Author Archive for Joy Davidson

Santa Fe, New Mexico: two unparalleled stays in "the land of enchantment"

Santa Fe, New Mexico: two unparalleled stays in “the land of enchantment”

The American Southwest is a place of stark, almost unearthly beauty. And the city of Santa Fe is perhaps the most extraordinary urban locale in a region where everything transcends the ordinary.  Condé Nast Traveler calls it one of the top 25 cities of the world, but locals would differ – they’d designate it city […]

The hippest luxury hotel in Manhattan’s newest neighborhood

The hippest luxury hotel in Manhattan’s newest neighborhood

Marathon traveling can thrill the soul and quench one’s thirst for novelty, but eventually it leaves in its wake a hunger for … (dare I say it?) … the familiar. After spending eight months as a global nomad, I returned to Manhattan—where I’d previously lived for eight years. The only glitch was that my apartment […]

The most astoundingly beautiful luxury hotel in Florence, Italy

The most astoundingly beautiful luxury hotel in Florence, Italy

Visitors to Florence don’t usually see its true architectural legacy as they wander the cobbled streets. That’s because so much of the city’s artistry and opulence remain discreet; tucked-away like long-held secrets behind unadorned walls of stucco and stone. Even a treasure like the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze blends so faultlessly with adjacent structures that […]

Stunning historic inns in Tuscany’s hilltop towns

Stunning historic inns in Tuscany’s hilltop towns

The ancient hilltop villages of Tuscany are famous today for their churches, their charm, and their cheeses; for their vineyards and their vampires (the movie version, of course); and certainly for their art and architecture. Some are also blessed with inns so special that they have become Tuscan treasures in their own right. In the […]

Vienna’s 3 most impressive luxury hotels

Vienna’s 3 most impressive luxury hotels

Vienna is a city of Rorschach-like elements that evoke personal, idiosyncratic responses. It is, after all, the city that gave birth to psychoanalysis and spawned the dramatic art of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. So it makes sense that, like the town itself, Vienna’s great hotels should leave us with strong impressions. The hotels I […]

Happily ever after at the Four Seasons Prague

Happily ever after at the Four Seasons Prague

Along the picturesque Vltava River, the Old Town of Prague rises out of the morning mist shimmering in fairytale magic.  To visit this city is to be whisked along on a stream of storybook memories that take your breath away.   And, to settle into the Four Seasons hotel is to set the stage for […]

Top 3 Barcelona surprises

Top 3 Barcelona surprises

Hopping on a jet to Barcelona at the spur of the moment during the height of tourist season is not a smart move. I did it anyway, and my first 48 hours in town could inspire a whole book of travel “don’ts”. Yet even dumb choices can have wonderful outcomes. In this case, leaping before […]

Everything you need to know about London’s most exalted five-star hotels

Everything you need to know about London’s most exalted five-star hotels

Last year Forbes Magazine added London to the group of cities blessed with its exclusive Travel Guide Star Ratings. Only five hotels among the city’s scores of palatial guest quarters received the lauded Forbes fifth star, while a sixth hotel was brought into the fold in September. This group includes some of the most famous […]

6 spectacular places to stay in Scotland

6 spectacular places to stay in Scotland

Scotland’s immense beauty is reason alone to visit, never mind extras like whisky trails, world-class golfing, the fairy pools of Skye, or actual castles in the sky.  Luxury accommodations are as varied as the country’s landscape, with properties to match your preference whether you lean toward urban hotels, rural hunting lodges, tiny inns, or private […]

Top 3 small, charming, luxury English hotels

Top 3 small, charming, luxury English hotels

England is resplendent with charming small hotels where guests can savor all the essentials of contemporary luxury as they sample the bright flavors of each distinctive property. Here are three of my favorite homes away from home, spread across English soil, starting with the urban chic of The Dorset Square Hotel in London, then on to […]

To the manor reborn: a hotel that makes you feel like royalty

To the manor reborn: a hotel that makes you feel like royalty

The English countryside is where royalty goes to quell the noise of their public lives; it’s where stately homes the size of city blocks stand sentinel amidst rolling hills; and it’s where you and I can go to feel like queens and kings, even if just for a sliver of time. Here I cover one of […]

A perfect romantic break in the center of Amsterdam

A perfect romantic break in the center of Amsterdam

With its serpentine canals, sprawling parks and artist’s heart, Amsterdam provides an effortless backdrop to romance. The city’s Conservatorium Hotel is just the spot to cocoon in sensory splendor, while remaining mere steps from the city’s famed museums, designer shops, and bohemian cafes. Built in the 19th Century, with incarnations as both a bank and […]