You’d be forgiven for thinking that Belmond Hotel Caruso is suspended in a heavenly realm, somewhere between the sea and the sky. Set into the cliff edge, around 350m above sea level over tiered groves of lemons and olive vines, it’s your private balcony over the Mediterranean.
Sat on a limestone throne at the peaceful pinnacle of Ravello, Belmond Hotel Caruso gazes out over the Tyrrhenian Sea. The hotel was originally built in the 11th century by a wealthy family, shipwrecked on their journey to Constantinople. It was once called Palazzo d’Afflitto—the Palace of the Afflicted.
Today, the name could not be further from the truth. Belmond Hotel Caruso boasts all the worldly luxuries anyone could desire. Vibrant frescoed salons play neighbour to stone vaults adorned with arches and chandeliers. Marbled hallways lead to rooms brimming with antiques and paintings by old masters. In each nook visitors will uncover a new and intriguing part of the hotel’s history.
Inside, our 51 rooms have been lovingly restored to their ancient Neapolitan glory. Expect hand-crafted terracotta floors and Naples-yellow walls adorned with neo-classical antiques. Fresh flowers and stunning coastline vistas complete the experience.
Join head gardener Gaetano and explore our verdant grounds, over 100 years in the making. Meander down the rose arbour to our infinity pool. Its an architectural triumph that seemingly extends straight into the ocean. Re-energise with one of our personal trainers; the panoramic sea view from our gym adds a nice distraction.
Shopaholics, meanwhile, will enjoy our in-house boutique. Goods have all been hand-picked or exclusively designed for the hotel. Later, liberate mind, body and soul at our Wellness Centre. We recommend the signature ‘Ritual of Happiness’ treatment, complete with a foot bath, body exfoliation and alfresco massage.
From Belmond Hotel Caruso, Ravello is yours to explore. Spend an afternoon wandering the lush lemon terraces. Perhaps find a bird’s eye view over the Amalfi Coast by helicopter. Take our traditional wooden boat, Ercole, to Positano, or drive to Roman Pompeii. Whatever your heart desires, our concierge will happily arrange.
Come evening, chef Mimmo di Raffaele injects modern flair into traditional Italian dishes at Belvedere Restaurant. Each creation uses world-class local produce. What better way to cap off the night than at our atmospheric Cocktail and Piano Bar? With innovative cocktails, wines, champagne and local prosecco, it’s the destination of choice for Amalfi Coast nightlife.
It’s testament to Belmond Hotel Caruso that when guests come to depart they have a tear in their eye. The only affliction here is ever having to leave our piece of paradise.
Check In Time: 2:00 PM
Check Out Time: 12:00 PM
Please allow us to introduce our new addition, and our first property in the Czech Republic: Historical Smetana Hotel in Old Prague with the best views of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle a hotel can offer!
Smetana Hotel was the former Pachtuv Palace which hosted many famous personalities such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig Van Beethoven and Richard Wagner. In 2002 Pachtuv Palace underwent extensive re-habilitation to bring all its glory back to this unique landmark property. Re-branded as an Independent Luxury Boutique Hotel in 2015 the Pachtuv Palace hotel is now owned and operated by Ott family.
The hotel is the perfect complement to a fairy-tale day out in the old town, with romantic touches including four-poster beds, flowers and stunning views and scenery. The spacious and individually-designed suites, many with a view of Prague Castle are perfect for honeymooners and romantics alike as well as for families enjoying the advantage of the Family Suites.
Food & Drinks:
. Restaurant Smetana: Great food comes from authentic and old-bohemian recipes. What sets the cuisine apart from the others? A diversity among all their cooks. Each comes from a different region of Czech Republic. This means that their homemade recipes differ. And so, they used this advantage to combine all of their gourmet experiences and discoveries during their childhood, to create the unique and authentic Restaurant Smetana menu.
. Bistro Bohemian Rhapsody Prague: a fine cuisine complimented by a truly picturesque view of the river bank. The bistro is for those that like the finer things in life. A popular meeting place in the heart of old town, the cafe serves a wide variety of gourmet dishes, classic breakfasts, (their eggs benedict is divine!) freshly baked goods and of course a wide selection of beverages. Bistro Bohemian Rhapsody Prague is proudly furnished by furniture from the famed hotel Lutetia in Paris, with the current bar being our center piece.
. Chapel Cigar Club: Chapel Cigar Club is a perfect getaway from the rush of the city. Hidden in Pachtuv Palace's chapel from 1628 the club boasts an impressive selection of cigars, fine beverages and carefully selected wine collection. This unique place has been created for all connoisseurs of pleasures of life no matter the gender
. Wines: Wine is their passion and they have worked hard to ensure that the wines that they keep within the cellars are the best possible. They offer a tremendous range of quality products, from casual table wines to rare and exquisite selections that are pleasure to come across.
