Giraffe Manor: Guests get up close with Rothschild giraffes at conservation-supporting boutique hotel- Life & Soul Magazine

There’s few boutique hotels in the world that can lay claim to visitors rubbing shoulders with giraffes over the breakfast table other than Kenya’s Giraffe Manor.

Giraffe Manor, set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, is a wonderful and delightful vacation for anyone who has an affinity with the graceful and elegant mammals that are giraffes, namely the Rothschild species.

The boutique hotel, which is situated at one end of land used as a sanctuary by the Africa Fund for Endangered Wildlife for this rare species of giraffe, is often visited by a herd of Rothschild giraffes morning and evening, who sometimes poke their long necks into the windows of the dining room in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary.

The giraffes are nurtured within the 140 acres of the estate, until they are ready to be reintroduced into the wilds of safer National Parks and game reserves wherever possible.

The Rothschild giraffe is one of the most endangered species of giraffe with under 2000 estimated to be left in the wild in 2016. One of the tallest giraffes, the Rothschild giraffe can grow to 19 feet in height and weigh about 2,500 pounds, with the males weighing more than the females by several hundred pounds.

Giraffe Manor, an English-style country mansion, has been supporting the conservation of the Rothschild giraffe since the 1970s when the then owners Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville first adopted an orphaned Rothschild giraffe, Daisy.

Now owned by The Safari Collection, Giraffe Manor has become a world-renowned boutique hotel, with 12 rooms offering guests old country house charm. Managed like a family home, dinner is served at a long table in the dining room, and after drinks served by the fire on the terrace overlooking the rolling lawns.

The Safari Collection supports several initiatives that protect local wildlife, including the Mara Cheetah Project, and operate sustainable practices throughout its portfolio of hotels aimed at reduce its  energy, water and materials and emissions.

A popular place to stay in Kenya, mainly because of its resident four-legged friends, Giraffe Manor recommends booking 1-2 years in advance prior to travel.

Images Credit: Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Meltdown: Exhibition emphasises the changing global climate and the importance of glaciers- Life & Soul Magazine

A series of artworks emphasising the changing global climate and the importance of glaciers is currently on display at London’s Horniman Museum.

The temporary exhibition, entitled Meltdown, aims to emphasise the importance of glaciers in a scientific, illustrative and dramatic way. The show features work from every relevant continent, leading the viewer on a journey in three chapters – The Importance of Glaciers, Current Issues and Meltdown Consequences.

Among the works include artist Peter Funch’s use of vintage postcards as a model for his images of American glaciers to capture the effects of glacial recession; Norfolk + Thymann’s images of part of the Rhône glacier covered in geo-thermal cloth to limit melting; Richard Mosse’s photograph of the ice cave under the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland; and Noémie Goudal’s large-scale photographic installation mirroring the shifting glacial landscape, printed on biodegradable paper.

The exhibition – organised by climate change charity, Project Pressure – is on until 12 January.

Project Pressure, since 2008, has been commissioning world-renowned artists to conduct expeditions to document changes to the world’s vanishing glaciers, the consequences for billions of people, and efforts made to limit melting.

Meltdown

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Designer Maurizio Montalti develops mycelium-based material and products as a solution to plastic problem

Italian designer Maurizio Montalti poses for a picture in front of everyday objects he created, a chair, vases and even slippers, based on mycelium, the white and film-forming part of mushrooms, at the Micropia Museum displaying the invisible world of micro-organisms in Amsterdam on May 2, 2017. What is nicer after a long day than sinking your feet into comfortable slippers? But one Italian designer is hoping to show that shoes made from mushrooms can be just as cosy. / AFP PHOTO / Sophie MIGNON

Amsterdam-based designer Maurizio Montalti – who has created pieces of furniture from a fungus-based material – is proving that mycelium can be used to replace plastic and other materials that are tough to recycle.

By combining mycelium, the “root structure of fungus”, with agricultural waste such as wheat, rapeseed and flax, Maurizio Montalti has created a new material, which he has used in the design of chairs, lampshades, waterproof vases, and slippers.

The designer – whose studio Officina Corpuscoli houses a lab where scientists work alongside designers to grow new materials from living microbes – believes that products made from mycelium-based materials are a solution to the plastic problem.

Maurizio Montalti cites his main source of inspiration as “the fascination for the micro-scale, together with a holistic vision of the world as a macro-organism animated by symbiotic relationships”.

The Italian designer and his team at the Officina Corpuscoli lab have been researching mycelium-based materials for nearly a decade.

In 2015 the studio embarked upon an industrial venture, aiming to standardise and scale-up mycelium technology and the subsequent range of naturally grown products. Alongside industrial partners, Maurizio Montalti founded technology platform and company, MOGU.

MOGU is the first company to offer commercial mycelium-based products on the market, suitable for interior design applications and as an alternative to traditional synthetic materials, such as petroleum-based plastics.

