Healthy lifestyle education will be the focus of the company's first luxury resort in Texas.
Our latest Future Of Retail Report looks at the trend of Crowdsourced Product Range. One manifestation of this trend can be seen in the Café Causette at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Hong Kong. Café Causette recently solicited consumer opinions when deciding what type of burger they should put on its menu; café patrons were given the opportunity to order a special platter of five mini-burgers, each of which featured various local ingredients and cooking traditions.
Following their meal, waiters gave patrons instructions and a special QR code to scan, encouraging them to log into their respective Facebook accounts to vote on their favorite burger. The burger that garnered the most popular support became a permanent fixture on the café’s menu.
The hotel also has veterinarians and biologists on staff as well as luxury accessories for sale.
Sourdough breadmaking has had a real renaissance in recent years, with specialist artisan bakeries rolling out across Europe and the US, and more and more people cultivating their own batches at home. In Sweden the craze has been particularly intense and Stockholm is now home to the, let's face it, somewhat gimmicky "sourdough hotel". Located in the Urban Deli in the painfully hip Sofo district, the "hotel" charges 300 Swedish Crowns (£27) a week (a week!) to keep sourdoughs thriving while their owners go on holiday.
According to Jesper Konstantinov, part-owner of the Urban Deli, sourdough baking is popular among what he calls the socially conscious. And, he adds, "it's huge among stay-at-home-dads. They have really been a driving force in the Swedish sourdough craze. They are the same dads who come to us for tips on how to make their own sausages because they don't want to give their kids the commercially produced stuff. They don't trust it."
A Dutch entrepreneur has offered couples the chance of a weekend away with a difference - by staying in a hotel where he will help them finalise their divorce.
Jim Halfen's 'Divorce Hotel' allows pairs intent on breaking up to get quick divorces by staying for two days in their accommodation and coming out as two all-but-separated people.
The Netherlands-based firm aim to talk couples through alimony, splitting assets, visitation rights for children and any other outstanding marital issues to help finalise a divorce.
A “soap concierge” at the newly renovated 41-villa Viceroy Riviera Maya now offers guests a choice of locally made soaps and then hand cuts bars on the spot from their selections.
In Japan (where else?), it's now perfectly acceptable to book a hotel room for your sheep when you go away. We recently received an announcement about a new 30-room hotel, called simply "Hotel Sheep Guest House," opening in Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, about two hours south of Tokyo.
Surprisingly, unlike doggie boarding houses, or human hotels that are pet-friendly, this Japanese hotel strictly prohibits all other animals, meaning at any given moment its rooms are full of only sheep. How incredible! This is exactly the kind of place we'd like to visit when we're having an off day. Cuddling with all those sheep, ordering room service, maybe even watching a movie (Shrek somehow seems appropriate) would be like a hotel dream come true.
When I was growing up in Bangkok, Thailand, the city was beginning to build its first ever overhead public transportation system. On my way to school, I would often see massive tube pipes lined up along the road and get this childish urge to run and play inside the hollow tunnels. Of course, because those things weren't actually toys, my mother wouldn't allow me to play remotely near a construction site, and I never got to live out my weird childhood fantasies. Or could I?
Think of the Tubohotel as a glorified concrete tube pipe. Located in Tepoztlán, Mexico, or approximately 45 minute south of Mexico City, this unique architectural hotel is built to stack like tube pipes and gives you an illusion of living in a sphere bowl. Each of the hotel rooms are made from recycled tube pipe materials, so not only is it unique, it's also green and environmentally-conscious. Just a visual of the hotel grounds feels like you're in an oversized playground or construction area.
However, not to be fooled, the amenities are on par with most hostels abroad. Each of the hotel's 20 tube pipe rooms contains a queen size bed, desk light, fan, towel rack, an under-bed storage, and curtains for privacy. While you don't get an en-suite toilet or shower, the hotel does have a common bathroom where you can have a private booth for cleansing purposes. You will have to provide your own shampoo, soap, and flip flops though.
But don't get discouraged from the lack of amenities just yet! A night at a ground level tube starts at just 300 pesos per double occupancy, or $24 USD. That's more or less the price of a dinner for two in New York City. Prices can fluctuate up to 600 pesos a night on holidays and weekends, and upper level tube pipes cost anywhere between 400 to 700 pesos. That's still approximately $55 USD for the most expensive category of room during the hotel's most exclusive dates. Though the hotel has no on-site restaurant, you will be served meals made with the finest ingredients from the city's local chefs.
The Tubohotel also offers packages that includes camp ground hiking and culinary lessons, if you choose to get more in touch with the Mexican culture once you're there. While the tube pipe rooms seem interesting to be in, sleeping overnight might get a bit claustrophobic. Still, the rooms can't get worse than a Japanese style capsule hotel, which is basically a coffin for the living with no windows, desks, or storage racks. The Tubohotel is a neat choice for travelers who want to camp, but need something a little extra to add just a touch of luxury to their stay. If anyone chooses to stay at the very affordable hotel, please send us a postcard and let us know how your experience went.