Categories
All Web Hotels

Haunted Hotels in Jerome, Arizona: Ghosts and Hauntings at Jerome Grand Hotel and the Connor Hotel

Jerome, Arizona has had a turbulent past, enjoying its heyday in the mining boom of the 1920s, when gamblers, drinkers and prostitutes inhabited the town; today, it is a more ‘respectable’ community of artists and gallery owners. Jerome is also frequented by the many tourists who visit year round in the hope of seeing a ghost at one of Jerome’s many haunted hotels. Popularity of this small town in Arizona heightens at Halloween, when haunted hotels are booked for up to a year in advance.

The Early History of Jerome Grand Hotel

Jerome Grand Hotel is said to be the most haunted hotel in Jerome; Jerome Grand Hotel was originally built in Spanish Mission style in 1926, and opened in 1927 as the United Verde Hospital. At the time, the United Verde Hospital was considered to be one the best hospitals in the West but closed in 1950, with the demise of the mines.

The building stood empty until 1994 when it was acquired by the Altherr family from the Phelps Dodge Mining Corp for conversion into a hotel; as the building had originally been built to withstand explosive blasts from the mine and was built high on the hill side, the Jerome Grand Hotel today is a well preserved historic treasure. However, the Jerome Grand Hotel is also home to some more ghostly guests.

Ghost Sightings and Hauntings at Jerome Grand Hotel, Arizona

There are many ghostly sightings and haunted happenings reported at Jerome Grand Hotel, including routine furniture moving, doors opening and closing and shadowy apparitions appearing to guests and hotel employees. Perhaps some of the more interesting hauntings are:

  • The Bearded Apparition – believed to be a miner, the bearded apparition is said to be a friendly ghost who roams many rooms of the hotel
  • The child – the ghost of a six year old boy is reported to appear on the third floor
  • Claude M Harvey – the 1936 hospital fireman engineer was crushed to death by the elevator. Some believe the death of Claude M Harvey was not an accident but murder and sightings and strange happenings around the elevator today are attributed to Claude M Harvey’s restless ghost.

The Early History of the Connor Hotel in Jerome

The Connor Hotel in Jerome was built in 1898 by David Connor and has had a turbulent past; the Connor Hotel has been burned to the ground, not once but twice, and has been both one of the most luxurious hotels in the West and one of cheaper hotels in the West.

However, even in the early days, when the Connor Hotel was considered to be one of the more classy places in the town, there was a false store front in the west of the building allowing access to Husband’s Alley, the domain of the prostitutes.

Ghost Sightings and Hauntings at the Connor Hotel in Jerome

Guests and visitors to the Connor Hotel are often ‘helped’ by the ghostly residents, even if the assistance is not always welcomed! Some of the reported sightings of ghosts and hauntings at the Connor Hotel include:

  • the Lady in Red – this ghostly lady appears to people alone at the bar or in other parts of the hotel; it is thought the Lady in Red inhabits Room 1 of the Jerome Hotel and she has appeared in the dreams of an artist (whose picture of her hangs in the the Spirit Room bar) and possibly attempted to get into bed with a lone male guest (her advances weren’t welcomed!)
  • Electrical malfunctions in Room 5 – electronic gadgets belonging to guests, the TV and the lights in Room 5 are reported to malfunction and switch off and on by themselves
  • artisan shops on the first floor – the first floor of the Connor Hotel is rented out to artisans who sell their work; it is reported that ‘assistance’ is given to unsuspecting customers by friendly ghosts.

Hotels Haunted by Ghosts in Jerome

There are many other hotels in Jerome which are reputed to be haunted including Ghost City Inn and the Mile High Inn; however, Jerome Grand Hotel is thought to be the most haunted hotel and the Connor Hotel has had a turbulent past, perhaps resulting in some more interesting ghost sightings. A side trip to Jerome from either Route 66 or the Grand Canyon is worth the trip for a ghostly experience.

Categories
All Web Hotels

Review of Dim Sum at Pearl Liang in Grand Hyatt Hotel Taipei

Much like Hong Kong, Taipei is filled with a mix of neighborhood joints and high end hotel restaurants that serve dim sum. In the quest to explore all the dim sum options in the Taipei area, the Peal Liang Restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Hotel was next on the list.

