Forget Free WiFi. Here’s What I REALLY Want In A Hotel

The Liberty Hotel @The Open Suitcase LLC

The Liberty Hotel in Boston was a prison. The cellblocks overlook the lobby that transforms into a dance club on the weekends. “Jailhouse Rock” anyone?

What defines a great hotel? A billion-dollar location certainly. Would the Plaza Hotel be the Plaza if it wasn’t sitting at the entrance to Central Park? Spectacular rooms? Of course. I’ll take a 4-poster bed with sumptuous pillows and a Juliet balcony at The Gritti Palace in Venice any day.

But I think the hotel industry has forgotten the one feature that can easily take a hotel from good to GREAT. And it’s not free WiFi, heavenly beds, or fragrance butlers. When renovating or building hotels, I’m suggesting that the Marriotts, Hiltons, and Hyatts of the world ignore the rooms, forget modern amenities and bring back a feature of legendary historic hotels: the killer lobby. Continue reading

Too Old To Rock And Roll? A Music Fest Survival Guide For The Woodstock Generation

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Give Bill Murray credit. Not only did he arrive on the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live riding a horse, wearing a dress, purse, and cowboy boots but he confessed to alternating liquor with water and seeking a gentle mosh pit at South by Southwest.

So was I, Bill. So was I. Continue reading

“Without Valentine’s Day, February would be… well, January.”

Thank you, Jim Gaffigan, for the pragmatic synopsis.

LOVE statue in PhiladelphiaThe herd is agitated. Our annual holiday for florists approacheth. There are sure to be a few happy engagements on the 14th, but they’ll be dramatically outnumbered by bad restaurant prix-fixes, droopy roses and Whitman’s Samplers, the Walgreen’s standby for procrastinators.

Shun the madness. Use a bit of creativity this Valentine’s Day. You don’t need to shell out a ton of moolah but you do have to think – just a bit – about your significant other. Here are a few ideas to engage your imagination. Continue reading

Keystone Travel Habits

The next non-fiction book on my list is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. From the blurbs I’ve read, the author discusses the importance of certain keystone habits (like making your bed each morning) that provide a foundation for success in business and life.

This lead me to consider whether or not I’ve developed keystone travel habits. Continue reading

6 Reasons Why I Love Airports

“Almost all U.S. airports are utterly barren of things to do. The dirty little lunch counters are always choked with permanent sitters staring at their indigestible food. . . The traveler consigned to hours of tedious waiting can only clear a spot on the floor and sit on his baggage and, while oversmoking, drearily contemplate his sins.”

Airport conditions haven’t changed much since this article was published in Fortune in 1946. Except for the smoking. Now smokers are confined to those glass rooms, a human terrarium. I always feel a bit sorry for them, especially when kids stare and point, like they’re caged zoo animals. Continue reading