Amazing Views

Flying the Airway to Heaven

On the shores of Lake Constance—which straddles Germany, Austria and Switzerland—the whales are not found in the water. They are found floating above it in the form of the massive whale-like zeppelin, the world’s largest commercial flying machine.

Note that zeppelins are different from blimps. Both have bulbous tops filled with a gas that’s lighter than air. But a blimp’s top has no internal structure; blimps are essentially steerable balloons. Zeppelins use a metal frame, which makes them more stable, agile, durable and quiet for passengers (since the engine can be placed further from the cabin).

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The Best View from a
Hotel Room in Rome

There’s no more iconic sight in Rome than that of the Colosseum. And there’s no hotel with better room views of the Colosseum than the Gladiatori Palazzo Manfredi.

At this five star boutique hotel, you can literally gaze out upon the Colosseum while laying in bed or while brushing your teeth at the bathroom sink.

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Luxury, Romance, Nature—and Pod Dinning

The Eco-Villa is made from locally sourced materials, is powered by renewable energy and features a private natural swimming pool that uses plants to clean the water.

Spot Cool Stuff has reviewed a pod bed, a pod ski resort and a pod treehouse hotel. But this is our first ever pod restaurant.

And what an amazing location our first pod restaurant is blessed with: on the grounds of the gorgeous “six star” Soneva Kiri beach resort located on Thai island of Ko Kood.

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Top 10 Destinations
For Rice Terrace Travel

After thousands of years of hindsight it seems maybe rice wasn’t the best choice for humanity’s most popular food staple. Yes, it tastes great with sushi. But growing rice is very water and labor intensive. And it requires a flat field that farmers can flood during the planting season.

Rice is particularly labor intensive in hilly areas where farmers must create their flat field by carving floodable terraces into hillsides. We find even a single terrace impressive when we contemplate all the work involved, work usually done by hand. The sight of multiple rice terraces, stacked atop each other as if to form a giant’s staircase, is truly awe inspiring.

Spot Cool Stuff has been a longtime fan of rice terraces. We once flew round trip between San Francisco and the Philippines specifically to spend a single day in Banaue, supposedly the site world’s most grand rice terraces. Supposedly. After nearly two decades of rice terrace travel we’ve formed our own opinion on such matters. Here’s our list of the top 10 rice terrace destinations:

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The Best View From a
Hotel Room in the Caribbean

You are planning your honeymoon, or a trip celebrating some other special occasion, and you are looking for a hotel room that is as special as the reason for your travels. You want to find a resort with accommodations that cause you to gasp WOW, a place that will make you say to yourself I’ve never stayed in a room this nice before. I might never stay at a room this nice again.

In the Caribbean, the room you are looking for is at the Jade Mountain Resort.

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3 Cool Alternatives to the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is probably the most renowned trek in the world. It sits alongside Everest Base Camp, The Annapurna Circuit and Kilimanjaro a must do for traveller bragging rights. But with spaces limited and busy trails, what are the alternatives for the growing band of anti-populist travellers who don’t like to follow the crowds? How can you get to Machu Picchu through the back-door?

Back in 2008 entry to the epic Inca Trail became controlled by a limited permit system. These permits tend to sell out at least three months in advance and the problem is exacerbated in the peak summer months. Even if permits are available not everyone relishes the prospect of trekking such a well-worn path in the company of so many others.

Luckily Machu Picchu is surrounded by fantastic trekking and the Inca Trail isn’t the only option on the table, there are now an ever growing number of alternatives for your dose of Incan culture and mountains. And although none of them can serve up the wonder of crossing through the Sun Gate for that first glimpse of the majestic ruins, they are all worthy alternatives.

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The Best View From a
Hotel Room in Patagonia

Glaciers, fjords, wildlife, mountain peaks, rushing rivers, idyllic lakes—Patagonia is one of the most scenic regions on Planet Earth. The area is vast, divided between Chile and Argentina at the southern tip of South America. Given the size and beauty you’d think that it would be difficult finding that one hotel with the best view in Patagonia. But it isn’t. One resort outshines the rest: The Hotel Salto Chico.

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Kokopelli’s Cave Bed & Breakfast

Fred Flintstone never had it this good.

In his cave dwelling Fred was cramped (and constantly knocked over by his enthusiastic dog, Dino). But in New Mexico there’s bed and breakfast where guests can stay in a spacious (and dog-free) cave: Kokopelli’s

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