myanmar, Iceland and Panama.
The top five cities, in order: Riga, Latvia; Glasgow, Scotland; Cape Town, South Africa; and Chengdu, China.

The Americas

The usual suspects like Nashville, Charleston and Austin strutted their stuff once again, but a few surprise entries shook up this year’s list. Major U.S. cities such as Detroit and Chicago appeared on numerous lists. Colorado’s new marijuana laws have increased intrigue in the mountainous states. The warm and sunny environments in Orlando, Palm Springs, Miami and Honolulu have proved quite popular.

The World Cup is bound to draw visitors from across the globe in 2014.

Uruguay rated first on several lists due to its proximity to Brazil, as well as its recent move to allow same-sex marriage and legalize marijuana. The Panama Canal celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2014, ensuring an influx of visitors throughout the year.


In 2014, Scotland hosts the Commonwealth Games along with other international events. Glasgow in particular received high marks on the survey. War anniversaries place Sarajevo, Belgium and Berlin on many lists, while Iceland continues to be consistent performers. However, 2014 Winter Olympics host Sochi, Russia, received only scattered mentions.


The death of Nelson Mandela has inspired renewed interest in South Africa, particularly Cape Town. U.N. World Tourism Organization co-hosts Zimbabwe and Zambia stormed up the rankings, while Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya experienced small jumps.


China and Myanmar were the formidable twosome at the top of many tallies. After securing rights to the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo experienced an uptick. Taiwan, Indonesia, New Zealand and Bhutan also earned multiple plaudits.

Traveling to Australia

“Australia is no doubt one of the outstanding multicultural nations of the world” says Kyle Thomas Glasser. The country has hundreds of thousands of people from almost every part of the world including Britain, Africa, Asia, Europe as well as the Aboriginals. The fact that it doubles as the 6th largest country in the whole world as well as a continent by itself makes it very unique. As a student, he understands how a visit to such a country could make a positive impact on his medical career. He particularly notes that the black box flight recorder for airplanes was invented in this country.

Australia has always been referred to the home of the Aborigines something that makes him to want to travel to this beautiful country. Who in the world would not plan to go to a culture of people who were reputed for sleeping in the open and only providing campfires for warmth and never caring about building permanent shelters such as the Aborigines of Australia? Even  as a future medical doctor he would love to find out how these people survived through cold weather seasons by sleeping in the open or at best, building some dome-kind of temporal shelters.

Women have a vital history in Australia. He notes that the importance of women in any society cannot be ignored. They are the birth channel of every human life. But the women of Australia have women ancestors in whom they are very delighted about for example Judith Chisholm. Her role as a renowned female philanthropist, women rights activist and social worker is something they can boast about. This kind of information is of great priority not only to him but to other students in every part of the world.

The fact that Australia is the only country in the world without an active volcano is another factor as to why Kyle Thomas Glasser would like to visit Australia. There is sufficient evidence that there were volcanoes in Australia in the geological past evidenced by some of the volcanic rocks that can that range from over 2 billion years. Sydney harbor Bridge is one of the popular Australian historic sites that he would love to visit. Since the day it was opened in 1932 to date, it is still the widest steel bridge in the entire world. Because of his passion for music, his trip to Australia would be incomplete without making a trip to Sydney Opera House.

Zrylw Discusses How to Tip Almost Anywhere in the World

Tipping can be a conundrum even in the United States. But it can be much more challenging in a country where a person barely speaks the language – let alone knows the local customs and mores. Here are a few suggestions regarding the proper tipping etiquette for popular and off-the-map vacation spots.

When someone is traveling in South America what should they tip?
Like most of the places we will be discussing today, it varies from country to country. For instance, in Argentina diners should expect to give wait staff ten percent of the tab and at least ten pesos to a porter. In Brazil, people shouldn’t expect to tip at all because that amount is worked into the tab. However, they will be expected to tip the cleaning crew about two dollars a day and porters two dollars a bag. Also, in Brazil American currency is welcome, so gratuities don’t need to be in pesos.

What about the Caribbean Islands?
Tipping in the Caribbean is akin to tipping in the U.S. Fifteen to twenty percent in restaurants that aren’t covered by a resort package. Also, if a traveler needs a special favor from the concierge, they should expect to hand out a gratuity. American currency is accepted for tipping.

