Atlanta tops survey of best "value" cities in U.S....I beg to differ....Jim's Deals
Got a release the other day from Hotwire.com, announcing the results of its fifth annual Hotwire Travel Value Index Study. It names Atlanta as it's top 2010 destination for vacation deals.
The good folks at Hotwire undoubtedly have solid methodology, and I don't doubt their findings that Atlanta is a better DOLLAR value in absolute terms than many American competitors. But you have to consider one thing. When you've booked your "value" trip you'll find yourself at the airport heading to...Atlanta.
This, in my humble opinion, is a major drawback.
I've been to the city on several occasions, although not recently, and I just don't get it. Every time I've stayed downtown I've been warned not to walk three blocks for fear of getting mugged, so I just don't understand the attraction. The downtown last time I was there was spotty as hell; a great hotel next to a parking lot next to a nice restaurant next to a fast-food chain next to another parking lot.
There's no THERE there, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein talking about my native, Oakland, California, which is less desirable than Atlanta I gotta admit.
There are zoos and Margaret Mitchell and the shrines to Martin Luther King Jr. and some nice shops and restaurants/bars in Buckhead, not to mention the Coca-Cola Museum and the CNN tour, which doesn't get me excited but is appealling to lots of folks, but it's all scattered about with no central core that I've been able to find. It doesn't even remotely compare to Miami or New York or San Francisco or Seattle or Portland or Los Angeles or Chicago.
So, sure, Atlanta is a good "value." But so what? Better in my mind to spend a bit more and have a lot more to show for it at the end of the day.
For the record, here's the full Hotwire list, with the overall travel value index rating.
1. Atlanta (100)
2. Orlando (99)
3. Phoenix (94)
4. Dallas-Fort Worth (93)
5. Denver (87)
6. Houston (84)
7. Los Angeles (83)
8. Raleigh, N.C. (82)
9. Chicago (81)
10. Miami (75)
JIM'S DEALS OF THE DAY
EMIRATES DEAL FROM TORONTO - TODAY/TOMORROW
Starting today, Emirates Airline is reducing its prices online for 48 hours to
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Marriott International Inc plans to more than double the number of its properties in Europe in the next few years, with an announcement from the hotel company expected today, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The plan, if successful, would create 40,000 more hotel rooms on the Continent with Marriott brand names, the report said. The company now has 174 hotels in 24 countries in Europe that operate under the Marriott, Ritz Carlton and Renaissance brands, among others, it said.THE QUEEN GOES DOWN UNDER
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 will be based in Australia in 2012 for a historic
circumnavigation which will see the ship visit five states and the
Queen Mary 2’s “Royal Circumnavigation of Australia” is a first for Cunard Line.
The largest ship ever to visit Australia, Queen Mary 2 will call at eight Australian ports during its time Down Under including Sydney, Fremantle, Adelaide and the Whitsundays as well as maiden visits to Cairns (Yorkey’s Knob), Darwin, Melbourne and Brisbane. The circumnavigation will also include a call at Bali.
There will be three circumnavigation options: a 22-night voyage departing Sydney on February 14, 2012, a 20-night voyage departing Fremantle on February 8, 2012 and a 21-night voyage departing Adelaide on February 11, 2012.
In all, Queen Mary 2 will spend 28 nights in Australian waters, as it sails from Cape Town to Sydney via Fremantle and Adelaide, and then circumnavigates the country. The Australian deployment will be the longest Queen Mary 2 has been based in one country outside of its northern hemisphere homeports of Southampton and New York.