Four Star Services of Hawaii tells us...

Times Travel Editor

Four Star Services of Hawaii tells us they still have beach-front homes available for the Christmas holidays. About a dozen on Maui. Others on Oahu, Kauai, Lanai. Not cheap (prices start at $300 a day) but fine for big families who can afford it and wish to get together for Christmas. Four Star will also bring in housekeepers, cooks, arrange transportation. Contact Rob Dorman, 310 Market St., Suite 4, Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii 96793 or telephone (808) 244-4877 (7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Hawaii time).

Live Like a Wrigley

In case you hadn’t heard, the Wrigley Mansion on Catalina Island is being operated as a B&B; under lease from USC. Four rooms, two suites. Redecorated in the mood of the ‘20s and ‘30s. Views of Avalon (as well as the California coastline on a clear day). Enormous decks and terraces. Hors d’oeuvres and wine are served in the evening, mornings feature big breakfasts. Rates: $119/$289 a night double. Write to the Inn on Mt. Ada, P.O. Box 2560, Avalon 90704 or telephone (213) 510-2030.

Winter on Ice


My idea of a blizzard is any time the temperature drops below 80 degrees. But for those who fancy snow and ice, Minnesota’s Office of Tourism has published a 12-page newspaper telling all about St. Paul’s Winter Carnival, the World Cup International cross-country ski competition, downhill ski areas, lodge-to-lodge cross-country skiing, ice fishing, sled dog races. A calendar of events lists 170 winter festivals, holiday activities. Free copies of the Minnesota Explorer from the Minnesota Travel Information Center, 240 Bremer Building, 419 N. Robert St., St. Paul, Minn. 55101 or call toll-free (800) 328-1461.

Spanish Language Course

A lot of vacationers are traveling for the sake of learning a language these days. Here’s one in the works for next summer: Spanish for beginners, intermediates and pros at Spain’s Pontifical University in Salamanca. The group leaves June 29, returns Aug. 6. You stay with a family (three meals a day), visit Madrid, Avila, Segovia, Ciudad Rodrigo. Cost for the entire package, $1,595 (including air fare). Optional excursions to Portugal, the south of Spain. Contact Rodrigo Palacios, 17624 Harvest Ave., Cerritos, Calif. 90701 or telephone (213) 860-1841. Palacios is a professor of Spanish at Los Angeles Community Colleges.

RV Resort


Las Vegas will be unveiling a new RV resort and country club in February. A palm tree-lined entrance, waterfalls, putting green. A couple of man-made lakes. Tennis, shuffleboard, swimming pools, spas, picnic-barbecue areas. A big Western-style clubhouse. Free shuttles to the casinos. They’ll also have 24-hour security. Rates priced from $17.50 a day. Weekly, monthly rates for extended stays. Details from Boulder Lakes RV Resort & Country Club, P.O. Box 12179, Las Vegas 89112-0179.

Manhattan Merry-Go-Round

Nearly everyone loves Manhattan but no one enjoys the hassles. No need to fret. An outfit called Manhattan Passport makes visiting the Big Apple easy. Maps out your entire stay. Everything from arrival at JFK to a snack at the Russian Tea Room (or any other restaurant of your choice). You tell MP what you want to do, they set it up. Either that or leave it up to them to map out an itinerary. Visits to museums, Greenwich Village, Harlem, shopping sprees. MP says it has “no tie-ins” with shops, restaurants, “no arrangements” with gallery owners. They handle limousine service, hotels, apartments. Do-it-yourself or guided tours. (A knowledgeable artist is your guide on the museum circuit.) They also set up schedules for business travelers. Contact Manhattan Passport, 344 West 23rd St., New York 10011.

Russian River


For a buck you can get a new map/guide to the Russian River wine region in Sonoma County. Lists 46 wineries, names hotels, resorts, inns. Contact Russian River Wine Road, P.O. Box 127, Geyserville, Calif. 95441.

