LUXURY TRAVELER

LUXE

"true luxury is the wealth of one's experiences"

Luxury is oft defined as an elegant refinement of living that offers comfort and pleasure well  beyond the norm.  If you agree with our slogan above, then you will realize why we concentrate so  on the experiences we recommend to our readers.  Our goal is for you and yours to enjoy every moment of your European journeys.  This particular page is very personal to us, as are the recommendations we offer.   None of what follows is paid advertising.  As it stands, this page is in it's infancy.  In the future it will include new content about old favorites.   One thing is certain,  we will always be fair and honest in our recommendations.

For all your travel needs, we recommend American Express Travel

 

We call your attention to BELMOND with the unwavering confidence that only a thoroughly satisfied guest can muster.  In our case, one particular journey from Venice to London on the Venice Simplon Orient Express comes to mind as it exceeded all of our expectations.  The measure of that wonderful experience was prefaced by a delightful stay on the Island of Giudecca at the Hotel Cipriani.  At the Cipriani one regales themselves of BELMOND hospitality on the dock at St. Marks Square in Venice as they board the hotel's private launch.  After a short journey and a stylish arrival at the hotel, the rest  of our stay was the sort of magic no-one ever forgets.

discover the 'World of Belmond' with the banner link above

We have admired Relais & Chateaux since the earliest days of this remarkable organization.  Today, Chefs and Maîtres de Maison operate 530 outstanding establishments under the Relais & Chateaux banner, on five contents no less.  What is  very important and most unique today, is that Relais & Châteaux is not a chain but an Association of select properties, each one independently owned and operated.  Without question, we would never hesitate  to recommend Relais & Chateaux to a friend, or to you, our valued reader.


follow the link above to visit
RELAIS & CHATEAUX on line....

In 20 years of publishing Luxury Traveler we have offered fewer than a handful of water-borne recommendations.  And, these few mentions were lavished on a coastal cruiser that plied the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland.  In our personal travels, we avoid crowds, lines, sushi bars and small children.  However, this outlook seems the very anthem of today's cruise ship, which we have learned should not be confused with the Ocean Liners of old, which have all but disappeared from the scene.    At the same time logic tells us that there must be an enjoyable waterbourne experience for mature adults.    In that sense we believe that one company has it right.  The large logo above does offer a hint.  If you watch Masterpiece Theatre on PBS you'll see commercials for Viking Cruises  To us, this speaks volumes!  We believe that a company that relates to it's customers so selectively will know instinctively how to care for that customer.  Now, we must note that we personally have not traveled with Viking.  Rather, we are promoting them in a sense because we believe they are innovators and convey values that a reputable company would likely possess. 

 

AN ADDED SELECTION OF PERSONAL FAVOURITES


If the Habsburgs could fly, they'd fly Austrian, why shouldn't you . . .

 

A FASHIONABLE ADDRESS IN VIENNA
 

Austria | Vienna



A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL

Created originally for the Prince of Württemberg this palatial residence has overlooked the historic Ring Boulevard of Old Vienna since 1863.   Later transformed into a hotel to accommodate visitors to the World’s Fair of 1873  the Imperial Hotel remains a stunning example of Viennese life in the 19th Century .  It’s princely appointments include authentic antiques, pristine marble, hand carved statuary, and spectacular crystal chandeliers.  Hotel accommodations are fashionable and offer the highest degree of traditional comfort and modern conveniences.  The Imperial Restaurant and Café Imperial offer patrons a tempting  taste of Viennese cuisine and hospitality.   This is a very welcoming hotel that offers an exceptional brand of service to its guests and extends those "little touches" that make your visit even more enjoyable.  In our opinion, the Hotel Imperial is uniquely Vienna’s finest address for the visitor .

Hotel Imperial Vienna, offer 76 Rooms & 62 Suites

This outstanding restaurant specializes in the traditional boiled beef dishes enjoyed in Viennese homes and by Emperors.  Without a doubt the “Tafelspitz” is Austria's most favored of choice of beef.   Since Plachutta was established in 1987, Tafelspitz has enjoyed a prominent place in legendary Viennese life once again.

Wollzeile 38
1010 Wien


 

FRANCE


 

Our recommended choice to France and beyond.
Follow this link for services offered by Air France

 

a personal favorite

France | Saumur

Hotel & Restaurant

Town & Country Chic

A stately home on an estate within the midst of historic Saumur   

Designed in the era of Napoleon III, Verrières with its sculpted wood paneling,  painted ceilings, and fabric covered walls, fully retains its original elegance.  With stained glass windows as backdrop to a great carved wooden staircase it is a wonderful example, and modern day experience, of life in the "Belle Epoque".  This vast mansion house, built for a General of Napoleon III's Army, is uniquely located in it's four acre park "a l'anglaise" in the historic district of Saumur. 

