Information, Reviews & Destinations : Travel & Leisure

Grand Canyon Skywalk Tips

´╗┐The Grand Canyon glass walkway is one of the canyon's most famous sights. Located at the edge of the West Rim, the walkway lets you walk past the edge and directly into the abyss. The moment is totally gravity defying. Do it once and you can scratch space travel off your bucketst. Excursions to the sky walk depart every day from Vegas. Transportation includes helicopter, airplane, and coach. Outings are all-inclusive and come with hotel pick up and drop off, lunch, and a skilled guide. Excursions range from half a day to a full day with prices beginning at $120 per person. The bridge is the focal point of the Grand Canyon Skywalk complex, which on completion will feature a theatre, gift shop, several dining establishments, and a VIP lounge. The complex itself sits amid a 9,000-acre area called Grand Canyon West. The Hualapai Indians own this land and when it's developed will feature hotels, restaurants, a golf course, and a cable car to the bottom! The Sky Walk runs 70 feet beyond the top of the rim. It's really a awesome feeling knowing that the one thing standing between you and the bottom 4,000 feet below is a sheet of glass. Breath deeply before looking down. I recommend holding the glass railing if you are prone to vertigo. The Skywalk is a technological wonder. The $30 million Skywalk is made up of 46 panels of Saint-Gobain Diamant low iron glass and Dupont SentryGlas. The railings are made from the same hybrid substance but use fewer layers so it can be bent to adhere to the bridge's horseshoe-shaped curvature. The deck panels are said to have cost $250,000 each. Technicians have created the walkway to withstand the harshest physical conditions, including Magnitude 8 earthquakes and gusts of wind over 100 mph. It can support up to 71 jumbo jets simultaneously. Put another way, it can hold 800 people at one time (maximum occupancy is 120). There are plenty of Grand Canyon Sky Walk trips from Las Vegas. Most of them will let you add side-trips. The most popular are: 1. Helicopter trip to the bottom It's a 4,000-foot descent through unique buttes, spires, and ravines. Land at the base. Enjoy a Champagne picnic lunch. Discover the base. 2. Heli to the base with boat This excursion expands the helicopter ride to include a smooth-water float ride down the Colorado River. Grand Canyon West is the only spot in the canyon that permits you to ride a heli to the bottom and land. There aren't any air tours between the West Rim and the South Rim. If you want a South Rim heli ride, you need to take a 45-minute plane trip from Vegas then transfer to a chopper at Grand Canyon Airport. More than 200,000 people visit the glass walkway annually. Purchase your Skywalk trip as far ahead of time as you possibly can. Never ever pay full retail price. For the greatest deal, shop the online world. I've come across prices slashed up to 35 %. Resist finishing your internet booking over the telephone. Commissioned sales people are on the other end of thene and it's their task to sell you a trip at the highest price possible. The Grand Canyon glass walkway is a world-class attraction. No trip to Vegas is complete without having seeing it. There are lots of ways to get there, including chopper, airplane, and tour bus. Spend less by booking tours online. People do self-drive to the Skywalk. I don't recommend it. The last 10 miles is unpaved dirt road and needs an SUV. Getting to the glass bridge is worth the hassle. As I say, Don't see the Grand Canyon, Skywalk it! Mr. Kravitz is a travel writer who reports exclusively about the Grand Canyon. Go here for his Top 3 Grand Canyon Skywalk tour deals based on quality, safety and price. This page is updated frequently so make sure to bookmark it.

