Kamis, 23 Februari 2012

Wagon Stays, New Zealand

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Wagon Stays offers guests the opportunity to stay in a covered wagon that has been specially crafted to give you and your partner a uniquely designed, eco-friendly, luxury accommodation experience.
Located on a beautiful, elevated rural setting with deer, sheep and cattle grazing nearby. Soak under the stars in an outdoor heated bath. Delicious continental breakfast. Just 15 mins from central Christchurch and 20 mins from Christchurch International Airport.

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Your wagon has been specially designed to offer accommodation for two in the atmosphere of the early settlers wagon, while discreetly maintaining all the modern comforts you would expect in luxury accommodation.
Wagons are always situated in rural environments which offer stunning views of our beautiful country while still being close to towns, restaurants and shops etc.

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Room Types Available

  • Twin Share Ensuite
  • Queen Ensuite

Facilities

  • Coffee/Tea Facilities
  • Bath Tub
  • Hair Drier
  • Laundry
  • Stereo/CD Player
  • TV
  • Satellite TV
  • Air Conditioning
  • Selection of CDs and DVDs
  • Farm style evening meals available
  • Kitchen Facilities 

Hours of Operation

0700 - 2200

Directions

From Christchurch airport turn right into Russley Road continuing down Carmen Road, through Hornby and then turn left into Halswell Junction Road at the roundabout.Travel to the end of this road and then cross the intersection into Sparks Road. Turn right into Sutherlands Road, go to the end of the road and turn left into Cashmere Road. Wagonstays is on the lefthand side of the Road. From the city take Lincoln Road then Halswell Road until Sparks Road, then follow the end of the instructions above.

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White Cliffs, Australia

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White Cliffs has to be one of the 'must-see' destinations in Outback NSW. Imagine a township in the middle of the desert where the best accommodation is underground, a township full of interesting and unusual characters, where everything you need to know can be found out by visiting the general store and where thousands of people hoping to make their fortunes over the last century, have turned the surrounding hills into a lunar landscape pock-marked with mines.



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Like all opal mining towns there is a definite last frontier sense about the place.

White Cliffs came into existence in 1889 during a year of drought when four kangaroo shooters were hired to reduce their numbers on the Station. The roo shooters found opals and realising their possible value, sent them to Adelaide for appraisal by Tullie Cornthwaite Wollaston.

The stones interested him so much that he decided to make the journey into the Outback to investigate further and subsequently purchased the first White Cliffs opal, thus starting the field.

White Cliffs came by its name as a description of the white rock which every miner had to dig through to get to the opals.

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William Johnstone arrived in 1892 to set up the first store and hotel but the town didn't really grow until 1893 when news of some good finds drew miners to the area, which began the development of the town's infrastructure. By 1897 White Cliffs had about 1,000 people.

Building materials were scarce and expensive and the heat in summer was extreme resulting in miners converting their old shafts into homes. The hills were made of solid sandstone rather than earth so the dugouts were in no danger of collapsing and the temperature was constant.

By 1900 there was an underground bar at the Centennial Hall and today there are around 140 dugout dwellings dotted around the town

Mining reached its peak in 1902 when about £140,000 of opals were found and large numbers of miners were still here until about 1914 when declining opal deposits and the beginning of WWI saw the town reduced to its present day size.

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Today the permanent population is around 200, rising to about 500 in winter with the arrival of gem seekers. In 1987 the total production of opals from the White Cliffs fields was estimated to be AU$150 million.

Over the years there have been remarkable opals found in White Cliffs such as opal 'pineapples' and opalised shells.

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The most unusual find was the opalised remains of plesiosaur found in 1976. It is nearly 2 metres long and believed to be around 100 million years old. For years it was on display in White Cliffs until being removed to Sydney.

