What You Need to Know About the (Likely) Cost of Travel in 2019

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 07/25/2018, 4:45 PM

Will it be a happy new year for vacationers in 2019? Experts are predicting some price shifts.  A number of factors should impact the cost of trips next year and beyond. If you’re planning on vacationing next year—and I hope you are!—here’s what to look out for. Airfares: “Up, up and away” is the price forecast from most industry watchers. Airfares, particularly from North America to Asia and Eu...

Two Atlantic City Casinos Reopen Under New Management

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/02/2018, 5:30 PM

Not long ago, Atlantic City seemed in danger of becoming a ghost town. A string of casino closures—five in two years, according to the Associated Press—came as a consequence of events such as the economic downturn of 2008, the legalization of gambling elsewhere in the U.S. (meaning Nevada and Atlantic City are no longer your only legal gaming options), and the financial chicanery that's easier to...

Las Vegas key chain

Best of Las Vegas: Our Favorite Experiences

Las Vegas is designed to keep you pleasantly distracted from the real world outside its glittering borders. Here are the best ways to stay entertained in Sin City.
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New Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Opens in Chicago Burbs

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/22/2018, 11:30 PM

Midwesterners in search of chlorinated fun have a new destination in the Chicago suburbs.  Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, the 17th outpost in a chain of Northwoods-themed indoor water park resorts across North America, has opened in Gurnee, the same town (located about 40 miles north of downtown Chicago) where you'll find Six Flags Great America.  The new Great Wolf occupies space once belonging to ...

Arthur Frommer: Universal Orlando Cuts Hotel Rates to Lure Visitors

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/22/2018, 11:30 PM

For at least twenty years, Universal Orlando Resort has been on a hotel building spree. One after another, giant lodging has been squeezed onto its grounds, supplying close-at-hand rooms to would-be visitors.   In hotels supplying thousands of rooms, Universal is approaching (though it obviously hasn’t yet reached) the number of hotels on the grounds of Disney’s parks, 15 minutes away by car.  ...

Historic Luxury Resort Reborn in Arizona

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/13/2018, 9:30 PM

For several decades starting in 1896, a remote Arizona resort located about 50 miles north of Phoenix played host to a steady stream of well-to-do vacationers, including Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Roosevelts, and other Gilded Age muckety-mucks.  They were drawn to Castle Hot Springs for the seclusion, sunny weather, Southwestern pursuits like horseback riding, and the supposed restorative propert...

Where the Droids Are: Robots Take Over Duties at Hotels Around the World

By Pam Grout

Gimmick or cost-cutting measure? It's too early to call it a robot revolution, but at these high-end properties, bellboys are sidelined by waist-high robots programmed for maximum cuteness.

All the Las Vegas Hotels' Resort Fees—So You'll Know the True Price of a Night

By Juliana Shallcross

When you book a cheap hotel online for Las Vegas, you're not paying the price you see. Nearly all Sin City hotels also charge a big resort fee—and they can more than double the final price! Here's where the Sin City resort fee shell game stands right now.

Can't Find a Cheap Hotel in Europe? Try the Ramadan Trick

By Jason Cochran

For travelers who are not observant Muslims, it's a time of year that may yield surprising deals in non-Islamic vacation destinations.

New Booking Site for Clothing-Optional Stays

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/09/2018, 12:00 AM

We're strong believers in packing light—all that luggage will only slow you down—but the champions in that department have got to be those who are fond of vacationing in the nude. After all, once they reach their destinations, they don't need much more than towels and sunscreen (take that, airline baggage fees!). Those carefree and, we assume, frequently chilly travelers now have a new online res...

Hugely Popular European Destination Bans Apartment Rentals

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/27/2018, 8:00 PM

Between 2015 and 2017, illegal vacation rentals, fueled by services such as Airbnb, shot up 50%. As a consequence, rent for locals skyrocketed 40%. For a small Mediterranean island without suburbs to expand to, what is there to do? If you're governing Majorca, an internationally beloved getaway in the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain, you impose a life-ruining fine of €400,000 (US $485,000...

Renowned Ocean Liner Reborn as Floating Hotel in Dubai

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/19/2018, 12:00 AM

The retired Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liner, which the Cunard Line operated from 1969 to 2008, has been transformed into a floating hotel in Dubai. Docked at the city's Port Rashid for a decade (the 2008 recession slowed down the remodeling project), the 13-deck ship has more than 200 contemporary rooms and suites, ranging from tiny cabins to opulent aeries with private verandas. The design, accor...

In Las Vegas, Now You Have to Look Closely at Your Bill for Hidden Fees

By Juliana Shallcross

Seemingly overnight, casino owners have found a new way to hit the jackpot: hidden fees. Sometimes, no one can even tell you what the charges are for.

