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The world’s first hotel designed by Facebook!

It’s a Millenials’ world, folks.
You may have heard about the so-called “Instagram Hotel” in Sydney, Australia. No? Well, it’s a property called the 1888 Hotel that was designed to be incredibly photographable and thus appeal to folks who understand that words like “Hefe,” “Crema” and “Lo-Fi” aren’t flavours at Baskin-Robbins or types of stereos but rather filters you can use for Instagram photos.
The hotel is not only achingly pretty to look at but they’ll give folks free rooms if they have 10,000 Instagram followers. They’ve received more publicity than many hotels with enormous p.r. budgets, so it’s been a brilliant stroke.
Now comes a hotel in Switzerland, the Club Med Val Thorens Sensations, that was designed entirely by, wait for it, Facebook. Well, not by the guy in the jeans and sweatshirt but by people on Facebook, who were invited by Club Med to both log in and weigh in with ideas.
What they come up with is perhaps not what you’d expect in Switzerland. According to the Daily Mail in England, there’s a climbing wall in the lobby, bedrooms designed to face the sun, oddball rocking chairs that look wooden goats and a bar or beer tap on every floor. Sounds like the perfect spot for travel writers. It also sounds highly Instagrammable.
I’d love to get in on a hotel design. I’m big on stylish, in-room coffee makers, free Wi-Fi, lots of electrical plugs and ergonomically correct desks and chairs I can work at. Others no doubt go for the ramped-up mini-bar and plush bathrobes that they hope the hotel isn’t tracking with those new linen-tracking apps some resorts are using to combat theft.
WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE IN A HOTEL IF GIVEN A CHOICE? I’d love to know, so drop me a line at this address: jim@jimbyerstavel.com.

INSTAGRAM PART TWO

Loews Hotels has been offering folks the ability to book a room through Twitter for some time. I spotted an item in USA Today the other day where Conrad Hotels, part of Hilton, have hooked up a system to Instagram so that folks who click on a nice photo of a Conrad Hotel are taken to, you guessed it, the hotel’s reservation page!
Which means, as USA Today’s Nancy Trejos put it, that a picture isn’t worth a thousand words as it is $205 U.S. dollars, which is what a room costs for later this week at the Conrad in Chicago.
“The point of Instagram is to inspire,” said a spokesman for Conrad Hotels. Clicking on the photo and getting the hotel’s reservations page is “instant gratification for someone looking to truly be inspired to travel,” he said.
Sounds to me more like instant gratification for Conrad Hotels and their investors.

DESTINATION OF THE DAY: LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA

PostHotelIf it’s this cold, we may as well enjoy it, right? I’m not a snow and ice person by nature but I had an absolutely fantastic time in the Rockies of Alberta last year about this time. I stayed a night at the fantastic Post Hotel and Spa, where I had a lovely spa treatment that left me soft and mellow, followed by a great dinner at the on-site restaurant. The room was nice and large and the views out to the snow-covered cottages around me were ultra-romantic. (Sadly, I was alone on the trip.) The next day I had a truly amazing rosti at breakfast, with perfectly fried potatoes and melted gruyere cheese with double-smoked bacon. Best breakfast I’ve ever had, bar none. There’s a lovely skating rink near the lobby where you can watch folks glide under snow-covered pines. I also did a fantastic snowshoeing trip near Lake Louise in the freshest, deepest powder I’ve ever seen. It was about -16C but I was dressed for it and never felt even slightly cold. If you’ve never been, you can hook up with the snowshoe adventure folks at the Fairmont Lake Louise Hotel.

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