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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: France

Question:
We will be in Paris for the end of the Tour de France, and will be staying there for three to four nights total. The ultimate experience would be to have a room with a balcony that overlooks the Champs Elysees, with an unobstructed view of the bicyclists as they ride up and down. I see the Hotel Chambiges on your website that is on the Champs Elysees; however, I don't know if they have the type of accommodation I indicated, or the best way to find out. Can you provide some assistance? Thank you
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 8, 2008]


Answer:
Unfortunately, the Hotel Chambiges is not located on the Champs Elysees – it is just in the vicinity. If you zoom into the map on their webpage you will see their exact location. At the moment we do not recommend any property that actually overlooks the avenue. I believe there are some. A suggestion would be to contact the French Government Tourist Office and ask their advise for specific hotels along the Champs! What a wonderful adventure! Karen

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Category: France

Question:
Hello,I'm using your France guide almost exclusively in planning for a trip to France (Hotel Horset Opera in Paris), the Loire River valley (Manoir Les Minimes), Arles (Hotel d' Arlatan), the Riviera region (Le Saint Paul), etc. We've booked into the Arlatan for four nights, and then depart for Nice. I don't have a great feeling for the Arlatan in Arles because I can't get many photo's and the ones I see look sparse/used/tired. I tried to e-mail you about other options in Provence for four nights, but the e-mail was rejected. My inquiry was directed toward le Thor (La Bastide Rose)I want to know if they can take us, and and Jules Cesar in Arles. BUT, we're open to other ideas. I can't get my hands on an updated issue of your 2007 version. Is there one? There are four old folks traveling together, ages 60 to 74. We need three rooms for the four of us. Your input would be appreciated. If there is a fee for your personalized recommendations, I understand and that's ok with me. I love your data and recommendations.Thanks,
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 6, 2008]


Answer:
First thank you so much for using our guides, website and recommendations! In terms of your trip you have honestly chosen very well-I sincerely, personally like every property you have selected.I apologize the photos we have for the D'Arlatan aren't great - they truly don't do the hotel justice. However, it is an older property (part of its charm) so I don't want you to go expecting new, spotless and with all modern efficiencies - but for the location and price it would be my first choice in Arles. However, Arles, although not large, is a city - and I do love it, however, another suggestion might be to base in a countryside town - perhaps a bit easier from which to explore. Parking and navigating to and from a city as a base is often costly and more difficult. A favorite with our readers for value and comfortable accommodation is the Moulin de l'Oulivie. Another suggestion would be the Domaine de Valmouraine in St Remy. In terms of whether or not they have availability - you would need to contact them directly. There is a link for your convenience directly from their page on our website and it will automatically identify you as a Karen Brown Reader which I believe is perceived as very positive!!!Again, thank you for using our recommendations. I hope my suggestions help rather than confuse. I also so very much appreciate your offer to "pay" for my suggestions - however, it is Sunday night and I have some time free and am very happy to help a Karen Brown Traveler.Wishing you a wonderful trip,Kindest regards,Karen

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Category: General

Question:
Karen, Are you the actual Karen of Karen Brown? I feel like I know you I’ve used your guides so much. Thanks for your help. My fax worked! I don’t fax overseas much so I missed the 011 part. I really love Karen Brown’s travel guides and would love to work for ya’ll one day. Ha. What a great job! I almost always stay in one of your recommended places – the only times I don’t is if I’m going somewhere you don’t have one. This trip is Munich, Salzburg, Venice, Bellagio and Innsbruck. Every place is a Karen Brown recommendation and I am looking so forward to it. The two couples going with us have daughters that will be studying in Innsbruck this summer so we’re saving them for the end of the trip. Should be a lot of fun and some wonderful historical lessons to be learned. One day soon, hopefully, I’ll make it to your place in Mexico! Thanks again.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 5, 2008]


Answer:

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Category: Italy

Question:
In Venice, Italy, is there such a thing as a nice, reasonably-priced inn?Also, are there inns/B&Bs in Mendocino/North Coast that are appropriate for families?Thanks!
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 7, 2008]


Answer:
In terms of Venice - yes there really are! If you go to our website (www.karenbrown.com) and then select Italy and then the tab for List of Accommodations you will see the list of properties we recommend that are sortable. I would first sort by city - so that all of Venice groups together and then you can click on the ones you want to consider based on their price. In terms of Mendocino - it is definitely popular as a romantic escape but there are definitely family-appropriate properties. Two where I would stay with kids would be The Albion River Inn and/or Stanford House. Another thought would be to rent a unit at Sea Ranch! Again, I would refer to our list of accommodations for California. Kindest regards, Karen

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Category: Ireland

Question:
The accommodation rates listed on your site do not indicate, for the most part, what the currency is. I am looking in the Ireland accommodations and I do understand the british pound symbol but are the other rates in Euros, or USD???
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 6, 2008]


Answer:
To answer your question, Northern Ireland is still using pound sterling and the rest of Ireland uses the Euro - the Euro symbol should appear on your web pages. Thank you for using our website and recommendations. Kindest regards, Karen

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Category: General

Question:
Can you tell me how to use your website to reserve a ticket on the TGV from DeGaulle airport to Bordeaux? When I look on to RailEurope, it brings up Paris vs. DG airport and wants to book a ticket from Mont 1 et 2 in Paris. Any help you can provide will be most appreciated.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 5, 2008]


