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Archive for luxury travel

A Luxury Hotel on Wheels

By Linda Tancs

If a constantly changing room with a grand view of the world’s most remarkable sites sounds appealing, then hop on board the Danube Express. Operated by Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, they offer a comprehensive off-train excursion program, a fully inclusive dining experience with quality wines and overnight stays in some of the finest five-star hotels in Europe. You can discover some of Europe’s less explored destinations amongst the magnificent cities of Prague, Budapest, Venice and Istanbul on a Grand Rail Tour. Debuting this year is a Superior Deluxe cabin, with private en-suite facilities and the ultimate in comfort. Limited to just four cabins per departure, each cabin offers comfortable daytime seating with a full-length sofa, two additional chairs and two full-size picture windows. A king-size bedroom transformation awaits you at night. Sleep tight.

Dancing With Wolves

By Linda Tancs

Feared, loved and hated, the wolf is an apex predator with pride of place in stories, fables and myths. In fact, wolves figure prominently in the mythology of nearly every Native American tribe. You might naturally want to shy away from an encounter with an animal as powerful as this, but that’s far from the case at Norway’s Polar Park. The world’s northernmost animal park, the arctic wildlife centre offers visitors a close encounter with its wolves in an enclosure called WolfVisit. Those meeting basic requirements for entry will have the opportunity to interact with a group of domesticated wolves under the direction of an animal keeper. And in the middle of one of the larger enclosures is a luxury hotel experience called WolfLodge, where oversized windows give you and your furry friends ample opportunity to size each other up. The ambience is particularly spectacular in the winter because the wolves are most active now due to mating season from February to April.

Lava and Lights

By Linda Tancs

Where everything meets nothing. That’s the way ION Luxury Adventure Hotel pitches its peaceful respite less than an hour’s drive from Reykjavík. The “everything” is the luxury experience that awaits you at this eco-conscious hotel sporting prefab panelized construction that melds with a backdrop of lava fields. Enjoy the pampering, which includes options like a relaxation massage with Icelandic herbs, a warm soak in the sauna and the tranquility of a silent relaxation room. The “nothing” may be a bit of a misnomer, considering the property’s location at the footsteps of the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, site of a dramatic landscape formed as a result of its locale along the border between the North American and European tectonic plates. That’s part of where the “adventure” in “adventure hotel” comes in. Or you can just relax at the hotel bar, where floor-to-ceiling glass windows will give you spectacular views of the Northern Lights on clear nights.

Ireland’s First School of Falconry

By Linda Tancs

At Ireland’s Ashford Castle in County Mayo you’ll delight in an embarrassment of riches. Dating back to 1228, the glorious castle on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib set amidst 350 acres of ancient woods was once home to the Guinness family and later found fame as the respite of choice for actors in the classic film “The Quiet Man.” Now part of the Red Carnation hotel chain, the five-star property offers luxurious trappings fit for royalty (a common guest), like unique works of art, carefully sourced antique furniture, custom designed carpets and beds and exquisite towels and linens. No wonder, then, that it’s been voted one of the best hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure. Of all the estate’s activities, one of the most exciting is its falconry school. The oldest established school in the country, instruction in this ancient sport requires no previous training. Just the thing when the usual pursuits of golf, tennis, kayaking, boat cruising, horse riding, tennis or fishing just won’t do.

A Stay at Downton

By Linda Tancs

Fans of Downton Abbey may be depressed over the series’ end this season, but they’ll be delighted to learn that they can now stay on the grounds of the show’s stand-in castle, Highclere. London Lodge is a previously disused Georgian gatehouse that has been renovated to accommodate guests in all the luxury befitting an aristocrat. Get ready for life above stairs.

The Height of Luxury in London

By Linda Tancs

You could say that guests of the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard in London enjoy a heady experience.  It is, after all, the tallest hotel in Western Europe–the first of its kind in a London skyscraper, occupying floors 34 to 52 of the glamorous Shard.  The first luxury hotel south of the Thames, the GŎNG bar at its apex will no doubt leave you agog over cityscape views for up to 40 miles.  Add to that a spacious room with floor to ceiling windows and a marble bath for a welcome respite.  Does it live up to its name?  Hardly remote, but idyllic nonetheless.

To the Manner Born

By Linda Tancs

Britain’s summer social calendar (the “Season”) runs from April to September.  Awash in cultural and sporting events, the Season finds great favor among the British elite, but even the hoi polloi enjoy a taste of society life–even if it is laden with rules of etiquette.  If you’re a little rusty on the finer points of appropriate behavior, then More Than Good Manners is ready to help you.  Founded by British aristocrat Veronica Joly de Lotbinière (a descendant of kings of France and England), the company offers booking services for high-profile events as well as manners and etiquette training for things like that pheasant shoot with a duke.  You, too, can be to the manner born.

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