Planning Considerations for a Boutique Hotel

´╗┐Planning to build or make a Boutique hotel? Congratulations for taking the right decision, hopefully, you are in the right city and location. Today many hoteliers or entrepreneurs are opting to go into Boutique segment. I therefore thought it timely to pen down my own experiences of creating Boutique hotels. Boutique hotels became popular in recent times as it gave an opportunity to even a small property owner with a decent house of three rooms to convert it to a Boutique property and be rightly called a 'hotelier'. While there is no agreed definition of a Boutique hotel, by and large the industry agrees that these are 'small, independent, trendy,festyle hotels'; their size ranges between 3 to 150 keys. There are certain distinct characteristics that differentiate a regular hotel to a Boutique property. In the following para's I would discuss these. Boutique hotels are usually suited to the metro cities, cosmopolitan cities or popular resort destinations. This is because the clientele it attracts is by and large between 20 to 50 years age group belonging to upper middle income segment of the travelling public. Therefore it is important to select the right destination and within that a prime location with good neighbourhood. The target clientele prefers to frequent hotels in downtown or CBD. People argue that this factor is also valid for any other hotel; well there is no denying that location is one of the most important factors in the success of a hotel. Let's now come to the size of a Boutique hotel. Generally we say small and qualify it with the range of 3 to 150 keys; however some in the industry strongly feel that hotels above 100 keys should not qualify for this segment. Their argument is that 100 keys is the optimum size to have the much desired personalised relationship between the residents, guests, visitors and patrons. There is a merit to this argument as the larger the size the more impersonal is the interaction between the people. Personal yet not familiar interaction is another key character of a Boutique hotel. Selection of people with the right attitude and their training and grooming therefore assumes great significance. A Boutique hotel follows the philosophy of addressing its guests by name and not by their key number. In the recent past, some of the chains have also jumped on the Boutique wagon and launched their boutique brands. While the chains will have the muscle of their marketing strength, their hotels will definitely have areas of similarity with their remaining properties, diluting the Boutique concept. Boutique hotels are by and large independent hotels with distinctively different personality from the regular hotels. However recently we have seen the emergence of pure Boutique hotel chains, some of them having as few as just eight keys in some of their properties. Architecture and interior decorator play a major role in creating uniqueness in style and an ambiance of vibrance. The hotels are chic in their character. The stay must become an experience is the slogan. I have recently seen a hotel with over 15 different types of rooms in size, lay out, decor and view. Each time one stays in different rooms, it is a different experience. The atmosphere of a Boutique hotel bubbles with a suspicion of intimacy and class. Such an atmosphere helps the hotel become the happening place in the city or the location. The hotel must reflect the warmth in its style. Boutique hotels are therefore distinctively different than the other hotels not only in their personality but also in their revenue generation potential. A boutique hotel earns a higher per key revenue than the regular hotel. Technologically, a Boutique hotel is a state of the art hotel with latest in internet technology, DVD's in rooms, interactive flat screen LCD/Plasma TV's, dimmer controls in the room. The hotels are also equipped with video conferencing facility through their business centre. The entertainment possibilities in a Boutique property are far more than the channel music on TV. They extend to trendy night clubs, bars and discotheques. As part of the product profile, Boutique hotels have at least one, if not two trendy restaurants with different yet unique cuisine. They employ celebrity or known master chefs and serve a very carefully chosen and selective menu. The food is not only tasty but well presented and served in a totally friendly atmosphere. Most of the time the chefs visit the tables to ask about the food, its quality and taste. He is always willing to prepare out of menu items on request. The decor of the restaurants is hip and inviting. The crockery, cutlery and glassware are matching the interiors of the outlet. Service pleasing and smiling and above all quick and efficient. A boutique hotel sets the tone of style, intimacy, fashion and glamour. It is frequented by the who's who of the city; people who want to be 'seen around' or 'seen with' are always there to make the atmosphere a happening place. Within the Boutique there is yet another interesting and promising segment, 'The Boutique Heritage'. Owners of old forts, palaces, villas and houses are creating fine boutique hotels. These properties reflect old traditional royalving intra modern ambiance backed by latest technology and highly personalised service. The restoration and conversion is long, tiring and expensive exercise, but it is worth it. In Northern India, some of there properties are having an ARR of around US$ 1000.00 per night. Basically these properties offer an unforgettable experience of the Royal Raj days. This proves that the concept of product differentiation is the key mantra for creating a boutique hotel. While boutique hotels are quite a common phenomena in the West, in Asia it is now picking up at a very fast pace. We see emergence of both independent hotels and a couple of boutique chains at national and regional level. Now a word of caution, anyone planning to enter this segment will be well advised to go the professional way. Chose the best consultant available in the market to assist in creating a boutique product. One should remember that the difference between a regular luxury hotel and a boutique hotel is in two aspects, the subtle difference in product concept and profiling and the quality oftimate experience to the user. You are free to publish this article without any change in the content electronically, in print, in your e-book, or on your web site, free of charge, as long as the author resource details are included. Ram Gupta is a professional consultant with specialization in hospitality industry. He has over four decades of experience in Asia, Far East, Middle East and Europe. He has been associated with over two dozen luxury hotel projects and a number of state of art wellness centers and spas. His web site can be viewed at and can be contacted at br class=clearp