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Holiday Destinations

The High Roller observation wheel in Las Vegas is the world's tallest
Visitors to Las Vegas now have a new way to take in the famous Las Vegas Strip with the official opening of the world's tallest observation wheel on Monday. Standing 550 feet (167.6 m) tall, the aptly named High Roller is 9 ft (2.7 m) taller than the previous record holder, the 541-ft (164.8 m) tall Singapore Flyer.  Read More
Ferrari Land is expected to open in 2016 inside the PortAventura theme park located outsid...
Car brand marketing usually means slapping a badge on a tote bag and asking a thousand dollars for it, but Ferrari has gone one better by applying its badge to not one, but two theme parks. Ferrari and PortAventura Entertainment S.A.U have signed an agreement to build a second Ferrari-themed park, Ferrari Land, as part of the PortAventura resort and theme park outside Barcelona, Spain. Expected to open in 2016, the 7.5 ha (18.5 ac) site is billed as “an opportunity for the whole family to experience and discover the world of Ferrari.”  Read More
South Korean design studio Archiworkshop has injected some serious style into its recently...
Emerging South Korean design studio Archiworkshop has injected some serious style into its recently completed "Glamping for Glampers" project. Located in the mountainous region of Yang-Pyeong in South Korea, the remote glampsite features a series of luxurious "tents" which add some serious comfort to the traditional camping experience.  Read More
Robot Land would immerse thousands of parkgoers in robotics edutainment and research
Since 2007, the South Korean government has dreamed of Robot Land, a robotics research park and themed destination with rides, exhibitions, shopping, and even housing. Although the originally planned open date of 2012 has come and gone, ground was officially broken for the 300-acre park last year and a new timeline seems to indicate that Robot Land may now be on target to deliver on its promise of a themed world dedicated to robots.  Read More
Nestled amid the diverse Icelandic landscape, the ION Adventure Hotel is in prime position...
While the use of geothermal energy and recycled materials would normally be starting points for Gizmag's look at a new holiday destination like the ION Adventure Hotel, there's one element here that stands well above the pack – location. The hotel is nestled amidst the diverse Icelandic landscapes in the heart of the Mt. Hengill region, offering guests the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the spectacular aurora borealis or midnight sun, depending on which time of the year it is.  Read More
Kulturinsel Einsiedel: dawn view from the balcony of the treehouse hotel
In search of weird and unique hotels in Europe, Gizmag’s Loz Blain visits a beautifully hand-carved treehouse village on the German-Polish border. The treetop hotel itself is remarkable, but as it turns out, the rest of "Culture Island" is just as amazing.  Read More
The Manta Resort recently unveiled its Underwater Room (Photo: Jesper Anhede)
Underwater accommodations seem to have become a trend among hotels in recent years, but a resort off the coast of Tanzania is now putting a unique spin on the concept. The Manta Resort recently unveiled its Underwater Room, a three-floor suite that floats beside a thriving coral reef and boasts a submerged master bedroom surrounded by windows to view the local sea life.  Read More
Le Tronc Creux, which means 'The Hollow Trunk,' is a low impact shelter which sleeps nine ...
