As a child, I used to want to be an astronaut. I was fascinated by the idea of going into space and walking on the moon. In school, when my teachers asked me what I wanted to achieve in life, I told them I wanted to be the first woman to walk on Mars. Given the great aspirations I had when I was younger, you’re probably asking yourself why I’m now sat writing this blog post for alpharooms rather than training with NASA or floating around space (and before you ask, I’m not writing this from space). It turns out that I was better at languages than physics, and nobody’s even been on the moon for ages anyway.
However, working in travel and tourism doesn’t necessarily mean that travelling into space is a distant dream, and unless you’ve not been living on this planet, you’ve probably heard of the concept of space tourism. Space tourism is the idea of taking recreational trips into space, where customers can pay to spend time in a space craft- I’m just guessing here, but I bet there’s no need to tick ‘sea views’ as a special request on the booking form!
Although space tourism isn’t something that every family in the world can expect to experience in their lifetimes, it’s certainly something that’s come to public attention in recent times (it’s just been announced that you can now get space travel holiday insurance!).
American motel tycoon Robert Bigelow has announced his desire to use a space station as a hotel, and even offered a $ 50 million prize to the first US Company to create a passenger space craft that was reusable. Unfortunately nobody took up the challenge, but his company, Bigelow Aerospace, founded in 1998, has already launched two inflatable habitat modules called Genesis I and Genesis II in the hope of creating the first commercial space station by 2012.
Barcelona based company Galactic Suites, thanks to a $ 3 billion investment from an unknown space enthusiast, also intend to create a commercial space station to open in 2012. A 3 day stay will set you back around $4.4 million, which includes an intensive 8 week training course on a tropical island and a Velcro covered space suit.
It’s a difficult commercial industry to create given the huge costs involved, so this is really only a holiday for the super rich, with trips costing millions of pounds for just a few days in space. But what about the rest of us who can only dream of having millions to spend on trips to space? Well, instead of getting your telescope out and watching space from earth- why not try one of these other cosmic hotels?
The themed hotel: Barcélo Sants, Barcelona, takes you on a journey to outer space in your very own hotel room with its newly renovated Orbital Suites on decks 6 and 7; the hotel invites you on “an imaginary voyage through outer space while dreaming of new worlds in remote planets”. I’d also recommend trying some of the delicious food in El Bistrot de Sants, checking out the gym and sauna and taking full advantage of the fantastic transport links.
The hotel with history: If you’re in Poland, why not stay at Karakow’s Copernicus Hotel? This hotel is located on the city’s oldest street winding its way toward Wawel Royal Castle; you won’t miss it- the hotel’s Gothic façade stands out amongst the nearby renaissance architecture. I’ve picked this hotel because the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, father of the heliocentric theory, lodged here whenever he visited Krakow. This is probably because of the breathtaking panoramic views that guests are treated to when visiting the hotel’s cosy rooftop terrace.
Hotels to help you learn about space: Stay at the
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and you can learn about the stars. Thanks to an amazingly consistent clear sky,Stargazing is one of the most popular activities offered by the hotel, and a high powered telescope is set up four nights a week. While guests view constellations, galaxies and planets, an astronomer shares his knowledge of the wonders of the universe.
Florida is home to the Kennedy Space Centre- Astronaut Hall of Fame and Florida Spacebeach, so it’d be rude not to mention a hotel that lets you explore both of those. The Hilton Cocoa beach hotel is just minutes from the Nasa’s headquarters meaning you can tour launch areas, meet a veteran astronaut or even view a launch. The hotel also boasts the largest sun desk on Florida Space coast- perfect for sun and space lovers alike!