India B&B, Italy restaurant, Moroccan guest house; Czech hotel, and driver in Poland

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REPORT FROM INDIA…

In the Civil Lines area of Delhi, we stayed at the bed-and-breakfast Sham Nath Villa (12, Sham Nath Marg, Civil Lines, Delhi, 110054, India; phone +91 11 23976660 or 23923925), Oct. 16-19, 2010.

Conveniently located near Delhi’s modern, easy-to-use metro and minutes from all the important sights, this is a glorious, historic, family property with a spacious garden and five big rooms with balconies. Booked online, our room cost INR4,500 (just over $100) per night, double.

The warm, interesting and inviting host and hostess could not do enough for us and even arranged for us to participate in the closing rituals of the Dussehra Feast. They will cook dinner for you, but there are also several very good restaurants within walking distance.

— Betty Serow, Tallahassee, FL

REPORT FROM ITALY…

I returned to Manerba del Garda, Italy, in late September 2010 to stay at the Residence Bella Vista (March ’08, pg. 38). While there, my friend Ms. Jay Sewell and I discovered a truly excellent restaurant that opened just a year before: Ristorante Il Funghi (Via Catullo 33, Manerba del Garda, Lombardy, Italy; phone 0365560583).

Not just one but two menus of outstanding cuisine are offered, so a patron can choose either Italian or Indian dishes or even mix and match. In addition, the restaurant’s location is breathtaking: the tip of a high promontory overlooking Lake Garda’s Manerba Bay.

You do need to be able to climb a long flight of shallow steps or the smooth ramp in the middle of the steps up from the parking lot at road level plus a flight of stone steps to the restaurant terrace.

We were greeted with smiles, seated and each presented with a free glass of champagne. After perusing the menus, I chose Italian dishes and Jay chose Indian — delicious food elegantly plated. There was no rush between the courses. We sipped wine, chatted and enjoyed the view. The wine selection was wide and good, and after the meal we were served a complimentary liqueur.

The Italian dishes were priced from €6 to €25 (near $8-$34) each. The Indian selection was more extensive (the owners are Indian), running €4-€24, with full-course menus €27-€79 ($37-$108).

Our two meals — antipasti, main course, dessert, wine and water — cost €67 (about $100), which we considered well worth it for such a wonderful evening of dining.

I have copies of the menus. Feel free to e-mail me at alanwolsty@lightningspeed.net.

— Alan Wolstencroft, Dunnellon, FL

REPORT FROM MOROCCO…

After a tour in Morocco, for our final night’s stay we booked the Riad Bledna (phone +212 [0] 661 18 20 90, e-mail contact@riadbledna.com). Just outside of Marrakech, it’s about one-half hour from the airport.

This is a newly built guest house. It has large, tastefully appointed rooms and public spaces, a good-sized pool and beautiful landscaping. Live-in staff, some speaking excellent English, can care for up to 14 guests.

We booked a double and a single room for the night of Sept. 29, 2010. We had dinner and breakfast prepared and served on site. The proprietor, himself, Mohamed Nour, took us to the airport at 5 a.m. since there was a taxi strike. For all this, we paid a total of €140 (about $190).

— Marilyn Jestes, Roulette, PA

REPORT FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND POLAND…

• We stayed six nights in Prague, starting Sept. 28, 2010, in a small hotel called Biskupský Dům, or Bishop’s House (Dražickéfho nám. 6/62 118 00 Praha 1 – Malá Strana, Czech Rep.; phone 00420/257 532 320, fax 531 840, e-mail biskup@ok.cz) — just a few steps from the Charles Bridge, on the castle side.

Our room was quiet and large, with facilities en suite. We booked by e-mailing rezervace@ok.cz, and for two people it cost about $130 per night, with breakfast included. This was a discounted rate for booking three weeks in advance.

The desk staff spoke English and were helpful. Upon request, they will send a taxi to meet you at the airport; the fare was about $30.

• In person at the travel agency Cedok (Na Prikope 18, 110 00 Praha 1; phone +420 224 197 619 or e-mail zeleznice@cedok.cz), we booked a train to Warsaw. The train depot in Prague is new, but the train station in Warsaw looked like a relic from the Communist era.

We arrived in Warsaw after dark and it was difficult to find any taxi in the deluge of traffic. We were fortunate to find a nice taxi bus operated by Bogdan Wojcik (Warsaw, Poland; phone 501 968 424). His English was limited, but his price, about $15, was in line with our expectations; he didn’t try to take advantage of us like the driver of the first taxi we found.

Mr. Wojcik also gave us a card for his parent company, Sawa Taxi (phone 226 444 444).

