Lâu đài (trên) cát- World’s First Sand Hotel: They have the sun, the sand, and the sea, but you can’t get much more of the beach where they’ve also got the world’s largest and only sand castle hotel made entirely of sand on Weymouth beach in Dorset, UK.
What you won’t find there is a closet or any shower or toilet facilities, so you’re going to have to sleep with your legs crossed.
It took a team of 6 and a digger eight days, laboring 12 to 14 hours a day — 600 hours altogether — to build the 50 foot (15 meter) square by 13 foot (4 meter) high sand hotel using 1,000 tons of sand and water from the sea — and a lot of hard work.
The open air family room with a sea-side view has a double and single bed made of sand which will set you back a mere $21 (£10) a night to sleep under the starry skies. You can wake up to the ocean when the “tide laps through the door.”
One word of warning, the sand does get everywhere, but it is a bit of an adventure since it has no roof.
“The beds are made of sand so it can get everywhere, especially between the toes.” said Anderson.
The hotel was the brainchild of sculptor Mark Anderson who was commissioned by the website LateRooms.com, designed to look like a giant sand castle.
It’s made from Weymouth beach sand, the finest in the world for making sand castles, says Anderson.
“I have been on about 200 beaches and have only found one in Tasmania with sand as fine for making sculptures as Weymouth.” he said.
The sand hotel was orchestrated as a publicity stunt by the hotel company, and the biggest sand structure ever built in the UK, designed for the renaissance of beach holidays after its research found that 57% of the country’s holiday-makers were shunning foreign destinations in favor of British seaside resorts.
Research by Laterooms.com predicts 37 million people will enjoy British beaches this year.
Rising living costs and the credit crunch influenced 51% to holiday in the UK this summer. A total of 75% of people said they were planning to visit UK beaches they went to as kids because they were feeling nostalgic.
More than half of vacationers (55%) said they decided to stay in the UK because of the strong euro, while 32% said they were shunning carbon-heavy flights in favor of closer destinations.
You can book reservations to sleep in the gigantic sandcastle, but you’d best hurry, as it’s only available from now until the tide or rain washes it away.
To make a reservation to stay in the Sand Hotel, call LateRooms’ sand hotel booking hotline, quoting “Under the Stars” on 020 7841 6682. Rooms are available on a first come first served basis — book before the tide comes in.
Specialist sand sculptor and creator of the LateRooms sand hotel provides his top tips on building the perfect sand castle for those who would like to try their hand at sand sculpting:
• Saturate sand with water.
• Pick up a good size double hand full, if it’s too wet it will drip through your fingers, if it is too dry it won’t hold together, if it’s just right it will hold together nicely, enabling you to plop it down in an area which you have previously marked out as the base shape of your sculpture.
• Repeat this process adding a little water to the sand which you are building onto, to help the binding/ strengthening process.
• Keep going until you are at the desired height and then using a small trowel, palette knife/artists spatula type tool carve into the sand, have a straw to blow off the crumbs/debris.
Other handy hints from Mark:
“I usually have reference images of what I want to carve to help me achieve a likeness but it is also good fun to make things out of your imagination.”
“Another method of getting the sand into place is to be by the shore, and use the already damp sand, adding a little water to help the bonding process. But watch out for the incoming tide.”
Khách sạn & Lâu đài băng tuyết ở Phần Lan(Incredible Ice Hotels and Snow Castles of Finland):Requiring over 1000 truckloads of snow and 3 weeks of work for a team of 15 sculptors to create, the largest ice hotel in Lapland reopens today. Enduring temperatures between 32 to 23F (0 to -5C), you sleep on beds made of ice complete with sleeping bags and fleeces — and a survival guide on how to make it through the night.
There’s no natural light — all rooms are lit with multi-colored lights and bedecked with elaborate carvings. An ice bar, restaurant, walkways and lobbies have also been built in the hotel at Snowvillage near Kittila, Finland.
Three additional rooms have been have been carved from the ice this year, so up to 60 guests per night can enjoy a frosty stay in the 30 igloo rooms at Lapland’s largest ever ice hotel.
To warm your bones in the morning, hot berry juice is served to help to thaw you out. There are also 2 “warm” subterranean rooms available for the less hardy or adventurous travelers that can’t cut the sub zero conditions.
An ice bar and restaurant, ice slides and ice sculptures have also been created to keep you entertained on the 3 square mile (7.5 square kilometer) hotel site which has been recreated every winter for the last 8 years.
The entire ephemeral complex disappears come spring, as it melts away when temperatures rise once again.
“It seems that if we have a very cold autumn then the spring will be warm and the Snowvillage will melt earlier.” Snowvillage designer, Heini said
“But, as like this year, our autumn has been warm, our spring should be colder. So hopefully we’ll be taking guests until April next year.”
Kittila is popular holiday resort located in the province of Lapland, Finland, situated 124 miles (200 kilometers) north of the Arctic Circle and surrounded by seemingly limitless winter wilderness.
All ice hotels are typically reconstructed every year, and are dependent upon constant sub-zero temperatures during construction and operation.
The walls, fixtures, and fittings are usually made entirely of ice, and are held together by snice — a type of frozen water with physical characteristics that make it an intermediate between snow and ice — which takes the place of mortar in a traditional brick-built hotel.
