Online Travel Guides Having a Heyday

As Online Travel has caught the fancy of the internet savvy travelers the online travel market is booming. No wonder that the online Travel is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide. India is also not left behind in this race as according to industry Pundits, Online Travel Market in India would be worth around US $ 6 Billion.

As a logical extension to such buoyancy, Travel Guides have shown a steady rising to move online and in the process fulfilling the needs of the niche readers. Both traditional print brands as well as purely cyber entities are slogging it out to grab the attention of this niche segment. The publishers of print brands after their initial reluctance have also started embracing the web and publish all their content online.
Travel Guides

Let’s take a look at what the Travel Guides offer. Travel guides have become a necessary tool for anyone who is thinking of vacation. A Travel Guide is full of helpful advice, precise information, good ideas etc besides being well-written, well laid out as well as well indexed.

These City centric guides provide information on all aspects of travel. You can get good information on How to Reach, Attractions, Excursions, festivals, History along with the various kinds of accommodations available like lodges, hotels, resorts and the bed-and-breakfasts. Convenient maps make it easy for the newcomers to exactly pinpoint any destination.

An ideal Travel guide should also briefly outline the recreational activities coupled with more mundane activities of life that can be done in a particular city. Another important aspect that is generally missed out is the public transport of the cities where a traveler lands up. A genuine Travel Guide is also supposed to give precise information of the state of public transport highlighting bus routes, Cabs and Auto fares.

Another important aspect of a City Guide is to have a semblance of balanced information. This is important because travel can be both for as well as business.

Pros and cons of Online Travel Guides

More and more people are into researching the internet as a result the Online Travel Guides have become quite popular as compared to their print counterparts. However both the two brands have their own set of advantages and limitations.

Online Destination Guides are successful in tapping user-generated reviews and provide the added advantage of E- Commerce options. So surf the web pages of the guide and book flights, hotels and other arrangements at one go directly through the site. Another great feature of the Online Guides is that there is ample scope for value addition. For example Indian railway has planned a new train to connect Amritsar to Kasargod. This information can be easily updated in the Guide for the travelers to see.

As Hotels and rental agencies change their rates according to season and local competition, online travel guides also offer a dynamic lot of packages based on such variances. However coming to the flip side of it is very difficult to find Online Travel guides bereft of commercial influences. It is not uncommon to see many sites that are setup to merely attract the potential customers to a particular establishment, or sites giving reviews by travelers may not be wholly independent.

To conclude Online Travel Guides have become a very good way to gather information about smaller cities of India that has an immense tourism potential but often neglected. For example the whole of North east, Northern Kerala neglected as a tourist spot over the years have seen good tourist influx thanks to the ubiquitous travel guides.

What Are Five of The Best Hotels in Abu Dhabi?

A thriving metropolis located on a small island just off the southern coast of the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is one of the new centers of international business. One century ago, this great city was a mere fishing village whose residents relied upon the sea for their sustenance. Today, it relies upon its vast reserves of petroleum and the great riches that have come along with them.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates is now one of the richest cities in the world, and its great wealth is reflected in its wide variety of comfortable and lush hotels. It may, in fact, be difficult for the traveler unfamiliar with this city to find affordable lodging because of the city’s emphasis on luxury. As Abu Dhabi has opened up to western tourism, however, relatively inexpensive hotels with excellent service have begun to appear around the city. Here are just a few of the best hotels Abu Dhabi has to offer.

1) Cristal Salam Hotel

Travelers who are on a budget might be nervous about booking a room in the famously expensive city. However, there are relatively cheap options, and the best of these is the Cristal Salam Hotel. Located in the bustling eastern neighborhood of Madinat Zayed, a mere ten-minute drive from the center of the city, the Cristal Salam offers travelers top-rated service, excellent rooms, and a central location.

Rates for a room at the Cristal Salam Hotel start at around $60 per night. Few other hotels in Abu Dhabi feature similarly low rates, and none of those hotels offer the same kind of service as does the Cristal Salam. For these reasons, the Cristal Salam Hotel is very popular with tourists, so be sure to book early to ensure inexpensive lodging in the city.

2) Beach Rotana

Another hotel on the eastern end of Abu Dhabi, the Beach Rotana is a great choice for travelers who want the convenience of easy access to the beach without having to leave their hotel. The Beach Rotana offers both great service and direct access to the beach, which also includes beachside bars and pools. Popular restaurants at the Rotana include Indigo, a “modern Indian” restaurant; Trader Vic’s, a French Polynesian restaurant; and the internationally known Japanese steakhouse chain Benihana.

Rooms at the Rotana let out for about $100 per night and up, but special deals are frequently available. Even at the regular rate, however, a room at the Rotana is more than worth it – visitors have easy access to both the beach and Abu Dhabi Mall, a massive retail center in the eastern Madinat Zayed district of the city. Lovers of suntanning, swimming, and shopping can’t ask for anything more out of a hotel.

