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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

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Category: General

Question:
Can you recommed a directory with information as to inns in charlottetown prince edward island, noiva scotia? Thank you!
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Sep 12, 2008]


Answer:
Unfortunately, we have not yet researched the area but recommend a membership group called Select Registry. Although, the properties pay for inclusion and write their own descriptions, they have to meet certain standards to qualify and are regularly inspected. The membership group also prides itself on representing what they consider the best. They have member properties in the United States and Canada. Thank you for thinking of Karen Brown's Guides and recommendations.

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Category: Ireland

Question:
Looking for information on a tour of Southwestern Ireland, dates Sept. 25th through Oct.2ed. 6 or 7 days Thank you
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Sep 12, 2008]


Answer:
Unfortunately, we don't offer tours based on our recommendations. I would recommend contacting the Irish Tourist Office for tour companies that they would recommend. Thank you for thinking of us! Karen

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Category: General

Question:
We are interested in hiking green meadows, waterfalls, summer flowers, seeing old farmhouses in Austria. What areas of Austria would you recommend if these are to be day hikes from specific inns for family of four with two teens. Thank-you.
Asked by David Haynes [Sep 9, 2008]


Answer:
Although, much of Austria boasts the landscape you describe, a personal favorite would be the region of the Salzkammergut. I would recommend staying in St Wolfgang (Landhaus zu Appesbach) as it is located right on one of the region's lakes. You can hike and boat directly from the hotel's docks. Even though they have rooms with kitchenettes that might seem perfect as a family, I would recommend a waterfront room (at least for you) as the views are spectacular. It is also nice as it is close to Salzburg (you can easily drive or train in) lots of other lakes and your teenagers might also enjoy a stay (could even be a long day trip) in Hallstatt with the salt mines and ice caves. Thank you for using our recommendations! Best, Karen

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Category: General

Question:
At some time, it would be worth visiting and reviewing: Black Walnut Inn at Erath Vineyards 9600 NE Worden Hill Road Dundee, OR 97115 1-866-429-4114 503-429-4114 This was probably one of the best inns we've stayed at anywhere in the world. A great spot for wine country touring.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Sep 8, 2008]


Answer:
Thank you so much for so generously sharing your own personal favorite. We will definitely include the Black Walnut Inn on our list of properties to visit. Also, in a few week's time we will have the ability for travelers to share with the Karen Brown Community Reader Discoveries. Thank you again for contacting us.

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Category: France

Question:
I WOULD LIKE INFO. ON PARIS HOTELS YOU SUGGEST(3 or 4 star) and info on a car and driver from sept. 3 to sept 6. thank you.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Sep 8, 2008]


Answer:
To see a list of properties including our web recommended properties for Paris please go to http://www.karenbrown.com/ListRegionAccommodations/00000007/00000033/name.php. You can sort this list by price and location by clicking 'Price Range' or 'City' at the top of the columns. If you are looking for a car and driver I would recommend either contacting Auto Europe at http://www.autoeurope.com/index.cfm?aff=karenbrown. We have found them to be extremely responsive and dependable. Or, I would check with your hotel of choice to see if they can set up a car and driver for you. The hotels can often be your best source for help with things like a car and driver, restaurants, tickets for museums and local activities.

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Category: France

Question:
I have your most recent book on Portugal, and there I saw lodging in Tavira (Algarve) named "Quinta do Caracol". However on your website this lodging is not listed. Has it been removed for some reason? I'd like to know if there was any problem as we are considering this location for our stay.
Asked by John Silverio [Sep 7, 2008]


Answer:
The Quinta do Caracol asked to be removed from our guides and will not be listed in our next edition. This is a rare occurrence and I must admit I do not understand why but I am afraid I can no longer recommend this hotel.

