A Belgian TV station posed this question in light of the recent reopening of the Ice Hotel in Sweden. The TV station solicits answers from people around the world, captured using their webcams. When I saw the question, I knew I had to answer.
I'll start by saying I've never slept in a hotel made of ice. (I don't believe in ice, unless it's in a cocktail or a smoothie.) Here are just two reasons why I'll never stay at the Ice Hotel, taken from the hotel's web site:
"The bed you'll sleep on is made of blocks of ice, a wooden base and a mattress covered with reindeer skin." However inviting that may sound, how do you think the poor reindeer feels about this? Besides, I'd rather sleep on a bed of nails. At least I wouldn't freeze.
"Instead of a door, you pull a curtain in front of it." No door? No thanks. I've seen way too many Hitchcock movies to know better than to sleep in a hotel without a locked door.
Speaking of Hitchcock, the strangest place I've ever spent the night was in the schoolhouse that figured prominently in his 1963 thriller The Birds.
If you'll recall from that film, Tippi Hedren sat outside the schoolhouse, smoking, waiting patiently for the kids inside to finish some insipid song (which they sang over and over and over). Displeased by the repetitive song, menacing birds began gathering on the jungle gym behind Tippi. Once she realized what was happening, she told the schoolteacher Suzanne Pleshette, who wisely informed the children to run outside, where the birds could peck at their faces.
|The famous schoolhouse building from The Birds|
Not surprisingly, the schoolhouse b&b was a drafty, creaky, uncomfortable nightmare, although it was partially redeemed by a life-size cut out of Alfred Hitchcock peering out from a second-story window. The b&b didn't last long, though I'm fairly certain the Victorian building remains.
The Birds is still one of my favorite Hitchcock films. I love how it has absolutely no music in it whatsoever, which makes its doomsday scenario all the more chilling. Nick and I had the pleasure of seeing it at the Castro Theatre a few years back, with Ms. Hedren on stage. (I thought of offering her my fried chicken recipe but thought better of it.)
And speaking of Tippi Hedren, did you know that Mattel issued a Birds Barbie Doll in 2008? The doll looks like Tippi in her lime-green suit, complete with three black crows attacking her and an image of the schoolhouse in the background. The doll can be yours for about $150. Now that's scary.