An adventure-seeker's playground
Location: Carinthia, Austria and Graubünden, Switzerland
Owner: Rudolf Tucek
First year of business: 2004 for Austria; 2005 for Switzerland Number of employees: 121 between both locations
Starting room rate: $72 in Austria; $87 in Switzerland
How it came to be: The goal of CUBE Hotels is to make alpine tourism attractive and affordable in both summer and winter. The main target is young, adventure-hungry sport enthusiasts. CUBE NASSFELD in Austria and CUBE SAVOGNIN in Switzerland are both located at the base stations of their respective local ski lifts. Why it's extraordinary: The CUBE hotels combine unusual architecture and urban design set in the picturesque and scenic backdrop of the Alps. Tucek says CUBE is the perfect blend of sport, entertainment, design and community. With rooms for two, four, six or eight, CUBE offers private or communal areas based on your budget. The rooms also feature a "showroom" that can be used to store guests' extreme sports gear with proper ventilation and heating in the winter. Though most guests are on the go, the hotels do allow for some R&R in the CUBE Relax Area, which includes a steam bath, massage and quiet area, in addition to a 24-hour bar and club. The concept seems to be catching on: CUBE BIBERWIER-LERMOOS, also in Austria, is set to open in July.
Where the elephants roam
Location: Mpumalanga, South Africa
Owners: Hilton and Jacqui Loon
First year of business: 1979
Number of employees: About 200
Starting room rate: $1,352 per person for a three-night, all-inclusive package How it came to be: Sabi Sabi's beginnings date back to 1830, when European hunters first established a camp on the south bank of the Sabie River. By 1920, recreational rail travel into the area became popular, and game viewing from the railway coach was made possible. In 1979, the Loons formed the present Sabi Sabi company and purchased the land that is now home to the four private lodges that make...
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