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Jerry Hulse's Travel Tips

September 21, 1986|JERRY HULSE | Times Travel Editor

Writing about the island of St. Croix recently, I goofed. Failed to mention a snug little hotel called Pink Fancy. Owner Sam Dillon describes Pink Fancy as "downtown Christiansted's only luxury hotel." Dates from 1780. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Previously Pink Fancy was a private club for the island's wealthy plantation owners. Noel Coward once wintered there. Dillon spent $1 million refurbishing the property. Only 13 rooms. Rattan furniture, ceiling fans, kitchenettes, pink shutters. Rates: $60/$75 off-season, $120/$150 high season. Guests travel by launch to a small island offshore to sunbathe, picnic, windsurf. Those who remain behind enjoy the swimming pool, a walled garden. For reservations see your travel agent or write to Pink Fancy, 27 Prince St., Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00820.


Michael Thiel deals in vacation hideaways. Says he favors "those who seek to avoid the humdrum in vacationing." Caters to the "whims and demands" of top-level executives. Thiel accommodates his clients in private villas. Insists that even ordinary souls can afford the good life--"they just don't realize it."

Thiel says that often he can put a family in a villa for the cost of a hotel room. If money is of no concern, he sends clients off to villas on private islands with chefs, butlers and their own airstrip. Thiel publishes a directory containing profiles of hundreds of properties. Details from Hideaways International, 15 Goldsmith St., Littleton, Mass. 01460.

Travel Books

A company in San Francisco stocks hard-to-find travel books. Titles include "Cheap Eats in Paris," "Parents' Guide to Tokyo," "Adventure Travel Abroad," "Where to Camp in Spain," "You Can Travel Free," "Nino Lo Bello's Guide to Offbeat Europe," "Hitchhiker's Guide to Europe," "Back Packing in Greece," "Long Walks in France," "Children's Guide to London." A total of 178 unusual books. For a free catalogue write to Gourmet Guides, 1767 Stockton St., San Francisco 94133.

Discount Club

Club Costa of Kansas City assists members in obtaining savings as high as 60% on accommodations, cruises, air travel. Features a hot line with the latest bargains. The club was founded by United Air Lines captain Dick Bodner of Parker, Colo. Bodner sold it recently to business executive James C. Brenneman who continues to publish a magazine/newsletter for members. Four issues a year. The club has some excellent deals on condominiums. Particularly in Hawaii. Details from Club Costa, 9200 Ward Parkway, Suite 535, Kansas City, Mo. 64114.

On Film

Camera buffs can obtain a free booklet filled with tips on travel photography. Titled "Take Your Best Shot." Twelve chapters in this pocket-size source of information on photographing people, close-ups, packing your equipment, etc. Illustrated with on-location pictures. Tells "tricks of the trade used by professionals." Information for both still and movie photographers. For a free copy write to Fuji Film Travel Photography Guide, P.O. Box 3737, Grand Central Station, New York 10163. (Figure on four to six weeks for delivery.)


Nella Davis of San Clemente wants the name of "an old-time hotel" in Silverton, Colo., for a trip she's planning next spring. My choice is the 104-year-old Grand Imperial. Forty Victorian rooms. Rates, $35/$46. It's been home to the likes of Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Lillian Russell, Diamond Jim Brady. Plenty of old-time atmosphere. Pressed-tin ceilings in the dining room and bar (best saloon in town). Pull-chain commodes with oak water tanks. Melodramas are staged in the hotel's theater. You can drive there from Ouray or else take the narrow-gauge train from Durango (spectacular scenery and a fun trip). Address: 1219 Greene St., Silverton, Colo. 81433.

Reader Recommendations

France--Joyce Evans, Granada Hills: "A real find just outside Calais (about 15 miles south on Route Nationale 43) is La Ferme de Wolphus, a B&B run by M. and Mme. J. J. Behaghel. Located on a farm, it offers a few rooms and some suites with kitchenette. Tranquil, very clean. Rate of 155 francs for two (about $23) includes ample breakfast. Personable, obliging owner/couple speak English. La Ferme de Wolphus, R.N. 43, 'Wolphus,' Zouafques, 62890 Tournehems/Hem, France, phone 21-35-61-61."

New York--Donald R. Slinkard, Fresno: "Cooperstown was filled up for a Baseball Hall of Fame event and I was 'forced' to stay 25 miles away in Morris, N.Y. Lucky me. I paid $20 a night single for a comfortable room in a lovely 170-year-old stone house. Delicious breakfast and cordial hosts in owners Ginger and Paul Olsen. Write to Hargrave House, P.O. Box 133, Morris, N.Y. 13808, phone (607) 263-5723."

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