October 1999

Motel of the Future
Having stayed in many poorly designed motel rooms, we were glad to see "Motels Restyled" [August], in which T&L invited designers to create something better (at least on paper). We have one further suggestion. Any architect who designs a motel should be forced to stay in it for at least a week. Maybe then we'll get livable rooms.
Bob and Loys Rafferty
Wellington, Fla.

Motel of the Feature
Like Shax Riegler, my husband and I have many good memories of drive-in theaters ["The Last Picture Show," July]. In Monte Vista, Colorado, we were delighted to find Kelloff's Best Western Movie Manor Motor Inn [719/852-5921], billed as the world's only movie motel. We watched Star Wars: The Phantom Menace without leaving our room.
Annette Vogts
Chadds Ford, Pa.

Yucatán Discoveries
Richard Alleman's article on the Yucatán [August] reminded me of summers I spent in the region studying the Maya during the late 1950's. Alas, in those days there were none of the great country-house hotels he describes; what I wouldn't have given for Hacienda Katanchel! Robert Maxwell's photos brought back breathtaking experiences: my first glimpse of the Pyramid of the Magicians at Uxmal and my first confrontation with the convent at Izamal, planted boldly on the foundation of a gigantic pyramid. The story also recalled for me the beauty and kindness of the region's people, and even the heavenly flavor of Yucatecan honey.
Dorothy Steinbomer Kendall
Austin, Tex.

T&L's Most Demanding Guest
I've come to appreciate, over years of traveling, the importance of an enthusiastic and proficient hotel staff. However, unlike the pseudonymous Jack Spicer in his satirical piece about a stay at Dallas's Mansion on Turtle Creek ["World's Best Service: How Far Can One Man Push the Nation's Most Accommodating Hotel?," June], I have never called prior to arrival to request items like figs or dumbbells or a Brita jug -- mostly because I wouldn't want to look like a dumbbell myself. I realize that some self-indulgent guests get their jollies by making outlandish requests of a hotel's staff. But hotels that blindly meet such immature demands only encourage all the other children out there. Figs, sir?May I suggest some prunes?
John Altavilla
Branford, Conn.

Reader's Find: Chile
From the central Lake District to Patagonia in the south, Chile is a smashingly scenic country. With Biotrek Adventure Travels [540/349-0040; www.biotrektours.com], a small company owned and operated by photographer Sunny Reynolds and her partner, Harry Hasbun, I hiked volcanoes and glaciers, river-rafted, rode horses, fished in transparent streams, sat beside magnificent waterfalls, ate fabulous food, and drank excellent local wines. Reynolds had a keen eye for the visual beauty of the country (we spotted penguins, guanacos, rheas, and condors), and she was always there to help with photos. Hasbun was driver, interpreter, and a most congenial guide.
Donna Callison
Annandale, Va.

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