Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Emergency Car Kits and Winter Travel

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An emergency car kit should be an essential part of you preparation for travel in any kind of weather, but is even more important for winter. Preparation is the key to your safety. If there are winter storm warnings and watches don't travel unless absolutely necessary! If you must travel here are some tips to help you survive.

Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. This is even more important in the winter. Do your lights work? Are your brakes in good working order? Do you have good tires? Tire chains are a must it traveling in the mountains in winter! Are your tires inflated properly? Do you have a good battery? (In the severe cold a bad battery will be one of the first things to die.) Are your windshield wipers in good working order? Do you have windshield wiper fluid and is it the kind that won't freeze? Is your window defrost working in the front and back? Do you have enough oil? Is your gas tank at least 1/2 full? Check the weather for traveler's advisories. This will help you to know what to expect and to choose the safest route for travel and know when it's the safest time to travel.

Be prepared to go slow! Bridges and overpasses may be icy. It will take you a lot longer to slow down and stop on slick roads. Leave a lot more room between you and the other vehicles. Be prepared to be patient with other drivers. Make sure you have an emergency car kit. Also make sure your cell phone is fully charged.

You also need to have gloves or mittens, scarf and cap, snow boots, a cell phone car charger, blankets or sleeping bag and some snacks and water in case you get stuck or break down.

If you break down or get stuck DO NOT leave the car! Call for help if your cell phone is working. Start your car and run the engine for 10 minutes every hour while stuck, to use the heater. Periodically check to make sure your tail pipe is not blocked. When the engine is running turn on the lights. Tie a red or brightly colored cloth to antenna. Do not use electrical devises while engine is off. If you have children with you, make sure you have things to take care of their needs like diapers, bottles and formula, extra food and treats, warm clothes, etc. Don't forget something for them to do like color books, story books, small games etc.

If you have to get out of the car avoid strenuous exercise or exertion. Sweating will only make you colder. Don't forget exercise is harder on your body in the cold, so take things slow and don't over exert. 

Before I leave for even a short trip like to the grocery store in the winter make sure you ask yourself this question: "If I had to get out of my car for any reason am I dressed warm enough?" Make sure you have your gloves, hat and shoes or boots. So make sure your vehicle is in good working order and be prepared for bad roads and storms. Safe winter travels everyone! Winter travel can be fun if you are prepared!

At we offer a wide variety of emergency preparedness kits,emergency car kits, emergency first aid kits and the best survival food. All kits are made using Red Cross and FEMA guidelines. Come check us out! We will help you become more prepared.

Brenda Jensen

Monday, April 30, 2012

Exploring Tourism Opportunities of Shanghai

夜上海_HDR版(Shanghai Night View_HDR)
By William Scarlet

Shanghai is a renowned city of the People's Republic of China. It is a global city, with major influence in culture, finance, fashion, media, commerce, technology and transport. Shanghai is the popular holiday destination known for its historical landmarks, namely Holy place like Jade Buddha Temple, Commercial Street like Nanjing Road, ancient garden like Yuyuan Garden and Mother River of Shanghai, Huangpu River, City God Temple, The Bund, as well as the extensive Pudong skyline.

Shanghai is popularly known as the "showpiece" of the thriving economy of mainland China. With numerous cheap flights to Shanghai available, reserve your seat in one of these airlines and explore all the attractions thereby making the holiday memorable.

Attractions of Shanghai:
Shanghai as mentioned earlier is filled with loads of interesting attractions. Have a look on some of them:

The Bund & Huangpu River: - Huangpu River is one of the most enchanting tourist attractions of the city. It is the mother river of Shanghai that divides the city into east and west parts. The Bund, situated on the eastern bank of the city is the symbol of Shanghai's beauty and lavishness. Grand buildings, new finance and commercial hub built in 1930 in the European architectural styles bundle along the Bund. The bright lights during night add glory to the happy and lively atmosphere of the city. There are several flights to Shanghai available, select the right one and travel happily.

