BLDGBLOG has some photos of luxury hotels that were abandoned mid-building.
With images by Sabine Haubitz and Stefanie Zoche of Haubitz+Zoche, the show looks at “the concrete skeletons of five-star hotel complexes” abandoned on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. They are resorts that never quite happened, then, with names like Sultan’s Palace and the Magic Life Imperial. This makes them “monuments to failed investment.”
Hong Kong architect Gary Chang travels so often that he’s become an expert hotel enthusiast. I spoke with Gary at Ars Electronica this year; he showed me some of his drawings and photos (he extensively documents his hotel stays in the form of photos and hand-drawn floor plans)…really cool. Chang’s Suitcase House is also worth a look.
Why do hotels sometimes charge for internet access and sometimes don’t? My take is that most hotels figure that it’s mostly business travelers that use the internet and therefore it’s the guests’ companies who are footing the bill and since it’s a business necessity for them, the companies pay, no matter what the daily rate. Which sucks for those of us who like a little internet on vacation or want to keep our small business expenditures down.
If public parks (like NYC’s Bryant Park) offer free wifi, why don’t expensive hotels? I can’t find the link right now, but I remember reading something awhile ago (possibly on Boing Boing) arguing that free wifi was easier and cheaper for businesses to offer than a paid option because you don’t need the ecommerce bit (sort of like a free grocery store not needing cashiers, etc.) and the free internet will bring people in.
Update: Here’s that Boing Boing post: “Operating a WiFi hotspot that you charge money for costs $30 a day. Operating a free WiFi hotspot costs $6.” (thx alex)
This is most insane travel deal I’ve ever seen…Caribbean cruise during the winter for as low as $5/person/night. Those low fares are probably difficult to find and are also all sold out by now, but still. The company behind the cruises also does easyJet and the newly opened easyHotels in London and Switzerland (rooms from 15 euros a night).
Great interview with Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, a boutique hotel group based in SF. “All of our employees get to stay in our hotels for free. Anyone who is a salaried employee gets one month paid sabbatical every three years. And we didn’t walk away from it during the downturn.” (via peterme)