While reading Barbara Rogers’ article about Lausanne, I had a flashback to a trip my mother and I took about nine years ago. We flew into and out of Paris; in between we traveled by train with stops in Brussels, Strasbourg, Basel and Lausanne. It was my second or third time in each destination, but each stop was a first for my mother, who grew up listening to stories my grandmother shared about traveling around Europe and around the world with my grandfather, who was a wool trader. My mother enjoyed experiencing the places she had long imagined, and I enjoyed sharing my own experiences with her.
We could have indulged in a 5-star spa experience at any stop along our journey, but I had my heart set on finding les bains I had visited previously. I couldn’t recall the name or exact location, but a representative at a local tourism office helped me find it based on my description. Les Bains de Lavey isn’t a swishy-luxe place, but the outdoor thermal pool with jet beds and waterfalls and massage currents — not to mention the steam cabin and ice bath — is nirvana for weary travelers. My mother was skeptical, but she agreed to go along for the ride, and we had a blast.
When I think of Lausanne, I think of sipping wine on a terrace overlooking Lake Geneva, and I think of strolling the lakefront in nearby Vevey, savoring the juxtaposition of brilliant purple and yellow pansies lining the walkway and snowcapped mountain peaks in the distance. But I also think of giggling with my mother as we dipped, dunked, swirled and renewed ourselves in Switzerland’s warmest thermal waters.
In this issue, Tim Leffel shares his own family experience exploring Hanoi with his wife and daughter. Megan Rowe seeks adventure in Iceland, and Ron Bernthal offers a day-trip itinerary for discovering the best of Helsinki. Irvina Lew explores Cape Town nightlife, J.D. Brown cruises the Greek Islands, and Ellen Clark maps out business strategy in Tel Aviv. Plus, we reveal the winners of the coveted GT Tested Awards.
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It’s entirely possible France’s most noteworthy eateries define the term “destination restaurant.” Examples of how some of the more enduring Paris restaurants have approached this is compelling. While hot spots like Le Drugstore changed with the times and tastes of clientele, others, like Café de la Paix, steadfastly stay true to the roots and recipes that have delighted guests for generations.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s staying power is rooted in the way it delivers continuity and consistency for long-time loyalists of the Grand Velas brand and anybody else seeking a luxury, all-inclusive experience. One of Grand Velas’s hallmarks is its activities, amenities and restaurants across its three buildings can be enjoyed by all guests, enabling them to do the destination their way. This is particularly important when groups have different ideas of how they want to spend their vacation time.
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.
In 2025, Riviera River Cruises will launch two ships with sailing itineraries on Europe’s Danube and Douro rivers. Riviera Radiance will sail the Danube and offer six itineraries, including one exclusively for solo travelers, and three holiday itineraries. Riviera Rose will be based on the Douro River and sail one itinerary.
JetBlue, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are some of the airlines now charging passengers more to check bags at the airport than to purchase the service online in advance. In an effort to cover higher costs, more airlines increased baggage fees in 2024.
Five Tips to Help Minimize Potential Travel Problems
Condor Airlines recently introduced Condor Cards, a membership program that allows frequent Condor passengers to receive additional benefits. The two card options include World Activity Card, tailored to the needs of sports enthusiasts, and World Family Card, offering benefits for families or friends traveling together on vacation.