Karen Brown’s Travel Guide - Hotels in Travel Questions for Karen Recommendtaions Travelers Trust Member or Property

You Are Not Logged In

Click Here To Login

Travel Questions Frequently Asked Karen

TRAVEL QUESTIONS FOR KAREN:

Dear Travelers,

I hope you will understand that because of the overwhelming number of questions received each day it is impossible for me to answer every one. I will select questions to answer based on what I believe will benefit and interest the greatest number of travelers. Also, please make your questions as specific as possible and know that I do not have the luxury of time to plan or detail personalized travel itineraries.

If your question is not selected, I sincerely apologize, as given the time, I would answer them all. If your question is selected you will be informed that it is published on our website as well as receive the answer by email.

Kindest regards,
Karen

You Must Login To Ask A Question

Category: General

Question:
Do you have any information and suggestions on Eastern Canada?????
Asked by Virginia Crawford [Apr 2, 2009]


Answer:
Dear Virginia, Unfortunately, we have not extended our research into Eastern Canada. However, for some wonderful places to stay I would recommend a membership group, Select Registry. It is a paid membership, but properties have to be invited in and are annonoymously reviewed every few years to make sure they maintain their standards. It is a well-respected group of hotels. When we had our own, Seal Cove Inn we were proud to be members. Their website is www.selectregistry.com and please pass on my regards to any properties you might select. I met many of the innkeepers over the years. Thank you for your interest in our recommendations. Best, Karen

hermes handbags


Category: General

Question:
For my 60th we will be staying 4nites 5 days in Umbria & or Tuscany. I love your book Tuscany & Umbria but am overwhelmed as to where to stay. Would you recommend staying in one location or two? I love charming & romantic! We can splurge on the hotel. We will be driving from Civitavecchia to Umbria- after five days will continue to Rome. Thank You!!! Sharon
Asked by Sharon Grimmett [Apr 1, 2009]


Answer:
I would suggest staying in one place for 4 nights. It is really so relaxing to unpack and settle into a lovely inn and really get to feel at home. If you stay in a central location, you can use it as a hub and go out to explore in a different direction each day. If you choose a place to stay that is not too far from one of the main highways (highway 2 or the A1) then you can quickly drive from one area to another. Some suggestions would be the Villa di Piazzano in Turoro Sul Trasimeno (near Corona), Locanda dell'Amoroso in Sinalunga, Hotel Villa di Montesolare in Colle San Paolo, There are many more wonderful possibilities--check our website and see what appeals most to you. Happy Birthday!

hermes handbags


Category: Italy

Question:
What do you recommend as the best travel itinerary from Milan to Lucerne and then over to Venice in approximately 7 days after spending 1 day (2 nights) in the Lake Como region.
Asked by Cindi Brower [Mar 28, 2009]


Answer:
To avoid back-tracking, I would begin your journey in Lucerne-a wonderful city and easy to explore on foot and the surrounding lakeside villages by boat. Then travel from Lucerne to Milan by train. When you are ready to leave Milan, I would suggest renting a car in order to explore the lake district. A recommendation for a place to stay on Lake Como would be the Villa Belvedere in Argegno. With this charming hotel as a base you will want to explore other villages on the lake with Bellagio a highlight. If you want to include another lake, Lake Garda is beautiful and, although, a splurge, the Locanda San Viglio in San Viglio is wonderful. This is where Churchill came to stay and paint! Idyllic setting - not inexpensive but definitely a bargain compared to comparable hotels in terms of value. Explore Lake Garda with Sirmioni as a highlight, romantic boat trips, walled towns: Garda, Lazise, Torri del Benaco, Gargnano, Villa did Gargnano. The recommendation would then be to return to Milan and take the train to Venice (or drive on to Verona, return your car and train from there) rather than drive as the road to Venice is mess because of lots of truck traffic. Plus, it's a bit tricky to find the garage for the cars when you arrive in Venice. Note: whether you train from Milan or Verona will depend on where we can drop the car with the assumption you picked it up in Milan. If there is not a surcharge - I would definitely recommend Verona over Milan. In terms of where to stay in Venice, we have lots of fantastic recommendations. A few favorites: Palazzo Stern: euros 200-525, this is a new hotel. It is wonderful. It is about a 15-minute walk to St Mark's Square, but the valparaso (or water bus) almost in front of the hotel so you can hop on or off to go anywhere in Venice. The rooms are lovely. The hotel has one of the only terraces in Venices that is directly on the canal. The family that owns it is very nice. Locanada Vivaldi: euros 220-525. The same family owns this as owns the Palazzo Stern. Both have fabulous warmth of welcome. This too is small and very personalized. The location is about a 5-minute walk to St Mark's Square. A wonderful hotel. Hotel Flora: euros 185-440 a lovely small hotel. It is beautifully located about a 5-minute walk to St Mark's Square. The decor and the quality of the rooms are not as good as either of the above, yet it is delightful. Be sure to get one of the larger rooms---the small ones are almost like single rooms. Pensione Accademia, euros 140-300. This is the best value. It has an adorable location on a tiny little peninsula that pokes out onto the Grand Canal. It is a great value. and has a garden in front and in the rear. It is an old villa. The reception isn't as warm as in the other two places listed above. Special Note: Warning in the high season, Venice is wall to wall tourists. However, in Venice the crowds are mostly in St Mark's Square and once off the square--they melt away and many tourists come in for the day so in the morning and evenings, things slow down a bit.

