I was delighted to read Christopher Petkanas’s piece on village bistros in southern France [“Five Small-Town French Cafés,” November]. It’s amazing to think that a tiny café could be a town’s most important tool for sustaining local business and culture. I will be traveling around Provence this spring, and have already rented a car so I can patronize a few of Petkanas’s picks myself. —Maria La Fava, Nashville, Tenn.
Much Ado About Munich
Aric Chen’s “Munich’s New Modern Design” [October] came just in time. I am planning a trip to Germany next summer, and had figured that Munich would be a quick historic stop on my itinerary; I never realized the city had such a contemporary, creative side. I’m still looking forward to the beer gardens (and lederhosen), but after reading about BMW World and the expanded Neue Sammlung museum, I might have to extend my stay. —Helen Frost, San Francisco, Calif.
As an avid traveler on a quest to discover the unexplored, I have stumbled upon many exquisite locales, often wondering how they remain off the radar. Your “25 Secret Seaside Getaways” [October] reunited me with a personal favorite: Boracay, in the Philippines. I’ve spent many happy holidays on the island, swimming in the crystal waters with schools of unimaginably bright fish and walking along endless stretches of white sand. I applaud T+L for finding the best the world has to offer. —Erin Newman, Sedona, Ariz.
New Acropolis Muse
Eleni Gage’s article about the New Acropolis Museum [November] provides no argument for the uprooting of the Elgin Marbles. The Greek government believes the pieces should be reclaimed from the British Museum, where they’ve been for almost two centuries, but they are not trophies of conquest. They are cultural artifacts that were legally saved from neglect and put on display for public admiration. I think they should stay right where they are—in London. —Edward Maloney, New York, N.Y.
T+L’s partnership with Greenopia for November’s “Eco-Friendly Guide to Paris, London and Stockholm” was inspiring. Traveling responsibly can mean making sometimes daunting decisions about where to stay, eat, and shop. Your guides to Paris, London, and Stockholm laid everything out so simply that I was checking ticket prices on the spot. —Amanda Sidman, New York, N.Y.
While I understand that November was a special issue, lately it seems like every issue of Travel + Leisure is packed with green/eco/responsible/sustainable this and that. We get it. How about a string of stories on how to travel to exotic destinations on the cheap? —Taylor Onegin, Boston, Mass.
Reader’s Find: India
Last November I celebrated my 60th birthday at the Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort (doubles from $51), in Kerala. I stayed in one of the 75 traditional wooden bungalows along a white-sand beach, with my own veranda and an amazing view of the Arabian Sea. Ayurvedic therapy is integral to the essence of the place, with packages offering everything from Ashtanga yoga to anti-aging clinical treatments. A team of 14 physicians helped develop the restaurant’s vegetarian menu: the vegetable theeyal and avial curries were incredible. It was, in short, a rejuvenating experience. —Burga Nestora, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort
Stay in one of 75 traditional wooden bungalows along a white-sand beach. Ayurvedic therapy is integral to the essence of the place, with packages offering everything from Ashtanga yoga to anti- aging clinical treatments. A team of 14 physicians helped develop the restaurant’s vegetarian menu: the vegetable theeyal and avial curries are incredible.