Would I be out of my mind if I did the following?

Reply

Jan 9th, 2006, 06:40 AM
  #81
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Cybor,

I will be there on the nights of March 17th and 18th. I expect daytime temperatures in the low 50's and nighttime temperatures in the low 40's, from the research that I have done. Alexsandra was born and grew up in Chicago until she came to Los Angeles at 21 years old, so she waved off my concern that Paris would be too cold for her.

I imagine that once we get to Amsterdam, we will be looking for warm coats, as I don't want to pack too heavy to Tanzania. We will need some protection from the cold for our time at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, but nothing like the protection we will need for mid-March Amsterdam & Paris.


Michael,

Thanks...if I am in the area, I will have a look. Some trophy hunters probably went on a free hunt by donating those stuffed animals to some museum, and now the museum has unloaded them on this store.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2006, 06:48 AM
  #82
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19
Paris is indeed cold in February but is still one of the most beautiful cities in the world ! Plus you won't have the hoards of tourists that you have in peak season.
Also from the 4th to the 20th of February it is the school holidays and most Parisians decamp to the mountains - in fact these holidays are actually called the "ski-ing holidays” over here.

Most cafés have outside heaters now, in fact I enjoyed a great coffee yesterday afternoon on the terrace of a café in the Marais.

and yes that shop in Rue du bac is very interesting

Have fun in gay paris !
parisbrit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 9th, 2006, 02:35 PM
  #83
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
I love Paris in the winter and have even encountered a few beautiful sunny days there during the winter season. I don't find it too cold (but I've never flown there straight from Africa or another warm climate unless you count LA itself ) and was crazy enough to take a boat ride one January evening!
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2006, 01:50 AM
  #84
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 29
Rocco - you will NOT be disappointed with the Palms. We had 4 nights there last July and it is every bit as amazing as it looks on the website. The food is incredible. The villas are wonderful.
Serena Inn is ok, but Stonetown itself is a fantastic place. We hired a guide (licensed guides gather just outside Serena Inn) and for about $30 he took us on a 4 hour walking tour of Stonetown (including cakes and Cola!!).
Enjoy!
rosieh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2006, 06:39 AM
  #85
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
rosieh,

Thank you so much for this feedback.

Do you recommend that I stick with my 3 nights at the Palm and 2 nights at the Serena Inn, or would you try to switch to 4 nights at the Palm and only stay the final night at the Serena?

I would like a day of sightseeing in Stone Town and I do have a 7AM flight out of Zanzibar (The Serena is much closer to the airport).

Thanks.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2006, 06:55 AM
  #86
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 29
Rocco, Stonetown is a great place. Let me try to give you an idea of what you could fit in on a one night stay, instead of 2.
We left Palms at about 10am as we'd arranged for our driver to take us to Jozani Forest on the way to Stonetown (rare Colobus monkeys live there). We arrived at the Serena at about 1pm, and our taxi driver introduced us to a guide (a great guy called Jackson - I have his email addy somewhere if you are interested, he says he can arrange most things on Zanzibar!). We arranged our walking tour with him and dumped our bags in the room. We started walking just before 2pm. We saw the markets, Cathedral/Slave Chambers, lots of Zanzibari doors, House of Wonders, Forodhani Gardens, the Fort, lots of little alleys/streets with shops in, Tippu Tip's house, Freddie Mercury's house. Pretty much everything we wanted to see. We got back to our hotel sometime between 4-5 and had swim and a beer by the pool before changing for dinner. We then walked to Emerson & Green hotel for dinner in the rooftop restaurant (you have to pre-book which I did by email before we travelled). That's worth doing - it's an 8 course feast, and you're at the highest point in StoneTown - great views before it gets dark and really atmospheric.
They provided us a bellboy to walk us back to Serena Inn and we got back around 11pm. We were also flying out at 7am next day (Serena Inn will send coffee/fruit/toast to your room at 5am if you ask).
I guess your decision depends on how much in depth exploring of Stonetown you want to do. I felt we got a very good feel for the place in one afternoon or evening, but obviously we were only scratching the surface. Personally, I would take the extra night in the Palms! But then I did really, really love it there. And it's a good way to come down after safari. Stonetown is bustly, dusty and noisy (in a good way). Palms is the ultimate relaxation and pampering.
rosieh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2006, 02:21 PM
  #87
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 708
Rocco,

I will also be at Matetsi with my wife in September and may see you there. We are also hoping for wild dogs as they are on the top of our "want to see" list. Just missed them at Sandibe a few years ago. We will be at Sandibe and Nxabega before Matetsi so if we are really lucky we will have already removed the wild dogs from our list. Enjoy your trips.