The Proprietors:  Yolaine and Thierry de Valbray-Auger

FRANCE | FASHIONABLE ADDRESSES

 

France | Briollay


Hotel & Restaurant

Town & Country Chic

"An elegant 15th century estate"

Today, Chateau de Noirieux is more a charming country house than a stately home.  While service was attentive, thoughtful and friendly, it was never intrusive.  Our stay at the Noirieux was a pleasant interlude where one could easily rediscover elegant living as it used to be.  Proprietor & and Master Chef Gérard Côme makes dining at Noirieux a particularly wonderful experience whether in the Orangery room, the Victorian style  conservatory, or the terrace overlooking green fields rolling gently to guide the Loir.

The Proprietors: Gérard and Anja Côme

 

 

France | Chenehutte-les-Tuffeaux

Hotel & Restaurant

Town & Country Chic

This XII and XVI century residence' located in an age-old park provides accommodations of character in the main house, and in the midst of centuries-old trees at  "Les Residences"   Hotel salons, dining rooms and the superb restaurant offer a unique panorama of the Loire River and Valley.  Located 6km from Saumur.

 

France | Saumur

Hotel & Restaurant

Town & Country Chic

A stately home on an estate within the midst of historic Saumur   

Designed in the era of Napoleon III, Verrières with its sculpted wood paneling,  painted ceilings, and fabric covered walls, fully retains its original elegance.  With stained glass windows as backdrop to a great carved wooden staircase it is a wonderful example, and modern day experience, of life in the "Belle Epoque".  This vast mansion house, built for a General of Napoleon III's Army, is uniquely located in it's four acre park "a l'anglaise" in the historic district of Saumur. 

The Proprietors:  Yolaine and Thierry de Valbray-Auger

 

FRANCE | RESTAURANTS

Restaurants | Le Mans

Located in the Royal Plantagenet City of Old Le Mans, Le Fontainebleau offers classic cuisine featuring the wines and produce of the Loire Valley.

Restaurants | Nantes

Since 1895, this magnificent example of "Art Nouveau", frequented by thespians and theatre-goers alike, remains a most fashionable meeting place in Nantes.

FRANCE | VINEYARDS & WINE TASTING

France | Saumur

Bouvet-Ladubay

Saint Hilaire
Saint Florent Saumur 

 

 France | Eolie »

The Sauvion Family produces their own elegant Chateau wines in a region that has become an exceptional source of great Muscadet wines.  The wines of Eolie are characterized by their finesse, richness and elegance.  Be sure to taste the Preambule.

 

GERMANY


Our recommended choice to Germany and beyond.
Lufthansa offers non-stop service to Germany from gateways in the United States.
Flights to Austria and other European destinations throughout Europe are
 available from  principal cities in Germany.

Follow this link for up-to-date information on services offered by Lufthansa

 

 

GERMANY | FASHIONABLE ADDRESSES

 

Germany | Weimar
 


Metro Luxury

Located in the historic old town of Weimar near The German National Theater and Congress Center neue Weimarhalle. 
126 rooms & suites.  

ITALY


ITALY | FASHIONABLE ADDRESSES

Venice viewed across the lagoon from the Cipriani Hotel

 Italy | Luxury in Venice

World Class Luxury

"Arriving by private launch at the Hotel Cipriani is a hint that something truly wonderful is taking place and that nothing is ever taken for granted at this wonderful world class hotel".   

An Editor's Choice

 

Luxury Vintage Railway

"Never before had a travel experience so exceeded our expectations"

An Editor's Choice

THE UNITED KINGDOM


Our choice recommended choice to Britain and beyond
Non-stop service to Britain from gateways in North-America.

Service onward to
Ireland and other European destinations from gateways in Britain
Follow this link for up-to-date information on services offered by British Airways

THE UNITED KINGDOM | ENGLAND

ENGLAND | FASHIONABLE ADDRESSES

England | London

 


100 Strand, London

"No visit to London is ever complete until we dine at Simpson's"

An Editor's Choice

Patrons at Simpson's may choose to dine upstairs in more formal Adams or the oak-paneled dining room on the main floor.  The service upstairs is pleasantly traditional while the main floor dining area is a bustle of waiters and knife wielding carvers navigating trolleys of roasted beef and lamb "joynts" from table to table.  What ever you do - do not miss the Yorkshire pudding! 

"Unmistakably, the home of the power lunch in London."

An Editor's Choice

With no less than Cesar Ritz in charge of the hotel and Escoffier master of its kitchens what a start in life the Savoy enjoyed.  In a word, service in the Grill Room is sublime. The food spectacular.  There isn't better Dover sole to be had in Britain. And, naturally, it's Michelin commended. 


An Editor's Choice

Afternoon tea.  This wonderful tradition uniquely civilized and of course, quintessentially English has been elevated to an art form at this internationally famous London Hotel.

 

THE UNITED KINGDOM | SCOTLAND



Service to Scotland from gateways in North-America.

