Offbeat: Hotels I wouldn’t be caught dead in


A few months ago I was transfixed on a series aptly named 666 Park Avenue which followed the coming ins and going outs – no, mostly coming ins of the residents of a haunted hotel/apartment complex in New York. Although fictitious, its plot line resonated with what I think is a basal fear for many of us.

Offbeat: Female athletes fly economy, their male counterparts in business


This week’s Offbeat spotlight shines brightly on BOTH Australia and Japan after the former’s Women’s Basketball team and the latter’s football team flew in premium economy seats enroute to Europe for the Olympics, while their male counterparts stretched their limbs out in business class.

Offbeat: Europe’s tallest building officially opened


Europe’s tallest building, The Shard, officially opened in London yesterday. The 310 m (1,016 ft) tall glass pyramid structure was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al Thani of Qatar, who bankrolled the lion’s share of its construction, at 3:15 pm yesterday . Later that day, the Shard displayed its dominance over the London skyline by firing laser beams at other iconic buildings at a 10:10 pm light show.

Offbeat: Divorce Hotel


It had to happen. Hotels are, after all, second homes, where a lot of us go to to celebrate important milestones like weddings, honey moons and family reunions. An enterprising Dutch hotelier is adding one other life event to that list: Divorce. With the number of people wanting to untie the note on the rise both on this and the other side of the Atlantic, Jim Halfens saw a gap in the market he couldn’t resist capitalising on. Drawing on a background in marketing as well as a stint at a law firm, he opened Divorce Hote which so far has helped more than 16 couples divorce.

Offbeat: 10 of the world’s most infamous luxury hotels


We begin this list with the mother of all infamous hotels. If walls could talk, the walls of the Chateau Marmont would be singing like a canary perched atop a shrink’s couch. From Howard Hughes spying on sunbathing guests, to Led Zeppelin groupies riding motorbikes through the lobby, Jim Morrison falling out of a window onto a shed below after valiantly trying to swing from the hotel’s roof to the window of his room, to Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears’ various meltdown ‘episodes’, the Chateau Marmont has seen more scandals than the archives of The National Enquirer.