Answer:
From the Travel Tools blue/top bar on our website, then click on Train Reservations and then when the Rail Europe page pops up, click on Train Tickets & Schedules in the left hand column and you should have a page where you can enter your travel cities. When you type in Paris – you should be given the option of Paris CDG Airport … I will copy the link to their website that resulted when I typed in Paris CDG Airport and Bordeaux – unfortunately you will need to enter the info again as I did not know your travel dates. To be honest, I am not sure if this train bypasses Paris … it might be that it goes through the city, but it does appear that you do not change trains! Hope this is of some help. Thank you for using our recommendations. Karen

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Category: France

Question:
I was listening to you on KGO and felt this was a fantastic coincidence since I've been researching staying in France.I am going to a wedding in Brussels. The parents of the bride and my husband and I have decided to stay in Burgundy for 5 days following the wedding.We are then heading up to Normandy. We've got Normandy settled as we will spend a week in Hornfleur in an apartment. What we are looking for are accommodations, a hotel or Bed and Breakfast in or at the edge of Beaune for3 days and two nights in Semur en Auxois. We can walk a mile to get in to the villages but are looking for a place definitely within walking distance to the towns. In the town would be okay, too. We'd like to spend under $100 a night hopefully including breakfast. You had mentionned on the radio program that this was doable.What are your recommendations for these two villages? I know that Beaune is much bigger than Semur, but that is so we can do the evening stroll after or before dinner in the town.Hope you have some reliable suggestions. I just don't want to pick a hotel out of Rough Guide.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 3, 2008]


Answer:
In terms of recommendations for near Beaune:We have a lovely B&B just on the outskirts - but it is more than you want to spend La Terre d'Or. A few small hotels nearby that are a great value and charming: Le Parc in Levernois, Le Clos in Montagny. But in every case it would be quite a hike and along busy roads - you might want to consider bikes. Or if you use Beaune as a base (the hotels we recommend are a little more expensive but there is one I used to have in the book that I still like - that you might want to try - we had a few reader complaints only because it was "simplier" - Hotel des Remparts, 48 Rue Thiers, 21200 Beaune. You can take wine tours right from the heart of town organized by the tourist office as well as private operators (buggy rides, bike tours, van tours etc) Beaune is a lovely walled town - intimate in size and a great place to base. Semur is included on our itinerary - but I don't have a recommendation for staying in the heart or town or any place within walking distance. The "closest" would perhaps be in La Motte Ternant - La Chouette qui Chante. In terms of whether to use Beaune or Semur as the base - I would most definitely recommend Beaune as it is charming and at the heart of the region. Semur is picturesque but quite a distance from other sightseeing towns and doesn't have as much to offer in terms of restaurants, shops etc. I usually stay outside towns as I prefer the countryside - but Beaune is wonderful! Hope this proves of some help. Thanks for listening to the show and your interest in our recommendations! Kindest regards, Karen

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Category: France

Question:
I have been trying to contact "La Chouette qui Chante" through your website but have been unable to bring up the page with their information. Do you have an e-mail address for them?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 2, 2008]


Answer:
The email contact that we have on file for them is: lachouettequichante@orange.fr But I am also a bit confused by your email, as when I go to their page on our website I am successful at linking both to their website and their email contact info. Please let me know more details as to your problems so that I can better help you. Thank you for using our guides and recommendations. Kindest regards, Karen

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Category: France

Question:
Hi Karen,Could you give me some suggestions about what city is the best place to stay if touring the Chateaus in the Loire Valley.? ideally , we could take a train to Tours from Paris and then travel in the area but the cost of renting a car plus gas seems out of our budget. I read about some tours from Paris but is there any local company that you can book daily tours with different routes to see different Chateaus.? Last year we went to several with French friends but they got lost on the little roads and we never got to see anymore . Any suggestions ,? Do you have a book that covers this area specifically?
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 1, 2008]


Answer:
It is possible to visit some of the chateaux by train so it is not necessary to rent a car. However, the train network is limited so your stop over options will be limited. I would recommend using Amboise as a base. It is a wonderful riverside town with castle and lots of charm. We recommend a fabulous hotel Le Manoir les Minimes as well as a B&B Le Vieux Manoir in Amboise. You can look at all of our recommendations in the region by going to our website (www.karenbrown.com.) From Amboise you can train to Blois, Tours, Saumur, Angers. Another option for transportation would be to rent bikes which you can take on the trains and/or I would rent a car for just a day in order to see my favorites, Chenonceaux and Azay le Rideau. Rail Europe has some great rail/car options. (www.raileurope.com) Hope this is of some help. I hope you have a wonderful time in France! Kindest regards, Karen

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Category: Ireland

Question:
Good morning...........I am interested in renting a car in Ireland......Have gone on your web sight and can't find the link to car rentals.
Asked by A Karen Brown Traveler [Jul 1, 2008]


Answer:
The link is under the tool bar for Car rentals - or you can simply click on any one of our AutoEurope banners. Thank you for using our website and recommendations. Hope you have a wonderful trip to Ireland! Kindest regards, Karen

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