Holiday in Britain

Theater buffs will be jetting to London for a special theater tour Dec. 26-Jan. 5. Six plays, ballet, etc. Highlights: a performance of the hit “Pravda” with Anthony Hopkins, the new (and popular) musical “Les Miserables” and Ben Kingsley in “Othello.” The package also includes a theater trip to Bath, a New Year’s Eve party, accommodations at the Waldorf Hotel. Holiday price tag: $1,795, including the round-trip jet hop from Los Angeles. Contact Barbie Ellisen at Exclusive Travel, 3345 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010 or telephone (213) 380-4880.

Reader Recommendations


Peru--Nancy Culp, Pasadena: “In Cuzco, Peru, a fabulous restaurant, El Mason de Espaderos, Espaderos 105 just off the Plaza de Armas. Specialty is parrilladas, platters of grilled beef and lamb. Dinner with salad and a bottle of wine came to about $3.50.”

Italy--Carol B. Andries, Long Beach: “In Rome we stayed at the Valadier Hotel, 15 Via Vell Fontonella. A charming small hotel near the Spanish Steps. About $80 for two with breakfast. In Siena, the Plazzo Ravissa, Pian dei Montellini 34 (a 17th-Century mansion, family-run). Paid $100 for the room, breakfast and dinner for two. In Florence we recommend the Hotel Mona Lisa, 50121 Firenze, Borgo Pinti 27 (elegant Renaissance-style, antique furnishings, paintings, sculpture). Owner is a contessa who visits the hotel with her sheep dog who eats croissants on the staircase. About $75 per night with breakfast.”

Italy--Mr. and Mrs. Greg Moses, Simi Valley: “Outstanding ‘meat only’ restaurant, Osteria Le Botti No. 175, Via Triestina, Mestre, Italy. Complete dinner for two, $21.”

France--Lavinia D. Hovart, Marina del Rey: “A tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant called La Ferme St. Hubert, 21 Rue Vignon, 8th Arrondisement, Paris. Prices about $4 to $16. They do magical things with cheese.”


France--Fran Burton, Victorville: Enjoyed Residence Les Gobelins, 9 Rue des Gobelins, 75013 Paris. “Rooms are immaculate. Full bath, radio, TV. Only $22 per night with breakfast. Spent six nights and enjoyed every minute of it!”

Yugoslavia--Richard Reynolds, Lomita Pines: Praises the home of Milos Vejnovic, just outside the old walled city and close to the beach. Rates--$8 single, $11 double. Address, Od Gale 4, 50000 Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia.”

Belgium--Caryl and Ernest Lieblich, Los Angeles: “A beautiful small hotel (six rooms) in a quaint town about 30 minutes outside Brussels--Hostellerie Lou Pahou, Zuidstraat 25, Rue du Midi, 9600 Ronse, Belgium. Approximately $30 per night for two, including breakfast.”

England--Joan and Joel Chrier, Los Angeles: Brock’s Guest-house, 32 Brock St., Bath, England. “An 18th-Century Georgian home, superbly appointed with antiques. Perfect for exploring Bath on foot. Paid 12 per person.”


England--Dorothy Brant, Los Angeles: “Highly recommend Fernrock B&B;, 5 Lower Park Road, Queens Park, Chester CH4 7BB, England. Rate, 11 per person.”

England--W. J. Hurn, Los Angeles: Country House B&B;, The Common, at Alunsfold, Surrey GU8 4LE, England. About $12 per night including breakfast.

Arizona--Vicky Webb, Los Angeles: “Highly recommend the White Stallion Ranch, 9251 W. Twin Peaks Road, Tucson, Ariz. 85743. Rates through Dec. 14 are $91 per day for a single, $71/$76 per person for a double. Slightly higher after Dec. 15.”

Colorado--Susan Genelin, Sherman Oaks: Praise for Lake Mancos Ranch, 42688 County Road N, Mancos, Colo. 81328. Weekly rate (American plan for 1986) $435 for adults, 30% discount for children.


Pacific Grove, Calif.--Terri McGinty-Wilhoit, Los Angeles: “A lovely bed and breakfast, the Old St. Angela Inn, 321 Central Ave., Pacific Grove. Rates from $75 to $125 per night, including breakfast.”

Readers: Contributions to this column MUST contain prices and addresses.