Distinctive Accommodations

Distinctive Accommodations

A Variety of Accommodations

We know that hotels aren’t the main reason for traveling. But it happens that good accommodations can enhance your overall tour experience – and great accommodations can contribute to a great trip. So we select those hotels that we believe are the best for a particular trip and experience – those that will offer our guests the best combination of quality, value, and atmosphere for each destination. Our hotels in major cities are usually centrally located so guests can get around easier; our unique lodgings are often out of the way, offering our tour members a local ambiance larger groups never experience.

We categorize our diverse selection of accommodations as follows:

Excellent Hotels
These are the Deluxe, Superior First Class, and First Class accommodations we use in major cities worldwide, including well-known chain hotels as well as independently-owned properties. You can expect excellent service and amenities in these well-located properties.

Unique Lodgings
Perhaps our most interesting lodgings, these properties cater to small groups and independent travelers, and generally are not available to conventional groups of 40 or more. From the historic paradores of Spain and pousadas of Portugal to a French farmhouse or a Tuscan villa, these accommodations often are destinations in themselves.

Small Ships
We leave the mass-market big ship cruise experience to others, and instead focus on the smaller, more intimate ships that ply distinctive waterways. As you cruise along the Yangtze River, the Turquoise Coast, or the Greek Islands, among others, your small ship is as much a part of the journey as the places you visit. These vessels let you see the life of a country up close, and allow you to disembark frequently to explore ashore. And while they may vary from simple and comfortable to truly deluxe, these ships generally feature a casual on-board atmosphere, single-seating dining, and amenities such as lounges, boutiques, and plenty of open deck space.

How We Rate Hotels

Our itineraries list a rating beside each hotel. Rather than impose our own subjective ratings, our source is the standard travel industry manual, Hotel & Travel Index, which ranks hotels throughout the world based on standard criteria. This allows you to effectively judge the value of a particular trip and accommodations, and to make an educated decision relative to other travel companies.

Hotel Classifications

Geared to travel professionals in the travel industry, the Hotel & Travel Index’s classification system comprises three categories: Deluxe, First Class, and Tourist Class. Within each category, a lodging may be rated superior, moderate, or with limited service to further define it.

Unrated Accommodations

Some hotels may be too small, too new, or too remote to be included in the Index, so we list them as Not Rated. This in no way infers inferior quality or service. Please note that our small ships are not included in the Index; their ratings here are based on the classifications of their operators.