Activities

The Igloo Rooms of Iglu-Dorf

Amazing hot tubs. But going to the restroom is an undeniably chilly affair.

Spot Cool Stuff is occasionally asked what our favorite hotel chain is. The answer depends. We are fans of the W Hotels, appreciate the inexpensive airport stylings of Yotel and are keen on virtually all the Kimpton properties. But our choice for favorite hotel chain might have to be the igloos of Iglu-Dorf.

Why do we like the igloo rooms of Iglu-Dorf? Because they are igloo rooms. Made from real snow and ice.

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The Ski Resort That Disappears

Visit the site of the Whitepod ski resort in the Swiss Alps between April and November and what you’ll see of it is . . . nothing.

You’ll see no roads. No electrical wires. No place to stay. Just a 19th century farmhouse and a pristine alpine meadow that’s begging for some von Trapp kids to twirl around in it Sound Of Music style. The views of the snow peaks from this place 1,700 meters (5,600 feet) above the oceans might be the grandest untouched mountain vista in Europe. “Untouched” being the key word.

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Go Scuba Diving
From an Oil Rig Hotel

There may be as many as three million (!) oil rigs and platforms scattered throughout the world’s waters. A decent percentage of them—no one seems to know the exact figure—have already been abandon or fallen into misuse. And as underwater oil fields start to dry up and as people implement alternatives to fossil fuels (we hope) many more oil rigs will be rendered useless.

So what should we do with all these discarded drilling platforms?

Here’s a cool idea: Turn them into hotels.

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6 Cool Bicycle Stores

There’s no other bicycle shop in the world where you have to give serious thought to your wardrobe before visiting.

The best bike shops in the world do more than sell and fix bicycles. They fill you with a sort of enthusiastic energy that makes you want to get out there and pedal.

There are lots of great community bicycle stores out there, too many for us to declare the six we feature below to be the absolute best. But each one is superlative in its own way:

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The World’s Largest Cruise Sale,
Starts October 17th
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It’s “The World’s Largest Cruise Sale!” Or, at least it’s billed so by the Cruise Lines International Association. For the past six years CLIA, the cruise line’s trade association, has organized 24 hours of cruise discounts and promotions on one day in October. This year, they decided to do seven times better by launching National Cruise Vacation Week.

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First Google Store Opens In London
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Welcome to the Chrome Zone.

That’s not the title of a science fiction movie (that we know of). It’s what you’ll hear when you walk into Google’s first retail store1. It’s located not in the vacinity of Google’s California headquarters, as one might expect, but across the pond in London.

The store is named such because its featured product is the Google Chromebook notebook computer. (The notebook computers are named such because they run the Chrome operating system.)

Reportedly, Google is modeling their retail strategy after Apple. Some of the larger, flashier Apple stores have become destinations in themselves. Go to their store in Shanghai or on Fifth Avenue in New York City, for example, and you’ll see tourists from the world over snapping photos of themselves in front of large, glass-encased Apple logos. So how does the Chrome Zone in London compare to those cool shopping experiences?

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Camping? In New York City?

Can you (legally) go camping in New York City?

It might be a stupid question to ask about a heavily populated urban area that, save for Central Park, is notoriously devoid of large green spaces. Yet, in honor of Ask a Stupid Question Day (September 28th), we thought we’d research that very topic.

Turns out the answer is: Yes, there is a campground in New York City.

And we aren’t talking about pitching a tent on a desolate plot of concrete either. Take the 2 train to Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue, then hop on the Q35 bus, and you’ll be find yourself at a campground by Jamaica Bay. A campground with, you know, dirt and trees. The sort of campground where you can roast s’mores.

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A Bubble of Your Own

“The world is a bubble” declared Saint Augustine. Seventeen centuries later, the patron saint of brewers and printers would surely be a huge fan of the portable plastic offerings from Bubble Tree.

The french design and manufacturing company sells bubble products that they describe as “Unusual huts for unusual nights.” Spot Cool Stuff would characterize them more as glorified tents.

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