Posts Tagged ‘hotels’
Budapest, Hungary—take two. My train rolled into this magical city, known locally as “Budapesht,” for the second time in 15 years. The Hungarian capital, divided by the Danube river into the districts of Buda and Pest, was as picturesque as I remembered it from decades ago, although the city itself had undergone major changes since my initial visit. Back then, I remembered a quality of darkness—both in spirit and physical appearance. Buildings were stained black. The city was a bit rough around the edges—a little bit seedy you could say—and there was a certain heaviness of spirit in the air. It was also winter, with fleeting hours of daylight and a frigid bite in the air. The impression was very much one of recovery from the aftermath of soviet occupation.
London is filled with magnificent places to enjoy afternoon tea. Join us as we explore 3 standout spots in the city:
Dorset Square Hotel
The Potting Shed Bar & Restaurant at Dorset Square Hotel features an airy glass ceiling that fills the restaurant with natural light while the playful interior design lends an elegant, modern style. Afternoon tea here is particularly lovely, with tea served in beautiful floral dish-ware. Starting at £19.50 per person, you get scones with homemade jam and clotted cream accompanied by sweets like lemon tarts, carrot cake, and chocolate fruit-infused brownies. The finger sandwiches are creative as well, featuring tiger prawns, rare roast beef with horseradish crème fraiche, smoked trout with cucumber and lemon, and my personal favorite: truffled egg and cress.
With so many great wineries surrounding the Bay Area, travelers to San Francisco will definitely want to find their way out to wine country. But where to start? Napa? Sonoma? Calistoga? We discovered the perfect weekend retreat in northern Sonoma County: The Farmhouse Inn.
Bavaria is my absolute favorite part of Germany. It’s iconic, friendly, flowing with great beer, and filled with incredible fairytale castles. A week in Bavaria will give you enough time to explore the dynamic city of Munich, then head south to one of Germany’s most picturesque regions for some castle hopping.
Munich City Guide
Munich is a beautiful city, filled with history and culture. Although Munich is quite a big city with a population close to 1.5 million, it still manages to retain a bit of a small town vibe. The city brims with festive beer halls, some of the country’s best shopping, and feels like the friendliest place in Germany. It’s got imperial palaces, crown jewels, modern art, and grand pedestrian boulevards. Munich is a true cultural powerhouse, with enough sights to easily fill a few days.
Blackwood’s Bar & Grill at Nira Caledonia
Nira Caledonia translates roughly to ‘Pure Scotland’ in Latin. Set in the new town district of Edinburgh in a classic Georgian building, this boutique hotel is a stylish retreat a world apart from other Scottish hotels, blending chic design elements with luxurious comfort. With rich textures, fancy wallpapers, and metallic highlights throughout, this hotel is a stylish find that also happens to offer a world-class restaurant filled with delicious specialties from Chef David Scott’s inventive hands.
London is filled with an overwhelming array of hotels. When planning a visit, where do you even begin to look? Foodies visiting the English capital will want to take note of the following hotels, which combine comfort, luxury, and show-stopping style with some of the city’s finest gourmet cuisine.
Amsterdam is a quirky city where plenty of off-beat design touches flourish. Among the dangerously crooked houses you’ll find eccentric boutique shops, artistic graffiti, and bursts of bright orange, the unofficial national color. You’ll also discover plenty of stylish and design-centric hotels across the city, one of the most intriguing being The Toren.
The Moselle Valley, or “D’Musel” as it is affectionately known as in Luxembourg, is one of Europe’s most celebrated wine regions. It’s also a great jumping off point for a multi-country wine tour since the Moselle Valley spans 3 countries: Luxembourg, Germany, and France. Within Luxembourg, the Moselle Valley makes up the heart of the country’s wine industry. Connoisseurs of white wines will find bliss in the string of tiny towns that make up the Moselle Valley, where small family vineyards specialize in whites like Crémant, Riesling, Auxerrois, and Pinot Gris.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a microcosm of European culture. Wedged in a small space between Belgium, France, and Germany, Luxembourg has an international feel to it. Home to 150 different nationalities, the country is trilingual, with Luxembourgish, French, and German all serving as official languages. It’s also one of the world’s leading banking headquarters, and it’s home to many branches of the EU as well, contributing to the country’s multinational flavor. Best of all, Luxembourg is clean, modern, and brimming with history and culture.
The heartbeat and capital of the country is Luxembourg City, located in the southern center of the country with all other cities radiating outwards from there, usually within just a 30 minute drive of the capital. In fact, the entire country measures just under 1,000 square miles—roughly 35 miles wide by 50 miles tall—making it one of the smallest countries in Europe, as well as the world. It’s easy to get here by train, with Paris only a couple of hours away, but the best way to get around Luxembourg itself is by car, due to the short distances. Combining a visit to cosmopolitan Luxembourg City with a stopover in one of the country’s outlying regions is a great way to get to know the country. For that perfect mix of city and country, our top choice is the sleepy Moselle Valley wine region near the German and French borders.
Hotel De L’Europe, owned by the Heineken family, is located right in the heart of Amsterdam, with amazing canal views and a vintage euro-chic flare. You enter this hotel through a splendid lobby decked out in red carpets and white sofas and lined from one end to the other with artwork and elegant chandeliers. At the end of the room beyond the bar is one of Amsterdam’s most picturesque views of the Amstel River.