Making Merry Around Munich
Thanks for Guy Trebay’s excellent article on Munich at Christmas. Well-bundled, my wife and I made our way around the city last December, attending a different orchestral concert almost every night. While the Christkindlesmarkt had yet to open, there was already excitement in the air. Afterward we took a couple of day trips south—to Garmisch, where we had a fine (and filling) lunch at an old-fashioned Bavarian restaurant, and to Salzburg, Austria, where the Christmas market was already in progress. Both towns are perfect for wintertime exploration. —Eugene Barnes, Dunn Loring, Va.
Keyed Up About Key West
While I realize that Tom Austin was focusing on Key West’s literary attractions, to omit the Butterfly & Nature Conservatory from the accompanying guide is unpardonable. Ditto for Harry S. Truman’s Little White House, the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, and Mangoes restaurant, which serves excellent Caribbean cuisine on Duval Street. By not including these places, you are not giving readers a true sense of Key West. —Joan J. Pike, North Port, Fla.
Editor’s Note: As noted, the focus of Austin’s story was on the literary culture of Key West. For a full guide to Key West and the Florida Keys, go to TravelandLeisure.com/guides/florida-keys.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Peter Jon Lindberg’s piece on St. Lucia. As visitors to the island for 35 years, we agree with Allen Chastanet’s plan for locals to open small hotels and B&B’s. Just three years ago we built our own plantation-style rental villa, La Fleur des Pitons (villa from $600, five-night minimum), and filled it with furniture and artwork by island craftsmen. We urge our guests to shop at the town’s markets, eat in its small West Indian restaurants (and at Miss Theresa’s Bakery), and mingle with locals. —John Silander, Dallas, Tex.
I agree with Jaime Gross—Kyoto is a great place to visit. My husband and I went there after spending a few days in busy, crowded, contemporary Tokyo and found it to be quite the opposite experience. We stayed in a traditional ryokan and watched the geishas walking around at night. We felt as though we had stepped back in time. —Amy Sage, Denver, Colo.
World’s Best Trip
My husband, son, and I would like to thank Mark F. Hoyer (our A-List travel agent) and our excellent tour guides for 10 wonderful days in Costa Rica—the first prize (a $5,000 trip) in your 2009 World’s Best Sweepstakes. While hiking through the Monteverde Cloud Forest, riding in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano, and boating along the Nicaraguan border, we learned a great deal about a part of the world that we might never have seen. —Nita Dickerson, Vashon Island, Wash.
Reader’s Find: Croatian Hideaway
My husband and I recently stayed at Hotel Peristil (doubles from $177), in Split, for the second time—it is one of our favorites. Built within the 1,700-year-old Diocletian Palace with only 12 rooms, it’s an attraction unto itself. One wall of our room was made of stones from the original palace, and the antique furnishings date back at least 300 years (that said, the bathroom fixtures are very 21st century). The location couldn’t have been better—from our third-floor room we looked down onto the vast palace complex, where concerts and operas are held in the summer (the Peristil gets you free front-row seats). Mile Caktas, the owner, would return from the market each morning with bags of fresh fish and vegetables to prepare for guests, whom he treats like family. —Wynne Crombie, Huntley, Ill.
La Fleur des Pitons
Three years ago John Silander and his wife built this plantation-style rental villa and filled it with furniture and artwork by island craftsmen. The couple urges their guests to shop at the town’s markets, eat in its small West Indian restaurants, and mingle with locals.
Built within the 1,700-year-old Diocletian Palace with only 12 rooms, the hotel is an attraction unto itself. The antique furnishings date back at least 300 years (that said, the bathroom fixtures are very 21st century). Views look out onto a vast palace complex, where concerts and operas are held in the summer (the Peristil gets you free front-row seats). Mile Caktas, the owner, returns from the market each morning with bags of fresh fish and vegetables to prepare for guests, whom he treats like family.