Highest hotels or huge sick-bag collections — it’s always good to maintain a sense of humility, and humor, when traveling.
To mark the launch of Guinness Worlds Records 2012 edition, published today, here are 10 travel-inspired superlatives from the extreme, to the insane.
Thanks to Guinness World Records for assistance with the article. Check out and search for other records on their website: www.guinnessworldrecords.com.
1. Largest hotel
The largest hotel in the world according to Guinness World Records is the First World Hotel in what many describe as the Las Vegas of Malaysia — the Genting Highlands Resort in Pahang Darul Makmur.
With 6,118 rooms, it was completed in 2005 and now stands as a multi-colored, giant lego-brick-like structure on top of the Ulu Kali peak, an hour from Kuala Lumpur.
With a tropical jungle in the hotel’s entrance as well as 10 restaurants, this is a hotel that doesn’t do small.
2. Fastest time to enter a suitcase
People have often jokingly asked me to take them in my suitcase when I’m off on holiday. I usually laugh but to be fair, I’ve never been asked by Leslie Tipton.
This American lady is more travel-friendly than most — on 14 September 2009 she hopped into a suitcase and zipped herself up ready to go in just 5.43 seconds. Now that’s speedy boarding.
3. Most expensive hotel room
The Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson hotel in Geneva, Switzerland, comes with spectacular views of Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc — but it also comes at a choke-on-your-Champagne cost of US$65,000 per night.
For the price of a small terraced house in some parts of the UK, the four bedrooms, jacuzzi and private cocktail terrace can be all yours for less than 24 hours. Best to invite along a few friends and split the bill.
4. Largest collection of traffic cones
Anyone who’s travelled down the M4 to Wales on a bank holiday weekend will know that traffic cones are the devil’s work. No one likes the sight of them – they are the traveler’s enemy, so why would anyone want to hoard them?
That is a question for David Morgan, from Burford in the United Kingdom, who has an impressive collection of 137 different traffic cones. In fact, cone-fans will be even more impressed to know he owns a specimen of two-thirds of cones ever made.
5. Highest altitude hotel
At an altitude of 3,962 meters, Hotel Everest View is officially the highest hotel in the world, above the village of Namche in Nepal and near to the Everest base camp. It does what it says on the tin — every room comes with a fantastic view of Mt. Everest and other nearby peaks.
The beautiful stone hotel, built in 1968, is staffed by Sherpas from the surrounding villages and arranging a spot of trekking is possible.
6. First habitable sand hotel
If you can’t stand sand between your toes, this sand hotel on Weymouth beach in Dorset, United Kingdom, probably wouldn’t have been for you. Made with one tonne of sand, it took four people and a digger one week to build in July 2008.
It was designed by Mark Anderson for Laterooms.com and a night under the stars in either the twin or the double room would have set you back about US$21 but sadly it’s no longer taking bookings. Probably washed away by bad reviews.
7. Largest hotel lobby
The Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, California, has breathtaking views of the bay from its rooms and its Rooftop Lounge Bar but many visitors don’t get past the hotel’s reception. Many go in just to stand in awe, staring up at the 15-story-high atrium.
At 107 meters long, 49 meters wide and 52 meters high, the lobby is officially the biggest hotel lobby in the world — and it’s decorated with pretty fairy lights too. You won’t be able to miss the metallic ‘pan-scourer’ sculpture.
8. Heaviest aircraft pulled by a man
Some guys pull pints, others pull girls, but Canadian Kevin Fast pulls aeroplanes. Since September 17, 2009 he is the proud holder of the ‘heaviest aircraft pulled by a man’ record — the plane in question was a CC-177 Globemaster III, weighing 188.83 tonnes.
Kevin pulled it for 8.8 meters at Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ontario. Probably not the most fun you can have with an aeroplane (personally I would use it to get to Bali), but an admirable feat of strength for sure.
9. Largest ice village
The Icehotel at Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, has had plenty of attention from the world’s press, but did you know the biggest ice village in the world was also built nearby? In December 2002, 700 delegates from a conference at the Icehotel were housed in 140 igloos at the site.
The Tetra Pak International employees (who knew packaging conferences could be so riveting) slept in the igloo village, constructed solely of ice.
10. Most expensive pizza
The best pizzas in the world are made in Naples and cost less than €10 — so why anyone would want to pay around US$150 for a pizza is kind of puzzling. Customers at Gordon Ramsey’s Maze restaurant in London seem to think it’s worth it though.
The onion puree, fontina and mozzarella cheese, pancetta, ceps and wild mizuna lettuce pizza is topped with shavings of a rare white truffle from Italy, which alone costs US$2,000 a kilo. A flight to Naples will cost you less.