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food / travel

What Women Want - From Hotels

Some hotel chains have moved beyond just adult-only accommodations to cater directly to women, including such options as man-free zones and champagne pajama parties.

No man's land
No man's land

It used to be that hotels were open to everyone, but nowadays there are categories: for naturists, gays, adults only, etc. It appears to be advantageous for hotels to devote themselves to niche groups because the trend has been growing for years.

The Spanish hotel chain Barceló, for instance, offers several “adults only” venues where guests — far away from the cries and overwhelming energy of little kids — can find time for themselves and rest in peace and quiet. The chain runs hotels of this type in the Dominican Republic and Spain.

Its hotel on the Spanish island of Mallorca even goes one step further: The Illetas Albatros hotel is not only adults only, but women only too. That is, upon request, female guests can book four rooms on the sixth floor and turn it into a “man-free zone.” It is a prime section of the seafront hotel located right on the bay of Palma de Mallorca.

Even the aesthetics of the rooms, according to the news site Mallorca Confidencial, are intended to be “feminine.” So what do women want from a hotel that they’re missing elsewhere?

For starters, the rooms have “all the little details that make life easier for women,” Mallorca Confidencial writes. Those include, among other things, full-length mirrors, padded clothes hangers, curling irons, scented candles, women’s magazines, and make-up bags.

Women who book the special package can look forward to both R&R and entertainment. The day might begin with yoga and pilates on the hotel’s roof terrace with its “breathtaking panorama of the bay.”

Thus utterly relaxed, it might be on to the spa for a manicure and foot treatment included in the package. Then anybody not getting what they need from in-room hair dryer and curling iron can move on to some professional styling by an in-house expert.

Why leave this paradise? To shop, of course, but even here the Illetas Albatros plays its part: Its women-only package includes a “shopping VIP” service with a personal shopper on hand to show guests the best stores and offer their expert advice.

The crowning touch of the day is a pajama party with champagne. If this isn't enough, there are movies on hand that, apparently, “no woman ever tires of watching” — e.g. The Devil Wears Prada.

Is this really what women want? Or it just some tourism official’s idea of female fun? Well, perhaps both. Because the notion of reserving hotels or sections of them just for women isn’t entirely new, and many of the packages look a lot like what Illetas Albatros offers. So it’s obviously a concept that works.

Anyway, if curling irons, padded hangers and man-free pajama parties aren’t your thing, you can always book one floor down.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

How Russia's Wartime Manipulation Of Energy Prices Could Doom Its Economy

A complex compensation mechanism for fuel companies, currency devaluation, increased demand due to the war, logistics disruptions, and stuttering production growth have combined to trigger price rises and deepening shortages in the Russian energy market.

Photograph of Novatek's gravity-based structure platform for production of liquefied natural gas, floating on a body of water.

Russia, Murmansk Region - July 21, 2023: A view of Novatek's gravity-based structure platform for production of liquefied natural gas.

Ekaterina Mereminskaya

In Russia, reports of gasoline and diesel shortages have been making headlines in the country for several months, raising concerns about energy supply. The situation escalated in September when a major diesel shortage hit annexed Crimea. Even before that, farmers in the southern regions of Russia had raised concerns regarding fuel shortages for their combines.

“We’ll have to stop the harvest! It will be a total catastrophe!” agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev had warned at the time. “We should temporarily halt the export of petroleum products now until we have stabilized the situation on the domestic market.”

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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As the crisis deepens, experts are highlighting the unintended consequences of government intervention in fuel pricing and distribution.

The Russian government has long sought to control the prices of essential commodities, including gasoline and diesel. These commodities are considered "signalling products", according to Sergei Vakulenko, an oil and gas expert and fellow at the Carnegie Endowment. Entrepreneurs often interpret rising gasoline prices as a signal to adjust their pricing strategies, reasoning that if even gasoline, a staple, is becoming more expensive, they too should raise their prices.

The specter of the 2018 fuel crisis, where gasoline prices in Russia surged at twice the rate of other commodities, haunts the authorities. As a result, they implemented a mechanism to control these prices and ensure a steady supply. Known as the "fuel damper," this mechanism seeks to balance the profitability of selling fuel in both domestic and foreign markets.

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