Travel writer/hotels reporter for @USATODAY. Author of personal finance book Hot (Broke) Messes: How to Have Your Latte and Drink it Too. Georgetown Hoya.

In St. Maarten, an island not so far away, 'That Yoda Guy' shows off his Star Wars work — ST. MAARTEN-Nick Maley is well-known by many residents on this Caribbean island, but most people don't call him by his name. Instead, they refer to him as "That Yoda Guy." That's because Maley was one of the make-up artists who helped created Yoda in the iconic Star Wars movies.

First new hotel in Asbury Park in 50 years makes its debut — The Asbury is the first new hotel to open in Asbury Park, N.J., in 50 years. (Photo: Nikolas Koenig) ASBURY PARK, N.J.-The new Asbury hotel has an outdoor movie theater, rooftop bar, beer garden, and swimming pool with cabanas made with New York City sidewalk scaffolding.

First look at Marriott's new Moxy hotel brand in New Orleans — Marriott has introduced its Moxy brand for Millennials to the USA. (Photo: Marriott International) Marriott International has introduced its Moxy hotel brand for younger travelers to the USA. Moxy New Orleans has officially debuted near the French Quarter.

Attack on Nice deals another blow to European travel — The attack in Nice that killed at least 80 people on Bastille Day will likely have a negative impact on tourism to that seaside French town, but experts say it will be short-term. It's too soon to tell if travelers are cancelling trips to Nice in droves, but past incidents in Paris and Brussels have shown a temporary slowdown in tourism.

Waldorf Astoria guests to test drive Lamborghini cars — The Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts has teamed up with Italian car company Automobili Lamborghini to let guests test drive their cars. (Photo: Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts) Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts is giving their guests a special ride.

J.D. Power ranks hotel brands for guest satisfaction — The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Arizona is among many of the brand's properties that helped earn it the highest score in the luxury hotel category in the new J.D. Power Power 2016 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.

More hotels offer discounts for booking directly — Hotel companies are aggressively battling for online booking by offering their most loyal customers discounted rates for reserving directly with them. On July 20, Choice Hotels International will introduce a members-only discounted rate of up to 7% on and the company's mobile app. All 27 million Choice Privileges members are eligible.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts opens Four Points Havana — Starwood Hotels and Resorts has opened the Four Points Havana, the first U.S. hotel in Cuba in nearly 60 years. Starwood signed an agreement earlier this year to open a total of three hotels in Havana. The Stamford, Conn.-based company will manage the property, which is owned by Grupo Hotelero Gaviota.

Historic Greenbrier Resort to re-open after West Virginia flooding — The Greenbrier Resort has five golf courses that suffered in the West Virginia flooding. The resort will re-open July 12. (Photo: The historic Greenbrier Resort, which has been shut down for more than two weeks because of flooding in West Virginia, will re-open to guests on July 12.

National parks: Interior Secretary on why they matter — NEW ORLEANS-In 1977, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell logged 15,000 miles on her car traveling throughout the USA visiting national parks. "I'm an immigrant from the UK, and when my parents came over and I was a small child, they said 'What do you do here?'
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Jul 21, 2016

When you've had a rough month & a friend thousands of miles away a sends you these. #friendsforever #feelinggrateful

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