Switzerland

Bathe In Chocolate

Bathe in whipped chocolate milk while basking in the glow of Tootsie Roll-flavored candles and breathing in brownie scented steam.

Chocolate is romantic. Taking a candlelit bath with your special someone is romantic. So what could be more romantic than spending time with your special someone while bathing in chocolate?

It’s that sort of flawless logic that has Spot Cool Stuff writing a review of the world’s best chocolate spas. We found three spots in particular—one each in Switzerland, the United States and Japan—where you’ll want to go to experience the world’s best chocolate baths.

So, what’s it like to bathe in chocolate? you might be asking.

Contrary to what you might imagine, it isn’t like this . . .

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The Ski Resort That Disappears Every Year

Whitepod is an eco-resort in the truest sense of the term

Visit the site of the Whitepod ski resort in the Swiss Alps between April and November and what you’ll see of it is . . . nothing.

You’ll see no roads. No electrical wires. No place to stay. Just a 19th century farmhouse. And a pristine alpine meadow that’s begging for some von Trapp kids to twirl around in Sound Of Music style. And an amazing view. The vista of the snow peaks from this virtually untouched place 1,700 meters (5,600 feet) above the oceans is among the grandest in Europe. “Untouched” being the key word.

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Geneva’s International International Airport

Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland. But fly into Geneva airport and you might not actually enter Switzerland when you leave the terminal. That’s because the airport is located along the border of France. The runways are all within Swiss territory (barely, see the photo below). But the main terminal building has a “French side” and a “Swiss side.” The airport facilities exist in both countries and, in some cases, are bisected by the border!

I’ve heard of international airports but that’s ridiculous.

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Glamping in Switzerland’s PodHotel

High snows. Cold temperatures. Brutal winds. Camping at altitude in the Alps during the winter is for the hard core. But going glamping — glamorous camping — needn’t be.

Travel in the Alps offers many opportunities to experience the rugged charm and back-to-nature feeling of staying in a tent without, you know, having to stay in a tent. Spot Cool Stuff readers might remember our review of the disappearing-and-then-reappearing Whitepods ski resort or our post about the boutique hiking hut at the base of the Matterhorn. To those we now add the PodHotel Flims — though the “hotel” in the name is a serious misnomer.

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The Roofless Double Decker Aerial Cable Car

For double decker buses, London is famous. Among double decker airplanes, Airbus has the superlative model. For a double decker sandwich there’s no place like the Blue Ash Chili Diner in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. And for a double decker cable car ride — for that you’ll have to head to Switzerland.

It is there, near the city of Lucerne, that you’ll find The Cabrio, the world’s best double decker aerial tramway.

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Infographic: 10 Places To See Before They’re Gone

Spot Cool Stuff has a love of vintage travel guidebooks, the older the better. In one our finds, a guidebook to Afghanistan written in the late 1800s, the authors described the Buddha statues around of the town of Bamiyan as an over-crowded tourist trap. Contrast that with the whole of the last three decades, during which absolutely nowhere in Afghanistan could remotely qualify as an “over-crowded tourist trap.” That, sadly, includes the Bamiyan Buddha statues—they were mostly destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

The point being: Things change. A place that’s uninviting now might become completely pleasant in the future. A great travel destination now could not be so much later.

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The Igloo Rooms of Iglu-Dorf

Amazing hot tubs. But going to the restroom is an undeniably chilly affair.

Spot Cool Stuff is occasionally asked what our favorite hotel chain is. The answer depends. We are fans of the W Hotels, appreciate the inexpensive airport stylings of Yotel and are keen on virtually all the Kimpton properties. But our choice for favorite hotel chain might have to be the igloos of Iglu-Dorf.

Why do we like the igloo rooms of Iglu-Dorf? Because they are igloo rooms. Made from real snow and ice.

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The Matterhorn’s Boutique Hiking Hut

There may be no country in the world as into hiking and mountaineering as Switzerland. The Alpine nation is criss-crossed by trekking trails and dotted with remote hiking shelters.

Most of those shelters are basic—a roof, a few beds, an outhouse, perhaps a wood burning stove. But one Swiss shelter is very much not basic: the Monte Rosa Hütte. It’s been nicknamed the Bergkristall (mountain crystal) and those who have visited are calling it “the mountain hut of the future.”

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