Category - Reviews

Expert travel reviews on holidays, hotels and destinations across the world, helping you plan the perfect holiday from PurpleTravel.co.uk

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The travel angle with Tint
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A Night Less Ordinary: Hotel Kakslautten
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A Night Less Ordinary: Toilet Hotel Japan
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A Night Less Ordinary: Benesse House
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A Night Less Ordinary: Glamping
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A Night Less Ordinary : Hotel Silken Puerta America
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A Night Less Ordinary : Three Farthings Naturist B&B&B
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A Night Less Ordinary: Galactic Space Suite
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A Night Less Ordinary: Garamisu Cave Hotel
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Happy words from happy customers

The travel angle with Tint

Online is a big world and I think Tint is going to help our company Purple Travel make a splash. We aim to find customers the best price on holidays to destinations all over the world.

Tint is a social sharing platform which lets brands curate and aggregate their social media feeds in one place. Basically Tint displays pretty much every important social channel – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. It’s incredibly easy to edit and you have complete control over what you want to post. By using a specific hashtag e.g. #PurpleTravel it will narrow down all the content from your social feeds to include that one hashtag. It’s perfect for specific campaigns or holiday offers.

After a recent rebrand and new website, we wanted something that was really impressive, progressive and stands out. Our team created the Purple Travel Social Lounge where guests can engage and share pictures and posts and we can showcase our most important content. Using Tint we created a wall of content that updates almost in real time and refreshes automatically so our customers can enjoy the best of our social channels.

Tint and the travel industry is a no brainer. Travel Industry social sharing is all about the visual and Tint is able to package that in one space that is totally customisable by the customer.

Here’s what I like about it so far

- It looks cool!
- Each stream is totally customisable. Using hashtags, keywords and accounts. It’s great for the big picture but also for specific campaigns.
- Not only is each channel easy to personalise, but the display options are great too. It’s easy to change fonts, colours etc.
- Extremely user friendly. Tint is easy to use, easy to edit and looks great. I have zero coding skills and still managed to create a widget and nice looking blog post about it.
- Easy to embed and embedded content is easily shareable through the individual pictures on our Tint space.
- When you edit the streams the results are practically real time. Check out our Instagram stream above as an example.
- Tint has a nice attitude and looks like a fun place to work. At the same time it is very customer focussed and they take pride in working hard. In their own words: “we strive to maintain a balanced life because we are running a marathon when building a company. We seek and accept challenges that make us feel uncomfortable. We try to learn something new every day.”

A Night Less Ordinary: Hotel Kakslautten

A Night Less Ordinary: Hotel Kakslautten

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, Hotel Kakslautten, Lapland.

What’s the gimmick? Located amidst beautiful Lapland scenery in the vicinity if Urho Kekkonen National Park, Hotel Kakslautten offers their winter guests the chance to stay overnight in  a futuristic glass igloo. Based on a groundbreaking idea and years of research and development, the unique, sci-fi-like glass igloos are a marvel of modern technology.

Why stay? Where else can you admire the amazing northern lights and the white Lapland scenery, all within the comfort of zebra-striped warm bed? Built from a special thermal glass, the temperature inside the igloo is always at a normal level and its special material also prevents the glass from not getting white frosted, keeping the view clear even when the temperature outside drops to under -30°C.

You should read : Northern Lights offbeat travel

The wow factor: Every igloo is equipped with a toilet and luxury beds and the surrounding Igloo Village is also home to snow chapel and an ice bar, both built in every winter. Every evening a hot sauna and a refreshing ice hole are waiting for you at the igloo, where you can climb into bed and marvel at the star-studded night sky. Husky safaris, snowmobile safaris, reindeer safaris and ice-fishing trips are all  available, as well as guided ski treks.

Village is open every year from December/January and until the end of April.

A Night Less Ordinary: Toilet Hotel Japan

A Night Less Ordinary: Toilet Hotel Japan

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, our number one choice is this Toilet Hotel Japan.

What’s the gimmick? Where else can one enjoy room service while on the toilet than in Japan? The Nakanoshima Hotel (a.k.a. the world’s worst honeymoon idea) is a small, but luxurious, fully functioning public bathroom. Located in downtown Osaka, fenced by two rushing rivers, this one-room facility boasts an ivory-sheeted bed, a stylish desk, fresh-cut flowers and a prominent opening in the wall marked with a male figure on the right and female on the left. Through this opening, a stream of citizens flow in hopes of emptying their bladders.

You should read… Top weird ways to travel on holiday

Why stay? Stay if the idea of waking up to a cleaner mopping up urine from the tiles is intriguing to you. This hotel is less a place to spend an uncomfortable night and more a piece of tongue-in-cheek public art. Crafted by Tatzu Nishi (the guy who put a room six storeys high in New York’s Columbus statue), the hotel is his celebration of the everyman’s commode. On the other hand, it is thoroughly disinfected and designed to be comfortable even though you can still hear people using the toilet in the other side of the wall.