French design studio Bruit du Frigo has drawn inspiration from fallen down tree trunks, which often provide shelter for small animals, to create an eco-shelter for humans in the forests of Bordeaux. Dubbed Le Tronc Creux, which means "The Hollow Trunk," the low impact shelter is roughly the same size as a shipping container and can easily be transported by truck to different locations when required.  Read More
It appears that Nippon Moon remains a concept for now (Image: UNStudio)
With Nippon Moon, UNStudio is bringing more than sheer scale to the concept of the enormous observation wheel. Though the height of the wheel has not been fixed, Nippon Moon is clearly intended to put Japan on the map (the map of gigantic ferris wheels, that is), and compete with, if not surpass, the likes of the 165-m Singapore Flyer and the 135-m London Eye. However, UNStudio hints that smartphone apps or even augmented reality could be used to enhance the ride, and make it an observation wheel fit for the 21st century.  Read More
The Seven Stars' distinctive locomotive
The Japanese regional railway JR Kyushu has become the first company in Japan to build a luxury sleeper cruise train, spending close to 3 billion yen (US$29.9 million). The Seven Stars cruise train comes equipped with the latest motion control technology, 14 luxury guest rooms, two deluxe suites, three presidential suites, a lounge car, dining car and bar.  Read More

Blow Up Hall: exterior (Photo: Loz Blain/gizmag.com)
I've traveled all the way to Poland specifically to check out one of the world's most unique hotels. Half luxury accommodation, half art installation, Blow Up Hall 5050 is the singular vision of Poland's richest woman. As soon as you step into the lobby, you become part of a giant digital artwork that sets the tone for a strange and wonderful luxury experience. Your door key is an iPhone, there's no room numbers, cameras and screens constantly capture, chop up and spit out your image as you walk through disorienting hallways, and no two rooms are the same. It's quite an experience ... if you can get past the square toilets.  Read More
It's only $2,000 each, when you think about it
Virgin has announced that work on Richard Branson's private residence on Necker Island is complete, with the house now ready to take its first bookings. So, if you fancied whisking yourself and 29 friends (plus six children) off to a tropical island in the North Atlantic (in the British Virgin Islands, obviously), you're in luck … if you can stretch to the asking price of US$60,000 per night, that is.  Read More
The Floating Cinema projects films from the barge onto an exterior fixed surface, allowing...
Duggan Morris Architects has joined forces with British arts organization, UP Projects to launch this year’s "Floating Cinema," which will be gracing the waterways of East London until the end of September. For the project, Duggan Morris created an award winning design that converted a barge into a floating cinema.  Read More
Photographer Jeffrey Martin of 360Cities recently unveiled a 360-degree panorama of Tokyo ...
Photography group 360Cities seems determined to capture every major city in the world in as much detail as possible. Shortly after putting together a 360-degree panorama of London and breaking the record for world's largest photo in the process, the group's founder Jeffrey Martin set his sights on Tokyo for his next project. This latest panorama may not trump his old record, but at 180 gigapixels, it's still the second largest photo ever taken.  Read More
Europe’s first man-made island and 'space hotel' by US based company Mobilona
The bustling Spanish city of Barcelona attracts thousands of tourists each year and is renowned for its world heritage sites which include several masterpieces by the 19th century Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. In stark contrast to the city’s various attractions steeped in history, art and culture, Barcelona could host Europe’s first man-made island and "space hotel." Barcelona Island would feature a 984 ft high hotel which promises “the world's first zero-gravity spa” – whatever that means.  Read More
Visitors enter the submarine spa via an underwater corridor
Though at first glance Huvafen Fushi may resemble a James Bond villain’s undersea lair, it is in fact the world's only submarine spa. First opened in 2004, the über-exclusive spa, located in the Maldives' North Male Atoll, was recently redesigned by UK architects Studio RHE.  Read More
The world's biggest water fight - the Songkran Festival Thailand.
Last year we covered the world's biggest water fight, the Songkran Festival in Thailand, and although our story was viewed 100,000 times, and everyone marveled at the delightfully eccentric contrast to public events elsewhere in the world, I acknowledged that I couldn't supply images which truly reflected how crazy things really get, mainly for fear of damaging my Canon camera system. This year, armed with a waterproof housing and a Canon 5D MkIII, I was able to venture from the outskirts of the water fight into the center of the water riot with impunity. Millions of water pistols, shotguns and cannons are sold each year in Songkran week and here's how to have a ridiculously good time on a $5 budget.  Read More
Austria’s highest cable car and visitor center was unveiled late last year, located at the...
