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Coolhunting Weird Wisconsin Ep 1: Bondage Beds At The Don Q Inn

Huffington Post  
First Posted: 08/21/2011 9:35 pm Updated: 08/16/2012 3:39 pm

My name’s La Carmina, and I’m a coolhunter.

I like to think of myself as a pirate. Someone who sails in uncharted waters, searching for an elusive treasure -- the ever-changing concept of “cool.”

I’ve been described as a “passionate coolhunter" and I believe scouts should fully immerse themselves in the experience at hand. I'm about to experience Wisconsin. Why Wisconsin?

Why not?

HuffPost Post Travel TV debuts "Coolhunting Weird Wisconsin" where in this first episode I take a groovy trip through Wisconsin's wacky side.

I've heard from some people that there's nothing much there, other than cheese. Those people are wrong, though in a future episode I do visit a cheese castle. No seriously.

In this part I visit a kooky theme hotel in Dodgeville, about 30 minutes from Madison and a two hour or so drive from Milwaukee. The Don Q Inn (3658 State Road 23, Dodgeville, WI, (608) 935-2321) has 21 fantasy suites, each tricked out like a retro movie set. These include a Jungle Room, Sherwood Forest, prehistoric Cave, and “Mid-Evil” torture chamber.

The amount of detail that went into the décor was meticulous. Or ridiculous.

One of the beds was inside an igloo. Another swung from the ceiling.

Some of the rooms had heart-shaped hot tubs. The rest had 300-gallon copper cheese vats.

I couldn’t resist asking manager Peter Stadler if some guests wore costumes, or left strange items behind. Yes to both.

During the shoot, I stayed at a stylish boutique hotel: the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee (500 West Florida Street, Milwaukee WI, (414) 374-4766) . Formerly a century-old warehouse by the railroad, the décor’s now fit for a rock star, with zebra-striped carpets and a Harley-Davidson in the lobby.

I’m excited to bring my quirky, alternative travel coverage to Huffington Post. I hope you enjoy the first video of my love hotel escapades.

Next up: I delve deeper into “Weird Wisconsin.” Get ready to peer inside a kitsch museum, cheese castle, and spy bar with exploding martinis.

What’s the strangest hotel you’ve ever stayed at? And which room would you stay in at the Don Q?

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  • Iron Horse Hotel

    The Iron Horse Hotel is a stone's throw away from Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson museum. Bikers show off their rides outside The Yard, the outdoor restaurant and bar.

  • Milwaukee is full of historic architecture, such as this century-old commercial building.

  • Nintendo ghost graffiti, and a signature kumquat cocktail from the hotel bar.

  • The lobby has traces of the Iron Horse's past, including nails from the railroad tracks.

  • Huff Post Travel TV host La Carmina in the "Mid-EVIL" fantasy room, strapped to the bondage bed.

  • Don Q Inn

    The bed's flanked by two knights, and a unicorn straight out of an LSD trip.

  • Don Q Inn Igloo Room

    There's only one word to describe the "Northern Lights" room. Cool.

  • The Don Q Inn has an old Boeing jet in the back. Farrah Fawcett filmed a commercial here in the 1970s.