Amazing Floating Hotels Around the World: If you think about it, land has been way over estimated, so, here at Purple Travel, we’ve found the best floating hotels, to stay somewhere really different.
Fab 4 Hotel, Liverpool – If you’ve never sung Yellow Submarine in the shower then, well, you’re lying! Now you can get a step closer to the Fab Four’s favourite floating ferry! It’s all thanks to a British businessman, Alfie Bubbles, who converted this original 25-metre long submarine to a hotel in 2012. Its interiors have been inspired by the 60s; however it features all modern amenities, such as Wi-Fi connection and 3D TV sets.
An overnight at this avant-garde accommodation costs approximately £146.
Salt and Sill, Klädesholmen, Sweden – Salt & Sill hotel is found in the western coast of Sweden and consists of 6 two-storey floating structures. It’s the first floating hotel in Sweden and an exceptional choice for fine dining. Guests can choose among 23 rooms, one of which is a suite featuring a separate platform with sauna.
Prices vary from season to season, but start from 1990 SEK from January to March and October to November.
4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia – The 4 Rivers Floating Lodge consists of twelve luxurious residencies on the banks of Mekong River and is located in a secluded area of the rainforest. However, all 45m2 rooms feature a Wi-Fi connection, mini bars and flat-screen TVs. This green accommodation offers a water bio-cleaning system and has also been made with eco-friendly materials.
Prices start from USD 203.15 for one person.
Queen Mary Hotel, Long Beach, California – History buffs would surely want to visit the Queen Mary Hotel, which arrive at Long Beach in 1967, after travelling for 37 years in the open sea. It weighs 81237 tones, featuring 314 rooms and suites, as well as 2 bars and 2 restaurants. Watch out, though, the ship is considered to be…haunted!
Shwe Inn The Floating Resort, Myanmar – This floating hotel is unique in Myanmar and opened to the public in 1996, over the tranquil Lake Inle, including traditional retreats and a swimming pool for guests that prefer not to swim in the lake waters. The famous Heya Ywama market is very close by boat, and the staff can arrange canoe cruises and hiking in the surrounding villages.
Why not book cocktail holidays for you and your other half, your bunch of girlfriends or a stag or hen party. From Cuba to Paris, in spirit (!) of cocktail holidays, Purple Travel discovers some of the world’ most famous cocktails and where they came from…
The Mojito, Cuba
Traditionally made using white rum, sugar, lime, carbonated water and mint muddled together, the Mojito is generally believed to be the world’s first cocktail. Thought to have been drunk as early as the 16th century by pirates and sailors, its origins can be traced back to 16th century Cuba, where the drink was called the “El Draque”, in honour of explorer and sailor, Sir Francis Drake.
The legend goes that the drink was first created as a way of disguising the taste of tafia/aguardiente – a primitive form of rum. The modern name for the drink comes from a Cuban sauce called mojo, made from garlic, olive oil and citrus juice; the drink became known as a cocktail with “a little mojo” or, in Spanish, a “Mojito.”
The Singapore Sling, Singapore
The Singapore Sling was first concocted in – you guessed it – Singapore, made from a mixture of gin, cherry brandy and Benedictine, in equal parts, with a dash of bitters and Cointreau, finished off with pineapple, lime juice and grenadine. While the exact year it was created is not clear, most agree that the cocktail was first produced by a Hainanese-Chinese bartender named Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon at the Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar sometime between 1910 and 1915.
Today, the drink is served on all Singapore Airlines flights. You may have also seen it mentioned in many films and books, including Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in which Raoul Duke talks about drinking “Singapore Slings with mescal on the side.” You can also order an original Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar, where icons like Rudyard Kipling and others would once sip this famous, fruity cocktail.
The Sidecar, Paris
This classic cocktail that dates back around 100 years is a mix of equal parts brandy or Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice. The Sidecar is believed to have been first created in Paris sometime during WWI. Harry’s Bar in Paris is the “little bistro” credited as the birthplace of this sweet, yet tangy cocktail, named after the motorcycle sidecar that supposedly carried an American captain to the bar one evening. The captain asked a French bartender for a pre-dinner cocktail that would help ease the chill he had caught outside. The bartender knew brandy would be the best liqueur to take off the chill, but he also refused to serve the traditional after dinner drink alone as a pre-dinner cocktail. The result was the bartender mixed the brandy with Cointreau and added fresh lemon juice to make an appropriate pre-dinner cocktail so the Sidecar was born.
