The Round of Gras and other strange hotel names. Our publisher checks out some odd inns
£39 -- Kent 18th-Century Farmhouse Stay, over 70% Off
Quiz question: What’s wrong with this deal? Answer: nothing. In fact, there’s a lot right with it. It’s just that the name of this 18th-century Kent farmhouse enjoying a later life as a rustic little hotel is a bit of a distraction. First, what’s the competition in the oddly named accommodation stakes? Well, try the Bucket of Blood, a cosy pub in Cornwall with a decidedly uncosy name. It’s titled after an incident two long centuries ago when the landlord drew up a pail from a well outside the establishment to find the liquid stained crimson from a corpse that had been thrown inside.
The Young Vanish, in Chesterfield, also suggests mysterious and possibly sinister scenes (in fact, it’s named after a racehorse) while the Round of Gras, in Worcestershire, sounds illegal, but is actually a dialect name for the asparagus grown locally. Of foreign hotels, for me it’s a toss-up (and there may also be a hotel of that name) between the Resist Bacteria Hotel, in the Chinese city of Kashgar, and Anu’s Lodge, in Kumbakonam, India.
And, yes, we have featured the odd oddly named accommodation here at Travelzoo, although you’ll have to keep your eye on the Top 20 to find out. And one of them is indeed The Blazing Donkey, whose literally brilliant title shouldn’t distract you from the equally brilliant deal we’ve just published: I’m telling you, 70% off is rare even for Travelzoo.
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£1099 -- China 10-Day Luxury Tour w/Flts, Guides & Banquets
Anyone not familiar with the delicious Chinese snack dim sum should, I suggest, acquaint themselves with it immediately. These little bite-sized parcels of steamed pork, chicken or prawn are exactly what our latest deal to China reminded me of. Not only is the value of the trip astounding, but each distinct morsel sounds as though it would leave you hungering for more. There’s the visit to the Terracotta Warriors, the 1000s-strong army of life-sized clay warriors crafted to protect the first emperor of China and rediscovered only a few decades ago, for a start. And there’s the obligatory stop at the Great Wall (actually walls), still an astounding sight despite all the tourists grinding it down. Then there’s the 5-star accommodation throughout and, appropriately enough, a trio of banquets. Do have a look at this deal in more detail and see if you can resist booking.
£699 -- Maiden Transatlantic Voyage Aboard Brand-New Ship
If there’s something tremendously exciting about leaving harbour, there’s surely something even more exciting about doing so on a brand-spanking-new cruise liner. Do you know how much these things cost? Well, let’s divide that estimated amount -- £400 million -- by the number of passengers -- 4,000 -- to arrive at a figure of £100,000 per passenger on the maiden voyage. And this deal charges you £699! (All right, so my calculations require a little flexibility but you will be sleeping and showering and so on in a cabin that absolutely no one has inhabited before. How often do you get a chance to do that?)