Pro tip from the Greenbrier’s interior designer: Embrace color and shun beige

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Since taking over Dorothy Draper and Company, Varney has designed and refurbished countless hotels, buildings, homes and even a presidential yacht, the USS Sequoia. However, the Greenbrier occupies a special place in his heart; as the hotel’s official curator, the 83-year-old maintains an office there. His hardcover valentine, “Romance & Rhododendrons: My Love Affair with America’s Resort — The Greenbrier,” comes out Dec. 5. We spoke with Varney in his Palm Beach office, before he traveled to Washington for a meeting with the National Council of the White House Historical Association. (He’s an appointed member.) He planned to spend Thanksgiving at the Greenbrier, where gravy is a condiment, not a palette. Here are his insights into design and the fabled hotel, plus how color (optimistic orange? positive purple?) can lift our spirits during these gloomy-gray times.

The power of color: I have spent 54 years trying to open the windows and doors of America to color. I believe color has a total effect on people’s heads, minds and attitudes. A beautiful sunny room makes people happy. I think children who grow up in rooms that are pretty and colorful and magical are better people.

Colorful bedfellows: The White House has a bright red room and a green room and a blue room and a gold room. When the Jefferson dining room was done at Monticello, it was a bright gold. They finally returned it to that color.

A beige experience: I once went to a hotel on my way back from Bora Bora, and the carpet was a knobby gray, and the walls were beige with white trim, and the curtains were gray-beige. Even the art was beige. I went into the travertine bathroom, and when I came out, I thought I was naked in a bowl of oatmeal.

Before the beige era: When I came to the office in the early ’60s, hotels were not beige and gray. They were colorful. They were pretty. William Pahlmann used to do wonderful hotels. Ellen McCluskey did great hotels. Tom Lee did great hotels. When Mrs. Draper did the Mayflower in Washington, D.C., the rooms were beautiful.

Never change: We’ve never changed. We’ve become interesting and special. People come to us because we do color. Our business is the oldest established decorating and design company in America, and we survived the muted [trend].

The Greenbrier is not . . . the Ritz-Carlton. You can tell what they are. They have the panel walls, the matching sconces, the Aubusson-style rug, the round table in the middle, the flowers on the round table, the winged chairs in light blue in the corner. It’s all uniform.

The Greenbrier is . . . special. If you go to a great house in Europe, you don’t want to see beige. You want see how one generation added onto the [designs of the] next generation, but they didn’t eliminate the previous generation. So the houses are interesting. They’re fun to go into, to see the series of people who have lived there. In the Greenbrier, that beautiful Princess Grace portrait I hung in the north parlor . . . you don’t have to be a pre-Revolutionary-war person to be hung on the wall there. We honor our past as well as we accept the future.

Beyond rooms: We did a new chapel. Then I did a casino and a sports center. There’s always something happening. Gov. [Jim] Justice [the resort’s owner] trusts me, and they don’t interfere with what we do. It’s like my own house.

Just like home: I have been there for so many years, I feel like I know what is in the bottom drawer of Room 1029. That’s the room I always stay in. And, of course, they did a suite several years ago, the Carleton Varney Suite, which is on the north end. It looks over the mountains. There are a lot of people who think it should be a convention hotel. They don’t understand that it’s a country house hotel. I want you to feel as if you are the owner and you invited your friends to stay over. You offer them the yellow bedroom or the pink bedroom or the striped bedroom. But you don’t offer them oatmeal.

The White House of West Virginia: It’s much like the White House in many ways. It has the columns. The emir of Qatar came here, and when the wife arrived, she said to her husband, “I never knew the White House had a golf course.” She thought it looked so much like the White House.

Banana leaf copycats: We did the big banana leaf design for a hotel in Brazil, and then they used it for the Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s our pattern, and everybody is using it. It’s on bed trays, women’s clothes — it’s on everything.

Shades of blue: Mrs. Draper believed that Jefferson painted the ceilings at Monticello that light aqua blue to deflect the insects and mosquitoes. Dorothy was very unhappy when Tiffany came out with those boxes in blue because she said it was her color.

Hues with benefits: I like to be in a green room because I feel like I am in the mountains of Montana or the jungles of St. Croix. I have always painted small rooms dark colors — garnet red, royal blue, sable brown — because they become more intimate. Mrs. Draper never did a ballroom unless it was pink because pink flatters faces. I worked with Dorothy for seven years. I remember working on a hotel in D.C. called the Sutton House. Dorothy would look at the fabric we were working with and say, “Show me nothing that looks like gravy.” Nothing that looked it was going to be on a turkey or a piece of meat. It had to be happy.

