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Here we go again. When we reported in 2009 of plans to convert the shipyard where the ill-fated Titanic was built into a themed hotel, we weren’t sure we liked the idea. We're still not sure, but we’re keeping an open mind as we follow the latest hotel’s progress until it actually, finally opens. No date on that yet.
With a little help from a £4.9 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the 4-star, 84-bed hotel will occupy the headquarters of Harland and Wolff, one of the largest shipbuilders of the 20th century. Many a cruise ship in addition to the RMS Titanic were built here as well as some pretty serious navy warships.
What makes the hotel seem more plausible this time around may be the fairly new next door neighbor. The uber-angular Titanic Belfast museum, which opened in 2012, overlooks the historic shipyard buildings and what will be the front side of the hotel. The hotel will have a new steel and glass entrance, illustrated in the top rendering.
Apparently, the brains behind the world's newest underwater hotel haven't learned what pitfalls other similar projects have battled to make their dream come true. Nor have they seemed to give much thought to the environmental impact of their project.
Deep Ocean Technology, a Polish technology firm specializing in submerged buildings, vehicles and deep-sea equipment, is hoping to bring an underwater hotel to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest reef system just off the coast of Northern Queensland.
If all goes to plan, a very futuristic design resembling flying saucers will rise above the waters in the Coral Sea comprising two primary discs--one above the water, another below. Both discs will be anchored to the ocean floor by five structural legs and a vertical shaft containing an elevator and stairway which will connect the two discs to a central lobby. There will be just 21 rooms, all with with killer views of colorful coral and loads of fish swimming by.
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January isn’t even out and we have another new London hotel to add to our to-watch list. And what an addition it is: a 120-metre super yacht called the Sunborn London, to be moored at the Royal Victoria Docks, with 138 rooms and suites over five floors of floating luxury.
Opening is scheduled for March, mere weeks away. Given its east London location next to the ExCel exhibition center, close to Canary Wharf and City airport, Sunborn will be mostly focused on the corporate market, but it wouldn’t surprise us if leisure guests will give it a try, if only for the novelty factor.
Sweden's Salt & Sill sits -- or should we say floats -- on the western coast of the country and is more of an inn than a hotel, sporting only 23 rooms with 46 beds.
It was built upon pontoons and sailed to its current location in 2008 (shown above), where it is tied (very tightly!) to the dock in a calm inlet on the rocky island of Tjorn, about an hour’s drive from Gothenburg. It was the first floating hotel built in Sweden, and while other locations within the country have begun to experiment with prototypes of the concept, it is the only one of its kind that is fully functional.
The islands off the coast of Sweden are relatively unknown to North American travelers, which is exactly what makes them such a great place to visit. You won’t find any high-rise hotels, and the rocky coastline squashes any worry of overdevelopment. Visiting them feels like you’ve stumbled upon an old fishing village where time refuses to catch up.
Salt & Sill embodies the area with its simplicity and emphasis on the sea, both in terms of its personality and cuisine. In the restaurant, you’ll find the Swedish staples – herring and smoked salmon, for example – and your days are filled with kayaking, boating, and walks by the sea. Summer is by no means long in Sweden, but the coastline is as beautiful as any when the sun does decide to come out.
Maybe we should have said above the wine ranks, but you catch our drift. We love us some unusual hotels, and while overall the Entre Cielos Hotel in wine-centric Mendoza, Argentina, perhaps doesn’t necessarily fit in the category, its “Limited Edition” room is definitely something out of the ordinary.
Built on stilts above the hotel’s vineyard, the tube-shaped hotel room has a queen bed tucked in the corner of the open-plan living space, with skylights for stargazing at night. There is a full bathroom inside (you wouldn’t want to be traipsing back to the main hotel in the middle of the night after all) and the terrace has an outdoor bathtub so that you can soak while soaking up the views of the Andes Mountains, which look pretty spectacular in the distance.
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We've seen all kinds of pop-up hotels here on HotelChatter from the glamping kind, the sleep around kind, the "world's smallest kind" and even an edible kind and so many more. But this latest pop-up hotel from The Curtis Hotel in Denver, a DoubleTree Hotel, might just be the craziest we've seen yet.
The hotel has created a $50,000 floating bounce house hotel, billed as "the world's only floating pop-up hotel room" and referred to as Lloyd in the Sky With Diamonds. That's because the hotel stay includes a Tiffany diamond necklace & earrings, a 60s themed party for 100 friends, and the butler service of Lloyd, the hotel's spokesrobot who will give you Swarovski binoculars and iPad mini loaded with the Stargazer app. Um, yes, please!
