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Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Kevin Jackson, Xenia von Wedel, Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski

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Holiday Tips for the Host and Guest

Hotels.com provides expert advice for those seasonal visits whether at a home or hotel

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry. But what is often overlooked is how stressful the season can be. Many of us travel to celebrate with our family and friends, and it's easy to forget the impact this can have on both parties. So, the experts at Hotels.com® have put together a list of holiday tips to ease that burden and make holiday visits more enjoyable for everyone involved.

"We've all heard stories about nightmare guest," says Taylor L. Cole, director public relations and social media, North America at Hotels.com. "Visits with family and friends should be enjoyable and these easy to follow tips can help with holiday etiquette. Also remember, if you're the type of person that needs your space and alone time, a nearby hotel is likely a better choice than bunking with the entire family at grandma's house."

Hosting over the Holidays - Bring the Hotel Amenities Home:

It's the little things that can make the biggest difference to your guest's experience. Follow these simple tips to make a lasting impression this holiday season:

  1. Welcome home: Make your guests feel right at home by providing easy access to amenities they find in hotels or their own homes like a TV channel guide in their room, Wi-Fi access cheat sheet and by providing a quick tour of the kitchen and pantry.
  2. Get cozy: Unless you're in the Caribbean, it's probably cold outside. Do as the top hotels and put out a throw pillow, slippers or a robe. This simple gesture will make your guests feel right at home. There is also something super cozy about the warm glow of lamps and candles - especially those with yummy holiday scents!
  3. Stock up on warm drinks: Hot chocolate, hot cider, coffee and tea are an easy and affordable way to treat your guests. Consider putting a coffee maker in your guest room so guests can have fresh java just the way they like it.
  4. Bring out the games: Regardless of age, we're never too old to have some fun. Board games are a great way to spend time together away from the television. Building a gingerbread house is another great activity if there are kids around.
  5. Prepare toiletries: Create a little kit for your guest room that includes everything they might need, or could forget, including toothbrushes, shampoo and body lotion.

Travelling over the Holidays:

Just because you're the one travelling, don't expect the world to cater to you (even if you're at a hotel). Remember it's not just your holiday, so treat your hosts well too.

  1. Show gratitude and bring a gift: A host or hostess gift is a must if visiting friends or family. This small gesture could apply to hotel guests too. Pay it forward and give your bell hop or housekeeper a generous tip, or bring the doorman hot chocolate. Remember hotel employees are missing the holidays with their families to serve you. A little appreciation goes a long way!
  2. Clean up after yourself: Wash your plates or stack them in the dishwasher after meals and don't forget to strip your bed before you leave.
  3. Don't expect a babysitter: If you're travelling with kids, just because you're on vacation, remember it is still your responsibility to watch them. If your child is in the curious stage, bring some easy and temporary childproofing items with you like cabinet and door locks.
  4. Respect house rules: This may not seem like a big deal to you, but to your host it matters. Show respect, and if certain areas are off limits, or shoes are to be removed when inside, it's important to do so.
  5. Thank you notes are key: Never underestimate the power of the written word. Whether you stayed with family or at a hotel, a simple note is a great way to express your appreciation.

Hotels for the Holidays:

Sometimes there simply isn't room to stay at the homes of your relatives or friends, or maybe you're just looking to get away for the holidays. If so, using the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index™, we've identified hotels in popular destinations for Canadians that really get into the festive spirit.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, AB: This hotel loves the holidays so much that they developed a special holiday booklet to keep guests apprised of all the activities. Attractions include a gingerbread house workshop to Santa's workshop, cookie decorating, a traditional Christmas sing-a-long, ice skating and much more. Just because you're not at home doesn't mean you have to miss the turkey and stuffing either, as they have traditional dinner on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. ADR in Banff: $164

The Bellagio in Las Vegas, NV: Everything in Vegas is over the top, so we can't expect the holiday season to be any different. The Bellagio hotel transforms its Conservatory & Botanical Gardens to accommodate the holiday theme which includes daily live musical performances, oversized ornaments, bells and snowflakes. ADR in Las Vegas: $113

The New York Palace in New York, NY: This hotel is a prime holiday destination for several reasons. It is known for its stunning holiday decorations, but its location is what makes it so great for holiday activities. Located near Fifth Avenue shopping, ice skating and the famous tree at Rockefeller Center this hotel gives you the authentic New York holiday experience. ADR in New York: $257

Pay it forward and make the holiday season easier for everyone this year. Whether you're at home or away, a little extra effort will make the holidays so much more enjoyable. 'Tis the season after all!

About Hotels.com®

Hotels.com (also known in Canada as Hotels.ca) is a leading online accommodation booking brand. Through its global network of websites, Hotels.com, LP connects travellers with over 160,000 properties around the world, ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Hotels.com, LP benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry, obtaining the best rates for its customers, and offers frequent sales, special deals and promotions. There are more than 7 million Guest Reviews on the websites from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers can make an informed choice when booking. Through Hotels.com, LP's industry-leading loyalty program Welcome RewardsTM, customers can earn a free night for every 10 nights stayed at more than 85,000 hotels. Under its Price Match Guarantee, if a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com, LP will refund the difference. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centers. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded at www.hotels.com/deals/mobile_app/ enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals. Hotels.com publishes an award-winning twice-yearly review of international hotel room price trends called the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index™, which is now produced in 31 individual country editions, with North American data available at www.hotel-price-index.com. Follow Hotels.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Hotels.comCA, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/hotelsdotcomca and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/hotelsdotcom. Hotels.com, LP is part of Expedia, Inc., the largest online travel company in the world with an extensive portfolio that includes some of the world's best-known brands.

Hotels.com, Hotel Price Index, HPI and the Hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotels.com, LP. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. © 2012 Hotels.com, LP. All rights reserved. CST # 2083949-50

SOURCE Hotels.com

Image with caption: "Small gestures can go a long way during holiday visits (CNW Group/Hotels.com)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121210_C7477_PHOTO_EN_21705.jpg

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