Archive for May, 2010
Top 10 Craziest Hotels in the World
Your own survival pod! Escape pod hotel in a city centre dock location. Moored in The Hague, your room is a bright orange survival pod which once saw service on an oil rig platform. Originally built in 1972 they are 4.25 metres in diameter and unaltered apart from the addition of a lock on the outside and an ‘emergency’ chemical toilet inside. While not everyone’s luxury choice, each pod provides cosy protection from the elements for up to three occupants.
First created for accommodation as an art project in 2004, owner Denis Oudendijk has 8 different models ready for use and is currently working on additional locations in central Amsterdam and Nantes, France.
2. Everland, Paris: a hotel which parks in unusual places with amazing views
Everland is a hotel with only one room including a bathroom, a king-size bed and a lounge. What makes it so different is that – because it is also an art installation – this hotel travels! The Everland has been ‘parked’ in the most unsual places, like the roof-deck of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig, Germany, or the roof of Palais de Tokyo (with a spectacular view on the Eiffel Tower) in Paris.
Considering how unique a night in this hotel is, the price is not so crazy: you can get the only room and the unique view for 333 Euros during the week, 444 Euros during the weekends.
3. Hôtel de Glace, Canada – an ice hotel opened only during winter
Made entirely of ice and snow, this unique one-story structure has been rebuilt each year since 2000. The 9th season of the Ice Hotel lasted from January 4th through March 29th 2009. The Ice Hotel has become an unparalleled and world-famous winter experience. It takes 5 weeks, 500 tons of ice, and 15,000 tons of snow to craft the Ice Hotel with its ceilings as high as 18 feet, walls covered with original artwork and furniture carved from ice blocks.
4. Waterworld Hotel, China – an amazing aquatic themed hotel
Atkin’s Architecture Group won first prize for an international design competition with this stunning entry. Set in a spectacular water filled quarry in Songjiang, China, the 400 bed resort hotel is uniquely constructed within the natural elements of the quarry. Underwater public areas and guest rooms add to the uniqueness, but the resort also boasts cafes, restaurants and sporting facilities.
5. Sala Silvergruva, Sweden: a single room hotel inside a silver mine
Picture this… A single suite, 155m underground in historic Sala Silvermine, one of the world’s best preserved mine settings. (During its heyday, production amounted to more than 3 tons of silver a year and a total of more than 400 tons of silver and about 40,000 tons of lead were extracted – completely by hand!) If you wake up in the middle of the night and have to use the bathroom, make sure you turn right or else you’ll end up exploring dark winding galleries, vast caverns and magic lakes.
6. Das Park Hotel, Austria: a hotel where rooms are made of concrete pipes
A hotel with rooms made of giant concrete sewage pipes might sound a little odd, but this artistic creation can be recreated to provide cheap lodging anywhere. These 9,5 tonne concrete sections are a standard item in near all concrete factories and the oden floors, a really comfortable double bed, minibar and room service through to 1am. For night owls, the reception is open 24hrs. With the amazing view below there is little else needed, except if you’re staying in bed past 10am, when pajamas would be a wise thing to wear, as although you can look out – tourists can look in
7. The De Vrouwe van Stavoren Hotel, Netherlands: a hotel made from recycled wine barrels
The De Vrouwe van Stavoren Hotel in the Netherlands salvaged four wine casks from Switzerland and converted them into rooms. Formerly filled with 14,500 liters of Beaujolais wine from the French chateau, each now holds a modest two-person room with standard amenities and even an attached bathroom and a sitting room.
The one thing that might bother you, if you’re not a wine enthusiast, is the smell of wine that the barrels still maintain. All in all the Barrel Hotel, in Stavoren, northern Netherlands, makes for a very pleasurable experience. General rates for a cask room are from 74-119 Euros a night with discounts of up to 75% off depending on season. If you go in the wintertime, a wine cask room can be as low as 18 Euros a night, cheaper than most hostels.
8. Giraffe Manor, Kenya: a hotel where you dine with a friendly giraffe
This small and exclusive hotel — surrounded by 140 acres of indigenous forest just outside Nairobi — is famous for its resident herd of giraffe. It’s the only place in the world where you can enjoy the experience of feeding and photographing the giraffe over the breakfast table, at the front door or while you dine, and the giraffes poke their heads through the window.