All-You-Can-Eat Dim Sum at Pearl Liang

The Pearl Liang Chinese Seafood Restaurant offers all-you-can-eat dim sum on weekends for NT $980 (around $ 30 US based on current exchange rates). Not as varied as other many other dim sum menus, the current menu includes several set items, including an appetizer of oxtail tripe, black boned chicken soup, and a choice of three hot entrees, vegetables, and dessert. When trying to order just dim sum, there may be some resistance as they want to bring all the courses anyways.

For the price point, there are other dim sum options in Taipei that are a better deal. Most of the items were not any better than one might find in a local neighborhood joint, and certainly not as good as many places in Hong Kong.

Two of the best offerings included Baked Honey Glazed Pork Puffs “Cha Shao Su” and the Deep Fried Taro Puffs with Chicken. Menu items like the Steamed Pork and Crab Roe Dumplings “Shao Mai” and Deep Fried Chicken Dumplings “Hsien Shui Chiao” were not among the favorites of the day.

Lunch Set Menus and A La Carte Options in Pearl Liang Chinese Seafood Restaurant

By watching every other patron in the restaurant, the obvious choice for all tables was to order off the a la carte seafood menu. There diners will find items like fresh abalone, shark’s fin and by far, the most popular item was the Sri Lanka Crab. The 1,000 gm crab is not cheap with a price of NT $1,800 and is served in a variety of ways:

  • “Bi Fong Tang” Style

  • Sauteed with Pepper and Fragrant Salt

  • Steamed with Hua Diao Wine

  • Baked with Ginger and Spring Onions

  • Sauteed with Black Bean

There are also hot and cold entrees available, or diners can choose from three set menus that feature a combination of meat, seafood, soup, vegetables, etc., and vary in price (NT $2,000, NT $2,500 or NT $3,000) depending on the menu chosen.

Judging by the other large groups on hand for the seafood, it would seem this is definitely Pearl Liang’s specialty.

Atmosphere and Service at Pearl Liang

While the atmosphere is casual for Sunday afternoon, reservations are still recommended. For the best service, try to arrive at the 11:30am opening. When they are slow at opening you may find dishes coming out one on top of the other. As the restaurant quickly fills up, it might take 20 minutes in between orders before the dim sum arrives. There was a definite emphasis on those customers ordering the high dollar seafood items, versus those ordering dim sum.

The restaurant itself is quite striking with a calming modern look. The simple decor showcases Chinese tea sets and other Chinese artifacts. Be sure to check out the bar and large wine cellar inside. Pearl Liang stocks a number of rare and specialty wines that carry a matching price of course.

Location of Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan

The Grand Hyatt Hotel is conveniently located in the middle of Taipei, very close to Taipei 101 and other tourist sites. While there is not a public (MRT) station that close by, the price of taxis make it an inexpensive jaunt no matter where you are staying in town. For locals looking to visit the Grand Hyatt, there is a large underground parking lot (NT $70 per hour) and the Pearl Liang will validate.

Pearl Liang serves lunch from 11:30am until 2:30pm and they are also open for dinner from 6:00 pm until 9:30pm. There are also private dining rooms that can hold 8 to 24 guests. To make reservations, contact the Hyatt’s Food and Beverage Restaurant Reservations at +886 2 2720 1200 ext 3198 or 3199.

Grand Hyatt Taipei

  • 2, Song Shou Road

  • Taipei, Taiwan 11051

  • Telephone: +886 2 2720 1234

Categories
All Web Hotels

Pet Friendly Hotels Niagara Falls NY: Travel With Pets to Upstate New York Scenic Vacation Destination

Niagara Falls is a premier destination, popular for romantic getaways, honeymoons and family vacations. The spectacular falls are the main attraction at this popular vacation destination that is on the border of New York State and Canada. The falls consist of the Canadian horseshoe Falls and the American Falls. Major attractions include Old Fort Niagara, Maid of the Mist tours, Seneca Casino and more. Pet friendly hotels welcome the family dog or cat to travel along on vacation.

Hotels that welcome pets allow people to bring their beloved four legged companions to share the vacation adventure. Following are hotels that allow dogs and cats.

  • Quality Hotel and Suites. This hotel is located one block from the mighty falls, one block to the Canadian border and one block from Seneca Niagara Casino. Quality Hotel is a full service hotel with modern amenities and services. Amenities include indoor heated swimming pool and spa, cigar shop and smoking lounge, gift shop, on-site wedding chapel. and Legends Bar and Grill. Pets are allowed. The pet fee is $20 per night. 24- First Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14303. 1-716-282-1212.

  • Best Western Summit Inn. Best Western is in the midst of the Niagara area shopping an dining district and is near the famous falls. Hotel amenities include daily continental breakfast, heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, fitness center and free high speed Internet. Pets allowed. Pet free is $8 per pet, per day. 9500 Niagara Falls blvd.,Niagara Falls, NY 14304. 1-716-297-5050.

  • Comfort Inn. This Lockport hotel is minutes from Niagara Falls, Darien Lake Theme Park and Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises. Amenities include free continental breakfast, exercise room, business center and high speed Internet. Pet friendly hotel. Pet fee of $10 per night. 551 S. Transit Road, Lockport, NY 14094. 1-716-434-4411.

  • Holiday Inn Lockport. Holiday Inn is located between Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Darien Lake. Historic Erie Canal is one mile away for this inn. Hotel amenities include a full service restaurant and lounge, free wireless high speed Internet and indoor swimming pool.Up to two pets allowed per room, Pet fee is $10 per night, per pet. 515 South Transit Street, Lockport, NY 14094. 1-716-434-6151.

  • Howard Johnson Hotel. Howard Johnson is one block to the Falls, Casino and Clifton Hill.This seven story hotel is 100% smoke free. Amenities include heated indoor swimming pool with water slide, outdoor heated swimming pool with sun deck, hot tub, sauna, fitness center, arcade room, Internet kiosk with high speed Internet and three elevators. Pets Can Stay pet policy offers a limited number of guest rooms, so the pet room must be designated at time of booking. Pets under 25 pounds allowed. The pet fee is an additional $15 per pet, per stay. 5905 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. 1-905-357-4040.

Information in this article was gathered over the hotel web sites and over the telephone. Hotel policies are subject to change without notice. Contact the hotels for additional information and to make reservations.

Photo Credit: Saffron Blaze

Categories
All Web Hotels

The Bettoja Hotel Chain in Italy – A Family Legacy

The Bettoja family’s restaurant and hotel adventure began with the acquisition of the Restaurant Massimo d’Azeglio, named after the Italian writer, statesman, aristocrat, and painter, Massimo Taparelli, marquis d’Azeglio. After 130 years, Massimo d’Azeglio is still one of Rome’s leading restaurants.

As the area around the restaurant developed, the family bought the rest of the building and transformed it into the Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio. The Bettojas acquired their second hotel, the Hotel Mediterraneo, in the 1930’s. Between World War I and II, they added the Hotel Atlantico and Hotel Nord Nuova Roma to the chain. All four hotels are in Rome. The most recent addition in 1989, the Hotel Relais Certosa, is located in Florence, bringing the total hotels in the family chain to five.

The Five Bettoja Hotels

The Hotel Relais Certosa was built in the 1400s as guest quarters for the Certosa dei Galluzo Monastery. One of the most important monasteries in Europe, this destination is still occupied by Cisterian monks and historical works of art. The sixty-three rooms and six suites in the four star hotel have been renovated and decorated in Tuscan style. The Relais Certosa is surrounded by fifteen acres of park-like ambience to ensure quiet and harmony. To satisfy your culinary appetite, try a Tuscan dish in the one of the hotel’s two well-known restaurants, La Terrazza or La Veranda.

The Hotel Mediterraneo is the highest building in Rome’s historical centre and is decorated in Forties Art Deco. The geometric Italian style represents the architecture typical of the period between the First and Second World War. Valentino loves the location for fashion shoots and the hotel attracts movie and television scouts. Design and architecture buffs will love this ten-storey, 266-room work of art. It has all modern luxuries including interpretation services, hydro-massage bathtubs, soundproof rooms, and an on-staff masseur. The Hotel Mediterraneo has fulfilled its goal of becoming a grand hotel in European style.

A 1936 building houses the Atlantico Hotel. The décor matches that era including precious wood and marble floors. Sixty-nine rooms on five floors include modern comforts. Conference rooms of varying sizes are available for those in Rome on business. The Atlantico Hotel is connected to the Hotel Mediterraneo via an internal stairway so guests can easily take advantage of the Mediterraneo’s Ristorante 21 and other amenities.