George
tuckeg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 15th, 2006, 04:54 PM
  #88
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
rosieh,

Thanks again. I would be VERY interested in getting that Stone Town guide's information from you, so when you get a chance, please e-mail it to me.

Although the Palms sounds incredible, I do think that Stone Town sounds, if nothing else, VERY atmospheric, and that two nights would not go to waste. Therefore, I will keep my schedule of 3 nights at the Palms and 2 nights at the Serena Inn. They way I am hopping around on this trip, 3 nights will feel like a long visit. It will actually be my longest visit of my entire trip!

Moivaro Coffee Lodge (1)
Tarangire Treetops (2)
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge (2)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2)
Olduvai Camp, NCA (1)
Nomad Masek, Serengeti (2)
Nomad Piaya, Serengeti (2)
Mbuzi Mawe, Serengeti (2)
Palms, Zanzibar (3)
Serena Inn, Stone Town (2)
Canal House, Amsterdam (2)
King George V Four Seasons, Paris (2)

God, I love writing that itinerary!!!


George,

Unfortunately, I had to revise my schedule for Zimbabwe & Botswana to November 2006. I now have confirmations from each Kwando (www.kwando.co.za) and African Bushcamps (www.africanbushcamps.com) for the following itinerary:

Four Seasons Hotel, Buenos Aires (4)
Vundu Camp, Mana Pools (3)
Somalisa Camp, Hwange (3)
Kwando Songwe Village, Victoria Falls (2)
Kwando Lagoon, Kwando Concession, Botswana (2)
Kwando Lebala, Kwando Concession, Botswana (2)
Kwando Kwara Island, Kwara Concession, Botswana (1)
Kwando Kwara (3), Kwara Concession, Botswana
Michelangelo Hotel, Sandton Square, Joburg (1)
Hotel Emiliano, Jardins area, Sao Paulo (2)

I may elect to skip Victoria Falls, but I will probably keep it, as this is a familiarization/educational trip for Kwando, one of the properties I represent. I have read very good things about Songwe Village and I do think that I would love to go white water rafting, if possible in November, while there. If I do skip it, however, I will likely add one more night in each Mana Pools and Hwange, possibly splitting my stay between African Bushcamps and Wilderness Safaris camps of Ruckomechi in Mana Pools and Makalolo Plains in Hwange. This would allow for a 16 consecutive night safari, rather than a 6 night safari, followed by 2 nights in Victoria Falls, followed by an 8 night safari. A lot of this depends on whether or not Wilderness Safaris even has a Mana Pools property open this November, as Ruckomechi is currently only for large groups who book the entire camp, and the word on the street is that they lost Chikwenya to another operator.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 16th, 2006, 06:00 PM
  #89
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
I have booked my room at the King George V Four Seasons. For 175 Euros (about $210), the Four Seasons will have a meet & greet service at the airport, including transfer to the hotel in a private sedan.

While the above price sounds fair, the return trip to the airport would be an additional 175 Euros, while I will only be dropped off.

Would I be best served in just doing the whole thing through the airport, or should I just do the one-way transfer, and hook up with a driver during my two day visit for my return?

The transfers through the hotel are charged to my room.

I have researched the prices and they are not coming up much cheaper, unless I want to go in a minivan or economy car. I don't exactly want to show up to the party underdressed!

Anybody have any other ideas that do not involve public transportation?
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 16th, 2006, 06:21 PM
  #90
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,372
I'm still in the "how much Africa time will this purchase equate to" mode. For the price of your transfers to the hotel, I could have another night at Luangwa River Lodge in high season!!
matnikstym is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 16th, 2006, 07:55 PM
  #91
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
Have you considered just a taxi? Should be around 50 euros from CDG to your hotel.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2006, 01:35 AM
  #92
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Bon Jour Patty,

Qu'est ce que, un taxi???

Would the Four Seasons even allow me to pull up to their hotel in a taxi?

