Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Travelers411 Travel Radio Shownotes
"Travelers411" Radio Show - December 18, 2010 - Show Archive

Explore Boston, Cambridge, and New England with the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Boston, Massachusetts; Lock Yourself Up in Style at the Liberty Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts; The Contemporary Energy of Le Meridien Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Low Season Airfares to Budapest, Vienna, and Prague from CheapOAir.com.

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

Patrick B. Moscaritolo, President and CEO, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
www.bostonusa.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show explore the Boston area with Patrick Moscaritolo, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Bureau is a private marketing organization made up of 1200 member companies in greater New England, including Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. "Because New England is a relatively small area, visitors from Europe and South America come and enjoy Boston and Cambridge, but also want to do some other things," Patrick explains.

Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts.
Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts.

The bureau encourages visitors to explore beyond Boston and Cambridge by visiting the Maine coast, the New Hampshire mountains, the Vermont countryside, and the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. "We work closely with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, especially during the Holiday Pops, but also during the Tanglewood season," says Patrick. He adds that Boston was just named one of the top 10 cities in the world for the holiday season by CNN.

Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

"You can do Boston in two days, a week, or spend a month here," Patrick continues. "There's something to discover almost every day – even during the winter. There are wine and food festivals at the World Trade Center and the Boston Harbor Hotel. So everyone is staying warm by drinking wine, going to the symphony, and seeing the museums. We call it seeing the 'great indoors.'"

Quincy Market in Boston, Massachusetts.
Quincy Market in Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston celebrates the new year with the original First Night. "There are now 238 cities around the world that celebrate First Night," says Patrick, "but nobody does it like Boston. It was basically started by a group of artists. It's alcohol-free and family-friendly. There are fireworks at 7 p.m. for families and then a larger display at midnight over the harbor, so if you want to stay out and celebrate, you can." First Night also features indoor activities from family events to art lessons and other cultural activities.

Boston Wine Festival at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
Boston Wine Festival at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Visitors who brave the New England winters are also rewarded with hotel and restaurant deals. "We have a whole program at the bureau called Great Deals to let everyone know that you can pick and choose what you want to do," says Patrick. "We have a huge Restaurant Week program, where restaurants offer prix fixe three-course menus. Dinner is $30.11 and lunch is $20.11 or $15.11. These are generally restaurants where you could never get a whole meal for that kind of price, so it's a bargain."

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2622

For more information visit www.bostonusa.com


Link to this segment

Rachel Moniz, General Manager, The Liberty Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
www.libertyhotel.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show are broadcasting from jail – a converted jail, that is. Stephanie talks with Rachel Moniz, General Manager of The Liberty Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. Although the Liberty building was once a jail, the property is now a five-star hotel. "The building looks like a cross between Blackrock Castle Observatory in County Cork, Ireland, and some of the great Scottish fortresses," says Stephanie. "There's deep gray stone and imposing architecture, but don't get spooked – it doesn't feel like a jail."

The Liberty Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
The Liberty Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

The hotel has a sense of humor about its past; the drunk tank is now a bar called Alibi, there's a restaurant called CLINK., and the Italian restaurant is named Scampo, or 'escape.' The Liberty is located on Charles Street in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood, close to restaurants, cafes, and antique stores. "They have gas lamps lighting the streets that are so romantic," says Rachel. "It's really a winter wonderland. When it warms up in the spring, we're on the Esplanade, so you can cross the footbridge and go boating or kayaking. And different groups – including the Boston Pops – do a summer concert series on the Esplanade."

A very dog reception at the LIberty Hotel.
A very dog reception at the LIberty Hotel.

The Liberty has 298 guest rooms: 18 in the historic structure and 280 in a new, attached tower. Stephanie arrived on a Thursday evening, just in time for the weekly fashion show that's put on as part of Fashionably Late Thursdays. "We do 50 of these events a year in the hotel lobby and on the catwalks," says Rachel. "It's a lot of fun. The jail used to have cells lining the catwalks, but we've made them into guest corridors. The catwalks are very spacious and can be used for functions – or as an amazing place to people watch."

The Liberty Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
The Liberty Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Stephanie points out that the catwalks and atrium in the lobby remind her of hotels in Acapulco and the Caribbean or the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. "They all have balconies where all the rooms run around a central atrium," she explains. "When I told people I would be staying in an old jail, they were so put off and told me there would be bad vibes or it would be spooky. But if you didn't know this had been a jail, you would never know – except for the occasional souvenir that's been left behind on purpose."