3) Hilton Abu Dhabi

For those tourists who want to stick with the tried and true, the Hilton Abu Dhabi might be the best choice available. The Hilton features excellent service, well-maintained and luxurious rooms, a beautiful view of the wealthy west end of the city, and great restaurants and bars. Travelers staying at the Hilton shouldn’t miss out on Hemingway’s, a restaurant and bar featuring a Middle Eastern take on Tex-Mex cuisine and live music. Attached to Hemingway’s is the Jazz Bar & Club, a popular meeting place for tourists and resident expatriates alike.

The Hilton is located on the southwestern end of Abu Dhabi Island, about fifteen minutes away from the city center by car. Rates for a room at the Hilton are fairly reasonable, beginning at around $120 per night.

4) Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Etihad Towers is a massive office, residence, and hotel complex in the west of Abu Dhabi. Developed by royal family member Sheikh Suroor Bin Mohammad Al-Nahyan and built by Australian architectural firm DBI Design, these five giant towers loom over Abu Dhabi, dwarfed only by the 74-story Sky Tower located on the other end of the city. Etihad Towers offers more than simple height, however – it also contains the Jumeirah, a top-rated five star hotel. The Jumeirah occupies one of the five towers and features luxurious rooms, excellent dining, and the best views to be had anywhere in Abu Dhabi. Visitors staying in Abu Dhabi for business purposes can take advantage of one of the thirteen meeting rooms available in the Jumeirah’s conference center. The hotel’s restaurant fare, which includes Lebanese, Japanese, and everything in between, stands up to the best food this city has to offer.

Naturally, the Jumeirah’s luxury comes at a price. Rooms at the Jumeirah start at $200 per night. However, if you can afford the stay, the cost is well worth it, if only for the amazing view.

5) Emirates Palace

The undisputed champion in the fields of luxury and pure, unabashed decadence – this title is won handily by Emirates Palace, a hotel in the western Al-Ras Al-Akhdar district of Abu Dhabi. To simply call Emirates Palace a “hotel” is not doing it justice, however. This 85-hectare complex features stunning gardens and plazas. The hotel building itself truly is a palace – the interiors of its vast lobby and halls are decorated in gold, and the exterior gives off a Middle Eastern fairy tale feel, as though the entire structure had been pulled right out of the One Thousand and One Nights.

Some of the Palace’s astounding features include a beautifully-maintained 1.3 kilometer stretch of private beach, forty conference rooms for visitors in Abu Dhabi on business, and a wide variety of international cuisine. Etoiles Bar and Havana Bar are popular get-together spots for expatriates who don’t mind dropping 30 dirhams ($8) on a beer, and the lobby itself features a cafe service for both guests and non-guest visitors. One of the cafe’s most popular items is the 24-karat gold-topped cappuccino, which is a normal cappuccino sprinkled with real gold dust.

Emirates Palace is, hands down, the most expensive hotel in Abu Dhabi, with rooms starting at $400 per night and quickly rising to $2,000 for the deluxe suites. Fortunately for those travelers who want a taste of extreme luxury at the Palace but can’t afford a room, the hotel’s lobby and restaurants are open to the public. Indeed, Emirates Palace is one of the top tourist destinations in the city, and for good reason. Nowhere is the sheer wealth of Abu Dhabi more overtly displayed than at this incredibly luxurious hotel.

Eco Friendly Hotels and Guests

As a human beings that occupy planet earth we need to take care of her. When we are passionate about any topic we like to go “gung ho” in the beginning, but as soon as it gets old we often forget about what we were so passionate about. This is how I feel about hotel guests that for example: open room windows and leave the air conditioning on or deliberately thwart a hotels good efforts to disable the power to a room when the guest leaves the room by sticking a credit card slot or anything else into the slot to keep the power on the room while they are gone. Most of these people would jump at the opportunity to conserve energy in their homes. We now have an Eco friendly “green” movement underway and we need Eco friendly hotels and guests.

Let me show you how you can become an Eco friendly guest.

As a guest, you can:

1. Patronize hotels that reuse towels and garden with drought resistant plants

2. Require a reduced emission vehicle to shuttle to and from the airport

3. Make sure to shut off the lights and TV when leaving your room

4.Be sure not to throw away towels and ask room service to recycle all trash they find in your room.

Hotel chains and other travel based companies are starting to catch on to the green initiative. Companies such as Expedia have so called “carbon offsets” which are offered as optional purchases to customers who purchase travel packages from them. Such programs are designed to help counter carbon-dioxide emissions that travel generates. This Eco friendly trend is spreading through the lodging industry.

Our planet needs Eco friendly hotels and guests. A responsible guest will make sure the hotel they are staying at recycles water and waste and use solar heat in a combination with other conservation measures.

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