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Letters | August 2008

I traveled to California a year ago—a four-day jaunt that left me with a lingering sunburn and a desire to return. I stayed at San Ysidro Ranch, and adored the same stately atmosphere, olive groves, and lavender-lined driveway described in Oliver Schwaner-Albright’s story “California Dreaming”. I am now eager to stay at another one of his recommended spots, the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. For me, the prospect of returning to the Golden State is no longer a question of “if” but “when.” —Candace Leff, Fort Worth, Tex.

Europe on Track

Thanks for the rail tips and day-to-day details in the special pullout section [“Seeing Europe by Rail”]. The guide expanded my address book of culinary retreats and scenic stopovers. I usually fly from one city to the next, but now I’m inspired to embrace the rail “way.” —Molly McDonough, New York, N.Y.

Undercover London

What great timing: T+L’s May issue landed on the doorstep just a few weeks before my wife and I took off for London to celebrate my birthday. Even though we’ve been to the city several times, neither of us had explored Marylebone [“Hidden European Neighborhoods”]. The article was a useful handbook for the area. We stopped by writer Alison Tyler’s recommended restaurants and designer shops, and also made a few discoveries of our own. At Caffe Caldesi on Marylebone Lane, in particular, we had a tasty, affordable lunch. —Bruce Roman, Langhorne, Pa.

Florida’s Sea Change

I was pleased to see Rosemary Beach in “Great American Beaches”. When my family built a home in the area 30 years ago, it was just a blank slate of land. The place has grown since then, but the changes are mostly positive. We have new shops, world-class golf courses, and fantastic dining options, but the town has preserved its relaxed feel. My favorite pastime remains the same: sitting on the porch with fresh shrimp and a bottle of wine, and watching the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico. —Amy Toothaker, Birmingham, Ala.

Clean Talk

Patricia Marx’s article on housekeeping at the St. Regis Hotel [“Writer Cleans Up!”] rubbed me the wrong way. I realize it was a humor piece, but I thought that it came off as poking fun at the hardworking cleaning staff at the property. They deserve some serious attention as well. —Carol Skorr-Piela, Valley Stream, N.Y.

Writer’s response: I regard the diligent and dedicated men and women at the St. Regis with terrific respect, and I believe I made that clear in the article. I particularly admire Gjuner Sela, with whom I apprenticed to the best of my limited abilities. Indeed, the only person I was making fun of was myself. —Patricia Marx

Reader’s Find: Austria

My husband and I travel to Innsbruck frequently. It has become one of our favorite European cities, thanks in large part to Hotel Restaurant Gasthaus Kapeller (96 Philippine-Welser-Strasse, Innsbruck; 43-512/343-101; kapeller.at; doubles from $200; dinner for two $100), where we always stay. The property is made up of a series of homes that were built in 1515. Cozy rooms have antique-style beds as well as views of the surrounding green valley and the distant, snow-covered Alps. The restaurant, with wood-panelled walls and an enclosed glass sunroom, serves delicious dishes like house-made Wiener schnitzel and other local specialties. Best of all, staff members are kind and attentive. Every time we stay there, we feel like we are visiting friends. —Wendy Powell, Cheshire, Conn.

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