Jade Buddha Temple: One of the popular Buddhist memorials in Shanghai, Jade Buddha Temple should not be missed while holidaying in the city. Buddha's ideal was brought from Burma during 19th century. One of the statues is seated, while the other is in recumbent position of Sakyamuni that symbolizes Buddha's achievement of illumination or paradise. This grand temple also has images of deceased kings. People visit this temple each day and offer prayers by burning incense.

Nanjing Road: It is regarded as the top commercial street in China. Nanjing Road is also once been a milestone of Shanghai for a long time. On this lively street, you will find more than 600 shops that are visited by countless tourists each day. Here you can buy anything, starting from cheap mementos, to luxurious and branded items. Search for cheap airfare tickets online, to visit this street and shop for the branded items in Shanghai.

Yuyuan Garden: It is biggest ancient garden in the city. This regal garden is designed using Ming and Qing architectural patterns. Near the garden, there another famous spot called City God temple, where you can taste the authentic local snacks of the city. Cheap tickets to Shanghai are offered by travel agents online, book one and make your pocket happy.

William Scarlet is an associate editor with The website offers exclusive information related to cheap airfares. We also provide online reservation for cheap flights to Shanghai, Business flights, Cheap hotels and Car Rental.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Beach Resorts for a Springtime Vacation

By Alexandra Jacobs

When the newness of the freshly fallen snow has worn off and been replaced by hours of shoveling, you may begin dreaming of the warm summer sun. Don’t wait for your hamptons rental to open up on Memorial Day, take your friends or family to one of these top 5 beach resorts in the world now. Just think of soaking in the warm sun, splashing in the crystal clear water and treating your family and friends to some world class pampering.

Photo by flickr user: Sandra b.

#1 Top Beach Resort - Shutters on the Beach
Located in Santa Monica, California, Shutters on the Beach offers a time reminiscent of the 1920s with its 200 shuttered rooms. Each of the rooms has shutters opening to a private balcony. This resort has become a favorite among Hollywood's elite and is the only beachfront luxury resort in Los Angeles. While offering relaxation and pampering in the spa or find food and wine in the "Living Room", Shutters gives you the feel of staying in your personal beach house.

#2 Top Beach Resort - Cambridge Beaches
With views of the blue waters and sandy beaches, Cambridge Beaches, located in Bermuda is a relaxing getaway. With 5 private beaches, an European Wellness Center and 94 individual cottages, you will be amidst an oasis of relaxation. Whether you want to take in the sights of marine life while snorkeling or escape in a novel on the beach, Cambridge Beaches will "take you away."

#3 Top Beach Resort - La Samanna, St. Maarten
La Samanna Resort and Spa has consistently been named among the top Caribbean resorts. Offering top notch luxury, you will be indulged with great food, picturesque views and relaxing spa treatments. You can capture the breathtaking views with a sunset cruise around the island or take a jaunt into town to experience the local culture.

Photo by flickr user Press Tours

#4 Top Beach Resort - Half Moon, Montego Bay
Take your family and friends to Half Moon for a trip you won't soon forget. Situated among a lush 400 acre landscape and boasting of breathtaking views, Half Moon is located in Jamaica. You can choose to stay in one of the 33 4-7 bedroom villas, equipped with its own staff and pool, and you won't have to lift a finger. Shopping, gourmet food, water sports and golf are at your fingertips at this exclusive resort.

#5 Top Beach Resort - Elounda Beach Hotel, Crete
Found on the island of Crete in Greece, the Elounda Beach Hotel offers an array of water activities, spa treatments, private beaches and heated pools. The hotel also offers a playground for the kids to burn off a little energy. The azure waters will be calling your name at this luxurious hotel.

Stop dreaming about the crystal clear waters and warm breezes and head to one of these top beach resorts with your friends or family.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Ten New Years Destinations.

Scroll through to find out this #1 new years destination!