MOGU say: “Today, our relationship with the ecosystem is more than ever compromised, due to human activity and particularly to the irresponsible manufacturing processes we constantly run.

“At MOGU, we thrive to employ only residues as raw input materials, setting new value for unexploited resources through the skillful action of fungal mycelium.”

Image Credit: Sophie Mignon/AFP

Officina Corpuscoli and MOGU

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Hotel Taselotzin: All female-run Mexico-based hotel "with an indigenous heart" empowering Nahua women- Life & Soul Magazine

Hotel Taselotzin, located in the Sierra Norte mountain range of Puebla in Mexico, is a sustainable hotel run by indigenous Nahua women.

Taselotzin, which in Nahuatl means “small plant or shoot”, started life as a hotel “with an indigenous heart” in 1995 as a result of the collective effort of the female-led organisation Masehual Siunamej Mosenyolchiacuani (“Indigenous women who support one another”).

Masehual Siunamej Mosenyolchiacuani was originally set up in 1985 to empower women within the community whilst protecting their indigenous heritage and traditions. Created and managed by more than 100 Nahua women of the region, many of whom are crafts people, the aim of the collective was to help indigenous women sell their crafts at fair prices and to improve their quality of life by creating jobs so to limit the number of community members needing to emigrate.

By 1987, the women’s collective realised that it was not enough to obtain income, and so on the advice of a student from the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), who told the indigenous women that their embroidery could turn profitable beyond their home community of Cuetzalan, the idea of a community-owned hotel arose.

Cuetzalan, nestled in the northern mountains of Puebla, is a small village rich in indigenous history and heritage that is known for its coffee plantations, greenery, cobblestone streets, waterfalls, and caves.

More than 80% of the town’s inhabitants are of Náhuatl origin and live under customs of ancestral community management. These customs are based on conservation and respect towards nature, which have helped prevent the arrival of mining businesses into the area. The remote village has also become popular with conscious travellers looking to experience indigenous customs and traditions.

Hotel Taselotzin – which came about to provide work, preserve culture and halt migrations to big cities and other countries – is preserving the region’s indigenous way of life. Located a 10-minute walk from the city centre of Cuetzalan, Hotel Taselotzin offers basic accomodation decorated simply with Nahua symbols in the 14 bedrooms, a restaurant serving native dishes, traditonal crafts and herbal remedies sold at the hotel, and spa services which include a temazcal sweat lodge and massages.

Rufina Edith Villa, the Nahuatl leader who manages Hotel Taselotzin, said: “In a council meeting we considered this dream [Hotel Taselotzin]. What we wanted was to have our own resources, and not depend on any institution.”

More than 100 indigenous families benefit from the profits of the hotel, which enables indigenous women to be empowered. All profits are distributed among the community members, depending on their participation, during the annual meetings. The crafts are sold under a fair-trade policy and these profits are invested into a fund established to encourage continual product development. In addition, the hotel has its own microcredit system, which is accessible to all members in case of need.

The women say that each room at Hotel Taselotzin and each space is embedded in the pacha mama, the mystical earth mother. The spirit of the pacha mama is said to sip into the rooms, blessing the mountains and Cuetzalan.

Sustainability is a natural part of everything the women’s collective do at Hotel Taselotzin. The hotel participates in composting, and the women also support and partcipate in the conservation of green spaces.

Rufina Edith Villa added: “This place is rooted in nature and our hotel is like a plant, if we do not take care of it, it can wither. It is up to us.”

Hotel Taselotzin does not currently have its own website but rooms can be booked via Booking.com and other online travel companies

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Colorado is our New Faux Leather- Nisha Designs

Colorado is our new Faux Leather. It is available in 60 colours and due to its product properties it can be used in many different ways. Extreme durability is paired with a natural feel. The product is available from mid-January 2020.

Please contact Nisha Desai for further information at nisha@nishadesigns.com or 702.622.8321

We have many new products coming please visit our whole collection available online at https://www.delius-contract.de/en/

2020 to see sustainable travel continue to go mainstream with the rise of “slow travel”, industry experts say- Life and Soul Magazine

2020 is set to see sustainable travel continue to go mainstream with the rise of “slow travel” and conscious travellers, according to ABTA, the association for travel agents and tour operators.

The rise of “slow travel”, a shift towards electric aviation, and an increased focus by travellers on the environmental and social impacts of travel are among five key travel trends for 2020 highlighted in an ABTA research report.

Holidaymakers are choosing to slow down the tempo and make more genuine connections with local people and cultures on their travels, according to The Travel Trends 2020 report, based on market information and consumer insights collated by ABTA.