Jules Undersea Lodge, usa


Jules’ Undersea Lodge, named after the author of the famed maritime tale 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, is the world’s first underwater hotel. Originally built in the early 1970s as a groundbreaking research lab off the coast of Puerto Rico, the Lodge has been in business in Key Largo, Florida since relocating there and opening its hatch to the public in 1986.
Jules Undersea Lodge

Truly an innovative concept, Jules’ Undersea Lodge claimed status as the world’s only underwater lodging available to the public until recent years when ecotourism has become all the rage. Many celebrities have enjoyed a stay including Steve Tyler of Aerosmith, John Fishman of Phish (of course) and former Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau.
Jules Undersea Lodge

Visitors to Jules who are not certified divers will go through a 3-hour crash course in scuba diving before shacking up in their room for the night. After all, the entrance to the hotel is 21 feet underwater on the sea floor. If you are a diving enthusiast, the Undersea Park is your Mecca. In addition to the scuba crash course, the staff of Jules’ Undersea Lodge offers extensive scuba certification courses and diving excursions.
Jules Undersea Lodge

After diving down and resurfacing through the wet room entrance, residents can doff their scuba garb and enjoy all the conveniences of modern life 21 feet below the surface. Patrons marvel at unobstructed views sea life in their natural settings through 42 inch windows. Completely stocked with modern conveniences like air-conditioning, hot showers, a stereo and a DVD player this hotel is perfect for the romantic getaway or the adventurer who truly desires a unique experience (and, yes, the Lodge is fully stocked with compressed air). Once underwater, visitors do not have to resurface until they desire. Dinner and breakfast are provided by the world’s only “mer-chef” and delivered promptly at 6:00PM (dinner) and 8:00AM (breakfast). I would recommend a stay at the Undersea Lodge to anyone with an adventurous spirit. For those seeking a truly unique wedding experience, why not take advantage of the wedding package?
Jules Undersea Lodge
Utter Inn
Utter InnUtter Inn exterior Underwater hotels are still largely a product of a vivid imagination. Several are in the planning stage or are currently under construction. A man named Mikael Genberg definitely had a vivid imagination when he constructed his Utter (Otter) Inn in Vasteras, Sweden in 2000. An artist and sculptor, Mr. Genberg chose to focus on “making art for the public” when he built the Utter Inn.
This one-room inn offers guests the chance to sleep 3m below the surface of Lake Mälaren about 1km from shore. The Inn resembles a large buoy with the appearance of a Swedish red house with white gables. For an extra charge Mr. Genberg will deliver dinner to tenants, otherwise, guests are on their own.
Utter Inn
Utter Inn

Utter Inn
The room offers panoramic views of the lake and an old switcheroo with the fishes. Instead of looking at fish in an aquarium, guest of the Utter are in the aquarium with the fish looking in. The Utter is truly a singular experience that few have known. However, it is a wildly popular destination during the summer months. Reservations well in advance are recommended.
Hydropolis
One of the underwater hotels currently under construction is the Crescent Hydropolis of Dubai. Dubai has become notorious in recent years for its fabulously modern architecture. It seems the wildest architectural dreams become reality here. The Hydropolis furthers this notion. At a cost of some $550 million, the luxury resort is being built on the Persian Gulf floor – 66 feet below the surface. When completed, the project will cover 27 acres and compose of an above ground “land station” connected by a 1700 foot transparent train tunnel to the undersea hotel which resembles the shape of a jellyfish. The 220 suites will be bubble-shaped, with clear glass comprising both the sleeping area walls and the bathtubs. I suppose modesty must be checked at the front desk also. Anxious sea-dwellers will have to wait until 2009 before making a reservation. You may even want to have a look at some existing Dubai hotels before diving into the ocean for Hydropolis.
Hydropolis

Hydropolis
Hydropolis

Hydropolis
Poseidon Undersea Resort
Another underwater hotel set to open in 2009 is the Poseidon of Fiji. This resort is being built 40 feet underwater. Another 5-star resort, the Poseidon is the brainchild of American submarine engineer Bruce Jones. Mr. Jones was heavily influenced by the novels of Jules Verne and movies like “The Amphibia Man” (obviously).
Each guest will have a personal Triton submarine at their disposal for exploring within the lagoon. For excursions to the area’s depths, tours on a 16-passenger luxury submarine will be provided. Activities are also available on Poseidon Mystery Island which has been artificially constructed for the resort’s purposes. Though still under construction, room rates have been set. A standard 550 sq. foot suite can be had for about $1500 a night. But why stop there when you can reserve the whole of Poseidon Mystery Island for a mere $3,000,000?
Poseidon

Poseidon
Visitors will be able to see everything from their rooms through transparent acrylic walls and even feed fish swimming by. The luxery hotel is set to open by the end of 2008.