As well as the giraffe, the property is also home to many species of birds, large families of warthogs and the elusive Bush Buck.
9. Hotel Im Wasserturm, Germany: a hotel inside a water tower
Rising high above Cologne, this international luxury hotel was once the largest water tower in 19th century Europe. In 1990, French designer Andrée Putman transformed it into an elegant 78-room hotel.
Classified as a heritage site, the timeless modern design still manages to preserve the water-tower architecture and a sense of refuge and protection.
10. Jumbo Hostel (Stockholm): World’s First Aircraft Inn
Stockholm is the house of this wacky hotel, the first aircraft inn. An abandoned Boeing 747 jumbo jet has been saved from being trashed metal to become a 25-room hotel sited in Stockholm-Arlanda airport. Each room is bare 65 square ft big and furnished with bunk beds, overhead luggage storage and flat-screen TVs. There is a reception area and a cafe with toilets and showers at the rear of the aircraft, which means that you will have to share! The upper deck is a conference room and the best of all, the cockpit, is where the wedding suite is housed. Not a very comfy hotel I would think, but staying there just to get a feel of it might be cool.
Don’t Be a Cakeist: Learn How to Tell TV’s Many
Cake Shows Apart
second season of TLC’s Ultimate Cake-Off, which is yet another
seven-layer look at bakers. How did cake shows join makeovers,
families with 10 million kids, and ballroom dancing as a reality-TV
staple subject? Is it that these shows act as prequels to the popular Biggest
Loser? Whatever the reason, cake lovers have a plethora of
options to choose from, so here’s a handy, high-calorie guide to find
the right show for you.
Enjoy The Beauty Of Tea-making With Sorapot
Now is the time to say that tea is sexier than coffee! With John
Roth’s stylish Sorapot Teapot, the default setting of one’s inclination
towards coffee over tea will be changed for ever. The teapot that we
are talking about is astunning littlearchitectural piecemade of
stainless steel and pyrex, and is accompanied by a matching teacup.
The design is gorgeously modern because it comprises of a 304
stainless steel arch that houses a Pyrex (borosilicate) tube so that you
can see the tea leaves unfurl and ripple around to create the perfect
tea. In other words, for once the quiet beauty of tea is brought into
A cool addition that will add value to your army of kitchen gadgets
. Then the rectangular base and the short spout make it easy
to store. Since, Sorapot can easily handle two cups of tea, you can actually take the tea-making
business out of the kitchen and on to your desk. Then again, the
brewing is not affected by the componenets of the teapot.
However, there might be a little glitch. Traditional tea drinkers
might find the Sorapot fiddly and too small. But you know something, it
is worth a try, especially if you want to convert folks to being
tea-drinkers! The price is low at $200.
is the ideal sleeping environment for your baby, providing you with the
safety your baby requires without sacrificing style.
versatility of hushamokTM not only provides a sturdy anchor
for the safety of your baby, but is also a fashionable design addition
that complements any style decor. hushamokTM is durable,
lightweight and portable, making it ideal for around the home or packed
hushamokTM also guards against
potentially serious health concerns that can arise during baby’s sleep.
The innovative design of hushamokTM enables baby to sleep
soundly on their backs, which is a key recommendation in the prevention
of SIDs. hushamokTM creates a restful and nurturing sleep
environment, and is designed to reduce the incidence of flat head
- Baby hammock made with the highest quality, preshrunk 100% cotton
- Machine washable and available in an array of bright colors
- Stylish stand will complement any room, and its lightweight steel
construction means you can use it anywhere
- Patented leaf spring guarantees a gentle, natural motion that will
soothe any baby into a restful sleep
- Soft and comfortable poly-filled, hypoallergenic mattress fits
snugly in the baby hammock and is machine washable for easy care
- includes two custom fitted sheets made of 400-count cotton which are
available in the same vivid colors as the hammock (additional sheets
- Includes convenient cotton travel bag which makes your Hushamok
Experience portable so your baby can enjoy a restful sleep anywhere
- 40w x 53h x 40d inches overall (101.6 cm x 134.6 cm x 101.6 cm)
- Baby hammock with sheet and leaf spring weighs 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg)
- Stand weighs 18 pounds (8.2 kg)
- in the US, Hushamok baby hammock is recommended for children up to
‘Buyology’ offers a peek inside
Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin
Buy new: $10.20 / Used from:
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Picture a mad scientist in his
laboratory, cackling with glee as he tries to unlock the secrets of the
human mind. Now, consider the unsettling possibility that the scientist
may be on to something.