Executive decorating: I was Jimmy Carter’s decorator when he was in the White House. The Carters had the most wonderful style — down home. I would do tuzzy muzzies on the tables when [then-U.K. Prime Minister] Margaret Thatcher came to a state dinner. And then I did their cottage and log cabin in Ellijay [Georgia]. I helped them at the Carter Center [in Atlanta]. I redid the house in The Plains. Speaking of Washington, I was also the Quayles’ decorator when they did the Naval Observatory, and it was very colorful. Marilyn [Quayle] didn’t want any roses like Barbara Bush had. I did a china service for the vice president’s house — light blue and gold. I wanted to find out if Tipper Gore [the subsequent resident] ever used it. I got a letter back that it was in the basement.

Book timing: I’m not getting younger. I felt I owed it to the Greenbrier to write this story so that future generations would know about the color and spirit of the place. There is a whole thing called the Greenbrier style, which I hope the world never loses.

Shop Draper: People like to walk out of the Greenbrier with something that looks likes the Greenbrier. We have all these things that we call Dorothy Draper Home. We have pillows, trays and lamps. We opened the store [at the Greenbrier] last July. It is the only one now. We are going to have a couple in other places.

Garden variety: I like the colors that come up in the garden and the colors that come from below the earth — the emeralds and beautiful rubies.

Foreign influence: I love Portugal, and I have a house in Ireland. I live in Ireland half the year. I love the Irish green, the countryside. I planted daffodil and tulip bulbs. I plant a thousand every year, so my fields are all yellow. People who plant a garden believe in a tomorrow.

Insta-Greenbrier: The Greenbrier used to be a Kodak moment, but now it’s an Instagram moment.

Greenbrier is home: I think people like to go back to the Greenbrier because it doesn’t change. They know they’re home.

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5 unique golf courses around the world you can travel to

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Malaysia has much to offer golfers. Many courses here often make their way into annual “best of” lists, with enthusiasts commending their high quality green and beautiful driving ranges.

In Kuala Lumpur alone, there are over 40 golf courses available. For some venues, one would need to be invited by a club member or stay at an associated hotel before they can play there.

But while Malaysia is a top golfing destination, it’s also worth travelling abroad to experience other courses. More than just the chance to play at different courses, a “golf holiday” also lets you explore new destinations.

With so many breathtaking courses all over the world, it can be difficult to choose where to go. A tip is to narrow down the location according to your budget, as well as the kind of weather you’d like to play in.

If you’re dreaming of a golf holiday, here are some unique courses around the world to tee off.

Extreme 19th at Legend Golf & Safari Resort, South Africa

The iconic Extreme 19th at Legend Golf & Safari Resort located in Limpopo, South Africa, is famed for its world’s longest and highest Par 3 hole.

Treat yourself to an astonishing view – miles of African savannah stretching as far as the eye can see – when you play here. The tee shot is accessible only by helicopter and is 400m high on Hanglip Mountain.

Look out for the patch of greenery shaped like the African continent at the course.

Apart from being in the middle of a wildlife preserve, the venue is known for its “world-in-one” Signature Course where each of the 18 holes is designed by a different golfing legend.

Camp Bonifas, Between North and South Korea

Dare to play golf in a war zone? Touted as “the most dangerous course on the planet”, the Camp Bonifas course is located in the Korean Demilitarised Zone, which is on the border of North and South Korea.

   Dubbed the ‘most dangerous golf course in the world’, Camp Bonifas is located in the Korean Demilitarised Zone. — EDWARD N. JOHNSON/US ArmyDubbed the ‘most dangerous golf course in the world’, Camp Bonifas is located in the Korean Demilitarised Zone. — EDWARD N. JOHNSON/US Army

This single-hole course sits beside one of the most fortified borders in the world. The green is surrounded on three sides by live minefields!

This Par 3 hole is said to be challenging as the green is hard as a rock.

Uummannaq, Greenland

Hate the heat? Then consider playing on a giant iceberg. Located about 800km north of the Arctic Circle, Uummannaq in Greenland hosts the World Ice Golf Cham-pionships, where people all around the world come to play below freezing temperatures. The rules are pretty much the same as your standard game of golf, except that the holes are a little shorter, the cups are larger, and everything is frozen.

Although seal dens and crevasses are potential hazards, the biggest threat is frostbite, which players are taught how to spot before they tee off.

Himalayan Golf Club, Nepal

Few courses around the world give that “wow factor” like the Himalayan Golf Club. Located 7km away from Pokhara, Nepal, the course is situated in a vast canyon created by melted snow from the Bijayapur river.

Golfers here get a spectacular view of the Fishtail and Annapurna mountain ranges. The venue is home to the only natural river island hole in the world. Don’t be surprised to find wild cattle and buffaloes roaming freely while playing.

