Hotel Do Colégio review, Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal

Friday June 14, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 0 Comments

Hotel Do Colégio

Hotel Do Colégio review, Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

Following my visit to Pico Island, I flew to São Miguel, Portugal, the largest of nine islands in the Azores. When the taxi driver turned down the cobblestone lined street, I found myself in front of Hotel Do Colégio. This four star hotel has quite the history. Built by Jose do Rego Pontes, this 19th century building is a good example of urban architecture and has housed many people.

Originally built for a wealthy Portuguese family, the hotel has since served as a private school, a music academy and now welcomes travelers to the city of Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel.


Hotel Do Colégio bedroom

Hotel Do Colégio standard room on São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal

Architecture & design at Hotel Do Colégio

In a tribute to this Archipelago wonder, the Azores Islands, Hotel do Colégio is composed and designed with the influence of local basalt masonry, a common decoration in the 19th century. This form of art may be seen in the doors, windows, stairs and arches of Hotel Do Colégio. The building is classified by D.R. C. (Culture Regional Direction) due to its cultural and architectural value.


Hotel Do Colégio as senior citizen

As all senior citizens deserve respect, it is with this attitude that I look the other way with some of  Hotel Do Colégio’s age spots. The carpet in my standard room could use updating and the art on the bedroom wall is sparse – one framed painting of a former student engrossed in her literature – but the hotel staff is welcoming and does offer complimentary internet access in the lobby and paid internet in all of the hotel rooms.


Hotel Do Colégio breakfast

Breakfast is included at Hotel Do Colégio, Azores, Portugal

Hotel Do Colégio overview

There are 55 rooms (1 suite, 1 junior suite, 48 standard rooms and five superior rooms) in Hotel Do Colégio. All hotel rooms offer air conditioning, a working desk space, paid internet access, telephone, safe (request the key at the front desk) a mini bar, cable TV and a wall mounted hair dryer in the combination bathtub/shower.


Breakfast in former stables

Hotel Do Colégio features a courtyard swimming pool, sauna and Turkish bath. Breakfast is served daily from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. in a light-filled room that once served as the horse stables. The hotel price includes a complimentary hot breakfast – scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, meats and cheeses, fruit, yogurt, juice and coffee.


Restaurant Colmeia

Order the tasting menu at Restaurant Colmeia in Hotel Do Colégio, Azores, Portugal.

A Colmeia restaurant

I had the pleasure of dining at Restaurant Colmeia, housed within Hotel Do Colégio.  The chef’s tasting menu was one of the highlights of my stay in São Miguel. I tasted local specialties such as octopus, blood sausage, tuna, fresh from the Atlantic Ocean, and local beef, accompanied with red and white wines from the nearby Pico Island. I highly recommend this lovely hotel restaurant.


Need to know

Depending on the season, standard rooms rent for 93 euros.

Check-in time: 2:00 p.m.
Check-out time: 12:00 p.m.

Insider tip

My standard room, #225, was an inside room, looking into the quiet courtyard and swimming pool.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter.

Hotel do Colegio pool

Hotel do Colegio swimming pool on São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal

If You Go:

Hotel Do Colégio (351) 296 306 600

Rua Carvalho Araujo, 39

9500-040 Ponta Delgada

São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

Related Post:

Baia da Barca hotel, Pico Island, Azores

I was a guest of Portugal Tourism,, SATA Airlines and Hotel Do Colégio

Guideline Prescription Sunglasses Eyewear for Travel, Fishing

Wednesday June 12, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 1 Comment

Nancy D. Brown fish

Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown fishing Alaska’s Yetna River

I remember fishing with my husband for king salmon on Alaska’s Yetna River with our fishing guide Zak Greenwood back in 2007. I called him the steely eyed guide because he could spot fish moving underwater faster than a hummingbird in flight. I don’t know if his laser eye ability was due to his polarized sunglasses, or the fact that he grew up fishing the rivers of Idaho and Washington. Whatever the case, I remember thinking that I wanted to be able to spot fish like Zak. Fast forward six years and my first purchase of Guideline sunglasses.  These are not just any sunglasses, mind you, they are prescription sunglasses from Guideline, a Hollister, California-based company that specialize in eyegear for the fisherman and woman.


Guideline sunglasses

Nancy D. Brown reviews Guideline prescription sunglasses

Guideline prescription sunglasses

I’m not thrilled to admit that I need prescription glasses, or that I wear bifocals. But the truth is, I like being able to see a fish gliding under the water and I like being able to kick back on a boat, or cruise ship, and read a book with the same pair of sunglasses. In fact, I feel quite blessed to be out in nature and see so much beauty above and below the water.


Guideline eyewear protection

Some of you know that I specialize in equestrian travel. It is just as important to wear good eye protection out on the trail as it is on the water. I selected the Current Rx frame due to its aggressive wrap design, offering eye protection from the sun, dust and wind. With its modified square, wrap style frame, these ultra-light sunglasses are sure to stay put riding the waves, or riding horseback.


