Help Wanted: Admiral for Disney's Galactic Starcruiser

Disney is seeking an Admiral for their Galactic Starcruiser, Halcyon. That means there's an open position for general manager of the Star Wars theme hotel at Walt Disney World, Florida. From the Job Summary:

Are you ready to command a Galactic Starcruiser, the Halcyon, where you will take passengers on an adventure to a galaxy far, far, away? Be the first Admiral (GM) to manage this fully immersive, luxury resort, where guests and crew are part of a Star Wars story, including encounters between Resistance forces and the First Order.

We are seeking a seasoned hotelier with extensive senior leadership hospitality experience on land or at sea to serve as Resort Manager / Hotel Director. He/she will drive and execute a unique immersive “cruise-like experience” aligned with our Star Wars franchise. This experience will operate as a two-night journey and be the world’s first multi-day immersive adventure. The ideal candidate will have a passion for bringing ideas to life, creativity, value a non-traditional work environment, and balance a traditional hotel experience with immersive entertainment.

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"I Stayed At The Cheapest Airbnb In NYC," just $30/night

Ryan Scribner and Jake Carlini stayed at the cheapest Airbnb in New York City. It was $30/night. Above is Ryan's video and below is Jake's documentation of the experience. The verdict: "It wasn't too bad!"

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Sleeping inside one of Edward Hopper's hotel room paintings

As part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' "Edward Hopper and the American Hotel" exhibition, the curators have created a brilliant installation and visitor experience that's seemingly made for Instagram. They built a physical version of Hopper's above painting "Western Hotel" (1957) and offered overnight stays inside the artwork. The overnight packages sold out very quickly. The New York Times' Margot Boyer-Dry was one of the first guests:

Every detail here was inspired by Edward Hopper’s 1957 painting “Western Motel,” which has been brought to vibrant, three-dimensional life. The only thing missing is the mysterious woman whose burgundy dress matches the bedspread. But that’s where the museum guest comes in.

I was the second person to stay in the museum’s Hopper hotel room, essentially becoming its subject for a night. (Before it sold out through February, the room cost anywhere from $150 a night to $500 for a package, including dinner, mini golf and a tour with the curator.) My time there was short — a standard stay runs from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. — and awkward. I had traveled all day to reach Richmond, and these pristinely basic quarters were the main event. Ultimately, it reminded me of every other hotel room I’ve ever stayed in...

Ellen Chapman, a Richmond resident who stayed the night before I did, was more focused on the novelty of an art overnight. “I’ve always had that childhood fantasy of spending the night in a museum,” she said. “The remarkable part for me was waking up, drinking my coffee and looking at this amazing exhibit right next to me.”

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Company's goal is to build orbiting space hotel by 2025

The Gateway Foundation is a private company that claims they could build the first orbital space hotel by 2025. According to their site, the Von Braun Rotating Space Station is designed "to accommodate both national space agencies conducting low gravity research and space tourists who want to experience life on a large space station with the comfort of low gravity and the feel of a nice hotel" large enough for 450 visitors. From Space.com:

Gateway Foundation officials acknowledge that the station might not be entirely finished by 2025, but the group aims to develop the station's main structure and basic functions by then. "We expect the operation to begin in 2025, the full station will be built out and completed by 2027. … Once the station's fully operational, our hope, our goal and our objective is to have the station available for the average person," (lead architect Timothy) Alatorre said. "So, a family or an individual could save up reasonably … and be able to have enough money to visit space and have that experience. … It would be something that would be within reach...

Alatorre said that the Gateway Foundation feels that such a project is now possible because the growing success of commercial aerospace companies like SpaceX has made launch options more affordable.

He added that the company admits that it's possible its timeline is pushing it somewhat. "We completely understand that delays are almost inevitable with aerospace, but based on our internal projections and the fact that we're already dealing with existing technology, we're not inventing anything new.

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Building that looks like a basket to become luxury hotel

This is the former Newark, Ohio headquarters of The Longaberger Company, a basket manufacturer that went under last year. This week, the developers who bought the property announced that it will become a luxury hotel. According to WCPO, "project officials say the exterior look of a basket will remain intact." Well duh.

From Wikipedia:

The seven-story, 180,000-square-foot building was designed by The Longaberger Company, and executed by NBBJ and Korda Nemeth Engineering. The building opened in 1997. The basket handles weigh almost 150 tons and can be heated during cold weather to prevent ice damage. Originally, Dave Longaberger wanted all of the Longaberger buildings to be shaped like baskets, but only the headquarters was completed at the time of his death.