Arikikapakapa Rotorua Golf Club, New Zealand

The geographical layout of the Arikikapakapa Rotorua Golf Club is a favourite feature among many golfers across the globe.

   The Rotorua Golf Club was built around the Arikikapakapa reserve in Whakarewarewa, an active geothermal area in New Zealand. — Rotorua Golf Club websiteThe Rotorua Golf Club was built around the Arikikapakapa reserve in Whakarewarewa, an active geothermal area in New Zealand. — Rotorua Golf Club website

This unique 18-hole thermal golf course is located in the middle of a sulfur and brimstone thermal zone.

There are hot geothermal lakes, bubbling thermal mud pools, creeks with warm water running through and a geyser erupting every so often in the distance, making a golf game here a truly incomparable experience.



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Here’s a roundup of top-notch travel deals, whether you’d rather staycation in Alaska or venture abroad

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We’re in between the two tallest pillars of the retail universe: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And many travelers are itching to go somewhere.

It’s a delicate balance for travel companies offering deals, though. Coaxing travelers to fly, to sail or to stay somewhere when COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in many communities is challenging for companies. After all, there’s still no vaccine to fight the coronavirus and preventive measures — masks, physical distancing and hand-washing — can be difficult to enforce.

Also, each state or country has its own protocols for entry, which may include advance testing, quarantine on arrival, or both. And those entry requirements change all the time.

So this week, travelers who are shopping for deals are betting on a vaccine and for improved testing and mitigation conditions in 2021. Feeling lucky?

The Alaska Collection by Pursuit is offering a 40% off sale for 2021 adventures here in Alaska. This includes Kenai Fjords Tours in Seward, Denali Backcountry Adventures and the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.

My favorite boat ride in Seward is the six-hour “National Park Cruise,” which departs Seward’s small boat harbor, heads out Resurrection Bay and rounds the corner to visit Aialik Bay. Regular price for the cruise is $169, plus tax, and lunch on board is included. Cruises start on May 1, 2021. The sale price using the code CYBER40 is $112, and there’s no discount on the taxes.

Major Marine Tours also is offering a 40% off sale for its cruises in Seward to Kenai Fjords National Park.

If you want to stay overnight in Seward, which is a good idea, stay at the Seward Windsong Lodge. The hotel opens May 14 and the sale pricing brings the cost down from $179 to $107 per night. Use the discount code CYBER40.

Up in Talkeetna, the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is opening for spring break starting on March 6, 2021. The rooms are much cheaper, and the snow will be ideal for skiing, cycling or snowmachining. The regular price is $129 per night, but the sale price is $77 per night. When the lodge reopens for the summer season on May 15, 2021, the rates go up to $229 per night. Using that same discount code brings that down to $137 per night, plus tax.

At Denali National Park, the company Pursuit offers a daily tour from the park entrance all the way back to Kantishna, at the end of the 92-mile park road. The Denali Backcountry Adventure tour includes a meal at the end of the road at Denali Backcountry Lodge. Very few travelers get this far back in the park. It’s a great opportunity to get the perfect shot of Denali, with Wonder Lake in the foreground.

Denali is reflected in a small pond just east of Wonder Lake in Denali National Park on August 23, 2006. (Bob Hallinen / ADN archive)

Usually, the bus tour is $199 per person, but the sale price — including the $15 Denali National Park fee — is $134.40. The discount code is a little different: CYBER40DBA. The tour leaves from Denali Cabins, located 8 miles south of the park entrance. However, the bus will pick you up at other hotels or campsites.

Denali Cabins consists of 46 individual cedar cabins. Usually, the summertime rate is $169 per night, plus tax. But using the CYBER40 discount code, the cost comes down to $101 per night.

There are other Black Friday sales for hotels, but none caught my eye like Fairmont Hotels. I got on their mailing list after staying at their beautiful hotel Chateau Lake Louise in Canada’s Banff National Park.

This is a big hotel in a spectacular setting. The rate when we stayed there was more than $500 per night. I used some credit card points there, as well as at the Fairmont Jasper Lodge farther north on the Icefield Parkway in the Canadian Rockies.

Of course, both of these hotels are off-limits to us right now, since the Canadians don’t want visiting Americans to potentially spread COVID-19.

But Fairmont has some beautiful hotels around the world, including the Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle. I checked the sale price for a stay in January: $185 per night. The Kea Lani resort in Maui also is a Fairmont resort, but I could not find a date where the Black Friday discount would work. The rack rates started at more than $500 per night.

It’s worth surfing around the Fairmont site to see if there’s a property that works for you in Chicago, California’s Sonoma County or Scottsdale, Arizona.