Aerial view of Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts.
Aerial view of Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts.

Rachel adds that the building's history has produced some really great stories. "When Babe Ruth came back to Boston, he took a tour of the jail and said, 'This isn't like a jail, it's like a luxury hotel!'" she recalls. "And there was once a candidate for mayor, James Curley, who took a civil service exam for a friend. He got caught and ended up in jail. But he kept running for mayor from jail and won! Only in Boston." Just to be safe, though, the hotel staff invited Buddhist monks to cleanse the property of bad spirits before The Liberty opened in 2007.

Quincy Market in Boston, Massachusetts.
Quincy Market in Boston, Massachusetts.

Even though The Liberty is only three years old, the project of turning a jail into a luxury hotel has been in the works much longer. "Dick Friedman, the owner, is a Bostonian, and had the vision for it," says Rachel. "Our architect, Gary Johnson, walked in and knew what he was going to do right away. Gary and Dick brought in a great designer, too, and $120 million later, we have a beautiful hotel. We looked at Gary's original sketches and have pretty much executed those, six years later."

The Liberty Hotel in Boston Massachusetts.
The Liberty Hotel in Boston Massachusetts.

Guests of The Liberty have several options in travel to Boston. "Boston is a great drive market if you're already on the east coast, and there are great promotional airfares coming into Boston," says Stephanie. Rachel adds that "people forget Logan is international and easy to get in and out of. I take the T [public transit system] to the airport; it's $2 and 20 minutes from the hotel. It's unbelievably efficient. And once you're here, we're America's walking city – you can go from one end to the other in 45 minutes."

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2255

For more information visit www.libertyhotel.com


Fun Facts:

Instead of a 'Do Not Disturb' sign, The Liberty Hotel gives guests a piece of canvas to hang on the doorknob with 'Solitary' written on it.


Guests Include:

Patrick B. Moscaritolo, President and CEO, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
www.bostonusa.com

Rachel Moniz, General Manager, The Liberty Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
www.libertyhotel.com

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Axel Kammer, Sales Executive, Le Meridien, The Imperial Hotel, The Bristol Hotel., Vienna, Austria.
www.starwoodhotels.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show visit Vienna with Axel Kammer, Sales Executive for Le Meridien Vienna, Hotel Bristol, and Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria. All three hotels are members of the Starwood group of hotels and resorts. Stephanie visited Le Meridien Vienna as the hotel celebrated its seventh birthday with silver balloons and a giant Viennese chocolate cake. "If you're interested in being in a very historic hotel where everything is antique, you can find that," she says. "But if you're looking for a spunky, upbeat, contemporary environment, you'll want to check out Le Meridien Vienna."

Downtown Austria.
Downtown Vienna Austria.

Axel is originally from northern Germany and previously lived in Hanover and Berlin. "Berlin has a lot of stuff going on," says Axel. "While I was living there, Vienna seemed more traditional, more classical. But when I got to Le Meridien Vienna, I was just wowed by the appearance of the property – I didn't expect something so modern. It was the same with Vienna – it's not just traditions, it's festivals, street fairs, lots of modern and young stuff going on, too."

Hotel Imperial in Vienna Austria.
Hotel Imperial in Vienna Austria.

Le Meridien Vienna is located in the city center, across the street from the State Opera and close to the Hofburg Palace, the Naschmarkt (market), Secession, and public transit. "When I got to Vienna, I walked around, and it's all remarkable and historic," Stephanie says. "Then you walk into Le Meridien Vienna and it could be in New York, Chicago, or London – it's very perky. The walls are painted cherry red, there's white leather furniture, and the floors are white marble. I wanted to leave with the bathrooms, too."

Hotel Bristol in Vienna Austria.
Hotel Bristol in Vienna Austria.

The property is not only perky, but offers guests a few perks, too. The refreshment center in each guest room is complimentary and restocked daily. "There are juices, soft drinks, water, and beer," Axel says. "They'll be refilled every day if you drink them. You can also use free wireless LAN in the guest rooms, public areas, meeting rooms, fitness center, and pool area." Guests who actually use the fitness center to exercise will find treadmills, bicycles, weights, and a personal trainer who can give tips on form.

Chefs and Staff at Le meridien Vienna, Austria.
Chefs and Staff at Le meridien Vienna, Austria.

