What Makes A Hotel Five Star?

Have you ever wondered how hotels are classified? A lot of people actually don’t understand how hotels are rated based on the star and diamond standards. They simply choose a hotel based on the advertised star or diamond rating.

Before anything else, let’s be clear on one thing – there’s actually no international organization that ranks or rates hotels. Hotel ratings is subjective and often a result of customer feedback. So, it is possible for any hotel to claim that they are 5-star even if they are not. You may be dismayed to know that there are only around 154 hotels around the world that have been officially rated Five Star. These are the best of the best in world of luxury hotel service. And it’s not surprising to find scathing reviews about a five star hotel’s service.

However, this doesn’t mean that there are only very few luxury hotels around the globe. These hotels have only set themselves apart from others which make them a notch above the rest. Already on its 58th year of publication, this list of Five-Star rated hotels is managed by Mobil. It ranked hotels in the US based on the services offered and gave travelers a trusted review of where best to stay when travelling.

Through the years, the system of classifying hotels has transformed to adapt to the changing trends in hotel amenities and services. Standards have been tightened while adding more city hotels. The hotels in this list are continuously monitored with standards being upgraded regularly to ensure the best services for guests.

In 20111, this list became the Forbes Travel Guide. It continues the tradition and adheres to the standards. Usually, mystery shoppers visit hotels incognito and stay there. They rate the hotel based on their experience. At the end of the survey, they sit down with the hotel provider and discuss their findings. The Forbes list is published annually in February.

So how are hotels evaluated? What makes them the best among the rest? 24-hour room service? Swimming pool and fitness hub? High quality facilities and amenities? Wi-Fi and other connectivity features? As well as minute details like a good wireless doorbell, such as those reviewed at DoorbellBase.com? Basically, a hotel is rated based on a total service package. From the way you are greeted at the lobby to the time you check out. The service should be reliable and the amenities should be complete. A five-star hotel has all the services that a hotel guest would need plus they are ready to serve every guest’s whim. The best hotel service crews even anticipate the requests of their guests.

It’s the totality of the service that is actually rated and not just parts and parcel of the hotel. Some hotel chains have perfected hotel service. These hotels have inculcated in their staff the culture of providing only the best service! Of course, these highly-rated hotels come at a price, but for those in search of luxury, these hotels are worth every penny!


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Interesting uses of LED Lighting

The amazing changes technology brings to our lives are beyond compare. Take for instance the evolution of lighting systems. The LEDs, which were earlier used only in laser pointers, have now become a commonly used lighting feature in various aspects of our life. From LED TVs and headlights to wallpaper and even clothing, the LEDs have pervaded our space albeit in a positive light.

When compared to incandescent bulbs, LEDs are very compact and don’t radiate heat. More important is the fact that they consume less energy. Other advantages include a flexible and plastic design, which enables these lights to be used in various innovative methods, which is not possible with other lighting types. Here are some of the most exciting, bizarre and funny uses of LEDs.

Virtual Sky

LED lights save energy eight times more than the conventional incandescent bulbs we use. Moreover, research indicates that LED is also instrumental in making us productive and happier. This was tested by replacing the ceiling panels in working place with LED modules that mimic sky. Workers feel as if they are out in the open. The LEDs being less harsh than the fluorescent bulbs their positive effect is certainly believable.  As working in natural light has been found to increase productivity by over 15 percent, the LEDs help in better work atmosphere and more productivity.

LED in car sunroof

It is natural for your car to get steamy and hot, when you leave it out in direct sunlight. But the sunlight can be turned to your advantage. The new LED powered by solar rays fitted to the sunroof of your car will illuminate the car interior. You also find LED light bars such as in http://lightbarland.com/ which you can use to increase visibility, while driving at night. Even break lights and turn signals are made of LEDs.

Contact lens

A stunning new invention by Finland’s Aalto University uses bionic type of contact lens that aims at changing our view of reality. The bionic lens transmits visual information to a sapphire transparent chip fitted with LED. This helps the person wearing it to view their computer screen directly without any other additions needed. With just your contacts and eyes you can check you mail, browse etc.

Light strips

The LEDs are available in strips, which can be taped inside your car. These LEDs are elegant and handy available in a wide range of colors. The lights are versatile and light in weight. The roll of LED lights can be cut for use in projects. So instead of hiring a lighting contractor or specialist you can do the job cheaper and easier. The LED light bars such as the EYOURLIFE LED BARS are used by motorists for better lighting while riding. The LED strips are also waterproof.

Wall panels

With the new luminous LED wall panels, you can easily do away with the annoying chore of painting your walls regularly. The LED panels from Philips can configure in different color combinations so you can change the color of your walls easily.


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How to have a holiday outdoorsEven though the snow has finally melted away, it is still very cold and wet out there. Winter is not quite ready to say good bye yet. But little did she know that no matter how ferocious she chooses to be, she will never be able to prevent adventurous holiday makers from taking yet another trip of a lifetime, whether it is high up in the Swiss Alps or the Himalayas or even in the middle of a blizzard right in the middle of their route between Bristol and Glasgow. But while winter gleefully unleashes yet another storm cloud burst, unhappy and less adventurous folks can pipe up and still enjoy themselves at home, as though they were already on holiday.

An indoor barbecue second to none

Click here to sample the choices of electric smokers you will have at your disposal to respond to yet another call to gather the neighbors and have a whale of a time while the rain pelts your windows. This is indicative of a fine example of how innovative the socialite in you can be while it’s still too cold and inclement to gather your best mates together out on the patio. Here, you can still have a prime barbecue sheltered from the bad weather.