When traveling through Europe do different countries have different expectations when it comes to tipping?
Yes, unfortunately there’s no hard and fast rule about tipping across Europe. In France, the term “service compris” at the bottom of a dinner check means that no tipping is required. However, the locals tend to leave about ten percent in cash for the wait staff. Tipping at a bar isn’t customary in France, however in Germany, bar patrons are expected to tip up to fifteen percent. The most important thing though is to tip in Euros, because dollars aren’t preferred.

Is it true that tipping in China is frowned upon?
It is true. However, within the last decade or so tipping has become slightly more acceptable. So, if a traveler really feels the need to give someone a gratuity they can do it. However, they need to make sure that they do it out of the employee’s supervisor sight, because receiving a tip is still discouraged.

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays | Best Places to Visit in Europe

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays is a travel club specializing in resort vacations at wholesale prices. Because they are also a full-service travel agency, they are knowledgeable about areas all over Europe and the world. Today, Pierre Bennett Global Holidays reveals some of the best places to ski, visit and find mineral water springs in Europe to the Zrylw blog staff.

Zrylw: Good afternoon, thank you for joining us.

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: We appreciate the invitation, so thank you.

Zrylw: Because you are so familiar with Europe, can you tell us what the “must see” countries and places are?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Well, for sports fans we would definitely have to recommend skiing in Austria.

Zrylw: That’s something we might never have considered, and it sounds fantastic. Is there a particular town in Austria that you would recommend for skiers?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Definitely. We would suggest that skiers go to the Arlberg in Tirol.

Zrylw: What makes Arlberg so special? Is it the conditions?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: It’s the conditions, along with the fact that the scenery is stunning and the mountain is perfect for both first time skiers as well as experts. So, it would be perfect for a family with younger children.

Zrylw: What about European destinations for people who aren’t as athletic?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: We think Hungary – and Budapest in particular – is an excellent European destination.

Zrylw: Why Budapest over, say, Paris?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Budapest has amazing Old World charm and it also has some of the best food that you will find in Europe. Also, it has 12 thermal baths and about one hundred mineral water springs. The history is fascinating – and the arts are really thriving, as well.

Zrylw: Where else would you point people?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Well, Paris of course. (Laughs) 

Zrylw: Is it true that Paris is extremely expensive for visitors?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Travelers can always find inexpensive things to do that feel much more glamorous simply by the virtue of being in Paris. For instance, attending a flea market along the Champs-Elysées is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

Zrylw: You’re right, that does sound fantastic.

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Also, some of the best things to see in Paris are free or have a very low cost. For instance, there are many city gardens, discounted museums, and visitors can always find reasonably priced bistro fare.

Zrylw: What are some of your other favorite destinations?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: Visitors to Europe should travel to as many cities as possible. We suggest Madrid, Florence, Crete, St. Petersburg, Edinburgh and London. And because of Europe’s high-speed rail system, it really is quite simple to see many places in a short amount of time.

Zrylw: Is there anything else you would like to say before we wrap things up?

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: We think that it’s a good idea for travelers to know at least a little of the language of the country they are going to visit. Even if it’s only danke in Germany or merci in France. A little basic knowledge can really help a visitor navigate a country.

Zrylw: Thank you so much for talking to us today.

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays: It was our pleasure. Thanks for having us.

Doug Battista | Best Things to See in London

Doug Battista has traveled throughout Europe, but one of his favorite places is a popular tourist destination for Americans: London. For your next visit to London, Doug Battista recommends hitting these hot spots:

  • Tower of London—There are many free historic things to see in London and the Tower of London is one of them, according to Doug Battista. Learn the dark history and see the Crown Jewels while you’re there. Also known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, Doug Battista explains that the Tower of London is a castle that dates back to 1066. Beginning as early as 1100, the castle was used as a prison, Doug Battista explains, which gives visitors a glimpse into a darker side of London.
  • Hyde Park—One of the most interesting sites on a London tour, Doug Battista says that a Sunday afternoon visit to Hyde Park will be like nothing you’ve experienced. Doug Battista explains that “Speaker’s Corner” allows different “speakers” to loudly discuss or display signage on any subject they deem appropriate, without the law stepping in. Because Speaker’s Corner dates back to the 1800s, Doug Battista asserts that it is a part of London you won’t want to miss.
  • Buckingham Palace—Be careful what time of year you visit London if you want to see Buckingham Palace, Doug Battista warns. Buckingham Palace allows you to tour 19 of its rooms during certain times of the year, according to Doug Battista. During this tour, Doug Battista says you’ll also see paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens, along with some of the other treasures from the Royal Collection.
  • Big Ben—Attached to the Houses of Parliament, and another London tourist must-see, Doug Battista explains that Big Ben was installed in 1844. It took two tries, Doug Battista tells us, as the original bell cracked and had to be melted down and redone. In 1859, the second Big Ben bell rang throughout Westminster for the first time.
  • The Sherlock Holmes Museum— Doug Battista urges fans of the timeless detective to visit 221b Baker Street, the original setting for the fictional stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The government has put the home at the famous address under protected status and now it stands as a museum and popular tourist destination.

