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In response to inquiries concerning luggage, our...

In response to inquiries concerning luggage, our nod goes to the H. Savinar Luggage Co. In business for 72 years. Quality brands at discounted prices (approximately 20% to 50%). Savinar stocks hundreds of suitcases, garment/tote bags, attache cases. (Sells more luggage than any individual store in Los Angeles.)

Employees take time out to offer packing tips to customers. Besides luggage, Savinar has a huge inventory of travel accessories: lightweight raincoats, inflatable pillows, mini-medic kits, money belts, battery-operated razors, curling irons (dual voltage makes converters unnecessary), travel carts, fold-up umbrellas, mini-medical kits, eyeshades, travel irons.

H. Savinar Luggage Co., 4625 W. Washington Blvd., call (213) 938-2501. Take the La Brea off-ramp north from the Santa Monica Freeway ( 1/2 mile), turn east on Washington for 3 1/2 blocks. Look for a red brick building on the north side of the street.

Savinar operates a second store in Canoga Park, 6931 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Telephone (818) 703-1313.

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Ski Tahoe

The ski season is fast approaching at Lake Tahoe. Three resorts on the north shore (Heavenly, Kirkwood, Sierra Ranch) have upgraded facilities. Heavenly now operates the world’s largest snow-making system, along with chairlifts on both Nevada/California slopes. (Four new lifts on the Nevada side accommodate nearly 5,000 skiers per hour.) To book lodging, lift tickets, rental cars, etc., call toll-free (800) 243-2836.

Kirkwood has 11 lifts, 320 condominiums and private homes. Besides downhill skiing, Kirkwood operates one of the nation’s largest Nordic systems, plus a ski school for youngsters (4 to 12 years). Telephone (209) 258-6000.

Sierra Ranch has undergone a $2-million base expansion. A “learning to ski” beginner special ($24) is featured. Telephone (916) 659-7475. Or for a 48-page booklet titled “Winter Travel Places” (includes an ’88-'89 ski package roundup), call the Lake Tahoe Visitors’ Authority toll-free at (800) 822-5922.

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Australia

Australia is a big item among American travelers. Paul Hogan and his film, “Crocodile Dundee,” get much of the credit. Hogan let the world know this is a friendly, laid-back country. As a result, Americans are flocking Down Under in such waves that the Australian Tourist Commission has produced a 130-page booklet. Stunning pictures, maps, details on the Great Barrier Reef, yachting, the outback, rooming with Australian families, air/sea/motor coach/rail/auto travel. Tells what to see and do in the country’s eight states/territories.

For a free copy of “Destination Australia,” call toll-free (800) 441-3900. Other details from the Australian Tourist Commission, 2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1200, Los Angeles 90067. Telephone (800) 441-3900.

For Cruise Buffs

If you’re a cruise junkie, write for a copy of the booklet, “Just Cruising.” The current issue spotlights holiday sailings; trips to Mexico, the Caribbean and Alaska; paddle-wheelers on the Mississippi; voyages to Honolulu from Ensenada. Details on a Big Band trip on the Rotterdam (vocalists from the Big Band era, dance contests). Other items tell about gifts for cruise buffs, sailings of the refurbished Monterey in Hawaiian waters.

The newsletter is free. For a copy, write to “Just Cruising,” 3719-A Thousand Oaks Blvd., Westlake Village 91362.

Amtrak

Amtrak is reintroducing its “one way plus $7" round-trip excursion fare. Applies to any journey with no change of train and a fare of $65 or more (in which case you add $7 for the round-trip ticket). This was a popular idea when it was offered earlier. A great saving. Applies to all Amtrak services with the exception of Amtrak’s Metroliner, auto train and the Mapleleaf/International train cars operating to Canada.

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At the same time, Amtrak is reducing its All Aboard America regional fares. This enables passengers to tailor their itineraries to three U.S. regions for up to 45 days. A coach ticket (good for all three regions) costs $249 (Eastern, Central, Western U.S.). A two-region fare figures out to $199, a one-region ticket will cost you $149.

