After the acclaimed success of the Ice Hotel at Jukkasjarvi, Sweden offers another innovative hotel idea to the world – a suite in a disused silver mine. While most guests are prepared to pay top dollar for the penthouse, descending over 500 feet below ground into a disused silver mine is also pretty pricey at £380 ($600) per night.
Guests reach the unusual room-without-a-view via the lift which descends the mine shaft in seconds. The hewn out cave has walls that shimmer with silver in the candlelight, a comfy double bed and silver furnishings. There is of course no cellphone service, Internet access or central heating, but the air underground remains an ambient 18°C (64°F) year-round.
As for the mine’s history, this silver mine in the town of Sala was the largest silver producer in Sweden for over 400 years. It took miners ten years just to create the bedroom-sized cave. The painstaking process involved burning wood to heat the silver so it could be removed by hand more easily.
Perhaps with the current rising price of precious metals, guests may be packing a rock hammer in their suitcase to procure a precious souvenir of their stay.
If you fancy sharing photographs of your latest trip or luxury hotel features with your family and friends, Postcardly is a great way to do it. It combines the simplicity and convenience of sending an email photo attachment from your laptop with the more traditional pleasure of a sending a postcard to keep.
For US travelers it is a novel way to send short messages and photos. Business travelers can quickly send a personal snapshot home to the kids, delivered by the postman. Those on vacation can send their favorite digital photo on a touchy-feely postcard home to colleagues and friends. They also make great postmarked souvenirs of your travels if you send one home to yourself!
This is how they work. Send an email photo attachment from your Smartphone or laptop to Postcardly, along with your personal text. They produce a real postcard with the photo on the front and the message and address on the back. They then mail it (stamp and all) to the people you have listed. They are not a phone app or a cheap gimmick, they are a good old fashioned postcard designed to be attached to the office pinboard or refrigerator with a fridge magnet.
A pretty cool idea for Luxique travelers who want to send mementoes home for around $1 a postcard.
Even the best luxury hotels worldwide do not always make teeth cleaning easy if the bathroom water is less than pure. A new idea from Archtek has the perfect solution – chewable toothpaste tablets. I can think of three great advantages over regular toothpaste straight away for travelers.
First of all, you can pack it in your hand luggage without having to put it in your clear Ziploc and declare it as a liquid. Secondly, it is accessible after your flight meal to freshen your mouth before and/or after sleeping. Thirdly it can be used without water, so you don’t have to open a bottle of expensive spring water just to brush your teeth in areas where the water is not up to drinking standards.
The instructions seem simple enough – just pop it in your mouth and brush as usual. Hard to imagine, but I presume all will become apparent when you try it for real. Available for just $3.25 for 60 it’s a gadget that won’t break the bank either.
This clever idea (aren’t the best often the most obvious?) caught the eye and imagination of the Travel Goods Association who were promoting it, along with 90 other new travel products, at the recent Travel Goods Exhibition in Chicago. In case you were wondering, the winner of their “Buzz Award” for best offering in the show was a “Blankid Buddy”, an animal shaped accessory that can be used as a backpack, cuddly toy, pillow or blanket. Sorry, that’s one strictly for the kids!
by Gillian at Luxique Luxury Hotels
Fairmont Hotels continue to come up with some innovative new luxury hotel packages for food and drink lovers. How about the aptly named “Keep the Catch” Boston Harbor Lobster Packages at the Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel?
Guests accompany the chef on a private lobster boat to learn the secrets of baiting, dropping and hauling in lobster traps around historic Boston Harbor. At the end of the trip, guests return with their catch, which is then prepared in the kitchen to their liking. The cost includes a night’s stay in a deluxe waterfront room, a boat tour, a souvenir lobster book and a place at the Chef’s Counter in the Aragosta Restaurant. It’s the perfect stay for lobster aficionados and guests are sure to learn plenty of tips for catching and preparing this gourmet dish.
Cheese-lovers may prefer the Grand Fromage Package offered by the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver. Described as a farm-to-fork tour, this artisan adventure offers a cheese-making course at a cheese farm in Agassiz. The luxury hotel stay also includes a three-course tasting menu paired with wines at the hotel’s Griffins Restaurant, dinner for two at Au Petit Chavignol (one of Vancouver’s best restaurants for artisan cheese), and a surprise welcome with local wine and cheese.
Still in Canada, Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York offers a more down-to-earth experience for food buffs. Chef-led experiences include a trip to the St Lawrence market with secrets on how to choose the best cuts of meat and produce. The rest of the two-night stay is pleasantly taken up with coffee for two at Pasta Mia, sample tasting at Golden Orchard Fine Foods, pea meal bacon sandwiches for two at the Carousel Bakery, a walking tour with a local historian and a six-course menu in EPIC, the hotel’s signature restaurant.
These great short packages in luxury hotels are ideal for those wanting to enjoy more than just a spa package. Fully organized themed trips can be a great way to experience luxury hotels around the world and memorable vacations for little more than the price of a hotel room.
by Gillain at Luxique Luxury Hotels
Luxury hotel group Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has just launched some interesting packages designed especially for travellers who want to enjoy an enriching experience along with a comfortable bed.
Their Apprentice-Trips are a worldwide collection of trips which offer transforming and enriching experiences in art and culture, sports, outdoor activities and gastronomy.
One lovely example is the Fairmont Dallas which offers an Art Immersion package. This includes a one-hour private session on how to buy and appreciate art with local art veteran Ross Akard and gallery owner Bryan Embry. The package also organizes a lesson with the hotel’s artist-in-residence, who incidentally rotates on a quarterly basis. After following the self-guided artwalk from the hotel, an art-inspired dinner and wine pairings are offered in the restaurant. As a lasting memento of this art-indulgent weekend, guests are given a coffee table book to take home, donated by Nasher Sculpture Center.
Those heading for Europe this summer may find the Apprentiss’Art package at the Fairmont Monte Carlo hits all the right notes for them. This package provides an up-close look at the works of Croatian contemporary artist, Mateo Mornar. Visit his studio in Monte Carlo, enjoy an introductory session on clay sculpting and see his renowned sculptures of the royal family. A luxury hotel room, signature restaurant and magnificent setting can also be counted on.
The Fairmont Orchid on Big Island, Hawaii offers a Canoes, Coffee and Culture package which gives a unique insight into Hawaiian culture. Visitors go on a one-hour outrigger canoe fishing experience, tour a Kona coffee farm with lessons on growing and harvesting coffee beans and finally enjoy dinner at Brown’s Beach House featuring some of the island’s local produce and sustainable seafood.
Other Fairmont packages cover Finding Your Inner Chi at Fairmont Beijing or How to Pass a Bill in Washington - no prizes for guessing this is hosted by the Fairmont Washington D.C. Happy travels!
by Gillian at Luxique Luxury Hotels