Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day

History of Valentine’s Day

From the site Valentines Day Indianserver I learned:

Lovers around the world can thank a Roman priest for our celebration of love on February 14.

During the mid 200’s Emperor Claudius II of Rome banned marriages or engagements due to the difficulty of enlisting soldiers in the military. Valentine, a Christian priest, secretly married couples despite the emperor’s decree. Eventually, Valentine was imprisoned and put to death on February 14, 270.

As history unfolded and the Christian Church gained more power in Rome, the priests began to eliminate pagan festivals. Lupercalia, an ancient Roman festival celebrating fertility was replaced by honoring St. Valentine’s Day.

According to Wikipedia it was a poem of Chaucer on occasion of the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia (then 13 and 14 years of age) that started the modern days attention:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese [choose] his make [mate].

Nato Top: 5 * Hotel and Town Groan under Security Measures

Nato Noorwijk Huis ter Duin
Huis ter Duin in Noorwijk changed into a fort

Today and tomorrow 27 ministers of defense meet “informally” in Noorwijk, just a couple of miles North East from The Hague.

According to the Nato site they will

discuss the way ahead for NATO’s operations and Alliance transformation.

The ministers will discuss ways to ensure that the NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo remain correctly configured and properly resourced.They will also consider NATO’s role in Afghanistan as part of the wider efforts of the international community to support the development of national security, governance and development in Afghanistan.

They will also address the continued transformation of NATO’s defense capabilities and how best to continue ensuring the availability of forces and capabilities for the Alliance’s operations and for the NATO Response Force.

In the informal meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, the 27 Ministers will address civil and military activities, as well as cooperation in Afghanistan and in the framework of NATO’s counter terrorism operation in the Mediterranean, Active Endeavor.

Nato Noorwijk Huis ter Duin 02
Photo Pim Ras

In order to make the meeting as secure as possible luxurious Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin has been fenced off from the outside world and looks like a military fort. Its premises and the complete town of Noordwijk have been declared temporary military zone. Without due form of process anybody can be searched and moved away from the area. A Dutch Marine minesweeper is anchored in front of the seashore located hotel and secures the seaside. Airplanes heading for Schiphol Amsterdam Airport have to make a detour as the area is declared a no flight zone as well and Noordwijk is just located in one of the frequently used approaches for the airport.

I am not sure the Huis ter Duin Hotelier is really very happy with this prestigious venue.

WWW: What Woman Want

WWW also stands for World Wide Web. Nevertheless, just for the fun of it and to confuse the search engines, I will tag this post with my WWW tag that I originally intended for items related to the Internet. The other posts filed under WWW have now the tag “Internet”. My spell checker keeps saying Internet is spelled with a capital “I”. I am not sure this is correct, but English is not my mother tongue.

First

My attention was drawn by a post of

Hotsheet

Kitty Bean Yansea’s noe defunct Blog Hotel Hotsheet had as motto: “Check it out before you check in” and was written for USA Today.
The post is this: Hotels: What are you most thankful for?
Kitty being female, I thought it wise to incorporate her list here, be it only to keep it as a memo for myself:

  • Free Wi-Fi.
  • Bright bedside reading lights.
  • Curved shower rods that give the illusion of more space in a standard tub or rather the walk-in, glass-door shower.
  • Free wine happy hours. Not only is it delightful to come back to a complimentary cup of cheer at the end of a long day, but it’s a chance to chat with fellow guests if you care to.
  • Pillow top mattresses. We’re getting so spoiled in the USA that it’s harder to stay in non-luxury hotels elsewhere, where I’ve found mattresses to be harder or saggier.
  • Hotel housekeepers earning better pay. They deserve it, especially considering the extra lifting and pillow-casing they do with those heavenly new beds.
  • Most of all, I’m thankful for a cheery face and a compassionate welcome when I arrive at a hotel jet-lagged, work-worn or frazzled by trying to find it. A kind and caring staff is the No. 1 hotel amenity as far as I’m concerned.

Then

My attention was drawn to

Jim Butler

The Hotel Law Blog of Jim Butler, who is a partner of a Los Angeles law firm that “does a couple of billion dollar deals (mostly hotels cum condominiums) on an annual basis”, and who gives some interesting observations in his postWhat Woman Really Want post on his Hotel Law Blog after reminding us that the US counts three (only three?) very influential Ladies: Condoleeza Rice, Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, he stresses:

Women are making:
85% of all consumer decisions! and
70% of all travel decisions!

His list goes as follows:

  1. Security  Women value extra measures that ensure their safety and security;
  2. Cleanliness  Women care more than men about cleanliness;
  3. Transportation  Women want complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport, and to areas other than the airport;
  4. Simplification Women care more about express check-in and checkout, and are more interested than men in an interactive system through the guest room television set that provides information about local events
  5. Business Services  Women want the same business services that men want, but more women want service enabling them to send and receive faxes from their laptops;
  6. Creature facilities  Women want full-length mirrors, make up mirrors and hair dryers; they want spa services and more diversity of restaurants on the premises;
  7. Ambiance  Women value the ambiance of small boutique hotels, as well as distinctive hotel decor;
  8. Perks Frequent guest points are more important than frequent flyer miles—women want to be rewarded for their loyalty

Jim continues with a couple of very good suggestion: Woman want to be asked what they want and they want to be listened to! Well, as Jim continues, Isn’t that what man like also?