Perched atop of the Pitzal Glacier at an altitude of 3440 meters, the spectacular Wildspitzbahn became Austria's highest coffee destination when it opened its doors late last year. The visitor center designed by Austrian architectural firm Baumschlager Hutter features a free-suspension outdoor terrace to make the most of the breathtaking views across the surrounding Alps and is accessible by a new 61-gondola mono-cable ropeway.  Read More
A team of photographers recently set a record for the world's largest panoramic photo with...
Last month, we saw a panorama of Dubai taken from atop the world's tallest building. It was gorgeous, but at 2.5 gigapixels in size, not exactly the largest panorama. No, that title now belongs to a recent 360-degree panoramic photo of London that consists of over 48,000 individual shots and boats an incredible 320 gigapixels resolution.  Read More
Located one mile out to sea from Portsmouth Harbor, UK, the 134 year old Spitbank Fort has...
Located one mile out to sea off the coast from Portsmouth Harbor in Hampshire, U.K., the 134 year old Spitbank Fort has received a £3 million (US$4.85 million) makeover to become a one-of-a-kind luxury hotel.  Read More

A photographer recently composed a stunning 360 degree panorama image from on top of the B...
Until the Sky City One tower is completed in China, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai can lay claim to being the tallest building in the world. Standing at a whopping 828 meters (2,717 ft), it's a must-visit destination for those traveling to the UAE. But now anyone can enjoy the building's stunning views from the comfort of their own home thanks to a photographer who recently composed a stunning 360-degree panorama image taken from on top of the Burj Khalifa.  Read More
Set amid the backdrop of the mysterious Great Glen landscape in Scotland, this holiday des...
Set amid the backdrop of the stunning Great Glen landscape in Scotland, Loch Ness Glamping is a luxury camping spot for those hoping to catch of glimpse of the elusive creature affectionately dubbed "Nessie." If the monster spotting doesn’t go to plan (and let's face it, that's highly likely) you can return to "roughing-it" in your private eco-retreat complete with under-floor heating.  Read More
PinPin design studio has created an impressive suite entitled ‘Beam Me Up’ as part of the ...
The Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden has once again opened its doors for a spectacular twenty-third season. Located 2010 km north of the Arctic Circle, the winter hotel is constructed entirely of ice and snow and features artist designed suites which this year include a UFO-inspired creation from PinPin design studio.  Read More
The “Fast Track” trampoline road stretches across 51 meters (167 ft)
If walking, jogging or biking doesn’t quite tempt you back into nature, perhaps the freedom of bouncing and jumping along a seemingly endless trampoline road might just inspire the child within. “Fast Track” is designed to do exactly that. Stretching across 51 meters (167 ft), this trampoline road installation located in the Nikola-Lenivets forest, Russia, offers visitors a unique chance to jump and play.  Read More
The walls will be made of transparent acrylic to guarantee visibility to underwater vistas
The buzz around Poseidon Undersea Resorts has been around for a few years now (c.f. our 2007 report on the conceptually-similar Hydropolis in Dubai). Poseidon Resorts has announced that it has completed the design and engineering of structural works, indicating that the sci fi-esque undersea project is closer to getting off the ground, or better, into a lagoon on a private island in Fiji. The company is now working to secure capital for construction, which should take two years to complete, it says.  Read More
Twelve new one-bedroom treetop villas will be installed over the coming winter months
The E’terra Samara eco-resort in Ontario, Canada is set to see the addition of a series of suspended treehouse villas. Nestled at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, the resort, which is currently home to LEED Gold certified accommodation, will install 12 new one-bedroom treetop villas over the coming winter months. Designed by Canadian studio Farrow Partnership Architects, the eco-huts are designed to be suspended in the tree tops overlooking Georgian Bay.  Read More
The M/V Aria, cruising the Amazon River in Peru
Tour operator Aqua Expeditions is an adventure travel company that offers guests the chance to cruise the Amazon River in Peru, while staying on board a 147-foot-long (45-meter) floating hotel. Designed by Peruvian architect Jordi Puig, the M/V Aria is an intimate cruise ship that can accommodate a maximum of 32 passengers, plus crew. The unique accommodation offers a rare chance to observe the wonders of the Amazon region from an unobstructed vantage point – be it from one of the ship’s numerous outdoor decks, or from the privacy of a guest suite.  Read More
Nestled in Washington's Methow Valley, Rolling Huts offers guests accommodation in several...
