Europe

Rome’s Trashy Hotel

The only hotel objects not found on a beach are the floorboards, support beams and sleeping sheets

Every city has a selection of hotels that their detractors would describe as “rubbish.” But only Rome has a hotel that’s literally rubbish. There, in the center of the city near the Castel Sant Angelo, is the Corona Save The Beach Hotel. It is the world’s first to be made of garbage.

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Stay in a Bubble-Bungalow

A housing bubble eventually brings about an economic collapse. But an unusual hotel bubble? Now that’s just cool.

So it is at the Museumotel in northwest France.

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5 Wonderfully Earthy Glamping Sites

Camping has traditionally brought sophisticated urban dwellers out in hives, but the emergence of glamping—a hybrid of “glamor” and “camping”—has changed things. Now, luxurious yurt and tepee sites boast 100% cotton bedding, organic welcome hampers and indecently abundent tea lights. So no more struggling with a tent and airbed!

Glamping sites range from little more than a pre-erected tent with simple Ikea furnishings to something more akin to an upmarket hotel. Along the way many have missed the point—either too basic or too plush and removed from the natural surroundings.

Here is a look at five luxury camping sites that have achieved the perfect blend, providing absolute immersion in the great outdoors whilst maintaining a just-so degree of indulgence and luxury:

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The Hotel New Hamster

Guests have use of his and her hamster masks during their stay.

Tired of the rat race? Feeling like life has you caged in? If so, stay away—far away—from La Villa Hamster. At this unusual hotel in the city of Nantes in western France guests overnight in a sort of oversized rodent cage.

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8 Amazing Libraries (and One That’s Horrible)

One of Spot Cool Stuff’s most popular travel posts has been our review of World’s Best Bookstores. But what about those people looking to borrow, and not buy, a book? Fortunately our planet also has several incredible libraries. In fact, there’s a case to be made for libraries having more interesting architecture than any other building type except for religious houses of worship.

Here’s our look at eight architecturally amazing libraries (and one that’s not so much). It is the first in a series of Spot Cool Stuff’s tour of the world’s best looking libraries. To stay updated on all of our posts, including our cool library series, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS feed or check back with our newly opened Book and Literature Travel category page.

And if you know of a library you’d like us to check out leave us a comment any time. Late fees never apply.

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The Restaurant (and Cooking School) Above Paris

Location, location, location is the repetitive mantra of many a real estate agents. And the Palais de Tokyo has one of the best in Paris. Not only does is this museum of contemporary art located in the heart of the city, its rooftop boasts some of the best views from anywhere in the French capital.

Until May 2009 the roof of the Palais de Tokyo was the home to the Hotel Everland. Spot Cool Stuff regulars might remember our review of the Everland, the improbable, portable, pod-like hotel that was as well traveled as some of its guests.

When the Hotel Everland moved away from its museum perch it seemed only a matter of time until another tenant moved in. That time has come. Today a hip and cool restaurant—the Art Home—sits atop the Palais de Tokyo.

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The Fun, and Rewards, of Competitive Travel

You are high atop a hill in the Austrian Alps staring down upon a summer tobaggen track that weaves into the distance between pine trees and across green meadows. 3 minutes, 58 seconds—that’s the track time for you and your team mate to beat. You strap yourself in, push off the top of the hill and let ‘er fly.

You are not a participant in some alternative Olympic sport. Nor are you a contestant on the Amazing Race TV reality show. You are taking part in a trip with Competitours—the competitive, rewarding and, most of all, fun way experience Europe.

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Waiter, There’s a Cold War Airplane in my Soup

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.)

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