With a new year comes new opportunities to visit destinations you left off your travel itinerary in 2009. Whether you look to start the year in the heart of Times Square after witnessing the world-famous New Year's Eve Ball Drop, amid the glitz and glamour of the vibrant metropolis that is Las Vegas, or enveloped in the sights and sounds of San Francisco - from the scenic Golden Gate Bridge to ever bustling Chinatown - the possibilities are endless. Of course, you'll also want to book a hotel that fits your preferences, be it one that offers accommodations for under $100/night, free shuttle service to nearby theme parks, a complimentary Continental breakfast to start your morning off right, or a fully-equipped conference room from which you can host a business meeting.
We've culled the properties below for their strategic location, business and leisure facilities, and fine hospitality. If time and budget permit, add visiting these fine hotels to your New Year's resolution list.
1. Nu Hotel: This boutique hotel in Brooklyn, New York opened as recently as 2008, yet word has spread quickly of the hotel's fresh design and penchant for excellent service. The hotel sits at the center of the BoCoCa district, which encompasses three Brooklyn neighborhoods: Boerum Hill, whose streets are lined with French bistros and stylish brownstones; Cobble Hill, which showcases a unique mix of old world shops and gardens; and Carroll Gardens, an old-fashioned Italian neighborhood featuring posh restaurants and antique shops. Only eight miles away from Times Square, the hotel provides easy access to spots frequented by business and leisure travelers alike, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower. Rooms boast plush mattresses with Egyptian cotton linens and 32-inch flat screen televisions. The hotel has a 24-hour fitness center and offers complimentary Continental breakfast at the onsite Nu Bar, as well as free WiFi Internet access all throughout and complimentary copies of The New York Times to help business travelers keep up with the news.
2. Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers: Steeped in history and charm, this landmark hotel - a member of Historic Hotels of America - is located in the heart of historic Back Bay and has drawn a host of U.S. presidents and celebrities since opening in 1927. The hotel is located only 200 yards from the nation's first public parks, Public Garden and Boston Common. It was also the first hotel to include many of the standard conveniences we find in hotel rooms today, such as guestroom radios. The hotel is convenient to Newbury Street shopping, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and Boston's theater and financial districts. In addition, the hotel boasts nine on-site restaurants and lounges, a business center and fitness center (both open 24 hours a day), and airport shuttle service that runs daily.
3. Hotel Diva: The avant-garde Hotel Diva, set in the heart of Union Square in San Francisco, merges modern elegance with high style. It is only a short stroll from Chinatown, the American Conservatory Theatre, Curran Theatre, Moscone Convention Center, Financial District, and countless shops from Neiman Marcus to Saks Fifth Avenue. Travelers can enjoy complimentary use of a meeting room designed by renowned Architect T. Olle Lundberg, fitness room and internet lounges. They can then dine at Colibri Restaurant, famous for its Mexican tapas, or grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks, located just off the lobby.
4. Tropicana Las Vegas: Nestled in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip is Tropicana Las Vegas, which offers guests a plethora of activities and amenities. It features the 850-seat Tiffany Theater, fine restaurants, a 61,000 square foot casino, hair salon and barber shop, and three high-energy lounges. The hotel's newly designed swimming pool is slated to open in April 2010. Business travelers can stay on task inside the business center, which offers computer rentals, photocopying and other services. But who says you can't mix business with pleasure? The Tropicana is the only major Las Vegas casino resort to offer poolside Wi-Fi access, as guests can bring their laptops and stay connected while unwinding on the pool deck or in a private cabana. Voted "Best Las Vegas Wedding Chapel" eight years in a row, it's no wonder so many couples say "I do" at this legendary Strip hotel. Registered guests must be at least 21 years of age.
5. Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center: Located just one mile from Walt Disney World and 20 minutes from Orlando International airport, this stunning property couples the charm of an old-world Florida mansion with the modern conveniences of a luxury resort. It boasts four-and-a-half acres of lush indoor gardens and a 20,000-square-foot Spa and fitness center, not to mention a wealth of restaurants, shops and lounges. Kids will enjoy Clearwater Cove - a water-activities playground that has a 120,000-gallon zero-entry family pool as well as several play areas around the pool deck. Travelers with business on the agenda can take advantage of 400,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including the 178,500-square-foot Florida Exhibition Hall.