Tag Archives: Hotel

5 Easy Tips for Getting Amazing Sleep on the Road

If you find that your sleep quality decreases while traveling, you’re not alone. A National Sleep Foundation poll found that most adults prefer the comfort and calm of their own bedrooms over a hotel room—even a luxurious one. And don’t even get people started on the perils of trying to catch some shut-eye on an economy class flight.

Short of bringing their bed with them wherever they go, what’s a weary traveler to do? Whether you’re trying to catch some ZZZs on an airplane, in a hotel, or in a train or car, here’s how to get better sleep while on the road.

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1. Get comfortable.

If you’ve ever tried to sleep next to two other people in the backseat of a moving vehicle, you’ll know that this can be easier said than done. But sleep will come faster if you do what you can to make yourself comfortable. Try to wear loose-fitting clothing, take off your shoes, and cuddle up under breathable fabrics for the best chance at decent sleep. If you’re in a plane, train, or car, an inflatable or travel-sized pillow will also help.

2. Keep the environment cool, quiet, and dark.

Studies routinely show that people sleep best in spaces that are quiet, unlit, and cooled to less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. While you may not be able to control the temperature wherever you’re trying to sleep (except in a car or hotel room), you can keep things quiet by packing earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones or (at hotels) asking for a room that’s located away from the elevator, stairwell, vending machines, and pool (Also don’t forget to hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door). Limit your exposure to light by closing a hotel room’s curtains or packing an eye mask for flights.

3. Stick to your routines.

Consistency is key to getting good sleep, so do what you can to mimic your own bedroom environment wherever you are. Bring along your favorite pair of pajamas, a picture of your family or pet, and any other small items that will help you feel at home. Also be sure to stick to your normal bedtime routines, such as drinking a cup of tea, reading a book, listening to music, or practicing breathing exercises before closing your eyes.

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4. Avoid stimulants.

Caffeine, alcohol, and exposure to “blue light” (aka the glow emitted from electronic devices like tablets, laptops, and smartphones) can all make it harder to catch some shut-eye. Try not to drink coffee in the afternoon or evening; don’t drink alcohol within a few hours of heading to bed; and turn off all electronics at least an hour before hitting the sheets. Avoiding these stimulants will help your body wind down so you can fall asleep faster.

5. Head to sleep-friendly hotels.

Reading reviews of hotels online prior to booking will help alert you to whether a hotel is known for having raucous guests or promoting quality slumber. Some hotels have even started investing in amenities to help guests get better sleep.

For example, the Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, Va. offers guests a “Dream Menu,” or a collection of services and products designed to help guests get better sleep (think hot water bottles, Snore-no-More pillows, and a Bed Wedge that elevates your upper torso). At the Fairmont San Francisco, guests can take advantage of a sleep kit complete with sleep machine, earplugs, eye mask, and slippers. Crowne Plaza hotels offer a “Sleep Advantage” program that lets guests elect to stay in quiet zones sans room attendant, housekeeping, or engineering activities from 9 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. And Hampton hotels offer a “Clean and Fresh Bed” designed to provide guests with optimum comfort in the form of streamlined covers, four pillows per bed, and high-thread-count sheets.

Most importantly? Even if you find yourself tossing and turning, don’t lose hope. Fretting over lost sleep will only make you anxious, so try not to stress too much if you wanted to snooze through an entire eight-hour flight and only managed to catch an hour or two of ZZZs. A little bit of sleep is better than none. And if all else fails, never forget the power of a cat nap.


How To Brave The Cold At An Ice Hotel (And The 4 Best To Try This Year)

Throughout history, hotels have continually pushed the bounds of what constitutes an exceptional night’s stay. Modern travelers’ desires for unique, authentic, and Instagram-worthy adventures have driven hotels to market themselves as destinations for unusual trips and immersive experiences. Perhaps no trend better encapsulates this movement than the rise of the ice hotel.

The original ice hotel—appropriately named ICEHOTEL and included on this list—was created in Sweden in 1989. Simultaneously an art exhibition and a guesthouse, the hotel is built out of natural ice and snow harvested from a nearby river. Newer iterations on the concept include igloo villages, art museums made entirely of ice, and a wide range of amenities. Here are four variations you won’t want to miss (just remember to pack the parka).