The Wow Factor: Although this is the part in which we usually tell of high-class spas and ultra snazzy decor, this is a toilet for God’s sake, there’s not really much of a wow going on here…

You should read… A Night Less Ordinary : Boot Bed ‘n’ Breakfast

A Night Less Ordinary: Benesse House

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, Benesse House in Kagawa, Japan.

What’s the gimmick? Built by the celebrated Japanese architect Tadao Ando, Benesse House in Kagawa, Japan, opened in 1995 and has continued to evolve since. The building itself serves as a museum for the modern art collection of Japanese multimillionaire, Nobuko Fukutake. The dozen or so rooms available form part of the museum itself. In a setting that hovers between James Bond in Dr no and the TV series The Prisoner, your stay here is bound to be one of the best memories of your trip.

You should read… Top weird ways to travel on holiday

Why stay? One great advantage of staying at Benesse is that, once the visitors have left for the day, the building is at your disposal and you can wander freely among the artworks that decorate its walls. In fact, to reach the restaurant (featuring a painting by Basquiat) from your room, you have to pass through the museum. Works include such internationally renowned artists as Giacometti, Jasper Johns, Sam Francis, Jackson Pollock and David Hockney, and some of the art is exhibited in the open air, taking guests down to the beach, where there is a Jacuzzi.

The Wow Factor: Usable at night, the Jacuzzi faces an extraordinary desert-like volcanic island, making for a mysterious and enigmatic setting. Benesse House Spa is also available, which holistic natural therapies which use the power of nature to heal and promote harmony throughout every cell of the body. The treatments include aroma therapy using essential plant oils carefully selected by our therapists, thalassotherapy utilising Naoshima’s Inland Sea climate and the richness of the ocean, and stone therapy, which transfers the energy of natural stones to your body and mind.

You should read… A Night Less Ordinary: Boot Bed ‘n’ Breakfast

Prices start from £400 a night. Click here for details.

A Night Less Ordinary: Glamping

A night less ordinary: Glamping

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, Glamping at the Canonici di san Marco.

What’s the gimmick? Ever heard of glamping? Glamping, made famous in The Only Way is Essex series, is glamorous camping a.k.a. all the fun and closeness to nature that camping offers without the worry of creepy crawlies, endless days without a shower and not so endless rolls of toilet paper. Cononici di san Marco in Venice offers a series of beautiful camping lodges, situated in 15,000 square metres of parkland.

You should read: Top weird ways to travel on holiday

Why stay? Each Lodge sleeps 2-6 guests, with a a spacious bedroom and a lounge area.
Stay to enjoy beautiful 360 degree views over wheat fields, with enthralling countryside, native trees and stupendous flower displays at your doorstep. Here  you will feel immersed in nature without having to give up modern comforts. Aside from the experience, the Lodges, created on a raised wooden floor, are ideally located for a day packed with adventure in Venice or the nearby cities of Padua and Treviso. Your holiday here can be a cultural, social, gastronomic or sporting stay – the choice is entirely up to you.

The Wow Factor: Inside the Lodges you will find soap necklaces from perfumed Provence, candelabras and candles for romantic moonlit moments, crystal champagne flutes and DOC Prosecco wine. Swap uncomfortable sleeping bags for charming four-poster beds with white tulle mosquito nets and colonial style fans. Forget tents and enjoy stunning antique sofas and armchairs that once graced the houses of Italian grandparents, now transformed into original and unique seats.  And most importantly, instead of smelling like a farmyard animal, enjoy long, hot soaks in big bathtubs from England, transformed into modern shower fittings with antique cast-iron heaters.

You should read: A Night Less Ordinary: Boot Bed ‘n’ Breakfast

Prices start from 120 euros per person a night. Click here for details.

A Night Less Ordinary : Hotel Silken Puerta America

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, Hotel Silken Puerta América in Madrid.

What’s the gimmick? The Hotel Silken Puerta América is a masterpiece of architecture and design. A 5 Star luxury hotel, Hotel Silken ushers guests into innovative spaces, with each of the floors being designed by one of the 19 world-renowned architects and artists who were chosen to work on the hotel (these include including Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel and Zaha Hadid). The 12 guestroom floors were each created in the vision of the unique international architect they represent, giving the rooms individualized design and décor.

You should read… weird ways to travel on holiday

Why stay? For a truly different experience each time you stay. Guests choose from photos of available room designs on arrival, all of which have 1 queen-size or 2 twin beds, and flat-screen LCD TVs.

The Wow Factor: The Hotel Silken Puerta América Madrid is an eclectic, daring space that does not sell comfort short. Rooms with luxury in their finest detail entice guests to interact with them, to touch, to see, to breathe and smell. In short, Hotel Silken is a unique space that stands out especially for its quality and wide range of service, not just its futuristic design. Think indoor pools, a Turkish bath and a top-floor bar with incredible views of Madrid.

