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By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Kristen Broman-Worthington / February 2, 2004



We won't put up with this

If you know of a restaurant in your area that's looking for an experienced chef, you'd do Richard Norberg a favor if you let him know. He's reachable in Oernskoeldsvik, Sweden, north of Stockholm. You see, he is being fired from his job later this year and will be needing a new one. And, no, not because he lacks skill. It's because he's too good at his art. Six years ago, an engineering company hired him to operate its cafeteria, which now has a reputation for serving excellent traditional meals at reasonable prices. And the problem with that is? Well, to hear a company official tell it, Norberg's cuisine attracts "many hundred percent" more customers than there's room for - a violation of his lease, which will not be renewed. Furthermore, the wait is lengthy, and customers often aren't able to sit where they'd like.

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Going first class: magazine rates world's top hotels

With school vacations nearing and much of the country in a deep chill, many people are planning getaways. For those who can afford luxury trips - or who just enjoy reading about them - Condé Nast Traveler magazine recently released its 10th annual list of the world's best places to stay. More than 32,000 subscribers rated upscale hotels and resorts on factors such as their amenities, service, food, and activities. Condé Nast's top 10, where each is located, and its overall score (out of a possible 100):

1. Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, Calif. (tie) Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy 98.4
3. Lausanne Palace & Spa, Lausanne, Switzerland 97.4
4. Palazzo Sasso, Ravello, Italy 97.1
5. The Peninsula, Bangkok, Thailand 96.6
6. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, Bali, Indonesia 95.8
7. Little Nell, Aspen, Colo. (tie) The Peninsula, Hong Kong (tie) Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore 95.4
10. Stafford Hotel, London 95.3

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