Castle Leuchtenburg, home of high tech Leuchtenburg Porcelain Worlds. Courtesy Leuchtenburg Porcelain Worlds.

By Monique Burns   Bid farewell to Dresden, capital of Saxony, and head to the neighboring state of Thuringia and its cultural capital, Weimar, about 2 ½ hours west via the high-speed Intercity-Express (ICE) train.  Leafy cobblestone streets, pastel-colored houses and fountain-dappled squares are reason enough to visit this graceful

The Elbsandstone Mountains high above the River Elbe PHOTO Karol Werner COURTESY German National Tourist Board (GNTB)

By Monique Burns  When Saxony’s rulers really wanted to let down their hair, they headed just outside Dresden to castles and country houses along the River Elbe.  There they hunted in the open air, cultivated fine wines, and oversaw porcelain-making and other pursuits.  Visitors to the Saxon Elblands can still

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Aus der Bilddatenbank der Deutsche Zentrale f¸r Tourismus -

By Monique Burns  South of Berlin, north of Prague and west of Warsaw, Germany’s eastern reaches are rarely associated with the kind of over-the-top grandeur found at Louis XIV’s Versailles or Peter the Great’s St. Petersburg.  But, for 800 years, the lords of Saxony turned Dresden, their capital city, into

In Mitte's hip Barn District, Italian transplant Marianna Aldovini, owner of Amodo Objects & Stories PHOTO Monique Burns

    By Monique Burns Since the 25th anniversary of German Reunification in 2015, thousands of Americans have headed east to Berlin, Europe’s newest “Capital of Cool,” where hip cafés and contemporary galleries vie with masterpiece-filled museums and World War II historic sites.  Two hours south is Dresden, the lesser-known,

Hotel Café Royal, London

By Ruth J. Katz Steeped in history ever-so-glamorous, the Hotel Café Royal is, simply put, a London legend. Established in 1865 by Frenchman Daniel Nicholas Thévenon (who later anglicized his given name to Nicols) and his wife Celestine, Café Royal immediately became one of London’s finest dining rooms, the epicenter for

The basement pool at One Aldwych, London

By Richard West I am here to relieve your angst and ennui that often arises whence cometh that seasonal oxymoron, Summer Vacation.  Your concern that the undiscovered city doesn’t deserve even an imaginary airline ticket; staying in the slight-run-downiness of Hotel Earle in “Barton Fink” instead of the promised “new

A fireplace in the lobby added a cozy touch.

by Geri Bain The 414-room Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel is an obvious choice for travelers attending conferences at the adjacent Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, so my husband and I were happily surprised that the hotel wasn’t filled with badge-tagged business people. Instead, perhaps because of our more leisurely schedule, we

Andreas Roos, Svalbard Bryggeri's brewmaster, relaxes in Huset's bistro  PHOTO Monique Burns

  By Monique Burns You’ll find Longyearbyen at the Arctic Ocean’s southern fringe, 600 miles from the North Pole and 600 miles from the Norwegian mainland.  The world’s northernmost settlement with a permanent population, it’s a quirky little place that tends to capture visitors’ imaginations in a big way.  Not

The Danai Palace Resort

By Gary Walther True confession: Greece is a blank on The Hotel Detective’s map of the world, but he filled in a bit of it with a recent stay at the Danai Palace Resort, a member of Leading Hotels of the World. It lies in a coastal curl of the

Nordic Light Hotel, Stockholm

  by Geri Bain From the moment we walked into Stockholm’s Nordic Light Hotel, my husband and I sensed an energetic, social vibe—and the appeal to Millennials was apparent. The lobby feels like a cross between a trendy bar and a spacious Starbucks. Stalactite-like lights hanging from the ceiling subtly