From Budapest to Bali
While thumbing through Jason Harper's article about driving from Warsaw to Budapest via Prague ["Bridging the Gap," May], I was pleasantly surprised to recognize Voros es Feher, a wine bar in Budapest. It's one of my favorite "secret" places for dinner and a glass of wine, and often the only restaurant I go to when visiting the city. Best of all, it's conveniently located near the opera house.
—MARCI NORKIN, PASADENA, CALIF.
Costa Rica Calling
I realize that Heidi Sherman Mitchell could not cover all possibilities in her feature on Costa Rica ["The Ultimate Guide," June], but in 1998 my wife and I discovered Jacó Beach—about 90 minutes from San José. The water was idyllic, and a guide led us through nearby Carara National Park, where we saw all manner of flora and fauna.
—SY COMMANDAY, VIA E-MAIL
Last winter my husband and I were interested in staying at an elegant ski resort, so we booked a room at the Little Nell in Aspen after seeing its ranking in Travel + Leisure's 2003 World's Best Awards. The staff was incredibly accommodating, offering to unpack our luggage, custom-design our shopping trips, and provide in-room massages. The ski concierge team waxed our equipment, warmed our boots, and handled repairs. Even our golden retriever was well-received at this pet-friendly resort: he had gourmet meals and his own bed!
—KIM JONES, MIAMI, FLA.
Stephen Drucker's article on cabanas at American hotels ["Cabanarama," June] exalts so much of what is sad about our culture: blatant materialism, boastful consumerism, and youth-obsessed narcissism. I just returned from Europe, where people both poolside and lakeside were discussing issues like global warming and health insurance. They certainly weren't concerned with answering Drucker's "question that has no answer—What makes a 65-year-old man think he can still pull off a racing Speedo?" The people I spoke to felt no need to impress anyone with shopping bags and one-sided cell phone conversations. No wonder people in other parts of the world find it difficult to take us seriously as a societal model.
—DAVE PRINCE, EWING, N.J.
What a pleasure to read "Bali Highs," by Melissa Ceria, in the June issue. In 2001, I spent two weeks at the Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa, and the concierge directed me to some of the same shops Ceria recommends. Back then, the Jenggala Keramik Bali was just a small, unsophisticated shop in Sanur (its celadon pottery was nonetheless magnificent). What I remember most was how kind and proud the Balinese craftsmen were, and how honored I was to be able to talk to them in each village along the way.
—DANIEL L. RICE, GLEN COVE, N.Y.
READER'S FIND MOROCCO
In April I wanted to visit Morocco, but as a woman traveling alone, I was concerned about stories I'd heard involving harassment and violence—including kidnapping—against Western women. I had read about Heritage Tours [800/378-4555; www.heritagetoursonline.com] in a T+L issue a few years earlier ["T+L 100: World Tour," January 2000], so I decided to give them a try. The company customized my 10-day itinerary to include Fez, Marrakesh, camping in the Sahara, and hiking in the High Atlas Mountains. I didn't feel threatened or nervous for a single moment. Everyone was kind and generous; Berbers even welcomed us in for tea. It was the best travel experience I've ever had; in fact, I am departing for a follow-up trip this week.
—ELIZABETH SOUTHWORTH, NEW YORK, N.Y.
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