— Barbara McIntosh, Roseville, CA

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REPORT FROM INDIA…

In the Civil Lines area of Delhi, we stayed at the bed-and-breakfast Sham Nath Villa (12, Sham Nath Marg, Civil Lines, Delhi, 110054, India; phone +91 11 23976660 or 23923925), Oct. 16-19, 2010.

Conveniently located near Delhi’s modern, easy-to-use metro and minutes from all the important sights, this is a glorious, historic, family property with a spacious garden and five big rooms with balconies. Booked online, our room cost INR4,500 (just over $100) per night, double.

The warm, interesting and inviting host and hostess could not do enough for us and even arranged for us to participate in the closing rituals of the Dussehra Feast. They will cook dinner for you, but there are also several very good restaurants within walking distance.

— Betty Serow, Tallahassee, FL

REPORT FROM ITALY…

I returned to Manerba del Garda, Italy, in late September 2010 to stay at the Residence Bella Vista (March ’08, pg. 38). While there, my friend Ms. Jay Sewell and I discovered a truly excellent restaurant that opened just a year before: Ristorante Il Funghi (Via Catullo 33, Manerba del Garda, Lombardy, Italy; phone 0365560583).

Not just one but two menus of outstanding cuisine are offered, so a patron can choose either Italian or Indian dishes or even mix and match. In addition, the restaurant’s location is breathtaking: the tip of a high promontory overlooking Lake Garda’s Manerba Bay.

You do need to be able to climb a long flight of shallow steps or the smooth ramp in the middle of the steps up from the parking lot at road level plus a flight of stone steps to the restaurant terrace.

We were greeted with smiles, seated and each presented with a free glass of champagne. After perusing the menus, I chose Italian dishes and Jay chose Indian — delicious food elegantly plated. There was no rush between the courses. We sipped wine, chatted and enjoyed the view. The wine selection was wide and good, and after the meal we were served a complimentary liqueur.

The Italian dishes were priced from €6 to €25 (near $8-$34) each. The Indian selection was more extensive (the owners are Indian), running €4-€24, with full-course menus €27-€79 ($37-$108).

Our two meals — antipasti, main course, dessert, wine and water — cost €67 (about $100), which we considered well worth it for such a wonderful evening of dining.

I have copies of the menus. Feel free to e-mail me at alanwolsty@lightningspeed.net.

— Alan Wolstencroft, Dunnellon, FL

REPORT FROM MOROCCO…

After a tour in Morocco, for our final night’s stay we booked the Riad Bledna (phone +212 [0] 661 18 20 90, e-mail contact@riadbledna.com). Just outside of Marrakech, it’s about one-half hour from the airport.

This is a newly built guest house. It has large, tastefully appointed rooms and public spaces, a good-sized pool and beautiful landscaping. Live-in staff, some speaking excellent English, can care for up to 14 guests.

We booked a double and a single room for the night of Sept. 29, 2010. We had dinner and breakfast prepared and served on site. The proprietor, himself, Mohamed Nour, took us to the airport at 5 a.m. since there was a taxi strike. For all this, we paid a total of €140 (about $190).

— Marilyn Jestes, Roulette, PA

REPORT FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND POLAND…

• We stayed six nights in Prague, starting Sept. 28, 2010, in a small hotel called Biskupský Dům, or Bishop’s House (Dražickéfho nám. 6/62 118 00 Praha 1 – Malá Strana, Czech Rep.; phone 00420/257 532 320, fax 531 840, e-mail biskup@ok.cz) — just a few steps from the Charles Bridge, on the castle side.

Our room was quiet and large, with facilities en suite. We booked by e-mailing rezervace@ok.cz, and for two people it cost about $130 per night, with breakfast included. This was a discounted rate for booking three weeks in advance.

The desk staff spoke English and were helpful. Upon request, they will send a taxi to meet you at the airport; the fare was about $30.

• In person at the travel agency Cedok (Na Prikope 18, 110 00 Praha 1; phone +420 224 197 619 or e-mail zeleznice@cedok.cz), we booked a train to Warsaw. The train depot in Prague is new, but the train station in Warsaw looked like a relic from the Communist era.

We arrived in Warsaw after dark and it was difficult to find any taxi in the deluge of traffic. We were fortunate to find a nice taxi bus operated by Bogdan Wojcik (Warsaw, Poland; phone 501 968 424). His English was limited, but his price, about $15, was in line with our expectations; he didn’t try to take advantage of us like the driver of the first taxi we found.

Mr. Wojcik also gave us a card for his parent company, Sawa Taxi (phone 226 444 444).

— Barbara McIntosh, Roseville, CA