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]

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]

The World's 10 Most Expensive Cities

An apartment complex in Hong Kong
An apartment complex in Hong Kong
iStock.com/Nikada

If you think San Francisco is pricey, you should see some of the other metropolises that appear in a new ranking of the 10 most expensive cities in the world. As The Real Deal reports, Singapore, Paris, and Hong Kong have been jointly named as the three cities with the highest cost of living in a new analysis by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

It was the first time in the history of the Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living report that three cities have tied for first place. Billing itself as a global business intelligence group, the EIU takes the prices of more than 400 items into consideration for its annual list, including food, clothing, household supplies, private school fees, and recreation.

Singapore's appearance on the list is no surprise, considering that it has been crowned the world’s most expensive city for the past five years in a row, and Paris has consistently made the top 10 since 2003. Hong Kong, meanwhile, rose three places in the newest ranking, while Osaka, Japan rose six places.

New York City and Los Angeles also made the top 10 list this year, tying with other cities for fourth and fifth place, respectively. This is partly due to exchange rates.

“A stronger U.S. dollar last year has meant that cities in the U.S. generally became more expensive globally, especially relative to last year’s ranking,” the report notes. “New York has moved up six places in the ranking this year, while Los Angeles has moved up four spots.”

Check out the 10 most expensive cities below, and visit the EIU’s website to download a full copy of the report.

  1. Singapore; Hong Kong; and Paris, france (tied)

  1. Zurich, Switzerland

  1. Geneva, Switzerland; and Osaka, Japan (tied)

  1. Seoul, South Korea; Copenhagen, Denmark; and New York City (tied)

  1. Tel Aviv, Israel and Los Angeles (tied)

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER