Talk Travel: Searching for inns and B&Bs in Ireland? Check the stars.

The Washington Post's Travel section writers and editors recently discussed stories, questions, gripes and more. Here are edited excerpts: 

Q: My family will be traveling to Ireland and we would like to stay in inns and B&Bs in small towns as we drive around the country. Can you recommend a resource for choosing accommodations? We want to plan ahead since there are four of us, two of which are not adults. I've checked Trip Advisor but a lot of review sound like either Yelp complaints or planted raves.  

A: Ireland offers a star rating on its bed and breakfast inns. Go to to choose by ratings.  

- Carol Sottili  

Q: So, just how tropical, warm and beach-like is Bermuda during the winter? I know it is roughly on the same latitude as North Carolina, but is that really a fair measure?  

A: I've visited Bermuda in the winter several times. It's basically late spring weather - 60s to 70s. It's quite North Carolina in the winter.  

- Christopher Elliott  

Q: We are going to Los Angeles with our two teenagers at spring break. Do you have a recommendation for a hotel? I have never been (except to fly through) and don't have a good sense of the neighborhoods. We'd like a suite situation so we have enough beds (but we might just get two rooms). We are willing to rent a car but would like to be in a location that is easy to get to things. We will be going to one of the Hollywood studios, going to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and other typical tourist things.  

The hotel doesn't need to have any kids programs but I still want it to be family friendly and not all about the bar, drinking, etc. Price range is kind of flexible but I am looking for something nice but not the price of a very top tier place.  

A: I'm partial to Santa Monica, which is on the ocean and lovely. But you are better off heading inland for closer proximity to tourist attractions and better hotel deals. Maybe West Hollywood or Hollywood. Take a look at Palihotel Melrose, the Garland and the Sunset Marquis.  

- C.S.  

Q: We are spending Christmas week in Cancun, Mexico. What would be the best tours/excursions for our teenagers?  

A: We really enjoyed a day trip to underground caves where we could snorkel.  

- C.S.  

Q: Is there ever a holiday that doesn't have a story about some type of airline or airport failure? If the weather isn't causing problems, something else happens. Computers down, power outages, and other issues cause flights to be cancelled or delayed. There really needs to be some plan in place to allow operations to continue.  

A: No, it would not be a holiday without a weather disaster, an IT meltdown, or some other major incident. Keeps us journalists in business. But to your point, I agree, there should be contingency plans.  

- C.E.  

Q: I have tentative plans to take my kids (ages 6-11) in early July, but I have concerns about how high the temperatures will be that week. I've read that temperatures at the river can hit 120, but that up above temps will likely be in the 80s. Is this accurate? Will not going down into the canyon cause us to miss out on a must-do activity such that we should plan the trip for a more temperate time?  

A: It depends on what you want to get out of the vacation. Most visitors head to the South Rim and never make it down to the river. For me, rafting the Colorado River, even if you only do a half-day trip, is a must, but it will be hot. Bring sarongs and bandanas and dip them in the frigid water to cool off. Lots of sun screen is a must. Only you can figure out whether your kids are right for this.  

- C.S.

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