The World’s Coolest Hotel Rooms by The Cool Hunter has been published: Better Late Than Never! (Dutch Design 29)

The World's Coolest Hotel Rooms by The Cool Hunter

The Final Announcement: – The Cool Hunter Book Publishing Series (our first book)

The World’s Coolest Hotel Rooms – the first in a series of the cool hunter-branded books has been published by Harper Collins Publishers (US). Next in the line will be The World’s Coolest Houses, The World’s Most Creative Work Environments, The World’s Most Innovate Retail Stores and The World’s Most Creative Guerilla Campaigns in 2009. (2008-08-06T15:49:39+00:00)

This book was announced already in 2007.

Haagsche Suites was considered, but alas didn’t make the cut.

Times Online picked it up: Among the 10 Coolest mentioned by Bill Tikos, Cool Hunter’s editor, in The Times are:

Puerto America Madrid
The Puerto America in Madrid. Flickr Photo by Photografeuse
Vigilius Mountain Resort
Vigilius Mountain Resort in Italy, Flickr Photo by Christian

I like Vigilius’ adobe walls.

Do und Co Vienna
Do und Co in Vienna. This photo thanks to FG Stijl.

Amsterdam based FG Stijl (the F comes from Finegan and the G from Glintmeijer) did the Do und Co interior. Congratulations for them making the cut.

Dutch Design (25): The Dutch and 2008 EK Football (1): The T Shirt

Aanvallah (source Arab_Lab Loves Aanvallah)

According to Tjebbe, who initiated this media project to get Muslims united with the Dutch soccer team, and Dutch people with their neighbors, this will be the T-Shirt of choice for the Dutch Football Fans who will visit the 2008 EK Football (European Soccer Championship) that starts today in Switzerland and Austria.

The statement in it is that the usual war cry from the Dutch Football (or soccer for our American friends) is “Aanvallen” or more vernacular “Aanvalluh”. Tjebbe made the connection with Allah.

Lacking participating football teams from the UK, the Dutch have convinced the UK football fans to endorse the Dutch Team as the team to yell for according to a Guardian Poll. So they will have an orange lion on their shirts.

We will wait and see. It will be a hot summer.

Happy New Year: Austria – Switzerland: 1-0

Georges Prêtre
Georges Prêtre

For us 2008 started traditionally with viewing the Vienna New Year’s Concert.

This time the French conductor Georges Prêtre was invited by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to conduct this concert.

The vital 83 year old conductor delivered an excellent job and gained a standing ovation from the the very critical Viennese public that seldom stands up when applauding.

History of the Vienna New Year’s Concert

The following excerpt is taken from the site Hilton Destination Guides:

The history of the event dates back only to 1939, when the first concert was conducted by Clemens Krauss, preceded by a public dress rehearsal the day before. It has now become traditional to have a public dress rehearsal on 30 December, a New Year’s Eve concert and the New Year’s Day morning concert, which is televised around the world.

Krauss and Josef Krips shared conducting honors for the first 15 years, then Willi Boskovsky conducted every year until 1979, leaving a fantastic recorded legacy of this joyous occasion. Lorin Maazel, another Maestro equally at home with a violin in hand, took over until 1986. In 1987, the great Herbert von Karajan took to the podium on New Year’s Day for the only time (an experience which he reported was completely rejuvenating for his music-making).

Since then the baton has changed hands annually between a small number of top maestros: Claudio Abbado, Carlos Kleiber, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti. In 2001 Nikolaus Harnoncourt became the first Viennese conductor since 1980 and he returned again in 2003, while in 2002 it was the turn of Seiji Ozawa, on the eve of him taking up the music directorship of the Vienna State Opera. After Muti (2004) and Maazel (2005), in 2006 another newcomer was introduced to the tradition – Latvian-born Mariss Jansons, one of the most popular and sought after conductors in the world today. After Zubin Mehta’s return for 2007, French conductor Georges Prêtre makes his New Year debut in 2008.

This is a good example of what a Hotel website can offer as destination information.

Why 1-0 versus Switserland?
During the concert’s pause the Austrian Television Broadcasting organization ORF showed an interesting introductory documentary to the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship (European Soccer Championship for our American readers) starting with a kickoff at the Swiss – Austrian border and followed by “the ball” at various touristic and interesting locations throughout Austria. The concert itself is already an interesting marketing tool to boast tourism to Austria. With this documentary, that off course is criticized by the “true music lovers” and probably also by the co-organizers of the championships the Swiss, the whole is an excellent example of destination marketing.

