TACKY OR TRENDY?

I was travelling this week and was bored sitting in a very average airline lounge. Instead I wondered around aimlessly looking for something to buy in one of the airport shops (which are fast becoming the same shop repeated every 20 metres). Unfortunately I wasn’t in Hong Kong airport with Jimmy Choo at my beckon call, so I had to settle on trying to buy a souvenir for my 3 year old daughter.

Which got me to thinking… what are some of the best souvenirs you can buy at an airport? Here is a list of some of the more interesting ones and you can be the judge if they are tacky or trendy!

Shanghai Pudong Airport
PANDA HAT – a hat and attached mittens (also available a ton of panda-clad merchandise – bags, beer coolers and toys).

Tokyo Narita Airport
HELLO KITTY or ORIGAMI – What can I say, Japan is all things Hello Kitty! A nice alternative is a gift from the Origami museum located in the airport

Cairns Airport, Australia
CANE TOAD COIN PURSE – The perfect gift for someone who has everything.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport
REINDEER PELT – Yes you read correctly. Maybe stick to buying perfume here!

London Heathrow Airport
RUBBER DUCK – Love the Harrods one (my favourite). Of course the usual double decker bus money boxes are available too.
I am yet to see any inspiring souvenirs from the upcoming 2012 Olympics, so would be keen to hear from anyone who has found one.

Los Angeles – LAX
OSCAR – When in LA… how can you resist a fake Oscar statue (quite easily!)

Any USA Airport
CAP/T-SHIRT – Always a great place to buy the local basketball, hockey, football, baseball supporter gear

Singapore Airport
ORCHIDS – Alive and packaged ready to travel. Although check if you are allowed to bring them to your destination.

What did I buy? Pink panda slippers… perfect for a 3 year old!

HOTELS THAT RAISE THE BAR

Not excited about staying in the Marriott Hotel again, where the only option for an after work drink is in the lobby bar that hasn’t had a facelift since the 1970’s.

While we know everyone is limited by corporate hotel selection, you can still venture to these hotel bars, if only for a drink and to impress!

Here are some of the hotel bars that have been named as the best (based in cities).

Connaught Bar at the Connaught, London
What recession? Opulence at its finest. Signature drink – juleps laced with herbal Fernet-Branca

Hemingway Bar, Ritz Carlton, Paris
Decadent and full of history. Signature drink – Bloody Mary. Where it was invented for Hemingway, to disguise the smell of alcohol on his breath.

Long Bar, Raffles Hotel, Singapore
Armchairs, big ceiling fans and throwing peanut shells on the ground. Old school colonial at its finest. Signature drink – The Singapore Sling. Invented in 1915 and still going strong – the bar sells 2,000 Singapore Slings daily.

Martini Bar at the Raleigh, Miami
Keeps things art deco and classy in Miami . Signature drink – martini

Redwood Room at Clift, San Francisco
Where the in-crowd of Silicon Valley can be seen. The room is filled with digital art to keep you entertained. Signature drink – Lavender martini

New York Bar at the Park Hyatt, Tokyo
Yes made famous in Lost in Translation, this cool bar is 52 floors up with stunning views. Signature drink – Yamazaki whiskey

Bar 1200 at Sunset Marquis Hotel, West Hollywood
Celebrity spotting of the music variety is rife – so look sharp or arrive early to get in. A recording studio is on-hand near by. Signature drink – Marquis-tini

Sky Lounge at Upper House, Hong Kong
49 floors up and you will find huge windows, an amazing view and an oasis above the bustling street of Central. Signature drink – Soul Happiness

The Drawing Room at the Greenwich Hotel, New York City
Cosy and warm in Tribeca you will feel like you are in your fantasy living room. Signature drink – Manhattan

What is your favourite hotel bar for an after work drink?