Five Hidden or Forgotten Costs Newlyweds May Surprisingly Encounter

You’re booked in a hotel with your about-to-be spouse and both of you couldn’t be more excited at the fact that you’re about to be bonded forever witnessed by a large group of people. However, don’t let the excitement get to your head. If you think you’ve stuck with your budget good enough, you might need to crunch a few numbers to sleep soundly tonight.

I’m sorry, maybe I’ve broken your peace after reading this, but if you don’t resolve these five hidden problems, you might definitely get into a lot of trouble later on.

1. Bachelorette Party

Before you get married, you’ll be spending the last days of your singlehood with your boys or girls. You’ll be going through lots of cash for this.

Beach vacations could cost around $1,500 to $2,000, a bit more if it’s a packaged deal. For an all-nighter drinking fest or going out into other venues, you might spend around $800-$1000 if it was your treat.

It is during these times, according to my newly-wedded friend, that she and her husband had forgotten that they had incurred additional expenses from these parties. And mind you, these parties aren’t getting any smaller at all.

2. Marriage License

Now this is just a small amount on your purse. For some states, the cost of a marriage license is just around $20 to $100. Sometimes, you’ll also have to pay for the filing process.

I’ve encountered one couple during my business trips worrying about how they’ll have to get their marriage license with two flights to Alaska. That is another added expense on top of the $100 charged for the officiation of their wedding.

3. Beauty Treatments

Any bride had already taken care of this since day one of their wedding. They’ve already got a make-up artist and designer in mind. They’ve accounted for the fees of these individuals and all is set in the budget, right?

Wrong. Women can’t just have a single session for their professional hair and make-up. Pre-treatment costs during the wedding night could add up to your budget. It could also mean multiple retouches in a single day. The products used by your make-up artist could be charged against you too, which is another expensive factor in your wedding.

4. Meals

You’ll have bridesmaids accompany and aid your wife every step of the way. It’s important to feed them and provide them the necessities they need as they stay with you the night before and after.

These small meals might seem ignorable, but they could add up and the costs could be really high. So don’t miss this part.

5. Hotel Costs

Some hotels famous for weddings will charge a bit higher for their services. Granted, you have already considered this in the budget. However, special amenities, which might include an additional light, props, service, programs or any equipment, will also bite into your budget. These could be a single, or even a multiple instance of an incident.

Bonus: Presents

You’ll need to give out souvenirs, and it’s not really cheap to give out souvenirs even if they really look like they were just made from paper or just simple small glass. Take these into consideration, and estimate the number of people attending your wedding.

Three Luxury Hotels Worth Your Money In Qatar

Qatar is a land of extremes, based on my travels. I’ve been there for at least three times in my entire life. Qatar’s environment is very inviting, natural and dry. But its urban heart helps you relieve yourself of the very stringent weather and environment the country has.

Meanwhile, during my stays, I’ve found three of the best luxury hotels in the area.

Banana Island Resort

One time, I was assigned to walk-in some of our clients to Qatar’s very lovely interiors. I was about to do a selling pitch for my client, who couldn’t make it. He had appointed me as a ghost secretary and I had all the information I need to make his presentation work for him.

I chose the Banana Island Resort. He told me to get a function room and get a room for myself.

Now if you’d ask me about how you’d make a table of five investors say yes to a new business proposal, it is this place. I walked them around the amenities. They couldn’t believe an oasis of this magnitude actually existed in the middle of the desert. I also couldn’t believe it myself.

I had them picked up via limousine and escorted towards one of the function rooms for our meeting. They were pretty pleased and calm entering the room, which made my job easier.

As for the rooms, the Seaview Room is amazing. You also have a free breakfast that includes the specialties Qatar has. Simply perfect.

Intercontinental Doha

Intercontinental Hotels are a businessman’s trusted chain of hotels to provide quality service. I, for one, know that. Many of my clients had sent me to different places. However, Intercontinental Doha was different.

The Intercontinental there has a mix of luxury and heritage. Their function rooms were amazing. I made my sales pitch on behalf of another client for this trip. The rooms had their own screen projectors, and even their own Apple computers for situations like these. You might say I was just lucky if you didn’t find some Apple computers in their function rooms, but my presentation went smoothly.

