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Hotel Report Card: Convento do Espinheiro, Évora, Portugal

Convento do Espinheiro ★★★★★

Canaviais, 7002 - 502 Évora

Tel: 266-788-200, Fax: 266-788-229

For all out luxury in a historic setting, this place gets a big thumbs up. What started life as a 15th century convent has been converted into a luxury hotel and spa, without loosing a bit of its historic character. Although Évora is visible in the distance, and just a short five-minute drive away, you feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere here.

Huge rooms with stately, elegant decor will make you feel like you are in a palace rather than a convent. Heritage rooms are located in the old convent buildings, while the Design rooms have the same decor, but are in a modern wing without the flavor of the old buildings.

Be prepared for long walks inside the hotel, with many of the rooms at the far end of the complex from the reception, and be prepared to get lost once or twice. Staff will handle your luggage for you, and you can't get too lost. Superb restaurant under the vaulted stone cellars.

Singles: €165, Doubles: €185 to €215, Suites: €370

Credit Cards: All major credit cards accepted

Hotel Style: Boutique; 92 Rooms

Grades: A+ (Location), A+ (Property), A+ (Rooms)

Hotel Report Card: Hotel auf der Wartburg, Eisenach, Germany

Hotel auf der Wartburg ★★★★

Auf der Wartburg Straße, 99817 Eisenach

Tel: (0)3691-797-223, Fax: (0)3691-797-200

Luxury and attention from the moment you arrive, this hotel is built right into part of the Wartburg, Germany’s most legendary castle. A worthwhile splurge for those who have always dreamed of sleeping in a castle. Rooms and bathrooms have maintained a 1930's feel, but are completely modern and up-to-date.

You'll need a car, since the castle is isolated and high on a hill, but this is part of the attraction. Many rooms have gorgeous views out onto the Thüringian Forest. There's no elevator, so expect stairs, but staff will handle your luggage.

Singles: €190, Doubles: €250 to €320, Triples: €275 to €355

Credit Cards: All major credit cards accepted.

Hotel Style: Castle; 53 Rooms

Grades: A+ (Location), A (Property), A (Rooms)

Hotel Report Card: L'Auberge Alsacienne, Eguisheim, France

L’Auberge Alsacienne ★★★

12 Grand Rue, 68420 Eguisheim

Tel: (0)3-89-41-50-20, Fax: (0)3-89-23-89-32

A picturesque as you could hope for, L’Auberge Alsacienne is half-timbered and flower-box charming. Decorated in bright, vibrant colors, the rooms here are simple, but clean and comfortable.

Located on the edge of the village of Eguisheim, it’s convenient for exploring the village and surrounding region, but early morning noise on the main road can be a problem. If you’re a light sleeper, ask for a room on the back.

Hotel Style: Boutique; 19 Rooms

Grades: C (Location), A+ (Property), B+ (Rooms)

Singles: €68, Doubles: €73 to €94, Triples: €106, Credit Cards: All major credit cards accepted.

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“I just want to drive a stake through the heart of that myth,” said George Hobica, the founder of the deal alert site Airfarewatchdog.com, who has been looking at airfares on popular routes every day for more than 20 years.

Turns out, there really is no 'best day'.

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