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1. Hotel de Glace, Quebec

The only hotel in North America made completely of ice, Hotel de Glace is open in the winter of each year—and then it melts away. As with the other entries on this list, each room in the hotel is carved from ice, meaning temperatures need to remain below freezing lest the rooms melt while guests are sleeping. But don’t worry about staying warm: The hotel provides beds and thermal sleeping bags rated for freezing conditions, as well as several outdoor hot tubs. Guests enjoy lounging on chairs made from ice, sipping on winter-themed cocktails from the hotel bar, and scoping out the ice carvings and mountain views.

2. ICEHOTEL, Sweden

Located just over a hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle and near Sweden’s Torne River, the original ICEHOTEL welcomes adventurous guests from all over the world. Hotel guides lead guests across icy terrain atop horses, dog sleds, skimobiles, and even MINI Coopers. Food and drink is often served from plates and cups made of ice, and the hotel bar is to die for. The guestrooms are as varied as the hotel’s visitors—some are custom-designed while others include both ice and snow. In the winter, guests can enjoy an unobstructed view of the northern lights.

3. Eskimska Vas, Slovenia

While Slovenia makes for an amazing summer getaway, it’s worth coming back for the opening of the country’s Eskimo Village in December. Guests access the village by riding cable cars up the mountain, then hiking in on snowshoes (so it’s probably best to pack light). Anyone who isn’t exhausted from the trek can enjoy daily outdoor activities like snowbiking, snowtubing, and sledding. Tired visitors unwind at the village’s bar or Igloo restaurant, then hit the (snowy) sack in an individual igloo equipped with sheepskin to keep folks warm.

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4. Snowhotel, Finland

Easily accessible from the buzzing hub of Helsinki airport, the Snowhotel promises a quiet respite from Finland’s larger cities and the hum of modern life. Boasting “tranquil silence” and “beautifully illuminated ice art,” the hotel is designed to simultaneously delight and soothe the senses. At night, guests bundle up in thermal sleeping bags atop beds carved entirely from ice. Overnight stays include room wake-up with hot berry juice, buffet breakfast in a the warm “log restaurant,” and guided tours of the surrounding Snow Village, which features an Ice Restaurant, Ice Cocktail Bar, chapel, slide, and a network of corridors decked out in snow and ice art.

Tips for Staying in An Ice Hotel


  • Learn how to properly use a sleeping bag. If you’ve never slept in a thermal bag before, consult hotel staff to learn how a few small tweaks can keep you warm for the night.
  • Participate in physical activities during the day. This will keep your circulation pumping (and physical tiredness will make it easier to sleep at night). It’s also a great opportunity to try something new. Snowbiking, anyone?
  • Hit the restroom before going to bed. Most rooms in ice hotels do not come equipped with private bathrooms; instead, communal restroom facilities are located around the hotel. No one wants to crawl out of their warm sleeping bag to walk the freezing halls at 3 in the morning!
  • Have a backup plan. Some folks can’t get enough of ice hotels; others decide they’re fans of slightly less adventurous overnights. If it’s your first time, consider booking one night at a time to gauge your affinity for wintry nights. Many ice hotels also offer more traditional (i.e. warm) lodgings nearby, so inquire about your options while booking.


  • Expect a normal hotel stay. Ice hotels are different (that’s the whole point). You’re unlikely to find standard hotel-room amenities such as TV, minibars, or any furniture beyond the bed. You will be in a room made of ice, and that’s pretty much it. Try to embrace the tranquility this affords.
  • Wear cotton clothing. Because cotton traps moisture, breaking a sweat will result in serious chills not long after. Stick to breathable fabrics like wool. Also be sure to follow any other hotel guidelines for apparel.
  • Drink a lot of alcohol. While ice bars may be tempting, consuming too much alcohol before bed promotes heat loss and can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

4 Gluten-Free Hotel Groups That Care About Your Health

Though more people are embracing the gluten-free lifestyle, it can be difficult to find hotels that cater to specific dietary needs. Luckily, a few hotel chains have rolled out gluten-free menus in all of their hotels, so travelers with gluten sensitivities can be taken care of.  Here our four gluten-free hotel groups perfect for those with special dietary needs.

