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If you’re anything like us, you’ll have read the story about the hotel that looks like an amethyst last week, and thought immediately, “Ah, there is only one place for that – China.” And you would be right. The architects envision it as a chain, but the first is being planned for the manmade Ocean Flower island currently in construction in the sea off Hainan province.
And from that came the obvious question – which country designs the maddest hotels?
Several contenders spring to mind immediately:
Those of you who have a major sweet tooth and a love for hotels would have had your dreams come true a few weeks ago in London, where Tate & Lyle Sugars (the UK’s largest cane sugar brand), created the world’s first (pop-up) hotel entirely made from cake.
A team of 14 cake makers labored away for more than 2,000 (that’s two thousand) hours to bake and 900 hours to decorate eight “tasting” rooms in celebration of the launch of Tate & Lyle’s “Taste Experience” range of golden and brown cane sugars.
Between a Japanese public toilet, an English yellow submarine, a beer barrel, and a Tasmanian morgue, we have seen a lot of hotels that are, let’s say, a little different. Whether it’s just for the novelty factor, or to make a particular statement, we usually take an approach that says: whatever floats your boat – if there are guests out there willing to pay for it, then here’s to you.
This week’s oddball that’s doing the rounds everywhere from CNN to Inthralld is the Haoduo Panda Inn in China, and as much as we appreciate and support wanting to draw attention to the endangered panda, we kind of can’t decide: is this cute or creepy?
Brrrr! Here we are, HC'ers, riding out the winter all the way up in Alaska: mushing sled dogs, spending romantic nights beneath the aurora, and catching wind of fascinating local oddities. Like this wacky, abandoned igloo hotel.
Built back in the '70s along the highway between Anchorage and Fairbanks, the giant, four story-structure known as "Igloo City" has been picking up plenty of fresh press this month -- with even London's Daily Mail getting in on the action.
Hotel Chatter admits a soft spot for Swedes, what with the bounty of pop culture gifts with which they've furnished the world (like, you know, Robyn, IKEA, and The Fun Theory campaign). The notably upbeat Scandinavians harbor a mutual love for aspects of American culture, such as…sourdough bread?
First there was the brothel-boatel in the Rockaways, then came the Ellis Island ferryboat B&B, and now there's an entire decommissioned Soviet aircraft carrier being retrofitted to become a "luxury" hotel on some beach in China. The boatel trend has officially gone too far, too fast.
The Kiev, an old Russian aircraft carrier, was sold to a Chinese company back in 1996 and now they've finally gotten around to doing something with it. Billing it as "China's first aircraft carrier luxury hotel"though we're pretty sure it's the world's firstTiajin Aircraft Carrier Hotel preys upon the Chinese people's new fascination with aircraft carriers, seeing as how the Chinese military only just put their very first active one through sea trials.
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All this week, Julia Buckley will be taking us down the Blues trail in the Mississippi Delta and giving us the lowdown on the hotel scene. So kick off your blue suede shoes and get comfy.
It’s almost exactly two years since we visited the Mississippi Delta to follow the Blues trail, and we were so entranced by what we found there that we’ve spent the last two years fantasizing about a return. Finally, two weeks ago, we made it out there, and for old time’s sake, we chose the Tallahatchie Flats in lovely little Greenwood as our first stop.
Last time, we adored it – comfy bed, gorgeous setting and, the Flats’ jewel in the crown, their fantastic manager Les. This time, though, we couldn’t help but be a little disappointed, and not just because it turned out Les was no longer chez Tallahatchie (he’s been replaced by an equally nice lady).
No, what bugged us this time was noticing that the cleaning standards had gone down a steep hill. Last time we’d noted that our bathroom sink could have been cleaner; this time, it wasn’t just the streaky sink that was the problem; the toilet didn’t look as it if had been cleaned, the shower almost certainly hadn’t (it had the label off someone’s facecloth on the dirty shelf, and we had to rinse black dirt from the shower tray) and the entire bathroom smelled a little, err, steamy.
Manhattan Hotels / Weird Hotels / Comfort Inns / Choice Hotels / Times Square Area Hotels / → All Tags
If you're enjoying the proper tourist experience in New York City, then chances are you're probably only returning to your hotel room to drop off purchases and sleep. For these ends, any clean, safe and reasonably comfortable hotel will do, and that's why many turn to the more affordable brands that pepper the Manhattan landscape but don't enjoy the hype of the 5-stars.
Such a hotel is the Comfort Inn Times Square West, a cute little property from Choice Hotels, What it lacks in unique interiors or luxurious amenities, it makes up for by being a quirky architectural curiosity. We're quite sure that this is the thinnest hotel in Manhattan.
Check out that height! Those sliver windows! It's only two rooms wide!
For comparison, the nearest competitor in the battle for the title of thinnest hotel in Manhattan is The Gotham, although it clearly measures three rooms across. But with the Gotham ringing up at $295 a night and up and the Comfort Inn at $160 and up, we maybe wouldn't mind sleeping stacked so.
The newest hotel to hit Singapore may well be its coolest: a single-suite pop-up property built around the city's iconic Merlion statue on the quay of Marina Bay. It's going up for the Singapore Biennale, which starts March 13.
Per the Conde Nast Traveler Tumblr:
A stay includes: a double-bed, bathroom, amenities, personalized room check-in, butler and breakfast at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore. Promo alert: the “I should stay at the Merlion Hotel” personal essay contest will give one person a complimentary night’s stay on the first and last nights of the Biennale (3/13 and 5/15).
Bookings in the Tatzu Nishi-designed art piece-slash-hotel will be open April 4 through May 5, with a one-night-only rule in effect and an early, early 8:30 a.m. check out. (Hey, at least breakfast is included at the nearby Fullerton Hotel.) The cost? A supremely reasonable $118 a night. Reservations are by phone only at (+65) 6332-9870, and you'll pay for your stay at the Singapore Art Museum.
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The site of A Room for London, overlooking the River Thames
More a concept space and cultural experiment than anything else, A Room for London is likely the smallest scale boutique "hotel" you'll ever encounter. The one room installation, commissioned as a part of London's 2012 Festival, will be located on atop the Queen Elizabeth Hall and open for public booking come September of this year.
You know the feeling you get when you look at fantastical hotel models? You think: "wow wouldn't that be great! Too bad it'll never actually get built." Well, that's how we feel about the rumored Underwater Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, whichbelieve it or notis due to open later this year.
YEAH RIGHT. Nevermind that we don't have a name for the hotel (the rumor is it's called "Poseidon"--snore!) and nevermind that the information about the place is the same stuff being circulated since early 2008; we would really like to sleep in a 7-star hotel underwater, so we want it to work out, damnit.
Yes, you heard that rightthis baby is aiming to be a 7-star hotel, like Dubai's Burj Al-Arab, except that the Al-Arab is above the water's surface and this one won't be. It's being developed by Tanriverdi Holding, and the budget is a cool $500 million.