For reservations and additional information, contact us. It would be our pleasure to serve you.
When you envision your vacation, you rarely imagine it in the rain, but a brief downpour during our walking tour of Bruges, Belgium, didn't dampen our spirits. We had just finished exploring the city's architectural and historical gems when our local guide handed out over-sized AmaWaterways umbrellas, pointing out cafes on the main shopping street where our small group could escape the rain.
My husband and I stumbled into a cozy restaurant. Chatting with locals, we ordered what turned out to be the best mussels we had ever tasted – accompanied by Belgian beer, of course. Just as it was time to rejoin our group, the sun added a glimmer to the rooftops of the medieval buildings, cobblestone streets and winding canals that created the sensation of stepping into a fairy tale.
It was an unexpectedly charming day, but also perfectly befitting our seamless, eight-day voyage with AmaWaterways – an ideal balance of complementary guided activities and free time to seek out local experiences, and we never had to worry about a single detail. Our 164-passenger ship sailed smoothly as we slept and docked close to city centers and villages waiting to be explored. Though we gravitated toward active excursions, others expressed appreciation over small-group options that appealed to gentle walkers, as well as to “late-starters” who preferred to remain on board a little longer.
For us, a true highlight was the 80-acre Keukenhof gardens in the western Netherlands, where we meandered through the gardens and pavilions with seven million tulips and hyacinths in bloom. We especially enjoyed having access to AmaWaterways, collection of two dozen bicycles, which we used to traverse the historic Dutch town of Willemstad on our own.
As we mingled with other guests, we heard tales of other enchanting European river cruise excursions, from strolling the sloping hills and cobblestone streets of Budapest on a Danube cruise to sipping crisp Alsatian wines in the French village of Colmar on a Rhine cruise.
Indulgent bliss followed us back on board, where our chef made meals decadent and varied, and we could choose among multiple dining venues. At The Chef's Table restaurant, complimentary to guests, we watched the chef in dazzling action from our 24-seat table. He plated specialties such as marinated salmon accented with a lemon, pepper and mango salsa, followed by a perfectly grilled beef tenderloin and porcini potato, each course paired with an exquisite wine. We somehow manged to save room for a chocolate tart with a millefeuille of red currant and mascarpone.
Personal touches and memorable moments extended throughout our trip. Before dinner each evening, Rolf, our multilingual cruise manager, briefed us on the history , culture and customs of upcoming destinations. We felt taken care of – by him, the well-trained crew and the knowledgeable local guides – all of whom not only met our needs but also anticipated them. At breakfast, I even teased one server that she was spoiling my husband by bringing him oatmeal already topped with brown sugar.
Each evening, we retired to our twin-balconied stateroom that had all the amenities of a five-star hotel, including a marble bathroom with multijet shower-heads. Passing up the television shows and movies on the high-tech infotainment system, my husband spent every night glued to the closed-circuit bow camera so he didn't miss any of the picturesque view on shore.
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Taj Lake Palace is located in the middle of the Lake Pichola and is a 45 minutes drive from Udaipur Maharana Pratap airport. The Lake Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, arising out of the Turquoise Waters of the Pichola like an elegant fantasy in white marble.
The Lake palace was built in the 17th century on a natural foundation of 4 acres of rock. It is a magical palace and its image in the middle of the lake is like a leaf straight out of a fairy tale book with an excellent taste of intricate craftsmanship and the ethnic themes using the textiles and handicrafts all over highlight the beauty that is simply beyond compare the lake around makes a pleasant murmur with its rippling waves and lapping that adds to the mesmerizing moments.
AmaMagna is currently sailing the Dutch waterways from Rotterdam to Gendt, Holland. There she will dry dock and outfitted with contemporary elegant décor under the guidance of co-owners Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst who stay involved in the design process to the very last detail. Stay tuned for more updates on the new and beautiful Amawaterways new ship.
If there were a style of travel designed specially for the solo traveler, it would be river cruising. With fewer passengers onboard than a typical ocean cruise, guests wishing to travel by themselves are never 'one of a crowd' on a river cruise.
This is particularly true on the rivers of America. American Queen Steamboat Company offers cabins designed for single-occupancy many of its three of its ships, including the venerable American Queen; the graceful American Empress on the Columbia and Snake Rivers; and the brand-new American Duchess, which debuted just this past month on the Mighty Mississippi.
The chief benefit of having a cabin designed expressly for single occupancy is that guests booking these staterooms can avoid the dreaded "single supplement" for double-occupancy cabins. On some lines, this can run as high as 200 percent of the cruise fare – often prohibitively expensive for the solo traveler.
