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]

Hundreds of Kangaroos Roam the Green at This Australian Golf Course

burroblando/iStock via Getty Images
burroblando/iStock via Getty Images

Anglesea Golf Club has all the makings of a regular golf club: an 18-hole golf course, a mini golf course, a driving range, a clubhouse, and a bistro. But the kangaroo mobs that hop around the holes add an element of surprise to your otherwise leisurely round of one of the slowest games in sports.

Person takes photo of a kangaroo
Anglesea Golf Club

According to Thrillist, the kangaroos have been a mainstay for years, and the club started giving tours a few years ago to ensure visitors could observe them in the safest way possible. For about 25 minutes, a volunteer tour guide will drive a golf cart with up to 14 passengers around the course, sharing fun facts about kangaroos and stopping at opportune locations for people to snap a few photos of the marsupials, which are most active in late afternoon and early morning. Kangaroos are friendly creatures, but Anglesea’s website reminds visitors that “they can also be quite aggressive if they feel threatened.”

Post-graduate students and academic staff from Melbourne University’s zoology department have been researching Anglesea’s kangaroo population since 2004, and some of the animals are marked with collar and ear tags so the researchers can track movement, growth, survival, and reproduction patterns throughout their life cycle.

One of the reasons kangaroos have continued to dwell on land so highly trafficked by people is because of the quality of the land itself, National Geographic reports. The golf course staff regularly sprinkles nitrogen fertilizer all over the green, which makes the grass especially healthy.

Kangaroos graze on Anglesea Golf Course
Anglesea Golf Club

If you decide to plan a trip to Anglesea Golf Club, you can book a kangaroo tour here—adult tickets are $8.50, and children under 12 can come along for just $3.50 each.

[h/t Thrillist]

House Boasting a ‘Harry Potter Room’ Under the Stairs Hits the Market in San Diego

Cupboard under the stairs featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London.
Cupboard under the stairs featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London.
Matt Robinson, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When Harry Potter fans dream of living like the boy wizard, they may picture Harry's cozy quarters in the Gryffindor dormitory at Hogwarts. One home owner in San Diego, California is trying to spin one of Harry's much less idyllic living situations as a magical feature. As The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, a listing of a three-bedroom house for sale in the city's Logan Heights neighborhood boasts a "Harry Potter room"—a.k.a storage room under the stairs.

In the Harry Potter books, the cupboard under the stairs of the Dursley residence served as Harry's bedroom before he enrolled in Hogwarts. Harry was eager to escape the cramped, dusty space, but thanks to the series' massive success, a similar feature in a real-world home may be a selling point for Harry Potter fans.

Kristin Rye, the seller of the San Diego house, told The Union-Tribune she would read Harry Potter books to her son, though she wouldn't describe herself as a super fan. As for why she characterized her closet as a “large ‘Harry Potter’ storage room underneath stairs" in her real estate listing, she said it was the most accurate description she could think of. “It’s just this closet under the stairs that goes back and is pretty much like a Harry Potter room. I don’t know how else to describe it," she told the newspaper.

Beyond the cupboard under the stairs, Rye's listing doesn't bear much resemblance to the cookie-cutter, suburban home of 4 Privet Drive. Nearly a century old, the San Diego house has the same cobwebs and a musty smells you might expect from the Hogwarts dungeons, the newspaper reports. But there are some perks, including a parking spot and backyard space for a garden or pull-up bar. The 1322-square-foot home is listed at $425,000—cheaper than the median price of $620,000 for a resale single-family home in the area.

If you want to live like a wizard, you don't necessarily need to start by moving under a staircase. In North Yorkshire, England, a cottage modeled after Hagrid's Hut is available to rent on a nightly basis.

[h/t The San Diego Union-Tribune]

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