I discovered Unique Small Hotels.
It seems a derivative of Booking.com, but because it unveils very little about itself I’m not sure.
As owner of a unique small luxury hotel I am always looking for small luxury hotels and B&B’s.
After checking out some of their offerings I can agree with many of their picks. Maybe I should look at them first for my next Nothing Zen series of posts.
Update February 2009: It turned out that they had teamed up with Booking.com. This affiliation was terminated and now sadly all what remains is a website under construction. Maybe to sell the Domain? I have removed various links here that were obsolete.
Update January 2020: They seem revived again.
Backpackers on High Heels: Bangkok is a site that originates in Amsterdam, well the registrant has his address in Amsterdam. Currently it gives a stylish presentation about where to go, eat sleep and party in Bangkok.
Amsterdam, Hanoi and Bali are to follow soon.
I have been on a short trip to Vienna trough Munich and Salzburg. Before anything else I would like to share this:
The planning of this trip gave me some insight in the pros and contras of planning your own trip versus using a travel agent nowadays. In the days of my frequent business traveling, long before the Internet area, we used a Los Angeles based one woman Travel Agent. Why based in Los Angeles? Because when the travel plans were made, usually after Dutch business hours, each and every Dutch travel agent was closed. She was there, reliable as always, willing to combine unusual travel requests and destinations, and, last but not least, she was one of the first woman I know of who could toggle the GDS schemes in a favorable way for us. One who could suggest a round the world ticket for an Amsterdam Los Angeles round trip as being much cheaper than a simple return ticket. Coming to think of this, I am curious how she is doing these days.
Already ten years ago, in the Internet infancy days, I once booked a satisfactory stay in one of the hotels of their collection through the Internet (then via an aptly answered e-mail exchange) as I did again during this trip to Vienna.
My conclusion is that they still are way ahead of the crowd. If you want to pick a hotel in a certain area you want to see where it is located. The site of Relais et Chateaux gives it all: Fast loading and to the point location of the hotel of your choice and in addition to to the point information about the hotel. Moreover they have their complete catalog on line in an easy flip through PDF format which you can also download if you want.
Finally in flipping through their portfolio, my conclusion is that they still are one of the primary sources for a real (luxury) weekend hotel.
When you try to research cosmopolitan Herbert Ypma on line, it is hard to find something else about him than the introductions to his world famous series of Hip Hotels Books on book sellers sites (or have a look at this transcript of a chat with him on USA Today). It is a Dutchman who has lived on several continents and who has visited, photographed and reviewed a myriad of hotels and possibly invented the already too much used and therefor maybe obsolete term “Hip Hotel” where HIP stands for Highly Individual Places.
I found is site Hip Hotels.com. Many nice views of hotels he visited, but yet no personal information.
I take it that he lives by the motto “a picture is worth a thousand words”…
The informed Traveler is a blog written by employees of Five Start Alliance.
The Blog gives interesting information. Read with me and see for your good self whether they prove to be a little unbiased, i.e. also write about something else than Fife Star Alliance accomodations.