Well that’s it for me. I’ll never stay in a normal hotel in Amsterdam again now that 28 of the city’s bridge houses have been transformed into charming little hotel rooms. For over a century, these canalside gate houses accommodated the storied bridge keepers whose task it was to conduct the city’s water traffic and allow boats to pass.… Read the rest
In 1913, American novelist Earl Derr Biggers penned a comedic mystery novel titled “Seven Keys to Baldpate”, that became so famous that it inspired as many as seven film adaptation, and a smash Broadway stage play of the same name. It also inspired Gordon and Ethel Mace to borrow the catchy name, as well as the theme of the story, for their mountain hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.
“Seven Keys to Baldpate” is a story about a writer who attempts to write a novel within 24 hours. Seeking some peace and seclusion, the novelist travels to remote summer mountain resort named Baldpate Inn, in the dead of winter, and locks himself in, believing he has the only key. But all throughout the night, visitors keep barging … Read the rest
If you ever find yourself in Oxford, England in search of a bed for the night, you might consider booking a room at the student dorm accommodation of Christ Church College, University of Oxford for a real-life Harry Potter experience. The university not only provides accommodation over the summer months, but your stay comes with an all access pass to wander the campus, halls and gardens out of hours. Largely empty in summer, several parts of the campus feature in the Harry Potter films, including the famous dining hall, and the college even served as an inspiration to Alice in Wonderland.… Read the rest
A nineteenth-century poet once described the Place Dauphine as the ‘vagina of Paris’, because of its erotic triangular V shape. Rumour has it King Henri IV modelled the place after the private parts of his favourite courtesan. Ah, French romance. Vaginas aside, it is one of my favourite squares in Paris, tucked away on an island in the middle of the Seine, unique for its sandy gravel square à la Provencale, where locals playing Read the rest
Through the cavernous lounge, where ladies with taut faces and tight Chanel jackets gossip over dainty sandwiches; past stiff-backed waiters, skirting around sherry-stupefied old men; and beyond the purplish Doric columns that flank the baroque lobby, Borja Martin Guridi stands behind an ornate hardwood desk. He is the head concierge at the Hotel Ritz in Madrid: the man charged with helping guests satisfy any (legal) desire.
Dressed in a gray suit with his hair combed back in a sweep of brown, Martin is clean shaven and fresh-faced, almost boyish in spite of his 42 years. But his youthfulness and energy belie his experience. Through his job, Martin has met more film stars and shaken the hands of more heads of state than almost anyone in … Read the rest