Marketing expert Martin Lindstrom is that
scientist, caught up in the excitement of research in his new book, Buyology.
Lindstrom first became aware of neurological marketing research
through a Forbes magazine article, “In Search of the Buy
The article discussed a lab in England, where a
neuroscientist teamed with a market researcher to scan the brainwaves of
subjects watching commercials. Lindstrom was thrilled that unbiased
access to the consumer brain was finally available.
A difficulty of standard marketing research,
Lindstrom says, is that people will not — or cannot — provide accurate
information about their mental states.
When asked why they prefer a brand of soft drink,
or how a warning label affects them, most people cannot give a straight
answer. This, Lindstrom says, is the great advantage of brain waves.
“They don’t waver, hold back, equivocate, cave in
to peer pressure, conceal their vanity, or say what they think the
person across the table wants to hear. … Neuroimaging could uncover
truths that a half-century of market research, focus groups and opinion
polling couldn’t come close to accomplishing.”
Two technologies were used in Lindstrom’s
studies: SST (Steady State Topography) and fMRI (functional Magnetic
Resonance Imaging). In a series of tests spanning three years and more
than 2,000 subjects, he concluded:
- Warning labels on cigarettes don’t work. They
stimulate activity in the part of a smoker’s brain linked to cravings.
- Traditional advertisements no longer create lasting
impressions. By age 66, most people with a TV will have seen
nearly 2 million commercials. That makes it hard for an ad to increase a
viewer’s memory of a brand, despite the millions spent.
- Product placement only works when fully integrated. It
works when Coke-bottle-shaped furniture is part of the set design on American
Idol, for example, or when Reese’s Pieces candy was used for bait
in the movie E.T. However, when a product is not integrated,
such as FedEx packages appearing in the background of Casino Royale,
there is no measurable effect with regard to viewer recollection of
- Sex sells itself. Viewers of sexually suggestive
ads did pay attention, but more to the sex than the ad. In one study,
fewer than 1-in-10 men who saw a sexually suggestive ad could recall the
product, while twice as many remembered the product in non-sexually
- Successful branding functions like religion. Simple
rituals, such as putting a lime wedge in a Corona or slowly pouring a
Guinness, give the brand added cachet. Brands attract zealous followers —
“I’m a Mac; I’m a PC.” Scans using fMRI technology showed that some
viewers had the same neurological response to strong brands that they
did to religious iconography.
- Subliminal advertising can be highly effective. When
watching an advertisement, viewers automatically raise their guard
against its message. With subliminal advertisements, viewers’ guards are
down, so their responses are more direct.
- Marketing isn’t restricted to the visual. Many
companies use smells to sell products. Fast-food restaurants and
supermarket bakeries use artificial fresh-cooked food smells. Sounds
also effect buying. A study showed shoppers purchased French or German
wine depending on which nationality’s music was playing on store
Lindstrom’s research should be of interest to any
company launching a new product or brand. “Eight out of 10 products
launched in the United States are destined to fail,” Lindstrom writes.
“Roughly 21,000 new brands are introduced worldwide per year, yet
history tells us that more than 90% of them are gone from the shelf a
It’s likely that the information in this book
will be used in future marketing campaigns, so even if you aren’t in the
marketing business, it’s a worthwhile read as a measure of
self-awareness and self-defense.
Seth Brown is a freelance writer and the
author of Rhode Island Curiosities. His website is
Iris Strubegger Does a Fashion Double Take in Harper’s Bazaar via [FashionTribes.com, and Absinthrill.Blogspot]
Iris Strubegger Does a Fashion Double Take in
In this fun spread in the March issue, Karl Lagerfeld captures the spirit -
personality, signature look & trademark pose – of some of his most
fabulous competitors with photographs of the androgynous “it” model
posing variously as Donatella Versace,
Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Carolina Herrera, Sonia Rykiel, Rei
Kawakubo, and even Kaiser Karl himself.
For more fab fash double
takes, check out HarpersBazaar.com.