hermes handbags


Category: Britain

Question:
We are going to be in England at Christmas and are looking for somewhere nearby to spend the fortnight following New Year. We don't want to spend a lot of time on buses, trains etc once we are there so something that has enough to keep us interested in a relatively small area. We were thinking of perhaps spreading the two weeks over two locations. Given that it is the middle of winter what would you suggest? PS We are not into upmarket nightlife, more of the art gallery and nature brigade!
Asked by Campbell Anderson [Mar 26, 2009]


Answer:
Dear Mr. Anderson, Assuming your point of entry is London - do consider spending some time in this lovely city as there is nothing more magical than London at Christmas. Decorated for the holidays, shopping is festive, afternoon teas are a must to ward off the winter chill and the theater is always so much fun. In terms of the countryside, I would recommend heading out to the Cotswolds. First it is more southern in location and hopefully not quite as cold as destinations to the north. Also, the Cotswold villages are charming and Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) is a festive tradition in the region. To avoid the hassle of driving out of London, one recommendation would be train first to Oxford - a wonderful university town and then rent a car and continue on to the heart of the Cotswolds. (Before leaving Oxford, definitely include a visit to Blenheim Palace-Churchill's home.) For the holiday season a number of properties have packages that include Christmas and New Year's dinners, sleigh-rides etc. I would select where you would like to stay and then contact the property directly to see if they specifically have a "package" or simply what festivities are going on in their village (or neighboring villages). Buckland, Burford, Upper Slaughter are just a few of many suggestions of charming places to base. To end your trip, I would recommend continuing on to the wonderful, historic city of Bath. You could return your car here and journey back to London by train. I hope these recommendations prove of some help. Thinking of the Cotswolds at Christmas brings back wonderful, personal memories as I spent the holidays here when researching so many years ago! Thank you for using our recommendations. Best, Karen

hermes handbags


Category: Italy

Question:
I have a confirmed reservation at "Fagiolari" in Panzano in the Tuscany region. I have sent 3 emails regarding availability of their cooking classes during our stay in July. I have not recieved an answer. Do you know of a problem there or can you lend some assistance. We are beginning to worry about whether or not they are still in business!
Asked by Jeff & Joan Liebeck [Mar 26, 2009]


Answer:
My first question would be how long ago they confirmed a reservation? I checked and their non-response is not due to seasonal closings (they say they are open all year!). I will copy them on your email to me to see if I can get a response. So often little inns are bogged down with day to day operations and are not as efficient as they should be with correspondence. I will let you know what I learn. Best, Karen

hermes handbags


Category: Ireland

Question:
Hi Karen, I just bought your Ireland book recommended by sales lady at Chapters. We will be travelling to Ireland 1st 2 weeks June 09. Will be staying with family part time in Northern Ireland but will be touring The Republic by car. We are a family of 4 with 2 kids 6 yrs & 9 yrs. We want the "Irish" experience and were planning on staying in b&b's but with looking at various web sites and most prices being per person we are now wondering if hotels would be more economical, do they charge per person or per room. Are the prices in your book by room or person? We don't want to stay in chain hotels but we also don't want to break the bank. We'd rather not pre book as travelling with kids some days you just don't get as far as you hoped. Any suggestions would be great. Thank you
Asked by Teresa Thompson [Mar 26, 2009]


Answer:
First, when you are next in Chapters, please thank them for recommendng our guide. To address your question, you are correct hotels charge per room and b&bs charge per person. The difficult economic times are hitting Ireland particularly hard so I think most places will be willing to "make a deal". There is often a special rate for children under 12. B&Bs are the most economical route to go and several have a family room that will accommodate 4 people. As this is not going to be a banner year for travel to Ireland I would imagine you will not have difficulty making day to day reservations. Please realize that places are often busier on Friday and Saturday nights when the Irish take weekend breaks.

hermes handbags


Category: General

Question:
We are planning a trip to Portugal, Spain and France and wonder if you have recommendations for Lisbon and Porto in Portugal and Nice in France. We have used your recommendations for years and always been very happy (and have a shelf of your books). While we have often stayed at hotels in France that you recommend, we have never seen a recommended hotel in Nice? Is there something we should know about staying in the heart of that city. Also, where can we look for train service from Lisbon to Barcelona and Barelona to Nice? Thank you
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Mar 23, 2009]