A view of the Hurtigruten’s vessel MS Roald Amundsen, docked in Tromso, Norway, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2021. (Terje Pedersen/NTB scanpix via AP)

One cruise company that stood out, though, is Hurtigruten. This Norwegian company has the craziest itineraries: around Iceland, to Antarctica and to Greenland. They also offer some itineraries around the coast of South America, in the Caribbean and in Alaska.

There were a few airfare specials on various airlines, but none here in Alaska. Sometimes, when there are no super-specials from Alaska, you have to cobble together a ticket to San Francisco or Los Angeles, along with a ticket to your final destination.

Cathay Pacific has some good Black Friday deals for travel starting in April. So, clearly, they’re banking that travelers will be allowed to visit by then. Here are some of the best rates:

• San Francisco-Taipei: $475 round trip

• Los Angeles/San Francisco-Ho Chi Minh City: $480 round trip

• Los Angeles-Manila: $469 round trip

• Los Angeles-Denpasar, Bali: $474 round trip

Other destinations also are available, including Tokyo and Singapore. But at this time, American citizens are not allowed to visit. Travelers on Cathay Pacific can earn Alaska Airlines miles.

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Bring it on home: Spain | Travel

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Who and where From left: Jim and Irene Hirschfield of St. Louis and Paula and Jerry Kaye of Wilmette, Illinois, at the General Life Gardens at the Alhambra, palace and fortress of the Moorish monarchs in Granada, Spain.

The trip • They traveled throughout Spain last year with private guides starting in Madrid, and traveling to Granada, Sevilla and Barcelona.

Travel tip • Purchase tickets in advance for the Alhambra; don’t miss Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid.

Contribute • Email your photo to stlpost@gmail.com. Include the full names of everyone in the photo, including where they are from and where you are standing in the photo. Also include your address and phone number. Please also tell us a little about the trip and a travel tip. We’re looking for interesting, well-composed, well-lighted photos.

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Women’s Basketball Travels to Quinnipiac Sunday Afternoon

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Villanova will hit the road for the first time this season on Sunday afternoon, when the Wildcats travel to Quinnipiac for a non-conference contest. Tip-off in Hamden, Conn., is set for 3 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN+.
 
Sunday’s game between Villanova and Quinnipiac will be just the third all-time meeting between the two schools. The last time the Wildcats and Bobcats met was during the first round of the 2014 WNIT when Villanova earned a 74-66 win.
 
Villanova is coming off a 70-37 home win over the visiting Rider Broncs on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Maddy Siegrist led the way in the win with a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds. She was 13-of-19 from the field and 2-of-5 from three-point range. Freshman Lior Garzon was the second Wildcat to reach double figures with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting (3-of-4 from long distance). Brianna Herlihy added eight points and eight rebounds, while Raven James dished out a game-high six assists.
 
Quinnipiac earned a 71-65 victory against the visiting Providence College Friars in  its season opener. Rose Caverly led the Bobcats in the win with 20 points, while Mikala Morris had 17 points.   
 
The first Villanova double-double of the 2021-21 season was credited to Siegrist who had 28 points and 10 rebounds against Rider. Siegrist has now tallied a double-double in 12 of her 32 collegiate games.
 
Villanova was very efficient on the offensive end of the floor in Wednesday’s win over Rider. The Cats finished the game shooting 52.6 percent from the field (30-of-57) and 40.0 percent from three-point range (8-of-20). The Wildcats also played outstanding team basketball in the win, as they were credited with 24 assists on 30 made field goals.
 
The Wildcats got a solid contribution from the bench in the season opening win.  Of the 70 points scored, the Wildcat bench scored 20 of the 70 points. The bench play was highlighted by Garzon who had 11 points in her collegiate debut.
 
 



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Pipetting Tip Market 2021: Potential growth, attractive valuation make it is a long-term investment | Know the COVID19 Impact | Top Players: Eppendorf, Mettler Toledo, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Sartorius, Biotix, etc.

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Pipetting Tip Market Research Report is a Proficient and In-Depth Study on the Existing State of Pipetting Tip Industry. This Report Focuses on the Major Drivers, Restraints, Opportunities and Threats for Key Players. It also Provides Granular Analysis of Market Share, Segmentation, Revenue Forecasts and Regional Analysis till 2022.

Further, Pipetting Tip Market report also covers the development policies and plans, manufacturing processes and cost structures, marketing strategies followed by top Pipetting Tip players, distributor’s analysis, Pipetting Tip marketing channels, potential buyers and Pipetting Tip development history. This report also states import/export, supply and consumption figures as well as cost, price, revenue and gross margin by regions.

