A Late Great Night in Nashville

Wanna know about prohibition in the States? Just go to Tennessee, they’ll tell you all about it. Probably because whisky is their thing and that was taken away from them for a long time. We can only imagine the celebrations back in 1933 when prohibition was repealed for the state. If you believe that every cloud has a silver lining, then for prohibition it would be speakeasies. These fun, hidden gems provided an outlet for those keen on a drop or five, all the while (hopefully) going undetected from the authorities.

Nashville is home to many speakeasies however one that oozes history and cool all at once is The Late Great. Located by a secret door at the back of Virgin Hotels Nashville, this cosy club is rich in Nashville history – starting with its designer Hannah Crowell, granddaughter of Johnny Cash. Music aficionados would know that Hannah’s musical roots also run from her parents, Rosanne Cash and Rodney Crowell.

Tasked with creating a space that felt as intimate as someone’s living room, Hannah drew inspiration from her own family and the wider music scene of Nashville to pay homage to some of the greats like her grandfather as well as Dolly Parton and Hank Williams to name a few. Named after Townes Van Zandt’s 1972 album, The Late Great serves as a nod to the ghosts of Nashville.

The venue features Carter and Cash family photos – including a stunning portrait of Johhny Cash, which was the last photograph ever taken of him. Throw in the eclectic range art and superbly-chosen interiors by Hannah Crowell, it is easy to see why The Late Great has been the talk of the town since opening in 2021.

At the bar you can choose from a range of carefully crafted cocktails that are not only inspired by country’s biggest stars but have ingredients to match the mood of the songs they’re named after. Enjoy the Patsy Cline inspired ‘Walkin’ After Midnight’ with rum, amaretto, coffee, cinnamon and white chocolate. If you want to stick to what you know, go the ‘Seasonal Old Fashioned’ with Tennessee whiskey, apple butter and bitters. Delish. When you’re ready for bed, think of Hank Locklin and order ‘Send Me the Pillow You Dream On’ with anejo tequila, appalachian nocino, toasted coconut, walnut, chocolate and with some popcorn to nibble on. Perfect late-night snack.

When you’re in Nashville next, be sure to make a reservation. And even though this will feel like the cosiest living room you’ve ever been in, make sure you dress to impress.

Art we can get around

Now this is art we can get around.

A second teamLab Borderless has opened in Tokyo at Azabudai Hills, another immersive visual art installation showcase from the absolute weapons who brought you the first.

Technically, this is art, but it’s not like you’re sniffing someones armpit trying to get a half-decent shot of the Mona Lisa, nor is it staring at a picture of an apple which is apparently worth US$274,000, which just quietly, you reckon you could have painted.

At teamLab Borderless, you don’t so much as move from room to room but flow that way.

Each room is an experience, designed to make you feel a certain way. Mirrors, lights, cutting-edge technology and plants alike are used to create different universes, blowing your mind constantly from one room to the next.

In the new edition, one room features countless wobbling lights which run continuously through a space that infinitely expands, meaning you can’t really get your head around depth perception. The lights also shimmer beautifully, just managing to straddle the line between trippy and incredible.

If you went to the old teamLabs borderless at Odaiba, there’s a couple of things you should know. The first is that this new site at Azabudai Hills in the city’s south is bigger…way bigger. No less than 50 (!)  the world renowned independent installations are featured in the 8.1 hectare site (where tf did they find eight hectares in Tokyo from?). One of these is an adaptation from the room of lamps that featured in teamLab mark I, which has evolved into a room of light bubbles.

Fall in love with Winderdome Resort

Excuse us if we sound dramatic, but we’re pretty sure we’ve found the best dome accommodation in British Columbia. Winderdome Resort came from turning lemons into lemonade as owners Deb and David explain. Having always wanted to show off the land and valley they love, they kicked into gear as most things were shut down during the pandemic. “It was our dream to create a place and an experience where people could come to rest, relax, and maybe even celebrate life’s special moments.”. Deb did her best at creating blueprints, David deciphered them like they were the Da Vinci Code – and with the help of many people around them they were able to open Winderdome Resort in 2022.

Canada, especially the west coast, is known for enjoying the outdoors. British Columbia is home to some of the best mountains and lakes, providing great opportunities to ski, hike, boat, fish, surf, paddle, kayak… look, if it’s an outdoor activity – you can do it in BC. The location of Winderdome Resort in Windermere provides you with a breathtaking location to relax while having you perfectly positioned to enjoy the attractions you around you. Like Swansea Mountain which has a plethora of hiking options, Windermere Lake, Radium Hot Springs in the north and Fairmont Hot Springs in the south – both just a 15-minute drive in each direction. And if you’re after 100% natural hot springs, you’ll find them at Lussier hot springs which is less than an hour south. With four hot spring pools to choose from, all with varying temperatures, it is the ideal location to sit back and take in the views of the river and mountains around you.