When the holidays come around, searching for the right Christmas gift for each friend and
relative is not the only duty many of us have. Finding something fun and memorable to do on New Year's Eve is also a top priority. However, because it is such a common party occasion, there is a lot of pressure to do something original. One way to have a memorable New Year's is to spend it away from home; use your vacation time wisely and visit a top party destination. In fact, with these 10 hotspots, you'll be partying like it's 1999...

Number 10 - Hawaii

Whether part of an all-inclusive package or on your own, there is a lot to do in Hawaii during New Year's. Romantically inclined couples will want to reserve a table at some of the state's finest restaurants and then relax on the beach with nothing more than a Mai Tai and some privacy. Even single men can keep busy, as many hedonistic-like parties take place along the beaches of Oahu and Hawaii's Big Island.
You can book a nightlong cruise from Waikiki as well, where a nightclub atmosphere and live band can be found on a luxury yacht. As midnight approaches, those onboard will have a great view of the New Year's Eve fireworks. Of course, each resort within Hawaii offers its own full party, replete with seven-course meals, dancing and champagne. Pick your poison on New Year's, because Hawaii has got it all.

Must-do: Try to get tickets to a Hawaiian gala, where traditional New Year's practices are mixed with good old-fashioned fun.

Number 9 - Vienna, Austria

True metrosexuals will appreciate a New Year's stay in Austria's fine capital. Substitute nightlong dance raves with dignified balls and loud club music with the world's best symphonies. The Old World city comes alive by offering the Kaiserball at the Hofburg Palace on New Year's Eve, as well as Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 performed by the famous Vienna Symphony Orchestra at the Konzerthaus and a Champagne Brunch in an elegant Viennese hall, both on New Year's Day.

Numerous other classical music concerts are organized in Vienna, and there are several private galas organized by hotels. Research some of these events or simply have a go at Vienna without an itinerary. Either way, it will be a high-class, fun time.

Must-see: On New Year's Eve, the Vienna Philharmonic puts on a concert at the great Musikverein hall.

Number 8 - Madeira, Portugal

The Portuguese island of Madeira is heaven on Earth year round and only gets better with the busy holiday season. The linking of a great culture and unforgettable food with a party atmosphere makes this place a prime New Year's destination. You can rent out a villa and soak up the atmosphere and beaches, or join the populace in watching Madeira's famous fireworks and outdoor parties.
The latter is the most fun, as partiers from all over mingle in the streets and in discos, dancing to everything from techno to samba. To make your night even more special, Madeira offers some great drinks to go along with your night of clubbing. Instead of, or along with, champagne, try the famous fortified wines, as well as the Poncha and Nikita cocktails.

Must-do: Prior to the festivities, eat out and try Madeira's local dishes, like black swordfish and espetada (meat brochettes).

Number 7 - Goa, India

For five-star hotel treatment and white sandy beaches with a romantic backdrop, think about bucking the trend and visiting India's beautiful state of Goa. Here you'll find a great combination of sun, sand and surf. As such, this paradise is ideal for couples who want to spend New Year's away from loud parties and drunks singing Auld Lang Syne.

Aside from privacy, great beaches and idyllic scenery, the resorts and hotels in Goa will treat you like royalty. Holiday packages include complimentary tours of the state, planned New Year's events for those who want to mingle and several amenities to make you and your significant other more comfortable. With its perfect romantic conditions, couples will go gaga over Goa.

Must-see: Preface a memorable romp on the sand with a visit to scenic Baga Beach and a drink at Tito's, Goa's most popular nightclub.

Number 6 - Tokyo, Japan

For New Year's, two different but equally fun opportunities present themselves in Japan's greatest city. Traditionalists enjoy visiting Tokyo's Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples to celebrate in style and pray for good luck in the New Year. Amazing festivals are held in these shrines, replete with music and dancers dressed in ornate costumes.
When you're done having wholesome fun with thousands of natives, test out Tokyo's famous nightclubs for a naughtier time. These spots bring in Japan's hottest techno and house beats along with some fine local tail. However, because these organized parties attract loads of people and the world's best DJs, you'll need to reserve tickets weeks, if not months, in advance. Check out Studio Coast, Womb and Yellow and let loose.

