Australia

Ice Bars In Warm Places

At almost any bar in the world you can get a drink with ice. At a few you can get a drink in ice. While sitting on seats made of ice. At a table made of ice. Surrounded by walls made of ice.

The concept of the ice bar originated, logically enough, in Sweden where both water and freezing temperatures are abundant. These icy drinking establishments soon became popular around Scandinavia, partly because they combined two elements Scandinavians tend to embrace (cold and alcohol) and partly because these bars’ LED lighting, artworks of frozen water and and intimate settings made them great places to chill out. (Pun. Sorry.)

Today, there are more than two dozen ice bars around the globe including ones in Amsterdam, London, Poland, Canada and Alaska. Not all of these frozen saloons are in places with cold climes. Hence this Spot Cool Stuff overview of ice bars in warm places.

For the purposes of this review, a “warm place” is anywhere it doesn’t snow in the winter and regularly gets hot in the summer. So, the ice bar in Beijing doesn’t count. The one in Shanghai would have had it not recently closed.

All of the selections on this list, like most of the ice bars anywhere, charge an entrance fee to get in. Usually this fee includes one free drink and use of cold-weather clothing that is designed as much to protect patrons from the bar’s sub-freezing temperatures as it is to protect the bar itself from the patrons’ body heat. To help keep their establishments below freezing, ice bars also have strict limits on the number of people allowed in.

And with that, let’s kick back with a cold one and tour the world’s ice bars in warm places . . .

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Eating In The Dark

Here’s a restaurant theme you didn’t see coming: darkness.

The concept of purposefully eating in complete pitch-black dark originated with Jorge Spielmann, a blind clergyman from Zurich. When guests ate dinner at the Spielmann house some would wear blindfolds during their meal to show solidarity with their host and to better understand his world. What Spielmann’s sighted guests found was that the blindfolds heightened their sense of taste and smell and made their dining experience more enjoyable. That gave Spielmann the idea to open a dark restaurant, which he did in 1999.

Today you can stumble into dozens restaurants around the world where that question made famous in an American commercial in the 80s — Where’s the beef? — takes on a whole new meaning. Most dark restaurants employ blind waiters, offer a single set menu, and ban anything that could give off light (like cigarettes, cell phones and cameras) from the dinning area. All of them also have normally lit bathrooms though you’ll need to ask your waiter for help in finding it.

Here’s our illuminating look at some of the world’s dark restaurants:

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Luxury and Aborigines in the Australian Jungle

Most eco-resorts aim to preserve nature. At the Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa they work to preserve a culture too.

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Stay Like A Rock Star In Sydney

If you aren’t a rock star (yet) but can afford to live in rock star digs for a night or two, then the Mooghotel in Sydney, Australia, is for you.

The Mooghotel is one of the world’s great single room hotels. Though, at the Mooghotel, your “room” is a huge suite complete with your own sundeck, his-and-hers bathrooms, fully-equipped gym and two pools—a plunge pool with underwater speakers and a chill pool from which you can view flicks on your private movie screen. You can also opt for use of the hotel’s 24-hour butler service, personal assistant and chauffeured Jaguar XJR 100. Of course, being an aspiring rock star isn’t all play. And for the “work” part there’s an attached professional music recording studio.

Note that the once-next door MoogBar is now, sadly, closed.

LEARN MORE & BOOK | READ | FLY THERE Stay Like A Rock Star In Sydney

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