I recently stayed at the Park Hyatt Seoul (from $380; parkhyatt.com). The property is magnificent, modern, and luxurious, but most impressive was the service. I fell for a photograph I came across in Insa-dong, and the concierge contacted the artist, negotiated the price, and arranged for electronic payment and delivery of the piece to the hotel. While shopping in Seoul I also purchased some green tea as a gift. After I returned home and gave it to my daughter, she discovered there was no tea inside the package. The concierge contacted the shop and arranged a refund even though I was no longer at the hotel.
I was in Hanoi, Vietnam, this January and stayed at the Metropole hotel
(from $220; sofitel.com). The hotel restaurant, Spices Garden, which was mentioned in your story “Hanoi's Best Restaurants” [May/June], was certainly filled with an amazing variety of offerings. It was especially wonderful for breakfast, and I loved the coffee.
During a recent business trip to Toronto I took an afternoon off and used the trolley to explore Queen Street. I had an early dinner at Table 17 (782 Queen St.; table17.ca), which offered a charming venue with seasonal and primarily locally sourced ingredients. Inexpensive but good Portuguese wine completed a delicious meal. I also stumbled upon Mary Macleod’s Shortbread (639 Queen St.; marymacleod.ca) and was offered a sample. That was all it took: I bought several tins to bring home as gifts. Everyone raved about the shortbread cookies—they’re quite simply the best.
We read your story about new Caribbean hotels and have a small hotel to add to the list: the Regent Grand Resort and Spa in Turks and Caicos
(from $345; theregentgrandresort.com). We recently stayed at this condo-hotel on Grace Bay and were impressed. The front desk couldn’t have been more accommodating; the suites are extremely comfortable and virtually soundproof; and the hotel is within walking distance, by road or by beach, to many of the wonderful restaurants on the island. It just opened, so best to book before the secret’s out.