Ariau Towers Hotel, Brazil

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"Imagine a hotel built among Amazon treetops: catwalks 70 feet up leading from a great circular dining room of polished tropical woods, a bar like an eagle's nest, a honeymoon suite built 110 feet up a mahogany tree, and friendly monkeys, macaws, sloths, and parrots scampering, fluttering, and dangling all over the place."
Conde Nast Traveler Magazine "25 Extraordinary Places Worth That Extra Mile"
 
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Ariau Newsletter, Jill Siegel

"After lunch our little international group pile into a motorized canoe with Ricardo our guide and we're off for the afternoon to explore the flooded forest. As we leave Ariau Creek and approach the Rio Negro, an indescribable feeling of vastness fills me with wonder as we approach the mouth of the Anavilhanas Archipelago, largest fresh water grouping of islands in the world. Here the river becomes an ocean at 17 miles from shore to shore. Pink dolphins splashing from the water create a magical landscape only equaled by a Peter Max painting. The sky seems to go on and on forever. We enter the flooded forest or igapo and the motor is turned off, and then the wonder of the rainforest explodes around us as we navigate the backwaters. The primordial forest, vines, lianas, bromeliads, butterflies. "This is why I came, it is all right in front of me. I have returned to the place I love."

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History of Ariau Amazon Tours Hotel

"The war of the future will be between those who defend nature and those who destroy it. The Amazon will be in the eye of the hurricane. Scientists, politicians, and artists will land here to see what is being done to the forest". Jacques Cousteau's prophetic words to Ariau's founder Dr. Francisco Ritta Bernardino inspired the dream of Ariau into reality in 1986. He basically said "Build it and they will come!" and so he did. Dr. Ritta started building Ariau Amazon Towers in 1986 on the banks of the Rio Negro. From it's humble beginnings of just one tower and four suites, it has since become one of the most sought out destinations on the planet. Its guests have included luminaries as diverse as Prince Charles, Bill Gates, Susan Sarandon, and the Great Great Grandson of Charles Darwin. It's historic roots came full circle recently when Jean Michel Cousteau, son of the great Jacques Cousteau returned to Ariau to commemorate his father's earlier expedition in the Amazon.

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  • Standard Rooms: Single, Double and Triple Rooms.

    Air Conditioned, Queen or Double Beds, Balcony, mini-bar, private bathroom.

    • Suites

      Higher up and affording spectacular views Ariau's Suites offer a spacious alternative for a more luxurious and comfortable stay in the rainforest. Private balconies with breathtaking panoramic views of the rainforest and river. Air Conditioned, mini-bar, dining table, Queen Beds.
      • Tree Houses & Tarzan Suites

        Get up close and personal with the lush flora and fauna of the Amazon Rainforest in a canopy level private tree house. Tree Houses feature private balconies, Queen Beds, living rooms, and spacious bathrooms.
         
         
        • Restaurants

          Two restaurants featuring Brazilian and regional specialties served buffet style including local Amazonian catch of the day, meat, chicken, pasta, fresh vegetables and salads, homemade bread, fresh Amazonian fruit juices and fruit, desserts. Four tree top bars.
         

 

The Giraffe Manor, Nairobi

 Ahh Africa. So wild, so beautiful, so cultural; it’s an experience as soon as you get off the plane! East Africa is known for its wildlife, stunning scenery, Mount Kilimanjaro and safaris on the savannah, but where could be better to sleep than a place that is both luxurious in comfort with the added factor of beautiful animals in their natural environments? Only Giraffe Manor. And they do it damn well.


Giraffe Manor is merely 20 kilometres from Kenya’s bustling capital city, Nairobi, making it an easily accessible haven from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and once you get there; it will be a struggle to leave. Yes, the stunning décor, the bedrooms and the roaring fireplaces will take your breath away, but let’s face it. The Manor’s main attraction is the fact that it has a resident herd of Rothschild Giraffes that roam the grounds, frequently poking their spotted faces in through the windows! Talk about wildlife at your doorstep.



The small five-star hotel is set in 12 acres of private land amongst acres of indigenous forest where a Giraffe Centre was set-up for the endangered species. It began as a breeding centre to boost their population but has now expanded into conservation and educational programs for Kenyan school children, and they include warthogs, hyenas and the odd leopard to maintain the Giraffe’s natural habitat. An amazing project for African wildlife, especially as all the profits of the hotel go towards the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife. It’s also a freaking out-of-this-world experience for animal lovers who get to pass through the area.