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  • Distributors/Traders List included in Pipetting TipMarket

Pipetting Tip Market 2021-2026: Segmentation

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Boeing (BA) Reports Staggering Q4 Loss

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Dow component The Boeing Company (BA) is trading lower by more than 3% in Wednesday’s pre-market session after reporting a staggering fourth quarter 2020 loss of $15.25 per share, much worse than $1.63 loss estimates. Revenue fell 14.6% year over year to $15.39 billion, matching modest expectations. The company cited COVID-19 and 787 production issues for the shortfall but delivered over 40 MAX-737 jetliners and returned another five to its fleets.

Key Takeaways

  • Boeing reported a much greater-than-expected quarterly loss of $15.25 per share.
  • The stock is trading below $200 for the first time since November.
  • The aerospace giant pushed delivery dates toward 2023 and beyond.
  • Delivery projections may be too optimistic due to huge supply issues.

Commercial airline revenue fell 37% year over year, rising 31% compared to the third quarter. The 737-MAX program is expected to deliver 31 jetliners per month in 2022, when 787 production rises to just five per month. The company pushed back 777x deliveries to late 2023, but all projections are suspect because Boeing has done a poor job predicting demand since the Ethiopian jetliner crash in 2019.

The MAX-737 jetliner returned to the skies in the fourth quarter, but there’s little demand for the aircraft, with severe travel restrictions around the world. In addition, the pandemic has forced carriers to mothball hundreds of aircraft, generating a massive supply that will lower demand for new planes well into the future. Adding to long-term concerns, many analysts now believe that business travel will never return to pre-pandemic levels because corporations have adapted to the virtual meeting space, saving billions in travel budgets.

Wall Street consensus on Boeing hasn’t improved in the past three months despite positive 737-MAX developments, with a “Hold” rating based upon 10 “Buy,” 1 “Overweight,” 11 “Hold,” 2 “Underweight,” and 3 “Sell” recommendations. Price targets currently range from a low of $150 to a Street-high $306, while the stock will open Wednesday’s session nearly $30 below the median $222 target. There’s room for a little upside with this placement, but the huge quarterly loss won’t stir buying interest.

Tip

Demand is an economic principle referring to a consumer’s desire to purchase goods and services and willingness to pay a price for a specific good or service. Holding all other factors constant, an increase in the price of a good or service will decrease the quantity demanded, and vice versa. Market demand is the total quantity demanded across all consumers in a market for a given good.

Boeing Weekly Chart (2013 – 2021) 

TradingView.com


The stock returned to the 2007 high at $107.83 in 2013 and broke out, entering a broad trading range on top of new support. It held within those boundaries into a secondary breakout in 2017, with committed buyers generating impressive returns into March 2019’s all-time high at $446.01. A second MAX crash then triggered a worldwide grounding, sending price into a tailspin that initially found support near $320 in the third quarter.

Boeing broke range support in February 2020, plunging to a seven-year low in the double digits, and bounced back above $200 in June. A multi-month consolidation carved a higher November low, yielding a strong buying impulse that mounted second quarter resistance before fizzling out below the 200-week exponential moving average (EMA) in December. The stock has been pulling back since that time and is trading below $200 for the first time since November.

The monthly stochastic oscillator is grinding through a buy cycle, while the weekly indicator’s sell cycle has crossed into oversold territory. Taken together, this downswing is likely to bottom out quickly, allowing bottom fishers to take exposure at cheaper prices. Even so, the November gap between $158 and $172 remains unfilled, potentially acting as a magnetic target when investors realize that the old Boeing may be gone for good.

Tip

A stochastic oscillator is a momentum indicator comparing a particular closing price of a security to a range of its prices over a certain period of time. The sensitivity of the oscillator to market movements is reducible by adjusting that time period or by taking a moving average of the result. It is used to generate overbought and oversold trading signals, utilizing a 0–100 bounded range of values.

The Bottom Line 

Boeing is selling off after posting a much worse-than-expected fourth quarter loss and announcing delays in key milestone dates. 

Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the time of
publication.

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Cleaning robots are powering an automation revolution in hospitality

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One day last summer, the newest member of YOTEL Boston’s housekeeping team pulled up to work in a big crate.

“It was an imposing box,” recalled general manager Trish Berry, who watched as a team of robotics professionals then unpacked the employee, a tall cleaning bot nicknamed “Vi-YO-Let.” After getting programmed to understand the property’s floor plan, Vi-YO-Let (pronounced like “violet”) began roaming like a germ-zapping Roomba — becoming, in the process, one of the first ultraviolet bots to arrive in a United States hotel.

While Vi-YO-Let, the product of a partnership with Denmark-based UVD Robots, might play cute tunes and light up as she moves, she has a serious job: disinfecting the air and surfaces around her. And she does so remarkably well: Her array of UV lights, which look like a bundle of lightsabers, kill more than 99 percent of viruses and bacteria, including the coronavirus.

