Ways to Choose a Good Bed and Breakfast

Traditionally speaking, bed and breakfast-styled accommodations offered basic amenities at affordable costs. They’d mostly be run by families, letting out the extra rooms in their home to guests, as a means to earn money and enjoy the company of travelers from distant places.

They’ve become more stylized with the passage of time to cater to the challenges of modern tourism. Now, you’ll find these B&Bs have sprung up almost everywhere; some catering to budget travelers, whereas others serving high-end luxury seekers. What were once homely inns, have now become chic boutique hotels. You’ll find some unique B&Bs set up in heritage structures, with most retaining their old-world charm.

So, how do you go about choosing the one that’s best for you? Well, it won’t be much of a hassle after you’ve gone through these handy tips.

How to Choose the Right Bed and Breakfast

Check if their rooms have en-suite bathrooms

In the traditional sense, B&Bs were just a bunch of spare rooms in a family’s house which were let out to guests. Many of these, even today, do not have en-suite facilities. In case you can’t conceive the idea of sharing a bathroom with strangers, do clear up this aspect before you book.

Check if they allow pets

Pet owners mostly tend to find favor with like-minded B&B owners who don’t mind the guests bringing their pets along. This generosity is hard to find in most hotels, and in the rare event that you do, keeping a pet at the hotel ferociously escalates the cost. Pet-friendly B&Bs are a dream come true for animal lovers, so if you are one yourself, it’ll be easy to find the perfect accommodation.

Check if they allow children

Yes, you read that right. There are quite a few B&Bs that aren’t too keen on having young guests below the age of 12 on their property. So, if you plan to travel with young kids, take extra caution with your research.

Check if they provide ‘modern’ amenities

As these are small scale establishments, you may not find some amenities that you’d otherwise take for granted. These include Wi-Fi, televisions, hair dryers, and even room service. Swimming pools, gyms, and coffee shops may also be beyond a mention. There could be some establishments that do not allow smoking on their premises. If you simply can’t live without modern comforts such as these, ensure that the place of your choice provides them.

Check if they have heating/cooling systems

Most B&Bs are set up in heritage structures, and may not have modernized central heating or cooling. This may especially be true of inns in remote, rural areas. Therefore, it would be prudent to make inquiries about the same beforehand.

Questions to Ask Before You Book
Are the check-in/check-out times (at least a little) flexible?

Remember that most B&Bs are houses, so you may not find the detached professionalism of hotels in here. Leaving or entering the establishment at odd hours may not be acceptable to the owner.

Is the building handicap-accessible?

If the inn is set up in a heritage structure, chances are that it may not provide such facilities. However, there are a lot of B&Bs that are sprucing up their infrastructure in order to welcome more and more people.

Is the breakfast charged separately?

Laugh as you want to, but this is a valid question. Some establishments actually have a separate charge for breakfast meals. This is because certain visitors may not wish to adhere to the traditional B&B services. And while you’re at it, also inquire if they have a service that provides other meals during the day as well.

Do you include any promotional sightseeing/tours?

Certain B&Bs are seeped in tradition, with several houses or towns having a rich history. Ask if they also include a tour of the estate grounds (if applicable) or the town.

What are your cancellation policies?
Again, do not expect the swift percentile calculations of the bigger hotels here. Most homegrown B&Bs may not even have a website (especially in rural Europe), so it is better to clarify all doubts related to monetary transactions. Also, do not assume that they will necessarily accept credit cards.

Bed and breakfasts are typically suited for those who appreciate local art and history, mingling with the community, and wish for homely hospitality on their holiday. If you think you’re one such person, reserve a room at a cozy B&B on your next holiday.

Finding Luxury Spa Hotels In Paris City

Among the most popular tourist destinations in the world, the city of Paris is full of art, romance and all things exquisite. With romantic walks along the Seine, a glass of wine overlooking the Eiffel Tower, people watching from one of their many popular cafes; the city of Paris has some elegant experiences waiting to be experienced by the quintessential traveler.

Things to See

The best way to fall in love with the city is by visiting some of its famous spots such as the Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Le Louvre – house of some exquisite pieces of art including the Mona Lisa; the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe.

Things to Do

While your upcoming trip to Paris is packed with some truly French experiences such as wine and cheese tasting, painting by the River Seine or simply walking through the labyrinthine streets of the world’s most romantic city, make sure you also account for some of the upcoming events that will further enhance your stay in the city.