SnowCastle of Kemi
The Mammut Snow Hotel is not an ice hotel per se, but a snow hotel, as it’s made entirely of snow, located within the walls of the SnowCastle of Kemi, which is the largest snow castle in the world. It includes The Mammut Snow Hotel, The Castle Courtyard, The Snow Restaurant and a chapel for weddings.
The SnowCastle is located at the port town of Kemi on the Gulf of Bothnia in northern Finland, 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of the Arctic Circle. Set close to harbor-side houses, the castle becomes visible through dim street lamps.
Built every year with a different architecture, the 24-bedroom castle takes about 2 months to complete. Many of its furnishings and decorations, such as the ice sculptures, are made of ice.
The SnowRestaurant has ice tables and seats covered with reindeer fur, as well as ice sculptures. The ecumenical SnowChapel with 50 to 100 snow pews has seen many weddings of couples from as far away as Britain, Japan, and Hong Kong, and features a great ice cross shining translucently at the altar.
The SnowHotel offers a choice of double rooms and a honeymoon suite, all of which are decorated by local artists using local materials.
The SnowCastle of Kemi also hosts such things as an adventure land for children, a theatre and ice art exhibitions with lights and sound effects. Many opera singers and dancers have performed in the SnowCastle of Kemi.
The area covered by the castle has varied from 14,255 yards to over 21,900 square yards (13,000 to 20,000 sq. meters). The highest towers have been over 65 feet (20 meters high), the longest walls over 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) long, and the castle has had up to 3 stories.
Natural snow is said to be too soft for good building results, and due to lack of enough available when winter begins, artificial snow is used to create the castle from the harbor water. Man-made snow is sprayed on to large moulds, which are removed once the structure freezes hard. The easiest and most effective shape to construct for a snow or ice room is an oval arch, which, when joined with other arches, forms a sort of barrel-vault.
Come April the entire hotel, sculptures, turrets, and all dissolves back into the sea. But knowing that another snow castle with more ice art will take shape the following winter adds to the prevailing air of madcap enchantment.
Kemi’s first snow castle was built in 1996 which drew 300,000 visitors, and evolved into a hotel by 1999. It was devised as a performance venue, with stage, restaurant and a playground for children. Despite its varying configurations, the snow castle has a few recurring elements — a chapel, restaurant, and hotel.
For 2009, Snow castle building of Inner Harbor begins in December and the opening is celebrated on Friday January 30 2009 at 18:00. Visit their website to learn more.
Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen
The other-worldly resort of the Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen almost literally takes your breath away with their famous unique glass igloos in the midst of the wilderness in Lapland, based on 200,000 cubic meters of snow. Located 6 miles (10 kilometers) south from Saariselka, it has snow igloos, glass igloos, an ice gallery, an ice chapel and a snow restaurant. The ice gallery has decorations made from ice and an ice chapel for wedding ceremonies.
The Snow Restaurant is inside a large Snow Igloo, fully equipped with a kitchen which offers full 3-course dinners or lunches in a very special environment with tables all made of crystal clear ice, and seating capacity of 150. It’s built every year, open from December till May.
For those who literally want the “white wedding,” you can arrive at the chapel in style in a sledge pulled by husky dogs or reindeer. Pyhan Olavin Kappeli (St. Olaf’s Chapel) and a small wooden Tievakappeli (Tieva Chapel) near Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen in Saariselka have been popular places for white weddings. Other possible venues include reindeer farms.
Despite the warm conditions elsewhere in Lapland, the Snow Village has had lasting cool early in the season — construction frequently starts in November and the hotel is ready for business by early December.
Saariselka is a mountain area partly in Urho Kekkonen National Park, and the village in Finland is located in Northern Lapland. It’s a popular tourist destination, providing activities such as skiing, hiking and a spa. The soil in Saariselka is mostly 2 billion year-old granulite.
Visit the Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen website to learn more.
Lainio Snow Village
Quite apart from the igloo resorts of Kakslauttanen, a wilderness snow complex has been created for the past 5 winters at the Lainio Snow Village. The retreat is a family business run by the Kurtakko family, whose property neatly becomes a woodland retreat of log cabin accommodation in the summer, located 93 miles (150 kilometers) north of the Arctic Circle in Kittila, northern Finland and about 10 miles (17 kilometers) from the ski resort of Yllas.
Lainio Snow Village main entrance. Photo V31S70
The winter snow complex is a frozen accommodation ingeniously built over a permanent wooden building with sauna, bathrooms, and warm bedrooms that guests can use should the ice conditions prove too harsh to take for some.
Main lobby Lainio Snow Village. Photo V31S70
Lobby Lainio Snow Village. Photo V31S70
Snow restaurant with ice tables and chairs. Photo Nuhppir
In the Igloo Village there are 20 igloos and a honeymoon suite igloo, and an Ice Gallery where you can see ice sculptures created by artists from Lapland. In the Ice Gallery there is also an Ice Chapel for weddings and christenings, and a magnificent Ice Bar where you can enjoy hot drinks.
The Snow Village offers environmental art of large snow sculptures, snow-walls, snow hotel rooms, a restaurant, and ice art galleries. The frozen Arctic landscape, the winter darkness, the crackling frost and the clear starry skies with the spectacle of the Aurora Borealis offer a unique experience in the midst of untamed nature in the pristine snow-covered wilderness.
Bear’s Nest suite. Photo V31S70
Enjoy a Snowmobile Safari, Husky dog sledding and Reindeer safari, along with a guided tour of the Snow Village.
Visit the Lainio Snow Village website to learn more.