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Away From The Ordinary...Quirky And Bizarre Fun Spots

01 Dec 2012

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Desert Cave Hotel 

End of the year has always been great for travel. Rather Than Check-In To Another Hum-Drum Hotel Or Inconvenience A Friend Or Family Relation Spending Your Holiday With Them, Why Not Enjoy The Quirkiness Of A Bizarre Hotel Or Fun Spot. From Snow And Ice To Underground Caves; The 50s To The Future; A Converted Jumbo Airplane, Elementary School And Jail House -- Welcome To The Wacky World Of Quirky Hotels. Omolola Itayemi writes


For travelers who are tired of staying in typical, traditional hotels -- the kind with large lobbies and hundreds of identical rooms – THISDAY Travel and Lesure suggest checking into the alternatives uncovered in its list of Top 5 Quirky Hotels. Some are different in their concept, while others in their construction. Either way, in addition to your trip, your hotel stay will definitely be an adventure in itself.

Liberty Hotel

If you’re going to spend a night -- or more -- in jail, this is the place to serve your time. Acting as the Charles Street Jail in Boston starting in the mid-1850s, the Liberty Hotel at the foot of historic Beacon Hill was extensively renovated and opened in 2007. Sporting an ultra-stylish interior design, Italian restaurant and upscale lounge, the present-day hotel makes it hard to imagine it as a home for hardened criminals. Along with extensive in-room amenities boasting stunning views of downtown Boston, the Liberty hosts nightly events like fashion shows and parties.  Hotel rates start from N90,000 a night.

Hotel de Glace

Even though it’s built from snow and ice, Hotel de Glace in Quebec remains a red-hot place to stay. Completely rebuilt each winter, the hotel has 36 rooms and suites and is the only ice hotel in the Americas. It also boasts the famous Ice Bar, a perfect spot to warm up, where even the drink glasses are made from ice. More than 85,000 visitors take tours of the frozen accommodations each year, and 4,000 stay overnight. Guests get to choose from a wide array of winter activities including dog-sledding, snowshoeing, ice-skating and cross-country skiing. Our one piece of advice: bring gloves! Hotel rates start from N32,000 a night.

Kennedy School

You won’t mind staying after school at the Kennedy School Hotel in Portland, Oregon. A former neighborhood elementary school, the Kennedy was transformed into a luxurious and funky hotel, with guest rooms in former classrooms -- complete with school-related décor like blackboards and coatrooms. After-school features include a restaurant, multiple bars, a brewery and a movie theater. Set in an up-and-coming residential neighborhood, the Kennedy draws locals and visitors alike.

Desert Cave Hotel

As the world’s only internationally rated underground hotel, Desert Cave Hotel in Coober Pedy, Australia is an exciting change for surface-dwellers. Set in an opal-rich region of the Outback, the hotel is hewn from sandstone and stays cool and dry, and the luxurious rooms are perfect to return to after a long day exploring the scorching and beautiful surroundings. You’ll feel snugger than a baby kangaroo in its pouch when you turn in for the night under down under.  Hotel rates start from N32,000 a night.

Jumbo Hostel

Jumbo Hostel gives a whole new meaning to sleeping on a plane, and you don’t need a ticket or to take off your shoes to board. A decommissioned 1976 Boeing 747 has been converted into a 27-room hostel on the grounds of Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. Completely rebuilt from the inside, Jumbo Hostel has “passenger” rooms in the cockpit and cabins, a bar and café, and a first-class lounge-turned-conference room that holds up to eight people -- the next best thing to having your own 747. 

The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet has been abandoned and rescued from the scrap pit, making hotel with 25 rooms in Stockholm Arlanda airport. Each room has 65 m2 each is furnished with bunk beds and LCD. The hotel is equipped with a reception, a cafe and the back are located showers are common. Upper Deck is a conference room or a party room as needed. Hotel rates start from N14,000 a night

The remaining quirky hotels that didn’t make the list all have themes that are so out of the ordinary. You have to see it to believe it. These include the dog-themed Dog Park Bark Inn in Idaho; the library-themed Library Hotel in New York City; the whimsical cottage retreat Winvian in Connecticut; the 1950s-themed Rendezvous in Palm Springs and the futuristic Qbic Hotel in Amsterdam. And also the auto-geared V8 Hotel in Stuttgart, Germany.

A TALL DREAM FOR TRAVELLINKS

GBENGA OLUBOYE IS THE PUBLISHER OF TRAVELLINKS MAGAZINE, THAT PROMOTES CULTURAL AND TOURIST DESTINATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. he tells OMOLOLA ITAYEMI how the magazine is responding to the challenges of the time

From Thursday, 29 Nov, Travellinks will be a monthly magazine, instead of a quarterly publication. What is responsible for the change?
I want to correct the notion that we are changing focus. Monthly publication has been our vision from the beginning. We started with two editions per year, before publishing quarterly; now, we believe it is high time we introduced the monthly edition. This will enable us update stakeholders in the travel and tourism sector in Africa on new products, new promotions, discounts and many more, which will help them when taking decision on their choice of destinations, especially where to stay or do their shopping.

