Wow! I loved Megan Rowe’s article on Alaska in the August issue. She painted such a gorgeous picture of the area
and the ensuing adventure. I’m not an adventurous traveler, but her article changed my outlook. What unbelievable
experiences the beare watching and kayaking near glaciers must have been. And the opening photo and page
of the article were stunning.
Molly Bendson, Sacramento, Calif.
Global City Guidebook 2012
Each year, I look forward to receiving the Global City Guidebook, and, once again, it did not disappoint. Happily, the book included fresh, new cities, with some more obscure offerings like Gujarat, Hamilton and Papeete. My only suggestion would be, is it possible to organize the cities alphabetically, or by some other system? They jump around as they are now.
Michael Denisof, Deer Park, Mich.
In the July 11 issue of eFlyer USA, we featured a listing of the scariest U.S. airports for pilots, compiled by Airfarewatchdog.com. We were curious about your scariest take-offs and landings.
I’ve found landing on the island of St. Barts particularly nerve-racking. The runway is short, and I made the mistake of reading about it pre-trip. I found pilots must slowly glide between peaks and skim down a hill before leveling, touching down and braking hard. Needless to say, this made me more attentive upon arrival, but I had a great pilot, and the landing was much less anxiety-producing than expected.
Carol Luheath, Chicago, Ill.
In the Aug. 8 issue of our e-newsletter, we reported on a ranking of America’s quirkiest lodgings. Have you ever stayed at a quirky hotel? Two readers tell us about their experiences.
Most of the European lodgings I’ve stayed in have been relatively quirky, if only because of cultural differences. I enjoy experiencing differences in cuisine, subtle service nuances not found in America and the little — mostly charming — surprises that await when staying overseas.
Emily Nowski, Miami, Fla.
In college, during a last-minute visit to the Florida Everglades, my friend and I stumbled upon the Everglades International Hostel. It is magical, tucked away from the main road. We were pleased by the privacy of the rooms and the sense of community in common areas. Guests wrote their names on food items in the kitchen or left notes inviting others to share — it felt like we hadn’t left college! Our favorite part was the large back yard. It featured a curiosity garden, a hammock and a fire pit. We took advantage of the outdoor shower, completely enclosed except for a small roof opening. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay.
George Prince, Bronx, N.Y.
GT Tested Suggestion
I really enjoy the GT hotel reviews. I think your checklists are helpful and unique. I would like to see you add “water pressure” to the list. A good shower can make or break a hotel for me.
Jon Ninnegot, via email.
Thanks for the suggestion, Jon. We are revamping our hotel and airline checklists. Check back for the refreshed lists in an upcoming issue. – Editor
In eFlyer USA‘s, Aug. 22 edition, we asked readers to send us travel nightmare stories. Read on to share in the horror.
One travel nightmare that sticks in my mind happened before the age of smartphones or cellphones. While summer vacationing in Margate City, N.J., I separated from my group on the beach on the night of July 4th. I couldn’t find anyone I recognized anywhere and panicked while attempting to navigate the crowds. Eventually I reconnected with the group, but the hours spent wandering the beach alone makes me celebrate the privilege of having a cellphone nowadays.
Leona Mortimer, Dover, Del.
A few years back, my teenage daughter accompanied me on a business trip to Switzerland. She was excited to experience the country for the first time. In my rush to prepare for meetings during our flight, I failed to notice she didn’t touch her in-flight meal. At baggage claim, she complained of feeling warm, as she wore several layers in preparation for the winter weather. Before I could tell her to take off her coat, she fainted. An airport employee rushed to my side and called for a medic as my daughter opened her eyes. She was fine, though slightly embarrassed. I was incredibly thankful it wasn’t a more serious situation. We both remember starting our trip to Switzerland with a scare!
Mary Butler, Allentown, Pa.
August Cover Battle
In August, we were torn between two covers from our photo shoot at Karamoor Estate vineyard in Fort Washington, Pa. The covers commemorated our annual Wines on the Wing airline wine survey. We asked for your opinions — did we make the right choice, or should we have gone with our alternate cover? One reader shares.
I absolutely agree with your choice for the August cover. On the cover, the model looks natural and at ease. The alternate cover, with the model seated on the wine barrel, just did not look as relaxed.
Lindsay Shane, Montréal, Québec
Airport Security Pet Peeves
An Aug. 29 report in our e-newsletter informed us passengers will not be able to keep their shoes on through airport security due to failed tests of new machinery. For many, this remains a travel peeve. What’s yours? Two readers share.
Water bottles — why can’t they ask you to drink a few swallows to show it’s really water? Even if you buy the water after security, additional security as you board the plane takes it away again. And they won’t let you dump the water and keep the bottle. I buy small plastic water bottles because the ones they sell at airports are too big and take up too much room in my bag — excessive!
William Couser, via email
My personal choice would be the dismantlement of TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, which would save the country billions along with the frustrating inconvenience imposed on airline travelers. The idea of spending millions testing new equipment (to no avail) that would adequately examine shoes without passengers having to take them off speaks for itself. I regularly count 14 or 15 TSA employees at every major airport security checkpoint whose interpretation of regulations changes frequently. Security is inconsistent from one airport to another. We can thank Richard Reid, the shoe terrorist, for the implementation of the shoes-off rule. Now it seems if you are old enough or young enough, shoes off and in the bin doesn’t apply to you. Don’t terrorists get old? Perhaps few would agree with me.
Jim Kerr, Raleigh, N.C.
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Once you’ve boarded Regent’s Seven Seas Grandeur, it is immediately apparent this recently launched cruise ship delivers what the name promises. Jewel box opulence dominates in most of the public areas, while quiet luxury teamed with clever function defines the cabins (save for the individually decorated top-tier suites). The ship, designed by internationally acclaimed Studio DADO and constructed by Ancona, Italy, ship builder Fincantieri, holds up to 746 guests and is serviced by a staff of 548 for optimal passenger-to-staff service.
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
The St. Regis San Francisco recently debuted a Lunar New Year-themed The Art of Tea to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Available for only a few more days, through Feb. 25, the afternoon menu boasts Asian-inspired sweet and savory items, a selection of tea and a complimentary welcome toast with Champgane Lallier R.018.
Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?
After a stressful pre-holiday season and a busy work schedule, there was no better time for a relaxing spa experience than during my recent trip to Pasadena with the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team. We headed to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena for the 20th anniversary of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, which meant a jam-packed trip, but I managed to carve a little time out of our busy schedule to visit Chuan Spa at the hotel.
Known as one of the best airports in the world and voted Best Airport in the Middle East by Global Traveler readers, Hamad International Airport aims to set new standards for the airport industry that exceed the expectations of travelers through its facility.
Keep New Year’s resolutions going with a stay at The Westin Tempe. The hotel recently launched a wellness stay offer in partnership with Lululemon. The limited-time Lululemon In-Room Fitness Experience includes accommodations in a guestroom equipped with a Lululemon-branded yoga mat and yoga block.