Gadling TV’s “Travel Talk,” 001: Carnival, flight cancellations, Somaliland, airfare blunders, and more!

Looks like it’s finally time to take the wraps off ONE of the big secrets Gadling has been keeping for a while! Yep, it’s finally time to introduce Gadling’s Travel Talk TV!

Gadling’s Travel Talk TV, episode 1 – Click above to watch video after the jump

Travel Talk TV is Gadling’s version of a travel show. In each episode, we’ll discuss hot travel news; share fun, useful tips for both traveling and bringing your travel experiences back home; spotlight exciting travel destinations; and much more.

In this week’s episode, our hosts — Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, and Drew Mylrea — will discuss Carnival, airfare blunders, Somaliland, and who in the travel world got the Short End of the Stick. In addition, they’ll show you how to make a delicious south-of-the-border snack in “Tasteful Destinations”; Nikki will drop by; Bruce! will make an appearance to give you some travel tips… and of course, there’s a whole lot more. Watch it now, below!

If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

Be sure to tune in next week, for Episode 2 of Gadling’s Travel Talk TV!

Download the Show: Travel Talk – 001 (HD !!) // Travel Talk – 001 (iPod / iPhone / Zune formatted)

Update – Subscribe via iTunes:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Show directly in iTunes (M4V).
[RSS M4V] Add the Travel Talk feed (M4V) to your RSS aggregator and have it delivered automatically.

Hosts: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea
Special guest: Bruce!
Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea

Music by:
Dominic Balli & Mark Suhonen
“All We Need is Love (Remix)” [feat. Paul Wright]

This Holiday Life
“A Yes, Not a No”

Poll of the Week!


Dubai’s Burj unexpectedly closed to the public

The world’s tallest building has abruptly closed to the public after only a month of being open to the public. Apparently, electric problems are partially to blame for the closure of the Dubai’s Burj, which undoubtedly leaves many disappointed tourists looking up at the tower, instead of down from the half-mile high observation deck.

The closure of the Burj Khalifa’s (the new name appointed to the tower) viewing platform is only one part of the problem, though. The Burj was preparing to welcome permanent guests and hotel guests over the next few months, and many wonder if plans will go through as predicted.

The Associated Press reports an indefinite closure, which started Sunday. Dubai had high hopes for this spire-structure. The Burj Khalifa was slated to be a major tourist draw for Dubai, helping to increase tourist dollars to the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai opened the 160-story skyscraper on Jan. 4. The first of 12,000 residential and office space tenants were scheduled to move in later this month.
Work was still underway on the tower’s Giorgio Armani-designed hotel and adjacent shopping center. The observation deck – and the tower’s main draw – is located on the 124th floor. Tickets bought in advance cost around $27. Unfortunately, those travelers who pre-paid for tickets will now be standing in line for a refund.

Hotels for the not-so-adventurous adventure traveler

The term “adventure travel” has many definitions, and each one varies based on the traveler. I’m not adverse to adventure – I’ve hit the rapids in what seemed to be nothing more than a floatie device I’d find in my parents pool; I’ve jumped from a tall building with only a cord and a little spring keeping me from face-planting into concrete; I’m about to take on one big bridge in Sydney next month. But there’s one difference between me and the other adventure travelers out there: I wouldn’t do it again.

OK, never say never. Truth is, I’ll be the first one to safari walk with lions and tigers, and as soon as I collect $200,000 I’m buying a seat on the first Virgin Galactic flight to space. But in the meantime, I’ll get my kicks by staying at some of the most adventuresome hotels in the world. No, not the kind of adventure that includes bed bugs and dirty bathrooms, and violates every health code in the system. These hotels add a little excitement to your stay, which can be the perfect dose of adventure for the not-so-adventurous traveler.

