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Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Galapagos Islands Hotels / Eco Hotels / Carbon Neutral Hotels / Animal Hotels / Small Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Luxury and the Galapagos Islands go together like peanut butter and jelly (it should be wrong, but it’s actually very right), so put your hands together for the opening of Pikaia Lodge on Santa Cruz island in the center of the Galapagos archipelago.
It’s a carbon neutral property, but green doesn’t mean grimy here – it’s a member of the Small Luxury Hotels group, and plonks 14 rooms amid 31 hectares of extinct volcanic craters, straddling the dry savanna of the national park and the tropical highland forest. There are also, of course, spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
The hotel runs land and sea tours, and there’s a restaurant, bar, pool and spa on site. So far so expected – what isn’t expected is the in-house giant tortoise reserve.
Elephants, zebra, water buffalo and ostrich roam the play pen surrounded by bungalows at Vision Quest Ranch
Last week we tried to stump you with another game of Guess the Hotel, sharing a photo of an elephant who had joined us for breakfast off our porch at Vision Quest Ranch B&B. We figured you'd assume an African lodge and never an exotic wild animal retreat in Salinas, California, but doggonit, you done figured it out in less than 24 hours in one correct reply. Right on, hotel smarty pants!
We shared a full report about a year ago when we recommended you Please Feed the Animals at Vision Quest Ranch B&B, but visited again recently as we were dying to bring the kids along and also wanted to check on rumors of a new, onsite zoo.
In Japan (where else?), it's now perfectly acceptable to book a hotel room for your sheep when you go away. We recently received an announcement about a new 30-room hotel, called simply "Hotel Sheep Guest House," opening in Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, about two hours south of Tokyo.
Surprisingly, unlike doggie boarding houses, or human hotels that are pet-friendly, this Japanese hotel strictly prohibits all other animals, meaning at any given moment its rooms are full of only sheep. How incredible! This is exactly the kind of place we'd like to visit when we're having an off day. Cuddling with all those sheep, ordering room service, maybe even watching a movie (Shrek somehow seems appropriate) would be like a hotel dream come true.
Cleaning up after them is another story.
Hoteliers tend to be people with many interests—real estate, seaplanes, blondes. And, apparently, turtles. According to an article in the current New Yorker, hotelier Eric Goode is a major herpetophile—or, in English, a reptile geek—and has been collecting turtles since he was a little boy.
When he's not dashing between his Manhattan properties (The Bowery, The Jane, The Maritime), he likes to hang out at a five-acre turtle preserve he owns in Ojai, California. There, he recreates the turtles' natural habitat, quarantines newcomers, and even has workers whip up a special "chelonean carnivore gelatine" for them to eat. Yuk!
Though the New Yorker claims that Goode is alternating between two parallel lives, to us, it just seems like different sides of the same coin. If you can make a living pampering humans, why not turtles?
Hotel Woes / Hotel Inspections / Animal Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Historic Hotels / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
For the second time this month, Mayor Bloomberg's administration has forced the exodus of someone who really wasn't doing any harm to anybody in the first place. This time, we're talking about The Algonquin's resident kitty, Matilda III. After Matilda II retired to Brooklyn last winter, Matilda III has been holding down the fort, greeting guests, and generally keeping up her reputation as the coolest cat in all of New York.
But one thing she wasn't doing: helping the hotel stay within health code. According to the NY Post, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sent a "reminder" to the hotel that its routine health inspections were being compromised by the presence of Matilda III in the lobby. And so as a precaution, she has been banished to a new leashed-up post behind the Front Desk.
Thanksgiving Hotels / W Hotels / DC Hotels / Obama Hotels / POTUS Hotels / Animal Hotels / → All Tags
For the second year in a row, the W Washington DC graciously offered to host the lucky turkey that had been spared his 400°F fate. The turkey traveled from Pennsylvania to Washington DC in order to get pardoned by the President himself, and while in town, got to spend the night at the hotel. Pet-friendly amenities and all.
A custom room was offered up to the turkey, including: added sawdust on the floor as well as a W-branded "munchie box" filled with soy, corn and cranberries. Wow, they really step it up for these birds! We can't remember the last time a hotel modified its regular room service menu options for us. Though we're pretty sure it involved some sort of extra fee.
OK, so Christmas is still a long way off (we don't usually get in the spirit until these start popping up in hotel bars), but in case you wanted to get a head start on your shopping, this one's a winner. You know those times when you look at your fish tank and just think, 'I can do better'? Well, now's your opportunity to make things right: Umbra has designed a modern-looking, compact fish "hotel" and it's selling on Amazon for $27.
Customer reviews—unlike those for certain human hotels we've heard about recently—seem pretty positive, with most people approving the cool mod design and relatively low maintenance. It's practical. It's minimalist. It's easy to clean. It's the betta's equivalent to a night (or a lifetime) spent in a Yotel.