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Coming and Going: Hotel Videos, Haunted Sites

Sunday, October 18, 2009

HOTEL VIEWS

Caught on Video

Everyone, it seems, has online videos these days, from cats to the president. But when it comes to hotels, most sites show only photos. How 20th century!

TVTrip.com one-ups the others, with videos shot in and around hotels. When it launched in 2007, the site had 2,000 videos -- which it shoots on location and produces in-house -- from North American and European cities. The number has since ballooned to more than 10 times that, with cities in Asia-Pacific countries represented. While some cities have a paltry selection of filmed hotels (Los Angeles has three), others have a wide variety of videos (187 for Paris).

All the videos are in the same style, which helps viewers see the differences among hotels: There are shots of the exterior, the lobby, different types of rooms (from standard to deluxe), as well as restaurants and gyms, with New Agey, techno or jazzy soundtracks. The site includes shot after shot of neatly made beds, tasteful hotel bars and -- key for solo female travelers -- the surroundings, showing whether there's a potentially seedy park across the street or a noisy club next door.

Want to fake a vacation? Watch a few videos on TVTrip, then wax poetic about your hotel's rooftop bar or the grotto-style pool at the spa.

No judgment.

DEPT. OF BOO!

Spooky Sites

If it's October, it means CoGo is inundated with pre-Halloween news releases about haunted hotels, ghost tours and other fright-related holiday offerings. Here are a few that stood out:

-- A stay in Estes Park, Colo., at the Stanley Hotel, popularized by Stephen King's "Shining" (http://www.stanleyhotel.com).

-- Ghost tours in an open-top hearse in spook-filled Savannah, Ga. (http://www.hearseghosttours.com).

-- Visiting Edgewood Plantation on the James River, where a young bride haunts the room where she died of heartbreak waiting for her husband to return from the Civil War (http://www.edgewoodplantation.com/lizzie.htm).

Reporting: Christina Talcott

Help feed CoGo. Send travel news, road reports and juicy tattles to: cogo@washpost.com. By mail: CoGo, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.

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