Report Cards

From IRELAND, Jan. 19, ’04

• Flew Aer Lingus from New York’s JFK to Shannon airport in Ireland. Flight was on time, with friendly service. Cabin was clean but slightly cramped.

• Stayed at the Four Seasons B&B (phone 092-6474470) in Athlone, Ireland. This was a slightly removed, quiet and spotless B&B with a most accommodating host. Rate was approximately US$50 for a single.

• Ireland remains a friendly, welcoming nation. I followed my usual safety precautions.

Expect to pay approximately US$4 for a gallon of petrol, US$4 for a pint of lager, US$10-$20 for lunch and US$15-$25 for dinner.

— Jeff Banas, Terryville, CT

On LUXEMBOURG, January ’04. . .

• We ate at Hotel Victor Hugo (1 Rue Victor Hugo, Vianden, Luxembourg). Located about 27 miles outside of Luxembourg City, this a true, elegant country inn that housed the exiled French author.

City dwellers come to the country for dishes that are “French in style and flair but German in portion!” A 3-course meal with wine cost €50 (near $59) per person. Start with crémant (a Luxembourg champagne) and try a free appetizer. Then have the veal cordon bleu and end with Dame Blanche. Ooh-la-la! No wonder Victor Hugo stayed here.

— Jennifer Eisenlau, Boulder, CO

From Paris, FRANCE, Dec. 8, ’03. . .

• During our trip, Dec. 5-12, we had an excellent lunch in an 11th-century house, l’Auberge de la Grange (3, rue St. Jean, Ville Haute, Provence). Our 3-course meal of appetizer, main dish and cheese or dessert cost €16.50 (near $20) with service and tax included.

— George Lauscher, Bohemia, NY

From Paris, FRANCE, Oct. 21, ’03. . .

Quality Hotel Cannes Riveria (16 Blvd. d’Alsace, 06400 Cannes, France; phone, from the U.S., 800/654-6200 or, from the U.K., 0800 44 4444, — across from the train station and very close to the Old Town. Only 500 meters from the beach. (Access the A8 west to blvd Carnot, then left to blvd d’Alsace.)

This is a charming hotel with immaculate rooms, nice bathrooms (with tubs), closets, TVs and hair dryers. €85 ($96) single, €105 ($120) double or €160 ($182) suite.

There was a large conference room with all facilities and bar. Also a pool.

Beautiful breakfast room, very colorful and charming. The petit dejeuner was €12 (about $13.80).

Hotel Louvre Montana (12, rue Saint Roch, 75001 Paris; phone +33 1426035 10, e-mail or visit — located around the corner from the Tuillerie Gardens, close to the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. Very central location and a great walking area.

Rooms have nice bathrooms; a hair dryer is provided, as is a safe. Singles and doubles from €169 upward. €12 for breakfast.

• Located one block away at 33 rue Saint Roch (phone 01 4261 4083) is a charming, inexpensive restaurant. It’s open for lunch and dinner.

— Arlene J. Goodhead,, La Jolla, CA