He may be easy on the eyes, and a great belly-rub recipient, but let's face facts:  our kitty Grovey Pinesash is a "scaredy cat" to the nth degree.  If he can't handle a simple car ride to the vet, how the heck is he gonna board a plane for a weekend in the Big Easy?

But we feel for him.  And since he'll forever remain homebound with cat-sitters while we're off galavanting overseas, we thought it might be nice to - at the very least - honor Grovey through our new rating system.  It's pretty simple.  Over the next few months, we will be updating every listing in our site (except for travel tip "essentials") with a Grovey rating.  Here's how it works:







One Grovey is given for achievement in each of the following attributes:

Ease/ Accessibility - parking available, practical hours of operation, adequate climate control
Quality of customer service (if applicable)
Price vs. Entertainment value
Crowd control/ No hassles
- ...just another cog in the tourist machine
Uniqueness/ Rarity of experience - Did you ever think you'd end up here?







One Grovey is given for achievement in each of the following attributes:

Accessibility/ Common spaces/ Perks - adequate parking available, free WiFi, ample lounging spaces, complimentary bath/ spa products
Sleep quality - noise levels at night/ comfort of bed/ room cleanliness and temperature
Quality of customer service - Did they make you feel special?
Ambiance/ Uniqueness/ Rarity of Experience - additional points for ghost hauntings
Overall value/ No nickel-and-dime charges












One Grovey is given for achievement in each of the following attributes:

Ease/ Accessibility - parking available, practical hours of operation, adequate climate control, cleanliness of restrooms
Excellent menu - variety, inventiveness, sustainability and VALUE!
Quality of food - temperature and balance of tastes
Quality of customer service - friendliness goes a loooong way
Ambiance/ Uniqueness/ Rarity of Experience - extra points for addition of dance/ music performance or over-the-top kitsch









One Grovey is given for achievement in each of the following attributes:

Ease/ Accessibility - parking available, practical hours of operation, adequate climate control, cleanliness of restrooms
Cocktail (or coffee) menu - quality of selections, inventiveness of signature drinks
Price vs. Value - When it comes to booze or caffeine, are you getting the most bang for your buck?
Quality of customer service - a sense of humor would be appreciated right about now
Ambiance/ Uniqueness/ Rarity of Experience - extra points for addition of dance/ music performance or over-the-top kitsch






One Grovey is given for achievement in each of the following attributes:

Ease/ Accessibility - parking available, practical hours of operation
Variety and selection - A good buyer is sometimes hard to find!  Will you be able to buy gifts for more than just one person on your list?
Authenticity - Trinkets made by locals should not bear tags that say MADE IN CHINA!
Quality of merchandise
Quality of customer service - Haggling can be fun... with the right merchant.



Question:  Will we ever list a hotel, restaurant or attraction with zero Grovey's?  Anything's possible, though we wouldn't want to do the field work to find out.