Apparently, the Manor houses one of Nairobi’s finest restaurants, as guests argue that the meals defeat anything New York or L.A. has to offer. But they might be a tad biased since the fantastic breakfast spread has the bonus of giraffes popping in to say ‘howdy’ through the open windows. They’ll innocently mooch about the property peering through doorways and windows in natural curiosity and friendliness. It is the only place in the world where you can feed a giraffe from your second-floor bedroom window, at the lunch table or literally at your front door.


Nature nature nature is the attraction of Giraffe Manor, plus the exquisite bedrooms to snooze in… but its close proximity to Nairobi make it a great place to base yourself to explore the city.
Of course the catch is its price, which can be up to $500 per night (eek.). Superstars like Mick Jagger, Ewan McGregor and Richard Branson have famously kipped there. Yeah, I definitely cannot afford even one night there, unless I save for a hell of a long time, but if you do have the pleasure and privilege of scoring a stay at the Giraffe Manor, get a second floor room with a balcony. You can’t be grumpy in the morning with a giraffe greeting.

The Ice Hotel, Quebec

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Among New York's December rituals, the arrival from the frozen north of the tree sellers from Quebec upon Manhattan's pavements is one of Christmas's harbingers. Mostly college kids and musicians who possess not much beyond their furs and boots, they tumble out of battered vans and erect enormous Christmas-tree stalls.
They have an easy Gallic charm and hanker less for the wattage of New York than to return home to Montreal, just across the US's northern border or elsewhere into Quebec's mysterious villages, prompting some of those who've not been to the Canadian province to want to follow.
Our plan to travel to Quebec in mid-winter meets with unease from friends in New York; to travel in winter is one thing but to choose to go beyond the 45th parallel north into Quebec, to a hotel constructed from ice, seems to them the whim of a masochist.
Quebec's Hotel de Glace is Canada's retort to Sweden's famous Icehotel near Jukkasjarvi in the far north. While Sweden's ice hotel has the advantage of being within the auroral oval, the area around the Earth's magnetic North Pole where the northern lights mainly appear, Hotel de Glace is on the doorstep of one of the far north's most exquisite destinations, old Quebec City. Founded in 1608 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, it was destined to become the hub of New France.
Sculpted from 16,000 tonnes of snow and 508 tonnes of ice, the Hotel de Glace has, for the past 10 winters, been erected each January in the grounds of the eco resort of Duchesnay, about 50 kilometres north of Quebec City. This season, however, the ice hotel opens in a new location, 10 minutes' drive from downtown on the site of the old zoo. The change makes the ice hotel a much more convenient location for those wanting to explore the beguiling old city's twisting cobblestone streets, then retire to arctic sleeping bags and doonas made of reindeer skins.

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The relocated ice hotel opened on January 7 and will operate until late March, when the northern thaw draws close. Larger and warmer than its predecessors, this year's ice hotel has bigger lobbies, extra heated pavilions and a theme of celebrating biodiversity. It will house 88 people a night and expects to welcome its 30,000th guest this season.
We travelled to Quebec last February and joined one of the daily tours through the ice hotel. This allows visitors to see all the rooms and suites and linger in the lobbies and bars until late afternoon. The late check-in time (8pm) isn't ideal for two young children, so we stay a few minutes' walk from the ice hotel at its neighbouring winter resort, the Station Touristique Duchesnay - recommended as a back-up for ice-hotel guests lest they find the temperatures unbearable.

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The ice hotel assures guests that the overnight room temperatures will not drop below a chilly but definitely survivable minus 5 degrees. While all rooms are moderately heated, guests are urged to take a hot-tub plunge before retiring in order to elevate body temperature, layer up and crawl snugly into the hotel's sleeping bags.
Work begins on building the ice hotel's 36 rooms and themed suites in early December each year. The interiors are vast, with ceilings 5.4 metres high, lending the ambience of gigantic ice caves. In the hotel's ice bars, drinkers wear gloves to hold their glasses, made of ice, of course. The hotel has an ice cafe, hot tubs, saunas, working fireplaces, a room for receptions and even an elaborate chapel with pews and an altar carved from ice. Wintry weddings are frequent.

