Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Silence and Stars at Namibia’s Desert Homestead Outpost

Desert Homestead Outpost, Sesriem, NamibiaThe nearest town, the rather small settlement of Sesriem, was about 25 miles away, a drive through unspoiled nature with nary a soul around. The isolation of Desert Homestead Outpost here in southern Namibia is part of its broad appeal, providing a chance to forgo televisions, computers, and telephones, and immerse yourself in natural beauty and quiet. Throw in superb lodgings, warm service, and outstanding food, and you have one of the most remarkable accommodations in Namibia. Read more >

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Comfort and Character at the Hotel del Antiguo Convento in Salta, Argentina

Hotel del Antiguo Convento, Salta, ArgentinaYou’ve spent the day roaming the engaging streets of Salta, Argentina, or perhaps exploring the fascinating landscapes outside of town. You went out to dinner late, as is the local tradition, and hopefully had a glass or two of some fantastic Argentine Malbec. What you want most now is a comfortable, clean, convenient, and charming lodging to rest your weary but contented head. And that’s exactly what you’ll find when you check in to the Hotel del Antiguo Convento. Read more >


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Old World Ambience at Helena’s Sanders Bed & Breakfast

Sanders B&B, Helena, MontanaWhen I parked my rental car in front of The Sanders Bed & Breakfast in Helena, Montana, I knew I wouldn’t be returning to it for a few days. I had arrived in a handsome, leafy, residential district in the state’s capital — an area that demands to be explored by foot, inviting you on long walks past impressive homes, historic sites, and some noteworthy restaurants. And when you’re ready to call it a day, The Sanders, more than 100 years old, welcomes you back with snacks, pleasant conversation, and marvelous accommodations from a bygone era. Read more >


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Christmas at Steigenberger Metropolitan Hotel in Frankfurt, Germany

Steigenberger Metropolitan Hotel, Frankfurt, GermanyI was spending the most wonderful time of the year in Germany, traveling by train to half a dozen cities in search of the best Christmas markets. Having chosen Frankfurt as my base for a week of day trips elsewhere, I needed a hotel close to the central train station to ensure that I’d arrive without a hassle early every morning to catch the impressively punctual trains to my destinations. Without much of a challenge, I found the Steigenberger Metropolitan Hotel. Although I booked my room here based solely on its location directly across the street from the station, the hotel’s other merits soon won me over, surpassing my expectations, right down to the little nightly treats on my pillow. Read more >


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A Night in a Barn in Scottsbluff, Nebraska

Barn Anew, Scottsbluff, NebraskaOccasionally in my youth, if I ever happened to leave a door open, my parents would ask me if I lived in a barn. I never understood that commonly employed expression: Do people in barns leave the doors open? Wouldn’t the horses and cows and pigs get out? Was it just something that city dwellers said to disparage rural folk? I never found out. But now that I have stayed overnight at Barn Anew, a terrifically unique bed and breakfast in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, I can say for the first time that, yes, I have lived in a barn. Read more >


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Staying in the Cradle of New Zealand Tourism at Robertson House

Robertson House, Rotorua, New ZealandEvery day in Rotorua, the birthplace of New Zealand tourism, I explored and was continually awed by the region’s gorgeous natural features — the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, the giant redwoods in Whakarewarewa Forest. I took in the Maori village of Whakarewarewa, fell in love with the wonderful buildings of the Rotorua Museum, and relaxed in the meticulously maintained Government Gardens. And every night I returned to the Robertson House, a comfortable bed and breakfast in a quiet neighborhood about a 10-minute walk from the city center. This lovely establishment had all the requisites of a desirable B&B: a charming property, a convenient location, an excellent host, and a very satisfying first meal of the day. As an added bonus, it had the laziest, most adorable dog imaginable. Read more >


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Luxurious Indulgence in Helsinki

Hotel Kämp, Helsinki, FinlandA little bit of luxury when you’re on vacation is always a welcome thing. In Helsinki, when you want to treat yourself and combine that luxury with a roller-coaster history, tasteful elegance, flawless service and a perfect location in the heart of the Finnish capital, you stay at Hotel Kämp. Read more >