Dining options include the Shambala restaurant, which has a bar area and a terrace for summer dining. "It's often used for a club atmosphere," says Axel. "It's a very creative place for guests – and employees, too." Stephanie points out that the hotel's sleek, clean lines give the property a unique energy, which in turn attracts an energetic clientele. "There's no question that it does something to inspire and relax you in the same moment," she says. During the week, most guests are business travelers, but private travelers and families fill the rooms over the weekends.

Axel Kammer, Sales Executive, Le Meridien, The Imperial Hotel, The Bristol Hotel., Vienna, Austria.
Axel Kammer, Sales Executive, Le Meridien, The Imperial Hotel, The Bristol Hotel, Vienna, Austria.

Le Meridien Vienna has 294 rooms; its sister properties, Hotel Bristol and Hotel Imperial, also have nearly 300 rooms. Hotel Imperial was once the palace of the prince of Wurttemberg, but today hosts guests like pop star Lady Gaga and offers an over-the-top glamorous guest experience. Hotel Bristol is also a traditional hotel, but in the gentleman's club style, with big leather seats. "Not every hotel has suites with 7 meter high ceilings, like the Imperial, but there's something for everyone," says Axel. "It's a big advantage for us to have different style hotels."

Related Photo Galleries:
Hotel Bristol Hotel Imperial

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2353

For more information visit www.starwoodhotels.com


Link to this segment

Bill Miller, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, CheapOAir.com.
www.cheapoair.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show find low season airfares to Vienna, Prague, and Budapest with Bill Miller, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at CheapOAir.com. "The low season is a great time to go," says Bill. "If you can put on a coat, you can get some great deals." Fares quoted are round-trip for departure on Saturday, January 8, 2011, and return on Saturday, January 15, 2011. Taxes and fees are not included.

Swimming with Dolphins in Mexico's Riviera Nayarit at Vallarta Adventures.
Swimming with Dolphins in Mexico's Riviera Nayarit at Vallarta Adventures.

The fares are: New York City to Vienna for $405; Washington, D.C. to Prague for $368; Atlanta to Vienna for $441; Miami to Vienna for $586; Chicago to Prague for $475; Boston to Budapest for $462; Seattle to Vienna for $567; San Francisco to Prague for $571; and Southern California to Vienna for $511. Washington, D.C. had the lowest fares; to Budapest, it's $469, to Vienna, it's $391, and to Prague, it's $368. Although some flights from New York City or east coast cities may be nonstop, Bill reminds listeners that there are some connections from other markets.

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2623

For more information visit www.cheapoair.com


Travel Tips:

If you're on the east coast and find a great airfare from a nearby city, Stephanie recommends taking a shuttle to that city. She also suggests looking at companion fares, which can allow you to make a business trip into a vacation.


Guests Include:

Axel Kammer, Sales Executive, Le Meridien, The Imperial Hotel, The Bristol Hotel., Vienna, Austria.
www.starwoodhotels.com

Bill Miller, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, CheapOAir.com.
www.cheapoair.com

Travel Info on Air Quick Links Travelers411 Featured Links Travelers411 Featured Content
Travelers411 Mini Sites
Featured Content

Visit the Travelers411 Directory for
US Department of State, Department of Consular Affairs

Click here to visit the Travelers411 Directory for US Department of State, Department of Consular Affairs

There are over 8000 locations where you can apply for a US passport. Your US passport is the key for international travel and proof of citizenship while traveling. Standard and expedited passport applications are available.

Travelers411 - Travel PR Sidebar Widget

Travelers411 Travel PR

Click here for user submitted announcements

Browse announcements or create an account to post and promote your own.

Click here for details

Travel Deal for
Carrygerry Country House

20% Discount on a Bed & Breakfast

Click here for details

sabrams.com Quick Links
Click here to visit the Travelers411 Directory for US Department of State, Department of Consular Affairs

There are over 8000 locations where you can apply for a US passport. Your US passport is the key for international travel and proof of citizenship while traveling. Standard and expedited passport applications are available.

The Travelers411 Family of Brands:   Travelers411.com     sAbrams.com     Travelingfeet.com     Jetset411.com

© 2016 Travelers411. All Rights Reserved. Travelers411 and Persistent Visions are Registered Trademarks. "Your Travel Community" TM. "Explore Your World" TM. Travelers411 and all subpages and sub domains are protected by US Copyright law. We also strive to respect the copyrights of others. Please do not post material to this site for which you do not have proper permission from the copyright holder. To request use or report abuse please contact us.

| Sponsored Link |
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  U.S. Department of Commerce.  Get up to date information on weather, climate, oceans and coasts, fisheries.  Click here to visit www.noaa.gov