Disney's Grand Floridian adds Alice in Wonderland themed kids' water play area - Orlando Walt Disney World

DisneyWorld orlando florida
Walt Disney Imagineers have spiced up what was once the most Plain Jane pool of any deluxe Disney World resort hotel, adding a new Alice in Wonderland-themed kids' water play area to the pool at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, according to a Disney Parks Blog announcement on October 11, 2012.
 
The new water play area is inspired by similar enhancements at select Disney World moderate resort hotels, such as the Pirates of the Caribbean-themed pool and kids' water play area at Disney's Caribbean Resort.

Like the Caribbean Resort water play area, which has a large bucket that dumps water on any poor soul who wanders beneath it, the Grand Floridian water play area now features a large Mad Hatter's hat that spills water after it fills up.  More:  www.examiner.com


Top 10 free hotel breakfasts - TODAY Travel

girl with hotel breakfast
There’s no question that mid-range hotels, including extended stay suites, are doing more to lure in family travelers, particularly on the weekends. Indoor pools, Wi-Fi access and in-room refrigerators are the norm. Most chain hotels offer free breakfast, too. But when it comes to getting the family off to a great start, which hotels offer the best free breakfasts? via todaytravel.today.com


Hilton HHonors Launches Global Shop-to-Earn Mall

Hilton HHonors
Today, Hilton HHonors, the loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide’s 10 distinct brands, launched its global Shop-to-Earn Mall, a network of online shops that allows HHonors members to earn Bonus Points through retail purchases. The Hilton HHonors Shop-to-Earn Mall, available at www.HHonors.com/shoptoearn, offers members around the world merchandise and exclusive deals from more than 1,500 retailers – from jewelry and apparel brands to electronics and home furnishings. via www.financialpost.com


W Hotels opens the W Paris - Opera

W Hotel LogoW Hotels International has opened the W Paris - Opera, called that due to its close proximity to the famous Paris Opera House, the Opéra Garnier.  It is also right around the corner from one of my personal favorite shopping spots in Paris, the Galeries Lafayette.

But don't pick a hotel in Paris based just on two cool nearby destinations, most important is how far your hotel is from a Paris Metro station.  And the new W Paris - Opera has several stations nearby, one of which is the Opera station which connects three major Metro subway lines and one RATP train.

Visit the W Paris - Opera Website.  For and excellent private tour of the Opera House or any other part of the city contact Paris Angels.  Check out my video from 30 Days In Paris; Day 27, Paris Opera House.  Below is the famous dome inside the Galeries Lafayett.

Dome of the Galeries Lafayette in Paris France.


Bellagio of Las Vegas, Room Remodel & New Fountain Tracks

Things have changed since my last visit to the Bellagio in May of 2011.  Not only has the Bellagio of Las Vegas just finished a much needed $70 million room remodel, but they have added three new songs to the music repertoire of the hotels signature fountain.

Couple watching the fountain in front of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
Guest will find the Resort King Rooms now feature either an indigo and silver combination or a green tea and plum palette while the Resort Queen Rooms offer an amber and butterscotch motif.  (butterscotch....did I type butterscotch?  Now I can't stop thinking about sweets and the great pastry and candy at the hotels Jean-Philippe Pâtisserie!)

Photo of a newly remodeled Bellagio Room. Photo provided by Bellagio.
All room three designs can also be booked overlooking the hotels iconic 8 1/2 acre lake and the magical Fountains of Bellagio.  FYI: Music from the fountain is available via the TV, seeing the fountain from the room is a great experience.

The Bellagio fountain as seen from a lake view room.  Paris hotel is just across Las Vegas Blvd.
The performance playlist of the iconic Fountains Of Bellagio has also been updated.  Unlike the old rooms, the Fountains didn't need a bit of improving, but three fantastic new songs have been add to the lineup.  Wonder if I should call them "performances", "shows" or "visual extravaganzas"?  The "spectacle" now includes the classic swing band hit, Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood",  Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean, and diamonds appear above the 8 1/2 acre Bellagio lake with ”The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."  This blend of music and hydro science is done by the folks at WET Design.

Waters dance seem to dance at the fountain that fronts Las Vegas Blvd.

I didn't stay at the Bellagio during my recent Vegas visit in January 2012, it was sold out, so I will review the rooms at a later date.  But I did visit the fountains, and as always they never fail to impress.  One photo provided by property, all others Copyright 2012 MurrayOnTravel.com.


California Holiday Inn Express has a "no locals" policy - USATODAY

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A California woman says that her local Holiday Inn Express hotel in Natomas wouldn't let her rent a room one weekend night because it bans locals from renting rooms and she's a local resident, ABC's Sacramento affiliate reports.

"The young lady behind the desk said, "Oh, I'm sorry. We don't rent rooms to anyone from Sacramento," the woman, Debbie, told ABC-Channel 10. ABC's story said the woman did not want her last name used.

via travel.usatoday.com