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334 of 355 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad ... for a to-do list
I was prepared to really dislike this book, if for no other reason than because it takes one of my passions -- travel -- and reduces it to a kind of grocery list. Travel, I have always thought, is about experiencing a different culture and its history and not about checking the most important cathedral or museum in a city off a to-do list.
But I must admit this...
Published on December 24, 2003 by Eric J. Lyman

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821 of 882 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great book for hotel lovers
This is my first review of a book for Amazon. I just had to write this to tell the truth about this book.
For a person who loves to travel, I just had to purchase this book to see what places I need to go to and review places I have been to.
According to the author, I missed a lot of places because I was too busy to vistit all the recommended 5 star hotels...
Published on January 19, 2004 by Sung Kim


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334 of 355 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad ... for a to-do list, December 24, 2003
By 
Eric J. Lyman (Roma, Lazio Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List (Paperback)
I was prepared to really dislike this book, if for no other reason than because it takes one of my passions -- travel -- and reduces it to a kind of grocery list. Travel, I have always thought, is about experiencing a different culture and its history and not about checking the most important cathedral or museum in a city off a to-do list.
But I must admit this small-but-thick book intrigued me. Most of the criticisms of something like this will be of specific choices the author makes: How could she overlook X? Or what was she thinking when she included Y? And while I admit that I scratched my head at a few curious omissions and chuckled at some of the choices that did make the cut, I must say that overall, the selection is very good. Every traveler or would-be traveler will find selections of interest on its pages, whether they are looking for luxury or natural beauty or history or art or culinary masterpieces or thought-provoking journeys.
But I think the real strength of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die is author Patricia Schultz' lively writing. Ms. Schultz has a real gift for description, and her love and enthusiasm for the places she writes about at once manage to excite the reader about the place being described and to give him or her a small taste of it before even diverting the eyes from the page.
All that said, I would be disappointed to scan someone else's copy of this book and see places that have been already visited crossed off in red ink or to discover that future trips were being planned to maximize the number of the 1,000 places that can be visited in a short time. I don't think the book should be used like that, but rather as a means to provoke thought and conversation regarding the best of what the world has to offer us by giving us the views held by one person (albeit someone who is extremely well traveled and with unusual writing talent). We'll all come up with our own lists in our heads, lists that may or may not overlap with the contents of this book. And that's something worth being passionate about.
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821 of 882 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great book for hotel lovers, January 19, 2004
By 
Sung Kim (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List (Paperback)
This is my first review of a book for Amazon. I just had to write this to tell the truth about this book.
For a person who loves to travel, I just had to purchase this book to see what places I need to go to and review places I have been to.
According to the author, I missed a lot of places because I was too busy to vistit all the recommended 5 star hotels. For an example, Torres Del Paine, Chile is one of the most beautiful nature wonder of the world with its glaciers, lakes, peaks, and majestic views. Instead of writing this, the author decide to descibe in detail about the over-priced hotel in the park.
Author consistently writes about:
1. Hotel, hotel, and more hotels. Not just any hotel, but the most expensive accomodation in town.
2. Hotels, of course. I have not counted, but I can guess about 250 places to see are hotels.
If you like hotels, this is a book for you, otherwise look elsewhere.
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220 of 248 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great choice for the traveling grandpa, January 1, 2004
By 
This review is from: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List (Paperback)
If grandma and grandpa are getting bored in retirement, this is a fantastic book to buy them. If *you* are looking to explore the world, consider a Lonely Planet or guide better geared at the under-65 crowd.
Certainly people would quibble with my list of 1000 places, but here is why I believe this book is not appropriate for anyone who doesn't get an AARP discount:
- Euro-american focus. The book is almost insulting in its lack of coverage of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. For instance, there is nothing listed in Delhi except a restaurant vs. nine sites in over-touristed Morocco. There is virtually nothing in places not covered by travel guides, such as Central Asia and almost anywhere in Africa that doesn't have pyramids or characters from "The Lion King." Iraq is the cradle of civilization, but apparently UFOs in Roswell and Disney theme parks are more important. At least Schultz acknowledges the bias, saying that places like Kolkata and Madagascar are "arduous choices."
- Cultural insensitivity. Schultz's use of the most anglicized names possible and long-replaced colonial monikers (like Calcutta and Laotian for Kolkata and Lao) makes her occasionally sound like Mr. Burns asking for "the Prussian consulate in Siam."
- Intended for traveler-writers with unlimited budgets. Despite claiming with a straight face that she's "never a travel snob," Schultz typically choses the most expensive way to see a place. I am a travel snob, but sometimes Schultz's recommendations of tours are too outrageous even for me. For instance, Ayuthaya, Thailand, is easily reached by a comfortable air-con first class bus from Bangkok for 95 cents, but Schultz recommends a $390 tour.
- Questionable rationales. Schultz gives the Toronto Four Seasons an entry because, well, celebrities have stayed there. Never mind that the Toronto Four Seasons is potentially the most shabby, cramped, and run-down property in the chain. I have certainly never seen it on a list of Four Seasons's top properties, and the food was nothing spectacular. Entries like that make me wonder if Schultz is holding back the truly great establishments.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Most of the places are US/Europe, many are hotels, January 14, 2006
By 
B. Conrad (Austin, TX US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List (Paperback)
Obviously a reduction of the world to 1,000 places is going to have bias, and this book has bias toward "canned travel" suitable for the upper middle class American family.

