Hotels in Downtown Columbus, Ohio

The Renaissance Hotel
Downtown Columbus is home to many upscale hotels and the Renaissance Hotel is one of them. Situated in the center of the city of Columbus in Ohio, it is close to the many attractions that Columbus is famous for. The trendy interiors that are styled with a contemporary touch is a great hit among the regulars to this downtown Columbus hotel. The Renaissance hotel enforces a non smoking policy as it’s environment friendly.

With 33 hotel suites and 376 rooms, The Renaissance hotel is a massive building in downtown Columbus, Ohio and the recently completed renovation provides guests with amenities that are unimaginable. The new suites come with a fitness center that is right inside their rooms; the beddings, duvet covers and push down pillows are brand new and offer unparalleled comfort and relaxation. The Renaissance hotel also houses suites that are specially designed keeping in mind the business clientele. Many of the rooms and suites at the Renaissance hotel come with a spectacular view of downtown Columbus and are famed among its patrons for this reason.

Latitude 41, which is the in house restaurant, serves delicious American cuisine apart from signature cocktails which are available at the restaurant’s attached bar. The Renaissance hotel completes its amenities with a rooftop swimming pool that is also a great place to observe downtown Columbus in action.
Not letting down its Ohio business travelers, The Renaissance hotel in downtown Columbus has a newly renovated business center with all amenities to make for a smooth conduct of your business proceedings in Ohio.

Doubletree Guest Suites
The Doubletree Guest Suites is a Columbus hotel that is located by the Scioto River offering great vistas from its rooms and suites. The international Airport in Columbus is located close by this hotel apart from other important locations and attractions such as The Ohio State Capitol, The Huntington bank Center and federal buildings such as the Supreme Court and the city center.

There are many Ohio establishments around this Columbus hotel which include Nisource, Nationwide Plaza, Columbia Glass and the American Electric Power Corp. Due to this reason; this downtown Columbus hotel draws a large number of business travelers and the Renaissance hotel rightly has given itself a corporate hotel tag by also providing support in business by provding necessary support for those parties that might be interested in business in Ohio State.

Tourists need not overlook this hotel as this Columbus hotel is also located very conveniently for those that are visiting Columbus, Ohio for pleasure purposes. The Columbus Blue jackets and Clippers Stadium of Columbus, The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, The Columbus Crew Soccer Stadium, The Nationwide Arena and the Art Museum of Columbus are very easily accessed from this downtown Columbus hotel. These being the most important attractions in Columbus, Ohio, The Renaissance hotel is equally favored by the tourists.

The Caucus restaurant, which is an in house restaurant of the Renaissance Hotel serves American cuisines and also entertains room service. The rooms are designed with French doors which connect the sleeping and living areas. They are equipped with internet connections, a coffee maker, refrigerator, wet bar and many other things that make for a delectable option for those that enjoy a constant supply of food and beverages.

It is important that one choose hotels in Columbus for the reason that they provide for easy access to important destinations in the city and also have one of the most luxurious atmospheres among all hotels located in Columbus, Ohio.

Doggin’ the Carolina Coasts – 10 Cool Things to See With Your Dog on Coastal Carolina Trails

“If your dog is fat,” the old saying goes, “you aren’t getting enough exercise.” But walking the dog need not be just about a little exercise. Here are 10 cool things you can see on the North Carolina and South Carolina coasts while out walking the dog.

Wilmington is often called “Hollywood East” and movie productions have made extensive use of the Carolina coastal scenery. The Vietnam scenes from Forest Gump were filmed in Hunting Beach State Park. The trees come right down to the beach and the lush, tropical feel of the vegetation indeed give off the aura of a jungle. A trail leads along the length of an inland lagoon where Forrest saved Lieutenant Dan. A few years later, Hunting Island doubled for Quang Tri Province in Vietnam when Samuel Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones showed up for Rules of Engagement. In 1982, Louis Jordan was a mad scientist trying to create new species at Magnolia Plantation’s Swamp Garden in Swamp Thing. And if you hike with your dog along the Sugarloaf Trail in Carolina Beach State Park you might recognize some spots where corpse Terry Kiser did some water skiing in Weekend at Bernie’s.

One of the most unique destinations of any trail on the Carolina coasts is the 12-foot high pile of oyster shells in Edisto Beach State Park on the Spanish Mount Trail. The oyster pile, known as a shell midden, is typical of American Indian rings found throughout the coastal islands. The Spanish Mount is estimated to be 4,000 years old, the second oldest known in South Carolina. These piles of bleached shells might have been built for ceremonies or possibly they are just ancient trash heaps.

It is one giant sandbox for your dog at Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks, whose 90-foot dunes are the highest along the East Coast. Trails are laid out across the sand. On the mainland the Sugarloaf Trail in Carolina Beach State Park leads to a 50-foot sandpile that was often used as navigational aid in years gone by.

Archer Huntington designed his Moorish castle, Atalaya, in Murrells Inlet from memory after a trip to Spain. It can be seen today in Huntington State Park. The most spectacular home ever built on the Outer Banks was Edward Kinght’s Corolla Island. He spent $400,000 on the Beaux Arts showcase in 1925 and it has been restored to its original splendor in Currituck Heritage Park. But the most-visited home on the Carolina coasts may be a World War II bunker in the dunes of Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. For 17 years the “Fort Fisher Hermit,” Robert Herrill lived here. When word got out about Herrill’s lifestyle, so many people came to hear his philosophies of life that North Carolina officials called him the state’s second largest tourist attraction behind only the battleship North Carolina.