Some ships even offer more variety when it comes to solo cabins. The American Queen, for example, offers solo travelers the choice of either inside or outside staterooms; the latter of which come equipped with a proper veranda. A total of 10 staterooms are available for solo travelers.
On American Empress, every stateroom features river views, and although there's only one single occupancy stateroom onboard, it comes with a full step-out veranda.
While American Duchess lacks purpose-built staterooms for solo travelers, this all-suite ship spares nothing on luxury. The line frequently runs specials aimed at solo travelers, with incentives and offers that make these lavish double-occupancy rooms worth the price of admission.
Solo travelers can book any category of cabin; you're by no means relegated to reserving a designated single-occupancy stateroom. It's good to be aware, though, that the top-of-the-line staterooms and suites may come with a supplementary fare.
Regardless of which ship you sail on, the experience as a solo traveler remains the same. The ship's welcoming and friendly crew always do their best to ensure that you're looked after and having a good time. Indeed, we've never felt alone or relegated to solitary status on any of our voyages with American Queen Steamboat Company.
Additionally, you can elect to be seated with other people during meals, or choose to dine alone, if that is your preference. Many of the tables in the lavish dining rooms of each ship are designed for larger groups; conversation at a large table of six or eight makes for an enjoyable evening, and is a great way to make fast friends.
In some ways, solo river cruising is even more enjoyable than sailing with a friend or a partner. By cruising by yourself, you can indulge every interest or whim without opposition. If you want to go to the wine tastings in the Columbia Valley, so be it. If your typical excursion runs more towards history and transportation, you can do that, too. Solo travel is uncompromising; a welcome chance to cater to your own interests and meet new people along the way.
In terms of itinerary, there is no right or wrong voyage for the solo traveler to take. The Mississippi, along with the Columbia and Snake Rivers, are all enjoyable on their own merits. You'll also find that, unlike big-ship cruises, people on river cruises are there because they're genuinely interested in the destination, and in the novelty of sailing down America's most famous rivers onboard classically-designed, elegant ships staffed by crews of locals who know these regions like the backs of their hands.
Of course, just because you're cruising solo doesn't have to mean that you're single – that's an old stereotype. People who are happily married can take vacations independently of each other, and in many cases, this can be for the best, particularly if travel doesn't suit your partner for whatever reason.
The only final word of advice for solo travelers: enjoy yourself. Do as much or as little as you want. Meet your fellow shipmates at activities like trivia or cocktail hour, both of which serve as excellent icebreakers. The more you travel by yourself with American Queen Steamboat Company, the more you'll realize you're far from alone.
Beauty unfolds as you make smooth passage through Nordic waters and the Baltic Sea. In between leisurely moments aboard a yacht-like vessel as butlers tend to your every need, you’ll be delivered to northern ports of call where the echoes of history still linger. Discover some of our favorite ways to explore on shore with Silversea.
Whether you’re marking off Europe’s essential sights for the first time or showing off a city you love to new explorers, Insight Vacations creates the difference between simply seeing the sights and truly experiencing them.
Packed with Action, Completely Carefree
Bring a good pair of walking shoes to the British Isles, where carefully crafted itineraries include all the highlights while local guides add thoughtful perspectives: perhaps you’ll ruminate over Lincoln Castle’s original copy of the Magna Carta, teach young ones your favorite Shakespearean sonnet in Stratford-upon-Avon or contemplate the mysteries of Stonehenge alongside your closest friends. Despite the busy pace, the mood is decidedly relaxed. That’s because all the details are handled by highly trained Travel Directors who are more akin to traveling concierges. They’re ready to help with any request — even taking that iconic shot of you inside one of London’s red telephone boxes.
Camaraderie Comes Easily
A laid-back tone does more than just make you comfortable; it creates an atmosphere that fosters friendship. Fellow travelers become true companions as you build bonds over Bellinis in Venice and while watching the colorful Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. It also helps that groups are smaller than traditional escorted vacations — no more than 40 guests — and appeal to an international crowd. Whether you’re traveling solo or as a couple, it’s easy to share special moments with others as you gaze in awe at the Swiss Alps from atop Mount Stanserhorn or dine in Paris’ elegant La Bouteille d’Or overlooking Notre-Dame.
Instead of simply ordering a glass of wine, learn from a Local Expert about the nuances of vino rosso and how to pair it with Florentine cuisine. Such engaging travel experiences resonate on a deeper level. Passionate guides attuned to the nuances of the culture are able to lead you through the narrow alleyways of Capri to those hidden vistas and trendy cafés that only residents know about. Thanks to longstanding insider connections, you can even gain special entrance to the Vatican Museums, skipping the queues to go behind the scenes at the Bramante Staircase — normally off-limits to the public.