At least 200 of the "places to see before I die" are hotels, which blows my mind. I figure maybe 10 or 20 hotels are historic enough to really warrant being destinations in their own right.

Fully 3/4 of the pages of this book are dedicated to Europe and US/Canada. Obvious slumming in the US: Vail, Telluride, and Aspen are all listed while the entire countries of China and India get about 15 listings each (including hotels).
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90 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos - A Job Remarkably Done, February 13, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List (Paperback)
I have been professionally traveling for 35 years and for personal reasons twice that. Yes this 900-page travel bible features a lot of (historical, must-see and unusual) hotels, but there are so very many more museums (the world's biggest and best and the small gems too), festivals (a betrothal festival in in Morocco's Atlas Mountains and the Spoleto Festivals in both Spoleto, Italy and Charleston USA), food experiences (the Maine Lobster Festival and George Blanc in France) and sites of natural beauty (the Grand Tetons, Patagonia, Cappodocia in Turkey, Italy's Dolomite Mountains, Connemara in Ireland) - oh and I could go on and on....as Patricia Schultz does. You can never please everyone all the time, but no one has ever come as close as this intrepid author, and with a lovely and easy to read prose that should awaken the adventurer and explorer in all of us. I gave 20 of these books away as Christmas gifts and now have 20 best friends who are still talking about the best gift they ever received.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DO YOU ENJOY TRAVELING? GET THIS ONE., September 27, 2003
This review is from: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List (Paperback)
I have owned books like this before. Some have just boring predictable suggestions for places to visit (Paris, Rome, Sydney etc,) while others have a bland guidebook type of narrative.
Schultz's compilation is a tightly researched work with fascinating trivia about the places he recommends, and there are plenty of places you wouldn't have thought about, and its got pictures to speak for themselves!
Makes for quite a handy gift item too, which is why I bought it initially, but liked it so much I decided to keep it for myself. Delectable!
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 1000 places to stay before you're bankrupt, December 21, 2003
This review is from: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List (Paperback)
This is a great idea for a book, and it is fun. I'm being a bit tough to give it only 3 stars, but after a while it got to me.
There are probably about 50 to 100 places in this book that one ought to visit if at all possible. There are also some places that ought to be there, like the Vale of Kashmir, but one would die while visiting them. There are also about 8,765 very expensive hotels to exercise a Platinum card on. She's a traveller who likes her servants elegant and plentiful. I'm sure they're fine hotels, I've known a few of them myself. Still, they're hotels darn it! Not one is worth ten minutes in the Louvre, or a walk in any fine forest.
Some of the places she mentions I knew 20 years ago when they were fresh, now they are well worn and there are different and better alternatives. She also is rather stuck on the northeast.
That said, it is a fun bathroom read for residents and guests. As a travel book it's three stars, as a certain kind of recreation it's 3-4 starts. If you want to travel with it, use the examples as hints, but explore as much around the places she mentions as in them.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun reading, but, oh, so arbitrary, November 3, 2004
By 
Alexander Krem (New Zealand and the US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List (Paperback)
This book is suited for easy reading in the powder room or waiting room; a book to be opened at random or for a quick review of some interesting places in the world.

