May 07, 2009

From Washington to Australia
As a local administrator,it's an honor to have Michael Frank's feature about Washington's Long Beach Peninsula in the August issue of Travel + Leisure ["America's Last Coast"]. I must take exception, however, to his terse description of our peninsula's namesake, the city of Long Beach. When he writes that "not much has changed since my childhood," he either lacks objectivity or is visually impaired. In the past 20 years, we have developed parks, funded public art, established design-review regulations, and generally promoted Washington's finest shoreline destination.
—NABIEL SHAWA, LONG BEACH, WASH.

MICHAEL FRANK REPLIES: Naturally, I am aware of the many ambitious modifications to the town of Long Beach. But in drawing a comparison between the Long Beach of today and that of my youth, I was speaking of its essential flavor as a colorful and festive, if still somewhat honky-tonk, seaside town.

Meet Me in Montreal
In Montreal for a wedding and the jazz festival last summer, my husband and I stayed at the Hotel St. Paul, which T+L recommended in the March issue ["35 Great Cities of the World, 65 Affordable Hotels"]. We were extremely disappointed. The building used to house Quebec's immigration offices, and I don't think the hotel's owners ever replaced the carpeting or gave the walls a fresh coat of paint. Fortunately, we discovered the Hotel Nelligan [106 St.-Paul St. W.; 877/788-2040 or 514/788-2040; www.hotelnelligan.com; doubles from $145] in Old Montreal, a delightful hotel—mahogany furniture, in-room fireplaces, exposed brick walls—with comparable room rates. We plan to stay there the next time we're in town.
—COLETTE BEDARD, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.

Cheese, Please
Erik Torkells's article in the August issue ["Cheese Whiz"] was absolutely brilliant. I, too, consider myself a true lover of cheese and must endure the perplexed looks of others as I sinfully devour wedge after wedge of fromage. Thanks to my parents, I was raised mostly in Germany and traveled often in Europe. One of my fondest memories is of a time in an Austrian gasthaus on an isolated, snow-covered mountain. I lingered by the fire for hours, enjoying a six-course meal that included raclette simmering at the perfect temperature, its gooey texture pure heaven. Thank you for making me feel more normal.
—LINDSAY JORDAN, PRINCETON, N.J.

To the Polls
After reading the World's Best Awards for the top hotels [August], I agree that Lizard Island Resort on Australia's Great Barrier Reef deserves its number-one status in the region. We spent nine lovely days in the Pavilion—the property's best suite—in February. Our room overlooked Sunset Beach and Anchor Bay and had an in-room telescope that allowed us to spy on the wildlife of nearby Osprey Island. The food was the most delicious we've ever had; and the staff, which is young and enthusiastic, helped my husband arrange for the delivery of a dozen roses on Valentine's Day.
—CHRISTY PROOST, MECHANICSVILLE, VA.

READER'S FIND JAMAICA
Let me tell you about the house, on the rock, by the sea, on the island of Jamaica. I have just returned from my daughter's wedding at the Rockhouse Hotel [West End Rd., Negril; 876/957-4373; www.rockhousehotel.com; doubles from $75]. My husband and I manage a large family restaurant in Pennsylvania and had always assumed our daughter would get married there. So we were hesitant about traveling to the Caribbean, not knowing what to expect of the boutique hotel's food and service. To our surprise, the staff was wonderful, the food was excellent, the wine was stored and served properly, and—to top it off—the cliff-top location affords spectacular views. We give it an A+.
—LISA CARNIE, CHADDS FORD, PA.

WRITE TO US
Letters to the editor and Readers' Finds should be sent via e-mail to editor@aexp.com. They can also be faxed to 800/926-1748 or mailed to Letters, Travel + Leisure, 1120 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Letters chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space.

Hotel Nelligan

105-room hotel with warm interiors (dark-wood furniture; fireplaces), carved out of three 19th-century warehouses in Old Montreal. 

Rockhouse Hotel

This ultrahip hangout takes its name from its cluster of thatched-roof bungalows built atop rock cliffs that jut just above an aquamarine cove. Most of the 34 so-called rock houses are outfitted with private patios or sundecks; a few have private ladders leading right down into the sea. With four-poster beds made of local timber and covered in the softest linens, soaring ceilings, and giant windows facing the sea or gardens, the rooms encourage ordering breakfast in bed before venturing out for snorkeling in the sheltered waters of the reef or an “On the Rocks” massage (ask for Joy or Maureen) in the new open-air, cliff-top spa. Your dollars do double duty; your vacation helps build and repair local schools and expand libraries. Since 2004, the Rockhouse Foundation has donated over $500,000 to its community.

Pushcart Restaurant & Rumbar

Order a Red Stripe by the pool from affable barmen Adrian and John, followed by curry goat or jerk pork. Try the Cartini cocktail, with rum, mint, cucumber, and brown sugar.

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