The Hotel Nord Nuova Roma boasts a stunning glass elevator and a modern fitness centre on the top floor. It is decorated with traditional dark wood, rich fabric colours, and classic patterns. All 155 rooms are soundproof and boast the most up-to-date comforts while preserving the hotel’s 1930s tasteful style. Guests love the wireless Internet access in all rooms and the televisions with international channels.

The Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio, the first in the Bettoja Hotel Group, has held onto its late 19th century style and ambience. Its façade looks like it did when King Umberto ruled Italy in the late 1800s while the interior has been regularly revamped. The lobby is filled with priceless art works representing people vital to the Italian unification movement. A portrait of d’Azeglio and three of his drawings hang near the bar. The hotel is comprised of five floors – one devoted to nonsmokers – and 197 rooms. Conferences can be held in the “Sala Azzura” which holds up to 180 people in air-conditioned comfort and high-tech luxury.

All four of the hotels in Rome are either next door, across the street, or around the corner from one another. You are within walking distance of the Coliseum, the Opera House, the Fountain of Trevi, Imperial Forums, the new Archeological Museum, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and the Via Veneto, all of which draw visitors from around the world. The Termini Railway Station is 200 metres away. The two family restaurants service the four hotels and two rooftop garden eateries serve lighter fare while offering a panoramic view of Rome.

Bettoja Cooking

The Breakfast Rooms in the Bettoja Hotel Group serve an international breakfast buffet with a variety of cereals, fruit, juices, pastries, cold meats and cheeses, among other items. The Hotel Mediterraneo’s breakfast buffet is even more elaborate with items such as a variety of cut to order fresh baked breads and breakfast salads.

The Bettoja family recipes are served in both restaurants and rooftop gardens and continue to be improved upon by Jo Bettoja. Jo opened a cooking school in 1976 and went on to publish three Italian cookbooks. She has incorporated Georgian cuisine – her birthplace – with the best of Italian dishes and their guests benefit from her culinary genius. Favourites include Fruit Spamone, Pollo a la Romana, and Uova Fritte all’ American (American style fried eggs). Popular classic family recipe menu choices include Cognac-flambéed tournedos, Grand Veneur venison sirloin, pink ravioli, trenette with turbot fillet, and Provencal-style scallops. The menu changes daily and with the seasons. Guests in any of the four Roman Bettoja hotels can visit either of the restaurants and charge it to their room.

La Cantina, the wine cellar that started in 1875 with a few dozen bottles, now holds over 30,000 bottles of wines from around the world. Rare bottles include Chianti Brolio Ricasoli from ’18, ’23, ’29, and ’43 and an 1875 Malaga Conte Alvarez de la Castilla. The wine cellar hosts wine tastings and romantic candlelight dinners, popular events in Rome.

Today Angelo Bettoja runs the chain while Jo continues to perfect the family recipes. Their two sons as well as many other relatives work in the Bettoja chain in many different capacities from Marketing Director to hotel managers to decorators. The over 1,000 rooms are regularly updated and modernized while maintaining their traditional feel.

With Florence and Rome being the two top European destinations according to Travel and Leisure, why not try out a Bettoja hotel the next time you are in Europe? All five hotels have their own unique identity and the Bettoja family’s personal touch.

Categories
All Web Hotels

The Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino: Flamboyant Addition to Macau’s Skyline Divides Opinion

The Grand Lisboa is the epitome of bling. Inspired by the lotus – Macau’s national flower – and the long feathers of carnival costumes, its distinctive lines can be seen from most parts of the city. Seated atop an egg-shaped structure derived from the shape of Russian Imperial Faberge eggs, the Grand Lisboa stands out from the crowd, in all its glittering, gaudy glory.

Grand Lisboa Casino Opens

The flagship of gambling tycoon Stanley Ho’s Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, the Grand Lisboa casino opened in February 2007, followed by the hotel in December 2008. Standing opposite the Lisboa Casino, Macau’s grande dame of casinos, the Grand Lisboa is one more in a long line of flashy venues in what has been termed the Las Vegas of the East.

The entrance is full of chandeliers, gleaming marble and museum quality artwork, including the Qing Dynasty bronze horse head bought by Stanley Ho for US$8.84 million in 2007 which takes pride of place.

