Miscellany – sand hotels and pocket passports

Sand castles have been around for eons both for fun (for kids) and as a metaphor for frailty. However, a team of four sculptors working 14 hours a day for seven days built the world’s first ever sand hotel in Dorset in the UK which is accepting its first guests for £10 ($20) a night!

The Sydney Morning Herald carries the report with a somewhat unimaginative headline “Life’s a beach – Briton builds sandcastle hotel”. The Australian newspaper reports that Englishman “Mark Anderson took 1000 tonnes of sand and (along with) a team of four sculptors worked 14 hours a day for seven days to build the roofless structure on Weymouth beach. Guests prepared to get by without toilet facilities and happy to get the sand between their toes will be able to gaze at the open skies from sand beds for STG10 ($A20.50) a night.
According to Anderson, bookings are coming in. The best thing is in the morning the tide laps through the door, what a great way to wake up,” said Anderson, who admits that his dream structure will only be there until it’s washed away by the tide”.

Perhaps prospective guests for the sand hotel could consider checking in with a pocket passport. The decidedly more durable item is expected to be easier to carry around particularly on beaches. USA Today reports that not only is it more convenient but also cheaper than the standard issue. The article says that it “cost(s) half the price of a new passport. About 350,000 Americans have applied for the new card, the latest step toward ratcheting up border security”. The new passport “card” costs $45 compared with $100 for a first-time traditional passport and is particularly useful when traveling to neighboring countries whether or not on a beach vacation to a sand hotel.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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