Must-see: On January 2nd, the Imperial Palace is open to the public. You can tour the grounds and catch a glimpse of Japan's Emperor.

Number 5 - Morocco

When the champagne-filled parties get old, it's time to consider something completely different. Certain Moroccan tour companies organize desert tours for New Year's, where travelers get to spend the memorable night in an incredible oasis. You can stay in the ancient city of Ouarzazate, then move out into the Sahara and experience a nomadic lifestyle with the natives.

The vacation doesn't have to be rustic either. If you don't want to join a caravan and "rough it," simply experience the New Year in the desert, enjoy the natural wonders and a new culture, and then adjourn to your hotel. For those with an open mind, Morocco offers great ways to usher in the New Year.

Must-see: After midnight, catch the bonfire and nomadic dances, which help transform the desert into an outdoor dancehall.

Number 4 - Sydney, Australia
All of Sydney comes alive for New Year's Eve as Australia's great harbor city offers a stunning array of activities that keep the energy up and the champagne flowing. The most popular spot to visit is the Harbor Bridge, where people come in droves to watch an impressive display of fireworks that starts over the water at the stroke of midnight. If you can't get on the bridge because of the big crowds, sit on the steps of the legendary Sydney Opera House. Better yet, book a private charter boat for the night (it's romantic and original) and observe the action from the water.
Those who don't go for the fireworks can usually be found in one of the city's pubs. Try the Quay Bar or the Lord Nelson Brewery for a true Aussie New Year's Eve experience.

Must-do: Prior to partying, grab a window seat in one of Sydney's high-rise restaurants to get a view of the city's activities while dining on great food.

Number 3 - Las Vegas, Nevada

Want to gamble your money away, live in luxury and see the stars? If yes, then hit Sin City for the ultimate bash. The standard Vegas activities are revamped for New Year's Eve, as the strip is closed to traffic after 5 p.m. and is transformed into an enormous block party. Four hundred thousand people come to eat, dance and drink before visiting the shows or casinos. As an added bonus, you're likely to spot as many street performers as you do celebrities.
The ultimate way to cap off your night is to check out one of the many concerts that take place. On December 31st or January 1st, Las Vegas offers performances by everyone from Metallica to the Goo Goo Dolls.

Must-see: The fireworks at midnight, which are best seen in front of Caesars Palace's Forum Shops or on the observation deck of the Stratosphere.

Number 2 - Cape Town, South Africa

There's a lot to see and do in this diverse, vibrant South African metropolis. Cape Town holds a New Year's carnival, attracting 80,000 enthusiastic tourists and locals. This festival entertains in every aspect, offering great food, music and shows all night long.

Aside from the carnival, New Year's Eve party organizers see to it that Cape Town turns into a welcoming city. Outdoor concerts, fireworks and a hospitable atmosphere in most restaurants mean you can find something to do in every corner. As the hour draws closer to midnight, an array of jazz bars and nightclubs offer up a chance to party in Cape Town's unique setting.

Must-see: The V&A Waterfront, which is Cape Town's fine harbor area and a great place to grab a drink and watch traditional African song and dance in the many lounges nearby.

Number 1 - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Rio is a party city all year round, so imagine the ruckus that occurs when it's time to ring in the New Year. Copacabana Beach serves as the setting for many of the outdoor parties, which are characterized by thumping samba music and many, many beautiful Brazilian females. In accordance with tradition, the two million partiers who drink and groove on the sand are usually all dressed in white, so follow along and soak up the wicked atmosphere.
If the weather isn't as hot as the atmosphere, check out the nightclubs that run along Copacabana Beach. The parties are a guaranteed good time, but just like any other New Year's event, you must be prepared to pony up a fair amount of cash for entrance fees and booze.