See your travel agent or call Amtrak.

San Francisco Hotel

B. L. of Vista requests the name of a hotel near the opera in San Francisco. One of our correspondents recommends the Inn At The Opera, 333 Fulton St., San Francisco 94102. Telephone (415) 863-8400. Rates: $99/$130 per room, $140/$180 for a one- or two-bedroom suite. Included are continental breakfasts and complimentary newspapers. The Inn At The Opera is only steps from the Opera House, Davies Symphony Hall, the San Francisco Ballet, Civic Center. Forty-eight rooms/suites with queen-size beds, wet bars, refrigerators, microwave ovens. Good reports on the hotel’s restaurant, Act IV, which serves a popular Sunday brunch and features piano music each evening.

Short Takes

Hawaii’s Outrigger hotel chain is continuing its offer of a free car for guests at the 12 Outrigger hotels. At the Outrigger Waikiki Surf East, rates are from $40/$75 double occupancy. Request for a car must be made when booking your room. . . . A couple of cottages are available on the island of Kauai (between Poipu Beach and Spouting Horn) for $110/$125 per day or $700/$800 weekly. Decks for watching the ocean, magnificent sunsets. Cottages contain washer/dryers, refrigerators, color TVs, queen-size beds, wicker/rattan furniture. Contact R&R; Rentals, Box 70, RR1, Koloa, Hawaii 96756, or call toll-free (800) 367-8022.

Reader Recommendations

Pennsylvania--E. Kiehm, Kaneohe, Hawaii: “In the midst of the Pennsylvania Dutch country, the Jonde Lane Farm belongs to the Mennonite family of John and Elaine Nissley and their five children, ranging in age from 8 to 17. Ideal for families who will enjoy participating in some of the chores on this working farm. Double room with shared bath, including breakfast, $37. Contact the Nissleys, Jonde Lane Farm, Route 7, Box 657, Manheim, Pa. 17545.”

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England--Laura and Anthony Hillbruner, San Gabriel: “An enjoyable stay at a B&B; owned by Mrs. Jean Willcox at 70 Jesus Lane, Cambridge. Rooms are rented to students from neighboring universities during school sessions, so she has high standards in maintenance. Lovely English breakfast. Cost 8.50 per person.”

England--Bill and Joy Hicks, Newhall: “Coldharbour Farm Cottages, Castle Canyke Road, Bodmin, Cornwall, is excellent, with a helpful, friendly owner. 12.50 per person en suite for B&B.; Breakfast was great. Simple dinner.”

Wales--Kris Knaplund, Los Angeles: “Highlight of our trip was a stay at Brynarth Farms, Lledrod, Dyfed, Wales. This 16th-Century farmhouse near Aberystwyth has eight rooms with bath and a separate games building (snooker, Ping-Pong) set among rolling hills and farms. Ex-Londoners Brenda and Brian Ball were friendly and welcoming. Rates 12 per night including breakfast. Write to Brynarth Farms, Lledrod, near Aberystwyth, Dyfed, Wales.”

Wales--Susan Perry, Los Angeles: “Enjoyed our stay at June and Anthony Thomas’ Pant Farm in South Wales, an easy drive from Dylan Thomas’ Boat House in Laugharne. Proprietors are genial, and our en suite room was spacious and comfortable. Rates: 28 double including breakfast. Address: Pant Farm, Meidrim, Dyfed, Wales SA33 5QU.”

Portugal--Wilfred G. Kraetser, Harbor City: Recommends Hotel Principe, centrally located on Avenue Duque de Avilla, Lisbon. “Beautiful room with private bath. Outstanding service. Mr. Carrera, general manager, is a caring host. Rates: $38 for two including breakfast. Good restaurant, dinner about $8.”

We regret that only a select few recommendations can be used. They must be brief (typewritten or printed). Only one recommendation per reader, please. Note: Recommendations will not be used unless prices and addresses are included.


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