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NEWS
January 29, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
When it comes to top luxury hotels in the U.S., the West seems to be a favorite with the TripAdvisor crowd. More than half of the top 25 U.S. luxury hotels in the Travelers' Choice 2013 picks are located in Hawaii, California, Arizona and other western states. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island was the big winner as No. 1 as the best luxury hotel and the top hotel in the U.S. and the world.  In the luxury hotel category, it's followed by the private residence-turned-hotel Wentworth Mansion in Charleston, S.C., at No. 2. Bardessono in Yountville, Calif., where eight wine-tasting rooms in the Napa Valley are within walking distance of the hotel, came in No. 3. Other luxury hotels in the West include: - Four Seasons Seattle at No. 4; - The Grand Del Mar in San Diego at No. 5; - Four Seasons Resort Lanai, the Lodge at Koele in Lanai City, Lanai, Hawaii, at No. 7; - Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur at No. 8; - Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg, Ore., at No. 9; Among hotels in the United States, the Hotel California in Palm Springs was named best hotel for service, the Inn of the Five Graces in Santa Fe, N.M., as the top small hotel; the Point Clear Cottages in Fairhope, Ala., as the best B&B; and SeaCoast Inn in Hyannis, Mass., as best bargain hotel.
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NEWS
January 10, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Travelers love relaxing at spas, and spa hotels in California and Las Vegas ranked in the top 10 places to unwind in the United States, according to TripAdvisor traveler reviews and opinions . Four Seasons Resort/The Biltmore in Santa Barbara (average price, $436 a night), Ojai Valley Inn and Spa in Ojai (average price, $317 a night) Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village in Westlake Village (average price, $230 a night) and Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas won high marks from travelers as the best blissful retreats.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Media mogul John Malone's Liberty Interactive Corp. has acquired a controlling stake in TripAdvisor, the popular travel website, from Barry Diller and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation. Liberty Interactive is spending $300 million for 4.8 million shares of TripAdvisor at $62.50 per share. Liberty will now hold nearly 60% of voting stock and more than 20% of the company's total equity. The purchase price represents a premium of more than 60%. After news of the change of control was announced Tuesday, TripAdvisor stock was up more than 20% from its Monday close of $38.39.
NEWS
December 5, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
If you haven't heard of Kiva , the holiday season is a great time to learn about the microlending website that pairs borrowers around the world with small lenders like you and me. The idea is to wipe out poverty worldwide by connecting individuals who have money (loans start at as little as $25) with those who don't. Now TripAdvisor is teaming up with Kiva to create an opportunity for travelers to get in on the giving. Write a review for a hotel, vacation rental, restaurant or attraction in a country where Kiva has borrowers in need, and you'll be eligible to make a $25 microloan courtesy of TripAdvisor.
BUSINESS
November 19, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
If you choose a hotel based on glowing online comments - "OMG, I love this place!" - you may be relying on bogus or insufficient information. That assessment came from Market Metrix, a San Francisco Bay Area hotel market research company, in a study that found as much as 40% of reviews could be made up or even paid for by the hotels. And even if those online comments are genuine, the study said the reviews could be skewed because hotel guests with bad experiences are three times more likely to write a review than those who had a good or neutral experience.
BUSINESS
September 24, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
The online review of the Best Western hotel in Eagle Rock started with a critical headline: "Very poor quality, will never stay here again. " What is surprising is that the review was posted on a link found on the hotel's own website. Best Western International, one of the world's largest hotel chains, announced last week that it had redesigned its website, adding links to reviews submitted by guests to the website TripAdvisor. The move marks a trend in the hotel industry.
NEWS
August 10, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The Roughley Manor in Twentynine Palms looks far more Hogwartian than desert dwelling. The historic bed and breakfast on 25 quiet acres near Joshua Tree National Park was the sole California site on TripAdvisor 's recent list of top 10 pet-friendly properties in the United States. "We have four pet-friendly rooms, and a pet on the grounds, Sammy, our dog," said owner Gary Peters, who has operated the B&B with wife Jan for the last 18 years. The three-story house, made from hand-collected local stone, was completed in 1928 and known as Campbell's Ranch, Peters said.  Guests stay in two suites in the main house or 10 other rooms on the property at 74744 Joe Davis Drive [(760)
BUSINESS
August 6, 2012 | Hugo Martin
What are the marketing gimmicks used most widely by hotel operators to attract guests? Room discounts, followed by free Wi-Fi and other amenities. A survey of more than 25,000 hotel owners and managers in North America by the travel website TripAdvisor found that discounted rooms were offered by 58% of U.S. hotels surveyed. It was 63% in Mexico and 53% in Canada. "Regionally, it seems that the industry tends to use some of the same methods of attracting travelers," TripAdvisor spokesman Kevin Carter said.
BUSINESS
August 5, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
What are the marketing gimmicks most widely used by hotel operators to lure guests? Room discounts, followed by free Wi-Fi and other amenities. A survey of more than 25,000 hotel owners and managers in North America by the travel website TripAdvisor found that discounted rooms were offered by 58% of the U.S. hotels surveyed. It was 63% in Mexico and 53% in Canada. “Regionally, it seems that the industry tends to use some of the same methods of attracting travelers,” said Kevin Carter, a spokesman for TripAdvisor.
BUSINESS
July 29, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details. US Airways is looking into new ways to sell goods and services to passengers for use on the plane and at the passengers' final destinations. Under a renewed contract with the Tempe, Ariz., airline, Toronto technology firm GuestLogix announced last week that it will provide US Airways flight attendants with hand-held devices they can use to charge a passenger's credit card by simply tapping the card on the device.
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