Manhattan, New York

Which of the statements below are true and which are false? In traveling around the world, and clicking around Luxury Travel Mavens site, you may be a travel maven yourself.  Are you ready to put aside your Sudoku and try your hand at “Travel Trivia”? There’s an award to help charities for the first five people who answer them all correctly (without looking up the answers!). Photos may be a clue or a red herring.


Room Service at The Pierre, A Taj Resort





The Luxury hotels, The Pierre Hotel, a Taj Hotel,  and Le Blanc are found in France.





The Barberstown Castle, started in the 13th century and now a hotel outside Dublin, was once owned by Eric Clapton.


The “old­est, dark­est, deep­est, qui­etest, and largest suite room in the world” is in Russia.
Waterford Crystal tour in Ireland is in Waterford, once a Viking town.



You can take an Orient Express luxury train to Machu Picchu, one of the world’s great wonders, nestled in the Alps.

WILDLIFE  (Away from the cities)

True or False?

Penguins are found only south of the Equator.










You can snorkel among stingless jellyfish in the Galapagos and swimming iguanas in Papua New Guinea.

Stingless Jelly Fish



Photo by Danny Heil­prin Pho­tog­ra­phy.





Whale Sharks are not sharks.







Hear, Hear

Surprisingly, a luxury river cruise for great classical music is on the Amazon, not the Danube.

A bodhran is a Norwegian flute.

The world’s largest Hot Air Balloon Festival is in Australia, and the whooshing sound you hear while riding in the basket is all the nitrogen gas filling the balloon.


Answers & Rewards

You are on the honor system. The first five people who get all the correct answers without looking them up and email those answers to me will get a reward! I will send you a $25 Giving Certificate from the nonprofit Charity Checks, great holiday gifts for travelers because they are good for any of more than 1.8 million nonprofits and let the recipient chose — they can give back to places they love. Send me your answers —   For those who just like to know, all the answers are within pieces I’ve posted on this site.

For those who want more trivia power at your fingertips for long flights, or nights by the fire, you might want to check out my book Everything 101, with chapters on history, english, science, math, science, religion and philosophy.

Lisa TE Sonne for

The Jellyfish photo is by © Sharon Spence Leib, travel writer and photographer,  and the Whale Shark one image is courtesy of © Danny Heilprin Photography. All other images by (c) Lisa TE Sonne  (Hot Air Balloon, Morocco feature image, Pierre Hotel, Manhattan, Penguin, Machu Picchu and the luxury Cave Resort.)  Please get permission for any of the images for use other than this article. Thanks!

Dublin Luxury Hotel

The Shelbourne’s Constitution Room

Travelers can enjoy of the luxe of the Irish, choosing the finest places while travelling the ancient footpaths and modern favorites of Dublin and environs in South East Ireland. For some high-end hotel hopping, Lisa’s Luxury Likes include a weave of city, country, seaside and garden luxury: The Shelbourne, Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, Dunbrody Country Home, The Cliff House, and Barberstown Castle.

Shelbourne Dublin

In the heart of Dublin, the Shelbourne shines for deluxe treatment, rich historic atmosphere, and delightful location. Suites overlook St Stephen’s Greens, the renowned Victorian gardens. The concierge will greet you by name when you return from the Abby Theater or Temple Bar. Five minutes away, you can walk in the footsteps of Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, and Jonathan Swift at Trinity College and see the Book of Kells, or head over to

The charms of Grafton Street Dublin, a five minute walk from the Shelbourne

peruse the nearby pulse of picturesque Grafton shops and street artists.

First opened in 1824, and now a Five Star Alliance Renaissance Hotel, the well-restored sanctuary shares memorable dining, more than 500 pieces of Irish art, and the “Constitution Room,” where Michael Collins oversaw the drafting of the Irish Constitution.

US, Irish, and European electrical sockets are all available, but the real energy of this cosmopolitan treat are the wonderful people who make you feel five star.

EXTRAS: Ask for the Princess Grace Suite, if you want to rest where royalty dreamed.