Little Extras, Big Differences
Beyond special access in essential sights, you’ll find thoughtful details throughout your journey. Stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi in your luxury motor coach, where business-class seats boast up to twice the legroom as a standard touring coach. Look up and you may discover your Travel Director is giving out handcrafted Swiss chocolates that she picked up on a local stop. Centrally positioned hotels put you in the heart of the action, while specially curated Dine-Around evenings showcase the most laudable local restaurants. Little touches make a big difference when you’re traveling abroad, and you’ll have them all when we create your trip with Insight Vacations.
By Ann Fearey
I recently spent almost a week in Cuba and I feel I barely scratched the surface of this Caribbean nation. Now I know why so many of our clients want to return to Cuba after their first trip. Once is not enough for anyone looking for soft adventure in a safe, culturally diverse paradise.
For us Florida residents we have no excuse not to visit this new Caribbean destination for Americans. This small country, about the size of Florida, is a short 40 minute plane ride from Ft. Lauderdale/Miami. Not to mention major cruise lines like NCL and Royal Caribbean offer a multitude of itinerary options from our Florida ports.
I recently flew on Southwest Airlines from Ft. Lauderdale to Havana for a week with my Spanish speaking son, his wife and toddler. Instead of modern western style hotels or an organized tour we chose to travel independently and stay in three Casa Particulars which are privately run guest houses. Our hostesses were hospitable and charming. By the end of the three days at our first casa in Vedado, Havana we felt like we were family, sitting on the porch in comfortable rocking chairs sharing stories with other guests from all over the world.
Each day we were greeted by our personal tour guide, Mickel, a young, energetic Cuban who spoke perfect English, fortunately for me. The first day he took is on a walking tour of the old city which was mobbed with tourists, all following their guide as they strolled from one beautiful plaza to the next. The next morning we were treated to a Classic Car tour in a 1948 bright red Chevrolet convertible. This is the “only” way to see the historical boulevards and squares throughout the city.
Award-winning AmaWaterways provides luxurious, all-inclusive river cruise vacations on the great waterways of Europe, Africa, Vietnam and Cambodia, and Myanmar. With an innovative product and rapidly-growing fleet of newly-built custom-designed ships, the line enjoys a well-deserved reputation as the leader in river cruising.
Founded in 2002 by cruise industry pioneer Rudi Schreiner, cruise line executive Kristin Karst, and Jimmy Murphy, founder of Brendan Vacations, AmaWaterways operates the finest fleet on the Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Seine, Douro, Main, Mosel, Garonne and Dordogne rivers in Europe; the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar; the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia; and the Chobe River in Africa.
In Europe, AmaWaterways has one of the youngest fleets in river cruising, including the AmaKristina (2017); AmaStella and AmaViola (2016); AmaVenita and AmaSerena (2015); AmaSonata and AmaReina (2014); AmaVida and AmaPrima (2013); and the AmaCerto (2012). Other Europe river ships include the AmaBella and AmaVerde (2010); AmaDolce and AmaLyra (2009); AmaDante and AmaCello (2008); AmaLegro (2007) and AmaDagio (2006).
Each vessel features an incomparable array of amenities and complimentary extras that include: spacious staterooms with French balconies or revolutionary “Twin Balconies”; hotel-style bedding, marble-appointed baths; complimentary high-speed Internet and ship-wide Wi-Fi; first-run Hollywood movies; multiple dining venues including The Chef's Table specialty restaurant, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner; nightly entertainment; live piano music every afternoon and evening; choice of complimentary small group shore excursions tailored to passengers’ desired walking pace; active hiking excursions; Limited Edition Tours designed to place you in the midst of local life; guided bicycle tours and a fleet of bicycles for guests to borrow; and much more
In Myanmar, the 56-passenger AmaPura is a custom-designed all-suite ship with private balconies in every stateroom, fine dining, elegant Main Lounge and bar. There are a choice of two itineraries cruising along the Ayeyarwady River ranging from 10-15 nights.
In Vietnam and Cambodia, the 124-passenger all balcony AmaDara offers unforgettable 7-night cruises on the Mekong river from Siem Reap, to Ho Chi Minh City or reverse. As part of the line’s “Vietnam, Cambodia and Riches of the Mekong” program. The AmaLotus features exquisitely decorated 251square-foot staterooms with all the amenities of a fine floating hotel. All suites and staterooms offer outside accommodations with Twin Balconies. Suites provide an extra spacious 366 square feet of space. The AmaDara also has a 502 square foot suite that provides ultimate in onboard pampering.
With over two dozen cruises to choose from, the river cruise of a lifetime awaits with AmaWaterways.
Curator of Adventures in the Art of Travel
Exquisite journeys for those with a yearning to experience what a destination has to offer in a soft adventure experience.