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AUSTRIA

Vienna's Regal Residence - The Hotel Imperial When the Duke of Wurttemberg came back from a business trip, he was dismayed to find that his backyard, which was essentially a park at that time, had been bisected with a new road. Not one to cross the street to go to the park, the Duke decided that the road had ruined his Vienna palace and put it up for sale. Now you too, can stay at The Sheraton's Luxury Collection — The Imperial Hotel.

ENGLAND (Britain, Scotland, Wales)

England's Historic Heart - To travel the “heart” of England — its geographical and spiritual core — I opt to visit three cities and their environs. First Oxford, fabled center of learning in the Thames River Valley, with its hinterland of Cotswold Hills.  Next Stratford — Shakespeare country with a famous river of its own, the Avon.  Finally Salisbury, one of the grand cathedral towns of England, set upon the Wiltshire plain of medieval villages and timeless ruins.

London Walks in Kensington and Marylebone - London has always been a great town for walking, providing you don’t try to cover too much ground.  After all, the city is immense and there is so much to see.  A sensible plan to save shoe leather and avoid the usual “tourist overload” involves doing London by neighborhoods.

Country Tramps in the English Gems - England means walking. Memories of country tramps and urban saunters.  London, Oxford, and a hundred towns encrusted with time and beauty never lose their appeal to a wanderer on foot.  Likewise the rural lanes remain changeless-- the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Cotswold and so much more. Now a region I’ve overlooked before — Cheshire and the Northwest.  Not surprising, really, since few Americans travel there.  Its reputation is one of industrial towns and rain-swept skies.

The Royal Treatment at the Plaza On The River Club and Residences - Gazing through a floor-to-ceiling glass wall at an uninterrupted view of the River Thames and London’s most impressive landmarks — House of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye — guests of the new Plaza on the River Club and Residence can see, from the first moment they enter their suite, nothing has been left to chance in this city’s finest luxury serviced residence.

Village People Love The Mandeville Hotel -
Location, the long-coveted real estate asset — most especially prized by hotels aiming to take their share of discriminating travelers — is reason enough why The Mandeville, in London’s Marylebone district between Hyde and Regent parks, is positioned perfectly to capture its astute, predominantly British and European clientele.

Soothing Roman Bath -
“Bath is the finest place on earth, for you may enjoy its society and its walks without effort or fatigue,” wrote 18th century Scottish essayist James Boswell of this English town that dates to Roman times.

FRANCE

Bienvenue a Paris - The Warwick Hotels -
In Paris, the world’s capital of elegance and style, where else would you stay but in a hotel that reflected the essence of the city itself. On my recent trip to the city I consider my home away from home, I was fortunate enough to stay in not one, but two hotels that are the very definition of Gallic sophistication and charm.

Paris Beyond Compare - The Ampere - Paris' stately Hotel Ampère is the perfect departure setting for European Waterways' barge trips through France. From here you are eased gently with grace and style into luxury barge travel. Guests are gathered up on Sunday afternoon before departing for La Belle Époque, the Nivernais Canal and the beautiful Yonne Valley of Burgundy.

HOLLAND

East Meets West at Blakes Amsterdam — Amsterdam is a city of as many bicycles as people. In Blakes' hand-laid herringbone brick entry courtyard is a stable of bicycles. These are available for guests to use to tour the city; you can feel right at home cycling with the residents along picturesque canal streets.

IRELAND

Ireland's Blue Book - Jetsetters Magazine visited many of the historic manor homes in Ireland that are open to the public as guest accommodations.  Many of these manses are located in rural, rolling countryside, mountain valleys, near national parks, and other remote Irish locales.  All of the properties are represented by Ireland Blue Book, a company that scrutinizes a manor home’s every detail, from historical significance, to fine dining, to attractions in the area, before it is listed and promoted by this service.

A Walk In Kay's Garden -
Standing at the head of island studded Cashel Bay the only thing separating Connemara’s Cashel House in Ireland and North America is the North Atlantic.

Ireland's County Clare Coastal Towns -
The shores of western Ireland’s County Clare claim some of the best surfing in Europe, and some of the best Atlantic Ocean beachcombing. Great for families.

A Quiet Castle For The Quiet Man -
The regal Ashford Castle core was begun by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family in 1228, but the ancient Celtics had lived in the area for over 1100 years before the castle was built.  The de Burgos defeated the native O’Connors of Connaught and they built several castles in Ireland , but Ashford was their stronghold. The grounds are recorded in Irish history from the 2nd century. Later generations expanded the castle buildings.

Ireland's Stony Place - The Burren and Gregans Castle -
Sometime between 1175 and 1195 a group of Cistercian monks settled in the valley on the southwestern side of Ireland's Burren.  With a perceptive genius they called their new church, Sancta Maria de petra Fertilis — St Mary of the Fertile Rock.  Who ever thought of the name clearly grasped the central feature of the remarkable landscape and the dramatic contrast that the Burren presents.

Medieval Inis - Modern Ennis -
While staying in the historic medieval Irish town of Inis, I had to take one of Jane O’Brien’s walking tours just to find out how nagging women were punished in the 18th century.

The Jury's Verdict - Elegance in Dublin - When you think of Ireland, what are the first things that come to mind? The first pictures that most likely appeared in your
head were lush green pastures, leprechauns, or probably something associated with drinking. But how about "elegance?" After a stay at the Jurys Inn at Ballsbridge — one of Dublin's most luxurious accommodations — you might remember Ireland in a completely different way.

Cupid Castle Cures -
When touring Ireland you can stay in a farmhouse, guesthouse, villa, secret hunting lodge, abbey, palace, or country manor house. But for romance you must stay in a traditional and authentic Celtic castle!

Romance In Stone - Here is an interactive list of ancient but modernized stone castles in Ireland for your next romantic interlude. Just click the photos for instant booking!

Victorian Luxe In Galway -
One such Victorian hotel was the regal Railway Hotel built in Galway, Ireland, opening its doors in 1852. Queen Victoria of England had been in power for about 15 years and travel was in full swing. Ireland at the time was part of the British Empire and the hotel, today called the Great Southern Hotel, still stands, beckoning adventurers through its revolving doorway. 

SPAIN

eL Castell de Ciutat - We discovered El Castell de Ciutat (Castle of the City) by chance. An unplanned stop while traveling in Spain, this superb Relais & Chateaux hotel and spa became one of our fondest Iberian memories. The hotel is perched just over 2,100 feet on a hilltop dominating the most strategic point of the high Segre Valley in La Seu d’Urgell, a small village established during the Bronze Age.