In winter you can take a 5-minute trip to Lake Windermere and skate across the world’s longest skating path – The Whiteway. A 34km groomed track that runs around the lake and connects the towns of Invermere and Windermere, making it a great way to explore in winter. After you’ve discovered muscles you haven’t felt or known about going across Whiteway, you can retreat to Winderdome Resort to rest and warm up. Even in the depths of winter, Deb and David make sure they crank the heating to ensure you’re nice and toasty. With three domes to choose from you can find the one that best suits your personality and taste.

Wolf Dome is decked out in rich greens that it will have you feeling like you’re in Emerald City. With red draped all around, Bear Dome is perfect for Taylor Swift and fans alike. Cougar Dome, which we thought would have the cougar uniform of leopard print is in fact filled with beautiful blues and navy.

Each dome sleeps up to 4 people with 1 king bed and 2 twin beds in the loft plus they’re fitted out with a kitchenette and bathroom, so you don’t need to worry about hiking across the sight to go to the loo. You can also chill out in the communal BBQ and pools areas that have plenty of shade on offer as well. Never underestimate that BC sun.

With prices starting from $250 a night, it almost feels like Winderdome Resort are paying you to stay there. Talk about value for money.

Byron has a new bae

Drifter

noun
a person who is continually moving from place to place, without any fixed home or job.

Reading that definition makes it clear that Drifter is the perfect name for the design-led and experience-focused lifestyle brand. Drifter isn’t a hotel and it’s not a hostel – it’s revolutionising accommodation by creating a hybrid.

Byron Bay is a destination hot-spot and while there is a wide variety of accommodation, some may worry that what they’re after may be out of their budget. This is where Drifter comes in, bringing in a hybrid between hostel and hotel, offering superior private suites and premium shared bunk rooms plus an array of communal spaces. From co-working and wellness spaces, to bars and dining, it will have everything you need for a short weekend away or longer stay. Even a wellbeing studio – very on brand for Byron.

Leisure Accommodation Collective (LA Co) is getting ready to make a splash in the market opening this location, plus one in New Zealand later this year followed by another two locations in 2025.

Drifter Byron Bay will open its doors in June 2024 featuring 52 rooms with private and shared spaces, an enticing outdoor area with a sundeck, firepit and plunge pools as well as entertaining areas.

In May 2024 Christchurch will have their turn to show why Drifters is the future of hybrid accommodation, boasting 95 rooms mixed between private and shared spaces, a welcoming co-working space and wellness space when it’s time to unwind plus a 150-seat bar. Cheers!

How to celebrate Mt. Fuji Day

Is there a more aesthetically pleasing mountain than Mount Fuji?

Forever a landmark of the Land of the Rising Sun, Fuji’s snow-capped peak is an active stratovolcano that raises it’s head majestically above mist, or on a clearer day standing in full visibility from the capital Tokyo.

Japan is the number one trending global destination for 2024 according to Tripadvisor, aptly crowned ahead of this year’s Mt. Fuji Day on Friday 23rd February.

Fuji Day commemorates and promotes the iconic mountain, with towns surrounding the 3,776-metre mountain getting ready to party. Lake Kawaguchiko Winter Fireworks have been happening through January and February but are set to go out with the biggest bang on Mt. Fuji Day.

And yeh sure, you could climb it…OR you could go full get lost and paraglide around it, taking the Big Boy in from mid-air.

For more adrenaline, there’s a half-day rafting experience. Fly along the Fuji River you’ll get to splash your way through the 6km course and maybe even tip one of your mates out hold on for dear life. For those who prefer to stay dry, there’s a few cycling tours that allow you to take in the views of Japan’s tallest mountain as well as the stunning countryside.

Images courtesy of Explore Shizuoka.

A 12th century palace becomes a 21st century palace

Nobis Hotel Palma, on the ridiculously attractive island of Mallorca, is a ridiculously attractive retreat set in a former 12th-century Muslim palace.

It’s still a palace in some respects, although less of a place of worship, we imagine. It’s been restored in a beautiful cross of Spanish and Scandanavian design; two architecture styles that usually get it right as is. There’s a cosy cocktail lounge, a rooftop terrace with a stage, a spa, and an indoor pool that has the look of an ancient roman bath, so you can feel like Nero while taking a dip.

We love hotels that don’t try and overdo it, and with 37 rooms, Nobis still feels beautifully intimate compared to some of the mega-hotels you could stay at in Mallorca.

We had no idea Mallorca had an Islamic history, but there are plenty of nods throughout the hotel to its ancient past, making it as much of walk down history lane as it is a decadent luxury stay.

Flinders Street’s tallest bar

A brand new rooftop bar in the city of rooftop bars – and this one looks like it’s a beauty.

Soaring 68 metres above Melbourne’s iconic Flinders Street, Fleet will be the street’s newest, and easily it’s tallest bar when it opens in April.

