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Showing posts with label hotel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hotel. Show all posts

Friday, March 19, 2021


As a writer for one of the most popular publications in this Virtual World, I am often invited to check out places I have never seen before.  Some of them are quite creative, with extensive histories.  Brunel Hall is one such place.  In a world populated with cookie-cutter homes, Brunel Hall stands out, noteworthy for its fascinating charm and Old-World Elegance.  In my travels the other day, I came across the Grande Dame of days gone by, and I asked Vic Mornington, the proprietor, to share some of the story of this enchanting place with our SLE readers.

Josh (Thomas1 Bellic) (JB):  Soo,  tell me, Vic.  What is Brunel Hall, exactly?

Vic Mornington (VM):  It is first and foremost a hotel.  The bulk of the building, namely all of the upper floors, are dedicated to the 17 hotel rooms which are used on a rented basis for the folks visiting the wider city, either for RP or simply using the hotel as a home base for exploring.  Even back to its early days when the original building was only a pub, there was still two small hotel rooms to the side that folks could rent out. 

As the place grew via expansions into neighboring plots, that’s when the Bar Restaurant theme started to take shape for the ground floor.  As it stands now, Brunel Hall is what you would see in most modern cities.  It's a working hotel, with "added amenities".   It's also turned into a Second Life build equivalent of Scotland's Forth Rail Bridge, just as you finish an overhaul of the’s time to go back to the beginning and start all over again.

JB:  Where did you get the inspiration for Brunel Hall?

VM:  The inspiration for the look of the building, at least on the outside, is from the Liberty of London building in London, England.  If you are ever visiting Brunel Hall, take a look at the front, and then search for Liberty of London on Google, there are very striking similarities. 

Back in 2010, there were 5 top-tier "Grand Restaurants".  In order to even enter, you had to pay an average of 500L$, to enter, you had to book a table, that was on average another 1000L$.  Once you had booked the table and sat at the table, you were already down a grand and a half.  On top of that, you either had to pay or tip the RP wait staff, the chef, the owner...etc. 

...all that, to sit and stare at badly textured prim food.  Lia (my cousin in RL) had a bad experience with one of those old grand restaurants.  That bad experience she had, along with others I heard about was in the back of my mind when the original version of Brunel Hall was extended out further and further to the west as I took over more and more parcels.  I decided, once I had enough prims on the parcel, to open a restaurant as good as the old grand diners, but do one thing they didn't do.  Make it free to use.

More than 10 years on, Brunel Hall is the last of the old Grand Restaurants, the rest are long gone.

JB: Do you ever host special events at Brunel Hall?

VM:  There are normal parties DJ'd by me (at the time of writing this) on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month at around 9 or 10pm UK time.  They are mainly UK timed as I'm based in the UK.  In the future the plans for The Three Craws basement bar is for guest live singers and guest DJ's to perform for the 1st and third Friday of the month.  Then of course there are the main holidays like Easter and Christmas where special event parties take place.

The Restaurant and bar downstairs are also open for bookings as well, this is one of the main reasons there isn't a wall to wall listing of events, a lot of the week have to be clear for bookings for weddings, birthday parties and so forth.

JB: Who are your Guests?  What is your target demographic?

VM:  The guests who rent or just pop in to use the restaurant cover a huge demographic.  Even though the hotel is in the north side of a 12-region large steampunk city (New Babbage) about half the guests are visitors who wear anything but Steampunk or Victorian clothing.  We have had folks new to SL with 1 week old accounts, we've had oooooooold accounts dating back to 2004/5. accounts whose typist behind the keyboard are in their 80's in real life to accounts whose typists are in their early 20's.  We've had countless members of various LGBT inworld groups stay in the hotel, members of Cyberpunk groups, Sci-Fi groups, furrys, tinies and other groups over the course of the hotel being open. 

The reason there's been such a broad base of people is because of New Babbage.  Since New Babbage isn't "RP enforced" it means that folks can wander around and explore without having to change their clothes or their looks to fit in with the general 1880's theme of the region.  Most of the guests do end up changing into some more Victorian or steampunk looking outfits if they go to one of the events in the city or just wander around, that’s probably why they end up renting a room, so they can change clothes in some privacy while remaining inside the city.

JB: How long does the average guest stay at Brunel Hall?

VM:  On average it’s about three months.  The "Long Stay" guests generally appear around November/December time when the entire city gets covered in snow for the winter.  Then there is the gradual progression from the thaw (March) into the summer months as long stay summer/autumn guests start renting around May and then leave around August/September.  There are a handful of hotel renters though who have remained as hotel renters from when they first rented, the longest guest we have in the hotel started renting the same room back in 2010 and has remained with the hotel ever since through all 6 of its tear-downs and rebuilds.

At any given time, because of the long stay renters, the hotel is generally half to 3/4ths rented out with only about 5 or 6 of the 17 rooms laying empty for short stay visitors who rent for about 2 to 3 weeks just to explore the city.  In between the rental "seasons" which is where we are now, the room vacancies go up to about half the rooms laying empty for a month or so.

