Wednesday, February 12, 2014


It's Hip To Be Square - Especially If You Are A Book
That's right, the books are indeed square. I promise - this is the last time. My annual  YOU HAVE TO GET THESE BOOKS IF YOU ARE A SERIOUS NOMAD, VAGABOND OR WANDERER AND SEE SOME OF THE COOLEST HOTELS ON THE PLANET  shameless book plug. And I don't even get a commission. I have sung the praises of this great book series since the first day I started this blog. As a matter of fact, the first one I bought helped inspire me to share my erudition about great travel and design some two years ago. I have since bought most published editions of this superbly illustrated book series featuring hotels of extraordinary design, from repurposed ancient ruins to cutting edge modern spaces,  by some of the most talented designers working today. More often than not, these two extremes are combined in innovative and thoughtful ways to create some of the most unique places to lay your weary head.
I have stayed in many of the featured hotels and have yet to be disappointed. This is the only series of books where you can get the skinny on places to drop anchor as diverse as the one of a kind Cibilo Creek Ranch , a small boutique hotel/resort in a repurposed fort built in the Big Bend of West Texas amidst 30,000 acres of haunting natural beauty. We enjoyed the expertly prepared food at the grand table along with the other guests. Or the Vecchio Molino, Umbria's answer for those who want to sleep in another time and another place. You can still see the rushing water from the old mill through the floor of the main social space. And for the truly adventurous, you can check out the Wigwam Motel on Old Route 66 in Holbrook, Arizona for a paltry $56 per night. In my humble opinion, no serious traveler who desires to stay in really cool places off the beaten path should be without these great books.
You Can Get A Great Travel Book & A Coffee Table Book In One For A Song!
The newer editions of this series are in the $30 price range. They are worth every penny, as they are not only a great travel resource but look really great on your coffee table. The photographs and descriptions are a delight to the eyes as well as the intellect. Lay one of these on your Noguchi glass original or retro knockoff and your guests will know beyond any shadow of any doubt that you are a highly urbane and sophisticated aesthetic vagabond. Recently I was doing some  travel research for some upcoming trips we were planning and stumbled across the travel book deal of the year. Holy galloping globetrotters!! You can get most of these great books on AMAZON for one red copper penny. That's right - one cent. Most have shipping of $3.99, so you are getting a great travel book for a scant four bucks total. In this world of overpriced everything, these deals should make even the most frugal shopaholic positively giddy. Most of these books are used, but, at a penny plus shipping, who's going to quibble? Some are a little more and, as I stated earlier, the more recent ones are pricier.
The Fine Print
Now, you must be asking yourself - What about the fact that some of these books are older, some going back to 2001? So, caveat emptor. Do your homework, as any Nomad should. Use these great books as inspirational starting points to find some truly amazing places to sleep. Use the internet to check out the web sites and review sites to calm your jitters about a place that was featured before you became the wise vagabond you are today. Of course, like all hotel books, bundle sites and reviewers, the prices listed in the book are largely irrelevant. But, all in all, these are great books for the serious traveler for whom design is a big deal.

Just in case you are wondering about the credentials of Herbert Ypma, the photographer and writer of this excellent trip through the best of the best. Don't worry. According to the short bio,  Mr. Ypma has lived on three continents and visited every state in the USA by the age of thirteen, except Alaska and Hawaii. I think this guy knows of what he speaks.  And he covers everything you ever wanted to know about amazing places to sleep. The books cover countries, cities and unique categories, including Hip Hotels USA, France, UK, Italy, Orient, New York, London, Paris, Budget, Escape, City, Beach & Ski. Finally, they have a Hip Hotel Atlas, which includes many of the places in a massive coffee table book which will impress even the most jaded tour weary traveler. You can read more about this compilation in an earlier post, Vagabond Alert No. 16 - If You Are A Serious Aesthetic Vagabond, Buy This Book.

Finally, after you have perused all of the cool places you want to stay, you can checkout  The Hip Hotels Web Site, where you can sign up for a newsletter or  read timely information about newly discovered great hotels. And, of course, if you are new millennium hip vagabond, they have a great app for your mobile device.
Read - Dream - Go
d.l. stafford

Travel Quote of The Week - “Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.”

Video Artist of The Week - The Beatles - John, Paul, George & Ringo. If you don't know them and, even worse, if you don't like them - Well, that would be just a pity now wouldn't it? Fifty years ago this week - From 1964 - Ed Sullivan - All My Lovin' to Get Back on The Roof 1969, their last performance. Six Years. Twenty No. Ones. 500 million records sold. Simply put. The greatest pop/rock band of all time. Gator Bowl/World Tour 1964 - 9th grade - I was there. I didn't get my hair cut for two months.


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