The Trip Trotter Blog aims to gather the most interesting travel stories, best vacation planning tips, and useful information regarding locations and popular destinations around the world. Guest authors and fellow travelers are helping to create an interesting and cohesive travel blog. If you would like to share your own advice or if you have any interesting stories you would love to share, feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Top 5 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

With all of the information available on the internet and the numerous booking sites, I always get asked why anyone would use a travel agent. So here they are, The Trip Trotter's Top 5 reasons to use a travel agent. 5. Personal Experience: We all know that photos don't tell the entire story. With over 300 agents in our New York office alone, we have personal knowledge of each property and destination. My office has on vendors coming in daily updating us on what's new and hot in the world of travel.  4. Added Value: My agency is part of several hotel programs that give our clients upgrades and amenities at hundreds of properties worldwide. At select hotels we can offer: food/beverage or spa credit, early check in/late check out, and even free breakfast (to name a few.) 3. We're a one stop shop: We handle all aspects of your trip from ground…

A Night at the Ice Hotel

In winter 2013, I wrote about ice hotels and, finally, this past March, I made the trek to Quebec City to stay at the Hotel de Glace. Located 10 minutes from downtown Quebec, the Hotel de Glace is a convenient alternative to the northern European ice hotels. You are only allowed to stay a night (and trust me- you don't need to stay longer,) so the short travel time was especially attractive. The Hotel de Glace has 44 rooms and is only open from January 3- March 22, when it is cold enough to support the structure. The Ice Hotel Sideview The hotel is different each year. Built over a month and a half period, it takes 50 workers, 30,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice to create the hotel. This year was the 15th anniversary of the hotel, so the rooms were extra special. Games at the…
My next stop on the NY Hotel tour was the Bryant Park Hotel. This 14-year old hotel is built inside a historical building located on the south side of Bryant Park. Entering the hotel, you are greeted by a red, leather lobby and the overflowing traffic from their bustling restaurant, Koi. Koi is an American/Japanese fusion restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Due to its' location, the Bryant Park hotel mainly caters to corporate travelers in the fashion and entertainment field, but has a fantastic leisure business over the weekend. While the hotel is not non-family friendly, it caters to mostly an adult crowd. There are 128 guest rooms, 8 of which have two double beds. Rooms are minimalist and very clean! All of the rooms are generous in size; even the smallest room (the Superior Suite) is 300sq ft. I was especially impressed by the huge bathrooms with…

Hotel Visits in NYC- Day 1

I love a beautiful hotel! And New York City is full of them. Travel agents take site tours to see the property so that we can match our clients with the best hotel to fit their needs. It's really difficult to tell exactly what a hotel looks and feels like from photos. Last Sunday, a group that I am a part of, The Young Travel Professionals (YTP) took a tour of several SoHo hotels.   The Broome Hotel Who: The Broome is great for New Yorkers looking for a staycation or couples that would like a lot of privacy. There is no bar (they are still getting their liquor license,) so it is difficult to meet people. Couples are welcome to bring their own wine and enjoy in the courtyard. Starting Pricepoint: $379/nt   We began our day at The Broome Hotel with breakfast in the courtyard. Started by restaurateur turned hotelier,…

Best of Quebec City: Auberge Saint-Antoine

This week, we've been reporting on the best hotels in Quebec City. We've come to my favorite of the Quebec Old Town hotels: The Auberge Saint-Antoine. This hotel is further away form the Chateau Frontenac, between the river and the Hotel 71. I love this hotel because it is a museum within a hotel. Immediately upon walking in to the hotel, you see glass display boxes full of artifacts from "ancient" Quebec. In the lobby, the lovely hotel representative giving me the tour greets me and points to a stone line cutting into the floor of the sitting area a half floor down. He tells me how it used to be part of the old Quebec fortification. The wall of the city sits in the middle of the hotel because the City has grown over the last few hundred years by landfill. Walking downstairs, the wall briefly turns to glass…
Continuing on my hotel tour of Quebec (and you can catch up on last week's episode here) are the sister hotels Hotel 71 and Hotel Saint-Pierre. These hotels are joined at the lobby and are located very close to the Chateau Frontenac near the lower part of the funicular. The hotels are part of a new trend of minimalistic hotels in Quebec City.   The Hotel 71 is a trendy, sleek hotel that caters to mostly couples. There are only 50 rooms in the hotel. In the low season, the superior room goes for about $189/nt, reaching the low $300s during the high season. The lobby has an espresso bar and hosts a happy hour during the evening. Walking through the hallways feels warm and intimate.   The hotel used to be a bank and many of the details of the old buildings are incorporated into the design; in the…

Hotel Review: Chateau Frontenac

I just returned from a fantastic trip to Quebec. I know what you're thinking; why would you ever go to Quebec in the winter? Well, the Ice Hotel has always been a bucket list item of mine, so we had to. Luckily, it wasn't that cold and I finally learned to dress appropriately. It only took 28 years! But more about the Ice Hotel later... As a dutiful travel agent, I took many hotel site tours, and I was so pleased with what I saw. Today's hotel review is the famous Chateau Frontenac. The Chateau Frontenac is the most photographed hotel in the world for a reason. Because the hotel is such an icon, it caters to couples and families alike.  During low season, rooms start at $349/nt. During the high season, you can expect to pay $679. While the hotel has over 600 rooms, unlike other large hotels, each room…

There's a Real Live Flower Factory Right Here in NYC

As you may have figured out by now, I love an interesting experience. Anything out of the ordinary, I want to see it. So when I saw a post on the FIT- my alma mater- Linkedin board to take a tour of a real live flower factory right here in Manhattan, I could not resist the invitation.   M&S Schmalberg Flower Factory on 36th street in NYC's Garment District is small, but effective.  The door opens into the showroom, which is a girly girl's dream; flowers of every color, fabric, shape and size adorn the walls, tables and fixtures. The owner, Warren, was working with a designer when I arrived and some other custom tailors and milliners were waiting to look through the stock.   Since 1916, M&S Schmalberg, a 4th generation family-owned company, has been creating custom flowers in New York City. They still use the same techniques as when…

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