We loved their rooftop bar back then, and we love it now, as the hotel recently re-launched the rooftop space with a new name: The Moon Room. A local blog went over to check out the bar, and in doing so, learned that it is the first hotel restaurant in the US with a roof made entirely out of solar panels.
The 107 glass panels apparently provide enough energy to power the whole bar, as well as part of the floor below. Pretty impressive, huh? (They also make for some cool light effects, as evidenced by these photos).
Elsewhere on the ceiling are sphere-shaped light fixtures that resemble different planets in the solar system. The turquoise walls and NASA uniform-wearing-waitresses add to the effect, though our favorite snapshot from the opening night might just be the dessert: homemade moon pies!
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If you're staying at the RiverPlace Hotel in Portland this week, and are looking for General Manager Ryan Kunzer, you won't find him anywhere in the hotel. Which isn't to say he's not working.
He'll be working, alright, but instead of a traditional office, Kunzer has temporarily stationed himself inside a bubble tent in the middle of Pioneer Square.
Starting yesterday, Kunzer will spend three nights working and sleeping inside the 24-geodesic dome as a way to promote the hotel's renovated guest rooms, which are fresh from a $2.5 million makeover.
As a way to introduce the new look to locals and potential guests, RiverPlace has re-created a guest room inside the tent for all to see (literally). Kind of a genius PR stunt, if you ask us. No pedestrian who stumbles upon a pop-up bubble hotel in the middle of a public square would ever be able to pass by and not want to peek inside.
Hopefully, the reviews will be positive...
Rates from $284/night.
[Photo: RiverPlace Hotel]
Earth Day has come and gone, and we've seen our fair share of odd hotels, so this one shouldn't really ring our bell that much. But we kind of love it because its innovative in a city that is close to our heart--Detroit. And anything that we see that's about bringing positive light to the city, we're 'bout it.
The latest venture (besides the firehouse-turned hotel) comes from a company called Collision Works. In partnership with an organization called Kickstarter, they raised over $43K to build a 36-room boutique hotel made from cargo containers.
Yeah, that was the part that threw us off, too.
But these recycled vessels are apparently made of sturdy stock and perfect for what is being called "Cargotecture". Collision Works plans to open the First Container on May 18, to coincide with Eastern Market’s Flower Day, when 200,000 visitors are expected to pass through the prototype space and showroom, located near Shed 5 at the corner of Russell and Wilkins Streets.
"Now is a great time to collaborate with the community to create quality programming and creative experiences around storytelling. What we learn here we will take with us to the hotel, ” said Shel Kimen, Founder and CEO of Collision Works, in a statement.
Collision Works is working with the City of Detroit to buy the lot at 1923 Division along the Dequindre Cut, where they hope the hotel will find its home.
No word yet on how much a cargo-container room will cost, but he certainly hope it errs on the affordable side. We'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this one.
[Photo: Collision Works]
Our Twitter follower @TanerKay showed the above pic to us with a very poignant question: “I would love to stay here but how do you go to the bathroom at night?”
We were stumped. All we could manage was a “Whoa”. We’re not used to being so speechless. Then we did some digging on this doozy of a place.
Where is it? Apparently, it’s an adventure resort called Waldseilgarten Hoellschluch located in the Bavaria region near Munich. From May 1st this year, guests can come and get their thrills from climbing trees, doing ropes courses, hiking, and all types of adrenaline-pumping activities before retiring at night to platform beds in the trees (for more sedate types) or the higher “portaledge” tents shown.
Know up front this is not for the dainty sort.
Ever feel like glamping would just be sooo much cooler if your tent was completely see-through? Well, a France-based company called BubbleTree has gone ahead and designed one. It's called a "Bubble", and it's made of clear vinyl that allows plenty of sunshine (or, in other cases, nosy neighbors) to filter through.
To acquaint Chinese customers with the product, RocketNews reports that BubbleTree installed one of their bubbles on a street corner in Chengdu last weekend. And to make things really realistic, there was even a young girl living inside it for two days, going about her business like reading an iPad and reclining on the bed.
Unsurprisingly, the stunt worked: the bubble hotel sparked the interest of hundreds of passersby (and just as many iPhone cameras).
Inside, the girl sprawled out in her fully-furnished, 100% see-through hotel room (bed, table, dresser, armchair, ottoman all included) and showed the world how wonderful it was to be seen by…the world.
Kinda makes you think twice about the expression "killer view", doesn't it?
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?