Tag: ideal

Is a “Love Hotel” the Ideal Pandemic Destination?

Amidst renewed calls to take precautions against COVID-19, figuring out the optimal way to avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus can be a logistical challenge. A new article by Charlotte English at Atlas Obscura offers on of the most creative solutions to questions of social distancing you’re likely to see this year. What has English proposed? That Japanese “love hotels” might have another useful function: keeping the spread of COVID-19 down.

First, some context. A 2018 article in Savvy Tokyo describes love hotels, formally known as rabuho, as “the not-so-hidden pay-by-the-hour (or night) pleasure accommodations for couples, secret lovers, and other forms of a one-time celebration of love.”

What does any of this have to do with the pandemic? As English explains, the same qualities that make love hotels discreet and private places also make them ideal for social distancing. Part of the privacy aspects of the hotels means not interacting with staff members face-to-face and doing most communication via intercoms or touchscreens. Features designed to preserve anonymity in one context can help stop the potential spread of a disease in another.

As English notes, the fortunes of love hotels have shifted somewhat over the last few years: after a period of decline, some pivoted to pursuing a tourist clientele; now, with tourism down, the spaces have seen a resurgence in domestic bookings.

One traveler reminisced about getting “airlock room service” during his stay at a love hotel. While that may have seemed overly ornate a few years ago, that feature now seems to have found its moment — an unlikely choice, but also a safer one.

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A New Hotel Makes Cambria the Ideal California Escape

Photo: Courtesy of White Water

Cambria is a small town—pop. roughly 6,000—but its reliance on tourism means charming forays are easy to find. For lunch, go to Hidden Kitchen (quite literally tucked away down a dirt road). The cafe specializes in gluten-free blue corn waffles, which can be ordered sweet or savory, and a variety of vegan smoothies. Crunchy, organic California cuisine is also well-represented at Soto’s True Earth Market, the best place to pick up a pre-hike breakfast burrito or beach walk picnic. Come dinnertime, Freudenberger is quick to recommend The Sea Chest, established in 1975, to any first-time visitor: “You walk down with your lantern that we have at White Water, at night next to the water, and you just eat some really buttery shrimp and it’s delicious.” The seafood spot has opened an outdoor patio to accommodate more fresh-air dining amid COVID. They don’t take reservations, but any wait time allows for a stroll along the boardwalk. For those who want their plans decided, Madeline’s both accepts and recommends reservations. It doubles as a wine shop during the day, with a selection focused on local bottles. Those who taste something they like might even be able to visit its vineyard, since the wineries and tasting rooms of Paso Robles (one of the Times’s 52 Places to Go in 2020) are a 40-minute drive away.

The view from the lobby, where a local wine list is served alongside snacks and cocktails. (White Water is the only Moonstone Beach property with a full liquor license.)

Photo: Courtesy of White Water

But in a year when so many city dwellers have been limited to their cramped apartments, the first thing on the travel to-do list is probably ROAM FREE. The Moonstone Beach boardwalk is within paces of White Water, and the hotel offers complimentary bikes for those who want more wind in their hair. For additional views, drive seven minutes to Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, where trails follow the coastal bluff and lead through the Monterey pine forest. Stay on the lookout for California Gray Whales, which migrate south from late December through February; they head back north in March and April. If it rains? Go out anyway, knowing that when you come back, the rest of the day can be spent curled up in front of your room’s fireplace.

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State of Origin travel plans not ideal: Wayne Bennett

It’s become the normal routine in 2020 but Queensland coach Wayne Bennett isn’t sure flying in and out of a city on game day is the best scenario for State of Origin.

During the COVID-19 affected NRL campaign, clubs often flew interstate on the day of matches before flying home the same day.

The Maroons will follow a similar pattern for Wednesday’s Origin opener in Adelaide.

They will fly to South Australia from their Gold Coast base on Wednesday morning, spend the day in a hotel before heading to the venue for the 8.10pm AEDT kick-off.

Another chartered flight will then take the Maroons back to Queensland in the hours after the match.

Coach Wayne Bennett and Assistant Coach Mal Meninga talk to the players during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session. Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

“You’d prefer not to do that, particularly for an Origin game,” Bennett said.

“I mean, these games are so big and you just want everything right but NSW have to do it as well.

“It’s just not a case of us having to go, which would be a little bit different to what it was in the playoffs.

“We’re all on the plane, we’ve all got to travel tomorrow, so it kind of equalises out but I just think the games are, as I said, such quality and you want them to be at their best.

“You need to do everything in their preparation as best you possibly can.

“Flying on the day is not the ideal preparation.”

While most NRL teams got used to the fly-in, fly-out demands during the regular season, Melbourne did arrive in Sydney on the eve of this year’s grand final rather than the day of the game from their Sunshine Coast hub.

Bennett said for big occasions like Origin, the same-day plan is probably not the way to go.

“I don’t see a problem with the club games,” the veteran coach said.

“But I do see a major issue once you get above club games because of the closeness of the teams and what’s at stake.”

Meanwhile, NSW coach Brad Fittler said he saw no issues with the logistics.

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The Blues will fly out of Bankstown Airport at 10:30am and land at a navy base outside of Adelaide, before spending almost five hours in a hotel and heading to the ground.

“The good thing is all the players have done it,” Fittler said.

“They say it’s OK and they didn’t mind it.

“When you go through the whole season the travelling teams did OK.

“Things are just different, we just watched the Melbourne Cup and

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