Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Enter the Nelson House B & B garden and you are now in a "fee-free zone". Enjoy!
This week, a Reuters story carried by major newspapers worldwide, revealed the dirty little secrets of the hidden fees charged by hotels. "Hotels watch occupancy trends and change prices - and fees - constantly....Overall, nearly a quarter of hotels charge for in-room Internet access, according to a 2012 survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association."
Downtown locations appear to gouge the most. "Common fees include resort usage, airport pickup, parking and gym visits along with charges for room service. Some of the more surprising charges include a fee for moving items around in the minibar (not actually consuming any), a bellman (whether you use one or not), the room safe (even if you don't stash valuables in it), checking out early, checking in early and upgraded amenities...."
The biggest problem with fees is not disclosing those that are mandatory. Last fall the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to 22 hotel booking companies for leaving details out of the price projection when consumers shopped for hotels.
Bed and Breakfasts really are a better way to stay. This short funny video shows you why!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Fun in Vancouver

Summertime in Vancouver is pretty amazing. I took the photo above at one of July and August's three Celebration of Light fireworks displays over English Bay. These shows are the largest offshore fireworks competition in the world and attract up to 400,000 spectators along English Bay each evening. The pyrotechnics are synchronized to music and judged!

The day after the last of these shows, Vancouver turns its attention to the Vancouver Gay Pride Parade. This year was the 35th annual parade but the first to be funded as an accredited civic event. No wonder - the parade drew 650,000 spectators to the three hour extravaganza!

Since Nelson House B & B is just 2 and a half blocks from the nearest parade viewing point and 6 blocks from the Bay, both we and our guests have front row seats to the summer fun. Manager Michael, Assistant Lisa and myself work hard to keep the lemonade, iced tea and coffee flowing for all our lucky summer house-guests.

Here is a pic of Lisa's Pride cookies!! Keep smiling, there is lots of sunshine still to go.