Answer:
We definitely have some wonderful hotels that we recommend in Lisbon. THey are referenced in our guidebook as well as on our website - simply search for Lisbon. In Porto, we recommend Hotel Infante de Sagres - again, which you will find in our guide or on our website. In terms of Nice, while there are lots of hotels and it is great to be right at the heart of town (except at the height of the tourist season when it is mobbed!), it is simply that I have not found a hotel I just love. We do recommend quite a few in neighboring villages. If being outside Nice appeals, I would suggest you look for places in St Paul de Vence, Eze Village, Cagnes....all would serve as a wonderful base from which to explore the Riviera. Concerning travel by train, from our website tab: TRAVEL TOOLS select the Travel by Train option (this will take you to Rail Europe's website) and you can plug in the destination cities to see routes and schedules. Thank you for using our recommendations! Have a wonderful trip! Karen

hermes handbags


Category: General

Question:
My husband and I are travelling to Germany this summer. Can we stay at or tour Katz Castle? Is there any place you can recommend along the Eder River that is nice to stay? Thanks,
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Mar 23, 2009]


Answer:
Unfortunately, Burg Katz or Katz Castle is private and closed to the public although, it has a commanding presence perched above the Rhein - you will definitely see it. It terms of where to stay on the Eder River we recommend the Schlosshotel Waldeck which enjoys a spectacular location overlooking the Eldersee. It is featured in our published guide, (Schlosshotel Waldeck, Owner: Karel F. Isenberg, 34513 Waldeck am Edersee, tel: (05623) 5890, 40 rooms Dbl Euros: 153-241) but they do not participate on our website so you will not find them there. I noticed your family name is Eder - are you looking for relatives? Perhaps they have their own schloss! Enjoy your summer travels, Karen

hermes handbags


Category: General

Question:
My husband heard about walking trails in England that go from one town to another - do you know of these? If so, are they in a specific region or do they have a specific name?
Asked by Ursula Hanson [Mar 21, 2009]


Answer:
The British love to hike and so, it is not surprising that they have walking trails throughout the county and an incredible website to help you determine the route that best suits your schedule, time frame and ability! You will find everything you need at: http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/ Happy Trails! Karen

hermes handbags


Category: Italy

Question:
Karen, I spoke to you in 1992 pre-honeymoon, you recommended Torre de Bellesquardo which was incredible. a long overdue thanks. We are going to Lake Como for a birthday party weekend in mid-Sept. Party will be near Como town. We are spending 3 days there, 6 at end of trip in Venice. We have 4 days in between Como & Venice. My wife has always wanted to see the Veneto region & we've never spent time in the lakes area other than several days in Bellagio a few yrs ago. Is there a great place as a base for 4 days or are we best off spending 2 days @2 locations. There are a couple of very interesting Relais & Chateaux properties such as L'Albereta & Villa Abbazia that i thought might make sense. Finally, there are so many properties to select from in Venice. Last time we stayed at the Danelli. Looking at pictures/websites most rooms are dark, somewhat depressing. Can you give us direction, a few places to consider? Much appreciated. Best, Jerry
Asked by Jerry Labowitz [Mar 19, 2009]


Answer:
Dear Jerry, I am so glad you enjoyed the Torre de Bellesguardo - however, I am sure the honeymoon added to the magic! Now, to address the question for your next trip, I asked Clare, who researches Italy to give us her input. Her recommendations: SINCE YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN LAKE COMO WHEN YOU STAYED IN BELLAGIO, I WOULD SUGGEST FOUR NIGHTS ON LAKE GARDA. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A DELUXE HOTEL, WE LIKE LOCANDA SAN VIGLIO IN SAN VIGLIO A LOT. FOR A TRULY SUMPTUOUS PLACE TO STAY, GRAND HOTEL A VILLA FELTRINELLI IS SPECTACULAR. FOR A REASONABLY-PRICED SMALL HOTEL ON THE LAKE, HOTEL DU LAC IN GARGNANO IS A VERY NICE FAMILY OWNED HOTEL ON THE LAKE. I WOULD PERSONALLY PREFER TO BE ON THE LAKE RATHER THAN AT VILLA ABBAZIA.. IF YOU WOULD PREFER 3 NIGHTS AT LAKE GARDA, I WOULD SUGGEST ONE NIGHT IN VERONA EN ROUTE FROM VENICE TO THE LAKE DISTRICT. IN VENICE, THERE ARE MANY FANTASTIC HOTELS. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A DELUXE HOTEL, TWO OF MY FAVORITES ARE LOCANDA VIVALDI AND THEIR "SISTER HOTEL" WHICH RECENTLY OPENED, PALAZZO STERN. FOR LESS EXPENSIVE HOTELS, I LIKE THE HOTEL FLORA (BUT BE SURE TO GET ONE OF THE LARGER ROOMS) AND ALSO PENSIONE ACCADEMIA. Wishing you all the best and thank you for your continued support of our guides. Karen

hermes handbags



Back to Ask Karen A Question