Budapest- A Beautiful Surprise

View from our room at Ritz Carlton Budapest


The Austro-Hungarian monarchy of the Danube came into being in the year 1872 when the three separate settlements of Pest, Buda and Óbuda (literally “Old” Buda) were united into one city. Occupied by the Soviets until 1989, Hungary saw the end of communism and political freedom through the collapse of the soviet system. Heavily bombed in World War 11, the city has recovered and restored it’s major attractions with careful sense of it’s bountiful history.
Another food, music, and artistic haven, Budapest is a must visit destination.

Budapest’s Parliament – one of the most beautiful and largest in the world
Stunning interior of Parliament

Iconic St Stephens Basilica
Night lighting of the city is unforgettable

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Vienna – Nirvana for Food Lovers

Small cafes and a confectioner that was patronized by the Emperor

Restaurant Steirerek Vienna


Nautilus Restaurant -Naschmarkt Vienna

Vienna is packed with options for Michelin dining, small cafes, shops that offer desserts, pstries,confectioneries, coffee selections that have a minimum of 4 different ways. The choices are everywhere

Restaurants we love:
Steirereck im Stadtpark is the top choice for a memorable but pricey dining experience in Vienna.
Ranked number 10 in the world, Chef Heinz Reitbauer, traditional Viennese cuisine with a twist was one of the best dining experiences ever.
Rouge Bar, Sacher Hotel romantic, relaxing, impeccable service. Impeccable all around.
Fabio’s – Vienna’s top rated Italian
Nautilus Naschmarkt -if you are visiting Nashmarkt, this seafood restaurant is a delight.

Iconic Hot Springs Destination, Baden Baden is in Full Bloom

Iconic Baden Baden in full bloom

An ancient Roman Town, known for it’s healing mineral springs, Baden Baden never fails to entice. I went in college and it is still the same beautiful town. Revisiting Oetker Collection’s Brenner Park Hotel is a complete pleasure. More to come.

Kyoto – Cultural Heart of Japan

Dinner with a Geisha

With so many stunning temples, castles, monasteries, Kyoto is packed with wondrous sights everywhere you turn. One needs at least 4-5 days here.


Shogun Palace Kyoto

Japan – Amazing Ancient Culture

Japan- amazing ancient culture!
Polite, respectful, serene. We are finding the people of Japan to be warm and welcoming! I am privileged to be on a 16 day journey planned by Windows to Japan. Today we are in Kyoto at the incredible Four Seasons Kyoto. Typically the FS service is over the top, and this hotel was perfect.

Golden Pavillion Kyoto[/caption]

Four Seasons Kyoto

Four Seasons Kyoto

To Do Edinburgh

So many activity options for Edinburgh!
Touring Edinburgh Castle, sunrise at Arthur’s Seat- the highest peak of the hills in Edinburgh, walking Old Town and the Royal Mile, visiting the underground streets of Mary King’s close, sampling scotch whiskey,having a kilt made in your family pattern are all interesting experiences.

Old Town Edinburgh

There is a lovely walled garden on Corstorphine Hill which almost no one knows about it. the garden is even reputed to have held a closely guarded whisky secret. It was given to the people of Edinburgh by the family who owned the adjacent Victorian mansion house, which happened to be the Drambuie family. The garden is said to contain some interesting and exotic botanicals, which are believed to be some of the secret ingredients for the famous liqueur.

Visiting the Royal Britannia after hours is a special experience- we toured the ship and had tea.

The Royal Britannia

Kilt Shop Edinburgh

Extraordinary private visit to Broomhall House was amazing!
The principal seat of the Earls of Elgin and Kincardine, Broomhall House and its surrounding estate has been looked after by 13 successive generations of the Bruce family, lineal descendants of King Robert the Bruce. The Earl of Elgin was famous for bringing the Elgin Marbles to Great Britain. Recently opened for private events, Broomhall House is a must see.

Broomhall House

Rocco Forte Balmoral- Top Choice for Edinburgh

Hotel clock lit red to honor their veterans

Rocco Forte Balmoral Hotel is a no brainer for one’s hotel choice in Edinburgh
The stately five star Grand Dame opened in 1903 and has been greeting Queens, Kings, statesmen and celebrities ever since.
Situated by Waverly Station, hotel porters meet guests at the train station, and whisk them from the station hall to the reception desk in the hotel in no time. The award winning hotel is brilliantly managed by Richard Cooke. Mr. Cooke has the hotel spinning like a top. Staff is happy, enthusiastic and completely engaged in providing each guest with a top notch experience. No wish is too difficult to accomplish. The tireless Mr. Cooke seems to be everywhere. The standard starts at the top and it is quite evident this hotel is run beautifully.
Interesting aside- JK Rowlings wrote her last Harry Potter book on premises, and her suite is marked by a purple door. She was a regular guest.

The fabulous Palm Court Tea anyone?