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My Continuing Love Affair with Viking River Cruises

Me: “I’ll take ‘Unforgettable Vacations’ for $2000 please, Alex.” Alex Trebek: “And the clue is: This cruise line recently received its 9th win as the Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising by the prestigious travel industry publication, TRAVELAGE WEST; was awarded ‘Best Luxury River Cruise Company’ by Luxury Travel Advisor in their annual Awards of Excellence; and was declared ‘Best River Cruise Line’ in 2014 by Cruise Critic’s discerning international team of editors.” Me: Frantically pushing my little button thingy as I excitedly exclaim: “Having just returned from a fantastic cruise with them, I so have this one!...

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Best Shopping in Cesky Krumlov

Shopping is a favorite pastime for many travelers but what to buy and where to buy with confidence can be problematic. From major cities to small villages, it helps when a local shares shopping tips. “If people want to buy amber in Cesky Krumlov, I tell them to forget it unless they know what they’re doing,” said tour guide Oldřiška Baloušková. She and I were strolling the 13th century town located in Czech Republic’s Southern Bohemia region and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In centuries past the region was on the amber trade route, which explains its tourist...

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Hidden Culinary Treasure in Cour des Loges

There is plenty to see in Lyon, France. They have a magnificent Basilica decked out with the most intricate mosaics, a plethora of world-class museums, including the Musee des Beau-Arts, a historic old town which had once been the center of the silk industry and a newly revitalized river bank district lined with eye-popping, industrial chic buildings and trendy art installations. But I was there first and foremost for the food. This 2,000-year-old city, considered the world capital of gastronomy by many, is home to approximately 2,000 restaurants, with 22 of them sporting Michelin stars. This is fabulous if you...

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Bessé Signature and Anne Jousse Bring a Unique Brand of Luxury to Paris

The idea of a young luxury hotel brand competing in Paris, the world’s #1 tourist destination, seems like a difficult task. However, not only has Bessé Signature competed, they’ve flourished, making a name for themselves in a city filled with luxurious hotel options. What began as a run-down hotel in Brittany has morphed into a Relais & Châteaux property with a Michelin-starred restaurant, and expanded to Paris, where the group currently owns four boutique properties. Located in Paris’ best arrondissements, Bessé Signature hotels are elegant and lavish, but have individual personalities. The five-star Hôtel Bel-Ami is contemporary in style,...

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Luxe Layovers: LHR

Luxe Layovers: LHR Remember the days when the thought of an airport layover brought shudders and a sense of dread? Today’s airports are breaking out of that mold — and breaking all the old rules — to offer bespoke services to modern travelers. From luxury lounges, modern spas and art museums to wine bars, gourmet restaurants and markets filled with fresh produce, airports around the world are revolutionizing the travel experience. Discover a new place each month for your next luxe layover. London Heathrow, United Kingdom: LHR London Heathrow Airport (LHR), located about 17 miles west of central London, started out...

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Luxury and Value are Possible in Paris

There are an unbelievable amount of hotels in Paris, but what would you expect from the #1 tourist destination in the world? Couple leisure travelers with those who go to the city for business, and there’s rarely a low season.   Paris is one of the most luxurious places in the world. From high-end designers and jewelers to Michelin-starred restaurants and palace hotels, there are plenty of places to spend your euros. The cost of presidential suites in the most prestigious Paris hotels come with a five-digit price tag per night, but what if you’re not a sultan and still...

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Sofia Bournazi–Dynamic Marketing Pro For Northern Greece

Early October of 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Sofia Bournazi via e-mail. She was Marketing Director for the Halkidiki Tourism Organization and was interested in sponsoring a press trip. As the committee I co-chaired worked putting together this trip, Sofia became a friend and our first trip was organized in May of 2013. Due to the success of the first trip, we worked on a second one for June 2014. This time, my husband Norm and I were fortunate to be part of the group attending. Sofia and I clicked and developed a great appreciation for her...

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French Master Chef Hervé Laurent Presents Classic Cuisine Served The Modern Way!

The goal of my recipes will be to provide you with the why and how to prepare different dishes. These are the same explanations provided to my students at SCARTS.  Classic cuisine served the modern way! The Why? Food and design is a big trend and popular. This will be shown with ScandinaVian Marinated Salmon, Asparagus, Balsamic Sauce. The presentation of the plate below is called “disorganized order.” The decoration looks messy but it takes lots of attention and details to balance colors and flavors. It gives guests the possibility to taste everything separately. The presentation of the plate...

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Luxe Travel Guide: Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona can claim to have it all: premium wines, extraordinary restaurants, an alluring climate, inspiring architecture, a multitude of beaches and excellent shopping. There’s several ways to experience Barcelona and its abundant choices.  It’s my take that the luxury route is the best one. Barcelona is known as one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. With a bit of planning and a few days to soak in its stunning diversity, this is the place to be to experience wild and wonderful architecture, world class museums and galleries, high-end lodging and impressive shops, wines and cultural...

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One Aldwych Equals One Fabulous London Hotel

One popular travel website has over 1000 hotels listed in London, with 322 of them in the luxury category. It’s difficult to know where to begin your search…by number of stars, location, price point, or perhaps more specific requirements such as on-site gym or a decent on-site restaurant. After an absolutely perfect stay at One Aldwych (and I don’t say that lightly) where my every creature comfort was met and often surpassed, I wholeheartedly suggest you save yourself from tedious research and simply go online immediately and book a room, any room. However, for a real treat, try and...

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Wondrous Walking Tour of England’s Lake District

Grasmere, Coniston, Windermere…if they were three high school girls running for prettiest prom queen, it would be tough call as to who would win. And these were just a few of the many idyllic Lake District villages we visited. William Wordsworth portrays his beloved homeland as: “Majesty, and beauty and repose, A blended holiness of earth and sky.” Letting some of my new walking buds join me;-) The problem with this area is that it’s all so breathtakingly gorgeous, so undeniably natural, so unique with its constantly changing terrain, that you really need to spend at least a week...

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