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The Heritage Hotels of Lisbon

Cherry brandy, fado music and hand-painted tiles  make for three perfectly sound reasons to visit Lisbon, Portugal, any time of the year. Two more are its international documentary showcase, Doclisboa (in October) and festival of independent world cinema called Indie Lisboa (in April).

If you're attending either, or both, of these emerging festivals, you'll want a fabulous place to repair to after hectic days of screenings, panels and parties. One solution to consider is the Heritage Hotels of Lisbon, a boutique chain of luxury boutique hotels that arguably rivals cinema in providing period stories and fantasy escape.

Read more: The Heritage Hotels of Lisbon

Doing it The Czech Way--The Cesky Krumlov Hotels

Český Krumlov, the Czech Republic's answer to Camelot, is so fairy-tale perfect you half expect mini-chiclets to rain down on its cobbled streets. Marionettes deck the panes of its gingerbread shops. Bears roam a castle moat. And the town's very name describes the bend in the Vltava River that rings this UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 13th century.

It's no wonder Hollywood came here to shoot The Adventures of Pinocchio and opening frames of The Illusionist. All that's missing in the medieval fantasy set is a green ogre. Český Krumlov's mediating role between filmed artifice and real world makes it an ideal junction after summer's cinema rites in another corner of Bohemia, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
 
Yet unlike the spa town of Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), this South Bohemia destination lacks thermal waters to drink in or splash about. The closest thing is the indoor pool, sauna and solarium of its five-star Hotel Růže, housed in a 16th-century Jesuit monastery and university.

Read more: Doing it The Czech Way--The...

Enjoying Miami's Cadet Hotel in South Beach at Year’s End

As part of any trip to the Miami area, a visit to the Cadet Hotel in South Beach, Miami Florida is perfect for either a vacation or business stay. The Cadet is an oasis from the frenzy of South Beach,  from its lobby entrance to the front desk, its quiet and elegant, all the way from the small bar that leads on through to your room. 

Temple Emanu-ElBefore exploring South Beach, the peaceful atmosphere and warm welcome from the Cadet staff — under the direction of General Manager Ardicio Galvao — sets a friendly and professional tone. And once you’ve settled into your room, you can then enjoy a bit of quiet, uncrowded bathing in The Gazebo, the Cadet's pool area where you unwind in a garden paradise. 

At one point, Miami’s South Beach area went into decline so that by the 1980s, it looked like it was ready for either demolition or renovation. That certainly was the case for the Cadet, where work had begun by its longtime owner Dr. Vilma Biaggi who lovingly renovated this historic hotel to its current beauty. 

Most important is the Pied a Terre Restaurant which has, over the years, received much acclaim for its fine modern French cuisine created by a special arrangement through visits by carefully chosen top French chefs with their latest creative contributions.

Wine Spectator Award of ExcellenceThe Pied a Terre has flourished over the years with a top ranking among Miami's ever-changing restaurant world. It has won top awards and has one of the finest wine lists anywhere, having been carefully selected from around the world by Pied a Terre General Manager Patrick Gruest. This fascinating Frenchman described how he chose the wines as well as the finest ingredients from around the world for his dinner selections. 

As an example, and a perfect opportunity to sample the wonders of the Pied a Terre's dining experience, check out its New Year’s Celebration 2017 menu. While you might not have time to travel to this wonderful restaurant in time for the festivities, the menu gives you an example of the dedication to excellence you'll experience at the Cadet.

Of course, South Beach is the Art Deco capital of the United States and, as with the Cadet, the neighborhood is a feast for the eyes in many respects. Art and great style are all around here. There's plenty to see and do within an easy walk from the Cadet; the beach is a few blocks away and Lincoln Road stores close by to the south. 

Fillmore ShowsNearby are the Miami Convention Center, the Fillmore Auditorium and the New World Center — home of the New World Symphony — as is all the club activity on Collins Avenue north and south of the hotel. 

On a recent visit, my wife and I had a wonderful time there and hotel room prices are very reasonable considering everything including the location, furnishings, decor and attentive staff. A beautiful room with king sized bed was $109 until holiday prices had kicked in. 

To learn more, go to: www.cadethotel.com

Cadet Hotel
1701 James Avenue (at 17th Street)
Miami Beach
Florida 33139

Travel Tips for the Young & Young at Heart

 

Authors of Vagabonding Through Retirement: Unusual Travels Far from Our Paris Houseboat, Bill and Ina Mahoney have led the life of quintessential wanderers. They’ve not only traveled around the world, but actually lived in places from Laos to Bolivia, the Ukraine and France

Mahoney began hitchhiking across the country working odd jobs at 13; then he sailed the Atlantic as a merchant marine and the Pacific in the navy. He hopped trolleys, trucks, automobiles, and trains. Once he graduated from an adult high school he earned a B.A. at UCLA and an M.A. at Boston University. For 10 years, Mahoney taught world history in Paris. His second book, Is Muldoon Still in Paris, recounts his delinquent childhood and a third book, Mission Paris, is appearing soon. Bill speaks five languages and can tell a story in a dozen others.


Ina Garrison Mahoney grew up in the small Texas town of Blooming Grove. She then graduated from Southwestern University with a BA in speech and drama and an MA from the University of Houston. Taking a year’s leave of absence from her teaching job in Victoria, Texas, she went to France in 1958; when she returned to the U.S. five years ago, she had to relearn how to live as an American once again.

vagabondArmed with passion and a remarkable sense of adventure, this duo seeks out the world through the eyes of people of other cultures. In order to share how they create lifetime memories from traveling, they put together a quick guide to how to have memorable experiences through travel.

Here are their seven steps to get you on the way for your own set of “unforgettable memories.”

  1.  Browse through the library and bookstores guidebooks. Look for those authored by non-US writers. Both the Rough Guide and the Lonely Planet series were started by young Brits whose clientele weren’t seeking luxury. They have a vested interest in chocking their guides full bargains.

  2. While visiting those “not to be missed” sights mingle with the natives. Learn their customs. Visit their markets. Dine on their authentic cuisine. These experiences could go a long way toward giving you a better understanding of the numerous ways to do everyday things other than the American way.

  3. Search newspapers, as well as the guidebook, for bargain flights. Some airlines provide free overnight accommodations and food for long distance flights—quite a saving if you’re going to Southeast Asia.

  4. Lodging will be your main cost so search for alternatives to hotels. Guest houses are a great recommendation for Thailand. They have all the necessary facilities and with their constant turnover of young backpackers eager to share their latest travel experiences their recommendations are golden.

  5. An even cheaper travel option is a visa length stay in a city or country of your choice. Thailand and Bali are favorites, but any country has a great deal to offer.

  6. Search for alternatives to taxis such as pickup trucks with benches in the back. Motorcycles are easily rented, but helmets are not normally required. Driving on the left side of the road can present problems for Americans. It is often safer to be a passenger than a driver.

  7. Pack light, very light. “Same shirt, different day” is a great byline to keep in mind for any type of independent travel as handling your own luggage saves tip money. Clothes should be functional. Leave your expensive jewelry at home. It is an invitation a thief looks for.

  8. Be flexible. If your carefully planned trip falls through, don't fret—reschedule or forget it. Something else could be serendipity.

To  learn more, visit:http://www.billwrite.website

[Vagabonding Through Retirement: Unusual Travels Far from Our Paris Houseboat is available through all major booksellers and can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble]

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