Flights onward to Ireland and other European destinations from gateways in Britain

Follow this link for up-to-date information on services offered by British Airways

 

SCOTLAND | FASHIONABLE ADDRESSES

Town & Country Luxury

At the north end of the Crinan Canal, which connects Loch Fyne to the Atlantic Ocean, is a tiny picturesque fishing village of Crinan with its population of just under 60 inhabitants.  For over 200 years the centre of this little community has been the Crinan Hotel.   An international meeting point for Hebridean sailors, fishermen, yachtsman and holiday makers, this is a gastronomic jewel on Argyll's wild coast line - a perfect haven in which to relax and dine on the best of Scottish seafood.


World Class Luxury Resort

Luxurious and impeccable though it is, you will find that Gleneagles has a refreshingly relaxed manner that is mirrored by the friendly courtesy of all the staff.  From your first wholehearted Scottish welcome you are looked after warmly and well. Relax in total luxury in well appointed rooms - many with delightful views across the estate.  Take time to enjoy the splendid interiors of a hotel where kings and queens, the stars and the successful have admired the grandeur and elegance of this famous 5 star resort.  For those who enjoy the game of golf, Gleneagles offers the chance to play on some of the world's finest golf courses.  As well as the challenge of the King's, the secluded charms of the Queen's, or the nine hole Wee Course, there is the exceptional designed by Jack Nicklaus, venue for the 40th Ryder Cup matches in 2014.  At Gleneagles, golf is a game where everyone wins. If you're playing well, and rising to the challenges of some of the finest holes in the world, the round becomes a dream.



Grand Heritage Luxury

Inverlochy, one of Scotland's finest hotels, is uniquely located amongst the glens, lochs and mountains of the West Highlands of Scotland.  At Inverlochy you will experience one of the most relaxing and exciting vacations of a lifetime, where every detail for your comfort and enjoyment has been carefully considered.   Nestling in the foothills of the mighty Ben Nevis, Inverlochy Castle sits amidst some of Scotland's finest scenery.  Inverlochy was built in 1863 by the first Lord Abinger, near the site of the original 13th century fortress.  In September 1873 during a trip to Balmoral, Queen Victoria spent a week at Inverlochy sketching and painting where she wrote in her diaries 'I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot'.   Inverlochy had been a private residence for over a hundred years until 1969 when it was converted from a family home to Scotland's finest country house hotel.

 


Luxury Resort

The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa at the Home of Golf has a location like no other…sitting just paces from the fairway of the 17th 'Road Hole' of the Old Course - without doubt the most famous golf course in the world - the hotel enjoys spectacular views over all the links courses.  The hotel is also within a stone's throw of the beautiful, surf-swept West Sands and only a five-minute stroll from the ancient university town of St Andrews.   The largest golf complex in Europe, St Andrews has no less than ten championship courses in the immediate area including the legendary Old Course and our own Duke's Course.  A heathland course on a classic Scottish estate, Duke's offers 18 holes of outstanding championship play with spectacular views over the town - a perfect complement the town's many links courses.   The prolific golfing facilities at the resort also include a range of tuition programmes for all standards at the St Andrews Academy, first class practice facilities and St Andrews' only PGA approved Pro Shop.  A dedicated team of Golf Stewards is on hand to assist you with arranging your perfect day's golf.


 

TRUMP TURNBERRY

Please note that Turnberry is now The Trump Turnberry
the hotel status is unknown.  At the same time, modest changes to
the historic Championship Ailsa Course have received excellent reviews.
Please note Turnberry Hotel was owned and operated originally by

British Transport Hotels.  It was purchased and redecorated by Orient Express Hotels.  This followed an unremarkable period when it was operated by Westin.

Ed. Note:  Yours truly enjoyed as a 35 year relationship with Turnberry

when I served as the Director of Operations in North America for BTH Hotels .

 

Luxury Vintage Rail

For the discerning traveler nothing can compare to a tour aboard The Royal Scotsman - whether you have a special occasion to celebrate, want to explore the history and culture of Scotland or are simply looking for a unique and relaxing short break.   This exclusive country house hotel on wheels provides a private haven for just 36 passengers, offering a revival of the romantic age or railway travel, combining Edwardian style with modern luxury. From the moment a kilted piper welcomes you aboard to the steward who brings an early morning cup of tea, our attentive crew takes pride in enjoying your every need is attended. Our food and wine is considered to be amongst the best in Britain, with formal dining on board the epitome of elegance and style. Our luxurious state cabins each have their own private facilities, and at night the train is always stationary, thus ensuring a good night's sleep.

 

USA | FASHIONABLE ADDRESSES


California | Los Angeles


Beverly Hills

 

California | San Diego


Coronado Island

 

California | San Francisco

"The most fashionable hotel in the most fashionable city on the west coast"


"Featured in Gourmet Magazine, located at the Huntington Hotel"