Meanwhile, Intercontinental Doha has six restaurants and bars that serve different kinds of cuisines, including Italian, Middle Eastern, Mexican and Seafood.
So you would have guessed I had a lot of fun. As for their rooms, it is of the same quality as any Intercontinental hotel worldwide. Only the finest linens, curtains, beds and floor carpeting you’ll ever see.

The Ritz Carlton Sharq Village and Spa

Now, for this little gig, I wasn’t really going for a business presentation. This was a personal gig offered to me by a friend who runs websites. She wanted me to do an in-depth review of The Ritz Carlton in Sharq Village.

This hotel is actually one that would remind you of the estates of millionaires during the boom of the 1920s. It’s full of sinful and beautiful excesses. Pine trees all around, sunny beaches just around the corner, large and open rooms for enjoying your food and drink.

The rooms were astounding. No, I’m not picking this writing up from my review for a friend. One restaurant had a chandelier.

If you’re familiar with modern Middle Eastern interior design, you might find this Ritz Carlton something that came out of Disney’s Aladdin. The rooms have that signature look and feel.

Food For Thought – The Biggest Downside Of Living in a Hotel

For people, being in a hotel can be a mode of living. They could be in another city or town for business or even for travel. Some have extended their stay because of these purposes and so, they are left in hotel rooms and such.

This may seem like a fantastic experience but you have to remember that hotels can vary in quality and services. Your money and financial standing must be taken into consideration too.

Nevertheless, the first few days can still be relaxed and all because it is still the arrival and unpacking time. Most likely, you will be served with free breakfast. Room service is available at all times as well.

But this lifestyle can’t be practiced every day. There will be moments when you will get tired of the hotel food or eating out will be a chore. Sometimes, you just want to stay in your room and relax there. Then again, food is important and hunger must be satisfied.

This then proves a downside to hotel living. You do not have the option to cook and whip up a dish or a simple snack you like. Buying can be an option but perhaps it is a meal that is not available on sale locally or you just do not want to go out.

Some hotels have rooms that include kitchenettes but if yours have not or that particular hotel does not offer them, then that can really be too bad. More so to those that really enjoy culinary activities. Bringing your own appliances is not even an alternative. Adding those to your luggage can be hard. The weight itself is disadvantageous.

To have a proper one like those kitchens in Essex would be nice but once more, your monetary ability will matter. If you can afford to get a hotel room with all amenities, then good for you. But if not, well, maybe you have no other choice but to stick with the food that the hotel serves or go out and look for anything that tastes good and fits your budget.

Even so, this just becomes a tiring situation but if there is no other option, like you are a salesman who needs to conduct business in that location, the best you can really do is stick with it and sacrifice your preference and comfort. There is nothing left for you but to adhere and agree to your situation, so you must do that and live with it.

You can look at the brighter side and just take this an opportunity to tour around the place. Go on a food trip and explore the palate of the locals. Make it an adventure for your tongue and tummy. Substitute the drawback to a non-liability.

Hence, if you are planning to travel and stay in a hotel, you better look for hotels and inquire if they have kitchenettes. If you really want to have the freedom to cook your own meals, then do this for you to have no regrets.

It is REALLY Frustrating When Hotels Have No Window Blinds…

Traveling is considered a luxury since before and now. Whether going to a local area or a foreign country, it is a pursuit that definitely needs a lot of time for planning and money for spending. Usually, itineraries and schedules are arranged for a smooth trip.

So, the day arrives that you are to set off for your outing. You are busy touring the place and enjoying the sights and activities. It is basically fun, fun, and more fun! Sharing the experience with family and/or friends makes it even more worthwhile.

But as the night comes, you are dead tired and want to rest in the comforts of your hotel room, right? You just want to relax and take it easy for another travel day for the next day. So you are there, cleaning yourself up and then climbing up the bed. You are about to sleep but from the window, beams from light sources outside enter in and distract you.

Why, indeed, don’t hotel rooms have window blinds?

