Destinations

Winvian’s Luxurious, Unusual “Cottages”

There are several cottage resorts around but few are as luxurious—and none are as unusual—as northwest Connecticut’s Winvian Cottages. Really “cottage” is a bit of a misnomer here, suggesting accommodations more simple than the Winvian’s abodes, each of which designed by a different architect and possessing its own flair. The Library Cottage is centered around double-story wrap-around book shelves. The Treehouse Cottage is a two-story wonder built amongst the leaves and branches 30 feet above the ground. Perhaps the most unusual option is the Helicopter Cottage, which is large enough to contain the whole of a Sea King Pelican helicopter. Though back when the U.S. Coast Guard was flying it we suspect this ‘copter didn’t contain the minibar, sofa and flat screen TV it has today.

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The Pottery Village That Goes Thud in the Night

Japan is a modern country, famous for its electronics and technological prowess. Thankfully, a few little pockets of the old, traditional Japan remain. Such as the wonderful little village of Onta.

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NYC’s Best Budget Boutique Hotel

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.

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The Restaurant That’s In A Tree, Of Sorts

When we first heard about a restaurant in Okinawa, Japan that was lodged on top of the remnants of an absolutely massive tree, and that customers went up to this restaurant by taking an elevator through said massive tree remnants, it immediately raised several questions for us:

What’s the story behind what must have been the largest tree in Japan? What happens to the restaurant when the ex-tree’s wood rots? How did they build an elevator through the tree? And how did the restaurant end up in the tree to begin with?

It turns out the answers to all those questions are essentially the same . . .

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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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Affordable, Yet Cool, Caribbean Accommodations

“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 Affordable, Yet Cool, Caribbean Accommodations.
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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 . . .

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Nature And Privacy In The Turks And Caicos

For those seeking a Caribbean experience that’s exclusive, private, nature-filled and Asian-tinged look no further than Aman’s Amanyara Resort in the Turks and Caicos.

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World’s Tallest Hotel Brings Luxury To New Heights

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.

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