by Adrian Northrup & Julia Spiro

History is your name and culture is your game! You swoon over Picasso, can’t take your eyes off of the Mona Lisa and would kill for a coffee date with Ben Franklin. You want to relive history, even for just a moment. Antiques aren’t used items; they are pieces of history. Your home is covered with pieces you’ve collected from your travels; a Persian rug, a fabulous one-of-a-kind painting and countless knick-knacks.

You don’t just travel for pleasure; you travel to learn and soak up as much culture as you can.

Your destinations are rich in history and design. Four museums, two landmarks and three churches in one day?
No problem. From the Louvre in Paris to the Great Pyramids in Egypt, each location tells a story of the past. You love boutique hotels nestled old English manors, bed-and-breakfasts in the French countryside; anywhere that transports you to another era. Here are some of Tango Diva’s picks for cultural and artsy vacations.

Washington D.C.: The Hay-Adams Hotel


This landmark hotel was built in the 1920s as a private residence that overlooks the White House, Lafayette Square, and St. John’s Church. The hotel’s close proximity to major sights in the area, such as the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian Museums, the National Geographic Society, and the National Mall, is ideal for tourists who want to see it all. But what truly sets apart this luxury hotel is the fact that it is an historic landmark in and of itself. The Italian Renaissance-style architecture and original features, such intricate plaster moldings, ornate fireplaces, and high ceilings, create a sophisticated, old world ambience. The rest of the hotel’s amenities, however, are extremely modern, and the staff are fully prepared to fulfill the needs of any tourist seeking advice on local arts and culture sights. With two restaurants within the hotel serving gourmet cuisine, the only thing guests might have trouble with is leaving. Make sure to check out the hotel’s occasional package deals for lower rates.

For more information and to make a reservation, visit the Hay-Adams Hotel Web site

London: The Royal Trafalgar Hotel


There is so much to see in London that many tourists seek a hotel that simply acts as a base camp for sleeping and occasional refueling. The Royal Trafalgar Hotel, a Thistle Hotel, fills this role as the perfect spot for the hardcore sightseers touring London. Located in the heart of Trafalgar Square, literally next door to the majestic National Gallery and behind the National Portrait Gallery, the hotel is also close to Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, and Regent Street. Rooms are simple and comfortable, and with wireless internet, a restaurant and a bar, guests’ main needs are covered. And since London is already expensive enough, this hotel’s rates are low year-round but particularly low in the summer.

For more information and to make a reservation, visit the Royal Trafalgar Hotel Web site

Istanbul: The Eresin Crown Hotel


This boutique hotel literally has its roots in history, as it was built on the former sight of the Great Palace in Sultanahmet. During the hotel’s construction, 49 pieces from the Roman, Hellenistic, and Byzantine time, including a detailed mosaic, walls of a cistern, and multiple ancient columns, were uncovered and are now on display throughout the museum. In addition to these ancient relics, the hotel also features a photography gallery with works by one of Turkey’s most renowned artists, Gultekin Cizgen. All rooms are sumptuously designed for a comfortable stay with modern amenities, and the hotel’s two restaurants, including one with beautiful terrace seating and spectacular water views, will keep guests satisfied. The hotel’s location in historic Sultanahmet also provides easy access to the surrounding abundance of historic, cultural, arts, and entertainment attractions.

For more information and to make a reservation, visit the Eresin Crown Hotel Web site

More Arts & Culture Vacations


Hungary: 1,000 Years in Budapest

Mt. Vesuvius, Italy: The Sleeping Giant

Quebec, Canada: Parc National de Miguasha, a Universal Treasure

America’s Vintage Rail Train: A Perfect Venue for Divas

Austria, Salzburg: Happy Birthday, Mr. Mozart

Back to What’s your Travel Style page.