New Orleans Hotel Offering $15,000 Stay to Past Guest Who Stole the ‘Most Outrageous’ Item

Little Koshka, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Little Koshka, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Anyone with a moral compass knows that stealing is bad, but what if you were rewarded for your sticky fingers? As Condé Nast Traveler reports, The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana is offering a free seven-night stay in its Presidential Suite to the person who returns the “most outrageous” item stolen from the hotel in the past.

This unusual (and oddly specific) promotion is valued at $15,000. According to general manager Tod Chambers, the person who hands over the strangest stolen item will also receive private dinners prepared by the hotel’s executive chef, as well as spa services. The hotel is located near the French Quarter, and it would be an affordable way to vacation in a vibrant city.

Does this offer sound suspicious? They promise they won’t ask any questions, and they won’t have police officers waiting to arrest you in the lobby. The stolen item will even be returned to you when the promotion ends, if the guilt isn’t too much to bear.

The “giveback sweepstakes” is part of the hotel’s 125th anniversary celebration. The business has existed in different incarnations over the years—first as the Grunewald Hotel, then as the Roosevelt, then as a Fairmont property, and finally as the Roosevelt once again (though it's now part of the Waldorf Astoria family). Eligible items could have been swiped at any point in the hotel's history, and those items can be dropped off or mailed to the hotel’s marketing department (with this PDF form attached). The hotel says they will be displayed in lobby window cases and then returned to owners, if they wish.

According to Chambers, the stolen items are another way of celebrating the hotel’s heritage. “In a way, knowing they have something that reminds them of our Roosevelt in their own homes? Well, that leaves us flattered,” Chambers says. “We’d estimate nearly 700 of our logoed Sazerac glasses are ‘borrowed’ from the bar during the holiday season alone.”

So far, the hotel has received menus, postcards, a plate, stemware, a tablecloth, bud vases, and brass keys.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

Disney's Most Magical Destinations Have Been Reimagined as Vintage Travel Posters

UpgradedPoints.com
UpgradedPoints.com

Many of the iconic settings of animated Disney movies were modeled after real places around the world. Ussé Castle in France’s Loire Valley, for example, is widely rumored to have been the inspiration behind the original Sleeping Beauty story. (Although the castle in the movie more closely resembles Germany's Neuschwanstein Castle.) Likewise, the fictional island in Moana was made to look like Samoa, and the Sultan’s palace in Aladdin shares some similarities with India's Taj Mahal.

If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring Agrabah or Neverland, then you’ll probably enjoy getting lost in these Disney-inspired travel posters from the designers at UpgradedPoints.com, an online resource that helps individuals maximize their credit card travel rewards. Only one of the posters features a real destination ("Beautiful France"), but these illustrations let you get one step closer to scaling Pride Rock or plumbing the depths of Atlantica.

All of the images are rendered in a vintage style with enticing slogans attached—much like the exotic travel posters that were prevalent in the 1930s.

“A few of our designers wanted to capture that longing to experience the true locations of these fantastic films, and the inner child in all of us couldn’t resist seeing how they interpreted the locations of their favorite films,” UpgradedPoints.com writes. “The results are breathtaking and make us wish we could fall into our favorite Disney movies.”

Keep scrolling to see the posters, and for more travel inspiration, read up on eight real-life locations that inspired Disney places (plus one that didn't).

A Disney-inspired poster of France
UpgradedPoints.com

An Atlantica travel poster
UpgradedPoints.com

A Disney-inspired poster
UpgradedPoints.com

A Disney-inspired poster
UpgradedPoints.com

A Lion King travel poster
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A Neverland travel poster
UpgradedPoints.com

Australian Accounting Firm Offers Employees 12 Weeks of ‘Life Leave’ to Strike the Perfect Work-Life Balance

iStock.com/karenfoleyphotography
iStock.com/karenfoleyphotography

What would you do if you could take a three-month vacation each year? Would you book a flight to Hawaii, catch up on your favorite Netflix shows, or simply spend some quality time with your partner, kids, or dogs? The employees at one Australian accounting firm undoubtedly have a few ideas about how to spend the six to 12 weeks of “life leave” they will soon be granted.

As Travel + Leisure reports, Ernst & Young Oceania decided to introduce more flexible work hours in an attempt to attract and retain top talent. “We’re innovating so we don’t lose these people while they pursue passions outside of work,” company official Kate Hillman told The Independent. Hillman went on to cite volunteer experiences, training programs, and even a trekking trip to Nepal as different ways that employees might take advantage of the new policy, which goes into effect April 1.

Employees can either use their leave all at once or split it into two smaller vacations. The only catch is that the leave is self-funded—so it’s essentially an unpaid vacation. Still, if someone has the burning desire to backpack through Europe for a couple of months, or work on a project, it’s a safer option than quitting their job only to return unemployed and broke.

In addition to this policy, employees can choose to reduce their hours to a part-time schedule for up to three months each year. Parents may also choose to take advantage of a term-time arrangement, which lets them work regular hours when school is in session, then take time off during school holidays.

According to the firm’s research, flexibility at work boosts employee engagement by 11 percent. There are plenty of other reasons to take a vacation, too—not the least of which is evidence that time off may help you lead a longer, healthier, and happier life. Plus, you’ll come back refreshed and motivated, so your boss will be happy, too.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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