Window blinds are definitely important in any home and even hotels. They give privacy that is needed by its occupants and they block and shade the room from unwanted light from the sun (especially in the morning) and other sources. With the use of these, guests can have a good and restful sleep.

Nevertheless, some hotels have not utilized such amenities and have not provided them for their customers, which is certainly such a shame. The place for retreat has become one that the public eye can just see and that is not good news at all. Safety is not promoted but instead, threat and endangerment.

Hotel companies should not hesitate to spend a hefty sum on these window treatments so that they can protect their inhabitants. And blinds can make the rooms more attractive than they already are and these can add to their overall value. Yes, window blinds are about functionality and style, all in one. They can be assets.

For travelers, when you search for hotels to stay in, make sure there are window blinds in the room you pay for. They can effectively help and ease you in your resting time. With them, you are safe and given no disturbance.

There are free resources on buying blinds. A few online shops give out free samples that you can try and see if the window blinds match your preference and interest. Take advantage of these offers so that you can study on them as well.

Or you can visit a local shop. These decorations are common and are readily available to purchase. Stores have blinds with a variety of kinds, colors, textures, and designs. You too can inquire for advice or ask for some know-how.

Bottom line is, when you travel and pay for facilities, make sure that every penny you give is worth its value. In this case with window blinds, without them in your hotel accommodation, it can be tough and troublesome. So, from the start, be smart so you won’t be frustrated in the end.

Ways to Comfort a Crying Baby when in a Hotel

baby cryingWhen you travel with your infant and checks in a hotel, what are the problems that you usually encounter? When you hear the baby cry, what is your initial reaction? Do you turn and see what he wants or do you continue doing what you are doing thinking you would spoil him? Babies usually react to a change in environment. They sometimes have difficulty adjusting from home to a new place, like a hotel or cottage.

All babies cry sometimes. This is their only way to signal that they are hungry, uncomfortable, lonely or unhappy for some other reason. Since few sounds are as distressing as a baby’s cry, parents usually rush to feed or pick up a crying infant, especially when they are traveling or checked into a hotel. A hotel vacation may not work well for babies that they may seem fussier. As babies quiet down and either fall asleep or gaze about in alert contentment, they may show that their problem has been solved.

At other times, though, communication is not so clear, and the caregiver or the baby sitter cannot figure out what the baby wants. The baby keeps on crying and this can be frustrating for you and other hotel guests that are checked in near your room. Though most hotels will have sound proof walls, it would be distressing to have to stay in a hotel while the baby cries all night. It is worth trying to find ways to help.

By the end of the first year, babies who receive tender, soothing care cry less and communicate more in other ways, while the babies of punitive or ignoring baby sitters or parents cry more.

Parents do not have to be afraid of spoiling their babies by going to them when they cry. Infants cannot be spoiled by being picked up and held. The holding itself may be what they are crying for, especially when they are in a different environment. Other than illness, healthy babies cry when they are with strangers and strange environment. Some of the measures below often prove helpful:

  1. Hold the baby, maybe laying the baby on his stomach on your chest, to feel your heart beat and breathing. Or sit with the baby in a comfortable rocking chair. If there is no rocking chair that the hotel management can provide, you can prop up the pillows or stand and rock the baby side by side.
  2. Put the baby in a carrier next to your chest and walk around the hotel grounds. The different lights will catch his attention and will stop him from crying. Sometimes, hotel decorations are enough visual stimuli for babies to get distracted from crying.
  3. Make the baby warmer or cooler depending on his need. Put on additional clothing when the temperature is cold or take off clothing when the temperature is humid. If you are inside your hotel room, change the room temperature to suit the baby’s need. If this is not possible, call for room service or inquire on how the room temperature can be changed for baby’s comfort.
  4. Put on some of the nice clothes he received and let him see the colorful prints on them. Bring out some baby toys and play with him for a while. If the baby can crawl, let him crawl on the carpeted part of the hotel room. However, make sure that you oversee where he goes to avoid accidents or injuries.
  5. Ask the hotel service if you can change to a room that has baby furniture and equipment that you can use. If not, check into a hotel room that has lesser chances for the child to bump into and hurting himself.
  6. If you are upset, ask someone else to hold the baby. Infants sometimes respond to their parents’ or care giver’s mood.
  7. Wrap the baby snugly in a small blanket. Some infants feel more secure when firmly swaddled from neck to toes with arms held close to the sides.
  8. Give the baby a massage or a warm bath.
  9. Sing or talk to the baby or provide a continuous rhythmic sound, like music from the radio, a simulated heart beat or background noise from a whirring fan or toys.
  10. Take the baby out of the hotel room – for a ride in a stroller or car seat – at any hour of the day or night. If the weather is not good, you can try walking around the hotel lobby to get the baby distracted by the people coming in and out of the hotel.
  11. If someone other than a parent is taking care of the baby, it sometimes helps if the care giver or baby sitter puts on a robe or a sweater that the mother has recently worn, so that the baby can sense the familiar smell.