The bar is set on the rooftop of The Vibe hotel, and looks like it will be an absolute vibe, if early renders are to be believed.

The bar looks modern luxury to us; one of those places that is a safe bet when you’re looking to go somewhere trendy and upmarket, with a nice view. We reckon lots of hot people will go there.

As its seafaring name would suggest, Fleet will feature a nautical themed cocktail list, plus local and international beers and wines. Negronis, spritzes, martinis and fun nostalgic drinks – like the seafarers Hurricane made of gold rum, navy rum, pineapple, orange, lime, and passionfruit dominate the menu.

And for something a little different in the CBD, a barrel-aged Tequilla Manhattan with barrel aged reposado tequila, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, angostura bitters and maraschino, will warm the cockles on a cool Melbourne day (plenty of those). Local producers will feature heavily on the food menu, which will mostly be a snack sort of operation.

The bar opens in April – we’d be fleet of foot in getting here when it does.

when 24 hours isn’t enough

You’re staying at a hotel, you’ve got a bit of downtime, you’re looking for something to do.

There’s a 500-plus vinyl collection on the first floor, or a Walkman station if cassettes are more your vibe. Maybe you want to go for a drive, so you rent one of the hotel’s MINIs or cruise ride around on one of the Schindelhauer Bikes that are hanging around the hotel.

Fancy the movie ‘Ghost’? Have a crack at pottery making (hopefully without cracks, but hopefully with a Patrick Swayze-like hunk guiding your hands) in the pottery and artist studio. Got an idea for a podcast? Record it in the podcast studio.

If you’re wondering if a hotel offering all this exists – it does. The 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central packs a lot in – and we mean a lot.

What’s incredibly cool about this joint is how extra it all is – in many ways a reflection of its location. The sheer breadth of activities available to each person is so OTT, and so Dubai.

There’s a Farmstay Suite (including hammock and double rainfall shower). The Medium Bedouin draws influence from when Bedouins once resided in Dubai. On top of a luxurious king-size bed there’s a unique rainfall shower in the middle of the room (wtf?) and a hanging chair to kick back and chill.

For true Dubai glam you’ve got to experience the Hakawati Suite. Hakawati means storyteller in Arabic and while that theme features throughout One Central, it’s in this suite that it goes to another level. There’s the “Sheikh-sized” TRIPLE king bed, a double bath, two bars, 10-seat dining area, fireplace and for when it’s time to party – a DJ corner and dancefloor. The suite also interconnects with two additional bedrooms through a secret staircase. Yes, all in one suite. This is Dubai after all.

There’s obviously a rooftop pool with a Pool Bar, and even more obviously a cinema. Tough to leave when the suite is that good. You can request to have a trunk delivered to you with old-school VHS tapes, vinyls, a typewriter and polaroids to help you really disconnect and tap into your creative side.

 

Apple Vision Pro

“Welcome to the era of spatial computing,” says Apple.

get lost says: welcome to the era of no-more shitty headphone, poor image-quality movies. Welcome to the end of boredom on long-haul flights, for an exorbitant cost.

“But what is an Apple Vision Pro?” you say.

The Apple Vision Pro is an oculus-rift, ski-goggle style piece of headwear that would look kind of cool even if it didn’t do anything, says get lost. But the fact is that it does heaps – a spatial operating system that is kind of like having your Macbook projected onto thin air. Use your hands, your eyes or your voice – you do you – to navigate between Sleepless in Seattle and Maid in Manhattan.

Reactions to the Apple Vision Pro have been mixed; it does look like another step away from the real world, and toward the virtual, which is hardly what we need right now. There are also reports of motion sickness on planes, including one dude who experienced a nauseating combination of Avatar and turbulence.

It remains to be seen if the Apple Vision Pro will become a fixture of our daily life, although most Apple products do. They’re retailing at AU$7,000; you’d want to be taking a lot of long haul flights to get your money worth here.

Check out the guide below, and make your own mind up.

Stay in a 16th century convent

Eat. Rent. Repent. Repeat.

This is the order of the Order of St Clare, who have responded to rising costs that were affecting their pastry business by renting out rooms as AirBnBs in their 16th century convent.

In the description, “peace… light and calm” are all offered from a stay at Convent of Saint Mary of Jesus Airbnb.

We don’t expect this one to be a raucous party accommodation, and we’d advise getting your sins out before you stay, which means no profanities and certainly no orgies.

The convent is still the same one the nuns sleep and work in from day-to-day, although the apartments are based in a different block.

These is hardly the humble abode of those devoted to a life of religion; a large private patio allows you to take in the blue Seville sky, and there’s a coffee maker, orange juicer, water heater for infusions, big T.V and even an outdoor shower, which is kind of niche and unexpected.

The convent is based in the ridiculously attractive city of Seville, in the southern part of Spain, which is a huge plus.