Seriously, though, it is a little late in the game to consider such a cost-cutting move. I may as well go out in style at the end!

I never thought that this trip would evolve into what it has, but there are just so many unbelievable properties on this trip. If I had to rank them, from their reputations alone, I would probably do so as follows:

1. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
2. Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
3. King George V Four Seasons
4. Palms Zanzibar
5. Tarangire Treetops

37 days and counting. The only loose end is the Canal House in Amsterdam.

It is freezing here in L.A. (okay, not freezing, but it is in the 40's) so if not for the lack of rains in the Serengeti, I do wish this trip would hurry up. It should be cold here for the next 2 months or so...at least I will be able to trade a couple of those cold weeks for the warmth of East Africa. Given the lack of rains so far, it is probably best that I scheduled as late as I did, arriving in the NCA at Olduvai Camp on March 03rd, and then proceeding to Nomad's camps and Mbuzi Mawe.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2006, 05:12 AM
  #93
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Rocco, that's an enormous rip-off (175 Euros to the city is a joke!). You can get a taxi (and they are generally Mercedes in Paris) for a third of that. Save your money and spend it at Chez L'Amis Louis (cash only and very expensive) but the best roast chicken that you'll ever have (around $100 per bird, if I remember). George V is very nice and great restaurant in the hotel, and you could probably have lunch there for what you'd save if you took a cab. Or better yet, make reservation at Taillevant (the best restaurant I have ever been to anywhere in the world) and the only $1,000 meal for two I've ever had (and well worth it!!).
thit_cho is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2006, 05:50 AM
  #94
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Taillevant for $1,000 for two people...ouch. Did this at least include a couple bottles of wine, appetizers and a great dessert?

Maybe I will just get that taxi. Save my money for Taillevant or elsewhere. As much as I love food, however, I would have a hard time justifying more than about $200 per person, even in Paris. I'll just have to settle for that $100 roast chicken.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2006, 05:54 AM
  #95
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
I ate at Taillevant once and it was 1992, and its still memorable, so I feel that I got my money's worth (and more than half of the bill was wine). Chez L'Amis Louis is a hole in the wall, in not the nicest part of town, but the food is great (very basic stuff). Ask the concierge about it -- I'm sure they could get you in. Clinton even ate there with Chirac on one of his visits (I'm sure W eats at the Hard Rock).
thit_cho is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2006, 10:15 AM
  #96
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Rocco,
How much did ATR charge you for changing the itinerary--not the difference in cost, but the fee for changing the itinerary itself? (I know it's here somewhere, but all these $$s are making my eyes cross.)

Take a taxi in Paris to your hotel. Last time I was there we had a limo, but it cost nowhere near what you're being quoted. Eeek. And there is so much good food there; cruise the Europe board or chowhound or egullet for ideas for a memorable meal in Paris. (No, of course I've never been to Taillevent.
Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2006, 11:02 AM
  #97
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
tax·i·cab ( P ) Pronunciation Key (tks-kb)
n.
An automobile that carries passengers for a fare, usually calculated by a taximeter.

n : a car driven by a person whose job is to take passengers where they want to go in exchange for money

Does that help?

Of course, upon arrival at the George V in a taxi, that corner suite with the Tour Eiffel view that you booked will mysteriously be downgraded to a tiny twin room overlooking the garbage dumpster. It's still not as bad though as if you'd, heaven forbid, taken the RER/metro and walked to the hotel with baggage in tow. In such an instance, I think you get immediately banished to a windowless broom closet.

BTW I love your over the top style and can't wait for your trip report!
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2006, 11:30 AM
  #98
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Leely,

ATR charged me the grand total of Zero Dollars and Zero Cents for changing my itinerary!

The cost to add Tarangire Treetops was $699 per night, plus the $136 per night I paid for Moivaro, plus I think another $300 for one extra day of vehicle & guide.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2006, 01:18 PM
  #99
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
Rocco, don't forget to bring a REALLY big notebook as I too will be looking forward to your trip report!
Details, details and more details we want - see if maybe you can top Sandi for # of pages?
Your trip does sound awesome, and the best part is that it is happening soon and we won't have long to wait for your report....
LyndaS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 17th, 2006, 02:07 PM
  #100
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Rocco,
Thanks for the info. I'll mull over whether or not I should "pull a Rocco."

Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:57 AM.