“It gave me a little peace of mind that I could offer something extra for our guests,” Berry said, and it seems to give travelers the same. More and more guests are requesting the robo-cleaning package, currently a complimentary add-on. “Cleanliness is now the new luxury,” Berry said.

The cleaning routines at most busy airports and hotels had remained relatively unchanged for decades. But as the pandemic rages into its second year, major brands are increasingly turning to the world of high-tech disinfection to strengthen their cleaning protocols. It’s a trend that’s slowly transforming housekeeping — and accelerating the pace of automation in hospitality.

Welcome to the ‘pathogen-free sanctuary’

Until recently, only health-care workers would frequently interact with disinfecting bots, which cost upward of $125,000 each. It’s a steep investment, but if it boosts travelers’ confidence, it’s worth it, said Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex, one of several leading companies in UV robotics.

When an epidemiologist founded the San Antonio-based firm in 2008, “the robots were designed and typically used in hospital settings,” Miller explained. But starting last spring, Xenex found rising demand in other sectors, and has raced to keep up since.

The appeal to the hospitality sector of virus-slaying UV light is obvious. Hospitals have found Xenex’s patented machines kill “22 times more pathogens” when compared with a room cleaned to CDC standards alone, Miller said. “The robots [are not] dependent on housekeeping,” he added, framing their consistency in cleaning as a scientifically backed “competitive advantage” travelers can trust.

Claims about the rigor of robot cleaning routines have recently become rather surreal marketing campaigns. Take the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. The iconic hotel, famous for hosting the annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony, boasts in one promotional video that its Xenex robot staff “zaps every inch before your arrival,” leaving you a “pathogen-free sanctuary” where you’ll “rest assured you’re sleeping in the safest room possible.”

Today, travelers might stumble on UV bots anywhere from five-star hotels and convention centers to train stations and cruise ships. Upscale Hilton and Marriott hotels, airports such as Heathrow and Key West International, London’s St. Pancras train station, and convention centers in Oklahoma City and San Antonio are only a few of the notable hospitality hubs that have hired disinfecting robots, according to spokespeople for several major robotics companies.

In Odense, the “robot capital” of Denmark, the rise of cleaning bots in hospitality has led to a “big increase” in sales for UVD Robots, said PR coordinator Camilla Almind Knudsen. And she predicts the pandemic is only the tipping point.

“We expect the market for autonomous cleaning robots to grow in hospitality as well as other sectors,” Knudsen wrote in an email. She cited a May 2020 forecast from Verified Market Research that projects the market for UV disinfecting bots will grow to more than $5.5 billion by 2027. A fresh class of cleaning bots unveiled at this year’s virtual CES — including a more affordable model from LG — shows how many tech firms believe the robots are here to stay.

A new wave of automation

This is not the first time robots have beeped and booped their way through hospitality.

Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, Calif., rolled out two of the world’s first robotic butlers in 2014. A 2016 partnership between Hilton and IBM led to a trial of Connie, a novelty robot concierge. Before the 2018 Winter Olympics, South Korea’s Incheon International Airport unveiled robots that could help travelers find their gate, among other tasks. And Japan’s famous Henn na Hotel has claimed to be the first hotel staffed by robots, though in 2019, the hotel fired about half of its 243 bots for underperforming (and, alarmingly, potentially exposing guests to hackers and peepers).

But the new wave of pandemic-era robots stands out from such predecessors, both because of the bots’ wider adoption and the more practical jobs they fill. Some robot makers refer to these kinds of bots as “cobots,” a portmanteau of “collaboration” and “robots,” because they’re intended to work alongside people rather than replace them. And while current bots like Vi-YO-Let may not compete with housekeepers, experts say such a future now seems more likely than ever.

Back in 2017, spatial economist Johannes Moenius, a professor at the University of Redlands in California, co-authored a report that predicted more than 60 percent of jobs in hospitality-dominated cities like Las Vegas could be automatable by 2025 — job losses that would exacerbate income inequality and disproportionately harm women of color.

At the time, he reasoned that certain hospitality jobs, those where face-to-face customer service is a key part of the experience, were less vulnerable. “If you had asked me a year ago how likely it is we would see a robot waiter, I would say, ‘Yeah, in Tokyo,’ ” Moenius said with a laugh. “That [analysis] has entirely changed now.”

He’s joined in that appraisal by a growing number of experts, who argue the pandemic is likely to accelerate the automation of jobs in sectors like hospitality. “Some share of the population now seek out places where human interaction is avoided,” Moenius said. “That was pretty much impossible for me even to conceive, to imagine, a year ago.”