At 258 metres, the Grand Lisboa is the second tallest building in the city after the Macau Tower. The hotel boasts 430 rooms complete with flat screen televisions and jacuzzis, the Lisboa Spa and a ballroom, while the Grand Lisboa’s Cantonese restaurant The Eight was awarded one star in the Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau.

Macau’s Gaudy Casino Architecture

Spurred on by the arrival of Las Vegas-style casinos such as the Sands Macau, chief architect Dennis Lau wanted to create a place full of flamboyance and excitement. His inspiration for the project came from a picture of Brazilian carnival dancers wearing headdresses of long colourful feathers. “These feathers were the perfect symbol of the expression I had been looking for,” he told Macau Closer magazine.

Conception to completion was a lengthy process, with design work commencing in 2002, and construction in 2004. The complexities of the architectural design posed a number of challenges, but also provided an opportunity to enhance the hotel experience. The structure arches out by up to 21 metres from the waist of the tower to the tip of the feather, with the result that each room is slightly different.

It is probably inevitable that such a striking building should evoke strong opinions. A number of posts on the internet have labeled it tacky, and an “eyesore”. The Business Traveler said “The entire project is bathed in ostentation, with the lobby alone featuring several thousand Swarovski crystals.”

Macau’s casinos are a monument to conspicuous consumption and, financial crisis permitting, are set to become even more gaudy. Gambling in Macau has never been about good taste.

Categories
All Web Hotels

Ten Infamous Hotel Crime Scenes

Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN

No list of infamous hotel crime scenes is complete without Lorraine Motel. During the height of the African-American civil rights movement its leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down on the balcony of his hotel room at the age of 39 by James Earl Ray, a fugitive from Missouri State Penitentiary. In the ensuing fallout, Lorraine Motel became a museum dedicated to the civil rights struggle.

Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

Only hours after winning the Democratic Primary election (which made him a candidate for president), Robert F. Kennedy was shot in the kitchen of the Ambassador on June 5th, 1968. Robert Kennedy was the brother of assassinated US President, John F. Kennedy.

Park Central, New York

Also known as the Park Sheraton, this hotel is famous for its high class clientèle including infamous mobster Albert Anastasia, boss of what is now the Gambino Family. Anstasia was murdered in 1957 while sitting in the barber’s chair during a full scale shootout.

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, Fall River, Massachusetts

Taking its name from the daughter of Andrew Borden, who along with his second wife, were hacked to pieces with an axe in their beds, the Lizzie B&B has the dubious honor of having been host to a particularly brutal slaying that Lizzie was tried and acquitted for in 1892.

Beau Rivage, Geneva

Few of these hotels can claim the level of ostentatious infamy that the Beau Rivage can. In 1898, Itallian anarchist Luigi Lucheni attacked and stabbed Empress Elizabeth of Austria when she was leaving the hotel. Ever a woman to propriety, the Empress did not allow her corset to be undone until she had reached the privacy of the boat. Unfortunately little could be done to save her and she bled out shortly thereafter.

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

August 20, 1945. Five days after Emperor Hirohito surrendered to the allied forces, signaling the end of World War II, 300 Japanese officers committed ritual suicide in the lobby of the hotel after a day of relaxing and drinking sake.

Cecil Hotel, Los Angeles

In more recent history, a 21 year old Canadian tourist missing only to be found in the bottom of the water tank under the Cecil Hotel but not before opening up a much bigger can of worms as to how she got there. Something smells fishy and it isn’t just the drinking water.

Chelsea Hotel, New York

While Sid Vicious, band member of the punk band Sex Pistols, might have been better known for his bass riffs, he cemented his fate when he stabbed his girlfriend in a heroin stupor. After being bailed out, he then chased the dragon one final time and overdosed.

Watergate Hotel

Being the only bloodless crime scene on the list of infamous hotel crime scenes does nothing to blunt the sheer majesty of the crime perpetrated in the hotel which started with a break in at the Democratic National Committee HQ in the hotel, continued when Nixon’s administration tried to cover it up and lead to the resignation of Nixon himself and the incarceration of 43 people, many of which were top administration officials. All without a drop of blood spilled.

The Grand Central Hotel, New York

Labeled the ‘Forgotten Inn’, the Grand Central Hotel is the most infamous hotel in all of New York, with a long history of suicide, murder and one scandal after another. Opened in 1870, the hotel hosted 650 rooms over 8 floors and attracted a slew of business magnates and ‘hotel hermits’ until it burned down in 1973.