LL_Travelfan - "The Arts Aficionado"
Longtime Luxury Link traveler LL_Travelfan is a self-avowed "Arts Aficionado". Read her insights on a great vacation for culture lovers, and determine your own travel persona by taking this short, fun quiz. You can even enter to win a $500 credit towards your next luxury Link vacation; enter by August 31!
Q: What do you consider the best city in the world for art lovers?
A: As an art lover, I am hard-pressed to name just one of my favorite cities. Nonetheless, having lived in Paris for years, I have to say that Paris is outstanding. There are countless art museums in Paris both big and small, world famous and less well-known. A good hint for others is that the Louvre is free on the first Monday of every month. In addition to the formal museums the Paris art scene also offers first-rate galleries such as the Antiquaire du Louvre, the Village Swiss, Rue du Beaune or the Rue Saint Honore, and even flea markets like the Marche du Cliancourt, where you can see and touch, ask "how much?" and even take home some museum-quality pieces.
Q: Can you recommend a Luxury Link property that has “wowed” you with its design, architecture and/or artwork?
A: Some years ago we won a five-night Luxury Link "Discover Rome" package at the Hotel Raphael which was pure delight. The hotel itself was a warm refuge, and it was filled with art. The paintings, ceramics and furnishings were just outstanding. We enjoyed it all, and an added benefit is that this hotel is within walking distance of everything we came to Rome to see: Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, St. Peter's and the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Colosseum. (Editor’s note: Click here for the current Luxury Link vacation experiences in Rome.)
Q: What are some of your packing essentials for an arts-centric trip?
A: The number one priority is to have comfortable shoes. I can hike in the mountains for an entire day, but in a museum my feet used to hurt after only a couple of hours. Now that I'm careful to wear the proper shoes, I can enjoy painless museum visits. I also take my art guides and some internet printouts about the museums I am going to, but nothing is as good as a docent-guided tour or the audio guides offered by the museums to get new insights about what I'm seeing.
Q: How do you like to truly indulge while on vacation?
A: I try to get tickets to opera, ballet or concert performances ahead of time. You can easily obtain them on the internet. I have also purchased serious artwork while visiting art galleries and antique dealers. It is important to know something about the artist and know how much the artist's work is worth. Never buy anything on first sight. Always take time to research the work and the artist on the internet. Sleep on your decision and then go back the next day. Try to negotiate the price downward. I've found that more and more, most shops will consent to a price decrease to make a sale with the economy being what it is.
Q: What destination (that you have yet to visit), are you hoping to get to soon?
A: I am looking forward to visiting Saint Lucia, Anse Castanet/Jade Mountain this winter. I hope LL will come up with a good package or some special promotion. I am keeping my eyes open for it.