Babies behave uniquely right from birth. It is up to the people surrounding him to determine what irritates him, what he most like in order to achieve comfort and ease both for parents or caregiver during travel and hotel accommodations.

Beautiful Gardens in Hotels around the World

Bodysgallen Hall and SpaDo you enjoy staying at hotels as much as traveling? Aside from the great accommodations, the hotel offers great outdoors. Some of the best hotels maintain a beautiful garden that is a sight to behold. Here are those hotels that offer great accommodation experience as well as beautiful gardens.

Bodysgallen Hall and Spa.  This hotel is located in Conwy county borough, north Wales. It is composed of 200 acres of land and features both formal and wild landscaping. This great accommodation was formerly a 17th century tower house during the Middle Ages. It served to support the defense of the nearby Conwy Castle. The garden was originally designed by the son of the estate’s primary owner, Hugh Wynn. The garden’s design is of Dutch-themed landscape that consisted of sunken and high walled gardens. This style was the trend during the early 17th century in Scotland, England and Wales. The garden now consists of a low growing topiary maze and owned by the National Trust since 2008.

Hotel Bel-Air. This hotel belongs to the Dorchester Collection of hotels that is operated and owned by the Brunei Investment Agency. The hotel was originally built as an office space and riding stables. It was then bought by Texan entrepreneur, Joseph Drown with his partner Ted Chanock in 1946. The landscape designers added a Swan Lake as instructed by Drown, where guests have to cross it via a footbridge to get to the hotel. Staying at this hotel is like staying in an oasis because of its continuously blooming flowers, fig, palm and fiscus.

Villa d’Este. One of thebest examplesof Italian Renaissance gardens, this hotel is located in Tivoli, near Rome, Italy. The technique of hydraulic engineering system of this hotel is what makes it a fine work of art with its sequence of fountains. The garden features about 500 jets in the form of fountains, pools and water troughs. Traversing the stairs of the hotel will offer guests a view of the elaborate fountain systems where at some point the guests can walk behind the water cascade.

Mirbeau Inn and Spa. The inn and spa is located in Massachusetts, USA.  It belongs to a group of residential and commercial development in the Pine Hills region of Plymouth. The location itself features a diverse array of home architecture – cottage homes, townhomes and luxury apartment rentals. Massage enthusiasts will be drawn to the peaceful ambience of the inn with its Monet-inspired pong gardens surrounding the inn.

Powerscourt House and Gardens. A large country estate located in Ireland that is noted for its house and 47 acres of landscaped gardens. The house was originally a 13th century castle, modified by Richard Cassels, a German architect in the 18th century. The estate is a popular tourist attraction with its golf course, Autograph collection hotel, Japanese garden and the oldest woolen mill and restaurant, the Avoca Handweavers restaurant. The estate is presently owned by Slazenger family, owners and founders of Slazenger sporting goods.

These hotels and estate gardens are just some of the many hotels that offer historical landscaped gardens all over the world.

