BANK ON IT
I recently discovered the best accommodation in the heart of Paris, the Hotel De Deux Iles, Rue Saint-Louis en L'ile. This quiet, village-like, mostly traffic-free location allows people to wander and enjoy the local bakeries and restaurants.
Pedestrian bridges cross from the island (to both right and left banks of Paris) and a tourist bus stop is a 10-minute walk away, past Notre Dame.
At night, views from the bridges are enchanting. The Eiffel Tower's lights twinkle above the city skyline and the Seine shimmers with the reflections of passing boats. Magic.
Carmel Liddell, Winston Hills, NSW
PAIN IN SPAIN
A little while before leaving Australia for a trip to Europe I read in Traveller about using Santanda ATMs in Spain for free withdrawals as others charge unreasonable fees. But I was disappointed to find seemingly all ATMs in Spain charge €5 for withdrawals, with all having a €200 limit. Best take some extra euros with you to Spain, I suggest.
Warren Thomas, Merimbula, NSW
On a recent business class Singapore Airlines flight I had the misfortune to break a front tooth crown on a hard after-dinner chocolate that had not, in my view, been properly brought to cabin temperature.
While my wife commented about my problem to the flight attendant soon afterwards we unfortunately did not request an incident report form, and none was offered. More than $1000 out of pocket, my post-trip communication with the airline was met by an inflexible and legalistic reply notably lacking in goodwill.
Be warned, with any prospect of a claim for negligence be sure to demand the necessary paperwork on board, no matter how tired or confused you may be.
Gordon Bell, Kiama, NSW
Check your travel insurance product disclosure statement carefully before purchasing your policy, especially regarding pre-existing conditions. I bought travel insurance months before a trip, declaring and paying a sizable additional premium for pre-existing conditions.
Several weeks before the trip I experienced a health event I had never had before and unrelated to pre-existing conditions.
Fortunately I recovered quickly, got the medical OK to travel and informed my travel insurer (who are rated five-star by Canstar).
I learned that some companies' policies require an additional assessment and premium for events that occur between taking the policy out and travelling, even though I had both purchased the policy and declared pre-existing conditions. At this stage I felt captive to this company and paid the extra premium.
I now know that there are other travel insurance companies that do not charge additional premiums for conditions that arise between taking the policy out and travelling. I will be insuring with one of them next time.
Steve Fahey, Footscray, VIC
LEI OF THE LAND
I was surprised to read in Jane Richards' article on the Laylow Hotel in Waikiki that she was puzzled at the lack of eating areas and bars taking advantage of the ''killer sunset'' in Waikiki.
I have spent many holidays in Waikiki and the sunsets are amazing and can be enjoyed at such places as Dukes on the Beach, the Hula Grill, Chucks Steakhouse, Moana Bar under the Banyan tree at the Moana Hotel, where there is also entertainment and my favourite haunt is the Halekulani Hotel – the House with no Key, where they also have live entertainment.
These are just a few of my favourites … there are also bars and eateries at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the Sheraton Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian and the Hyatt at Waikiki.
Lorraine Craig, St Ives, NSW