And when your favorite cuts and ribs are all done and ready, just the way they like it, everyone can gather around the self-help table in your dining room and help themselves to saucy and cheesy salads and warm potatoes and vegetables. You can even have a get together reminiscing over past trips. How do you do this? Well, it’s simple really. Haul out your favorite photographs, slides and home movies, put some light, background music on, and give your interested friends the show of a lifetime.

Keeping yourselves warmly inspired

While you’re secretly being inspired yourself, you’re motivating your stay at home mates to get off their own backsides and helping them realize that a trip abroad or even across to the continent is highly affordable. A proper gas smoker also helps you to save both time and money. It may not be a barbecue, it doesn’t have to be, but smoking your meat is entirely ideal for indoor dishes and meals. Guests will never need to go hungry.

They don’t ever need to be bored either. Please regale them about your most memorable moments overseas. Don’t forget to tell them about your most embarrassing moments either. All these and more are part and parcel of what makes up the finest holiday anyway. But what if you’ve never been anywhere, ever? Well, surely by now, you’ve come to realize that through guidance and inspiration, at least one vacation is possible in your lifetime.

Please take some time out to read a few of the previous posts here on some of the greatest places on earth well worth visiting.


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Travel Destinations for Every Music LoverMusic adds color to our lives. It can inspire our mood to better heights and uplifts us when we’re down. Without music, life is dull. And it’s not surprising why many people fall in love with music. From indie concerts to music halls, thriving underground club to a multi-day festivals, there are different music venue that will cater to your ear’s preference. Music is wide and varied – hip-hop, rock, jazz, R&B, country, classical and much more. While everyone may have unique musical taste, here are some tourist meccas for every music lover:

  1. Boston, MA

The music scene in Boston is eclectic, rich and dynamic. From hip hop to electronica artists to metal bands to rock, Boston’s live music scene is a must see. It’s not entirely surprising to know that it’s the birthplace of rock icon – Aerosmith.

  1. Seattle, WA

Considered the home of grunge music, Seattle’s music scene is worth visiting. If you happen to be in the city, be sure to check the permanent exhibit devoted to Nirvana found at the EMP Museum. It also features exhibits of rock idol Jim Hendrix as well as the evolution of music videos. The city has a number of live music venues catering different musical genres. You may also chance upon classic musicians on streets. I’ve seen a violinist playing his violin (much like those reviewed at Violinio) when I once visited Seattle.

  1. Prague, Czech Republic

Musicians from around the world all converge at the Prague International Music Festival. For music lovers, the city is the place to be in during the musical festival. Performances from both indie artists and big musical performers are showcased throughout this event.

  1. Graceland, Memphis, TN

If you’re an avid rock n’ roll fan, then Graceland should be on top of your list. Aside from having some great music venues and performances, it is also where you can visit the Elvis’ mansion.

  1. Chicago, IL

Chicago is the destination for those who love rhythm and blues. But aside from R&B, the city is also a thriving hub for hip hop and house music. Occasionally, you can find full orchestra concert performances in the city. There are also great music schools around. If you are planning to enroll your kids to a musical school to learn violin, you may want to check out this site.

  1. San Francisco, CA

Metallica and hippie movement trace back to this city. It has a very lively music scene with hubs catering to different preferences. Interesting places to visit in the city include the Great American Music Hall and The Fillmore – a famous club which has hosted Janis Joplin, Hendrix and countless other acts from different genres.

These are just some of the places that music lovers might want to include in their bucket lists. It’s also exciting to discover different musical scenes in every place you go. Don’t be afraid to check out local music hubs or clubs. Traditional music is also very interesting.


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Useful Travel Items

There are some things which are just good to bring along when traveling long distances far away from home, such as when you’re on vacation or taking a trip related to your job. People often underestimate the value of a good map, though it’s one of the most useful items you could ever pack when going on a long trip. These days many people use GPS units and digital maps to take care of this need and good maps for much of the world are freely available through the Internet. That’s just one very useful item, but there are still a few more items most people should pack when traveling.

Another good thing to pack when traveling is a first aid kit. You never know when you, someone traveling with you, or someone you meet might get injured. It’s just a good idea to have one of these around in your vehicle anyhow, even when you aren’t planning on traveling far. It’s one of those “just in case” items you know you might need, but hope you’ll never have to use. A good first aid kit should include disinfectant wipes and antibiotic ointment as well as bandages, gauze, tape, splints for setting broken fingers and a few other essential items like emergency insulin for diabetics.

One major concern for drivers especially is traveling at night when there is little or no artificial light to help improve visibility. Headlights alone sometimes aren’t enough to ensure you are able to see, as well as be seen by other drivers. For this issue, consider adding LED light bars to your car, truck or van. Click here for information about Cree LED bars made specifically for the purpose of increasing vehicle visibility while driving. It’s better to be seen and avoid an accident in the first place rather than to have a kit, phone and flares available in case you crash at night; believe it.

Speaking of flares, you don’t typically get those in first aid kits, and they are a great thing to carry in your vehicle while traveling in case you get into an accident after the sun goes down. Visibility can be very low in some places – especially if there is no overhead lighting, like when driving in the back country or other locales which are more rural and less urban. A set of flares can be the difference between being visible and getting the help you need and watching the ambulance drive right by you while you sit on the side of a dark road.

Last but certainly not least on this short list of useful travel items is a spare tire, or maybe even two, tucked away in your vehicle’s storage space. Nothing can stop someone traveling quite as fast as a sudden flat tire, but thankfully these are also some of the easiest things on a vehicle to replace, next to stuff like spark plugs and batteries. You’ll need a jack for lifting up the vehicle if you want to swap tires, and pneumatic jacks are probably the best of the bunch.


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