Carol Grant of Glendora plans to spend the holidays in San Francisco, wants the name of a small hotel "with atmosphere." Proprietor Jerome Adams is turning on the holiday spirit at his Cartwright Hotel by serving hot cider, cookies, installing a tree in the lobby and passing out gifts to his guests. Adams will also give away cards that can be exchanged for other gifts at neighboring shops on Sutter Street. Carolers in Dickensian duds will sing up a storm during the last week or so before Christmas. The Cartwright: 524 Sutter St., San Francisco 94102. Rates: $60 single, $70 double.
Skiers are being lured to Big Bear's Gold Mountain Manor by innkeepers Lynn Montgomery and Richard Kriegles with a special holiday deal. Stay three nights and get free ski equipment the third day plus a lift ticket for only a buck. Rates at the manor, $65/$95 a night, single or double. For an extra $20 per person a turkey dinner will be served on Christmas Day and on New Year's the innkeepers are doing a wild boar/champagne party (same price). The Gold Mountain Manor, P.O. Box 2027, Big Bear City 92314. Telephone (714) 585-6997.
Season's Best Buy
This has to be one of the best travel deals on the books--six nights in a New Zealand pub/inn for only $49. That's not $49 per night but $49 for the entire six-day stay. A string of vintage country pubs is welcoming American travelers. Some with as few as four rooms. Baths/showers are down the hall but at those prices, who's to complain? Guests booking additional nights pay an extra $10. And if you want private facilities, a six-night package figures out to $109. Contact Rainbow Adventure Holidays Ltd., 23241 Ventura Blvd., Suite 216, Woodland Hills 91364. Telephone (818) 702-0111 or toll-free (800) 227-5317 (California), (800) 722-2288 nationwide.
For a buck the Redwood Empire Assn. will mail you a 20-page booklet listing hotels, resorts, motels, inns between San Francisco and the Oregon border that are offering winter discounts, complimentry breakfasts, free wine, tours. Some provide one free night for guests booking two/three nights. A Fort Bragg inn gives away tickets for the Skunk Train or a whale-watching boat ride. A total of 75 establishments are listed in the booklet that takes in San Francisco, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Send $1 to the Redwood Empire Assn., One Market Plaza, Spear Street Tower, Suite 1001, San Francisco 94105.
Tahiti for Free
Ted Cook of Islands in the Sun is packaging a giveaway for travelers booking one-week cruises in French Polynesia on American Hawaii Cruise Lines' Liberte. Will put you up free for seven days at Tahiti's Hotel Ibis and the Captain Cook Beach Hotel on Moorea. During '86 the Liberte will be cruising from Tahiti to Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Tahaa. These are islands Michener fell in love with (particularly Bora Bora). The cruise promises to be a flashback to one of those old Dorothy Lamour/Jon Hall flicks with islanders paddling out to greet passengers arriving on the Liberte. Contact your travel agent or Islands in the Sun, P.O. Box 1398, Newport Beach 92663. Telephone toll-free (800) 826-1710 in Southern California or (800) 854-3413 nationwide.
A former stagecoach stop in Northern California welcomes recovering alcohol/drug abusers. Dinsmore Lodge is a country inn set on a 430-acre working ranch with purebred Brangus cattle, prize-winning Arabian horses. Accommodations with shared baths ($42) in the two-story main lodge. Other shelter in guest houses, rustic cabins. Breakfast, lunch, dinner served on the premises, and there's hiking, fishing, swimming. The lodge is set in the wilderness of eastern Humboldt County. Close to Six Rivers and Shasta Trinity primitive areas. Contact Dinsmore Lodge Recovery Center, State Highway 36, Humboldt County, Dinsmore, Calif. 95526, or telephone (707) 574-6466.
Bishop, Calif.--Riva Combs, Irvine: "A charming B&B, the Quaking Aspen at Aspendell, Calif. It has everything--mountains, lakes, spectacular scenery. Breakfasts are hearty and delicious. Rates: $50/$65. Write to Quaking Aspen, Route 1, 141 Sage Drive, Bishop, Calif. 93514."
Arroyo Grande, Calif.--Bill and Carol Lawrence, Newhall: Enjoyed the Village Inn, 407 El Camino Real, Arroyo Grande, Calif. 93420. Rates, $65/$70 with a continental breakfast, afternoon refreshment. (No smoking.)
Idyllwild, Calif.--Bill and Eliza Hofman, Vista: "Happened upon the Strawberry Creek Inn, P.O. Box 1818, Idyllwild, Calif. 92349. Peaceful atmosphere, reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century mountain retreat. No phones. When the spirit moves him, the owner will cook an exquisite full-course gourmet dinner representing a special culinary region of the world. Five bedrooms priced from $48 to $72."
Massachusetts--Ellen M. Smith, Venice: Enjoyed the Captain Ezra Nye Guesthouse, 152 Main St., Sandwich, Mass. 02563. Rates: $35/$55 June/October; $35 off-season.