Balancing Act

Embassy Suites Hotels has launched a new Web site called Business Balance offering business travelers accredited expert sources on nutrition, exercise and sleep to help maintain balance on the road.

By: By J.L. Erickson

Embassy Suites Hotels has launched a new Web site called Business Balance offering business travelers accredited expert sources on nutrition, exercise and sleep to help maintain balance on the road.

“There are lots of Web sites that tell you what to do in order to be successful. We want guests to know that, while they may not be able to stick to their standard regimen while traveling on business, they can achieve the balance that works for them,” said John Lee, vice president, brand marketing and communications.

The site launched Jan. 22 and is divided into two paths: “Strength on the Road” featuring advice on nutrition, looking your best and maintaining family ties while traveling, and “Serenity on the Road,” with tips for business travelers to get better sleep, reduce stress and pack efficiently.

The site is moderated by virtual editor Gary Chisholm who provides comments on business travel trends.

“What I know is that in today’s 24/7, ‘gotta-have-it-this-minute’ environment, business travelers are thrown so much information so quickly that it’s easy to become overwhelmed and unbalanced,” said Chisholm. “What business travelers need is to feel grounded and balanced in order to be productive.”

Business Balance


Pleasant Streamlines Booking Sites

Pleasant Holidays has upgraded its and sites to provide more flexibility and functions to streamline the planning and booking of vacation packages and hotel rooms.

A new customized flight selection tool gives users the ability to select outbound and return flights individually to best fit time schedules and travel budgets, while a preferred-departure selection tool allows users to type the first few letters of their preferred departure city or airport code with the remainder “auto-filled.”

There also is a broader selection of vacation components including air/hotel/car, air/hotel, air/car and hotel only. Condominiums can also be selected as a lodging option, and the home page displays new radial buttons allowing users to quickly select the most popular vacation destinations to speed the booking process.

A new “Click to Call” icon on the booking screen allows users to enter their telephone number to connect to a Pleasant Holidays specialist for immediate assistance with reservations, questions regarding flights and hotels or other destination activities.

Pleasant Holidays

Pleasant Agent


Vacation-Home Bookings

Zonder, a vacation-home rental site that offers real-time bookings for private homes, condos, cabins and villas, has revamped its site with more content about each property, including photo slideshows, detailed descriptions and a new proprietary search technology. And to kick off the launch, Zonder is offering 10 percent off (up to $250) on bookings before Feb. 14 (use promo code BeyondHotels during the checkout process).

The site also allows users to view exact property locations on maps through Microsoft Virtual Earth and Google Earth for sites in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

The new search tools allow users to filter search results using criteria such as price, distance, group size and amenity combinations.

“Until now, the vacation rental market has been seriously underserved, placing undue burden on the customer,” said Bob Barnes, founder and CEO of Zonder. “We were able to develop a powerful and simple solution that brings the latest in search technology to the vacation home rental space.”

The Utah-based site also provides travel companies and agents with immediate access to a live inventory of professionally managed vacation home rentals (homes, villas, condos and cabins versus time-shares and condo-hotels).

Barnes said user reviews and additional features are also planned for the site.



Web Briefs

MONTROSE TRAVEL: The host agency division of Montrose Travel has unveiled a new informational site at offering descriptions of hosting programs, including home-based, local agent, corporate and Apollo. It also offers marketing tools, training and other information.

GET2HAWAII: Get2Hawaii has upgraded its online travel booking engine with a focus on hotels. It also includes links to travel-related sites, as well as airlines and hotels.

TRIPADVISOR.COM: has redesigned its U.S. Web site, featuring a prominent hotel search box and mapping applications on the home page. It includes renamed sections and is designed to ease search functions.

ORBITZ: Orbitz Worldwide has launched a series of travel blogs written by employees and travel experts designed to provide unique insights for leisure and business travelers.