The extremely dog-friendly Magnolia Plantation gives your dog a rare chance to hike through a formal garden, one of America’s oldest. Besides the 900 varieties of camellias on display the Charleston garden is planted with over 250 types of azaleas.

Over the years 29 prehistoric Algonquian Indian canoes have been uncovered in Pettigrew State Park’s Lake Phelps, preserved in the shallow waters. The canoes were fashioned by burning straight cypress logs over a slow fire and scraping away the charred sections. They were stored for the winter in the muds of the lake. Two are on display in the park – one from 380 A.D. and the other 1440 A.D.

There are five lighthouses on the Outer Banks your dog can visit – three in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina is the 75-foot tower on Ocracoke Island and the 150-foot Bodie Island Lighthouse dates to 1872. The most famous, and America’s tallest at 208 feet, is the black-and-white swirl-striped Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. In South Carolina your dog can trot around the only public light in the Palmetto State at Hunting Island State Park.

At several locations along the Carolina coasts your dog can hike through the unique habitats of pocosins, boglands called by the Indian term for “swamp on a hill.” Plants living in these nutrient-poor soilshave evolved to trap insects and digest them in lethal juices. Such killers as Venus’ Fly Traps, blatterworts and sundews can be seen in North Carolina in Carolina Beach State Park and in South Carolina in the Audubon-Newhall Preserve, among others.

Starting with the first English earthworks in the New World at Fort Raleigh, the defense of coastal Carolina has always been a military priority. Your dog can examine the defensive earthworks at Moores Creek, site of a critical American victory during the Revolution, and hike through the Civil War masonry bastion at Fort Macon. Or the more primitive Civil War earthworks at Fort Lamar. For a look at modern fortification, take the dog to Battery Jasper at Fort Moultrie – but don’t be disappointed if he’s more interested in the beach.

The lowcountry was once an ancient seabed, a vast graveyard for millions of years of sea creatures. These marine deposits near the soil surface contain phosphate and calcium, minerals valuable in cement making and for fertilizing fields. The minerals were enthusiastically mined in the 1800s and phosphate mines brought prosperity to towns devastated by the Civil War. The Edisto Nature Trail leads to an old mining site and processing plant where phosphate was loaded on barges and shipped down-river to Charleston.

Impact of Islamic Banking on International Lending

In mid-November of 2009, The Economist wrote an article dealing with France’s sudden interest in Islamic banking. The irony however of such an article is that France has been very intolerant of Muslim dress in public places in recent years as the country holds dearly to its secularist identity. Islamic banking is almost the term du jour for banks and financiers alike these days, especially since Islamic banks hold billions of dollars in liquid assets -and all the while the world’s banks are suffering from an acutely arduous financial crisis.

Moin Siddiqi estimated in the “The Islamic Dimension” that the Islamic Banking sector has expanded at a brisk pace of between 15% and 22% annually in the past decade. In fact, there are currently (as of 2006) 250 Islamic mutual funds with $300bm worth of assts under management and 300IFIs holding over $250bn deposits. Furthermore, $200bn in assets are managed by dedicated Muslim ‘windows’ or subsidiaries of conventional banks.

Based on the size of that sector many international funding and/or investing firms have made it a policy to not become involved in such investments. So the question is: Why?

There are two big arguments against Islamic banking: first, that it is interest-based in the end, or well-hidden; and secondly, that it has acted for decades as a front for funding terrorist organizations. Interest payments are how lending institutions make their money and not being able to collect interest due to religious beliefs or questioning the end use of that interest is an extra concern for investors to account for in the risk of the investment.

It has been written that “the money considered as interest in a typical bank transaction is instead designed into the contract agreement in another way. Some Muslims consider Islamic banks to be engaging in legal trickery to hide the fact that they charge and pay interest. Most economic analysts would probably agree”. (1)

This is certainly alluring to financial institutions of all kinds because of such legal exposure they face. Britain has been at the forefront of ‘narrowing of the gap’ which would make it easier for financial institutions outside the Muslim world to easily fund loans to such groups.

But others, such as France, have to take a real hard look at their own set of values and see if Islamic banking products and ‘accommodating of laws’ is reconcilable with that. France has eliminated the tax obstacles and improved the legal framework, certainly, but it has not prevented protests and serious public debate about the issue itself. Middle Eastern governments may now feel more empowered that they can rely on their own capabilities rather than borrowing Western banking systems. At the same time, it highlights the need for standardization and regulation of operations in any consulting firm, especially where scholar-review is concerned.

Islamic banking has been making inroads into Western markets. For instance, we at Capital Corp Merchant Banking have seen applications based on such funding terms increase almost two-fold. By that same token, there has even been non-Muslim demand for Islamic financing products as it allows a greater range of investment products, especially for portfolio management groups. Such personal examples are large requests for “interest free” loans.

But without education on cultural gaps and indeed the gaps between the Islamic and Western banking structures for all consulting firms, a constructive dialogue cannot start. In fact, without education (on both sides), Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations theory is all but inevitable.

And yet, as the Muslim world asserts itself economically and that the capitalist West sees the benefit of this new exotic form of banking, a hybrid international economic banking model, juxtaposing the two, may yet dawn. So, overall my advice would be to not become “stuck” in old ways of doing business and allow yourself to better understand how mutually beneficial relationships can come to fruition from our Islamic neighbors.

    (1) “Usury: The Principle Behind Islamic…”