Over the years we have met some outstanding people and organizations in the travel industry. After personally meeting them and experiencing their services first hand, we want to share them with you. We would hope as a result of our partnership and marketing alliances that you, the Karen Brown Traveler, will benefit from the information and services they afford.
AUTO EUROPE: Readers frequently ask our advice on car rental companies. We always use AUTO EUROPE, a car rental broker that works with the major car rental companies to find the lowest possible price. They also offer motor homes and chauffeur services. Auto Europe’s toll-free phone service, from every European country, connects you to their U.S.-based, 24-hour reservation center (ask for the Europe Phone Numbers Card to be mailed to you). Auto Europe offers our readers a 5% discount (cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions) and, occasionally, free upgrades. Be sure to use the Karen Brown ID number 12008470 to receive your discount and any special offers. You can make your own reservations online via their website or by phone (800-223-5555).
RAIL EUROPE: The train systems in Europe offer an easy, efficient means of travel throughout Europe. If you do not feel comfortable driving or if you need to cover long distances quickly training may be the answer. Rail Europe is a wonderful source for researching and reserving train travel throughout Europe. Reserving your train from the US will mean one less thing to worry about while you are on the road. There are some special passes only available for purchase from the States.
ALLIANZ TRAVEL INSURANCE: There are times when an emergency arises and ones plans must be changed. Unfortunately, this can be quite costly if you need to cancel a reserved trip. Access America offers travel insurance plans to cover almost any emergency that may arise before or during your trip.
SCHLOSSHOTELS & HERRENHAÜSER: SCHLOSSHOTELS & HERRENHAÜSER (CASTLE HOTELS & MANSIONS) include some absolutely gorgeous properties whose owners are committed to “fostering the traditions which are their heritage.” They have opened up their castles and mansions, their homes, in order to both share and preserve “a unique way of live and cultural monuments as living environments for future generations.”
Each property is unique and each owner imparts his own personality — but all are proud members of Schlosshotels & Herrenhäuser whose criteria for selection assures a high standard of comfort and “that even the most discriminating guests will feel spoiled by excellent personal service.” The majority of properties are located in Austria, but the membership has expanded to include a limited few in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
DIFFERENT WORLD: While searching for hotels for the original edition of our Mexico guidebook, we were amazed at how many of the gems that we felt so clever to have discovered had already been found by DIFFERENT WORLD, a company in England that represents a select group of inns in Mexico. Without exception, when we chatted to the owners of the hotels, they poured out accolades of praise for this company, its professionalism, fine service, high standard of excellence, and integrity in terms of their selections. On the same trail as their researcher, our paths often almost crossed, but we never had the pleasure of meeting in person. However, we soon became friends by phone as we shared some of our mutual finds.
“GOSCINNE ZABYTKI – HOSPITABLE HOTELS”: We are thrilled to introduce our newest partner who offers wonderful and historic places to stay in Poland. “Goscinne zabytki – Hospitable Hotels” include palaces, castles, manor houses – all historical properties in Poland which have the magnificent atmosphere and ambiance coupled with exceptional service, charming or even stunning setting, and most of all, fascinating owners. Treated in a barbarian way not only during the war, but also in the post-war communistic years, today they rise like the phoenix from the ashes, thanks to people fascinated with the primeval beauty of their ruined edifices. But, although the current owners are not usually related in any way to the former owners, they inherited the sense of responsibility for cultural legacy, for the proof of national continuity.
HOTELS HERITAGE LISBOA: HOTELS HERITAGE LISBOA represents five properties conveniently located in the heart of Lisbon that offer travelers some of Portugal’s finest accommodation. Personal favorites for many years the hotels are graciously managed by a wonderful family you are assured attentive service, a warm welcome and comfortable and attractive accommodation.
RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX HOTELS: Karen Brown Guides feature many RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX HOTELS member properties. We are familiar with their selection process, criteria, and membership standards and while we have not had an opportunity to visit all of their hotels, we feel comfortable in recommending members of this prestigious association to our readers. An additional benefit of our new partnership is that you, the Karen Brown traveler, have access to information about hotels of guaranteed quality in parts of the world we have yet to research.
SELECT REGISTRY: Karen Brown’s Guides is pleased to recommend the member inns of SELECT REGISTRY, (formerly Independent Innkeeper Association) a collection of 366 of the premier Country Inns and B&Bs in the U.S and Canada. Each inn featured in the Select Registry is filled with hospitality. All of them are inspected regularly for quality as well as cleanliness, attractiveness, fine dining and safety.
YADES HERITAGE & HOSPITALITY HOTELS: We are pleased to introduce Greece to the Karen Brown World of Travel. In terms of recommendations of places to stay we have yet to complete our own research but are confident to recommend the Yades Greek Historic Hotels who have their own standards for inclusion and membership. These beautiful manor houses, estates and villas offer you the experience the beauty of the countryside the history, the legends, the tradition and the culture of Greece.
COUNTRYSIDE HOTELS: The accommodations of Sweden are truly a match for it’s natural beauty and Countryside Hotels have 39 specially selected member hotels of quality, situated in the most beautiful parts of the country. Confident of their high standards for selection, we are proud to share information on the beautiful member properties of Countryside Hotels. The hotels are all individual – from tastefully renovated manor houses and centuries-old inns to elegant resort hotels set in magnificent grounds and genuine mountain lodges. What the hotels have in common is the warmth of their hospitality, excellent service, a welcoming atmosphere and high standards in everything they do.
DE HISTORISKE HOTELS: Karen Brown’s World is thrilled to now include Norway as a destination and to be able to offer our travelers some wonderful recommendations of places to stay. The member hotels of De Historiske are not ”ordinary” hotels. They are landed estates, country houses,manors, large and small timber-built hotels in pseudo-Swiss and Jugend (Art Nouveau) style, old coaching inns and many more historic buildings that have been transformed into beautiful, small, romantic hotels. This, and the passion the owners relay in their role as hosts, is what primarily characterizes De Historiske!