Nestled in Washington's Methow Valley, USA, Rolling Huts offers guests accommodation in several unique eco-huts on wheels. Designed by architectural studio Olson Kundig, the huts have been built with nature lovers in mind, and provide a private escape with uninterrupted views of the dramatic mountainous surroundings.  Read More
Atlantic Surf Pods offers guests a quiet spot to enjoy an off-the-grid glamping experience
Nestled away on 26 acres (10.5 hectares) of farmland, Atlantic Surf Pods offers guests a quiet spot to enjoy an off-the-grid glamping experience. Located close to the sea in Bude, North Cornwall, the eco-friendly accommodation includes a series of highly insulated eco pods, offering simple comforts surrounded by lush rolling hills.  Read More
Spot the mystery visitor
Stockholm-based architectural studio Jägnefält Milton has unveiled Black Lodge, a conceptual low-tech reclusive escape designed specifically for the luxury resort of Furillen on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Pyramid in form, the lower sections of each side open up to create what designer Konrad Milton described to Gizmag as "more of a campfire situation."  Read More

The 541-ft Singapore Flyer could be usurped by a new ferris wheel under consideration for ...
According to a report in the Staten Island Advance, Staten Island, New York's third largest borough, could play host to the world's largest Ferris wheel.  Read More
The ComeHackWithUs tropical island hackathon should appeal to those who enjoy sun, sand an...
Do you have sharp programming skills, a passport and a love of adventure? If so, be aware that an ambitious new startup named ComeHackWithUs is currently seeking a dozen candidates to travel to a tropical island retreat and spend two months coding. You'll bring the ideas and the company will be tasked with providing the environment to help develop those ideas into a finished project.  Read More
'Tower House' converted water tower in London's North Kensington
Maybe its their height. Maybe it's because they're round. But clearly there's something about abandoned water towers that makes people want to transform them into residential accommodation. Tower House in West London's desirable North Kensington neighborhood (though admittedly, not the plushest part) appears to be the latest addition to an ever-growing set; a set that includes the converted World War II tower, Chateau D'eau.  Read More
Palacio de Sal is a hotel and spa in Bolivia where the walls and furniture are made entire...
Palacio de Sal (meaning Salt Palace) is a hotel and spa in Bolivia where the walls and furniture are made entirely of salt. The hotel is located on the edge of the Great Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flats, which spans across 10,582 sq. km (4,086 sq. miles). Guests are apparently politely asked to refrain from “licking the walls.”  Read More
Located in the Elqui Valley in Chile, Elqui Domos is one of the few astronomical hotels in...
Located in the Elqui Valley in Chile’s Norte Chico region, Elqui Domos is one of the few astronomical hotels in the world. The area is renowned for its sparkling clear skies and Elqui Domos takes advantage of this by offering lodgings in a series of geodesic domes with elevated loft beds and open rooftops as well as recently added wooden cabins designed with star-gazing in mind.  Read More
A Japanese artist has built a fully-furnished hotel room around the top to the historic Gh...
Tourists looking for a unique hotel experience in Belgium may want to seek out the Hotel Gent, a new project from Tazu Rous. As part of an art experience planned for the city, the Japanese artist designed and constructed a fully-furnished hotel room around the historic Ghent Sint-Pieters train station. But this isn't just an old building that's been renovated into a hotel. Hotel Gent has only one room, and guests will be sharing it with the giant clock at the top of the station's tower.  Read More
Located in Mendoza, Argentina amid 6,000 meter (19,685 feet) Andes, Entre Cielos is the un...