JB: Tell me more about the rooms, please.   They are much larger than what I have seen in most places in SL…More like complete apartments.  Who does your design work?

VM:  When the first version of the hotel was being laid out, I decided at that point that the rooms would basically be livable.  Not the normal "bed, table and chair" common hotel rooms that you see today.  The Grand Hotels of the early and middle period Victorian era were mini living rooms, so what I decided to do was to take the basics of a complete "apartment" and cram them into a single floor and double floor sectioned off "mini house".  The way I looked at it was simple, folks who were going to be staying in the hotel were no doubt there to look around the city, they would be renting for at least a week...I may as well make the room as comfortable as possible for them and their friends.

As the hotel expanded out and upwards in the 6 overhauls, the rooms got progressively bigger and bigger.  It’s now at the point that the bulk of the actual building is given over to hotel rooms, with only the ground floor and basement being used for the other stuff.  I generally look at the "Grand Design".  Lia and Lizzy usually take care of the finer details.

JB:  What a lovely dining area.  How does dining at Brunel Hall offer an experience that is unique in  SecondLife.

VM:  This is an easy one to answer, and it’s been my guiding philosophy in the 10+ years of running the hotel.  Brunel Hall offers a bigger menu, a grander building and a better surrounding (hey, there’s a whole city out there) than any other restaurant, we don't pester you with RP wait staff, don't spam you with messages to donate...we just leave you and your partner, friend or family alone.  Ohhh...and its free to use.

That basically covers it!

JB: Tell me about the underground Tunnels.  That is quite a complex you have down there.

VM:  The tunnels are a late addition to the hall.  The southern regions of New Babbage have a vast network of underground sewers and tunnels interconnecting the older core regions.  About 3 years ago, Mosseveno Tenk who is the Mayor and overall land owner of the 12 regions of New Babbage (the city is a rented land-based city, with individual land parcel owners) decided to drop the land surface of Academy of Industry down to water level in many parts so landowners around Academy can hook up tunnels to the main sewer line that connects Academy to Port Babbage in the south, and Babbage Palisade to the west. 

That’s when I thought "ohhhhhh, I can put a cellar and some tunnels down there!" I did!  It's great for explorers or role players, cause the tunnels hook up to the old Palisade wall in the north, the sewer which runs along the front of the hotel under the road and the old crypt cavern below the cemetery.

JB: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

VM:  If you do decide to visit, I would recommend you drop your draw distance below 100.  The hall itself is crammed with stuff, but it’s not just that, New Babbage itself is very densely packed on the ground, as you would expect for a Steampunk Victorian city, so having your draw distance too high would mean your viewer is rezzing half the north end of the city at the same time.

Most of all, if you do visit, have a look around the city as well once you have finished your look around Brunel Hall, New Babbage is a very old community, one of, if not the oldest steampunk-based communities and cities on the grid.  You never know, you might like it that much ya might end up either renting a hotel room for months on the end, or, as is the case for a good number of hotel renters, you may end up buying land and putting down roots in the city.

thanks a Bunch!

So, there you have it, Folks.  If you’ve a hankering for Old World Charm on a modern, pixelated Virtual World grid, head on down to New Babbage.  Visit the Shops…the Academy, the Port Area, and the other many fun and quaint paces to visit there.  While you are there, enjoy a meal in Brunel Hall, and rent a room to crash for the night, or for the week…or for the month.   And tell Vic, the proprietor that “Josh sent me”

Be there.   Aloha!



Sunday, March 14, 2021

Brunel Hall- The oldest continually running hotel and the last of the grand dining restaurants


The oldest continually running hotel, and the last of the grand dining restaurants on the grid has just finished a major overhaul of the restaurant and a complete rework of the bar in the basement.  The food menus have been overhauled as well with more than 190 food items in the direct rezzer on the tables with new food items being added roughly every month.  This is a NON roleplay set restaurant, which means couples will have peace and quiet to just sit in, chat and take in the surroundings of an era of sheer decadence.  Once you have finished looking around the hall, you can then spend a few days (or more) simply exploring the 12 regions that make up The City State of New Babbage.


About Brunel Hall:  Brunel Hall Hotel has been part of the landscape of the 12 region steampunk City State of New Babbage for more than a decade.  Opened during the peak of the old Grand Dining days, Brunel Hall done something different, it didn’t charge an arm and a leg for couples to sit and look at prim (and now mesh) food sitting on a table.  Brunel Hall, and the City State of New Babbage are both non RP enforced, so modern clothing is fine to wear when exploring.


Friday, June 26, 2015

A Tour of Second Norway- Sunny Love Holiday Reporting

I enjoy keeping up with the activities of the people and places I do articles on. I truly believe in who and what I write about, and love to see their success. Recently Luciano Liónheart, formally known as Luciano de Prata , informed me that his popular  Luciano Jazz Club & Lounge moved to a new sim named Second Norway. I have heard a lot about this sim, and asked Mr. Liónheart if he would like to meet up and chat a bit about his move and the sim he now resides in. To my delight he was eager to meet, and invited me to his lovely home for tea.