Prices start from £170 a night. Click here for details.

A Night Less Ordinary : Three Farthings Naturist B&B&B

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, the Three Farthings Naturist B&B&B (well this Sunday is National Topless Day, after all!).

What’s the gimmick? Three Farthings Naturist Homestay B&B&B is a secluded hideaway, where guests can relax ‘au naturel’ in a five star pamper fest. The B&B&B stands for bed, breakfast and bubbles (or bare, bums and bellies as their website may tell you). Bare (!) in mind that this is no regular B&B; guests will be staying in a naturist household, in which age, gender, looks or sexual preferences are never judged and newbies are always welcomed.

You should read : Top weird ways to travel on holiday

Why stay? This is really a beautiful place to stay. The detached bungalow boasts a large, private garden with a wooden deck, sun loungers, dining area, hot tub and an outdoor hot shower and guest rooms are decorated in warm, attractive colours, with crisp, white bedlinen, thick fluffy towels and comfortable bathrobes. Even the bathrooms are fitted with underfloor heating and electronic eco showers. The piece de resistance is the Asian room, containing a deluxe four poster super king size bed. The room is decorated with Indian silk/woollen rugs, Thai silk curtains and cushions and includes a flat screen TV/DVD player, trouser press and fluffy Rhomtuft towels.

The Wow Factor: Two-thirds of the energy used is generated by solar panels and waste is mostly recycled. To keep the carbon footprint down all produce is sourced locally and organic where possible. Meals are always freshly prepared using seasonal ingredients and there is no need to ‘dress for dinner’! Relaxing naturist massages are also available, along with a series of other top quality treatments.

Three Farthings is a nonprofit venue. Profits are donated to charity.

You should read : A Night Less Ordinary : Boot Bed ‘n’ Breakfast

You should read : A Night Less Ordinary : Dog Park Park Inn

A Night Less Ordinary: Galactic Space Suite

Galactic Space Suite, Barcelona (kind of)

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected.

What’s the gimmick? High-end travel has just reached extraordinary, new heights – literally. Catching on to the ‘space tourism’ trend, Barcelona-based company, Galactic Space Suite are about to launch their highly-anticipated, world first – a luxury hotel in outer space. This mini space station, which should be ready by the end of the year, seeks to create one of the ‘most thrilling and transcendental experiences ever’. Initially the station will be set for two passengers and one crew, but the company’s ultimate goal is to develop the world’s first space hotel chain with modular space habitats and make space tourism accessible to the public.

Why stay? After an exhilarating eight-week training course on a tropical paradise island, guests will be launched into space on an orbital journey to SpaceResort. On board, passengers will be offered the largest possible views of space, orbiting the earth in just 90 minutes. This means that every 45 minutes, guest will experience a sunrise or sunset, while exploring a whole new world of sensory perception in weightlessness.

The wow factor: The three-’bedroom’ suite will be made up of four modules that connect to a central enclosed area. To avoid the feeling of weightlessness, there will be protuberances along the edge of the rooms that will allow guests to attach themselves when they are eating, absorbing the views or sleeping. The hotel will also provide Velcro suits to its guests, allowing them to stick to the walls, which will not feature any angles or straight lines. The space hotel will also feature the world’s first outer space spa. Bathing in space has traditionally involved the astronaut using a water bubble to wet and soap the skin, and then a suction device to remove the wastewater. However, in the Galactic Suite’s Space Spa, the guest will enter a zero gravity spherical container together with a water bubble. In the weightless environment, the guest can ‘play’ with the water bubble, dividing it into an infinite number of separate bubbles. Surreal sleeping arrangements, weightlessness fitness activities and views of the Earth and moon are other features of the resort.

The cost per person, for a three-day-stay at Galactic Suite is  a cool €3m, and the hotel has seen a total of 38 bookings made through the company’s website since January 2008. The most reservations are from people in the US (8), with space tourists from the United Arab Emirates (7), China (6), Russia (5), Australia (5), Spain (4) and South America (3) making up the remainder.

Click here to read part two of this series.

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A Night Less Ordinary: Garamisu Cave Hotel

Garamisu Cave Hotel

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of weird hotels and wonderful holiday concepts. From space hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected.

A rocky night’s sleep: Garamisu Cave Hotel

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Happy words from happy customers

As a travel company, we pride ourselves on finding the best possible deals, at the best price. We want you to have an unforgettable holiday in the sun, (or the snow!) enjoy the beaches and maybe indulge in a few cheeky cocktails. The best bit is when we get nice words from some of our wonderful, happy customers. Here is just a sample, and you can read some more in our testimonials section here.

"Thumbs up" picture, mostly uploaded...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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