According to Doug Battista, there are many other sites in London to visit, but these are a few he enjoys most.

Travelling to Costa Rica

Kyle Thomas Glasser is a man who has grown tremendously due to his involvement with care providers in various parts of the world. He has travelled to Central America with a program called International Service Learning. This became an eye opener for him and life-changing situation that really has improved his life. Kyle grew up in Georgia and he is a senior of University of Georgia and his main goal is to serve people through the work he does. He went to Costa Rica in 2010 and there he says he saw how people were living in poor conditions that many Americans have not lived. These people were not able to afford any basic amenities and thus they were exposed to many diseases.

Kyle further indicates that the people they were offering assistance in Costa Rica could not even afford medical attention. This was a learning experience for him as he worked together with medical doctors to help those in need. Kyle has growth with St. Marguerite Catholic Church as even as a young person, he knew that he wanted to serve the community. This is why he is pursuing a career in medicine so that in future he can reach out to people within the society. Kyle says that he and the other students with travelled with realized that many people in the world needed medical care. Most of those they saw have never experience any medical attention all their life.

The 2010 tour to Costa Rica and Nicaragua opened his eyes to the needs of other people. It felt great to help someone who is really in need and providing support as much as possible. They spend the two weeks in Central America offering medical awareness while they also learned a lot from the people.  This is why Kyle feels that the trip has motivated his desire further into pursuing medicine as his career of choice. He grew up with a heart of helping people for instance, he has done volunteer work in tutoring high school students in the area of mathematics His determination and hard work earned him the opportunity of Scholarship from HOPE and he has managed to go far.

Kyle Thomas Glasser is currently shadowing Dr. Jeff Traub in Atlanta thus gaining experience in the medical field. In this way, Kyle feels that the trip to Costa Rica is the best thing that happened to him in understanding the value of helping those in need.

Pierre Bennett Global Vacations: Best Places in New Orleans

Pierre Bennett Global Vacations says that New Orleans is one of the most vital cities in America, and recommends that club members visit “The Big Easy.” With such regional favorites as catfish, jambalaya, gumbo and beignets, visitors should be warned to leave their diet plans at home. Visitors usually don’t need much encouragement to drink and dance, because life really is a party in New Orleans and, with Pierre Bennett Global Vacations travel club discounts, now is the best time to go.

The French Quarter should be one of the first stops on any trip to New Orleans, says the team at Pierre Bennett Global Vacations, and it’s the land of Creoles – the descendants of the first French and Spanish settlers. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations notes that the European legacy is everywhere with wrought-iron balconies, shutters, and etoffee perfuming the air. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations tells members that the French Quarter is unique and will be a dream vacation for anyone who visits there. Also, with the variety of Pierre Bennett Global Vacations club resorts available, members don’t need to worry about finding accommodations.

The team at Pierre Bennett Global Vacations also advises visitors to explore other places in New Orleans, and one of the best ways to do that is to hop on the St. Charles Streetcar. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations says that it’s worth spending a dollar for the ride – even if you have nowhere in particular to visit. The traveling National Historic Landmark runs from Canal Street, through the university district and ends up at Palmer Park. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations suggests that visitors stay on the streetcar to the end of the line – because the driver simply flips the seats in the opposite direction and heads to the other end of the car where the second set of controls are. It’s an ingenious maneuver.

Another popular New Orleans destination is the Garden District. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations suggests that members visit this historical part of town, noting that it has absolutely no French influence. The reason? When Americans arrived in New Orleans after the Louisiana Purchase, the local Creole population was not enthusiastic. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations says that the new residents set up their own encampment, which they called the “City of Lafayette.” Now known as the Garden District, it is named for the lush gardens the new residents planted. Pierre Bennett Global Vacations reports that Anne Rice owns two houses in the area – one with a dog statue on a balcony.

Pierre Bennett Global Vacations members receive the lowest price available at time of booking a trip. For more information, call (703) 395-1430.


Douglas Battista Offers Travelers a Rundown of London’s Best Attractions

Douglas Battista says no trip to London is complete without visiting these key landmarks.