After catching up on some personal things, Luciano explained how much he loved his new beginnings and talked about some of the gems around the 40 sims that makes up Second Norway. “Second Norway is owned by Ey Ren and Mialinn Telling. Gracefully, they have trusted me with most of this sim (the mainland) and a lot of other gems around SN.” Mr. Liónheart, proudly explained.  “Along with my Jazz club, I took over and remodeled the local hotel, Hotel Bryggen along with Bella Bistro, which is SL's oldest restaurant.” 

Of course, I was excited to hear of Mr. Liónheart growing success, but my excitement reached new heights when he offered me a personal tour of the sims. “Sunny, I would actually recommend that you try to stay here as a guest. Our staff is really what makes this amazing!” Needless to say I happily accepted his offer. I was contacted by the Manager of VSN Travel, Kristina Taov, shortly after leaving Luciano’s home and directed to meet her at the Brook Hill Airport for my flight into the Second Norway Airport, the largest one in SL, formed by 8 sims. It is also equipped with a subway/train infrastructure so all the regions in Second Norway can stay interconnected and accessible by train. Despite my fear of heights and planes, I couldn’t wait to get this tour started!

My Fears were quickly put to rest as Kristina guided the luxury aircraft across the clear skies, assuring me all will be fine. Flying was actually perfect because I had a clear view of the sims, and all the wonders it entails. Once we landed, we immediately jumped in a private motorcar and drove to the mainland. I was pleasantly impressed with the landscaping and ocean view. I imaged it looked just as it would in RL Norway.

Our 1st stop was at Hotel Bryggen. The hotel looked like a perfect get away for families and couples alike. “Here tour guests can stay for a weekend, close enough to all the places with weekend activities, such as Bella Bistro Restaurant, Luciano’s Club & Lounge, the Art Galleries, Shopping Mall and Marina.” Kristina explained. “All are accessible from this point. It is possible to sail, ride bicycles or take the train.” We entered the hotel and I must say I instantly started planning in my head when I would have time to return with my group of friends for a weekend of fun.  I fell in love the rustic looking suites they have. It totally made me feel like I was in the RL rustic Norway atmosphere.

Next, we climbed aboard a large sail boat and traveled across the Sailing Sims, passing all the previously mentions activity spots.  I noticed a seafront retreat that I believe would be perfect for lovers to enjoy each other.  Our boat ride ended at Boatel, a hotel for lovers by the water. “A boat is guested during guests stay here so they can sail around all the connected regions. Also there is a small airstrip on top of the mountain if they want to fly as well.” Kristina told me with a bright smile on her face.  Lovers that stay here are truly pampered with all the amenities offered.

Once our boat ride was over, we took a bicycle ride to the top of a mountain. Kristina handed me a glass of champagne and asked me to join her on a hot air balloon ride.  Firecrackers popped off as we enjoyed the cool breeze and spectacular view of all of the sims. I couldn’t believe how well put together the Second Norway sims were put together. Every event, activity, hotels, and venue was so easily accessible with many ways of travel. The balloon ride ended in front of The Bella Bistro Restaurant. I quickly entered to enjoy a hot cup of coffee before I left.

While enjoying my coffee, I asked Kristina what were her thoughts of second life Norway. “This is a place where all your dreams can come true!” she beamed. I couldn’t agree more. There is so much to do, see and enjoy that it is impossible not to have a fun filled vacation. More than one trip would be needed to enjoy all they have to offer, without doing the same thing twice. This is a sim I highly recommend and will return to shortly myself. I could use a vacation and there is nowhere else I would rather be!   

Facebook Link: Second Norway:

Client Preferred Contact:

Luciano Lionheart (GM)
Kara Gelbert (Hotel Manager)
Kristina Taov or Jose Squeegee (VSN Travel Agents)

Meileenprincess Resident (Bistro Manager)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sky Manor Resort: Luxury Living in Second Life- Lanai Jarrico Reporting…

Luxury Living in Second Life is a lot easier to obtain than it is in the real world. 
Whatever it is you imagine, you can have from Jacuzzi tubs, fancy cars and private jet to big beautiful custom homes complete with the landscaping of your dreams.

Sky Manor Resort is highly ranked in the destination guide and rightfully so because it is a place that brings luxury living in Second Life to a whole new level. 
The grand entrance to the office is impressive and neatly decorated. The foliage and arches above the stone pathways make it a lovely atmosphere for taking a stroll around the resort and imagining the feeling of luxury living.  The central road connects to Westward Village, the rental office, a hotel, club and beachfront properties. It truly is a splendid place to find luxury and style for those that are looking to live the good SLife.
 I met up with Dangerous Massacre to learn more about Sky Manor Report and what it has to offer residents that have a taste for luxury living.

Interview with Dangerous Massacre