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

At Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, chefs have been trained specifically to offer up a wide variety of special dietary and allergy specific meals. Fairmont now offers a new menu called Lifestyle Cuisine Plus, available upon request. Lifestyle Cuisine Plus not only offer gluten free options, but heart healthy, vegan/vegetarian, and macrobiotic meals as well. Guests may speak with the chef directly to plan their meals for the entirety of their stay. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts can be found in major cities such as Chicago, Toronto, Dallas, and Santa Monica.

Grand Hyatt/Hyatt Regency Hotels

Hyatt hotels are committed to using only the healthiest locally sourced ingredients. They design their menus to be portion controlled and while regulating fat and sodium contents (without sacrificing flavor!).  Not only that, they have gluten-free and vegan options on every menu. With 587 properties worldwide, Hyatt prides themselves on bringing hospitality and health all around the globe from New York to Chicago to Orlando.

Sandals Resort

Gluten free travelers looking for a more tropical destination will find what they need at Sandals Resort. With multiple locations all with sun and sand, relax knowing that Sandals works with guests to fit their individual dietary needs. Sandals’ Gourmet Discovery Dining culinary teams are responsible for offering gluten-free and lactose intolerant options, as well as options for guests with specific food allergies — 24 hours a day. Find Sandals resorts in Negril Beach, Montego Bay, and St. Johns.

Omni Hotels and Resorts

With over 45 Omni Hotels and Resorts nationwide, each one has been equipped with gluten-free options for even the most sensitive of travellers. Breakfast includes an assortment of gluten-free breads and muffins, and even includes protective sleeves for toasting. Even more impressive, Omni Hotels take care to keep gluten-free foods separate from non gluten-free food in order to prevent any cross contamination. While each Omni Hotel and Resort is different, the gluten-free options are always available. Omni Hotels and Resorts can be found in major cities such as Atlanta, San Diego, Houston, and Boston.


For easy streaming, use Chromecast when staying at your next hotel.

Hotel Entertainment Thanks to Google

One of the hidden costs of travel is getting charged for watching on-demand movies in your hotel room. Now, thanks to Google’s Chromecast dongle, you can stream your own entertainment to your hotel television.

What is Chromecast?

Chromecast is a thumb-drive sized device that plugs into the HDMI port on your television. You can use the device with Android and Apple mobile devices, and with Mac and Windows laptops. It allows for wireless streaming of whatever is on your device to a bigger TV screen.

Even when you aren’t watching your favorite movie, you can use Chromecast to display artwork or personal photos on your TV screen, transforming it from a big empty space into a fluid, morphing canvas.

Get a Portable Router

Before you spend money on a Chromecast, remember that there is one caveat: Chromecast requires Wi-Fi access for set up and use. It will only work on networks that allow device-to-device communication. Some hotel networks may prevent you from setting up your Chromecast device properly. The solution is a portable router that you can use in hotels from New York to London.

A great post on howtogeek.com explains how you can connect your Chromecast using a travel router that you plug into one of the hotel’s Ethernet jacks. In practical terms, this means you’ll need more than just a device that fits in your pocket. You’ll also need an Ethernet cable and a travel router.

Choose Your Own Entertainment

When Chromecast was first released in 2013, there were only a few apps available. Today, there are dozens of apps to facilitate streaming movies, television shows and music from the small screen to the big screen. From Netflix and HBO to ESPN and Pandora, you can program your own entertainment.

One nifty feature for Android phone users is the ability to share Chromecast using “guest mode.” With guest mode, you can let your friend cast from their Android device via your Chromecast – without having to connect to your Wi-Fi network.

Similar devices have been released in recent years, including Roku’s Streaming Stick, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and the Vudu Spark. However, Chromecast remains the smallest and most versatile device for streaming whatever you want from your small screen to the hotel’s big screen.

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