Hotels, champions of the romantic weekend stay, can be the star of the story, even if it is a very short one.

This was the case in the Hotel Chevalier. article, Fox Searchlight Pictures photo credit

Hotel Chevalier is an American-French short film written and directed by Wes Anderson and released in 2007. Starring Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman as former lovers who reunite in a Paris hotel room, the 13-minute film acts as a prologue to Anderson’s 2007 feature The Darjeeling Limited.

It was shot on location in a Parisian hotel by a small crew and self-financed by Anderson, who initially intended it to be a stand-alone work. Its first showing was at the Venice Film Festival première of the feature film on September 2, 2007, and it made its own debut later that month at Apple Stores in four American cities.

We enjoyed the short film, especially the sensuous and sensational Natalie Portman and the wonderful hotel itself.

Vacation rentals can be exceptional weekend stays and like most of you, we have done that too. article, spa rosewood cordevalle photo credit

Though they often get a bad rap being the setting for so many slasher and horror films, vacation rentals can actually be artistic and spiritual retreats that are completely safe.

Back in the day when the girls on the Danube ruled our competitive female submission grappling industry, from time to time they shot their matches at some unique vacation getaways.

One film that did wonders for the vacation rental was Dirty Dancing.

It was a classic ’80s tale about romantic coming of age.

Set in a Catskills cabin rental resort, this film is highly memorable, not only for Patrick Swayze’s performance and his “fresh” moves, but mostly for the “magic” that happens at the family’s rental cabin!

Our industry super star Daisy Ducati has engaged in some tremendous matches in recent years. Let’s examine one.

Here she takes on Great Britain’s Minxy Li during an International battle. article, photo credit

That was a day that stood out in our minds because we traveled to San Francisco to pick Daisy up and give her ride to San Jose to battle Minxy.

Guess which hotel was nearby our agreed upon meeting place. Hotel Nikko. article photo credit

We have spent many a beautiful San Francisco moon there and in some way felt it was the only way to fly.

But is it?

We have also done vacation rentals in homes as well and loved it.

Femcompetitor Magazine has written about both industries with gusto.

Fem Wrestlers: Graduate Hotels, The College Experience Again article, Graduate Hotels, photo credit

Fem Wrestler Alert! Have You Tried Women Only Hotel Floors?

Kimpton Hotels Are Female Friendly.

It raises the question, what might be the better vacation spot depending upon your needs.

We have a visiting speaker that can help with some comparisons.

Vacation Rentals vs Hotels, Which Is Better? article , photo credit

By TC Thorn

When you plan a vacation, you may automatically think of taking your family (or just yourself) and checking into a big hotel. With so many airplane + hotel + car rental packages out there, it’s easy to get sucked into that frame of thinking. And in the long run, you can often get the best vacation deals by going that way. Still, there are other lodging options you might wish to explore.

Vacation rentals, for instance, offer many amenities that the majority of hotels do not. Usually owned by regular folks (renting a vacation home means helping a “mom and pop” business instead of a big corporate-owned hotel), vacation rentals tend to give you full kitchens and multiple bedrooms. They’re available everywhere you might wish to stay too. You can find condominiums or houses (with detached homes you get the ultimate in privacy for your vacation) in any part of the world.

If you prefer to be surrounded by the hubbub, you can find rentals in the middle of the action (perhaps a condo on the Las Vegas strip or a cabin with ski-in-ski-out convenience tickles your fancy), but you can also find rentals that cater to peace and quiet. Many of these homes are set back from the busy streets and thoroughfares where hotels dominate (instead of a condo adjacent to Vegas casinos, maybe you’d prefer a house a few blocks away with a fenced yard and a private swimming pool).

What about families who travel with pets? Is a hotel or a vacation rental more likely to accommodate them? Well, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen too many hotels that appreciate even well-mannered dogs waltzing through their lobbies (even on a leash). On the other hand, vacation rentals are often the way to go for pet owners, because many will accept dogs and cats (with an additional deposit). Do make sure you check on the place’s pet policy beforehand, though, since each owner sets his or her own rules.

The last thing I want to mention is the overall ambiance of vacation rentals versus hotels. With hotels (especially big chains), you get… pretty much the same thing no matter which part of the world you visit. This can be good for those who don’t like change, but if you want to stay somewhere that embraces the culture of the local area, you’re more likely to find that in a vacation rental. Many owners stay at their properties a few weeks a year themselves, so the homes often feel like, well, homes. They’re cozier and friendlier than the starkness of most hotel rooms.

Lest you think I have an agenda for promoting rentals over hotels (alas, I own neither), I must admit that there are a few downsides to vacation rentals. First off, finding just the right place can involve more internet research than simply booking through a web site that offers travel package deals. Second, because vacation rentals are usually privately owned affairs, it can be hit or miss with service. Not all rental owners have their own web sites, and it may take a while for the proprietors to get back to you if they don’t use a management company. Third, most vacation rentals don’t come with housekeeping. The premises will be clean when you arrive (in fact, you’ll often be charged a cleaning fee), but don’t expect anyone to come in and change your sheets every day. Lastly, rentals tend to be more expensive than hotels. You do usually get more square footage for your money (multiple bedrooms, full kitchen, separate living and dining rooms, etc.), but you pay for it. That’s why rentals are popular with families and friends who can share the costs.

As you can see, there are pros and cons for both hotels and vacation rentals. I’m a big fan of rentals myself (among the other reasons listed here, I really like supporting “mom and pop” businesses instead of faceless hotel chains), but each have their advantages depending on your preferences. Make sure you look around before deciding where you want to spend your vacation.

TC Thorn is a freelance writer and web content producer. If you’re planning a trip, you may wish to visit the author’s blogs: Crowd-free Vacation Ideas and Vacation Rental Reviews.

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