Thirdly,

Sean Dodson writes for the Guardian. His column Best of the net: Pod Hotels demonstrates a remarkable similarity between him finding Pod- or Cube alike hotels to my own findings here on Happy Hotelier. In What is Travel Networking? his tip about the site The Thelma and Louise Club

an on line community of women worldwide which enables members to meet like-minded women, find travel companions and fulfill their aspirations. Also enjoy great holidays, day trips, articles, and our favorite products and services.

made me think: “They could give us even more insight in the subject of this post”!
But, alas this is a strictly female site. Therefor this simple but happy male would like to ask the female readers of this post to give us some input about the site and their experience.

Finally

Very recently, a Dutch Ladies Glossy by the name Libelle (a title owned by Sonoma) started a story or a B&B for a year in Barcelona by the name of Casa Libelle. They screen ladies who they send in 12 foursomes for periods of four weeks to a B&B in Barcelona. As yet it is not clear to me whether they have started the B&B just for this purpose or that they simply send their readers to an existing B&B in order to help the owners out. In any case the Dutch ladies sent to Barcelona have to report via Blogs and via videos and all is shown on Libelle’s Website which is in the air for a week or two now after experiences some difficulties. As the site is entirely in the Dutch language, a link is not necessary. For those who read Dutch the story can be found on the Dutch language sisterblog weekendhotel Mama goes Barcelona. I will keep you posted in English from time to time.
This also seams a great source for What Woman Want!

Well ladies (and gentlemen of course), what do you think?

A funny Ritz Carlton Promotion

The Battery Park Ritz-Carlton in New York City makes a perfect pitch how to spend this year’s average Wall Street bonus.

According to BusinessWeek, the average Wall Street bonus in 2006 will be $137,580. Sure you could use the money to buy a luxury car, but how about sharing a once-in-a-lifetime evening with your closest friends and family at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park with the FRIENDS WITH MONEY package that includes the following amenities for 30 guests of your choosing:

  • Overnight accommodations in The Ritz-Carlton Presidential Suite (2000 square feet) with spectacular panoramic views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.
  • 15 Executive Suites for your closest family and friends with views of the city skyline or New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.
  • Limousine round-trip transportation from home or airport for every guest.
  • A 10-minute fireworks display specially designed by the famous Bay Fireworks Company. Experience the fireworks from the privacy of your Presidential Suite set to the music of your choice.
  • Helicopter tours over New York City for all of your guests.
  • Five-course dinner including gourmet delicacies such as foie gras, Kobe steak, lobster, and white truffle risotto. Finest wines from around the world paired with each course in the private level of the hotel’s 2 West restaurant. Plan the menu directly with the hotel’s French Master Chef.
  • Dom Perignon and strawberries in every guest’s room upon arrival.
  • 60-minute massage treatments for all guests.
  • Each guest receives a Ritz-Carlton robe embroidered with his/her initials.

The FRIENDS WITH MONEY package is priced at $137,580 including taxes and gratuities. This price is based on 32 guests including 15 Executive Suites and The Ritz-Carlton Presidential Suite. This package is based on availability and subject to change. A 14-day non-refundable advance payment is required.

Thnks E-Hotelier.

Suite with a Rolls

Peninsula Rolls

December 14, 2006 the The Peninsula Hotel of Hong Kong took delivery of 14 Rolls Royces Phantom which are adjusted to Peninsula’s specifications. These included an extended wheelbase, a cool box for chilled hand towels, customized tread plates and a new, larger luggage compartment. In-car entertainment is supplied via a Lexicon sound system employing 15 speakers and nine channel amplification delivering 420 watts. The exterior is finished in Brewster Green with single coach line in Honey and The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited crest is on front doors.

The Peninsula Suite costs about US 40,000,- for a single night.

The Peninsula has, with a short brake, operated a fleet of Royces since 1970.

Over the years, The Peninsula has set new records with each successive order for Rolls-Royces: in 1976 when it purchased eight Silver Shadows; in 1980 with an order for nine Silver Shadow IIs; in 1987 when it took delivery of eight Silver Spirits; 1994 when the hotel welcomed nine Silver Spur IIIs and one vintage 1934 Phantom II; in 1995 with another nine Silver Spurs; another four in 1998, and yet another one in 2004.

The grandest member of the fleet is a magnificent and immaculately restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II. The Phantom II is just six years younger than the hotel itself, having made its debut on the stand of Messrs Barker & Co (Coach builders by Appointment to HM The King and HRH The Prince of Wales) at the London Motor Show in October 1934.

Last edited by GJE on December 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm

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