1. One by the Five, Paris: The floating beds add excitement to this hotel. Too much champagne at dinner and you’ll fall right off in the middle of the night, but the design technique that keeps the bed ‘floating’ is pretty spectacular. (The ‘floating bed’ concept could add a little spice your late-night, too…) If Paris is too much love-not enough adventure, Berlin’s Propeller Island City features similar rooms with ‘magic mirrors’ that create various illusions, including one room with a flying bed.

2. Loisaba, Kenya: Talk about unleashing your animal instincts… If sleeping with the animals sounds exciting, but a little too dangerous for your blood, the “Star Bed” in this Kenya resort might be the perfect compromise. The beds are on raised platforms (complete with mosquito nets) so you can watch the stars, or gaze at the animals roaming in their natural habitat. Reviews note that most people don’t get a good night’s sleep the first time they take on these beds, thanks to the unfamiliar sounds from wild kingdom just meters away from where you sleep.3. The 727-suite at the Hotel Costa Verde, Costa Rica: Some people can sleep on planes, some choose to sleep IN a plane. The fully outfitted two-bedroom executive Boeing 727 fuselage suite at the Hotel Costa Verde allows travelers to sleep in a refurbished 1965 Boeing 727. This hotel rooms adds a whole new meaning to the mile-high club.

4. Park Hyatt Shanghai: The bedrooms on the 88th floor of the Park Hyatt in Shanghai are not for the faint of heart. If you want to conquer your fear of heights, this is the place to stay. One piece of advice: don’t look down when you wake up in the morning – the drop might be too much for your decaffeinated brain to comprehend. The Park Hyatt Shanghai was the tallest hotel in the world until the recent opening of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. We’re not sure what type of views the Burj has but it’s a good bet they’ll rival the Park Hyatt.

5. Magic Mountain Hotel, Panguipulli, Region X, Chile: What’s so magic about this hotel? It’s built under a waterfall, which makes walking into the hotel an adventure in and of itself. Located in the heart of the Huilo Huilo nature reserve, this hotel was built with Mother Nature in mind- miles of walkways that snake through the forest and a mini-golf course 40 feet above the ground give this hotel its dose of adventure.

The Burj Dubai is now open!

Looking for new ways to get high? Skip the local street dealer, and book your flight to Dubai. Today, the Burj Dubai is open to the public, and the views from its 124th floor observation deck can’t be beat. Now the world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai captures the spirit of its hometown – you know, trying to make Las Vegas look small and humble. Also, in true Dubai style, money gets you to the front of the line: pay a little more than twice the normal ticket price to get up to the observation deck faster.

If you want to stay in the tower, you’ll have to wait a little loner, though. The Armani Hotel Dubai – a luxury property which represents the collaboration between Giorgio Armani and Emaar Properties – won’t open until March 18, 2010. This will be the first in a series of Armani properties that will include hotels, resorts and residences around the world. Expect demand for these rooms to be palpable, so if you want to be among the first to stay in these rooms, book your stay in late January, when reservations will start to be taken.

The Burj Dubai opens on Monday as the tallest building in the world

On Monday morning, Dubai developer Emaar Properties will take ownership of the tallest building in the world. Despite a brutal economic climate, and the very real chance that Dubai will soon be bankrupt, this 2,683 feet tall structure was completed in six years. With 160 stories, the Burj Dubai towers over every other building in the city.

Monday is also the first day that the general public will be able to visit the observation deck on the 124th floor. According to the developers, most of the spaces in the building have been sold. Just 37 of the 160 floors are for office space, the rest will house new Armani residences, and an Armani hotel will open later this year. A total of 12,000 people can live and work in the tower, though it is obviously unclear whether the current economy will force many would-be owners to change their plans.

As you can see from the video posted above – this building is immense. To put things in perspective – the Sears Willis Tower in Chicago is a mere 1450 feet tall, with just 108 stories. Skidmore, Owings and Merril are the architects behind the Burj Dubai, the same ones that designed the Sears Tower back in 1973.

(Via Luxist)