• europe,  Holiday Stay Reviews,  Travel

    Mr. Basu’s at Le Grand Hotel, Paris

    The city was shrouded in mist that afternoon we landed in Paris. The cold was not blistering, but you know what happens after a 10-hour flight. Bleary-eyed and shivery, you are properly keyed up for a deep sleep. That’s all. All those plans of showering and taking the city by storm? A big, fat zero. The flight from JFK had taken us into Frankfurt for a three-hour layover. We discovered a private sleeping pod, but at the tail end of our wait. The irony of it: shattering. There you were desperate for some shut-eye and (huzzah!) you located a comfortable bed in the privacy of a cabin. Ding! went the…

  • Holiday Stay Reviews,  Travel

    A Cliffhanger of a Cabin on Old Smokey (Beloved of a Mamma Bear)

    A band of cicadas serenaded us as we got off our Outback Subaru. Their singing seemed to intensify as we hopped off the car, me casting nervous glances at the cliffs and trees around us, the thought running through my mind that a welcome committee of bears might be awaiting us in the dark. The drive from North Carolina to this chalet in Tennessee, built into the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains, had been one of unimaginable beauty. The sky, riddled with billowing clouds earlier on in the afternoon in Winston-Salem, was suffused now with a crimson glow that continued to intensify till it dissipated in pastel hues. The hills…

  • europe,  Holiday Stay Reviews

    Into a Norwegian Artist's Retreat

    Here was an artist who did the Charleston jig, all in a bid to tell us how her Pointer got his name. The Pointer is a dog, a hunting hound that gets its name from its inclination to point its muzzle towards the game. Now imagine if you will, this beloved mistress of Charleston the Pointer, a grown-up woman lifting her chin up, arms pointed into the air as if she was about to release an invisible arrow off an equally invisible bow. On this note of welcome into her home, we knew that we had landed a prize of sorts here — Els and her beloved Pointer, Charleston. I don’t know how…

  • Holiday Stay Reviews

    Grand Dame of the Amstel

    Luxury is such a precious word when you dabble in it. But once in a while, maybe? Because who wants to develop a thick skin when it comes to appreciating the good things in life. Adi and I are cost-conscious travellers. When you are passionate about travel and want to see as much of the world as we do, it is quite impossible to indulge in luxury in the true sense of the word (unless you have trust funds in place). On that note you will, if you can imagine, feel the thrill we felt when we walked into the InterContinental Amstel. The five-star hotel as you can see on the main featured…

  • Holiday Stay Reviews

    The Little Corner Apartment, Budapest

    In Budapest downtown, right in the heart of the action so to say, is a nifty studio accommodation deemed the Little Corner Apartment by its Hungarian owner, Bali. On a frightfully cold day when the sight of frosty fields and bare trees were a forewarning of what was to come our way – namely, hands that could not stray for a few seconds out of well-insulated gloves and feet that froze within the boots, however many layers of insulated socks you had on – we arrived on a quiet street just round the corner from the hip n’ happening Jewish quarter in Pest. Now, Budapest is bisected by the river Danube…