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Holiday Destinations

The Grand Canyon Skywalk

March 22, 2007 Creating a structure as spectacular as the new U-shaped Grand Canyon Skywalk observation platform requires reliable engineering - visitors will be standing on all-glass flooring suspended 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. The architect's vision is that visitors will have the sensation of floating freely without the intrusion of visible supports and can enjoy a panoramic view. The graphic shows the height of the Grand Canyon Skywalk compared with the world’s tallest buildings. The Skywalk opens March 28 when visitors will be able to scare themselves silly looking between their feet, through two inches of ultra-clear DuPont SentryGlas Plus structural interlayers and onwards to the depths below them. The DuPont material provide strength and stiffness plus optical clarity for the all- glass flooring that enables visitors to have an unprecedented viewing experience while standing safely on the observation platform. Analysis done by DuPont; the glass supplier, Saint-Gobain; and structural engineering consultants show that the laminated glass floor can hold the weight of up to 120 people and maintain a top safety rating even in the face of 100 miles per hour winds.  Read More

That's the  Rotating Tower at left and the T

December 20, 2006 Gulf city state Dubai’s growth and far-reaching vision continues to astound us – we’ve already written about the World's tallest building and largest mall and the monumentally-large real estate synthesis projects such as the Palm and world island groups and then there’s the world’s largest airport which is currently under construction and dozens of other projects which would make any city proud. Then earlier this year Dubai-based High Rise Real estate announced a Rotating Tower with four rotating penthouses and a rotating villa. Now the Rotating Tower has been seriously gazumped with the news of the Time Residences tower which will become one of the most unique engineering feats of the modern world - a solar-powered rotating skyscraper. The 30-floor Time Residences will provide 200 one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as duplexes and penthouses with continuously-changing views of one of the most exciting skylines on Planet Earth. Just so you know they’re serious, the company has announced plans to build a further 23 such rotating towers around the world.  Read More

Residential Cruise Ships - how to change the scenery outside your home

October 20, 2006 We’ve looked at luxury homes on wheels (A, B, C, D, E), relocatable homes that get delivered to the location of your choice (A, B, C, D), mobile homes that float (A, B) and even relocatable homes that hang in the trees (A, B). As the world becomes geographically untethered, we expect the market for taking it with you will just grow and grow. If you love the serendipitous discovery of travel but long for the creature comforts and space of home, the Residential Cruise Ship option might be for you. One of the first such concepts we covered in our first print issue four years ago was the Freedom Ship (A, B) and the first fully-operational residential cruise ship was the Residensea. Now there’s a US$650 million dollar private residential cruise ship project underway named the Magellan. Buy an apartment on the Magellan and your residence will regularly circumnavigate the globe while you live in the epitome of luxury with a full service retractable marina, on-call private Bell 429 helicopters and 150 ports of call. Residents have anytime access to their floating penthouses which live within the amenities and services of the what is being billed as one of the world’s finest resorts. On-call housekeeping staff, a world-class spa and marketplace, 24-hour concierge staff, indoor and outdoor pools, four restaurants, a 450-seat theatre featuring Broadway-quality entertainment, a casino worthy of Monte Carlo and a Starbucks cafe are just a few of the conveniences. Residences on the Magellan range in price from US$1.8 million to US$8 million, there’s fractional ownership available which might make it available through share clubs, and the destination map is here.  Read More

Nowhere Else Road, Nowhere Else

October 15, 2006 This folks, is a picture of Nowhere Else. Indeed, this is Nowhere else Road, Nowhere Else, situated in Tasmania,Australia’s second largest island. Tasmania has always been one of the most remote places on earth. 20,000 years ago its inhabitants lived further southward than any other humans and the island was chosen as the site for a remote and inescapable penal settlement in 1803 as it is separated from the main continent of Australia by several hundred kilometres of the roughest water in the world – Bass Strait. It is not just remote, being spectacularly beautiful and possibly the most unspoiled natural environment on the planet with a fiercely green vote at the ballot and more than 40% of its of 68,332 square kilometres being National Parks and World Heritage Sites. Taswegian’s are a relaxed bunch, with a reputation for an oddball sense of humour, as evidenced by some of the official town names. Doo Town in Tasmania is a holiday village where all the house names contain doo, such as This Will Doo, Doo Come In, Love Me Doo, Much-A-Doo, and Doo Little. There’s also the quaintly named Tasmanian location of Nowhere Else. Situated 20 minutes from Devonport, Nowhere Else shares a postcode (7306) but has no pub, no council, not even a general store. The general store is nearby but it’s not in Nowhere Else, cos its somewhere else. So when we saw that a property was for sale on Nowhere Else Road, in Nowhere Else, Australia, 7306 we figured that it might be useful to one of our readers, if only for value on your business card. At an asking price of AUD$350,000 (US$260,000) for 40 acres of prime rural land, it's worth a look.  Read More

Delta’s Lie-Flat Airline Seats

October 13, 2006 Long haul flights can indeed feel very long if you’re not comfortable when attempting to sleep, so we’ll bet that there will be many of our readers eyeing the new Delta fully-horizontal BusinessElite sleeper suites and picturing themselves catching zeds in much more comfort than ever before when travelling. The reclining seat adjusts to multiple comfortable positions, including a completely flat surface offering travelers a 6-foot 3-inch bed. Whatsmore, there’s a privacy screen that incorporates a pull out meal table, fold-out video monitor, integrated footrest and personal stowage compartment for bags, shoes or blankets. All the sleeper suites will offer on-demand digital video and music at every suite and immediate access to the aisle so they don’t have to disturb another passenger when exiting their seat.  Read More

