Imagine a combination of a ski lodge and Animal House.
Golf has it’s 19th hole. Football matches have after parties. And skiing has après ski. That’s when skiers depart the slopes in favor of a bar, tavern, warming hut or igloo (!) for some drinking and dancing and socializing — and then drinking some more.
The après ski concept has taken hold in some places more than others. Here’s Spot Cool Stuff’s rundown of the coolest après ski countries. Read on or click through to your country of choice:
The bar offers “Martinis and Manicures” every night for the ‘60s bargain price of $10 for both!
The “swinging ‘60s” might be so last millennium, but partying like Mad Men’s purveyor of cool, Don Draper, is about as current as it gets. In honor of the new season of the cool AMC show Mad Men, here’s your guide to a retro night out in New York City, from kitschy New York bars to lounges specializing in Old Fashioneds and Mint Juleps:
Quiz question: What’s the difference between a cave and a cavern?
In common usage the two terms are mostly interchangeable. But, technically, there’s a difference. Pretty much any underground chamber qualifies as a cave. To be a cavern a cave must 1) have formed naturally out of rock; and 2) be able to produce speleothems, which are those icicle-shaped mineral deposits created by dripping water.
There are several bars and restaurants around the world that are in caves. There are only two on the planet that are in caverns. Both of them are in the Caribbean:
You may before have ordered a vodka on the rocks. Well, how about a vodka in the rocks? That’s on offer at what’s literally the coolest drinking establishment in Orlando: the ICEBAR.
Long time readers of the Spot Cool Stuff travel blog already know of the Orlando ICEBAR—we reviewed this bar with the overly-capitalized name in our article about ice bars located in warm places. Inside the ICEBAR 50 tons of ice are carved into counters, lounge chairs and, yes, even the glasses patrons drink out of.
Before and since our visit there we’ve heard mixed reports about it from readers. And so here’s some advice to those considering knocking back a cold one at the ICEBAR when in Orlando.
Spot Cool Stuff loves when retired aircraft are put to creative (and environmentally friendly) uses. There’s the Boeing 747 that’s now a hotel in Stockholm. The helicopter B&B in Connecticut. And the former Russian aircraft that takes a Swiss bar and restaurant complex to new heights.
Said Swiss bar and restaurant complex is Runway 34, located adjacent to Zurich International Airport.
Said Russian aircraft is a lyushin-14T, used by the Soviet Union’s Air Force for transporting scientists and cosmonauts-in-training between Moscow and a secret military training facility during the Cold War. (It is rumored that the aircraft was personally used by Stalin, which would have been quite the feat for the former Soviet strongmen seeing how he died in 1953 and the lyushin-14T wasn’t built until 1957.)
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.
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 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 . . .
Where else would the first permanent ice lounge in the United States be located but in the middle of a hot desert?
The new Minus 5 Ice Lounge, adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Resort on the Las Vegas Strip, is 2,000 square feet of frigid wonderland complete with an ice bar, ice sofas, an ice chandelier and an ice Elvis sculpture. Guests needn’t bring their own winter wear for the occasion—each is provided with parkas and boots to keep warm while they chill with their friends.
Admission is $30 though that includes a complimentary vodka cocktail. (No reason to order that drink on the rocks because, like nearly everything else at the Minus 5 Lounge, the glasses are made of ice). Accompanied minors are allowed inside too. Just make sure they don’t stick their tongues, well, anything.
Related Post: Ice Bars In Warm Places
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