Category Archives: Reviews

Bagnères-de-Luchon, France

We would highly recommend Villa Portillon. It is located on a quiet street just a block off the main street. The English owners, Michael and Annette, have updated the property to appeal to English-speaking travelers (big rooms, modern bathrooms – with washcloths!, comfy beds and pillows, a mini-bar with cold drinks and wine on the honor system, fast internet). Breakfast was fresh, plentiful, and included. Michael and Annette were helpful in every way; Annette even did our laundry for us, and wouldn’t take more than her 5 Euro fee. We also recommend Castel de la Pique. It’s a little further […]

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Review: Hotel Granvia Kyoto

We’re not normally big fans of train station hotels, but the Granvia is an exception. While it’s not the Ritz (which we popped into and it was STUNNING), at a fifth of the cost, it was perfect for our whirlwind sightseeing stay in Kyoto. Our 15th floor room was spacious and immaculate… except that the bathroom had obviously been smoked in just before we arrived. The staff was on it immediately and by the time we arrived back from our first walkabout Kyoto, everything was good to go. The staff was professional and helpful at every level. When we realized we […]

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Our Stay in a Japanese Ryokan

Our hotel in Takayama, Hidatei Hanaougi, is a ryokan. The hotel’s website lists ‘Heart-warming hospitality” as the Number 1 reason to stay there, and we couldn’t agree more. From the first moment we arrived, we felt welcomed, pampered and attended to. Where else does the general manager himself stand at the curb at the end of your stay waving good-bye until you are out of sight? A ryokan (旅館?) is a type of traditional Japanese inn, with a special and specific way of providing services to guests. Ryokans originally served travelers in the Edo (shogun) period (1603–1868).  We found our ryokan to exude […]

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Fairlawn’s Boutique Hotel and Spa, Johannesburg

Our first impression of Fairlawn’s was that it was a nice hotel, like a good book with slightly worn but obviously well-loved cover. But we soon came to experience that this is a really special place, and to appreciate and luxuriate in the ‘story’ of this lovely, stately and relaxing sanctuary. Formerly the private estate of the Oppenheimer family, then the private home of now-owners John and Anna Thacker, this 39 room/suite boutique hotel has a serene and calming ambiance that was the perfect gateway night to our East African adventure. We stayed in the Nelson Mandela room and it […]

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Hotel du Col de la Forclaz

This wasn’t our favorite place to stay, but it was a hopping spot for all sorts of activities, so we sat in the afternoon sun and people watched.

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Mark & Shauna Trieb

We’re Mark and Shauna Trieb and we live in Dallas, Texas. We are actuaries-turned-adventurers and one of the truisms that guides us is: “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” So, we’re doing our best to see, meet, try, and inspire as many places, people, experiences and adventures, as we can during our one shot at life. Read More

Mark and Shauna Trieb are actuaries-turned-adventurers... Read More


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