Georges Pretre with EC Ball
Photo thanks to the Opera Chic Blog

After the pause Prêtre drew extra attention to the championship by coming on stage with a football and a referee’s flute and issuing a yellow card to the concert master who granted Prêtre a red card, while the whole orchestra wore football shawls.

Boston: Historic Ames Building becomes Ames Hotel

Boston Ames Building
Image of the Boston Globe article
Ames Building Boston Mass
Picture found in Wiki

In a recent article the Boston Globe reports about the plans to give the Ames Building in Boston, once (from 1893 – 1915) Boston’s tallest building except for The Church of the Covenant, a new life as a hotel. also reports about this development from the same source. As the Boston Globe it suggests that the Ames Building will become a boutique hotel. I fear this is over stretching the term boutique hotel a bit with 125 rooms planned.
For the time being the project is christened The Ames Hotel .
The present developer Normandy partners who teamed up with Brit Richard Kilstock and Eamon O’Marah, acquired the property in April 2007 for US $17,7 mio and anticipates a US $ 40 mio redevelopment.
Prior plans to convert this property into a hotel were from former owners Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation and from O’Callaghan Hotels, a Dublin based hotel chain.
Boston based Cambridge Seven Associated, Inc were architects involved in the O’Callaghan plans.
The building itself looks promising as a hotel from the above pictures. I would suggest the developers to have a look at the Vienna Radisson SAS Style hotel which is similar in structure albeit with only 74 rooms a bit smaller and probably more personal.

New York City: Bike – Share Project: 42 years behind the Dutch!

Usually reading through my Google News Reader I get tons of inspiration for this Blog and I don’t have the time to convert all inspiration into actual posts here.

From time to time I click and share in my reader and so I sort of built a second Blog, gje’s shared items, of items I like to address and sometimes really do address, but usually don’t. Until now I haven’t found a better way of sharing the news from the travel and luxury Blog community. In a window in the right column you see the newest items I have shared.

NYC Bike Sharing

So in my Google News Reader i found this post Pedaling, the Bike-Sharing Project of Archinect. It caught my eye as I noticed recently there is a nice Bike Sharing running in Vienna under the name City Bike Wien.

For us Dutchmen this bike sharing is a very old idea. In 1965 Dutch Provo launched the White Bike Plan. Here is a nice write up about the anti establishment movement Provo. It also explains a bit of the origins of the Dutch coffeeshop culture. Her is another Write up that explains how the 2 White Bike (sharing) plans that actually were launched in Amsterdam didn’t work out. However there is a White Bikes plan running uninterruptedly since 1975 at the Dutch National Park De Hoge Veluwe.

After re reading this post, I decided I need to flesh this post out much more, albeit that the time constraints will make it appear in a bit random order:

  • This post is especially of interest after the magic 07-07-07 Live Earth series of concerts.
  • By coincidence (does coincidence really exist?) I noticed my fellow Travel Blogger Melissa Petri reported about City Bike Wien in her post Bike in Vienna for Europe String just last month….BTW Europe string was a finalist for the Travvies 2007 in February of this year
  • This seems a copy of the original Witte Fietsen Plan (“White Bike Sharing Manifesto”) by the Provo movement in the Dutch language.
    Original Dutch White Bike Sharing Manifesto
    Provo White Bike Sharing Manifesto

    The White Bicycle Plan proposes to create bicycles for public use that cannot be locked.
    ‘The white bicycle symbolizes simplicity and healthy living, as opposed to the gaudiness and filth of the authoritarian automobile.’

  • And here is a photo of the official presentation of the Provo White Bike Sharing Manifesto:
    Provo presents the White Bike Sharing Manifesto
  • There even is is an official White Bike Sculpture in the Netherlands:
    White Bike Sharing Sculpture in Holland
    Dutch white bike sculpture.
    The man is real size, not the bike!
  • The Provo Movement in Amsterdam eventually led to the famous sleep in of Yoko Ono and John Lennon in Amsterdam Hilton:
    John Lennon and Yoko Ono Sleep In
  • I have a feeling there are European subsidies for bike sharing projects if I read this: Case Study
  • Bike For All, a site dedicated to Biking news brings the news that on 07 07 07 4 friends will arrive at the London Tour de France prologue start having biked 777 miles across 7 countries in 7 days, visiting 7 Tour de France Prologue cities in order to raise money for World Bicycle relief and for Jole Rider in order to enable them to donate Bikes to third world countries