  1. Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – One of the most awaited horse race experiences of the year, this event is a part of the World Series Racing Championships. Especially popular among the British, attending this event is an excellent way to see a wonderful display of hats and champagne coolers.
  2. Nuit Blanche – Every year for one night in October, in Paris as well as most parts of France, famous museums, monuments, parks, pools and cinemas remain open all night as millions of locals and tourists celebrate Nuit Blanche. This event it typically concluded with a lay on breakfast at city hall.

In addition to this, make sure you visit the Le Jardin Shakespeare’s Open Air Theatre that hosts several events every year in October.

Living it up at a Luxury Spa Hotel in Paris City

Home to some very elegant luxurious boutique hotels in Paris, the best way to make the most of your trip here is by making reservations at a Luxury Spa Hotel. The Luxury spa hotels in Paris offer some excellent modern amenities for an outstanding French experience. With world renowned restaurants, spa experiences, and views to some of Paris’ most famous monuments, it is an experience worth having.

You will find some of the most elegant hotels in Paris which once housed famous personalities such as Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Decorative Towel Folding Ideas for You

Remember the time you entered one of those nice bed and breakfast places or a cabin on a cruise ship, to be greeted by one of those cutely-folded swans or elephants? Decorative towel folding is an art which was popularized by Carnival Cruise Lines, and is still widely used to add a fancy element to room decorations. Although it might look simple, this is quite a difficult art to master. While almost everyone can fold a towel and put it in a closet, it takes certain skills to fold a towel into an origami elephant, monkey or cat.

What is Decorative Towel Folding?
Decorative towel folding is believed to have originated, or at least based on Japanese origami art. As a matter of fact, folding fabrics, including towels, requires a special origami style. While paper origami is made from neat, easy-to-fold squares, decorative towel folding requires folding floppy, soft rectangular towels, which can fall apart easily. Although it takes quite some effort, folding towel animals or other decorative items can be great fun. You can use your creations for brightening up the guest bedroom, or just make it a fun activity that keeps the kids occupied on a rainy day.

Note: If the fabric of the towel you are using for the decoration is thin and falls apart easily, starch and iron it out prior to use.

Simple Towel Folding Ideas

Towel Fan

How To Do
This is probably the easiest way of creatively folding a towel. Create a fancy origami towel in just five minutes with a fan shape. To do this:

  • Lay the towel flat in front of you. Fold about an inch from the bottom.
  • Flip over the towel and fold again.
  • Do this till you have no more towel left to fold.
  • Open it up to give it a fan-like effect. Keep this over some other folded towels.

Towel Cake

How To Do
Imagine how surprised your guests would be to find a cake made of towels on their bed. Towel cakes are popular as bridal shower favors, baby shower gifts, and decorations in honeymoon suites.

  • To create a delectable-looking cake made with fluffy towels, you will need two large bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths.
  • Place the towels horizontally on a flat surface, and then fold them lengthwise.
  • Start with one end and roll up the towel. Do so for all the towels.
  • To secure the towels, you can use pins or tie satin ribbons around them. Place the large towel rolls followed by the second layer of hand towel rolls, and finish with the washcloth rolls on the top.

Add some rose and petals on the top. Some people also prefer using lace, ribbons, and pearl sprays, to decorate the beautiful towel cake.

Towel Couch

How To Do
Simple and easy to make, this towel couch can be placed in hotel rooms with small notes, toiletries, and other items to welcome the guests. To make this couch, you will need three large towels.

  • Fold the towels in half and roll them tightly.
  • Place two towel rolls side-by-side, and one at the back.
  • Keep soaps and other toiletries on the towel rolls placed side-by-side.

Towel Candle

How To Do
Towel candles are easy to make, and can be added to other romantic towel designs like the folded swans or hearts, to create an interesting effect.

  • Lay the towel down in front of you and fold it in half.
  • Fold about half an inch of the closed end once and flip it over, so that the fold is now facing downwards.
  • Roll the towel tightly from left to right or right to left. At the bottom, fluff up the base so the roll can stand on its own.
  • The top of the towel will have multiple folds – take the outermost fold and bend it backwards, and fold it down. The inner folds should look like a flame.

Towel Pouch

How To Do
A towel pouch can be really handy in the bathroom, especially when hung on a towel bar. Not only can it be used to hold fresh flowers or other decorative items, but it can also be used to hold toiletries as well. To make this towel pouch, you will need a full-sized towel, a hand towel, and a washcloth.

  • Lay the hand towel in front of you and fold it up at the bottom.
  • Fold this part up again and flip the towel over.
  • Fold either side of the towel in and tuck one side of the pocket into another.
  • Flip over the towel again and place it over a larger towel.
  • Create a fan shape with the washcloth by flipping and folding it. Once this is done, fold it in half, so that it looks like a fan. Tuck it into your towel pouch. Decorate the pouch with flowers and tiny toiletries.