Must-do: At the stroke of midnight, celebrate by going for a dip in the ocean.

Start The Year Off Right
Forget your regular New Year's bash; by setting aside some vacation time and visiting one of these 10 places, you'll be part of an unforgettable event. Whether you rough it in Morocco, go clubbing in Tokyo or dance on the beaches in Rio, there are unique ways to celebrate this December 31st.

Courtesy of

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Canada Winter Activities

Canada winter activities will help you enjoy the Canadian winter. Yes, temperatures can be sub-zero, and yes, there is snow, but that's half the fun.

From the unusual, like dog-sledding to the more traditional winter activities, such as skiing and skating, winter is a great time to visit Canada, especially for the adventurous. Also, Canada boasts some of the world's best and biggest winter festivals.

Try one of these 10 ways to enjoy the Canadian winter and you won't believe how good a mug of hot chocolate or glass of mulled red wine tastes afterwards.

1. Visit One of Canada's Famous Ski Resorts
Blackcomb / Whistler ski resort in British Columbia and site of the nordic events of the 2010 Winter Olympics; Banff & Lake Louise outside of Calgary, Alberta; and Mont-Tremblant, 90 mins north of Montreal in Quebec, are the three most famous ski destinations in Canada, though there are many more. These resorts are excellent by any standard – long runs, sharp drop offs, and spectacular scenery plus a range of activities, such as heliskiing and glacier skiing.
Read Top 10 Ski / Snowboard Resorts in Canada

2. Stay in the Quebec Ice Hotel, just outside Quebec City
The ultimate winter experience! The Quebec Ice Hotel is spectacular to behold and one of the most unique visitor experiences in the world. The cathedral-like hotel is carved entirely of ice, including the furniture and even ice candelabras hanging from the 18 ft ceilings.
Quebec Ice Hotel is rebuilt each year, opening its doors from January to the beginning of April. The walls are 4 feet thick and insulate the hotel to a crisp but comfortable 28° to 23° Fahrenheit (-2° to –5° Celsius). Visitors may choose to just pass through for a tour and a drink at the ice bar or stay overnight.
Find out what it's like to stay at the Quebec Ice Hotel.

3. Take the Kids to Québec Winter Carnival, Quebec City
The habitants of New France, now Quebec, had a rowdy tradition of getting together just before Lent to eat, drink and be merry.
Today, the Québec Winter Carnival is the biggest winter carnival in the world and is celebrated annually at the end of January until mid-February. The event is staged largely for families to enjoy and they come out in droves to embrace and celebrate the cold. Aside from accommodation, a trip to Québec Winter Carnival costs relatively little in that one $10 pass per person gets the holder access to most activities.

4. Skate the Rideau Canal, Ottawa
Every winter, Ottawa's Rideau Canal becomes the The Rideau Canal Skateway and at 7.8 km (just under 5 miles) the world's largest skating rink. Locals and visitors make the most of this frozen roadway in winter, using it both as a means of transportation and form of recreation.
Fast facts:
- Skateway generally opens in January/Feburary when the canal is sufficiently frozen and safe for skaters.
- Skate rental and sharpening and boot check are available.
- Also available for rent are sleighs in which children can sit and adults can push along the canal.
- Check the Rideau Canal Skateway website for details.

5. Visit Winterlude, Ottawa
Canadians celebrate sub-zero temperatures and waist-high snowdrifts by staging great winter festivals, such as Ottawa's Winterlude. For the first three weekend's every February, the nation's capital puts on a winter festival that features ice-skating on the world's longest rink, ice sculptures, a snow playground, concerts and more.
Check out the Winterlude Visitors Guide for dates and details.

6. Go Dogsledding
Dogsledding is one of the more memorable Canadian adventures. Whether you want to spend a few days or weeks in the outback or just try it for an afternoon, dogsledding is an activity available most anywhere in Canada that gets lots of snow.
- Call of the Wild is an award-winning, established adventure team that offers dogsledding excursions and year-round adventures.
- Dog Sled Canada is a resource for finding dogsled outfitters countrywide as well as winter camping and snowshoeing.

