Own Your Own Island in Panama

Have you always dreamed about owning a Caribbean resort and getting away from it all? Now you just might be able to. American couple Dave and Suzanne Smith are selling their business in Central America through a lottery. That’s right. They have spent five years building up Casa Cayuco Eco Adventure Lodge in Bocas del Toro, Panama and now they plan to move on.

But instead of listing their retreat they have decided to have a raffle drawing with each ticket costing $10. Their 24 bed resort started in 2013 when Dave and Suzanne arrived with seven suitcases and a desire to get away from corporate American.

As Dave explained, “We started looking all over for something else and eventually we started looking at Panama, which we found has really friendly foreign investment laws and immigration laws. We came across Bocas del Toro, which is this chain of islands in the Caribbean, which we weren’t really aware of at the time. We loved the idea of island life, and after some research, we found Casa Cayuco for sale and I contacted the owner, who lived remotely. We hit it off and I bought it. I guess it was an impulse buy, but it’s turned out to be amazing. We sold everything you would have for a life, house, cars and everything and we ended up moving down here with seven suitcases and just enough to be able to buy this place.”

The competition is being done through WinThis.Life and Art Jenkins said that the new owners won’t be left to sink or swim on their own. As he said, “It’s very important to Dave and Suzanne that the local community are still involved in the resort and they have plenty of advice and tips to give any potential winner. As organisers, we have made sure all the proper contingencies are in place, and there are a wealth of resort managers in the area who can help run things should they be needed. It’s an incredible opportunity for anyone to win this amazing lifestyle and resort, just like Dave and Suzanne did you could leave the rat race behind and be living in your own slice of paradise before you know it, you only live once.’

Moxy – Your Home Away From Home in New York City

Well, this is certainly something worth knowing about. There is a new hotel in New York City that just might offer a way for the budget traveler to enjoy this expensive location. Moxy Time Square is on 36th Street and 7th Avenue and is advertising with some very racy marketing. Its tagline is “Get A Room” and it is located in a building built in 1907 for the New Mills Hotel.

This hotel is definitely for the hip youngsters with its self-service check-in, touchscreen kiosks and keyless entry via the Marriott Mobile App. The rooms have a very comfy feel to them with folding furniture designed by Yabu Pushelberg, open-pegboard closets and more.

As Toni Stoeckl, Marriott’s Global Brand Leader and Vice President said, “Moxy pushes the envelope, so we tossed out the rulebook. The result has been a hotel experience like no other – fun, edgy, playful, and all at a killer price.”

TripAdvisor 2017: A Year in Review

It’s always fun to see the end of the year statistics from TripAdvisor. More than 820,000 properties around the world received their first TripAdvisor review in 2017. London was the city with the most reviews and the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana received the most reviews of any hotel. Who wrote the most reviews? Japanese travelers did.

One interesting fact – Pasteis de Belem is a bakery in Lisbon that received more than 10,000 reviews and had the most of any eatery in the world. Eritrea won as the least reviewed country.

Find out more details and have fun on your travels in 2018!

 

 

 

China’s Toilet Revolution

If you were in charge of the tourism industry in your country, promoting the bathrooms probably wouldn’t be your top priority. But for China, this is actually the angle they are taking. President Xi Jinping actually makes it his business to inspect toilet facilities in rural homes and areas, and he has now announced that he is increasing the campaign for a Chinese “toilet revolution” that he first launched in 2015. A toilet revolution – that’s right.
He wants clean toilets to help to boost travel to China and to improve the hygiene of the people. China has apparently opened about 68,000 new and improved toilets in tourist areas around the country since the campaign started in 2015. The Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve has recently welcomed a series of new eco-toilets. In Yunnan province they held a competition to select the best toilets to attract tourists.

An Entire Town On The Move

If you haven’t heard of Kiruna, a town in northern Sweden, you’ll want to read this. The town and its 18,000 residents is moving. That’s right, the entire town is relocating to New Kiruna which is two miles to the east of the original town. They are undertaking this monumental task over the course of 20 years. Learn more about this fascinating story and why it’s taking place.

The Art of Japanese Vending Machines

You’ve probably never given much thought to Japanese vending machines, but if you’ve visited Japan then you might know what we mean. There are over 5.5 million vending machines in Japan – one for every 23 people! This is the highest ratio in the world and you can find machines that sell just about everything. The machines include vibrant colors and bright lights that really stand out at night. Now, photographer Eiji Ohashi has created a book showcasing these machines at night. The book is called “Roadside Lights.”

As Ohashi said, “I started this project nine years ago, when I noticed a shiny vending machine near my home as I was coming back from my night shift. At the time, I was living in a town in the north of Japan that would get hit by terrible blizzards during the winter months. I’d drive my car in (these) conditions and use the light of the vending machines to guide me.”

The crime rate is also very low in Japan, allowing the machines to stand in rural areas without being vandalized. As Ohashi said, “You can put them anywhere and they won’t be stolen or harmed. Furthermore, they work even when they’re buried in snow as they are maintained regularly — something which shows how methodical Japanese people are.”

His exhibit is at Galerie &co119 in Paris from Dec. 7, 2017 to Jan. 18, 2018.