Sunglasses with polarized lenses

Nancy D. Brown sunglasses

Nancy Brown wearing Guideline prescription sunglasses

As anyone who spends time on the water knows, the sun’s rays dance on the water’s surface. Polarized lenses may cost a bit more, $20. in this instance, but they cut the glare and protect your eyes from harmful sun rays. With the Guideline Current Rx bifocals, the lens tints are offered in gray, brown or Spring Creek Cooper tint.  I opted for deep water gray tint and am happy with my selection.

Not all Guideline sunglasses frames accommodate bifocals, but the folks at Guideline are very friendly and, for a deposit, they’ll ship you the different frames to try before you buy.

With a base price of  $169.00, my Guideline Current Rx prescription bifocal sunglasses are an excellent investment in eyegear.


Guideline sunglasses review

Guideline sunglasses for travel, fishing and riding

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Guideline Eyegear on Twitter @guidelinesun.

Where to buy:

Guideline Sunglasses

Related Post:

Guideline Sunglasses Travel Gear Review

Article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Guideline supplied me with these prescription sunglasses for review.

Walt Disney Family Museum

Monday June 10, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 5 Comments

In the shadow of the majestic Golden Gate Bridge lies San Francisco’s historic Presidio. Formerly a military base, the Presidio is now home to several visitor centers and interesting sites. Of these, the Walt Disney Family Museum is on the “must see” list for anyone visiting the Presidio and San Francisco.


The Walt Disney Family Museum

 Looking out over the Presidio’s parade ground, the Walt Disney Family Museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of its namesake. Whether or not you grew up with a love of Disney, the museum is a great way to spend a few hours in San Francisco. Co-founded by Disney’s daughter Diane, the museum takes visitors on a journey through Walt’s life. It features 10 permanent displays, starting with Walt’s family history and ending with his death from cancer in 1966. The museum also houses a collection of the 200-odd awards Walt Disney won during his life, including several Oscars.


Walt Disney Family Museum

San Francisco’s Walt Disney Family Museum, in the historic Presidio, is a great way to spend some time in the city.

Permanent Walt Disney exhibits

 The permanent displays at the Walt Disney Family museum offer something for everyone. There are original plans and drawings by Disney, colorful animated clips, and more artifacts than you could count. Every way you turn there’s something new to see, with plenty to look at for children and adults alike. When I went, the children seemed to be enjoying it just as much as the adults and vise versa, although they gravitated toward different parts of each exhibit.


Changing Disney exhibits

 Along with the 10 permanent exhibits, The Walt Disney Family Museum also has an area for non-permanent exhibits. Currently, there is a special showing of “Down the Rabbit Hole,” a collection of paintings by artist Camille Rose Garcia. The exhibition runs through November 2013, and is a new take on the art of the Disney classic Alice in Wonderland. Past exhibitions have included everything from Snow White to Christian Louboutin.


Fantasia-inspired movie theater

If you need to take a break from walking around the museum, stop for a moment in the Fantasia-inspired movie theater on the bottom floor. There, the museum has daily screenings of classic Disney movies. After exploring the exhibits dedicated to Walt Disney and his work, it’s hard to resist.


The Walt Disney Family Museum features several changing exhibits. This is from the current "Down the Rabbit Hole," a collection by artist Camille Rose Garcia.

The Walt Disney Family Museum features several changing exhibits. This is from “Down the Rabbit Hole,” a collection by artist Camille Rose Garcia.


Of all Walt Disney’s work, perhaps none is better known around the world than Disneyland. It was the crowning jewel of Walt’s Disney empire, and is more popular now than he could have possibly imagined. As such, a large part of the Walt Disney Family museum is dedicated to Disneyland, and how it came to be (the inspiration for the entire park came from a train he had installed in his home). From footage of the early days of the park to an incredibly detailed 12-foot round scale model, anyone who’s heard of Disneyland can appreciate this part of the museum.


Disney magic

 Walt Disney Family Museum

Walt’s impressive award collection, including several Oscars, on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum

The so-called “Disney magic” is present at every turn, from Mickey Mouse and his earliest form (Steamboat Willie) to Walt’s visions for EPCOT and beyond, the Walt Disney Family Museum is a great place to visit for anyone who has ever seen a Disney film, been to Disneyland, or just enjoys movies and history in general.

Most people have seen at least one Disney animated feature, whether it be classics like Snow White or more modern flicks like Tangled. However, you don’t have to be a fan of Disney movies to enjoy the Walt Disney Family Museum. When it comes down to it, Walt Disney was just a struggling artist who eventually found success doing what he loved. Walt Disney was a fascinating person with an interesting story, who happened to create one of the most successful media empires of all time. The museum bearing his namesake celebrates the years of both struggle and success, and everything in between.

Insider Tip

If you find yourself wanting a snack during your visit, the museum café has several options. However, these are a little on the expensive side, so I recommend bringing your own snacks or grabbing a bite in one of the restaurants or cafes in the Presidio. For souvenir collectors, the Walt Disney museum also has a gift shop.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow @WDFMuseum on Twitter.

If You Go:

The Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery Street
The Presidio, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94129


Open Wednesday-Monday: 10am-6pm

Related Post: Visiting San Francisco with Kids