In New York City, Rapidly Shifting Hotel Prices, Shorter Dining Hours, and More

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/12/2018, 5:30 PM

Every year at this time, I update the book Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City. This involves spreadsheets of pricing, hours, and more, meaning that I’m easily able to graph the trends that shape visits to Gotham. Here’s what I’m seeing for 2018 and into 2019: Good news/bad news on hotel rates: To track hotel pricing, I use several hotel booking engines, and I test dates for the slowest travel da...

Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas Getting a Virgin Hotels Makeover

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/02/2018, 3:00 PM

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is entering Virgin territory.  The hotel—located just off the Strip on Paradise Road—has been acquired by the growing Virgin Hotels chain, which is giving the property a top-to-bottom overhaul.  Virgin founder Richard Branson revealed the changeover at a press conference announcing that his company and other investors had made the purchase.  The ren...

Hotel on Skis Debuts in Finland for Northern Lights Viewing

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/21/2018, 9:15 PM

A novel way of experiencing the Northern Lights has come to Finland.  The new Aurora Wilderness Camp, located near the village of Kilpisjärvi, is comprised of three mobile cabins that have been mounted on skis so that they can be dragged into the remote reaches of the country's Lapland region. And because each unit has a glass roof, guests have a good chance of spotting the Northern Lights from t...

Makeup Mogul Bobbi Brown Opening Her Own Hotel in New Jersey

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/16/2018, 12:30 PM

Makeup designer and skincare expert Bobbi Brown is going from fashionable boutiques to her own fashionable boutique hotel.  Known for creating a popular line of understated cosmetics (she later sold the company to Estée Lauder), Brown has teamed up with her husband, developer Steven Plofker, to open The George, a 32-room inn "with modern style and historic bones." In other words, it sort of looks...

What to do on Catalina Island

Exploring Catalina Island: New Experiences on L.A.'s Island Getaway

A new look at Catalina Island: Things to do, memorable bars, good hotels, and a rich history that has kept vacationers coming for decades

The New Park MGM Replaces the Monte Carlo—and Las Vegas' Outdated Hotel Traditions

By Juliana Shallcross

This spring, a new casino hotel on the Las Vegas Strip rises from the bones of an old one. Is it possible to give an enormous hotel complex a sophisticated boutique feel?

Disney World Now Charges for Parking at Hotels, Decreasing Their Value

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/14/2018, 4:00 PM

It used to be one of the great courtesies of staying in a Walt Disney World resort hotel: You got free parking, and then you could take Disney transportation for free. It was touted as one of the perks and a big incentive to choose a Disney hotel over a room located outside the resort property's gates. Since Disney hotels are two or three times as much as a room of comparable quality a mile away, ...

New Club Med Openings: Sicily, the Great Wall, and More

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/13/2018, 2:30 PM

Club Med has embarked on an ambitious expansion project. The pioneer in all-inclusive resorts plans to add 15 new properties to its worldwide roster by the end of 2020, opening five resorts per year between now and then. Though you might associate Club Med with sunny spots in the Caribbean, major focuses of the company's latest efforts are Asia and the mountains of Europe. Openings scheduled fo...

Booking.com Introduces New Program for Unusual Stays

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/08/2018, 12:30 AM

Unconventional accommodations like treehouses, yurts, and barns have proven popular on vacation rental sites such as Airbnb and HomeAway. For the increasing number of travelers seeking unique, Instagrammable experiences, a night in a castle or on a houseboat has obvious advantages over a run-of-the-mill chain hotel. Now Booking.com, which has an enormous online database of accommodations around t...

Privacy vs. Security: How Hotel Guests Can Get Around the Rise in "Room Checks"

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/06/2018, 5:00 PM

I do a strange thing in hotel rooms sometimes: I host a live radio show. When I'm on the road, thanks to the magic of Skype, my room becomes my studio. And it used to be a quiet, easy place to broadcast from. No more. During not one, but two recent broadcasts, I’ve been interrupted by the maid knocking insistently. This despite hanging a "do not disturb" sign on the door. I’d thought it was bad...

The Ever-Expanding Footprint of Airbnb and What It Means

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/05/2018, 6:00 AM

With speed more head-spinning than Linda Blair's in The Exorcist, Airbnb has been growing and changing and growing once again. In just the past 18 months or so, it has added online guidebook-style material, a section for luxury rentals, another that filters for “unusual” digs, and, most surprisingly, actual hotels. In the latter category, Airbnb will be growing exponentially in the coming months: I...

The World’s Most Rewarding Source of Free Homestays Is, and Remains, Servas

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 03/02/2018, 8:45 PM

Organizations come and go that arrange for you to stay free-of-charge in someone else’s home or apartment in the course of your travels. The latest leaders in this effort are Couchsurfing.com and Globalfreeloaders.com, which are sometimes criticized as having grown too large to be effective.   But another such organization—USServas.org—is older by far and careful to hand-pick both hosts and ...