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Category: Italy

Question:
Would it be possible to inform future travelers of the theft danger at Castello Di Brolio in Chianti? My husband and I went there on August 22nd after reading your travel book. The parking lot is at the bottom of the hill, and in a remote place. We had just checked out of one B&B and were going to check into another one that evening. We had our doors locked, but our windows cracked about 1/4 of an inch. We think this is how the thief was able to get in. He took all our luggage and wine we had already purchased! When talking to the employees at the wine tasting room, they said that this has happened before. Thieves know that this is a remote location that isn't monitored. We don't want others to have the same awful experience we had!
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Sep 2, 2008]


Answer:
First of all, I am terribly sorry for your losses. We have also experienced the pain of theft in Italy. Not to single out Italy but there are a lot of visitors to the country and this will attract thieves as tourists tend to be easy marks. In the past, rental cars had stickers designating their status. These stickers acted as a beacon for thieves labeling the cars as rentals. Likewise, parking public areas such as a winery, particularly if remote, will present an easy target for thieves. The best defense is to rent a car with a trunk so that packages and luggage are not visible. Also, do not come and go to the car leaving things that you have purchased as thieves are always on the lookout for such activity. I would also like to remind people that railway stations, subways and crowded plazas attract pickpockets and caution should be taken to protect valuables. To address your concerns I have added a caution of parking in the lot below the winery on our web description for the Castello Di Brolio.

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Category: Switzerland

Question:
The Hostellerie des Chevaliers is listed in your Switzerland book as an accommodation in Gruyeres. We cannot find it listed in the trip planner. Please advise. Thanks. John R. Markley
Asked by John Markley [Aug 21, 2008]


Answer:
While there is no charge to be recommended in our guides (as we want nothing to influence our selection and editorial) we do have a charge if a property wants to be featured on our website. The nominal charge is simply to cover our web administration costs and only properties we recommend and approve are invited to participate on our website. The Hostellerie des Chevaliers has opted not to have a presence on www.karenbrown.com. A benefit of either the Premier or Business class membership - members are able to see all the properties we recommend in our guides - even those who have not chosen to be featured. Please know we do still recommend the Hostellerie des Chevaliers as well as the Hostellerie de Saint Georges.

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Category: General

Question:
I am looking to book a charming hotel that includes cooking lessons for 4 or 5 nights from Oct. 25th in the area of Piedmont, Genoa, Venice or northern Italy for my husband and I. We live in Zurich, Switzerland and will be driving there. Thank you. Or if you can suggest another website to find out information for a castle or other charming/romantic hotels.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Aug 20, 2008]


Answer:
Cooking classes have become very popular and there are a number of properties that we recommend that offer classes in conjunction with a stay. There is an icon list below each property's description on their individual website pages and if they offer cooking classes the icon that looks like a skillet will be present. I would recommend first sorting our list of properties for Italy by either region or specific city and then looking at the individual property pages that are located in the area of your interest. Also, as each property offers distinctly different options under the term "cooking classes" it will be necessary to contact them individually to determine what their program entails. To facilitate your reference, the direct link to our list of places to stay in Italy is below: http://www.karenbrown.com/ListAccommodations/00000008/name.php Thank you for using our recommendations and website! Best, Karen

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Category: General

Question:
My husband and I would like to stay in Rome for the month of June, 2009. Can you suggest a place(s) to stay for 30 days that is not very expensive?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Aug 19, 2008]


Answer:
How lucky you are!!! An entire month in Rome! In terms of where to stay, we mostly recommend hotels, inns and bed & breakfasts. You might contact them individually (simply click the CONTACT PROPERTY from their individual website page) and ask if they would offer a special rate if you were to stay for the entire month. You might also inquire if they have a cottage or apartment for rent. The reality is is that June is a busy month in terms of occupancy so they might not feel the need to discount as they can probably fill the rooms at full rate every day. Another suggestion would be to contact HIDDEN TREASURES OF ITALY. They can help with personalized trip planning assistance. The owner, Nicole Franchini lives in Italy and works with us on our guide to Italy B&Bs - she is very reliable and knowledgeable. Their telephone from the US is (tollfree) 888-419-6700. Enjoy your trip and thank you for using our recommendations!

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