Animal Towel Folding Ideas
Towel Swan

How To Do
Towel swans are extremely popular and can be found in the rooms of many well-known hotels. Make it is simple, and it looks extremely romantic and beautiful. To make towel swans, you will need one or two large towels.

  • Lay the bath towel on a flat surface, and then fold the edges at the corners, so that it resembles a triangle.
  • Now roll up the edges so that they meet at the center, resulting in a somewhat triangular scroll.
  • Fold this triangular scroll into a ‘Z’ shape, and squeeze the corners so as to set the curves.
  • Fan out the lower half of the swan and place it on the spot that you want it to be.
  • Now repeat this procedure to make another swan, place them beak-to-beak, and press them forward to form a nice heart shape.

Towel Butterfly

How To Do
Towel butterflies are easy to make, and create quite an impact, especially when decorated with other items like roses and candles. To make a towel butterfly, you will need two large towels.

  • Place one towel horizontally on the place that you want to keep it, and make fan-like folds by folding an inch, flipping over, and then folding another inch. Once this is done, open up the towel to create a fan shape.
  • Scrunch it in the center so that the towel now resembles the wings of a butterfly.
  • Roll the other towel tightly to make a long cylindrical roll.
  • Place it in the center to complete the towel butterfly.

Towel Elephant

How To Do
Folding a towel elephant is quite a challenge, but the effect is just awesome. To fold an elephant towel, you will need one large towel and a washcloth.

  • Lay a full-sized towel flat on a surface, and roll the edges so that they meet at the center.
  • Now fold the scroll so that the rolls and the center seam face outwards. This forms the body of the elephant.
  • To make the face, lay another towel on a flat surface and clip the center of the long side of the towel.
  • Now, starting from the left corner, roll the sides of the towel to the center. Repeat this on the right side as well, so that the place you clipped the towel becomes a point.
  • Turn the towel over, so that the rolls now face the underside. Roll up the pointed end upwards to make the elephant’s trunk.
  • Grasping the flat area of towel between your two towel points at the side, unroll it away from the center.
  • Tuck in the sides to make a distinct forehead and two flapped ears.
  • Place this atop the ‘body’ that you had made, and put it up for display.

Towel Monkey

How To Do
Making a towel monkey can be difficult, yet the effort is often quite satisfactory. It can look especially good in bathrooms meant for children. To make a towel monkey, you will need one large towel and a small hand towel

  • Lay the towel horizontally and fold in half to the right side. The center of this fold will create a center crease.
  • Now, open the towel and roll back both sides halfway up to the crease.
  • Fold the towel into another half, such that, the folded sides are facing outwards.
  • While not losing control of the towel, using your fingers, gently push out the tip of each end of all the four corners.
  • Holding two of these corners each in both your hands, gently pull them apart, in such a way that the rolls start to open up four fabric twists. These are the arms and legs of the monkey.
  • For the head, you will need a hand towel. Repeat step one and two for the hand towel.
  • Roll the close-end of the towel towards the open-end, in such a manner that it resembles an envelope.
  • From the end closest to you, pull out one corner downwards and the other corner outwards, in such a way that it resembles a ball with a small tail.
  • This is the head of the monkey. Attach it or place it over the body to complete the towel monkey.

Flower Towel Folding Ideas

Towel Flower

How To Do
Flower designs are quite popular, as they are easy to make and look extremely good. To make this towel flower, you will need two colored towels, one small and one big.

  • Lay the larger towel on a table and fold the corners that are nearest to you towards the center.
  • Now, fold the other two corners into the center also.
  • Carefully keep one hand beneath the towel and flip it over. You should now get a diamond shape on the table.
  • Flip all the outer edges of the diamond and bring them to the center.
  • Carefully reach under one corner and pull the flap over partially, to form a petal-like shape. Do so for all the four corners, and slightly fluff the finished flower.
  • Repeat the above-mentioned steps for the smaller flower as well, and then place it over the larger towel flower.

Towel Rose

How To Do
Towels in different colors like red, yellow and pink can be folded to make beautiful roses that amp the romantic atmosphere of any room. To make a rose towel, you will need colorful towels and faux stems or leaves.

  • Place a towel horizontally on a flat surface and fold it up on the long side.
  • Fold one corner of the towel down, and from this side, roll the towel once towards the center.
  • Twist the leftover part of the towel once.
  • Roll over this twisted section till you are left with no more towel to roll. Tuck in the last part into the fold that was created when the towel was twisted.
  • Do this for three more flowers, and decorate them with pretty pink pins that will hold the towel rose together, and make it look beautiful.
  • Small hand towels can be used to make the leaves, or you can attach faux leaves to your pretty towel roses.

