More sabor

Tripadvisor fans (like us) get around.  They every corner of the globe to discover the newest, the wildest, the most obscure and the, well,  just plain fun. It’s almost impossible to travel without eating something.  And if your budget permits, the lure of “best of” restaurants is just too strong to resist.  Here, here to that,  we say. So, may…

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Mama Prati

As if Rome isn’t fun enough – may we present to you Mama Shelter, Roma.  Created by the owners of Club Med, Mama Shelter goes waaay beyond the normal.  Just a short walk from the Vatican, and just  250m from the Cipro Metro station,  everything is close and the nightlife is not far away. Treat yourself to some silly playfulness. …

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The Sylvia Path

We’re not sure if Sylvia Plath ever stayed at Sylvia’s Restaurant and Lounge in Vancouver, but we’re sure she would have felt at home. The Sylvia Hotel is a designated heritage building – there aren’t too many of those in Vancouver  – ideally located on English Bay, beside Stanley Park and just 5 minutes from downtown Vancouver. Built in 1912,…

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Pardon me, madam, but your palace awaits

How often does one get the chance to sleep in the same halls as royalty?  Not often for most of us. But, you can at the Ciragan Palace Hotel Kempinski in Istanbul directly on the Bosphorus.  A former home to Ottoman royalty, you will find yourself bathed in history, glamourous surroundings, sumptous spas and world-class restaurants. And, of course, you…

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The menace of Venice

Venice in peril.  If it’s ancient foundations crumbling, and literal hoards of tourists aren’t troubling enough, Venice is now being genuinely threatened by the gargantuan cruise ships that pull up to the ancient city. So much so, that UNESCO has put Venice on its endangered list unless Italy permanently banned cruise ships from docking in the world heritage site.   And…

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Lies and honest mistakes

The other day, I told a friend that Knoxville is the capital of Tennessee. Five seconds and a blur of fingers later, he said: ‘No, it’s Nashville.’ My statement was obviously not true. But since I sincerely believed in the accuracy of what I was saying, I was nonetheless being truthful. I was mistaken, not mendacious. This distinction between truth…

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To walk all night in Moscow

There are few cities that are as appealing (and to some, daunting) as Moscow.  It’s history and “reputation” precede the city itself.  But it would be a big mistake to miss it.  Moscow is bound to be a special one. From the multicolored spires of St. Basil’s Cathedral to the sturdy red walls of the Kremlin, there is much to…

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True Xiqu

Every country and every peoples have stories to tell.  The Chinese have such a long and colourful history, it’s only natural that their catalogue is perfect for relaying those stories via opera. The West Kowloon District in Hong Kong, has the Xiqu Centre which is dedicated to preservation of the art of traditional Cantonese opera, Xiqu. The centre’s design has…

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Stiff upper quip

Some need that little extra push, or perhaps a bit of “what for.”  If you know someone who would benefit from some sharp-as-a-tack, quick-as-a-whip, stiff upper lip education, there can be no better place than in London.  Home of stern educators such as Mary Poppins, Martin Chuzzlewit, Mr. Tomkinley, Melissa  Wackles . . . the list goes on and on,…

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Come and see a’ the hypogea

Ah, Roma.  No matter how many times you visit, something pulls you back again and again. The Italians are never shy in sharing their singular country and its thousands of splendors.  But, one sight-seeing treat has – mysteriously – always been off limits:  the “basement, or the hypogea of the Colosseum as it’s correctly known. Tantalizingly, you can see it…

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The Isle of fire

We’re talkin’ about Nyoo Yawk, here, so listen up. Most people have heard about Long Island, New York.  Just a short train ride from Manhattan, it is a world unto itself.  It was once – and in many ways, still is – the essence of Bohemian.  But, the ocean-side mansions also are there, so that’s a thing, too. Some don’t…

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Mardin’s gardens

Mardin is a city in southeastern Turkey. The capital of Mardin Province, it is known for the Artuqid architecture of its old city, and for its strategic location on a rocky hill near the Tigris River that rises steeply over the flat plains. * OK, now that we have that somewhat dry description of the phenomenal city of Mardin, let’s…

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You’ve got a friend in we

People are people, thankfully, but everyone is distinctly different in one way or another – again, thankfully.  But some collections of people seem to have attributes that give their countries – and themselves –shiny reputations. There have been plenty of these lists circulating in the past, but the world has gotten bigger and smaller at the same time, so you…

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Sea crews

This article is simply a big “thanks” and a pat on the back for those selfless crew members who make your cruise experiences so nice and easy. They are often far, far away from home, sometimes for long periods of time.  Every day, they encounter customers from all corners of the globe, often with unusual requests – or demands –…

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Tornados in Europe!

Even if you’re a European whiz, sometimes you might want to retrace your steps to ensure that you’ve seen it all.  Or maybe you’re just in a hurry.   So here’s a plan for you.  Be a tornado. Experience three of Europe’s iconic capitals in just ten days. If you only have a short stay in Europe and want to fully…

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Do I have clearance to ask you out on a date?

WARNING – look away now if you are allergic to bad naughty humour. “After being deprived of two of my favorite activities — travel and sex — over the past year, one thing I’m looking forward to as both become more feasible is that inexplicable wave of horniness that reliably overcomes me when I’m on a plane.” Apparently this is…

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You’re worth it, and you know it

Who hasn’t – at least once – dreamt of basking in the sun in Saint-Tropez?  Since the 50’s, it has always represented the universal ideal in luxury, culture and aspirations. Well, for those in the mood and in the position to do so, you’ll be thrilled that the Airelles Saint-Tropez, Château de la Messardière will be opening again in July,…

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Rigi – don’t lose that number

Yodele hee hoo!  Now here is a wonderful, simple and unforgettable adventure for you – lovely Rigi mountain in Switzerland –  and its fabulous cog train. The residents of Rigi have not let their wonderful natural resource go to waste.  Above and beyond being a daily mode of transport (since 1871) for its residents, it also acts as an inspiring…

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The second most romantic hotel in the world

Second best is not usually where we see ourselves appearing.  We’re winners, are we not, even in a small way?  We’ve got moxie!  Nothing’s gonna keep us down.  Chin up.  Pip pip.  So here’s a story that will bring a smile to your face. A small hotel in Guadalest has been voted the second most romantic in the world by…

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London? nHow!

Ye olde London, once again, shows that it isn’t “stiff upper lip” anymore.  Those days are long gone. the nHow hotel is a celebration of London told through innovative and immersive design, around the theme “London reloaded.” The hotel’s bold and fresh design takes inspiration from traditional British icons, such as the Royal Family, London landmarks and the underground. All…

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