Report Cards

From VIENNA, Austria, Oct. 28

• For EuroHotel Vienna Airport (1 Marco-Polo-Strasse, Fischamend, Austria), our reservations were made through Call Box Customer Contact Solutions (Encino, CA; 888/810-7464) on behalf of Allresnet.com (Phoenix, AZ; 800/892-2108).

Since the hotel at the Vienna Airport was expensive and did not have consistently good reviews, I found this off-site location, which is only eight minutes away by hotel shuttle. 

Three times we found the reception at the front desk ice cold, but don’t let that deter you. This 3-star hotel had clean, quiet rooms...

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ON CROATIA & SPAIN…

• In Barcelona, SPAIN, my partner, Jerry, and I tried Restaurant Cátedra (Via Laietana 5, Supteniente Navarro #19, Barcelona; phone 932 954 620 or e-mail cafecatedra@gmail.com), located within three blocks of Old Town and featuring good regional food at a reasonable price.

For about $15 each, we had the 3-course menu: salad or soup, choice of one of four entrées (among them, steak and salmon) and dessert plus bread and wine or beer. This was on Aug. 13, 2012.

• We disembarked in Dubrovnik, CROATIA, on Aug. 23 and, unable to find the shuttle bus...

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REPORT ON NETHERLANDS

The information about using ATM and credit cards with embedded chips for travel in Europe didn’t register with me before a trip in August-September 2012.

My husband, Ray, and I had no problem buying a train ticket in Copenhagen at the station or using our non-chip (magnetic-strip) cards in Norway or Sweden, but when we arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport our luck stopped. Neither the ATM machine, the manned GWK Travelex money-exchange booth nor the train ticket office would take our cards. Fortunately, we had a little cash and were able to purchase...

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REPORT ON AUSTRALIA…

Australia has become quite expensive, and Sydney will definitely get your wallet’s attention. Hotels in the heart of downtown are very pricey, but in October ’12 my husband and I found a jewel within walking distance for considerably less money. In the Potts Point area, the Victoria Court Hotel (122 Victoria St.; phone +61 2 9357 3200, fax 9357 7606) calls itself a boutique B&B.

The building dates from 1881, and there’s no elevator, but the rooms have modern conveniences. Each room is unique, so you need to ask if you want specific features. We paid...

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NETHERLANDS REPORT

For a week in the Netherlands, Dec. 20-27, 2012, my wife and I rented a car at Schiphol Airport from BB&L Car Rental (phone +31 20 6557900).

Reserving it over the Internet six to eight weeks in advance, our Category-A car cost €212 (near $283), all inclusive, with an extra driver allowed and unlimited mileage. We had a 3-door Renault Twingo with manual transmission and a GPS — a small car but perfectly suited to two people and the narrow roads of Holland.

Unlike the major car-rental companies, BB&L will meet you in the Schiphol Arrivals...

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REPORT ON ECUADOR…

After a week in the Galápagos Islands, four of us took a day of leisure in Quito, Ecuador, Feb. 4, 2013. Our hotel recommended a guide, Fabian Pulloquinga (fabianpullo@hotmail.com).

Fabian and his driver, Marco, picked us up at the hotel at 8:30 a.m. and returned us by 5 p.m.; we set the times. We paid $68 each. Fabian’s van was modern and clean, and Marco drove well and cautiously.

We toured Quito and the market town of Otavalo and had lunch in Cotacachi (at our own expense) in a typical Ecuadorian cantina.

There were both Ecuadorian...

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From Minori, ITALY, May 27, ’04. . .

• Hotel Villa Romana (Corso Vittorio Emanuele 90, Minori) — on the Amalfi Coast. We were traveling with another couple and stayed two nights here at approximately $165 per night with an EP food plan.

Our traveling partners had the sewer overflow and fill their bathroom upon taking a bath. Later that night we had bathrooms overflow and flood also. We were moved to another room where the air-conditioner did not work. We were moved twice more because there was no hot water in one room and, in the next, it took two people to open the door out...

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On GREECE, June ’04. . .

• Vitro Greek Taverna (27, Makrigiani St., Athens, Greece; phone 30 210/923 8124) — a pleasant neighborhood restaurant with sidewalk seating when the weather is good.

The food was tasty and relatively inexpensive (for Greece, where it’s fairly expensive). Not a large menu, but it offers traditional Greek food. Also a small, fixed-price menu at about €10-€12 for a main course; the à la carte prices are higher. Live music from about 7:45 p.m.

• Loukoulos Mediterranean Tastes (Korai 5, Iraklion, Crete, Greece; phone 2810/224 435).

This...

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