Located in Mendoza, Argentina amid 6,000 meter (20,000 foot) Andes, Entre Cielos is home to a tree-hotel prototype that offers guests an exclusive escape hovering over lush green vines. Despite Mendoza's naturally barren landscape, the small town utilizes a sophisticated irrigation system that nurtures a hub of over 1200 vineyards. The Entre Cielos vineyard, hotel and spa was conceived in 2009 by a group of Swiss architecture enthusiasts, which is currently developing a series of hovering guest cabins designed by German architectural studio Baumraum.  Read More
The Tower Bridge lighting system took designers and electricians six months to install (Cr...
London has got quite a summer of celebrations coming up, this week sees the Queen's Jubilee, and it's not long until the London 2012 Olympics. As such there are countless festivities planned across the city … and even the historic landmarks are getting in on the act. Tower Bridge has been kitted out with a new state-of-the-art lighting system to help mark the occasions.  Read More
A hotel in France is offering guests the chance to stay in fully-furnished, clear-plastic ...
Last year, designer Pierre Stephane Dumas unveiled his line of room-sized, transparent bubbles that allow people to sleep with almost nothing blocking their view of nature. His goal was to create a portable space that was both comfortable while giving the feeling of being out in the middle of any natural environment - and without disturbing the area very much. As enticing as those might be though, not many people are going to be able to afford the €7766 (US$10,987) price tag just to buy one for their weekend camping trip. Luckily for those keen on a see-through sleeping experience, the Attrap’Rêves hotel has recently opened in France to offer visitors a range of fully-furnished bubbles in different scenic locales to use in place of a typical hotel room.  Read More
The Water Discus underwater hotel, scheduled for construction in Dubai
It seems the construction boom in bustling Dubai is far from over – already home to several world record-holding projects, including the tallest building (for just a little while longer), the largest shopping mall and biggest man-made island, plans are now afoot to construct what will likely be the world's largest underwater luxury hotel, the Water Discus. Several years ago, we reported on another such ambitious project, Hydropolis, which sadly never got past the blueprint stage. If Polish company Deep Ocean Technology's (DOT) plans come to fruition, however, guests could one day find themselves asleep beneath the waters of the Persian Gulf.  Read More

Guests enjoying the AirHotel's Schulp (Little Cottage)
Looking for a place to stay that's sustainable, fun and suspended? The one-of-a-kind, mobile AirHotel, designed by a group of Belgian artists, may be just the ticket. Made from recycled materials, the quirky hotel's six elevated or hanging rooms are each unique in their own way and all come with an unusual form of room service that ranges from a love song to a disco party.  Read More
A (wonderfully named) Salinity Sampler Sequencer 'plays' hourly river water samples with t...
After three years in development, Flow (or strictly speaking ~Flow, with a leading tilde), a floating musical watermill has opened to visitors at Newcastle Quayside in England's North East. Actually a tide mill, Flow's waterwheel powers a variety of handcrafted electroacoustic instruments. The sound of the instruments changes dynamically according to the conditions of the river itself. In a sense, the river is playing the mill.  Read More
The thing to remember when looking at these images is that it HAS NOT BEEN RAINING.
Thailand's Songkran Festival has been going for hundreds of years. It is a Buddhist festival and part of the New Year celebrations, but as the Buddhist calendar has given way to the Gregorian calendar of the rest of the world, the most prominent aspect has become the throwing of water. For three days each year (April 13, 14 & 15), the country engages in one giant water-fight. If your inner child needs some nurturing, this is the place to get it.  Read More
Propeller Island City Lodge is an unusual hotel with 'artistic' rooms that include flying ...