7. Take a Winter Rail Vacation, Vancouver - Calgary
Sit back and soak up the majesty of the Canadian Rockies. Rocky Mountaineer offers spectacular Canadian Winter Train Vacations that range from the leisurely to the downright luxurious. Vacations include train travel to/from Vancouver/Calgary, transportation to and between Banff, Jasper, and Lake Louise plus opportunity to explore some of the magnificent scenery and two great Canadian cities.

8. Try Snowshoeing
Once used by trappers and traders traversing the snow-covered terrain, snowshoeing today is mostly a form of winter recreation. Contemporary lightweight snowshoes make this traditional form of winter travel easier - and more fun - than ever.
Snowshoeing is both a wonderful way to explore the great outdoors and an effective and gentle form of exercise. Many ski resorts and winterized lodges provide or rent snowshoes for casual outings, or try a more challenging overnight adventure - maybe stay in an igloo. The truly adventurous may want to go Heli Snowshoeing, where clients are taken to beautiful and remote locations.

9. Go Ice Fishing
Ice fishing is a magnificent way to enjoy the Canadian winter and commune with nature. Not only does Canada offer the necessary climate, but it has a huge array of excellent resorts and lodges that range from basic to luxury. Canada is one of the most popular ice fishing destinations and overall, you'll find the quality of accommodation and hospitality high. Just be smart about choosing your location and be sure you have the degree of comfort you want.
Canada Ice Fishing Lodges, Resorts, and Outfitters Guide
Tips for Ice Fishing in Canada

10. Enjoy one of Canada's Many Winter Light Festivals
Canadians don't hibernate over winter. We create reasons to get out and enjoy the outdoors. One way is with light festivals, which occur across the country.
- Winter Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls
- Christmas Lights across Canada, Ottawa
- Toronto Cavalcade of Lights, Toronto
- Vancouver Festival of Lights, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver
- Airdrie Festival of Lights, Airdrie (35 km or 22 miles from Calgary)
- The Montreal High Lights Festival includes wining and dining as well as a Celebration of Light festival.

Article written by Jane McLean, Guide

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Sipadan - Scuba Diving, Relaxing Below the Sun's Rays and Enjoying The Surroundings

The Sipadan Island diving destinations are amone from the most desired spots, particularly in Malaysia. Off the coasts of Borneo Island, inside the Celebes Sea, right here lies Pulau Sipadan, the islands of wonders; the untouched paradise shelters a abundant and varied marine everyday life that has can not be witnessed everywhere else on the globe.

Obtaining There

The Sipadan might be arrived at in only tiny about 50 % an hour by boat from Semprona - the closest town over the waterside. Nevertheless, if that feels an excessive amount of for you personally, you'll be able to attain Sipadan even quicker, from the closest islands - Mabul (20 minutes absent) and Kapalai (15 minutes away).

Diving trips to Sipadan will also be organised by some much more distant resorts, like the ones on Mataking and Pom Pom (about 1-2 hours absent).

Even so, all speedboats, both heading to Mabul, Mataking, Kapalai or Pom Pom, depart from Semprona.

1 hour from Semprona it is possible to locate the Tawau airport - the closest in this particular spot.

The Pulau Sipadan Scuba diving Resorts have already been closed to maintain the island pristine, however , you can obtain diving resorts on all nearest islands.

The Surroundings

Sipadan rises 600 m from the h2o, sheltering magnificent underwater scenery and a person from the most gorgeous and uncommon marine habitats about the world.

Sipadan diving may be the great way to experience rare marine lifestyle, these kinds of as educational facilities of Barracuda and bigeye trevallies, within their tornado-like formation, Greenback turtles, mating and laying eggs. You are able to also see all kinds of other fascinating underwater species, these as: manta rays, hammerheads, whale sharks and blacktip and grey reef sharks.