However, it is not suited for the traveler (who will demand more), nor (I think) for anyone who really wants to see the 1,000 best places in the world. This book lists many such places, but misses as many, and substitutes some odd choices instead. It combines beautiful places with hot new fashion spots, in an odd sort of way that may satisfy some readers more than others. In short, it is a cute book, but neither timeless nor valuable.

Some sections (California and Egypt, for example) are good. Others are very idiosyncratic (restaurants in Chicago? Spas in Arizona?) or incomplete (Massachuetts, Myanmar, New Zealand).

Speaking personally, I would hope that Chicago has more to offer than a few restaurants and a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright homes. If not, I would have saved the ink for other, more memorable places. It seems odd to me to rank Boulders Resort or Canyon Health Resort in Arizona as the equals of Sedona, Canyon de Chelly, or Grand Canyon. I think most people could die happily without seeing these particular spas or restaurants.

Although everyone has different taste, I felt some real gems were missing. Discussing Tanglewood is fine, but what about the Norman Rockwell Museum only six miles down the road in Stockbridge. Freedom Trail, Boston, is nice too -- but so are Concord an Lexington. What about Pagan in Burma - only the largest collection of temples on earth and one of the wonders of the modern world? Tsukiji Fish Market and Hyatt Hotel in Toyko, but not Nikko? Where is mention of Great Barrier Island, the Hokianga or Arthur's Pass in New Zealand? The Four Seasons Hotel in Hamburg, but not the Raperbahn, or the Fischmarkt? The list of missing wonders is long, and the author's choices of what to include and what to exclude was a bit exasperating to me.

I had the feeling that Ms. Schultz did not visit many of the places she writes about, but wrote this book based on some quick desk research. Otherwise, she would realize the difference between Mt. Kenya (a must see with its jungles, tundra, wildlife, glaciers and raw rock formations) and Mt. Kilimanjaro (a ho-hum slog up a dusty mound). She would have included the Galapagos Islands (rather than simply listing most of the Hawaiian Islands) and might have thought twice about listing eight spots in Fiji and only two in Cambodia. And she would have given London and Vienna a longer, deeper look.

The book deserves to do well. It is a brave start for people who love arbitrary lists. However, some people would be happier, I think, with a book that is either a list of beautiful places or a book of fashionable hotels, spas and restaurants. Some readers may be distressed at seeing the Pyramids of Giza in the same category as the Iowa State Fair. Others will find the juxtaposition quite charming.
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72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1000 x 1000 cheers - This is The Best, April 28, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List (Paperback)
How glad I was to have overlooked a scathing criticism or two re the author's would-be emphasis on expensive hotels only - were we reading the same book???? What planet do these people live on?? The beauty of this book is that it covers every category or travel destination imagineable - from events to museums, bars to national parks, annual festivals to ancient temples. Are there hotels? Let's hope so, because the author's choice in every other category is so on the dime, you can be sure she has singled out all of the world's best hotels too. Are they expensive? Most are, yes - but where else do you intend to go for your once-in-a-lifetime trip to celebrate a honeymoon, a promotion, an anniversary or your mother's 80th birthday??? Still too expensive? Then go and sit in the lobby, wander the impeccable grounds, take in the white-gloved service with a smile and get a glimpse of the good life and make believe if only for a few hours....then explore the hundreds of other options that will fit a leaner budget and keep you mighty busy and awefully happy for years.
The book blew me away - and I thought I had been around the block.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jet-Setter's Life List, March 20, 2007
By 
This review is from: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List (Paperback)
Board your private jet (or, if you're on a budget, hop into your Mercedes) and see the world! Is money no object? $300 a night for a room, or $150 for dinner, your idea of travel? Then this book is for you!

The author wrote hotel reviews for Conde Nast, and obviously drew on those reviews in writing this book. Not just any hotels, mind you, but the swankiest possible. Does living in luxury from one city and resort to another qualify you as a world traveler? You make the call. She claims that no visit to London is complete without teatime at the Ritz; funny, I spent about seven months there (it's my favorite city in the world) without going anywhere near the Ritz, and I didn't miss it at all!

So why do I give it three stars? For all her jetsetting, Schultz does manage to slip in a good number of scenic and historic destinations that the normal person would do well to visit. And it makes a good daydreaming book. If I did make a million a year, I'm sure I'd love her restaurants and hotels--and I can always dream, can't I?
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1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List
1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List by Patricia Schultz (Paperback - May 22, 2003)
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