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So what do you all think of Karen Brown's recommendations?

So what do you all think of Karen Brown's recommendations?

Jun 9th, 2004, 03:58 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 244
I stayed at three of her recommendations in Italy last August and all were as she described. Antico Doge in Venice and Palazzo Ravizza in Siena were both wonderful and Hotel Silla in Florence though not in the class of the other two was still "a bargain for Florence".

Trying her recos again in Burgundy later this year.
eschule is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 777
We have generally found Karen Brown's recommendations to be great, and have had some wonderful experiences at B&Bs from her books. However, our favorite place in Italy was recently dropped from her listings, and KB would not give the owner any information as to why. The inn is L'Ombricolo in Lazio: http://www.essentialitaly.co.uk/ess_...ombricolo.html

I even wrote to KB myself and asked why the listing was removed, adding my own favorable review of the inn, but KB wouldn't tell me anything either. It does seem to me that if they've had an unfortunate experience or critical comments, they ought to pass the feedback along to the innkeeper. The owner of L'Ombricolo told us that she suspected it might be because she's rather outspoken in her political views and she wondered if that might have caused some visitors with an opposing viewpoint to complain.

At any rate, I'd like to give L'Ombricolo a plug for anyone who is visiting that area of Italy. It's a beautiful place, in a great location for day trips to many of the best hill towns in Tuscany and Umbria, as well as an easy drive to the Rome airport. We've been there several times and always had wonderful experiences. We think Dawne (the owner) is delightful, and a fantastic cook as well.
She's a Brit who's lived many years in Italy, and a fascinating person.

By the way, Dawne did tell us at one point that KB had charged for the website listing, but not for being in the book.
nonnafelice is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,377
I don't have anything against KB, thing she has some good places, and others nothing special. I know they charge for website listings, as others have verified -- they admitted it to me in an email to their firm. I think it would be more "up front" if they stated that on their web site, even if delicately, rather than implying there was some other reason for a place not being listed on the web site (I think they claim the hotel as "chosen not be on the web site"--well, not exactly).

I also asked them in an email about a particular place I was seriously considering in Provence which had been removed from their guidebook that year, but was in the previous year -- I asked why. I didn't expect dirty linen or specifics, but I did want to know if it was space, business or arbitrary reasons, or if it did not reach their standards which they claim to have. They wouldn't answer my question.
Christina is online now  
Jun 11th, 2004, 09:07 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
Advertising code of ethics: It's never beneficial for one business to negate another business (in any way) unless both businesses are similar and you're comparing one to another with factual differences. Even this method of "comparing" in advertising has become acceptable only recently and it continues to come with certain legal liability risk (ie: the possibility of a slander suit).

I appreciate the curiosity factor but there is no benefit, whatsoever, for Karen Brown to publicly or privately reveal why a property has been dropped from her book. In fact, if she revealed such information, it would almost certainly hurt her ability to attract other businesses and their desire to be in association with her. The best thing she can do from a business perspective is remain quiet. It's best for the dismissal to speak for itself.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 41,701
I know Moulton Brown not Karen Brown, but You have me interested in comparing my opinions to hers. I usually stay at places, be it a hotel or a chambre d'hote, what I have seen, read about in my French magazines.
cigalechanta is offline  
Jun 12th, 2004, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,476
All very interesting but I'm still wondering how a property can be listed and accurately described in any guidebook when the proponents of that guidebook "have never set foot on my property."

Perhaps this is another one of those "disadvantageous" things that shouldn't be revealed????
TopMan is offline  
Jun 13th, 2004, 05:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,116
>... my inn is also listed in Fodors. However, to my knowledge, no one from Fodors has ever stepped foot on my property. <

Isn't that the whole point of doing guidebooks? You shouldn't know that you are being vetted.
ira is offline  
Jun 13th, 2004, 05:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,476
To use one of your more infamous expressions, Ira: "Oh, Piffle!!"
TopMan is offline  
Sep 24th, 2010, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4
I have relied on Karen Brown recommendations both in Italy and France (at least 10 trips combined). Have always been really pleased. I actually cannot recall any that have disappointed. When researching, if you cross over and combine with trip adviser recommendations, you can really get a good take on accommodations.
garudagirl is offline  
Sep 24th, 2010, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 633
This thread is from 2001
Sue878 is offline  

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