You mentioned earlier about rebranding and repackaging the magazine. What new features should readers be expecting to see in the new publication?

People should expect a reloaded and richer Travellinks magazine. With our experience in the industry, we are building on what we have at the moment. We intend to unveil the new package in three geo-political zones of the country, starting from Ibadan which we did on Thursday 29th. The final presentation will take place in Lagos sometime in March 2013. The new package will feature some countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and America. We shall treat tourism events for Africa and by Africans more  than ever before.It’s not an easy task to venture into the publishing business in the country, considering the fact that Nigerians don’t really read.

What has your experience been like in publishing Travellinks?

Publishing business is very challenging, but we believe in our dream. We are growing and we believe we shall get there with the help of God, the giver of the vision. We always put our slogan in mind-Inspiring travel sense of life. We make sure we support our stories with great photographs, which will inspire the reader to consider visiting the destinations or the hospitality outfits featured.

NCPC BOSS ASSURES NIGERIANS ON SAFETY OF PILGRIMS IN ISRAEL

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Mr. John Kennedy Opara has assured Nigerians of the safety of the Pilgrims in Israel who are currently performing the Holy Pilgrimage. The NCPC boss disclosed this recently in Abuja while briefing newsmen in the wake of the face off between Israeli authorities and the Palestinians.

Mr. Opara explained that the clarification became necessary in order to allay the fears being entertained by families whose relations are on pilgrimage to Israel.

He stated that in line with the calendar of activities of the Commission, the NCPC flagged off the airlift of intending pilgrims to Israel, Rome and Greece on 25th October, in Lagos with about 314 pilgrims for the inaugural flight.

According to the No. 1 Pilgrim Officer of the Federation, since the flag off of this year’s pilgrimage operation, close to 5,000 pilgrims had been airlifted so far and about 4,000 have returned home safely.  In the words of the Executive Secretary, “we want to emphasize that our pilgrims are safe and secure”. He added, “We want to make sure that they are spiritually fulfilled and satisfied”.

Mr. Opara further assured Nigerians with these soothing words: “I want to tell Nigerians that everything is under control, I will continue to do what it takes to make sure that no lives were lost”, he stressed.

Emirates Awards Top Selling Travel Agents in Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria, 22nd November 2012 – Emirates top travel agents in Nigeria have been recognized for their ongoing support with a token of appreciation at an awards night held in Dubai.

The agents – representing 20 companies - were hosted by senior executives from Emirates – including Jean Luc Grillet, Senior Vice President- Commercial Operations for Africa, Muhammed Riza, Regional Manager Commercial Operations, and Paulos Legesse Emirates’ Country Manager for Nigeria.

A certificate of appreciation for the year 2012 was presented to four outstanding travel agents for excellent performance during a dinner held at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai. The awardees include Touch Down, Gods Power , Good News and  Quantum Travel Agencies.

“We are grateful for the continued support of all our travel agents in Nigeria and congratulate those who have received awards this year,” said Jean Luc Grillet, who – along with several of his colleagues - presented trophies and certificates to the leading agents in Nigeria.

LAGOS FILM CITY UNDERWAY

Desirous of repositioning its entertainment industry while creating job opportunities, the Lagos State Government has commenced plans to establish its own film city in Badagry.


The State Commissioner for Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Disun Holloway disclosed this while delivering a paper on “Nigerian Creative Industries” during the just concluded 2012 Kuramo Conference at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria island, Lagos.
According to Holloway, the Film City when completed will not only boost the entertainment sector, it will also add value to what already exists in Nollywood.


Explaining that the creative industry is new and revolving the commissioner noted that it needs to be well structured for better results. He added that government will continue to do its best to transform the industry, noting that piracy is a major constraint facing stakeholders in the sector.
The Commissioner also called for a paradigm shift on the part of people that control funds in the sector stressing that financing of projects remain a key challenge in the entertainment industry.


FTAN To Organise Tourism Investors Forum Early Next Year

The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria [FTAN] is to organise a tourism investment forum next year.
Chief Samuel Alabi, National President of FTAN made this known recently in Lagos.
According to him, the tourism sector is face with series of challenges, one of which is the issue of funding for the sector either by financial institutions or established government sources that has not really been handy.


In making it a memorable and exemplary event, several private and public individuals have been pencilled down to speak at the forum.
Top issues to discuss at the forum are; The Place of Tourism In Nigeria And The Challenges of Funding, The Role Of Tourism In The Economic Development of Nigeria and Nigeria Fiscal Policies, Its Imperatives On Tourism Development.

Others are, Taxation As A Tool Of Tourism Development, The Nigerian Federal Capital Territory [FCT] And Its Tourism Potentials and An Appraisal Of Current Sectoral Intervention Funds.

Tags: Life and Style, Life, Desert Cave Hotel, Liberty Hotel

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