Walk off of New York City’s Times Square and into the Room Mate Grace Hotel and here’s some of what you’ll see on the hotel’s ground floor: a stylish lobby, a sauna, a gym, a steam room and a pool with a swim-up bar. In the morning you’ll see guests enjoying the free continental breakfast. In the evening you’ll see a DJ spinning tunes in the hotel’s low-lit lounge.
You might think that the Room Mate Grace would be among New York’s top tier expensive hotels. You’d be wrong.
“Affordable” and “Caribbean” are not necessarily contradictions in terms.
To find cool hotels, relaxing beach resorts and luxurious bed and breakfasts in the Caribbean at an affordable price try these tips:
Look at the smaller establishments. They don’t get the press the big resorts do, but they sometimes provide much better value. A good Caribbean guidebook can be an invaluable friend in finding the high value hotel gems.
Check out the less developed areas. In Jamaica, for example, there are lots of great, inexpensive hotel and resort options outside of the major Negril, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay tourist centers.
Decide what’s most important to you and try to find a hotel without a lot of frills you won’t use. If you don’t care about using a spa, for example, you can save money by staying in a resort without one.
Shop around. A superb website for finding great deals on resorts, as well as on cruises and vacation packages, is Cheap Caribbean.
And, most of all, read on. The resorts below are among Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite affordable Caribbean digs. Each has rooms in the high season for less—and in some cases much less—than $150 a night . . .
The absolute smallest, cheapest room available is a two story suite.
Move over Las Vegas, the new new standard for resort luxury, grandiosity and audaciousness is now in Dubai. It is there, on an artificial island just off the coast, that you’ll find the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab. It is the world’s tallest hotel. And that’s only one of the world records it holds.
The Burj Al Arab is also home to the world’s fastest elevators, the world’s tallest atrium and largest aquarium. No other building in the world incorporates as much gold (the 2,000 square meters or 21,500 square feet of gold leaf!) and no other hotel has earned a seven star rating.
Visitors to Taipei who happen to enter the D.S. Music Restaurant expecting to find an elegant place to eat, perhaps with a jazz band playing gently in the background, are in for a shock.
Their first hint that something is amiss might be the waitstaff: they are all wearing nurse uniforms. And then these confused visitors would see that the medical theme extends to the restaurant’s decor of wheelchairs and crutches, to the toilets marked with “emergency room” signs and to the drinks served from I.V. bottles.
And from there, things really get out of control.
From the shores of Lake Malaren in Sweden, the Utter Inn looks like a bright red gardening shack stuck improbably in the middle of the lake. That visible section of the Inn includes a kitchenette and little dining area surrounded by an outdoor terrace. But what makes the Utter Inn really cool is part you can’t see from shore: the bedroom is down a ladder below the water! The sleeping quarters, submerged 3 meters (10 feet) underwater has windows with fish views on all sides.
Oh, if you are wondering, each Modern Toilet restaurant does have proper bathrooms. They are very well marked to prevent patrons from making the horrible mistake.
We can’t imagine the marketing meeting during which some one pitches the concept for a toilet-themed restaurant . . . and the others in the meeting agreeing that it’s a good idea. And yet presumably such a food services marketing meeting has happened. More than once. There are at least 20 (!) restaurants on planet Earth where toilets, urinals and potty talk are the central attraction. Five of those have opened in 2008 alone and at least ten more are planned for 2009, most in either China or Taiwan.
Let’s get you going with an overview of some of the world’s crappy dinning experiences in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany and Portugal . . .
Some billboards advertise hotels. In Berlin, there is a billboard that IS a hotel.
|Other SCS Sections||Hot Travel Categories||Fave Travel Posts|
|Cool Tech & Gadgets||Best hotel room views||Caribbean||Best Sandals in Jamaica|
|Cool Architecture & Design||Family travel||Europe||Best Wheeled Carry-On Luggage|
|Cool Websites||Honeymoon resorts||Florida||World's Coolest Airlines|
|Cool Entertainment||Unusual museums||Southeast Asia||The Honeymoon Resorts of Bora Bora|