Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tiny Travel Spaces

When it comes to accommodations, does size matter? It does if you’re trying to save money. Explore some of the world’s cutest and coziest hotel rooms with prices to match.

Cedar Creek Treehouse is perched 50 feet in the air in a Western red cedar tree just outside Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. And the view can’t be beat: From these heights, you can see Osborne Mountain and the Sawtooth Ridge Peaks. Amenities include a loft with futons and skylights, gas stove, water, sink, icebox and a half bath. Leave your laptop behind; the treehouse is powered by solar.

If you find yourself stuck at London’s Heathrow Airport or Schiphol in Amsterdam, check out Yotel. This pint-sized pit stop offers an affordable place to crash. Inspired by business-class airline cabins, Yotel designers created their own two-tier cabin system. Cabins are available in premium with either full-size double bed or standard with large single bed. Both options accommodate two people and include en-suite bathroom, flat-screen TV, pull-down working desk and room service. (Bonus: Yotel is also at London Gatwick’s South Terminal.) Amsterdam Schiphol Yotel is within the secure transit area, minutes from the departure gates.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport, but travelers can now find a quiet place to work or nap amid the chaos. Minute Suites opened in 2009, offering tiny rooms in Concourse B, adjacent to Gate B15. Each room includes a daybed sofa, sound-suppressing system, high-definition TV, Internet access, desk, phone and office chair. Rooms do not have restrooms, however; you’ll find them in Concourse B.

The Pod Hotel in New York’s Midtown East neighborhood offers tiny rooms close to attractions such as Radio City Music Hall, The United Nations, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Room styles include bunk, single, double or queen, and all contain an MP3 player docking station, free Wi-Fi and an LCD TV. The hotel also has a restaurant and rooftop garden bar.

Launched in London, this budget hotel chain has spread across Europe and will soon take hold in the Middle East with one opening in Dubai in August. The no-frills rooms include TV, Wi-Fi and luggage storage. EasyHotels can be found in Basel and Zurich, Switzerland; Berlin; Budapest, Hungary; Edinburgh, Scotland; Larnaka, Cyprus; and Sofia, Bulgaria.

At Dasparkhotel in Ottensheim, Germany, clever ecologically minded people have converted drain pipes into hotel rooms. The rooms contain nothing more than a bed and a lamp and might not be much to look at, but they are in a scenic location on the banks of the Danube River. It’s a short walk to toilets, showers, the city center and restaurants. Sorry, I could not do this one!!!! 

Japanese capsule hotels were designed to give Tokyo business people a place to spend the night when they worked late and missed their trains. Now these little boxes attract tourists, too. A typical capsule hotel has a private space with sleeping rooms and a public lounge that includes a place for bathing. The capsule unit is made of reinforced plastic and designed in the image of a jet airplane's cockpit. Each unit contains a TV, radio, alarm clock and adjustable lighting. via

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