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Do star ratings still matter?

If you can remember life before the internet, you’ll also remember people searching through auto club guides to choose the best place to stay. They were the trusted bibles for accommodation; a good or bad star rating could make or break a hotel. It seems like ancient history and some would say that’s where traditional star […]

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When is the best time to book travel?

Forty-two may be the meaning of life but it seems six is the magic number when it comes to flying. Research by the flight search website Skyscanner has found six weeks ahead of travel is generally the best time to book a long-haul flight. The finding, which was gleaned from three years’ of data, applies to both budget […]

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You might have missed…

Apologies for the break in transmission, I’ve been away.  Here’s what you might have missed: Why do we need six months’ validity on our passports? Travel trends: We know everything about you Beware those sneaky hotel fees

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Craziest new hotels

If you think all hotels are the same, try staying in one of these wacky digs. In a hole, under the sea, on the edge of a cliff . . . not places that generally come to mind as somewhere to bed down for the night. But everything goes with a spate of novelty hotels […]

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Fast hotels

When you find yourself away from home with no accommodation booked, how do you go about finding a bed? Jump on the internet, start making phone calls, or walk into a reasonable-looking hotel and start negotiating? If you believe the hype from overseas, same-day hotel booking apps have changed the game, providing quick access to deals […]

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No drugs, no sex: what hotel concierges really do

In the movies, they’re the wheeler-dealers of the hotel industry: organising drugs, prostitutes and anything else that guests might want, no questions asked. Hotel concierges are portrayed as the go-to people, the ones with their fingers in all the pies – remember the TV series Hotel Babylon? But what do concierges really do? And do we still […]

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Cruising: family cruise

“The chance to get up close to dolphins is something the kids will always remember,” says Alex Haxton. “They’ve grown up in Port Stephens and see dolphins all the time, but they were so excited to be in the water with them. “We were in the water for about 45 minutes, standing waist deep, and we […]

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Little people live it up in hotels

I remember being so excited by miniature soaps and little containers of UHT milk when I was a kid. We’re talking about the amenities in your average 1980s motel, but kids didn’t travel so much in those days and it felt pretty special to me. Fast forward only a few decades and children have become regulars […]

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Are hotel loyalty programs worth the bother?

Even if you’re only an occasional traveller, chances are you’ve joined at least one hotel loyalty program by now. The forms get thrust under your nose at the check-in desk, with the promise of free room nights or other benefits, and you figure you might as well sign up. But then, if you’re anything like me, […]

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Do you really want my feedback?

Don’t tell me you value my feedback unless you mean it. Hotels and other travel companies are constantly shoving forms and surveys under our noses but is there any point in filling them in? I recently sent feedback to three operators and didn’t get a single response – not even a “thanks for your comments” […]

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