Another outsourcing opportunity – the Sleepover Suite

August 8, 2006 Any parent who has presided over a girl’s sleepover will well know the problems – no sleep, lots of noise and mess, and a totally disrupted home. Indeed, it’s one aspect of a child’s growing up that is tailor-made for outsourcing and sure enough, it’s now on offer. Based on research that shows British parents annually spend over a GBP1 billion on kids' parties, speciality hotel Alton Towers has created a purpose built sleepover suite where up to six friends can hold the ultimate girls' sleepover party. Some absolute "must-haves" for the design included the ability to have very loud pop music, make up and styling products galore, movie marathons plus party food on tap. As a result the soundproofed room features the latest home entertainment systems, karaoke and dance area, theatrical style dressing tables and cleverly designed Chill-out beds which can clip together to make one big bed for gossip sessions! The Sleepover suite pilot scheme opened on July 14 and is priced from GBP300 – not surprisingly, demand is very strong. Image gallery here.  Read More

The World’s First Mobile Hotel Room

August 8, 2006 If camping is not your go, but from time to time there’s an outdoor music festival or some other gotta-be-there outdoor event, take heart – help is on the way. British budget hotel brand Travelodge is exploring the concept of mobile hotel rooms. Each Travelpod is sealed in a 6 x 2.4 x 2.6 metre clear polycarbonate box but inside has features that you will find in any Travelodge hotel across the country. The room comes complete with a luxury double bed, bedside tables, lights, duvet, pillows, fully carpeted floor, dressing table with light, mirror, chair and even its own WC. The concept is being evaluated in a series of soft trials and trials will be opened to customers next summer, targeting festivals and other major outdoor events. It is envisioned that the mobile room will be transported on the back of a lorry to each location and positioned by crane as required. The trial price will match the company’s leading room rate of UKP26 per night which makes it an entirely new class of accommodation – wonder if they’ll offer a luxury suite?  Read More

The Wothahellizat – a go anywhere, 6X6  luxury motorhome

July 16, 2006 The possibilities of living a geographically unchained lifestyle have never been greater – if you earn your living on-line, the world is now your neighbourhood. Similarly, if you live within your means, it’s quite possible to wake up to a different view every morning. Indeed, we suspect that becoming a digital nomad is very appealing to Gizmag’s readership because every time we run a story about a clever mobile home concept, Concepts such as the Airstream Skydeck, this converted London double-decker bus, General Motors’ mobile home concept, or this ingenious relocatable home it rates like crazy. However none of them have rated as well as DRACO, an expedition class AWD motorhome and we suspect that’s because it offers a home anywhere required – all modern conveniences in a wilderness setting. Now there’s a similar vehicle for sale that will appeal to many people as their dream home – the aptly named Wothahellizat is attainable for just AUD$350,000 (US$263,000) with everything you need to go just about anywhere you want as long as you’re prepared to pick it up in Australia. Built by Australian photographer Rob Gray, it was created with the aim of getting to nice places and staying there for long periods. Built to carry three months of supplies, it can and regularly does spend months at a time in the vast Australian outback and as a 6X6 turbo diesel AWD it gets to better, quieter, and more secluded campsites because it can handle rougher terrain than the average motorhome.  Read More

The big, tough, devilishly clever GearTick

June 18, 2006 We’re still a bit mystified how a simple plastic suitcase can leap out of nowhere to become one of our favourite gadgets but that’s exactly what happened within a few minutes of clasping eyes onto the GearTick. Given that humans are a nomadic bunch, we’ve probably been thinking about luggage design for about as long as we’ve been thinking, so how is it possible for a piece of luggage to be so captivatingly clever? We’re glad you asked – it’s huge, it can be packed indoors and is designed to be packed using every last cubic bazzilionth, it clips securely onto the top of your vehicle in record time, is aerodynamic to save gas, and it has wheels so you don’t need to be a WWF contestant to get it to your room at the other end of the journey. Indeed, it’s made out of the same material they make kayaks out of, so if it’s tough enough to head-butt rocks, it’ll probably stand up to the baggage handlers of a third world airline. But wait, there’s more … it only costs US$300 and fits most roof racks. Most significantly, it was not designed as luggage. It was designed to fit all the gear you use when boys do those things boys do ... for carrying sports gear and helmets and fishing poles and sweaty riding gear and ... Fortunately, it's big and tough enough to be used for transporting almost anything to almost anywhere.  Read More

The Knee Defender must-have travel accessory

June 14, 2006 Anyone who has ever flown airline cattle class will be aware of the problem caused by airlines seeking to use every square inch of cabin space to optimise their profitability – specifically, when you recline your seat, you encroach on the already limited space of the person behind you. More problematic again if you’re over 180cm, when the person in front reclines their seat, it can cramp and even hurt you. Now there’s a new must-have travel accessory designed to defend your limited right to space in an aircraft. Paraphrasing Oliver Wendell Holmes famous quotation, “the right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins”, the company’s catch-cry is “the right to recline my seat ends where the other man's knee begins." At US$14.95, the Knee Defender can be purchased on-line and ships to most countries.  Read More

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