Located just outside the center of Berlin in Germany, Propeller Island City Lodge is an unusual hotel with "artistic" rooms that include flying beds and upside down fittings. The rooms and interior objects have all been created by the German artist Lars Stroschen, in an attempt to create a hotel that is a "living work of art". While sleeping in a coffin or a recreated dungeon might not be what you imagined a trip to Berlin to be like, the hotel no doubt leaves an impression and we thought it merited a mention on this Friday the 13th.  Read More
The TitanicBelfast museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland
On April 14, 1912, the luxury liner RMS Titanic, just four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, struck an iceberg and sank with the loss of 1,514 lives. At the time, the massive, state-of-the-art ship was the largest vessel afloat and considered by many to be "virtually unsinkable." Built in Belfast, Northern Ireland by shipbuilding firm Harland and Wolff for the White Star Line at the then-astronomical cost of US$7.5 million (US$171 million in 2012 dollars), the ill-fated Titanic has been a source of pathos and fascination for nearly a century. To bring the remarkable ship's story to countless more future generations (and presumably give the local economy a shot in the arm) the government of Northern Ireland, the Belfast City Council and numerous private groups have pooled resources and created Titanic Belfast, a futuristic, US$160 million, nine-gallery museum - the world's largest exclusively dedicated to the ship and its only voyage. The facility finally opened late last month – just in time for the centennial of the tragedy coming up in a few days.  Read More
Minaret Station is only accessible by air, where guests are flown in by helicopter before ...
Camping in the wilderness may never be the same after a “glamped” experience at Minaret Station. Located in the heart of the Southern Alps in New Zealand, the site offers luxury tented glamping amid a picturesque glacial valley. The remote location is only accessible by air, where guests are flown in by helicopter before being escorted to their luxuriously furnished tented suite. While the accommodation is constructed from canvas tents and the property classifies itself as a “camp," this nature retreat has little in common with the traditional camping experience.  Read More
Set high among the tree tops, tree pod dining at the Six Senses’ Soneva Kiri is an innovat...
Tree Pod dining could easily become one of the most novel ways to enjoy a romantic dinner or a long lazy lunch among the tree tops ... and that’s exactly what guests at the Six Senses’ Soneva Kiri will be doing. Located on the remote Thai island of Kood, Soneva Kiri is a luxury holiday destination set amid the lush tropical rainforests off the south-east coast of the Gulf of Siam. While the resort offers guests an array of dining experiences and resort activities, we just love the look of the tree pod dining.  Read More
The Tianjin Aircraft Carrier Hotel in China
We first covered this story back in August, when news surfaced of an unusual hotel being constructed in the bowels of ex-Russian aircraft carrier the Kiev - the centerpiece of an 80,000 square meter (20 acre) state-supported military theme park in Tianjin, China. Three carriers were purchased from the Russians around 1996, and while one is being fitted out to become China's first real aircraft carrier, the other two have found employment as a casino and – in the case of the Kiev – a novel hotel. Last year the tale could have been dismissed as perhaps a fanciful ambition, but now the ship is on track to offer 148 rooms to the public, and we have some official pictures of the interior.  Read More
The Azerbaijan Tower would be 3,445 ft (1,050 m) high and form the centerpiece of the Khaz...
The Burj Khalifa, which has held the title of world’s tallest building with a height of 2,717 ft (828 m) since its completion in 2010, may have its crown stolen by a new 3,445 ft (1,050 m) high building proposed for construction in Azerbaijan.  Read More
The Romantik Hotel has been awarded the PlusEnergieBau Solar Award 2011, the only prize in...
The Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl located in Switzerland has recently been awarded the highly-coveted Swiss Solar Award 2011, Milestone 2011 Tourism Award and the PlusEnergieBau (PEB) Solar Award 2011, the only prize in the world for buildings that generate more energy than they consume. The 104-year old Berghotel underwent extensive renovations during 2010 to transform it into an environmental-friendly location, giving rise to the first plus-energy hotel in the Alps. The hotel's recent success demonstrates that luxury accommodation can be implemented within the framework of a plus-energy building concept even at 2,456 meters (8,058 ft) above sea level.  Read More

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