(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!)

image: Derek Jensen (public domain) Read the rest

Nazi bunker in Germany to become "design and lifestyle" hotel

A developer plans to transform the massive Nazi-era St. Pauli anti-aircraft and air raid bunker in Hamburg, Germany into a "design and lifestyle hotel," as described by a spokesperson for the Spanish hotel chain NS Hotel Group designing the property. The structure is currently used as a concert venue and art/music studio space. According to the spokesperson, there are plans for the rebuilt facility, seen in the rendering above, to also hold a World War II memorial. The bunker hotel project comes on the heels of other Nazi-era structures that have been redeveloped. From the New York Times:

In 2018, the former Gestapo headquarters in Hamburg, where Jews, gay people, Roma and other people targeted by the Nazis were tortured and murdered, a cluster of high-end apartments, luxury boutiques and offices opened for business. Protests ensued.

A never-completed holiday resort that Hitler had intended to be used for workers through his “Strength Through Joy” project has been converted to luxury apartments.

The challenge when integrating these sites into modern-day landscapes is “how to reconcile commemoration and consumption or consumerism,” said Thomas L. Doughton, a senior lecturer at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts who takes students on tours of Holocaust sites across Europe to explore the politics of memory.

Dr. Doughton said there were parallels to places in the United States, including plantations where African-Americans were once enslaved and the sites of atrocities against Native Americans, that have been commercialized at the expense of a blunt reckoning with historical oppression.

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Man claims it's cheaper to spend your old age in a Holiday Inn than a nursing home

In a now-viral Facebook post, Terry Robinson of Spring Texas (jokingly?) explains why when he and his wife get "old and too feeble," they will check into a Holiday Inn instead of spending their remaining years in a nursing home. Read the rest

Secrets of a Vegas high-roller suite from its manager

Brandon Presser managed the high-roller suites in Las Vegas's Cosmopolitan. They're reserved for players who front more than a million in the hotel's private casino. Read the rest

Japan is turning this 1908 prison into three hotels

Yosuke Kurosawa takes a tour of Nara Juvenile Prison, which was in use until 2017 and will soon be turned into hotels for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It's like a really clean Shawshank Prison. Read the rest

Surfer hotel in a modded truck

The Truck Surf Hotel is a modded Mercedes Actros outfitted with a hydraulically-expanding two-story inn. Inside is a living room, kitchen, four double rooms with bunk bed, one double room with a single larger bed, bathroom, and shower. Over the course of a week vacation package, the hotel travels to surf destinations in Portugal and Morocco. The trip is around $700-$900 depending on the destination and season; airfare not included.

Truck Surf Hotel (via Uncrate)

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Security researchers demonstrate inexpensive one-minute method to clone master hotel key cards

Finnish security researchers Tomi Tuominen and Timo Hirvonen can clone many master hotel keys very quickly using their clever cryptography, an expired keycard from the hotel trash, and a $300 Proxmark RFID card reading and writing device. It takes them about one minute to create a master hotel key. Video demo below. From Wired:

The two researchers say that their attack works only on Vingcard's previous-generation Vision locks, not the company's newer Visionline product. But they estimate that it nonetheless affects 140,000 hotels in more than 160 countries around the world; the researchers say that Vingcard's Swedish parent company, Assa Abloy, admitted to them that the problem affects millions of locks in total. When WIRED reached out to Assa Abloy, however, the company put the total number of vulnerable locks somewhat lower, between 500,000 and a million. They note, though, that the total number is tough to measure, since they can't closely track how many of the older locks have been replaced. Tuominen and Hirvonen say that they've collected more than a thousand hotel keycards from their friends over the last 10 years, and found that roughly 30 percent were Vingcard Vision locks that would have been vulnerable to their attack.

Tuominen and Hirvonen quietly alerted Assa Abloy to their findings a year ago, and the company responded in February with a software security update that has since been available on its website. But since Vingcard's locks don't have internet connections, that software has to be installed manually by a technician, lock by lock.

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No more hotel room meetings for Screen Actors Guild members

In an effort to save its members from being exploited, sexually assaulted or be otherwise forced to spend time with human turds in a private setting, the Screen Actors Guild has put the kibosh on holding meetings in "high-risk" locations.

According to The Guardian, the Screen Actor's Guild, which functions as a labor union for actors who appear on TV and in movies, has laid down the law, declaring that it's no longer cool for movie executives to set up meetings with actors in private locales such as hotel rooms or at someone's home address. Moving forward, if you want to yap with a member of SAG, it's gotta be in a workplace setting. The new measure comes as a result of handsy pricks like Harvey Weinstein and other high-powered executives in the entertainment business taking advantage of their position and the protection that Hollywood's elite formerly afforded them when it came to their sexual transgressions.