The Climate

The climate right here remains hot and sunny all calendar year spherical, so to the Sipadan, dive is generally probable, providing its finest between the months March and October, once the location is actually crowded with divers.
The cooling ocean breeze is basically refreshing and soothing, though the sparse rains deliver a little melancholy plus a tendency to meditate and just stare in the astounding surroundings.

The typical temperature is between thirty and 32 degrees Celsius, even though the drinking water temperature rests between 27 and thirty C. There aren't any typhoons and monsoons to bother you.

What to Deliver When Travelling To Pulau Sipadan

Nicely, due to the fact we've spoken about the weather conditions, it might not be lousy bringing a hat, some sunscreen, mosquito repellents and some new towels with you. Do not overlook in regards to the surroundings and pack your digital digital camera.

Over the Pulau Sipadan, dive will be the number one activity, and that means you will obtain high-quality diving equipment in any with the resorts from the place. Some other issues readily available for rent are: dive computer systems, underwater digital cameras and dive torches; so, fundamentally all you'll need will be to be found right there on the spot.

This tiny island (only twelve hectares large) absolutely has an massive likely. The Pulau Sipadan, dive sites have become progressively more well-known just about every 12 months and they are just looking forward to you to dive in and benefit from the encounter.

More info on: Sipadan island diving

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

5 Weird And Wonderful Hotels

1. Ice Hotel, Sweden
This chilly hotel does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s a hotel made entirely from ice. Situated in the village of Jukkasjärvi, some 200km north of the Arctic Circle, this unique hotel makes a memorable base from which to explore the home of Santa Claus, Lapland, in which you can experience the Midnight Sun, the Northern Lights and the impressive snowy landscape of the polar north. As you might expect, the hotel is only around in winter – it melts in summer. You’ll have to wrap up warm, and this icy experience may not be for the faint hearted, but few could deny that it’s the ultimate winter retreat.

2. Soneva Gili, Maldives
This luxurious hotel is less about the ‘weird’ and more about the ‘wonderful’. Nestled in one of the Maldives’ biggest lagoons, it requires a 20 minute speedboat ride to get to it, and consists of 45 over-water villas. For the ultimate in luxury, choose one of the Crusoe Residences, which offer total privacy and 360 degree views of the stunning Indian Ocean. Desert island living doesn’t get much better than this.

3. Treebones Resort, California
Ever wished you could curl up in a bird’s nest? Well now you can! As well as a community of eco-friendly yurts, Treebones in sunny California also offers a human-sized bird’s nest complete with its own campsite. And if the giant nest doesn’t quite take your fancy, the yurts are spacious and tastefully furnished, with French doors offering immediate access to spectacular coastal views. It’s the last word in eco-friendly holidaying, and just goes to show that going green doesn’t have to mean losing out on luxury.

4. Harlingen Lighthouse, The Netherlands
If you read The Famous Five as a child and always wondered what it would be like to stay in a lighthouse, look no further than this fine example in The Netherlands. After 75 years of keeping Dutch ships safe, it officially stopped being used as a lighthouse in 1998 following alterations to the entrance of the harbour and changes in the shape of the seabed. Its fate hang in the balance until it was snapped up and turned into a hotel with a difference, where you can stay in total comfort surrounded by incredible views.

5. Jumbo Hostel, Sweden
What is it with the Swedes and weird hotels? This one isn’t quite as bizarre as the Ice Hotel but it’s not far off. The Jumbo Hostel is the name given to a decommissioned 1976 Boeing 747, which offers a rather different experience to the flights it was once used for. Now firmly grounded, this majestic aircraft provides a range of accommodation options, including a luxury suite which is located, as you might have guessed, in the plane’s converted cockpit, with an unrivalled panoramic view of Sweden’s Stockholm-Arlanda airport. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or just looking for a unique overnight stay, the Jumbo Hostel is the place for you.

Rachel is a freelance blogger on a variety of topics, including hotels for sale.

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