• Happy Birthday, Dromoland

    Happy Birthday, Dromoland

    A crenellated parapet circling a thicket of chimneys and tall round turrets crown Dromoland Castle, looking for all the world like a medieval Irish bastion. Yes, the estate has an impressive noble heritage dating back to the 11th century: the ancestral lands of the O’Briens, Barons of Inchiquin, one of the few native Gaelic families […]

     
     
  • The Merrion, Dublin’s Georgian Gem

    The Merrion, Dublin’s Georgian Gem

    Name the top things you’d like in a city hotel. Mine are location, comfort, service, engaging décor (of any style), character–and a little history wouldn’t hurt. Throw in a spa and an excellent restaurant, and I may never leave the premises. The Merrion, Dublin’s Georgian gem, checks all the boxes. In the center of the […]

     
     
  • Ashford Castle, Beloved Retreat

    Ashford Castle, Beloved Retreat

    On an ordinary October evening, in the baronial dining room at Ireland’s Ashford Castle, six middle-aged and older guests are having dinner at the next table. Nodding to the companionable group, our waiter whispers,” They come three times a year.” It turns out they are from Pennsylvania, and Ashford isn’t necessarily their holiday or celebratory […]

     
     
  • Of Castles and Cromwell in County Cork

    Of Castles and Cromwell in County Cork

    The very name of Castlemartyr may conjure up images of fierce knights imprisoned in a medieval fortress, but actually this is a peaceful 18th century manor house on over 200 rolling acres of woodlands, formal gardens and a swan lake on the southern coast of Ireland. Yes, there is an 800-year-old castle ruin shelled by […]

     
     
  • Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo Icon

    Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo Icon

    The Hotel de Paris, Monaco’s Belle Epoque beauty on the Riviera, piles up accolades like a roulette player on a roll raking in chips, and it’s not by luck or chance. The latest is Condé Nast Traveler’s 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards, naming it the Number One Hotel in Southern Europe, and that includes all of […]

     
     
  • Thalassotherapy à la Monte Carlo

    Thalassotherapy à la Monte Carlo

    The golden stone building in the shadow of Monte-Carlo’s grand Belle Epoque Casino and Hotel deParis looks more like a regal villa than a wellness center, but then, this is Monte-Carlo, where the therapeutic powers of sea water get the same architectural respect as the hotels and casinos of the fabled playground. Monte-Carlo was already […]

     
     
  • The Second Coming of The Pierre

    The Second Coming of The Pierre

    The first Thursday night of every month, 2E, The Pierre’s new bar/lounge named for its address, 2 East 61st St., thrums to the beat of Rumor, a nightclub scene you’d think would be more at home in the East Village than the upper East Side hotel. No, The Pierre hasn’t lost its top drawer status, […]

     
     
  • Shakespearean Magic by the River Avon

    Shakespearean Magic by the River Avon

    Location, location—every hotel’s mantra. In Stratford-upon-Avon, The Arden Hotel takes it to the extreme. If it were any closer to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, it would be sharing the stage with King Lear and Falstaff. Stratford has had a Royal Shakespeare Theatre for over 75 years, but not like this new one. Scrapping virtually everything […]

     
     
  • Well-Manored in the Heart of England

    Well-Manored in the Heart of England

    The rolling hills of the Heart of England, where the Cotswolds meet Shakespeare country, is a fertile landscape for country house hotels. Add stylish rooms and a Michelin-starred kitchen, and you have Mallory Court, a triple threat Relais & Chateaux manor house in the Warwickshire hills near Stratford-upon-Avon. The entry drive rolls up to an […]

     
     
  • Upstairs (not Downstairs) in London’s Knightsbridge

    Upstairs (not Downstairs) in London’s Knightsbridge

    Ten minutes after I checked into The Egerton House in Knightsbridge, the hotel surprised me with a cappuccino and biscuits in my cozy, café-au-lait-colored bedroom. I don’t think the color-coordinated welcome was intentional, but it wouldn’t surprise me, given the hotel’s well-deserved reputation for personal service. Very few areas of London are as filled with […]