Prison Breaks: The top 5 ex-jails transformed into hotels around the world

May 28, 2012

SPENDING time behind bars is usually reserved for a specific sector of the community – criminals.

But what if you could serve jail time on your terms and check-in and out when you wanted and without a criminal record?

Welcome to the world of ex-prison hotels.

Hotel reservation website has selected the top five ex-jails people can stay in without first committing a crime.

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Float off to another place – without leaving your room

February 9, 2012

WHAT about starting your stay at a hotel in one city, having a romantic dinner at sea and then float to another place all without leaving your hotel?

The outlook from a botel.

Svetlana Malukha writes about boat-hotels, a style of accommodation to harks back to a time when travel was not just about the destination, but how you got there as well.

Boat-hotels, or botels, are floating hotels, which allow you to stay and travel on a real boat.

Botels are a rare and typical to particular cities, which lie next to a river, lake or sea.

So,why are they are becoming more and more popular each year and what are the main advantages staying in this kind of accommodation?

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A hotel with a twist – the Japanese ryokan

October 4, 2011

TIRED of faceless hotels without any special features? Want to experience distinctive hospitality,  you will never forget? writer Svetlana Malukha investigates ryokan – a Japanese hotel, where you are unlikely to see familiar beds, where you wear a special kimono – yukata, which symbolizes tranquility and peace, and taste food cooked on hot stones.

The tranquil surroundings of a Japanese ryokan.

The first ryokans appeared in 1603 and since the concept has been greatly modified, yet one thing remains stable – a strong feeling of genuine Japanese hospitality, sensed as soon as you reach the doorstep.

But don’t expect to just casually walk through the door.

Once you are in a ryokan, you need to be aware of the etiquette you are expected to comply with.


Read the rest of this entry » making headlines

September 30, 2011

WEBSITE is in the news, quoted in this story from Interfax-Ukraine released on global newswires two days ago.

Popov: Euro 2012 guests to book hotel rooms online

2 days ago at 11:19 | Interfax-Ukraine

By the end of 2011, fans will be able to book a hotel room for the Euro 2012 European Football Championship on the websites of cities that will host the championship, the press service of Kyiv City State Administration reported, with reference to the administration’s head, Oleksandr Popov.

As of today, some 6,119 rooms have been booked in Kyiv for fans and the UEFA family.

According to Popov, it is planned to open four hotels in Kyiv by the end of 2011, and reconstruction and construction of four more hotels will be finished by the beginning of the tournament. In addition, 25,000 beds have been contracted for fans, Popov said.

He added that an operator for online booking and the accommodation of fans was selected via an open competition. He did not name the company.

At the same time, a press release from the hotel booking network reads that most room booking systems in hotels in the cities that will host Euro 2012 have not been launched yet.

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Hotels harnessing video on the web

September 27, 2011

WHAT do car tyres, baby diapers and breakfast cereals have in common?

They all make adverts to promote their brands on radio, TV and, of course, increasingly on the internet. Hotels are no exception.

In a market where the choice is vast and diverse many hotels are increasingly turning to internet videos to make their accommodation stand out from the rest.

So the last thing leading hotel chains do is scrimp on budget and creativity when making spectacular videos aimed to increase brand awareness and gain better positions in search engines.

So here’s’s top five most innovative adverts made by hotel chains:

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Croatia’s undiscovered treasure

September 15, 2011

CROATIA is one of the most-hyped destinations in Europe. Despite the throngs of tourists there are still some areas where you can escape the crowds and surround yourself with nature and civilization in perfect harmony. chief executive Alexander Protoven talks about the island of Lopud.

The beautiful Croatian island of Lopud. Click to see larger image. Photos by Alexander Protoven.

One visit was all it took – I was in love.

There are few destinations in the world I can honestly say I want to return to again and again, but the Croatian Island of Lupud ranks almost top of my list.

The appeal is in the fact it isn’t a destination overflowing with tourists, but it is too good not to share.

Lopud is a 50-minute ferry ride northwest of tourist hot-spot Dubrovnik and is a part of the Elafiti islands. This archipelago of nine islands can be seen from Dubrovnik and only three, Koločep, Lopud and Sipan are inhabited.

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Oktoberfest – it’s not too late.

September 8, 2011

HAVE an urge to wear lederhosen or a dirndl?

Swilling beer, partying and wearing the traditional costumes at this year’s Oktoberfest in Munich might seem out of reach to the last minute traveler little over a week from the festival’s start.

Think again says, which offers a live connection to hotel databases worldwide.

According to the hotel reservation website, hotel deals in the German city are still available.

A search of’s Munich hotel live databases shows more than 60 hotels still had rooms available for two between September 17 and October 3 – the dates of the festival.

The event, the world’s most famous beer festival, takes place every year in September and October as the populations swells by thousands meaning hotel accommodation is at a premium.

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