While you may be bending some of the traditional origami rules, once you master the art of creative towel folding, you will find it to be a fun and enriching activity. So make sure to employ some of these instructions for folding towels, which will impress your guests and delight the children.

Knowing Spa Receptionist Salary

If you are planning to be a spa receptionist, the biggest factor that will impact your salary structure is your job location. If you work as a spa receptionist in NY or Las Vegas, areas that see tourists throughout the year, you will enjoy a pay scale better than what you can earn in locations where tourist influx is low. The simple reason for such a trend is that world-class cities and tourist spots abound in luxury spas and native as well as international tourists flocking to such places, visit these spas for relaxation and refreshments. With the fast emerging spa market in USA, and all across the world post economic slow down, spa and wellness industry professionals are optimistic of billions of dollars returning to the business. This news must come as a delight for those who are concerned about salary figures in this field.

Before You Join Spa Industry…
Spas and skincare centers are just a minuscule part of the hospitality industry. You must ask yourself some questions before joining as a spa receptionist in a hotel or spa clinic. You must decide if you are willing to work part-time or full-time. It has been a trend amongst students related to hospitality courses to work part-time in spas and luxury hotels, to gain work experience. If you belong to that category, it is a great idea to forward you resume to some spa centers as per your area of interest. Spa receptionists jobs may at a glance, appear mundane but it is not such. Spa receptionists have a busy schedule during peak hours and work in coordination with spa managers. Almost every task related to appointments and rescheduling of clients dates or timings is done by them. Besides that, spa receptionist salary is good for those working in luxury suits and high class resorts. Overall, the opportunities are better than the past two years, when economic slump caused huge loss to the spa business owners. Nevertheless, salaries are not even that high which can make you dependent on this income only, especially if you are young. Think on all fronts, your aptitude, interest, willingness to serve people and your educational background before going for an interview pertaining to this profession. You may like to supplement your income with some other earning options. If you can do that, it can be brilliant for you. The bright side of this profession is that it grooms you in handling foreign, national and regional clients. You learn some valuable lessons in customer management that are bound to remain with you throughout your career. If you are just working as a spa receptionist, in part-time shifts, to make money, enjoy it as a great experience.

So What is the Pay-scale…
In the initial years, you can easily make US$20,000 per year, working full-time, in spa centers located in urban and metro centers in the USA. Now, since many individuals join as a spa receptionist on part-time basis, salaries are mostly paid on hourly basis. Luxury hotels generally recruit for full-time positions and they even provide sufficient training to the selected candidates. With increase in work experience, one can earn anywhere between US$25,000 to US$40,000 per year. Although, it is customary to tip masseuse or the service provider at the spa, it is uncommon to see customers tipping the spa receptionist. But if someone is happy with your courteous behavior, you may end up getting some extra money. If not your customer, then it is possible that your employer may give you some extra compensation for your excellent performance. The way you handle clients and explain to them, the facilities provided at the spa helps in retaining customers. Many spas provide some other benefits to spa receptionists like traveling allowance. If you are able to keep customer engaged by your attitude and presentation skills, you are bound to get rewards from your employer. If revenues of the spa shoot up, you are surely going to get benefit from it.

What I’m Supposed to do as a Spa Receptionist…
In the course of your duties of as a spa receptionist, you will be expected to do basic front desk jobs. You will greet guests, welcome them with a friendly smile, offer them seats and solve their queries. Your interpersonal and communication skills must be polished as your positive demeanor will attract, impress and even relax clients who come for relaxation to the spa. Since as a spa receptionist, you will be the first person to welcome the guest, you will be the face representing the entire spa center. You will have to be in a courteous behavior, even if you have to encounter some nagging customers. You will be expected to have a knowledge of history of the spa, types of methods you use to provide relaxation to the client and the science behind everything you do. If you answer the client’s questions, he will get a hint that you are trained in the task. If the client is impressed by your spa’s services, he may visit it the next time. You must also reflect organization skills by keeping the counter well managed and properly set. Your dressing sense, hairstyle and physical appearance must be cast a good impression on those who visit the spa. Being presentable is very essential, so ensure you know what dress suits your body type.

To become a spa receptionist, you just need a high school diploma with some certifications in relevant field of spa therapy. Awareness about procedures and services is a must as you can answer queries related to them. Spa receptionist salary may not be very high, but one can get experience and in addition, fortify himself or herself with professional courses and move to administrative positions on the spa staff.