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Of course, children love the fairyland enchantment of the place. The hotel's many interior statues, columns and engraved ice walls are works of art. The lighting is equally elaborate and gives the appearance of flooding from deep within the hotel's shell. Just try wrestling children off the 20-metre interior ice slide or away from the large ice statues of bears, mermaids and penguins.

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The ice hotel's builders are a mix of tradesmen and artists. They take five weeks to build the 1.2-metre-thick walls and roof, starting with large wooden moulds. Once the structure is set, the craftsmen and artists sculpt huge blocks of ice into beds, tables, bars and stools.
An ideal time to visit is during Quebec City's fabulous winter carnival, from January 28 until February 17. The city fills with snow sculptures, music, dog-sled races, ice skating and late-night dance parties, where hundreds of people dance through the night in the snowfields, in front of a castle made of ice. Later, everything melts into the ground, leaving only cool memories.

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The Hotel de Glace in Quebec City is open until March 27 and has rooms from $C235.50 ($237) a person and suites from $C599.50 a person. See icehotel-canada.com.

Cappadocia Cave Hotel, turki


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 Hot Air Balloon Flight
A hot air balloon flight is different from all other experiences of flight. Traveling at heights up to 1500 feet you feel peaceful and tranquil, with no sensation of motion. Within moments after lifting off, you become at ease while you effortlessly drift over the treetops and the spectacular Cappadocian landscapes.
The deep canyons, lush fertile valleys and fairy chimneys of Cappadocia provide balloons with an ideal playground for a unique and memorable flight. Gentle winds carry you over places that could never be viewed except by balloon. Ballooning can be such fun! In season, you can even pick apricots from the trees.

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Horseback Riding
Experience the incredible and unusual beauty of the Cappadocian region on horseback. A cross between the Grand Canyon and a moonscape, Cappadocia boasts some of the world?s most unusual and spectacular landscapes, and brings riders in touch with the area?s breathtaking beauty. Forget the tour buses or even the rental cars ? this astonishing region of Central Anatolia can best be explored in the way of its historical inhabitants, on horseback.

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Trekking
A ?Walking Tour? takes you into traditional village life of Central Cappadocia. Visiting local homes, engraved rock villages and exploring many spectacular unknown valleys will truly leave a lasting impression. You can walk through many valleys of Cappadocia that offer a variety of hiking experiences from one to four hours or more. Paths lead through vineyards and past streams, and all paths and hikes are accessible within five minutes? walk of Cappadocia Cave Suites.

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Cycling
If you are in the mood for an adventurous excursion, Cappadocia offers exciting and scenic cycling tours. This is a wonderful outing for those of all cycling abilities to enjoy. Do not forget that you don?t have to cycle for kilometers to visit a sight or museum. All of these important sites are very close to each other.

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Jeep Safari
Explore the exotic surroundings of mystical Cappadocia by Jeep.After leaving Goreme, you arrive at old Cavusin Village, crossing between Kizilcukur and Gulludere Valleys. Then drive from Cavusin Village to Pasabag, which has fairy chimneys, and make one of many photo stops at Deverent Valley, where natural tufa formations resemble human and animal figures. Also, visit wineries in Urgup.
  • Local tours
  • Rent a car service
  • Find a professional guide for your local tours
  • Organization and reservations for a local Turkish night
Reservations for these activities may be made at the reception desk. Special discounts are available.

Prepared in our own kitchen, breakfast and dinner buffets include a rich variety of local delicacies and traditional items. Breakfast is served from 7:00 A.M. until 10:00 A.M. Dinner is served from 7:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. Lunch is available upon request.

The Historia Restaurant : The main restaurant reflects our interest in local foods and traditions. All products are carefully selected for their freshness. Recipes are selected for their authenticity. Menus are also available for individual selections.


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Sunset Café : Wonderful valley and sunset views are visible from this terrace. Here, you can enjoy light menu choices and hors d?oeuvres.

Dionysos Wine Fountain : Chat with your friends while you drink from the delicious grapes of the Cappadocia region.

Sultan Bar : Accompanying our rich selection of music, you may find selective Cappadocian wines and domestic and international spirits and cocktails.