“Slow travel” is as much about enjoying the journey as it is the destination, and a less packed itinerary takes the pressure off having to visit all the usual tourist hotspots. With more time in one destination, it can potentially reduce the journey footprint and provide travellers with the chance to support more locally run businesses – resulting in a positive impact on the local economy and community.

Another trend for 2020 forecast by ABTA is a shift towards electric powered aircraft, as advancements in technology and increasing demands for more sustainable modes of travel have made the concept of commercial electric flights a very real prospect for short haul travel. With aviation under increasing pressure to improve its carbon footprint, “the future for electric aircraft looks bright, both for leisure and business travel” the ABTA report states.

With sustainability on the rise and climate change in the spotlight throughout 2019, industry experts are predicting 2020 will be the year of conscious travel.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “Sustainability issues are now firmly in the minds of holidaymakers and are a continued thread throughout the report – from cruise industry initiatives to influencing three of our five trends. The travel industry continues to develop plans and initiatives which support local communities, their economies and the environment, so that tourism is a benefit to everyone.”

Other key trends expected to shape holiday choices in 2020, identified by ABTA research, include adopting digital customer service methods and personalised touring.

ABTA also revealed its “12 destinations to watch” which include Basilicata, Chicago and Lake Michigan, Georgia, Grenada, Madrid and its surrounding cities, Morocco, Namibia, South Korea, Singapore, The Netherlands, Uruguay and Vienna.

ABTA

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Yule Celebrations/ Winter Solstice- Nisha Designs- Ravenhawks Magazine

May the Magick of Yule fill your heart, home and family with celebrations of love, joy, peace and hope this holiday season. And we wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays🎄🎁- Nisha Desai

“The Winter Solstice or Yule It begins on “Mother Night” and ends twelve days later, on “Yule Night”, hence the “Twelve Days of Christmas” tradition.
Yule is a time of the Goddess of the Cold Darkness and the birth of the Divine Child, the reborn Sun God. It is a time of renewal and rebirth during Winter, and the turning of the Earth force tides.The Winter Solstice had been associated with the birth of a “Divine King” long before the rise of Christianity. Yule is about renewal, re-birth, returning hope and life.”- Ravenhawks Magazine

Link: https://ravenhawksmagazine.net/2018/12/14/yule-winter-solstice/

The Cartoon Network Hotel Is Officially Opening Summer 2020- Travel and Leisure- Nisha Designs

Cartoon Network Hotel
COURTESY OF CARTOON NETWORK

If you’ve ever dreamt of spending a night surrounded by your favorite cartoons you’re in luck — the Cartoon Network Hotel is (almost) open for business.

The Cartoon Network Hotel, located in Lancaster Pennsylvania, right next to Dutch Wonderland, is now accepting bookings for its June 2020 opening. The resort is just as over-the-top as you might expect from the people that brought you the Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time, Johnny Bravo, and more.

Cartoon Network Hotel
COURTESY OF CARTOON NETWORK
Cartoon Network Hotel
COURTESY OF CARTOON NETWORK

“From the moment you enter the lobby, you’ll realize this is unlike any place your family has stayed before,” the hotel explains on its site.”With our character-themed guest rooms and Dream Suites, it’s like having a sleepover…in a cartoon.

The hotel will feature 165 rooms, an indoor pool, an outdoor water park, a play area, a game room, a cafe where guests can dine with characters, a Cartoon Network store, and more.

“The Cartoon Network Hotel will be unlike any other property in the region,” Rolf Paegert, chief operating officer of Palace Entertainment said in a statement. “Cartoon Network characters and theming will bring the property to life and offer magical, interactive experiences around every turn. This hotel is going to set the standard for guest-focused, themed lodging immersion.”

Cartoon Network Hotel
COURTESY OF CARTOON NETWORK

Beyond the rooms, the Cartoon Network Hotel will also partner with Dutch Wonderland, the amusement park next door, where guests of the hotel receive special admission discounts to the park and its 35 family-friendly rides.

Though the hotel’s precise opening date isn’t set just yet, cartoon fans can start planning their late summer vacations to the park now. Standard rooms start at $289 a night and the hotel’s Dream Suites start at $489 a night.- BY STACEY LEASCA 

Link: https://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/hotel-openings/carton-network-hotel-dutch-wonderland-opening?utm_source=smsshare

Life of Venus- She explores human relationship and gender identities- Habiba Nowrose- Nisha Designs

Habiba Nowrose from Dhaka, Bangladesh photographs from the lens of women’s rights. Her portraits are rich with motifs that signify personality, from bright flowers to colorful garments. But the most identifying aspect of the Nowrose’s subjects are missing — her models’ faces are covered with fabric, leaving only an outline of a figure behind. Her series “Concealed” reflects on women’s personal sacrifices to meet societal expectations. This assimilation leaves the faceless subject anonymous to themselves, and their viewers.

To see more of her Art/ Photography please visit: http://www.habibanowrose.com