Workers’ uncertain future

Where do people go if the robots come for our jobs? It’s a question labor leaders in hospitality have been grappling with for some time.

“I’ve been focused on [the rise of automation] for four years. Candidly, I got focused after going to the CES show here in Vegas in ’17,” said D. Taylor, international president of the Unite Here union, which represents workers in hotels, casinos, food service and more. “If they can develop driverless cars, if they can develop the whole variety of different things I saw there, certainly the jobs in our industry are going to change.”

Elected officials continue to underestimate the economic threats of automation in sectors like hospitality and tourism, Taylor says, which is why Unite Here negotiates “extensive technology language” into its labor contracts. This helps ensure that workers can retrain for new skills, transition to other roles or at least receive severance pay if their jobs are automated out of existence.

But the union also acknowledges the reality: Even as new technologies create new roles, some types of jobs may go away for good. “We’re not a bunch of Luddites. We want to collaborate, not be run over by technology,” Taylor said. That will require hospitality brands not to “disregard the workers that, frankly, got them to the dance in the first place.”

Rest assured, self-sufficient androids like Rosie from “The Jetsons” still seem a far way off. In the nearly six months since starting her new job, Vi-YO-Let has acquired no new skills in folding sheets or fluffing pillows — that isn’t what she was made to do. She has, however, created some new work for the staff.

A few team members at YOTEL Boston have become certified to drive Vi-YO-Let through the hotel’s smaller, harder-to-navigate rooms. “It’s kind of like playing video games,” Berry said. For now, even a state-of-the-art robot sometimes requires the delicate human touch.

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My travel dream for 2021: top 12 readers’ tips | Travel

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Winning tip: A perfect ’stan

Covid willing, we’ll be heading to Kyrgyzstan. It’s at that perfect point where the infrastructure supports a great travel experience, but it’s not become spoiled by tourists. Bishkek is modern and vibrant, and in the stunning rural areas it’s possible to stay with nomads living the traditional life. It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with delicious locally sourced food. Kyrgyz community-based tourism proved an affordable way to experience the life of horse-riding nomads living in yurts, and the money goes into the community itself.
Minnie Martin

Where the map takes us, Wester Ross

Evening sunlight over Achnahaird Bay, Wester Ross.
Evening sunlight over Achnahaird Bay, Wester Ross.
Photograph: Lorraine Yates/Alamy Stock Photo

The west coast of Scotland is our wild goal. During the neverending house tidy of 2020, we found the Gairloch & Ullapool area OS map and pored over it – a bit of geography home learning for my son, who liked the wriggly contour lines and the consonant-heavy names of the lochs and mountains. We’ll take the high road to Gairloch to see orca and minke (Hebridean Whale Cruises, £64 adult, £35 child), stay in a wooden wigwam at Sands campsite (from £52pp), and walk to the beach humming the Skye boat song.
Nancy Gladstone

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Guardian Travel readers’ tips

Every week we ask our readers for recommendations from their travels. A selection of tips will be featured online and may appear in print. To enter the latest competition visit the readers’ tips homepage

Island dream, Lundy

Tourists land from MS Oldenburg on Lundy Island.
The MS Oldenburg landing on Lundy. Photograph: Backyard Production/Getty Images

My son, daughter and I have been making lists of where we want to go since the first lockdown. We’ve booked a few days on Lundy for next August in the hope that it will be safe to travel again by then. It only involves a five-hour drive to Ilfracombe, Devon, and then a couple of hours on HMS Oldenburg (which for my three-year-old boy will be the holiday made before we even get there). We’ll stay in Castle Cottage, in the keep of a castle built by Henry III in 1250. There’s nothing to do but explore cliffs, beaches and lighthouses, and look for the crashed bomber plane in the heather. And there’s no internet.
Kate Attrill

All a-Twitter for York

Curtor holding an 800-year-old figure of Christ
An 800-year-old figure of Christ returned to York last year and on display at the Yorkshire Museum. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

I’d love to go to York and visit the Yorkshire Museum as their wonderful tweets – mainly about odd or mysterious items in their collection – have kept me entertained and brought history alive this year. A pint or two in the city’s ancient pubs and a wander home to characterful lodgings would just cap a cultural visit off nicely!
Liz

Mind-Boggling Whitby, North Yorkshire

Boggle Hole YHA, Robin Hood’s Bay.
Boggle Hole YHA near Robin Hood’s Bay. Photograph: Ian Bottle/Alamy