The Churchill War Rooms

Located on King Charles Street, Douglas Battista reports that the Churchill War Rooms are not only an amazing historical find, honoring one of England’s most famous soldiers, but that this site’s proximity to St. James Park and other museums and parliamentary buildings makes it a great stop on an all-day London tour.

Hampton Court Palace

Want to step back in time? Douglas Battista notes that visitors can do just that at the Hampton Court Palace. This former home of King Henry XIII still hosts court where tourists can participate in a living anachronism, and may even have a chance to glimpse the King picking a midday snack off the world’s largest grapevine, which is located in the Gardens.

London Bridge Exhibition

According to Douglas Battista, a holiday in the nation’s capital is enhanced with a visit to the London Bridge Exhibition.  The landmark, which originated as a Roman pontoon military bridge in 50 AD, has been rebuilt at or near the same spot over the Thames numerous times in its 2000 year history. Douglas Battista also remarks that a unique and memorable restaurant, the Medieval Banquet, is close to the bridge, and is a must for hungry vacationers.

Thames River Cruise

The Tower Bridge may also be viewed from a cruise on the Thames, reports Douglas Battista. This cruise covers London in depth like no other tour in the area. Douglas Battista highlights the beauty of the River Boat itself with its large windows and open-air upper deck.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

According to Douglas Battista, this iconic figure of London’s skyline took 35 years to complete. It’s no wonder, when the amount of detail and quality of craftsmanship is considered. Douglas Battista claims that this attraction, in addition to its status as a mecca for Christians, is also a prime spot for those looking for a bit of a challenge. Five hundred and thirty steps lead to the top of the Golden Gallery, which boasts some of the best panoramic views of London’s core.

Windsor Castle

The home of a current British Royal, Her Majesty the Queen, Windsor Castle’s claim to fame is its continuous occupation for the last 900 years. The castle is purported as haunted by visitors, who claim the sound of Queen Elizabeth I’s heels are still heart wafting through this Gothic structure’s halls and passages, says Douglas Battista.

Douglas Battista is a travel enthusiast who says that London is among his favorite vacation destinations for its never-ending list of attractions and historical landmarks. He is the President of North America Field Operations of the Jenny Craig Company, and resides in sunny California.

Ian Woodman Memorable Holidays: Honeymoon Cruise

Of Ian Woodman’s many memorable vacations, his honeymoon cruise in 2004 stands out. Ian Woodman and his wife Becky were so impressed with one of the destinations, the Bahamas, that they chose to revisit it for their seven-year anniversary.

A cruise is a preferred way to travel for many reasons, Ian Woodman explains. First, he says, is that it gives you a small taste of several destinations in one trip. According to Ian Woodman, most ships stop in several ports during a one-week or two-week trip, with tours available at each stop. And as Ian Woodman found, you may often discover destinations for future vacations during these stops, returning to spend more time in the future.

During Ian Woodman’s honeymoon cruise, he and his wife were treated to a taste of Jamaica, Cozumel, and the Bahamas. While in Jamaica, Mr. and Mrs. Ian Woodman were treated to a view of Dunn’s Falls, a popular destination for tourists. Visitors of Dunn’s Falls can climb up to six hundred feet while enjoying breathtaking views while led by a guide. As Ian Woodman explains, climbing is, of course, optional and some simply choose to stand on the sidelines, taking pictures. At the base of the waterfall is a beach where visitors can relax, while those who make it all the way to the top will find souvenir shops. Ian Woodman calls Dunn’s Falls a must-see destination for anyone visiting Jamaica, adding that it is one of the most amazing things he’s ever done.

In Cozumel, Ian Woodman and his wife were able to swim with the dolphins for the first time. It proved to be such an incredible experience that he swam with dolphins five times within the next seven years. According to Ian Woodman, Dolphin Discovery provides a variety of packages for visitors. Ian Woodman notes the Dolphin Royal Swim, which allows you and your family to swim with the dolphins. This swim includes the famous foot push, where two dolphins pull you along as you stand on them. The Dolphin Swim Adventure allows you to watch the dolphins with a snorkeling mask, Ian Woodman describes, and the Dolphin Encounter is specifically designed for children.

In addition to being able to visit a variety of locations, Ian Woodman and his wife were impressed by all the offerings on the cruise ship itself. There seemed to always be something to do, Ian Woodman explains, with delicious meals and fun activities making every minute of the trip as excitement-filled as possible.