Lisa Birnbach's feature on hotel residents ['Real-Life Eloises,' June], along with the striking portraits by Martha Camarillo, reminded me of my childhood best friend, who lived in a suite above the entrance of the Savoia Excelsior hotel in Trieste, Italy, for two years in the 1930's.

Unlike the poised and sophisticated residents interview in the article, my friend pulled off pranks that would have made Eloise's adventures pale in comparison; she was notorious for throwing cherry pits at arriving guests from her expansive balcony, among other acts of mischief. Not all hotel dwellers are well mannered.

—Evelyn Konrad, New York, N.Y.

Survey Says

Despite the results of your World's Best Service poll [June]—which were dominated by low-cost airlines—I prefer carriers that have assigned seating; hubs at larger airports with easier connections; decent meals and movies on longer trips; and no stopovers. Many smaller, less-expensive airlines, such as Southwest and JetBlue offer very few of these advantages to their passangers. I wonder when no service becomes good service?

—Mike Anderson, Houston, Tex.

Phone Home

I bought an international phone card with prepaid minutes for a trip to China, only to find that I couldn't use it there. Armed with Jean Chatzky's advice [Ask Jean, May], I bought an unlocked cell phone from U.K.-based company Mobal for my travels to Malta and France this summer. My credit card is charged only when I make or receive a call, and I am under no obligation to sign a contract. It's the best way for me to be accessible without paying exorbitant monthly fees. Travelers should look into all phone packages and then purchase one based on their own needs.

—Ginny Volle, Cincinnati, Ohio

Sweet Caribbean

We followed Laura Begley's advice and stopped by the Road Town Bakery in Tortola [T+L Guide, April], our last port before returning home from an Amazon cruise. My husband's croissant was the best he'd ever had, my cinnamon bun was perfect, and we each enjoyed the most delicious cup of coffee in the British Virgin Islands. Thanks for the tip.

—Marsha and Kenneth Braunstein, North Potomac, MD.

T+L Update Rome's Boccadileone Suites, covered in June's "It List," has been officially rechristened Portrait Suites (

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Photo Contest

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