Benefits of Staying in a Hotel

hotel roomTo travel is one of the most pleasurable ways to learn and meet people. It is also one of the best means to integrate leisure with work. One of the most challenging parts of the travel is looking for a place to stay. True, you can save more money when you opt to stay at a friend or relative’s house. However, there are quite a few advantages of staying in a hotel than in a relative’s place as follows:

Independence. When you stay at a friend or a relative’s house, you need to express your gratitude and courtesy for the accommodation extended to you by complimenting them on their cooking as well as spending time with them. This may not be the ideal option for you if you are the type of person who likes to sleep all day or do anything that you would virtually desire. You may want to see places and go out with friends but since you are staying at their place, it is courtesy to be at home before dinner starts. Moreover, you should be satisfied with the type of accommodation they give you, whether it’s a great bed or otherwise.

Security. Staying in a hotel means you don’t have to worry about anyone slipping into your room while you are sleeping or away to visit a nice museum in town. Hotels are usually equipped with real time monitor cameras that it would be easy to spot anyone who may come into your room without official business.

Hotel amenities. Hotels do not just offer a bed and breakfast sort of package. They also have indoor pools, internet connection, dry cleaning and other services that you may need in order to be comfortable. If you feel like you don’t want to spend the day visiting old museums and historical places, you can always spend time relaxing by swimming or watching your favorite show right in the comforts of your own room.

More food choices. One of the perks of staying at a hotel is fine dining. You get to choose your own food from a wide array of choices. You don’t have to compliment or bear a great friend’s terrible cooking just to be courteous. Order away and enjoy a good meal.

Spectacular view from your bedroom window. Depending on the type of hotel and floor you stay, you get to enjoy a spectacular view both during day and night time. You can always roll down the shade with my local perfect fits of window blinds of hotels should the light be too much for you.

Strained relationships. Whether you are attending a wedding or a family reunion, you can avoid the awkward conversations with people you don’t like a lot. You can prevent heated discussions or the uncomfortable feeling of sleeping in one room with people you have had misunderstandings by opting to stay in a hotel.

Regardless of your reason for travel, it is always a joy to stay at your favorite hotel. You just have to spend time in browsing the web for the best deals and you’ll surely find something that will fit your budget.

Hotel Living and Why I Do It

I am a long-term hotel-dweller. My job demands  that I stay in a certain place for 6 months or more. Before I travel to a certain city I find a hotel that suits my needs. Believe me, there are hotels that offer long term dwelling. it is like  a short term lease on an apartment, but not really. All right, what are the good things that come in hotel living? Many people think that hotels are too expensive because they compute the per night stay. I find it funny too, when they stay in a hotel and fail to enjoy the amenities for fear of being charged too much. It does not have to be that way!

So let me answer why first. It’s cheaper than signing a short term lease. Calculate a monthly stay as compared to living in an apartment where the contract stipulates at least a year’s stay. In hotel living, you can leave any time you want. Furthermore, being a consultant definitely comes with per diem expenses or simply expenses.  When a company hires you, this kind of expenses are understood by them and they are willing to pay up to 75% of your monthly expenses including accommodations. I make sure this is agreed with my hiring company before I settle in their city.

 Actually, many people are known to have stayed in hotels. This would erase that notion that hotels are merely for a few days stay. Do you know that those who have engaged in hotel living ranged from the wealthiest to the poorest. For example, artists of many kinds have formed this unique community in Chelsea Hotel and they call it the “The last Outpost of Bohemia”. Johnny Depp lived in Chateau Marmont for 4 years. Keanu Reeves lived at the Chateau Marmont (Los Angeles) for 14 years! And many more to mention. Of course, you can surmise, I gave these two as my examples because they’re my favorites. Might as well.

So what are the advantages? There are plenty. Besides being able to leave anytime, you can and may request for a room with a kitchen. Therefore, you can cook or microwave your meals – definitely cheaper! Hotels are located downtown, and most probably near your corporation so being stuck in traffic is avoided and walking to work can be beneficial. Many hotels also offer free coffee and breakfast. So there.

Plan!Don’t start living in a hotel unless you’ve made sure you can afford it. Hotel living is the same as leasing an apartment or a transient house but the thing is, hotel living gives you a perspective specially that you won’t stay for so long in that city.