If you want to learn about own personal Irish history, book a session with the Shelbourne’s Genealogy Butler service that helps guests find their Irish roots.

For a day trip of time travel, arrange to visit the fascinating prehistoric monument of Newgrange.

The Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt

Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, Ireland

Near Irelands’ east coast, in the woodlands of County Wicklow, Powerscourt Gardens: The Ritz-Carlton is a grand scale, upscale country retreat. Play at the gentry life with horseback riding, shooting, fly fishing, and hiking in the region where scenes of Brave Heart and Excalibur were filmed. Garden lovers can stroll acres of magnificence at the Powerscourt Gardens.
For those who love eponymous luxuries, don’t miss the Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt dining experience for culinary highs, and swim laps over the 160 Swarovski crystals that light up the twenty-meter indoor pool, part of the ESPA spa facilities.

Touch pad controls for lights and curtains at the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt

You can feel like a modern Lord or Lady of the manner in palatial-sized suites, with touch pad controls  for lights and curtains, and sweeping curved balconies over the expansive grounds with views of Sugarloaf Mountain.

EXTRA: The Spa is pioneering good luck “shillelagh” massages. Hand carved from wood in the nearby Shillelagh forest, the sticks have a history as ancient tools. Now they are being used in artful massage to un-do knots and tensions.

The Cliff House

For seaside luxury, don’t miss The Cliff House, a Relais and Chateaux gem and Five Star Alliance hideaway on the Irish Sea. The bedrooms are aesthetically rich and original with creative Irish arts and comforting amenities.

Sit on your seaside balcony to savor the twilight before indulging in the delectable at The House Restaurant, a Michelin one-star treat on the ground floor. The stellar inside pool offers saltwater views. Walkers can explore the churches in the nearby town, comb the seashore, or stumble upon an ancient healing well just down the row.

The lovely staff and setting make it hard to leave.

EXTRA: All the senses can be sated.

The Dunbrody Country House Hotel

Irish Countryside Outside Dublin

For memorable culinary lessons, inviting grounds, and the pleasures of country life like in the movies, relax at Dunbrody House: A Georgian Manor built in the 1830s that sits on more than 200 acres near Arthurstown, this once-private home shares charming intimacy.

Three floors offer a total of 22 rooms, each wonderfully unique. Original fireplaces and deep soaking tubs provide cozy pampering. The range of antiques make you want to see every room.

Across the way, the Dunbrody Culinary School offers lessons and tips for guests using fresh foods from the grounds and local sources, thanks to Irish celebrity Master Chef Kevin Dundon.

For day excursions, stroll the Viking towns of Wexford and Waterford. Take the Waterford Crystal  Factory Tour to see masters at work turning glass into elegant ware and art.

EXTRA: Even those who don’t think they can cook can help make great Irish soda bread and take the recipe home.

Barberstown Castle

Fine dining at the Castle built in the 13th century

If you want your Hotel to be an experience, as well as a cushy accommodation, Barberstown Castle beckons. Built in the 13th century with modern sections added more recently, the Kildare County castle welcomes exploration, and is just 40 minutes from Dublin. Once owned by Eric Clapton, the Hotel now has suites that are each named after distinguished guests through the century, including the Eric Clapton Suite. Each room is unique with antiques and special touches.

You may enjoy great conversations with the owner, meet musicians who come to play during the champagne hour, or enjoy an unforgettable six-course meal in the oldest part of the medieval castle. Barberstown Castle

EXTRA:  Stroll through the colorful village of Kilkenny and take a lesson, fun to beat, on the Irish Bodhran at the Kyteler’s Inn, (established in 1324)  or

Saunter the Castle grounds. and Candy, the dog, may walk with you through the gardens.


Special thanks to Tourism Ireland for making this trip possible. To enjoy additional ideas for planning your own itinerary,  you can check out for things to see and do all over Ireland.

Happy Travels and Good Luck finding your own pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Lisa TE Sonne  for

 Photos by Lisa TE Sonne

Which of the five top luxury hotels appeals to you  the most?