Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Travelers411 Travel Radio Shownotes
"Travelers411" Radio Show - September 25, 2010 - Show Archive

Experience Picasso, Hendrix, and Four-Diamond Service at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington; Catch The Black Bear Film Festival and The Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania; October 2010 Flights From CheapOAir.

Listen to the show in Windows Media Format:     hour1     hour2

Listen to the show in MP3 Format:     hour1     hour2

Hour 1

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Nancy Helms, Director of Sales and Marketing, Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 
www.marriott.com/seasm

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show visit the Pacific Northwest this hour to talk with Nancy Helms, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel in Seattle, Washington. The Renaissance Seattle Hotel is located in downtown Seattle and is part of both the Marriott and Renaissance brands.

Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 
Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 

Nancy has been in the hotel industry in Seattle and Portland for 20 years and at the Renaissance Seattle for the past three years. "Seattle gets a bad rap for its weather, but we actually rank very low in annual rainfall," she points out. "You just have to deal with the cloud cover in winter, which can go on for a few days, and the mist, which we call 'marine air.'"

Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 
Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA.

The Renaissance Seattle is in the middle of downtown Seattle, on the corner of Madison and Sixth Avenue. The hotel is close to popular tourist sights like Pike Place Market, the waterfront, museums, the shopping district, and Pioneer Square. Pioneer Square, Nancy explains, is the original town core of Seattle. Its cobblestone streets and many of its buildings date from the 19th century. Pioneer Square is also home to the Underground Tour, which allows visitors to see the old city underneath the modern buildings.

Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 
Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA.

One of Seattle's newest attractions is the Experience Music Project, a tribute to Seattle musician Jimi Hendrix. The project is sponsored by Microsoft's Paul Allen and features music memorabilia and re-created recording studios. "If you're a music lover, that's the place to go," Nancy says. "Before Microsoft, it was Jimi Hendrix who put Seattle on the map."

Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 
Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA.

From October 8, 2010 to January 17, 2011, the Seattle Art Museum will host an exhibition of over 150 of Picasso's greatest works. The artwork spans Picasso's entire career and Seattle is one of three cities to host the tour. To celebrate, the Renaissance Seattle Hotel is offering a Rose, Blue, and Cubism Experience package. The experience includes rose petal soaps; 'Picosmo' cocktails made of blue raspberry vodka, blue Curacao, and muddled limes; and cube-shaped desserts. The package also includes overnight accommodations in a corner king guest room for two, overnight parking, and two tickets to the Picasso exhibit.

Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 
Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 

"The bar on the 28th floor has beautiful views of the city and is a great place to have a 'Picosmo' cocktail—which itself is delicious; I know because I've taste-tested it," says Nancy. Prices for the Picasso package start at $209. Stephanie points out that this is a great deal because it includes overnight parking and guarantees tickets to the exhibit. "Often, when there's a big, popular exhibit, you just can't get tickets," she says. "The cost of the Picasso tickets is almost beside the point here."

Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 
Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 

Out of all the options in Seattle, why choose the Renaissance Seattle Hotel? Nancy has some exciting news to share. "Following a revitalization of the property to the tune of $28 million, we've just been awarded an AAA 4-Diamond Award," she says. "We're very excited and proud of this designation; it puts us in great company. The renovation covered all 553 guest rooms, which are beautifully appointed and a lovely size." There are 5 luxury suites and four corner king rooms on each floor, which have a parlor and a bedroom with window seats on two sides.

Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 
Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 

The Renaissance Seattle Hotel has several dining options: Maxwells Restaurant; the R View bar on the 28th floor, which offers cocktails, appetizers, and a full menu; and the Lobby Bar. "We hear time and time again that we have the most friendly staff, plus we have a wonderful concierge team that can answer any questions for guests and make sure they get the most out of their visit," Nancy says. In a nod to Seattle's coffee culture, the hotel serves Starbucks beverages.

Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 
Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 

"Since we're 28 floors high, you can sit up here on the hill and look out at beautiful Puget Sound," Nancy continues. "You'll see ferries coming in and out, and in the summer, you can see the cruise ships going up to Alaska. In the fall, it's not quite as crowded." The hotel's top floor also features a fitness center with new Precor equipment. "All the equipment faces out, so the views make exercise a little more entertaining," Nancy explains. "There's also a saltwater swimming pool, which is one of our green initiatives."

For business visitors, the hotel offers 25,000 square feet of meeting space. The facilities include two ballrooms, one of which was added during the recent renovations. The Renaissance Seattle can accommodate groups from ten to sixty people. "You can see pictures from before and after the revitalization on our website," Nancy points out. "We have some brand-new photos showcasing the property."

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2198

For more information visit www.marriott.com/seasm


Travel Tips:

British Airways is sponsoring Face to Face once again. The program is designed to help entrepreneurs or small business owners expand their businesses around the world. Between 200 to 250 entrants will be selected to fly from the U.S. to London for a reception. From London, winners will fly anywhere in the world on the British Airways network to develop their business ventures.

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams in front of a British Airways replica.
Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams in front of a British Airways replica.

Entrepreneurs can enter by submitting a video or essay on the British Airways website describing how the award will assist the growth and development of their business. If you're not a small business owner, Stephanie suggests visiting the website to vote for your favorite venture. "I suggest voting for Donna Drake," Stephanie says. "Donna has a TV show on cable in the New York area and wants to globalize her program. The reason I recommend her is that Donna learned about Face to Face by listening to Travelers411!


Guests Include:

Nancy Helms, Director of Sales and Marketing, Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington, USA. 
www.marriott.com/seasm

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Sean Strub, Presdient, Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 
www.hotelFauchere.com
www.relaischateaux.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show explore another Relais & Chateaux property with Sean Strub, President of Hotel Fauchere in Milford, Pennsylvania. Milford is in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, just 75 miles or a 90-minute drive from New York City. The town is also home to the Black Bear Film Festival, which will take place over Columbus Day weekend 2010, starting Friday, October 8.

Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 
Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 

The Black Bear Film Festival started eleven years ago and continues as a boutique festival today with contemporary pieces by independent filmmakers. "Fall is a really nice time here, and the town is all spruced up for the film festival," Sean says. "There are lots of New Yorkers with second homes here, so that's where the energy and contacts for the film festival come from. And we usually have a star or two in attendance." This year, the festival will welcome Marge Champion as a special guest.

Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 
Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 

The Milford region is rich in film history. "We had Arlene Dahl here a couple years ago, D.W. Griffith made his first two films here, and Pearl White and Charlie Chaplin stayed here," Sean explains. Many productions filmed in the area, which Sean speculates was due to the number of people with second homes in the area. These films included Pearl White's "The Perils of Pauline" series, which ended every episode by nearly killing off its heroine. "Each episode left her hanging off a cliff, or about to get run over by a train," Sean explains. "You had to come back to the movies the next week to see what happened. It's where the phrase 'cliffhanger' came from."

Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 
Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 

Visitors can see the site of Pauline's narrow escape by hiking to the cliffs in the Delaware Watergap National Recreation Area. "The hike rises above the river to give you a 25-mile view over to the Hudson River Valley," Sean says. "One particularly great spot along that hike is Council Point, a big rock outcropping where seven local tribes once met to settle their differences."

Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 
Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 

Pearl White was also very popular with the hotel staff. "Pearl would stay in town for several weeks to film. She was the first woman to own her own production company and was apparently something of a character," Sean explains. "The last night of her stay, she hosted an all-night poker party in her room for the film crew. She always won and always gave her winnings to the hotel staff as the tip."

Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 
Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 

The county around Milford is 95% forested, a mix of nature preserves and camps. Sean describes it as "a gorgeous, pristine natural environment." He became interested in Milford, however, for its architecture. "All the great 19th century architects have work in Milford," he says. "I got interested in restoring buildings. So my business partner and I bought the Hotel Fauchere to restore it, fell in love with its history, and decided to reopen it as a fine boutique hotel."

Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 
Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 

Not only did Sean restore the building, he restored the heart of Milford. "The Hotel Fauchere was operated for 124 years by the same family," he explains. "When I moved to Milford, people talked about the hotel all the time as though it was still open, but when I investigated, I found out that it had been closed for 20 years. Some say that when the hotel reopened, it finally gave the town back its heart and center."

Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 
Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 

The current incarnation of Hotel Fauchere is an Italianate gem dating from 1880. There are 16 guest rooms with marble baths, radiant heat, heated towel racks, Kiehl's amenities, and Frette bed and bath linens. "When we bought property, we decided that if we were going to open a hotel, we would do it right," Sean says. "We made a list of the things about hotels that pleased us, and at the top of both lists was having a long day and then sliding into a bed with refreshing, cool, delicious linens." While awake, guests can choose from fine dining at the Delmonico Room and a more casual setting at Bar Louis.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2220

For more information visit www.hotelFauchere.com and www.relaischateaux.com


Link to this segment

Bill Miller, Sr. VP, Strategic Partnerships, CheapOAir.com, CheapOStay.com.
www.cheapoair.com
www.cheapostay.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show fly off with Bill Miller, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for CheapOAir and CheapOStay. This week, Bill has fares for a departure on Saturday, October 16, 2010 and return on Saturday, October 23, 2010. All fares quoted are round-trip, taxes and fees not included.

Walt Disney World, Epcot, Orlando, Florida, USA.
Walt Disney World, EPCOT, Orlando, Florida, USA.

The fares are: New York City to Milwaukee, $125; Boston to Milwaukee, $121; Chicago to Hartford, Connecticut for $205; Dallas-Fort Worth to Hartford for $243; Los Angeles to New York City for $235; Miami to New York City for $129; New York City to San Diego for $315; Washington, D.C. to San Diego for $252; New York City to Calgary, Alberta for $351; San Francisco to Calgary for $242; New York City to Dublin for $583; and New York City to Shannon, Ireland for $529.

New York City's Time Square, New York, USA.
New York City's Times Square, New York, USA.

Bill reminds listeners that domestic fares are usually bi-directional. For example, a customer can generally buy a round-trip fare from New York City to Milwaukee for the same price as a round-trip fare from Milwaukee to New York City. He also urges listeners to take advantage of CheapOAir's ongoing promotion: enter RADIO 20 in the promo code box to receive $20 off each ticket purchased.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2216

For more information visit www.cheapoair.com and www.cheapostay.com


Travel Tips:

If you have frequent flier miles with Continental, check on them before the Continental-United merger. Stephanie recently moved 100,000 American Express rewards miles onto her Continental OnePass only to find that she will no longer be allowed to use them for whole tickets or upgrades.

Continental airplane on tarmac.
Continental airplane on tarmac.

Stephanie suggests using the UK as a jumping-off point for visiting Ireland. From Manchester, Edinburgh, or Liverpool, it can be easy and inexpensive to fly into Dublin, Shannon, Belfast, or even Cork and Galway. Travelers can also take the Irish Ferry between the west coast of the UK and the port of Dublin or Rosslare, in southern Ireland.


Guests Include:

Sean Strub, Presdient, Hotel Fauchere, Milford, Pennsylvania, USA. 
www.hotelFauchere.com
www.relaischateaux.com

Bill Miller, Sr. VP, Strategic Partnerships, CheapOAir.com, CheapOStay.com.
www.cheapoair.com
www.cheapostay.com

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