Hilton Budapest WestEnd Review

by Jonathan Spira
Hilton Budapest WestEnd Review

Attached to the huge and hugely popular WestEnd Center shopping mall, a nondescript glass-and-steel arc wrapping around the back of Gustav Eifel’s soaring Nyugati train station, the hotel blends into its surroundings. Although it is by far the newest building on the venerable Váci út,  its simple brick design belies the modern four-star hotel within.  An attractive lobby and attentive staff beckon.
WHERE IS IT?
Situated in the center of the business …

Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy by Car

by Jonathan Spira
Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy by Car

THE 2426 KM DRIVE
In 5 days, I covered 2426 km and four countries (Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy). I crossed international borders 22 times.   I planned each day’s drive the night before, choosing my destination primarily based on the promise of good weather.
11. November – 460 km, Germany, Austria, and Italy
Friends Rich and Jill joined me for breakfast and soon enough, we were on the Autobahn in two 2006 3er …

The Ultimate Souvenir: BMW’S European Delivery Program

by Jonathan Spira
The Ultimate Souvenir: BMW’S European Delivery Program

FOR FORTY YEARS, AMERICAN BMW BUYERS HAVE BEEN TAKING THEIR BRAND-NEW CARS ON A FINE VACATION
Since the 1960s, several thousand Americans each year have taken a trip to Munich, Germany with one goal in mind.  Unlike the other American tourists, they are not there for the beer, the Schnitzel, the museums and art galleries, and the Gemütlichkeit alone.  The real reason for the trip: to pick up a new BMW …

InterContinental Resort Berchtesgaden

by Jonathan Spira
InterContinental Resort Berchtesgaden

Getting there is half the fun when you visit the InterContinental Resort Berchtesgaden. Few hotels offer amenities such as a twisty drive via the Alpenstraße.  My car’s navigation system guided me through the fog as we climbed to an altitude of 1000 meters.  Even though it was dark, I could sense how incredible the view would be.
And, come morning, the view was incredible.  The InterContinental Resort Berchtesgaden, built on the …

The Road Warrior’s European Fly/Drive Sojourn

by Jonathan Spira
The Road Warrior’s European Fly/Drive Sojourn

Friday, November 11, 2005, Munich Germany
Last week, we left off with success (insofar as Internet connectivity was concerned) in the Confetti Suite; this after two other suites had no connectivity.  Prior to my departure from the hotel (today’s plans called for a drive from Munich to Italy via Innsbruck across the Brennerpaß
as far as Sferzing, and looping back to Berchtesgaden), I passed by the front desk just in time to …

Connexion by Boeing: In-flight Internet Access Takes Off

by Jonathan Spira
Connexion by Boeing: In-flight Internet Access Takes Off

Lufthansa has offered FlyNet in-flight Internet service (powered by Connexion by Boeing) since mid-2004; recently, the airline added the service to New York flights ( it was launched on the Los Angeles – Munich route).  Here is a test drive.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005, 11,000 m over Europe
As soon as we reached cruising altitude, my computer detected Wi-Fi and I logged into FlyNet.  Seat power outlets are conveniently located and I had …

The Internet is in the Hands of the Lawyers

by Jonathan Spira

Wednesday, 9 November 2005, New York City
I start writing this column in Lufthansa’s Senator lounge.  I’m about to depart on a flight from New York (JFK) to Munich (MUC).  First things first: Lufthansa has the best beer; perhaps I shouldn’t mention this, but they have Spaten Oktoberfest on tap.
But I digress.
I’m going to Munich for several reasons, including client meetings and to participate in BMW’s European Delivery program.  The trip …