Low cost and close to home, a stay with the YHA at Boggle Hole is always a welcome relief. A converted watermill with a reception, bar and cosy sitting room complete with a log fire and leather couches, it’s in a pebbled cove overlooking the sea, with wooded cliffs on either side. Go in spring or early autumn and the prices are as low as £29 a night. Walk across the sandy beach to Robin Hoods Bay or over the jagged cliffs to Ravenscar to see the seals.
Safiya El-Gindy

Golden Glasgow

Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. Photograph: Black Jake/Getty Images

I long for the wide expansiveness of Glasgow boulevards: west-facing, bathed in the golden glow of light glancing off sandstone. I long for the cobbled alleyways, armpit-piled bookshops, curiosity shops crammed with treasure; and also the glitzy, glassy, high street emporiums filled with unafforded luxuries. I long for views of the university, the Campsie Fells, the high flats, the rivers snaking through. And the tearooms, pubs, gastropubs, curry houses, Asian street food haunts, delis and restaraunts high end and greasy spoon. It’s only two hours away but has been impossibly out of reach. I long for full immersion, to be sated by all its gritty, impossibly romantic, unabashed grandeur.
Fiona

Simply sublime, Cotswolds Way

The Cotswold Way at Crickley Hill.
The Cotswold Way at Crickley Hill. Photograph: Alamy

In 2021 I want to carry on enjoying the benefits of the simple pleasures of travelling that 2020 led us to – like walking and talking. I want to walk the Cotswolds Way from Broadway to Bath, breathing in fresh air, wondering at big skies, scanning rolling hills in the distance while getting fitter without going to gyms or swimming in chlorinated pools or using mobile apps. Its 120 miles should take about a week, staying in village pubs along the way. Travel, like life, should be about connecting reality to your imagination by inspiration, which can come in the purest, most simple of forms.
Nick

Faroes football

My dream is to fulfil a Covid-delayed bucket-list trip to see the ultimate sporting underdog story, and take my football-crazy nine-year-old on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We will be travelling to see the Faroe Islands play an international match on home turf. They’re due to play Scotland on 12 October in a World Cup qualifier. Fly into the capital, Torshavn, and you can walk to the stadium. Hire a car for the full Faroes experience: it’s the bird-watching capital of Europe. Hotel Streym in Torshavn has Atlantic views and doubles from £90.
John Connolly

Harvest festival with a difference, Ukraine

Harvest time on a farm near Lviv, Ukraine
Harvest time on a farm near Lviv, Ukraine. Photograph: Martin Charlesworth

It will take the best part of a day and a half but here’s my plan: a few buses, some trains and a flight from my home in the Ribble valley to Ukraine, crossing the Polish border at Przemyśl. I’m expecting Lviv to be “bruised but not broken” as the Ray Davies song goes, with coffee, cake and varenyky (dumpling) culture still largely intact. I plan to go in August for the Saviour of the Apple feast, an Eastern Orthodox celebration of harvest. The reason for going is not necessarily the destination or the festival but the sweet joy of a long journey to a foreign land and interaction with strangers at long last.
Martin Charlesworth

Totally ore-some, Mauritania

The iron ore train, Mauritania

For 2021, I want to travel somewhere that is remote with low population density and gives me an adrenaline rush. After a bit of research, I’ve chosen to go on the iron ore train in Mauritania. The 700km journey on a cargo train from the north of the country to the west coast takes around 34 hours. This train is among the world’s longest and heaviest and riding it is totally free. From time to time, I look at the photos and videos of the journey on the internet and instantly get goosebumps. See for yourself. It’s total madness.
Venkata K C Tata

Silk Road: Samarkand to Baku

The Registan place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
The Registan place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Photograph: Andrey Vishin/Alamy

As we enter 2021 with unbridled hope and optimism for a better year filled with limitless freedom and a vaccinated global population, never have I wanted more to return to completing my journey of the Silk Road, started in 2019. Beginning in Xi’an and Kashgar, China, I headed west to Almaty, Kazakhstan, before crossing over into Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. My trip allowed just enough time to reach dazzling Samarkand in Uzbekistan. My trip ended at the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis, a breathtaking marvel from which I hope to restart my adventure in 2021. My aim is to reach Tehran, from where I will return to Baku, one of my favourite cities, for a deserved cup of coffee.
Scott Strachan

Mountain overload, Georgia

Kazbegi, Georgia.
Kazbegi, Georgia. Photograph: Franka Hummels

I want to be overwhelmed by Georgia’s Kazbegi region again. I want to get so exhausted by marvellous hikes – where I will not meet a soul – that the next day will be spent on a balcony with a book that gets little attention because the mountains take my breath away. I will only leave that balcony to eat terrific vegetarian Georgian food, with the same view. That balcony I left and want to return to is at Rooms Hotel, where doubles go for $100 – steep by Georgian standards but worth it and not as steep as those mountain slopes.
Franka Hummels



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