The Pisco Sour, Peru or possibly Chile
The Pisco Sour is made from Pisco (a regional brandy from South America), lemon juice, bitters and egg whites. Many debate whether the origin of this drink is Peruvian or Chilean: In Peru, the creation of the Pisco Sour is attributed to American expatriate Victor “Gringo” Morris at the Morris Bar in Lima; in Chile, it is attributed to the English steward of a sailing ship, which was stopped at the then Peruvian and now Chilean port city of Iquique in 1872.
Whatever the origins of this famous drink, the Pisco Sour has become an iconic cocktail in both countries. In fact, there are even two National Pisco Sour Days (Peru’s in the first Saturday of February and Chile’s is celebrated May 15th) to celebrate this famous cocktail!
White Russian, California
Named for the vodka used in the recipe, rather than the origin, White Russians combine equal parts of cream, vodka and Kahula. In 1961, the Diner’s Club Drink Book, gave a recipe for a “Black Russian” without cream, implying that the same cocktail with cream would therefore be named a White Russian. Today White Russians have inspired a drinking game, in which party-goers try to keep up with The Dude from The Big Lebowski (whose favourtie drink was a White Russian) in their consumption of the cocktail while watching the film itself.
The Manhattan, New York
Known as both “King of Cocktails” and the “Drinking Man’s Cocktail,” The Manhattan is a very potent mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters, garnished most often with a maraschino cherry.
Regarded as one of the best cocktails ever created, the Manhattan was supposedly first invented at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s. Legend has it that the drink was invented for a banquet hosted by Lady Randolph Churchill (Winston Churchill’s mother) in honour of presidential candidate, Samuel J. Tilden. The success of the banquet prompted many people to request the drink by referring to the name of the club where it originated, calling it “the Manhattan cocktail.”
The Mai Tai, California
The tropical Mai Tai is made of a mixture of white and gold rum, pineapple juice, orange and/or lime juice and is of American origin despite its Polynesian name. First created by Victor Buergon, better known as “Trader Vic”, it was called Mai Tai as it was invented in the Polynesian-style restaurant in Oakland, California that bore his name.
Buergon created the first Mai Tai in honour of some friends who were visiting from Tahiti in 1944. As he served the new cocktail to his friends, they cried out, “Maitai roa!” (meaning “very good”), and the cocktail was born.
Tom Collins, New York
While many people assume the drink was named after a real person, there is much debate whether Tom Collins ever actually existed and whether he should be credited to this cocktail of gin, lemon and lime juice and soda water. One popular account involves a hoax that took over New York City in 1874.
A friend would tell you that he had just overheard someone named Tom Collins at a bar nearby saying terrible things about you. You would then race to that bar to confront him, only to be told that Tom Collins had just left for a bar a little further away. When you get there, the mysterious Collins would have decamped yet again for another joint across town. You would then chase him all over the city while your friends are in stictches laughing at you. According to Wall Street Journal columnist and cocktail historian Eric Felten, “It doesn’t take much to imagine how Tom Collins came to be a drink. How many times does someone have to barge into a saloon demanding a Tom Collins before the bartender takes the opportunity to offer him a cocktail so-named?”
Bloody Mary, California
Like the mixture itself, the history behind the Bloody Mary is a bit cloudy. One legend says that the original Bloody Mary, which was made using equal parts tomato juice and vodka and used as a hangover cure, was invented by comedian, songwriter and film producer George Jessel. Jessel claimed he created the drink one morning in Palm Beach during the 50s, as a way to recover from a night spent on the booze. He went as far as to appear in Smirnoff vodka ads declaring, “I, George Jessel invented the Bloody Mary.”
However, Eric Felten writes, “Given Jessel’s knack for self-promotion, many doubted his claim.” Many skeptics favoured a legend involving the head bartender at the St. Regis Hotel in New York named Fernand “Peter” Petriot. Petriot was supposedly serving up Blood Marys under the alias of “Red Snappers” at the hotel’s King Cole Bar from the ‘40s. In reality, the Bloody Mary popular today is in fact a combination of the two men’s creations; Petriot admitted that “George Jessel said he created it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I took it over.” While credit for the original drink goes to Jessel, Petriot wasthe one who added salt, pepper, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce to the concoction, creating the modern Bloody Mary.
The Martini, California
The first Martini was poured sometime between 1862 and 1871 and was called a Martinez, a name to honour the town of Martinez, California, where it was supposedly first dreamed up by bartender Julio Richelieu, proprietor of the eponymous Julio Richelieu Saloon. Today, Martini has become more of a class of drinks than one drink in particular – with variations like Appletinis, Vodka martinis and others becoming popular over the years.
