Beverly Hills Inn in Atlanta, Georgia's Buckhead neighborhood
Boo! Yes, it’s that time of year again, when some of us love to try and scare ourselves. If you’re in the mood to be a little spooked, check in to Atlanta, Georgia’s reportedly haunted Beverly Hills Inn in Buckhead. The hotel has been a bed and breakfast since 1982, but the property’s been in existence since 1929. That’s 82 years of history – plenty of time for some poor departed souls to figure out they’d rather stick around and have some with current guests.
If you go, call ahead and ask for “the haunted room” on the third floor. The front desk will know precisely which room you mean. If you can’t score this room, though, not to worry; there is reportedly a lot of paranormal activity in the hallways and in some other rooms, as well.
If you’re looking for a modern, fancy place, this bed and breakfast may not be for you. If, however, you’d like an older, more charming hotel with lots of character (and a dash of spookiness added in), you’ve found your spot to explore Atlanta from. You’ll be located about a 20 minute drive from down Atlanta and the hotel is close to many Atlanta-area attractions including The Swan House, the Atlanta History Center and the posh Lenox Square Mall.
Do yourself a favor this Halloween season and check in to this cute hotel. Just don’t complain if an extra guest ends up checking in to your own room. Don’t be scared, now…
Photo: Mirror Images by Rina
Santa Croce in Florence, Italy
Budget Travel recently alerted its readers to a new hotel tax in Italy – not for every city, but for some of the major ones. Like many countries around the world, Italy is feeling the economic pinch and is weathering these rough economic times by passing the buck onto tourists. What this means for travelers to Italy is that, in some cities, they can expect to pay between $1-$4 more per person per night than they paid last year at the same time. The majority of cities imposing these new taxes began charging them this spring and summer, but a couple, namely the Sorrento Coast and Capri, will not begin charging them until early next year.
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Would you forgo housekeeping in a hotel to save money?
I recently came across this article from The New York Times, and it got me to thinking. How far am I willing to go to save money on a hotel stay? Part of me says that if I am constantly thinking about how I can save money on a hotel stay, then perhaps I shouldn’t be staying in a hotel at all. But another part of me, the “I love a good deal” part, is willing to do a lot of things to save money on a hotel stay. Maybe even make my own bed (gasp!) Interestingly, this “make your own bed” deal is not advertised on the Marmara’s website (from what I can tell, at least), so perhaps it is no longer available. Or perhaps this is something that they advertise only in the rooms like most hotels do about saving water with towels. In my opinion, this is the sort of thing that should not be kept a secret – advertising this option would snag more customers, including myself.
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Imagine traveling on a cruise ship and not having to worry about how many drinks you enjoy.
I read this article from Budget Travel today, and it piqued my interest because the last time we went out a cruise, we couldn’t decide if we should try to sneak on some booze or just pay for the drinks on the ship. We made our final decision when we realized that drinks on the ship were at least $5-$8 each, times two for the both of us, which amounted to about $70 a day in drinks or over $350 for our 5-day cruise. I based this estimate on us having five $7 drinks per day per person, which is not a lot on a cruise. Can you guess which option we went with?
Now, though, it appears as though cruise lines are offering more of an all-inclusive option. Royal Caribbean is the first out of the gate to offer such an alcohol-included package that costs about $310 per person for a week-long cruise. That’s about $45 in drinks a day, assuming the average price of a drink is $7. Not terrible, but still — $620 per couple is a lot of money to spend on alcohol! Maybe it’s just sticker shock; we would have spent over $500 for the both of us in drinks if our cruise had been 7 days, and it wouldn’t have even been unlimited.
I’m sure this type of all-inclusive alcohol program will sell very well, because when most people are on vacation, they do not want to worry about how much they’re paying for things or about keeping track of drinks per day to stay within their budget. Cruises are huge, floating hotels, and anything the cruise ship can do to make the vacation easier for passengers is usually welcome. What would really be cool is if cruise ships allowed people to pay for these packages over many months, so that you’re not hit with one huge bill as you leave the ship. “Thanks for coming, here’s your $600 bill!” Yikes.
Perhaps it is time to retire the sneakiness. Perhaps.