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At the northern end of George Street, opposite Circular Quay and the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Four Seasons hotel offers everything guests might need, right on the doorstep of the Sydney Harbour. It’s no surprise this is one of the most popular hotels among business and leisure travelers, and it books out a year in advance for New Year’s Eve. In typical Four Seasons fashion, the hotel is outfitted with caramel-colored furnishings, dark woods, and romantic lighting—exemplified by the lobby’s crystal overhead lights and the hanging lantern installation—and the top-tier suites are dressed to impress. They all offer an apartment-style ambience and incredible harbor panoramas from their perch on the 34th floor; the Royal Suite is especially beautiful, with parquet floors, an ornate wardrobe, and Roman blinds. Whether staying for work or pleasure, all guests will appreciate the fine-dining restaurant, the cherry-wood bar that specializes in boutique beers and wines, the full-service spa, and the 24-hour gym. The Four Seasons also puts together exclusive guest experiences, such as a harbor tour led by a renowned local photographer.
about 2 hours ago
Chiseled from a sandstone-and-brick wool factory on the site of Sydney’s first hospital, the Harbour Rocks Hotel is one of the most historic accommodations in the Rocks—and maybe the most haunted. Hotel staff say part of the building, named Scarlett’s Cottages after a well-known lady of the night, is watched over by Eric, a man who once lived here and who still searches for Scarlett in the labyrinthine corridors after she swore her love to him and then disappeared. Ghosts aside, the hotel’s 59 rooms are peaceful, with high ceilings, Georgian arched windows, brick walls painted dark gray, Old West–style textiles, and wool carpeting that recalls the building’s former life. The place is filled with fun artifacts, too, from the ancient luggage lift to old maps and letters framed on the walls. The early-20th-century history that pervades the building is also found in every direction outside its doors.
about 3 hours ago
Cune (owned by Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, CVNE) is a century-old family winery in Rioja Alta, located in the Barrio de la Estación de Haro, the wine capital. An early misspelling stuck and turned CVNE into Cune. It's fun to visit wineries all over the world, but listening to detailed presentations on how wine is produced over and over again can get monotonous for the most passionate oenophiles amongst us. Because of Cune's extensive history and age, some of the winery's spaces that you can visit here are extraordinary. One of them is a beautiful, vast, column-less wine cellar of no less than 800 sq m (8600 sq ft). It holds 400 barrels of wine and is attributed to Gustave Eiffel's architecture practice (think Eiffel Tower). And then there's the insane, mold covered bottle graveyard deep in the caves of Cune, that contains bottles all the way from the beginning of the winery's existence. The mold, Penicilin, thrives here; the conditions (12 degrees centigrade and 100% humidity) are perfect. And so are the visuals! If this is your first winery visit in Rioja, make sure you get a reservation, as they may not be able to accommodate you otherwise. ____________________________ A warm thank you: My travels through the Basque Country were courtesy of Romo Tur (http://www.romotur.com/). The amazing folks at MedjetAssist (https://medjetassist.com) ensure that I take trips, not chances.
about 5 hours ago
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