Vila Bled, Slovenia Review

by Yale Braunstein
Vila Bled, Slovenia Review

Vila Bled, Josip Broz Tito’s former official summer residence and guest house, is on the shore of Lake Bled in the Slovenian Alps. It became a hotel in 1984.
WHERE IS IT?
Vila Bled is 55 km from Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, and 360 km and a little over three hours from Munich, the closest major international gateway airport.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The hotel’s décor includes lots of local wood and classic mid-twentieth century furnishings.  …

Bled, Slovenia

by Yale Braunstein
Bled, Slovenia

500 meters above sea level, the town of Bled is a scenic alpine resort in northwestern Slovenia. Bled is perhaps best known for Lake Bled (Blejsko jezero in Slovene, Veldeser See in German) a 2,120 m long and 1,380 m wide lake surrounded by mountains and forests. The lake surrounds Bled Island (Blejski otok), home of the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church, a popular tourist destination where visitors …

Lufthansa Flight 4758, London to Munich

by Jonathan Spira
Lufthansa Flight 4758, London to Munich

Admittedly, I arrived at London Heathrow’s Terminal One a bit late for my flight, 26 hours late to be exact.  I did have a good excuse, however: the 35 cm of snow at JFK that delayed my initial outbound flight.   London had snow as well, all flights were delayed, and my scheduled flight was not until 8 p.m. (I arrived in London around noon).  Despite the long lines everywhere, I …

Mercedes-Benz SL600

by Paul Riegler
Mercedes-Benz SL600

MERCEDES-BENZ SL600
The SL roadster has been in the Mercedes lineup since 1957. Now in its fifth generation, the SL has featured a retractable hardtop since 2003.  According to Mercedes lore, the original 300SL roadster was created with the Southern California market in mind.
The SL was updated in 2009 and features a sporty new front fascia that is intended to connect visually with the 300SL.   Inside the elegant but slightly …

The Charles Hotel, Munich, Germany – Hotel Review

by Jonathan Spira
The Charles Hotel, Munich, Germany – Hotel Review

The Charles Hotel is different.  Unlike the typical luxury hotels of Europe, it is new construction (opened in 2007). Its cool white stone exterior nonetheless blends in with its surroundings, such as the 19th-century Justizpalast and the almost secret Alter Botanischer Garten (Old Botanical Garden).
This neo-classical hotel was built as a monument to Italian-born Charles Forte, who became one of England’s greatest hoteliers.  I arrived at the Charles after a delay-laden …

Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar, New York

by Jonathan Spira
Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar, New York

One block from Carnegie Hall in New York, just visited by the Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic), is the Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar.  Seasonal provides a year-round taste of Vienna and is representative of the new generation of Viennese restaurants in Austria and elsewhere that have moved away from the formal, dark, and gilded Habsburg era style to elegant and casual dining.
There is ample reason to go to Seasonal for the …

IRobot Roomba 560 Review

by Paul Riegler
IRobot Roomba 560 Review

A 1970s television commercial portrayed a woman outside of the home pursuing fun activities. She turned to the camera, smiled, and said “I’m cleaning my bathroom bowl.” Recently, on a flight to London, I turned to the passenger next to me and said, “I’m vacuuming my living room floor.”
How was I accomplishing this? My new iRobot Roomba 560 (which I’ve nicknamed Hazel) was on patrol. …