Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Staying at a Contemporary Hotel in an Old German Colonial Town in Namibia

Luderitz Nest HotelI had come to the coast of southwestern Namibia with one purpose in mind: to visit Kolmanskop, one of the world’s best ghost towns, something I had been yearning to see for a couple of decades. Not to my surprise, it immediately became one of the highlights of my two weeks in this sparsely populated and wonderfully friendly country. And, after spending a few hours roaming around this remnant of a German colonial diamond-mining town, occasionally being stung by the desert sand in this windy location, I was equally happy to head to the hotel that was serving as my accommodations for a couple of nights, Lüderitz Nest Hotel, fewer than 10 miles down the road in the small city of Lüderitz. With its waterside location, wonderful service, and terrific menu in its restaurant, it’s the ideal place to stay. Read more about it >


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The Executive Hotel: Not Just for CEOs

Executive Hotel, Mendoza, ArgentinaWith its abundance of tree-lined streets, inviting parks and plazas, and very close proximity to nearly two dozen wineries — and with Mt. Aconcagua just three hours away through stunning scenery — the city of Mendoza is an ideal base to explore this region of Argentina. And when you’re staying in this laid-back locale, the Amérian Executive Mendoza Hotel rises to the top of the list of choices for your accommodations, and with very good reasons. Read more >


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Staying at a Great B&B in KC, MO

Jefferson House Bed and Breakfast, Kansas City, MissouriMissouri always seems to be unbearably humid. When I went to St. Louis and St. Charles in April a few years ago, residents said it felt like August, not spring. This time, in October in Kansas City, it felt like August again. So, after roaming around all day in the unseasonably uncomfortable weather, it was time to check in to Jefferson House Bed and Breakfast for some much-deserved respite. Read more >


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Modern Comforts and Historic Flair at Hotel at Old Town in Wichita, Kansas

Hotel at Old Town, Wichita, KansasOld Town in Wichita, Kansas, attracted me right from the start. I explored this revitalized neighborhood by walking along the brick streets, among the brick and native-limestone warehouses from the mid-1800s that have been converted into businesses, restaurants, loft residences, and shops. As its appeal grew, I couldn’t have been more pleased to be staying in the heart of it, at Hotel at Old Town, itself a transformation from the city’s largest warehouse to one of Wichita’s top accommodations. Read more about it >


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Indulge at One of the World’s Most Famous Hotels, The Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe

Cabana, Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls, ZimbabweOriginally conceived as accommodations for workers constructing a railway through Africa, The Victoria Falls Hotel today could never be imagined for such a humble beginning. Indeed, this five-star, luxurious hotel now hosts monarchs, presidents, and the über-wealthy, boasting everything you would expect from one of The Leading Hotels of the World: flawless service, beautiful grounds, great views, and superb dining, all mixed with a remarkable history and fine architecture. Read more >


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An Easy — and Wonderful — Introduction to Namibia at Windhoek’s Villa Vista Guesthouse

Villa Vista Guesthouse, Windhoek, NamibiaAfter spending nearly a full day traveling in economy class on airplanes, flying from New York to Windhoek, Namibia, via Johannesburg, the first thing I wanted to see after hopping in my rental car and driving a half hour into the city was a restful bed. Fortunately, I had made reservations at Villa Vista Guesthouse, where everything from large, comfortable rooms to delightful breakfasts with a view assured me of a hassle-free and amiable entry into the first African country I ever visited. Read more about this terrific accommodation >


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A Mountain Oasis in an Overcrowded Town

Aries Hotel, Zakopane, PolandThe mountain village of Zakopane seems to always be too full. In the winter, snow aficionados flock to the ski resorts of this southern Polish town near the Slovakia border. In fairer weather, hikers scale the trails of the impressively scenic Tatra Mountains. And all year long, everyone jams the main strip to shop, eat, and admire the unique wooden architecture that has made this a notable town. There’s no escaping the crowds — except for when you check in to ARIES Hotel & Spa, a welcome oasis that’s still in the heart of town. Read more >


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Oceanside Luxury in Swakopmund, Namibia

Strand Hotel, Swakopmund, NamibiaEnticingly comfortable rooms and luxurious suites, with satellite TV and Wi-Fi, proper tea service, great air conditioning, and well-designed bathrooms. Three restaurants, a lobby bar, and a beer garden. Relaxing lounges. Private parking. Superior staff and knowledgeable activities directors. Gym and full-service spa. It could be a list of requirements from guests at hotels in the world’s most-visited cities. But this is not New York, for example, or Tokyo. This is Swakopmund, Namibia, and you’ve just checked in to the Strand Hotel, a fine four-star hotel with gorgeous nightly sunsets and just about everything you could possibly want in a hotel. Read more >


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Quiet Luxury in the Polish Capital

Hotel Bellotto, Warsaw, PolandEven though it’s one of the premiere hotels in Warsaw, Poland, it sounds Italian — and with good reason. Hotel Bellotto was named after Bernardo Bellotto, the Venetian artist who spent the last 20 years of his life in Poland, unwittingly playing a critical role in the rebuilding of Warsaw after nearly the entire city was destroyed during World War II, long after he died in 1780. Today, the five-star hotel’s name pays homage to this critical player in Warsaw’s rebirth while providing exceptionally wonderful services and luxurious rooms. Read more about it >


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Accommodations on a Horse Farm With Mesmerizing Scenery in Franz Josef, New Zealand

My 10-hour drive down the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island brought me from a subtropical environment with beaches, ferns, and palm trees in Abel Tasman National Park and the town of Kaiteriteri to the ranges of the Southern Alps and snow-topped mountains. The wonderful diversity of the country’s landscapes and climates fully comes alive on State Highway 6, a route that largely hugs the wild coast and occasionally turns inland to, for instance, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, where I had booked a night’s stay at Glacier Cottages in the township of Franz Josef. Quiet and scenic, with unexpected four-legged entertainment and free milk — you’ll want to spend more than just one night here. Read more >