Although the origins of the first Martinez date back to the 1860s, the modern Martini first rose in popularity starting in 1900s during the prohibition period. The Martini then became the drink of choice (or no choice as the case was at the time!) in speakeasies across the country due to the quick accessibility of gin. The modern Vodka Martini, which James Bond enjoys shaken, not stirred, was not created until much later.
If your idea of a good night is packed with Lego bricks, towers of all shapes and sizes and little square headed figures all over the place, then head for a night in Legolandin California, USA. Due to open on April 5th 2013, if you thought your home was coming down with Lego bricks, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Legoland California is dedicated to all things colourful and brick shaped, from the blocks that adorn the walls as you make your way in, to the perfectly themed carpets. There are around 3,422 Lego models throughout the hotel, including eight in each room, made from more than three million Lego bricks. In the lobby alone there is a wall of 6,000 minifigures and a family of smoke breathing dragons at the front entrance.
In the hotel there are three dedicated room types: Pirate with its Jolly Roger flags and Lego pirate parrots, Adventure with a sweeping jungle theme and friendly brick made monkeys and Kingdom where you get a taste of all things King Arthur and the Round Table. It’s probably fair to say these rooms and staying in the hotel fulfil just about every Lego fantasy you could imagine. In fact you could say it’s a Lego geek’s dream right down to the smallest detail. On top of family sleeping areas and dedicated Lego treats for little ones, a trip to the Hotel also offers select entry to rides and attractions within the theme park.
Beyond the hotel you get to splash around in the water park and even build your own raft from soft Lego bricks, or dodge the water cannons, go on a Safari trek, or visit Sky Patrol. Whatever you choose, we’re sure Lego adventurers of all ages will find something to enjoy. There are even mini Lego Star Wars adventure areas, a mini Las Vegas and something called a Coastersaurus, which we are dying to try!
Not only does the US have more theme parks than there are cows in Wales (well not exactly…) but each and every one of them have a little piece that make them quite alike, particularly in regards to food, fun, and roller coasters. We’ve narrowed down a list based on which theme parks USA offer the most for your money and are the most popular of the year.
#1 Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
Known as the best amusement park in the world, it’s no wonder Cedar Point makes it to the top of our list. With 75 rides, ten shows, a water park and seventeen roller coasters, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio packs more thrills per square foot than anywhere else on the planet, let alone America.
No list of theme parks would be complete without a mention to the largest, most-attended recreational complex in the world. Home to some of the most iconic landmarks, characters and imagery on the planet, Walt Disney World is an American favourite.
#3 King’s Island in Mason, Ohio
As the largest amusement park in the Midwest, King’s Island is humongous, with 364 acres of park grounds boasting over 80 rides and attractions. The all-new Soak City water park alone offers more than 50 water activities, including 30 slides, tropical lagoons, rushing rivers and surfable waves.
Featuring three incredible parks (for one admission), more than 40 rides, 17 slides, nine tube chutes, uphill water coasters, three lazy rivers and more than three miles of tube rides, Schlitterbahn is a huge, thrill-seekers paradise. Home to the longest water park ride in the world, The Falls, Schilitterbahn is one of Texas’ main attractions.
#5 Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California
For hundreds of thousands of theme park fans, Disneyland could never be anything but #1, but even in fifth position there’s no question that Disneyland Park and the larger resort, with 20 million annual visitors combined, is simply one of the best.
#6 Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia
Well-maintained with a unique design, this African themed adventure park offers something for everybody. This year, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has built an electromagnetic multiple-launch roller coaster on the former site of the Big Bad Wolf called Verbolten, which opened in May.
Arguably even more exciting to than Disneyland or Six Flags Universal Studios in Orlando is a must-visit for all age groups.
#8 Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania
Knoebels offers free admission and parking, with more than 50 rides available either a la carte or through an all-day pass. Enjoy the Grand Carousel, two world-class roller coasters and The Phoenix, voted the second best wooden coaster in the world.
#9 Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois
Six Flags is a dependable brand for thrill-lovers. Chicagoland’s own Six Flags Great America features eight themed areas, each highlighting a different aspect of Americana.
#10 Legoland in Carlsbad, California
This theme park takes you right back into childhood, amusing both the children and the adults. It’s known for its sculptures made of Legos, from rides to cars, from the New York skyline to Mount Rushmore.