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This Month's Hot Deals

A Compilation of the Best Travel Advice of 2014

AmsterdamBREAKFAST IN AMSTERDAM -- writes Evelyn in Toronto, Canada -- If you fancy a bagel rather than a croissant... If you are looking for an American style breakfast or brunch... Then you will be very comfortable at the low key chain called, Bagels and Beans. When I was there with my travelling pals we were the only tourists in the place and it was great fun chatting with all the locals. There are loads of these cafés around town. I recommend you don't seek out the ones right in the center of the city but look for the ones in residential neighbourhoods. I'm enclosing a link to their website (in Dutch) with all their locations . Don't worry, addresses are easy to read in both languages. When you get there everybody will speak English and offer you an English menu if you need it. We really enjoyed it. P.S. We were there in the summer and since our location was beside a canal we sat at tables outside. Lovely! Website: P.S. They're also on Twitter so you can connect that way.

Tel AvivFISH RESTAURANT IN TEL AVIV, ISRAEL -- writes Rosie in Toronto, Canada -- I would like to recommend Barbunya, a no-frills outdoor eatery serving a delicious fixed-price meal of fish and seafood, with the choices dependent on the daily catch. It's our go to place the night we arrive in Israel when we want a taste of Israel but we're not really looking for a fancy dining experience. The meal includes a dozen or so all you can eat mezzes (appetizers) which are included with the meal. Israelis love this place so it can get very busy here. Address: 163 Ben Yehuda located on a bus line that runs frequently.

DubaiFABULOUS SHOPPING IN DUBAI, UAE -- writes Helen in Montreal, Canada -- If you have only a short time in Dubai, the one place not to miss is the Dubai Mall. With its approximately 1200 stores, it's the largest mall in the world, and you can literally shop 'til you drop! But even if you're not a shopper, it's worth a visit to see the multi-storey aquarium and underwater zoo. And when you're at the mall you're also at the foot of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. But the best part of the mall is the outdoors Dubai Fountains which are choreographed to soundtracks. Daily performances begin at dusk and are free. Dubai Mall is directly accessible by the safe, clean metro.

AmsterdamOUTSTANDING PLACE TO STAY IN AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS -- writes Kathleen in Spokane, USA -- The Hotel Estherea on the Singel Canal in Amsterdam is an outstanding place to stay for singles or anyone. A long-time family owned boutique-style hotel in the heart of the city, the whole of the facility is lovely with beautiful rooms -- public and private, a lavish buffet breakfast offered & a staff that treats you like family. A resident cat and a very large aquarium in the elegant yet homey lobby add interest to one's stay. Loved it!

Igauzu FallsWOMAN FRIENDLY HOTEL AT IGAUZU FALLS, ARGENTINA -- writes Darice in La Grange Park, USA -- Journey Woman has been very helpful to me in past world ventures, so I couldn't wait to finally share this great one. I just got back from a fabulous nine-day journey to Argentina. I stayed at Hotel Amerian Portal del Iguazu at Igauzu Falls and it was marvelous. Perfect for a woman traveler - excellent help at the reception (English speaking), wonderful pools, fantastic food, very clean rooms with nice amenities, and a gorgeous spa. Priced very reasonably with easy taxi transportation to and from the town/shopping and short way away from a large casino with an excellent restaurant and tango show. Beautiful view of three countries on the Iguazu River (Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina). Highly recommended; I couldn't have asked for a more relaxing time. Website:

San FranciscoWELL PRICED HOTEL IN SAN FRANCISCO -- writes Claudia in Los Angeles, USA -- I'm a San Francisco area native who dwells in SoCal but I go back as often as possible. On my last sojourn I found a new hotel I'd like to recommend. Part of the Joie de Vivre hotel chain (a group I love), the Hotel Carlton is a winner. Deals can be had online, so do your homework. My friend and I got a room with two double beds for $143.00 before taxes. Looking at the bill, the grand total was $166.44. Shared between two folks, not bad for a room in San Francisco. The neighborhood is going through gentrification so what was once considered unsafe is now becoming hip. The hotel staff are fantastic, there is a restaurant which we didn't try as we had reservations elsewhere. But when we returned the place was packed. I believe our room was #510 and it was perfect. Nice view, flat screen TV, great shower, and comfortable beds. The lobby is gorgeous and relaxing BUT the absolute best part is a coffee shop that I've been going to for over 20 years for breakfast is two blocks away. Total neighborhood place, tiny, but with stellar breakfasts at inexpensive prices. You must try The Golden Coffee Shop located at 901 Sutter Street.

ParisQUAINT SHOP IN PARIS -- writes Mary in Delavan, USA -- I spent Thanksgiving in Paris and found a tiny charming shop that is a real gem. It is Les Metamorphoses and it is on the Left Bank in the 5th arr. at 45 rue de Petit Pont. The owner, a small elderly woman and her daughter repair and sell vintage and antique jewelry. You won't need to speak French; they speak English very well. The déor, with deer heads on the wall is eclectic (to say the least). They showcase lovely older jewelry - most never worn. I could have bought so many things, but I did buy a pair of cameo earrings with pearl dangles circa 1930 that I love and the prices were not unreasonable. Recommended!


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