According to The Guardian, since accusations were first leveled against Weinstein this past October, SAG representatives have been hearing an average of five reports of sexual misconduct from its members, per day.

As a tech journalist, I'm sometimes brought to a hotel room by PR types from small to mid-sized firms to see a new product that they're representing. It usually happens during a trade show as the larger meeting rooms at convention centers and hotels are typically spoken for by large companies. I can't recall a single time that I've ever entered a hotel room, for work, where there weren't at least three or four people in the room with me. Read the rest

Some hotel room doors can easily be unlocked with a piece of paper

"Using only the paper pizza menus that were pushed under our door during the day, I can shim open our hotel room door defeating both the striker and the top swing arm latch in under 30 seconds," writes MM Developer. "Faster times can be achieved if you aren't trying to video."

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Japanese inn with "self-driving" robotic slippers and other autonomous amenities

Nissan, to show off its autonomous parking tech, outfitted an inn in Hakone, Japan with "self-parking slippers," autonomous floor cushions that tidy themselves, and a TV remote control that straightens itself on the coffee table. While obviously a marketing gimmick, self-knolling anything is quite appealing to me. ProPILOT Park Ryokan (Nissan)

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Russia planning to build boutique hotel on the International Space Station

Russia's Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities is considering plans to add a space tourism module to the International Space Station. From Popular Mechanics:

The amenities will include a luxury orbital suite parked at the International Space Station (ISS) offering private cabins with big windows, personal hygiene facilities, exercise equipment and even Wi-Fi. In addition gazing at our tiny blue orb from a dizzying altitude of 250 miles, space tourists will have an opportunity for space walks accompanied by a professional cosmonaut.

The entire trip, lasting from one to two weeks will cost $40 million per person and going with the spacewalk option and an extended month-long stay will set the traveler back an additional $20 million....

To minimize the initial cost, (space station contractor) RKK Energia wants to book at least 12 passengers who would agree to make payments of around $4 million up front so that the company could begin the development of the orbital hotel module. It's a similar method that Virgin Galactic used at the beginning of its space tourism ambitions. The same clients will then pay two 12.6 million bills in the two years leading up to the flight, then paying the final $10.8 million payment at the time of the flight.

They better get to work though because the ISS is scheduled for retirement in 2028. Then again, maybe the whole thing can be converted into a boutique hotel.

"Russia's Plan To Build a Luxury Hotel on the ISS" (Popular Mechanics) Read the rest

Crane converted into a hotel room

TheKrane on Copenhagen's Nordhavn harbor is a coal crane converted into a two-person hotel suite. It's €2,500 per night. For that price, they should at least allow you to operate the crane. From the hotel site:

Your stay will include:

- A concierge who picks you up at the airport and who is constantly ready to meet your needs

- Daily breakfast that can be enjoyed in the room while looking out the horizon

- TheKrane BMW that can take you around Copenhagen

- TheKrane bikes

- A personally picked selection of wines and bubbles that tops off the perfect night

- Staying in the meeting point of the historical industrial harbour of Copenhagen and the vibrant new parts of Nordhavn in constant change.

TheKrane (via Uncrate)

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Hotel room in a helicopter

This converted Sea King helicopter on a camp site in Stirling, Scotland is available for overnight stays at the rate of ~$200/night. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the helicopter doesn't fly. From Helicopter Glamping:

We snapped up the decommissioned Sea King in an online MOD auction for £7,000 in March 2016. The giant helicopter was then transported 320 miles by road before being craned into position on our picturesque Thornhill campsite a month later.

Over the summer months, we have lovingly restored her exterior to its former glory. We sourced some original rotor blades and replaced her tail rotors with some we discovered on Ebay, as we wanted her to still look like a helicopter from the outside. Her once peeling paintwork is a thing of the past after several days spent sanding her down and completely repainting her, whilst making sure we kept all her original signage. We thought we might have trouble finding the right shade of grey, but it turns out farm oxide paint – normally used for farm buildings or fencing – is a perfect match for her military colour.

We’ve kept and restored all of her original lighting, so when you see her lit up a night she looks as if she is ready to take off. Meanwhile, we’ve transformed her spacious interior into a remarkable holiday home that sleeps a family of five (2 adults and 3 children) with a double and a triple bed as well as single bed in the tail.

(via Uncrate)

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