Report Cards

This item appears on page 4 of the December 2009 issue.

From VIENNA, Austria, Oct. 5, 2009…

• Situated directly across from the Vienna International Airport arrivals hall, the NH Vienna Airport Hotel (Hotelstrasse 1, 1300 Vienna; phone 43 1701510, e-mail has the airport on its doorstep. The city center can be reached easily in 15 minutes.

In my opinion, this is a 4-star hotel. The facilities are first rate. It has 500 rooms with contemporary interior décor and design. There is a bar as well as a restaurant with a well-balanced menu. The fitness center is modern, and there is a business center with a library. Internet is available in the entire hotel.

The staff was very pleasant and most spoke English.

The room for my wife and me cost €133.60 and the buffet breakfast, €19.

— Bernard Goodhead, La Jolla, CA

From Kent, BRITAIN, Oct. 3

• Planning a trip to the UK, we used Cottages 4 You (www.cottages to investigate cottages or apartments available for rent by the week, and we were very pleased with their selection and prices.

• We stayed at Ramsgate Harbour at The Castle (68 Harbour Parade, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 8LN, U.K.; phone 0845 6120480), in apartment 4. Including booking fee, the cost for the week, Sept. 26-Oct. 3, was £352.50 (about $560).

The apartment consisted of two bedrooms (a large room with a double bed and a small room with a twin bed); a large bathroom with both tub and shower; a large kitchen with eating area, and a large living room with a magnificent view of the harbor.

The only drawbacks — it was on the third floor, with no elevator, and parking was a problem on Harbour Parade; however, there was a parking garage only a couple of blocks away.

• Within walking distance of the harbor, the Italian La Magnolia Restaurant (9-12 Westcliffe Arcade, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 8LH, U.K.; phone 01843 580477) is located on the west cliff and has a panoramic view.

The service was excellent, as was the food. Prices are reasonable — the best pasta carbonara I’ve ever eaten was only £6.95 ($11), as was the calamari appetizer.

Corby’s Tea Room (18-20 York St., Ramsgate, Kent CT11 9DS, U.K.; phone 01843 586078) is decorated with old photos of Ramsgate — a very homey and very friendly atmosphere.

We ate here twice — one afternoon for a cream tea (only £4.50 for two people) and once for a light lunch with an utterly delicious sandwich of avocado and brie.

The owner, Pat Corby, made us feel at home both times and chatted with us.

• For sightseeing, we contacted the Kent Greeters (Crampton Tower, The Broadway, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 2AB, England; phone +44 [0] 7500 080076, www.visit, a group of volunteers who are knowledgeable about and love the area and will share this love and information with you at no charge.

We were given an hour’s walking tour of Ramsgate, having a chance to converse with a local person about the area and learning some of the history and visiting spots we would not have found on our own. We highly recommend them.

— Vicki Schell, Pensacola, FL

From SWITZERLAND, Oct. 2 & 3, 2009…

• I write from the Glacier Express, which on Oct. 2 is lightly occupied. Fellow ITN subscribers should know that all cars on the train are now “panorama,” with headphones. (The high windows make reflections that interfere with photography.)

I see little difference between first- and second-class seats so am glad I chose the latter.

• Today, Oct. 3, I found the Bernina Express train a more exciting ride although only half as long.

• There is a nice, inexpensive hotel, Hotel Bellaval (Via Grevas 55, 7500 St. Moritz; phone +41 81 833 32 45, fax 833 04 06, www., at the St. Moritz train station, making it easy to ride the Glacier Express and Bernina Express on successive days.

— Carol Anderson, Boynton Beach, FL

On INDIA, October ’09…

A tour of India, Sept. 30-Oct. 17, 2009, with Worldview Tours (Box 11417, Newport Beach, CA 92658-1417; 800/373-0388) was absolutely the best!

We chose an individually tailored itinerary, including once-in-a-lifetime upgrades to palace hotels in Rajasthan — now I know what heaven is like!

We started in New Delhi and visited Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaipur, Agra, Khajuraho and Varanasi. Including internal air and hotels, with breakfasts, the land-only cost was approximately $7,000.

India offers incredible variety, and Worldview — with flawless execution — gave our group of four experienced, educated travelers VIP treatment. Accommodations were excellent, guides were superlative, and the food was sublime. We look forward to going back.

— Steven J. Baker, San Francisco, CA